President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team is reported to be deeply divided over whether to offer a post to Monica Lewinsky, the former White House Intern whose intimate relationship with President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment.

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No decision has been reached as to exactly what sort of job Lewinsky might be offered.
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11795149013dpolwWell the stimulus package is finally finished. A tough new bank-rescue plan to boost lending and limit outrageous pay are part of President Obama.. Even troubled homeowners may even get some relief. All said and done, the government could spend more than $3 trillion to help end the recession.

All we have to do now is sit back and watch the economy grow, am I correct?

One risk of the unprecedented government intervention is that it won’t do all that much to speed up the end of the recession. Another risk is that consumers, expecting a magic fix, could fail to prepare for tough times that still lie ahead. Obama himself said at his first press conference. “This is going to be a difficult year, If we get things right, then starting next year we can start seeing some significant improvement.”

Next year? I’m afraid not. A large number of economists agree that it will take that long, at least, before the biggest problems – mounting layoffs, the housing bust, the banking crisis, and plunging confidence – start to turn around. Whether the stimulus package is actually working, and when the economy might start to mend, here are a few things to watch.

Improvement In The Unemployment Rate. Of all the economic indicators, this is probably the single most important. But you might want to avert your eyes for awhile.

If the stimulus plan works it might come close to creating 3 to 4 million jobs which Obama has talked about.. And that – over several years, combined. But it’s almost certain that through this summer and into the fall, there will be a net job loss, not a gain. Most economists expect the unemployment rate, now 7.6 percent, to hit at least 9 percent by the end of this year. That represents up to 2 million more lost jobs.But the pink slips haven’t all gone out yet, so the layoffs haven’t shows up in the official numbers.
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Basic Management Lesson

funny_quotes_comment_01gif“If you ever see me getting beaten by the police, put down the video camera and come help me.”  –Bobcat Goldthwait

“I’ve been doing the Fonda workout: the Peter Fonda workout.  That’s
where I wake up, take a hit of acid, smoke a joint, and run to my
sister’s house and ask her for money.”  –Kevin Meaney

“My mom said she learned how to swim. Someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. That’s how she learned how to swim. I said, ‘Mom, they weren’t trying to teach you how to swim.’ ” –Paula Poundstone

“In elementary school, in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a
single file line from smallest to tallest. What is the logic?  Do tall people burn slower?” –Warren Hutcherson

“I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every
other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.” –Elayne Boosler

“Ever wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?”     –John Mendoza

“Today I met with a subliminal advertising executive for just a  second.”
–Steven Wright

“Relationships are hard. It’s like a full-time job, and we should treat
it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to leave you, they should give you two weeks’ notice. There should beseverance pay, and
before they leave you, they should have to find you a temp.” –Bob Ettinger
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shepard-fairey-barack-obamaPresident Barack Obama pressed Congress Monday night to urgently approve a massive economic recovery bill, using the first prime-time news conference of his presidency to warn that a failure to act “could turn a crisis into a catastrophe.”

With the nation falling deeper into a long and painful recession, Obama defended his program against Republican criticism that it is loaded with pork-barrel spending and will not create jobs.

“The plan is not perfect,” the president said, addressing the nation from the East Room of the White House. “No plan is. I can’t tell you for sure that everything in this plan will work exactly as we hope, but I can tell you with complete confidence that a failure to act will only deepen this crisis as well as the pain felt by millions of Americans.”

When the stimulus bill passed the House, not a single Republican voted for it. On Monday an $838 billion version of the legislation cleared a crucial test vote in the Senate by a 61-36 margin, with all but three Republican senators opposing it.

Obama said the federal government was the only power that could save the nation at a time of crisis, with huge spending outlays and tax cuts that he contended could save or create up to 4 million jobs.

“At this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life,” Obama said.
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Some people consult astrologers and some don’t. Out of the ones that don’t, some believe that there aren’t any good astrologers around nowadays while others believe that it isn’t possible to foretell the future.

Out of the ones who believe that foretelling the future is impossible, some believe that the future can’t be foretold because there is no future yet. Meaning, the future is not preordained so there’s nothing to foretell. It happens when it happens.

Not just astrology, I find the equivalent of all these views among investment analysts. In investments, there are times when the one can forecast with some degree of confidence because the current trends can be expected to continue unchanged. There are often long periods when trends just extend themselves in a linear fashion.

There are other times, when there’s a break in the trend and the past stops being a good guide to the future. When trends are smooth, then these expectations are true and the forecasts are also true. However, when there’s a break then the future is not predictable. Which is exactly what is happening now.

Currently, there is no shortage of experts trying to predict when the economic crisis will end and growth will resume. I’ve seen predictions ranging from immediate (as in, the crisis has ended we just haven’t noticed yet) to one estimate that said it will ‘take a generation for things to be normal again’. Between the two extremes lie more frequent estimates like late 2009 or 2010 or early 2011. These ‘reasonable’ estimates occur with a greater frequency so they’ve started sounding reasonable.
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unemploymentThe United States lost almost 600,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 per cent, its highest level in more than 16 years, the Labor Department said on Friday.

It was the biggest monthly job loss since the economy tipped into a recession more than a year ago, and it was even worse than most forecasters had been predicting.

In addition, the Government revised down its estimates for previous months by 4,00,000. For December, the Government revised the job loss to 5,77,000 compared with an initial reading of 5,24,000. Overall, it said, the nation has lost 3.6 million jobs since it slipped into a recession in December 2007.

“Businesses are panicked and fighting for survival and slashing their payrolls,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “I think we’re trapped in a very adverse, self-reinforcing cycle. The downturn is intensifying, and likely to intensify further unless policy makers respond aggressively.”

As in previous months, employers in January slashed their payrolls in almost every industry except healthcare. Manufacturers eliminated 2,07,000 jobs, more than in any year since 1982. The construction industry eliminated 111,000 jobs. And retailers, who were wrapping up their worst holiday shopping season in years, eliminated 45,000 jobs.

One modest exception to the bad news was in workers’ wages, which have thus far not reflected the dramatic plunge in employment. Hour earnings edged up to $18.46, up five cents, and average weekly earnings climbed $614.72, up $1.67.

A bipartisan group of senators worked furiously in backroom negotiations on Thursday to cut the cost of the more than $920 billion economic stimulus plan. Senate Democratic leaders said they would await outcome of those talks before pushing for a final vote on the measure.
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ist2_322215-cash-crunchDear Employees,

Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown of economy, Management has decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 40 years of age and above on early retirement.

This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire-Aged People Early).

Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to management to be eligible for the SHAFT scheme (Special Help After Forced Termination).

Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW programme (Scheme Covering Retired Early Workers). A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as Management deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED can only get AIDS (Additional Income for Dependants & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance).

Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or SCREWED any further by Management.

Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) as possible.
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rt_obama_speech_090119_mnWith today being the day when Barack Obama will take office as the 44th President of the United States – and historically, the first  president we  have asked our global economists to give us a summary of some of the challenges the new president will have.

The 44th president of the United States will inherit some tough challenges when he is sworn into office today. But since his election victory, Barack Obama has moved swiftly to put the tools in place to promote economic growth – good news for investors in US equities.

Despite his assertion that there is “only one president at a time,” Mr Obama hit the ground running after his November election win, and has moved quickly to put the tools in place for swift action on the economy.

Last week, the Democratic Party unveiled its much-anticipated USD 825 billion stimulus plan, a package of tax cuts and public spending designed to stem the economic slide and kickstart growth. Mr Obama said the plan, which he is keen to see passed before Congress goes into recess in mid-February, aims to save or create up to 4 million jobs.

In addition, Mr Obama has successfully lobbied Congress for the release of the second half of the USD 700 billion set aside by the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), avoiding a potentially messy battle in the first few weeks of his administration. Lawmakers criticised the Bush administration’s use of the first half of the funds, citing the lack of transparency and lack of conditions attached to bank aid, but Obama’s team have provided assurances that these concerns will be addressed.

The “who’s who” list of choices to fill key positions in Mr Obama’s cabinet has also generated positive marks. Among the appointments are Hillary Clinton as secretary of state and Timothy Geithner, the former president and CEO of the New York Federal Reserve, as treasury secretary. Other economic hard-hitters in the team include Lawrence Summers, former treasury secretary in Bill Clinton’s administration, and Paul Volcker, a former Fed chairman.

Consequences for investors
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deals-on-the-greenGolf is one of those games where business nearly equals pleasure. It’s the sport of choice for corporate czars and tycoons: Bill Gates has shanked and scuffed his way to billion-dollar deals on the golf course.

“Golf is a powerful networking tool when used properly. Top executives in many parts of the world know that once you get a potential client on to the golf course, you can learn all about them. Inevitably it leads to a business relationship. It’s a bond based on competition and rivalry… and friendship,” says Jamie Cunningham, founder of the Corporate Masters tournament and managing director of Professional Sports Group.

It’s easy to see why: top executives would be loath to clear their schedules for a five-hour meeting, but more than willing to play a game of golf. Business need not even be mentioned, until one is at the clubhouse – the 19th hole – which is when most deals are closed.

Cunningham recalls the time he worked with Mark McCormack, IMG founder and the man who invented sports marketing as we know it today. McCormack set up a golf game between top Ryder Cup golfer Bernhard Langer who was brand ambassador for Mercedes Benz and the then Japanese ambassador to Germany. That game directly resulted in upping the quota of imported Mercedes cars in Japan.

Cunningham’s own Middle East Corporate Masters tournament held in the UK is a corporate networking event par excellence. The British telecom company O2 used it as a platform to introduce their services to business leaders, with its corporate sales director closing £5 million worth of business during the event. Closer home, Leisurecorp sold significant amounts of real estate on the back of the Middle East Corporate Masters as its title sponsor.

Donald Trump once declared that some of his biggest business decisions were made on a golf course. The real estate mogul simply uses his playing companion’s on-course behaviour to decide whether he would be a worthwhile business associate.
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