Economy

Norwegian central bank lowers lead rate to 2.00 per cent

Norwegian central bank lowers lead rate to 2.00 per cent Oslo  - The Norwegian central bank on Wednesday lowered its lead rate a further 0.50 percentage points to 2.00 per cent, as part of attempts to reduce the impact of the weakened global economy on Norway.

The new cut takes effect Thursday, the central bank said.

Norges Bank deputy governor Jan F Qvigstad said in a statement that "the outlook for the global economy has deteriorated."

IMF revamps lending practices

IMF revamps lending practicesWashington - The International Monetary Fund will revamp its lending policies to encourage more countries to make use of its emergency funds in the current economic crisis, the financial watchdog announced Tuesday.

The retooling would provide faster access to IMF loans and with less of the usual policy conditions that have scared off some countries. Governments including Singapore and South Korea have rejected IMF funds despite facing massive budget shortfalls.

Ford chief earned 13.6 million dollars despite record losses

Ford MotorsNew York  - Despite record losses, the chief of Ford Motors, Alan Mulally, earned 13.6 million dollars in 2008.

The money included 2 million dollars in regular salary plus long- term stock options, the country's second largest car producer said Tuesday in a statement.

Mulally did not receive a bonus for 2008, in contrast to 2007. For the current and next years, he has agreed to a 30-per-cent salary reduction.

Ford reported record losses of 15 billion dollars for 2008 - but still has enough cash reserves to survive.

2ND ROUNDUP: US seeks broad new powers to take over troubled firms

US seeks broad new powers to take over troubled firmsWashington  - US authorities need broad new emergency powers to take over financial firms whose collapse could threaten the wider economy, the country's top economic officials warned Tuesday in the wake of the controversial bail-out of insurance giant American International Group Inc (AIG).

Facing a groundswell of public anger over Wall Street and AIG's role in the financial crisis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended their rescue of AIG before lawmakers as critical to the stability of the US economy.

Nobel laureate Yunus urges Bangladesh unity in face of recession

Nobel laureate Yunus urges Bangladesh unity in face of recession Dhaka - Bangladesh Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus Tuesday called for national unity to fight the global meltdown, which has started affecting the country's impoverished economy.

"It needs great courage and national unity to face the problem nationally," said the micro-credit guru, who won the Nobel peace prize with his Grameen Bank in 2006.

Speaking after a meeting of a national task force, he said food, energy, power, port and agriculture should have priority when it comes to dealing with the crisis.

US seeks powers to take over non-financial firms in wake of AIG

US seeks powers to take over non-financial firms in wake of AIG Washington  - US authorities need broad new emergency powers to take over non-financial firms whose collapse could threaten the wider economy, the country's top economic officials warned Tuesday in the wake of the bail-out of insurance giant American International Group Inc.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the bail-out of AIG, which began in September, as critical to the survival of the US financial system.

Pages