World Bank offers developing countries $100 billion in aid; President Bush resists automakers bailout; North Korea closes its border to the south; Sudan declares ceasefire in Darur; and more
Top of the Agenda: Emerging Market Concerns
With days to go before the much-anticipated G20 summit on the financial crisis opens in the United States, the World Bank announced it is prepared to offer $100 billion in new aid (FT) to developing countries, amid fears that spreading economic problems could lead to humanitarian catastrophes. A recent CFR.org Daily Analysis looks at how the developing world has been hit by the crisis and examines to what degree economic growth in emerging economies will stagnate.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department signaled a new phase in its economic rescue efforts, saying it is considering a requirement that firms raise capital (WSJ) on private markets in order to qualify for public assistance. The New York Times reports consumer confidence has recently emerged as the most pressing economic concern for the United States, even as credit concerns on Wall Street seem to be subsiding.
Debate also continued on how to deal with beleaguered U.S. automakers, who are now clamoring for bailout money from the government. The Times reports several congressional Democrats are making a push for emergency legislation to assist the auto industry--a move President Bush has resisted--and that the drive could lead to a final showdown between the executive and legislative branches during Bush's tenure. The Wall Street Journal reports there are an increasing number of skeptics who doubt General Motors' ability to effect an economic turnaround, even with government assistance.
Markets in East Asia today retreated slightly, and steep recent declines in the Middle East continued, with Dubai's main index falling over 6 percent (AFP). Several European indices opened slightly higher.
Pacific Rim: North Korea Tensions
Pyongyang announced North Korea will close its land border with South Korea starting December 1, blaming "reckless confrontation" (BBC) on the part of Seoul. Analysts interpreted the move as a potential blow to North-South relations and South Korean officials expressed regret (Yonhap) at the announcement.
THAILAND: The governor of Bangkok announced his resignation (Bangkok Post) following a corruption scandal.
AUSTRALIA: Treasury Secretary Ken Henry refused to endorse (Australian) a $6 billion auto industry assistance package proposed by the Australian government.