Brown Calls for More Coordination
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the global economic downturn can only be brought to an end if countries work together to tackle the financial crisis. In a speech, he called on international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to play a larger role in crisis prevention and crisis resolution.
Although Brown said there was a "great deal" that individual countries can do to help their own domestic problems, he insisted that the only long-term solution was international, with better regulation and coordinated government intervention.
His comments come ahead of April's meeting in London of the leaders of the G-20 countries.
WTO Rules in Piracy Case
The World Trade Organization has largely sided with the United States in a dispute with China over product piracy, according to documents released yesterday.
The ruling, which confirms an interim decision in October, takes Washington one step closer to being able to seek compensation from China for the billions of dollars that U.S. companies say they lose through product piracy each year.
The WTO found that China breached trade rules by turning a blind eye to the piracy of CDs and DVDs that haven't been passed by state censors.
Barclays Optimistic on Profits
Barclays said it expects pretax profits for 2008 to be well over $7.3 billion, despite $11 billion worth of asset write-downs at its investment banking division.
In a joint letter to reassure investors, Barclays Chairman Magnus Agius and chief executive John Varley said 2008 profits would be "well ahead" of market expectations, and that the bank did not need any more capital injections to cover potential losses associated with the global financial turmoil.
Petrobras to Invest More
Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras said it plans to invest $104.6 billion in production and exploration through 2013 while aiming to become one of the world's biggest energy companies. The amount will account for 59 percent of its total investments of $174.4 billion in the five-year period, the company said.
Some $43.4 billion is supposed to go to downstream operations, while the rest will be invested in gas, energy, petrochemicals, distribution, corporate and biofuels. Nearly $48 billion is slated for new projects. The company said it expects to invest $28.6 billion this year alone.
Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.