Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Daily Digest March 18, 2009


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.
ARCHIVED at http://cdndailydigest.blogspot.com/

EDITORIAL PAGEs

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM -
Unjust rewards
http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=232992&sc=80

CORNER BROOK WESTERN STAR -
Not the time to make search, rescue changes
http://www.thewesternstar.com/index.cfm?sid=232840&sc=30

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN -
We're relieved, and hopefully more aware
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=233075&sc=103

CAPE BRETON POST -
Wheels in motion on native issues
http://www.capebretonpost.com/index.cfm?sid=232841&sc=151

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD -
EU language guide too silly for words
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/1111932.html

Can we afford debt, stimulus?
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/1111946.html

AMHERST DAILY NEWS -
Federal water study has merit
http://www.amherstdaily.com/index.cfm?sid=233255&sc=61

SAINT JOHN TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL -
http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/606727

MONTREAL GAZETTE -
AIG bonuses not the real problem
http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/editorials/bonuses+real+problem/1400181/story.html

The rule of law wins one in Pakistan
http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/editorials/rule+wins+Pakistan/1400182/story.html

TORONTO STAR -
Pakistan retreats from the brink
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/603879

Stop the nanny abuses
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/603877

GLOBE & MAIL -
Death and the duty to be coherentComment14
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.weDeath18/BNStory/specialComment/home

Unmerited scorn
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.weMoore18/BNStory/specialComment/home

NATIONAL POST -
Terrorism double-standard
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=1399829

The CBC needs an overhaul ...
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1399828

TORONTO SUN -
Pope takes safe stance
http://www.torontosun.com/comment/editorial/2009/03/18/8789321-sun.html

HAMILTON SPECTATOR -
Blatant greed insults us all 
http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/article/532081

K-W RECORD -
Lawn-care industry is responsible 
http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/article/505176

WINDSOR STAR -
Save our minivan plant
http://www.windsorstar.com/opinion/editorials/Editorial+Save+minivan+plant/1400770/story.html

SUDBURY STAR -
CBC must make cuts before government will step in
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1483746

Voice missing for natives
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1483707

THUNDER BAY CHRONICLE JOURNAL -
Don't minimize public anger
http://www.chroniclejournal.com/stories.php?id=171990

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS -
Addicted to failure
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-addicted-to-failure-41420027.html

Old-fashioned way
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-old-fashioned-way-41419987.html

Helicopter under cloud
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/helicopter-under-cloud-41420132.html

Employment insurance leaving many more in the cold
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/employment-insurance-leaving-many-more-in-the-cold-41420107.html

Israel expects to butt heads with Obama
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/israel-expects-to-butt-heads-with-obama-41359307.html

ASKATOON STARPHOENIX -
Finger-pointing trumps debate on economic fix
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/opinion/Finger+pointing+trumps+debate+economic/1400559/story.html

CALGARY HERALD -
Caution and confusion on U. S. strategy on Iran
http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=419820d8-ee12-4c31-a63f-86fef4614144

EDMONTON JOURNAL -
Bill 52 could compromise medical privacy
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/opinion/editorials/Bill+could+compromise+medical+privacy/1401469/story.html

RED DEER ADVOCATE -
Out-of-sync PM can't seem to feel your pain 
http://www.albertalocalnews.com/reddeeradvocate/opinion/Out-of-sync_PM_cant_seem_to_feel_your_pain.html

VANCOUVER SUN -
Weak on defence
http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=0861bc9e-62c1-4b54-b136-9d26d72d9dbe

VANCOUVER PROVINCE -
Let parents retain control over cellphones
http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/editorials/parents+retain+control+over+cellphones/1400444/story.html


ISSUES

AF-PAK PROBLEM -
Afghanistan War 'Absolutely Winnable,' Top Commander Says
http://www.e-ariana.com/ariana/eariana.nsf/allDocs/23618CE16677A4978725757D0074613E?OpenDocument

The Afghanistan seldom seen
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KC19Df01.html

US plan to launch drone raids deep into Pakistan
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5934041.ece

Airstrike kills Taliban commanders in southern Afghanistan
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/03/airstrike_kills_tali.php

Karzai warns against meddling
http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2009/03/18/8794266.html

Afghanistan needs 4,000 extra soldiers for elections: NATO
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/03/18/nato-afghanistan-elections.html

Afghan confidence in Nato forces low, poll shows
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/19/afghanistan-nato

Karzai: Afghanistan is not a puppet state
http://www.aopnews.com/today.html


CANADIAN FORCES -
Rollout date for tanks uncertain
http://www.canada.com/news/Rollout+date+tanks+uncertain/1399620/story.html

Empty homes cost millions
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/empty-homes-cost-millions-41359437.html

Action being taken after report about sex offences in military
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.wassault0317/BNStory/National/home

CANUSA/USACAN -
The Americans are coming, the Americans are coming - to Afghanistan
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.wcoafghan18/BNStory/specialComment/home

Ottawa's new carbon policy, written in Washington
http://blog.macleans.ca/2009/03/17/ottawas-new-carbon-policy-written-in-washington/

Devil in details of new merger review process
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1399892

Tax treaty changes good for trade
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1399895

U.S. eyes customs pre-clearance facilities to speed up trade
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1402855

Canada's safety minister skirts Arar sore point with US
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090318.wwashington18/BNStory/International/home

Harper says U.S. must fix banking problem
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090318/canada/canada_us_economy_harper


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS -
Economist fears historic drop in Canada's GDP
Canadians may have just survived the steepest drop in quarterly economic growth in the post-war period, with mounting evidence pointing to a decline in gross domestic product that could be as high as 9%, an economist said Wednesday.
read more

Related links

Investors starting to look on the bright side
Loonie leaps to three-month high on Fed boost
Oil falls US$1 on U.S. data, World Bank forecast
Auto sector dents wholesale trade

CAW reaches deal with company to pay severance to laid-off Windsor, Ont. workers
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090318/national/auto_workers_rally

IMF sees an even deeper recession for Canada
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090318.RECONOMYGLOBAL18//TPStory/Business

Rosy outlook from Harper and Carney 'unrealistic,' former BoC boss says
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.wrdodge18/BNStory/Business/home

Been falling so long, economy showing signs of nearing bottom
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090317/national/economy

Chrysler's exit plan ...
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090318.RCHRYSLER18//TPStory/Business

CHRYSLER & CAW HIT GRIDLOCK
http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/603942

Poll finds Canadians divided on auto bailout
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090317/bailout_poll_090317/20090317?hub=TopStories

Auto sector leads plunge in orders
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1399862

Can Chrysler pull through? The odds are against it
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090316/chrysler_090318/20090318?s_name=Autos

 Auto parts industry on the brink, needs gov't aid
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090318/auto_parts_090318/20090318?hub=Canada

CAW plans rally at shutdown plant
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090318.wrally0318/BNStory/National/home


FOREIGN AFFAIRS -
Canada & Denmark team up to map Arctic Ocean
http://www.montrealgazette.com/Technology/Canada+Denmark+team+Arctic+Ocean/1400110/story.html

UN diplomat censured for curtailing debate
Canadian interrupted speaker denouncing anti-Semitism
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/fp/diplomat+censured+curtailing+debate/1400268/story.html

History repeating
In 1949, the U.S.S.R. exploded its first atom bomb. Sixty years later, another dangerous dictatorship threatens to follow suit http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=f8b36555-e1eb-4e81-9abe-870f6b496215


JUSTICE SYSTEM -
Feds slash RCMP watchdog funding
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090317/national/rcmp_watchdog_starved

University of Calgary creates new chair to research plea bargaining
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090317/national/plea_bargain_research

Mulroney questions scope of inquiry into Schreiber affair
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090317/national/mulroney_schreiber


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES -
MIKE HARRIS BACK AS TORY KINGMAKER
http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/604018

Charest's on a road to nowhere
http://www.thestar.com/Canada/Columnist/article/603999

Will McGuinty be the third?
http://www.ottawasun.com/Comment/2009/03/18/8788646-sun.html

Alberta Civil Servant bonuses top $40M
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Business/Civil+Servant+bonuses/1401308/story.html

PM cracks whip in Ontario PC leadership race
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090318.wPOLont_leader0318/BNStory/politics/home


FEDERAL POLITICS -
PM unfazed by gloomy predictions
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090318.wPOLharper0318/BNStory/politics/home

There's discontent in Conservative ranks
http://translate.google.com/translate?prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyberpresse.ca%2Fopinions%2Fchroniqueurs%2Fvincent-marissal%2F200903%2F18%2F01-837566-ca-grogne-chez-les-conservateurs.php&sl=fr&tl=en&history_state0 =

Reinventing Mr Harper
http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Reinventing+Harper/1400834/story.html


PROGRAMMES -
Tories considering relief for private TV networks
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090318.wToriesTV0318/BNStory/Business/home

Tories' science initiatives need to evolve
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=45598fef-7479-4698-8261-8d7535afca37

Employment insurance leaving many more in the cold
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/employment-insurance-leaving-many-more-in-the-cold-41420107.html

Baird downplays high-speed rail link
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/604017

Major firms push Ottawa for pension reforms
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090318.wrpensions18/BNStory/Business/home


PRESSURE POINTS -
THE CARBON DEBATE
http://a123.g.akamai.net/f/123/12465/1d/www.canada.com/news/national/oneill-carbon-capture-0316.jpg

RCMP investigator in Arar case promoted
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1399816


OPINION AND INFORMATION -
Recession-immune bureaucrats and politicians need to climb out of their cocoons and curb those nasty spending habits
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Columnists/Diotte_Kerry/2009/03/18/8790696-sun.html

Cutbacks can't include final wishes
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Columnists/Jacobs_Mindelle/2009/03/18/8790711-sun.html

Comrade Manning, science guru
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1399836

Who is the next great Prime Minister?
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Entertainment/next+great+Prime+Minister/1400310/story.html

There he was, in perhaps the only city in Canada that would have him
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.wcosimp18/BNStory/specialComment/home

Burning Bush needs a rest
http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/lisa_vandusen/2009/03/18/8789346-sun.html

Bush makes big impression in Calgary
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/604020

Bush says it's 'essential' to help Obama'
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090317/Bush_obama_090318/20090318?hub=Canada

'Risk-takers' will fix economy, Bush says
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.wbushwalton0317/BNStory/politics/home

George W., McKenna, the 'dudes' and a wad of cash
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090318.WBnobodysbusiness20090318195223/WBStory/WBnobodysbusiness

Meet the Canadian whose big idea felled Wall Street
http://www.thestar.com/business/article/604033

China's stooge
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1399831

Long live the new capitalists!
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.wcoecon18/BNStory/specialComment/home

 How did Canada become so unequal? 
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/603859


INFOS -
Un programme fédéral pour protéger les expulsés est plein de lacunes
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200903/18/01-837892-un-programme-federal-pour-proteger-les-expulses-est-plein-de-lacunes.php

Les bloquistes reviennent inquiets de leur voyage à Washington
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200903/18/01-837870-les-bloquistes-reviennent-inquiets-de-leur-voyage-a-washington.php

Des conservateurs nient avoir fait une croix sur le Québec
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200903/18/01-837771-des-conservateurs-nient-avoir-fait-une-croix-sur-le-quebec.php

Le NPD demandera la fin des publicités fédérales dans le JdeM
http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/saguenay-lac/2009/03/18/004-lebel-osbl_n.shtml

Ottawa fait volte-face et rétablit son soutien au développement économique
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090318/N0318100AU.html

Harper rejette les critiques de l'ex-gouverneur de la Banque du Canada
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090318/N0318194AU.html


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

"God stopped making real estate a long time ago"

The nature of our genus, which we have named home sapiens, "knowing man or wise man", was as well framed "a long time ago".

David in posts below speaks to the fact that actions, though taken based on the assumption of knowing, are not always wise.

A riddle to you.  What are the reasons this article Canada's banks: Admired worldwide for their management - and cash is so?

         Joe
«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»
From: David Bell
To: "'Joe Hueglin'" <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
Subject: RE: Daily Digest March 15, 2009

Joe,
 
Re: How to fix the economy
 
It sounds good but it wouldn't make much difference
 
We have a long-established debt-forgiveness procedure
 
It's called bankruptcy
 
We will forgive the debts of millions of folks in the next year
 
Cheers
David Bell

=====
. . . will the CEO's and their financial institutions that
were the prime movers in developing the toxic assets
be among the individuals and enterprises in bankruptcy?

        Joe
=====
Mostly no

But are you interested in morality here or comprehension?

???
David

=====
Joe,

More on "how to fix the economy"

We don't have a stimulus problem

We have a debt problem--that's the 600 lb gorilla in the room

That's why the Stimulus Bill in the States became a Recovery Bill

That's why the first 400B$  went straight to the bank's balance sheet--no
one started lending again

I suspect (can't prove) 10's of millions agree with me--even if they have a
job and don't expect to lose it

They're paying down debt (and those who will lose their income will declare
bankruptcy and start over)

So how much debt before they're comfortable?

Probably about half

The physical bottom means between 80% and 95% of us starve to death

We'll never get there

So how much?

Depends on our view of the future

Most of us would cheerfully buy a $1,000,000 house with $50K down

If we were confident that in 5 years the house would be worth $1.5M

On the other hand, if the $1M house drops down to $500,000

Most of us with a job or career would cheerfully buy it with $50K down
because in 5 years it could well be worth $1M

God stopped making real estate a long time ago

???

Cheers
David

===================================
Subject: Re: Daily Digest March 17, 2009
From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,  I have a question on CHMC buying back risky or bad mortgages from the banks. Than CHMC is collects about 4 % interest on the mortgages and the same mortgages are insured in case of default, by CHMC. I read in a G/M article that banks are declining federal help, or they have more or less stop selling their bad mortgages. Apparently now, this is the first sign of recovery. I was just wondering, since the feds are now into the mortgage business, how can they say it will not cost Canadians any money and that we are at little risk, if some default on their mortgages. Isn't CHMC funded by our tax dollars and if so, did the feds puts us at risk, for mortgages that I will assume are risky, based on over-priced real estate and ratio of equity to debt is something like 1 to 35?
Just a question. I am a little confuse why some people think that CHMC is not funded by the feds. Has been from their inception, but only insured the lender the full amount of mortgage, in case of default. What has change, is that CHMC are now collecting interest on the risky mortgages brought from the banks. I am just curious what is the debt to equity ratio on those mortgages. From what I have read, the banks are not talking, nor CHMC nor the Harper government.

===================================
From: Charles Tupper
Subject: SMOKING MIRRORS ::: Monsanto and Corporate, Jail-House, Gang Rape.
http://smokingmirrors.blogspot.com/2009/03/monsanto-and-corporate-jail-house-gang.html

One of the ugliest things to be manifesting in the Obama portfolio in these first 50 days is the war against small farmers; against farmer's markets, alternative and organic growers of produce. There's more but I don't want to spend my time laying out what you can get from the link. You can get some nice details in the preceding site's forum about Congresswomen DeLauro and her husband Stan 'the man' Greenberg who pimps for Monsanto. And… you can learn all you need to know about Monsanto in this video
. . .
===================================
From: Ray Strachan
Subject: Re: Daily Digest March 17, 2009

Quoting Joe Hueglin <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>:Mindelle Jacobs....

Really pouring on her Anti Muslimism today in both The
Niagra Falls Review and under Opinion and Information,Edmonton Sun. She
totally Ignorss how well Israel and Zionism are protected by The UN. How many
people, I wonder, still think that being a Jew is their Nationality rather
than their religion? So when push comes to shove, where do their Loyalties
reside.   Boy, are there ever getting to be a lot of people in The United
States asking just that.

===================================
From: "Jacob Rempel"
Subject: FW: National (& Global)  News  B.C. Court Case - potential to drastically change the Canadian Internet landscape  - Copyright lawsuit would spell trouble for Google, Yahoo

B.C. court case has potential to make Google, Yahoo illegal in Canada
A court case in British Columbia has the potential to drastically change the Canadian ... A case brought against the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) by a ... The question before the British Columbia Supreme Court is, ...
www.ottawacitizen.com/news/todays-paper/court+case+potential+make+Google+Yahoo+illegal+Canada/.../story.html - 81k - Cached - Similar pages

===================================
From: Larry Kazdan

Subject: Letter to Editor re: UN council makes mockery of 'rights', Mindelle Jacobs, Mar. 16

Re: UN council makes mockery of 'rights', Mindelle Jacobs, Mar. 16
http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1481197

Mindelle Jacobs points fingers at  'political bandits' in the UN Human Rights Council.  But the same day in Canada, a speech was given by an alleged criminal as identified by the U.S. Army's 2004 internal report on Abu Ghraib which stated  "… the Commander-in-Chief [Bush] and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture ...". The Convention on Torture to which Canada is a party specifically requires us to either prosecute or extradite for prosecution any such person within Canadian territory.  Our soldiers are fighting and dying overseas in defence of democracy, human rights and rule of law.  But George W. Bush was not denied entry to Canada, nor indicted.  It is clear that human rights mockeries and hypocrisies are not the special preserve of foreigners.
_____________________________
To: letters@theherald.canwest.com
Subject: Letter to Editor re: Bush a shoe-in for Calgary, Editorial, March 17

Re:  Bush a shoe-in for Calgary, Editorial, March 17
http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=88bc86fb-1ac2-47b2-b74c-d021e2bc159a

According to your editorial, protesters can protest, but Bush will be judged by history.  That would be fine if Bush were not responsible for the crime of torture as         alleged by the U.S. Army's 2004 internal report on Abu Ghraib which stated  "… the Commander-in-Chief [Bush] and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture ...".  The Convention on Torture to which Canada is a party specifically requires us to either prosecute or extradite for prosecution any such person within Canadian territory.  So does the Calgary Herald believe the rule of law should apply equitably to all, or do members of  the political and business elite merit special exemption?   Maybe the Herald is vying for this year's Shoe-in-Mouth Award.

===================================
From: "Don Keir"
Subject: Solving the world crises

Hi Joe:
 
In reply.
 
Question: How is it possible to convert this phoney money to real money?

Answer: It cannot be done.

Sure it can! All one has to do is to print the stuff and distribute it, which is something that a government is well able to do. Thing is, though, that what that ends up doing is diluting the value of previously-existing cash, which isn't particularly convenient to people who have cash savings

Gloy be! A hair of the dog !! More of the same thing that caused the trouble in the first place.Now why didn't I think of that? The wealthiest person in town is the one with the fastest printing press.

-----------------

It will be necessary to wrest control from the powerful 10 percent of the population who have utilized this phoney money to gain fabulous wealth from the previous system.

Starting from this premis, What is the next step?

Personally, I'm open to becoming a member of the New 10%. If it helps, I'll even swear to be quiet and unostentatious about it.

If you think so. When that stuff hits the fan, I'd sooner be on the side with the 90 percent.

 Don Keir

===================================
Subject: How Nations Measure Up: Global Rankings
From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

Looks like 'competiveness' isn't everyting ...
 
How Nations Measure Up: Global Rankings
http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/archives/2009/02/how-nations-measure-up-global-competitiveness-rankings.html
 
Annual rankings show a frantic race among the world's top economies, with gaps shrinking year over year. Has the United States lost its competitive edge?

The financial market crisis that began in 2007 has resulted not only in losses in markets and for financial institutions, but also in eroding public confidence in the financial sector and among the institutions themselves across the industrialized world. In the meantime, rising prices from education and health care to commodities and food ­ are having an almost unprecedented effect on emerging and developing economies.

Although the present downturn was expected to be confined mainly to the U.S., the economic turmoil has since spread to other industrialized economies and it remains unclear what the future holds for emerging markets.

Policymakers are presently struggling with ways to effectively manage the multiple shocks while preparing their economies to perform successfully in an increasingly volatile economic landscape. In an unstable global financial environment, it is more important than ever for countries to put into place the fundamentals underpinning economic growth and development.

The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report aims to enhance the understanding of the key factors determining economic growth and explain why some countries are more successful than others in raising income levels and opportunities for their respective populations. . . .