Financial Risk Manager

Ways of Financial and Risk Management

Conducting an Investigation For Misconduct

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A well written article by Athar Hussain Zaidi FCA and Saima Batool

Investigating for evaluating misconduct or violations of rules and regulations is a necessary, but unpleasant, job for most human resource professionals, fraud examiners and law experts. Investigations should be conducted whenever there are serious complaints about workplace problems, including rule or policy violations (such as violating the safety or harassment policy), misconduct (such as falsifying records or reports), or criminal acts (such as stealing). In addition, at times the professionally managed organizations should be prepared to investigate lesser problems, even without a formal complaint, like rumors or suspicions of rule violations or wrongdoing.

The consequences of investigations that are not fair or thorough can be very serious and extensive. If your termination or disciplinary decisions are based on flawed investigations, they may trigger employee lawsuits for defamation, discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination. In fact, even the accused wrongdoer may sue when an investigation is handled poorly or the decision appears unfounded and of no locus standi. Significantly, courts tend to punish employers that do not conduct thorough nvestigations respecting the legal procedure laid down in this behalf. In addition, employee morale may suffer if employment decisions appear unfair or arbitrary because the process was not thorough or objective.

So in order to help prevent these problems and ensure an effective investigation, the following elements are suggested to be part of your investigative process:


The qualifications and demeanor of the person conducting the investigation will influence the perception of fairness. Ideally, the person should have special training and experience in human relations, employment law, conflict resolution and fraud examinations.

In developed countries such as USA many employers rely on their internal human resource professionals or senior security officers in this role. However, an outside investigator may be appropriate if the issues are particularly sensitive or legally complex. (Note that where an outside investigator is used, certain disclosure requirements have to be complied with under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 of USA) In addition, some states in America, such as California, require that thirdparty investigators be licensed by the state. Unfortunately, in developing countries, the enquiry officer is usually appointed from amongst the staff who may not have the ability and skill to do the job. The only requirement in the industrial labour laws of Pakistan is that the enquiry officer should not be of the rank below the person who is being investigated.


Specific procedures should be established which must be followed by supervisors and managers conducting investigations. The written procedures should address each step of the process and provide guidelines for fact finding (including choosing and interviewing witnesses), proper documentation of the investigation steps and the facts revealed, protection of confidentiality,and communication of results.


Investigations should be completed as quickly as possible after a complaint is filed, the misconduct is observed, or the alleged incident occurs. Normally, no more than a few days should elapse between each step in the process; ideally, the investigation should be completed within five to ten days. Of course,investigations that involve complicated issues like harassment or theft or stealing company property and information may take longer.


The investigator should begin by gathering as many facts as possible about the problem, either by interviewing the complaining party, or if no one made a complaint, by interviewing people who may be involved or who may have witnessed the problem.

As a general rule, the investigator should talk to any person who may have information that would either prove or disprove that the alleged conduct occurred. To obtain as much detail as possible, the investigator should ask probing and open-ended questions that do not suggest the answer. Interviews should focus on the specific facts of what happened (like when, where, and who was involved) and preserve confidentiality by addressing only the details that the particular person would know. In addition, the tone of each interview should be professional, and everyone interviewed should be reminded that the organization will not retaliate, or tolerate retaliation, against anyone for participating in the investigation.


All steps in the process should be recorded and documented in writing. Written records, properly compiled, aid everyone»s memory and can be invaluable in demonstrating,to employees and, if necessary, to a court, the fairness of the investigation and ultimate decision. Since these records may be used in legal proceedings, the information recorded should be limited to facts disclosed and behavior observed and should not include any speculation about what happened.


Once the investigation is complete, management should evaluate the evidence and make a decision. Although most managers and human resource professionals worry about making the ÒperfectÓ decision, neither employees nor the courts expect legal perfection. Rather,they expect a rational decision based on a thorough investigation.

In fact, courts generally do not second-guess employer actions, even when later proven wrong, if management acted fairly and in good faith. Therefore, you do not have to meet a strict rule of evidence Òbeyond a reasonable doubtÓ, as for a criminal offense, in order to make a proper employment decision. As a last step, all appropriate parties should be informed of the decision. This communication can be used as an opportunity to underscore the fairness of the process. However, to prevent defamation claims, you should be careful to limit dissemination of the information to those who have a legitimate need to know.

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posted @ 10:45 PM, ,

List of Major Beneficiaries of Loans Written Off in Eight Years

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Major beneficiaries include

  1. Siraj Steel of Muridke with Rs1.412 billion,
  2. Mohib Textil Mills of Multan Road, Lahore, (Rs1.117billion),
  3. Maj-Gen Mian Abul Qayyum (retd) of Qurel Cassette (Rs900 million),
  4. Adamjee Garments, Adamjee International and Golden Valley Trading,
  5. Adamjee Karachi (Rs239milliom),
  6. Kohinoor Looms of Raiwind, Lahore (Rs945million),
  7. Mekran Fisheries (Rs961million),
  8. Quality Steel Works of Manghopir Road, Karachi, (Rs981million),
  9. Pakistan Fertilizer of Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Karachi (Rs323million),
  10. Associated Industries Garments of Nazimabad, Karachi (Rs406 million), Fateh Textile Mills of Hyderabad, (Rs352million),
  11. Metropolitan Steel Corporation (Rs747million),
  12. Adamjee Industries of Karachi (448million),
  13. Glamour Textile Mills of Abid Majid Road, Lahore, (533million),
  14. Allied Textile Mills of Larkana (Rs296million),
  15. Anand Textiles Mills (Rs279million),
  16. First Tawakal Modaraba of Shaheen Road, Karachi, (Rs628million),
  17. National Garments of Lahore (Rs335million),
  18. Salahuddin Sahaf and Wahiduddin Sahaf’s dyeing & finishing, and food industries (Rs317million),
  19. Haleem Ghouri and Karik Ghouri of Aleem Sons (187 million),
  20. Oberoi Textile Mills (Rs260million),
  21. Taymur Spinning Mills of Lahore (Rs185million),
  22. Sampak Paper & Board of Lahore (Rs216million),
  23. Okara Textile Mills (Rs126million),
  24. Khairpur Textile Mills (Rs146million),
  25. Techno Glass Industries of Lahore (Rs215million),
  26. Metropolitan Steel Corporation of Karachi (Rs190 million),
  27. Bhittai Food Industries (Rs248million),
  28. Malik Food Industries (Rs367million),
  29. General Dairies (Rs246million),
  30. Fruit Sap Ltd (Rs242million),
  31. Crescent Standard Investment Bank of Lahore (Rs370million),
  32. Aries Global (316m),
  33. Aghosh Public School (285m).

PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Pervaiz Elahi, Wajahat Husaain, Mansoor Elahi, Sabah Elahi and other family members’ Punjab Sugar Mills, Khanewal, had got a ‘meagre’ loan of Rs37.9million written off. And so do Sardar Jaffar Khan Leghari Rs338,000 and Tehmina Durrani Rs105.9 million.

Similarly, Barex Ltd of Lahore owned by senior journalist Mujeebur Rehman Shami and other family members got Rs3.89million loan written off.

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posted @ 1:27 PM, ,

Merry Christmas

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posted @ 12:10 AM, ,

Way to Compare Car Hire

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Increasing human movements in different areas and their growing economic activities have changed the way and quality of life and given surge to use of transport. Most of people need various kinds of cars at different stations and it is easy to rent a car rather than taking own cars everywhere in the country. There are many travelers who used cars for their business trips or pleasure tours. These frequent travelers know about the advantages of having a car waiting at designation station. Whenever I traveled in past, I was not used to hire cars at other destination and took my own car. However, last year one of my friends gave me an advice to contact cheap car hire company that was always a difficult task for me. Further it is not easy to compare different car hire suppliers for any destination in the world, finding the cheapest deals.

There are number of things we need to consider for making comparison of rates of hiring cars when we need transport anywhere in the world like which car where we need it, which car brand we desire, etc. With a large variety of cars and countries to choose from, you are required to find perfect choice for affordable car rental whatever your holiday or business destinations.

posted @ 11:54 PM, ,

Happy Boxing Day

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Boxing Day is a bank holiday or a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, Greenland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Macau and countries in the Commonwealth of Nations with a mainly Christian population. In South Africa this public holiday is now known as the Day of Goodwill. Though it is not an official holiday in the United States, the name "Boxing Day" for the day after Christmas has some currency among Americans, particularly those that live near the Canada – United States border.

The name derives from the tradition of giving seasonal gifts to less wealthy people and social inferiors. Until their distribution, these gifts were stored in a "Christmas box," which was opened on December 26, when the contents were distributed [1]. In the United Kingdom, this was later extended to various workpeople such as labourers and servants.


posted @ 11:13 PM, ,

Specific Search Engines

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One of the weaknesses of the World Wide Web is when some searches for a required file, it brings up a lot of unrelated and irrelevant files. People are uploading more data every second and it is growing exponentially that is what it makes searches even more difficult. It becomes overwhelming to search and locate what one may be looking for. Focused search engines like Rapidshare Search Engine can help users in searching through the tons of data files. A better and more functional search engine can make the life of any user like me much easier. See where you search and make your life easy.

posted @ 8:55 PM, ,

Australia: New Scenarios and Macro Economic Risk

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New Scenarios

Risk Briefing's risk scenarios are potential developments that might substantially change the business operating environment over the coming two years. We analyse the drivers, provide the context and conclude with recommended action. The following scenario has been added at the latest country update.

Macro Economic Risk

The global economic recovery stalls and hurts Australian growth

Moderate probability; Moderate impact; Risk intensity = 9

There is a serious danger that as the various stimulus packages implemented globally, particularly in developed countries, are withdrawn, the recovery in the world economy will stall. Governments will try to withdraw fiscal stimulus slowly, but fiscal positions have deteriorated dramatically since the onset of the global financial crisis, as countries have had to bail out their banking sectors and run large deficits to support economic growth. Some countries are already moving to protect the sustainability of their debt levels. Households in Western economies are currently in no position to take over from the public sector as the main driver of GDP growth, since they are still in the process of repairing their balance sheets.

A slowdown in growth in developed economies would slow Australian growth, but as has been seen over the last year, Australia is not highly dependent on demand from developed economies, partly because exports make up a small proportion of GDP, but also because exports to China have become more important in recent years. The threats to China's growth rate are probably, therefore, more important to Australia's outlook. Chinese growth in 2010-11 is highly reliant on strong credit growth, but coming after the extraordinary rise in lending seen in 2009, a further expansion of credit would increase the threat of loans turning bad and of a future banking sector crisis.

A sharp slowdown in Chinese economic growth would result in a downturn in demand for and prices of Australia's commodity exports. Investors should be aware that despite Australia's strong performance during the global recession of the last year, external demand shocks still have the potential to disrupt its economy.

Source: Risk Briefing - Economic Intelligence Unit

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posted @ 5:05 PM, ,

TV Options

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Most of the people like to watch television at homes and watch their favorite programs like movies, sports, local and international news. There are various modes used to provide TV channel services. Some concerns only provide cables which were very popular among most of them. However, after the introduction of Direct TV, cables are no more popular in some areas. Some companies are providing both services. However, I personally found Direct TV one of the best among all.

It gives almost 100% signal reliability, provides number of good channels especially of sports. They have better value and getting customer satisfaction more and more. These are the reasons why millions of families have switched to Directv.

Explore the neatly laid out web site and see what they are offering and how. You can get Direct TV any where you want. If you are looking for Direct TV in CA -California, look no further. Direct Sat TV offers great directv packages and directv service to California. When you buy directv in California you will be getting the most advanced equipment backed by expert installation and customer service. CA direct tv will not only bring you all of the great national programming, but your local television channels may be available.

posted @ 4:18 PM, ,

Supreme Court Strikes Down NRO

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The Supreme Court of Pakistan has struck down the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), saying it is unconstitutional.A 17-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in his short order, declared the ordinance as unconstitutional and illegal.

According to the judgment, the NRO is contrary to the equality guaranteed by the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. Similarly, all the cases, disposed off because of the controversial ordinance, now stand revived as of Oct 5, 2007 position, said the judgment. In addition, the court has ordered the government that it should immediately reopen the Swiss cases concerning President Asif Ali Zardari.

Earlier, during hearing of petitions against the NRO, the chief justice said even parliament has no right to change the basic structure of the constitution. “In accordance to oath, we are committed to safeguard the constitution,” he remarked. Earlier, the chief justice has warned the NAB Chairman Naveed Ahsan about a stern action if something false detected in the list. He ordered the NAB Chairman to sign the list if it was correct. On the court’s order, he signed the list.

The court summoned the summary file of directives issued for the elimination Swiss cases when the hearing resumed on Wednesday. On the excuse of acting attorney general, the court summoned principal secretary and secretary law. Secretary law while presenting the file in the court said attorney general wrote the letter for withdrawal of cases on the directives of Asif Zardari’s lawyer Farooq H Naek that was opposed by the than law minister Zahid Hamid.

The court has expressed displeasure on acting attorney general and said he hide the truth. The principal secretary of president Salman Farooqi informed the court that cases files are not present in presidency. The files were in president’ camp office in Rawalpindi.

The court advisor Mian Allah Nawaz in his arguments termed the NRO as filthy law and said any, which is beneficial for some individuals, is illegal. Another court advisor Shaiq Usmani said there is no legal ground of giving amenity under NRO. President could only issue the ordinance, which will convert into law by the assembly.

In his remarks, chief justice said how assembly could declare corruption as legal. The judges in their remarks said NRO is against Quranic teachings and amenity could only be given to political cases.

The judges said that if it were an ordinance for national reconciliation, then Baloch leaders and Altaf Hussain should also have been called to the country. During the final stages of the hearing, Salman Raja, Akram Chaudhry, Dr Farooq Hussain, Shahid Orakzai and Abdul Hafiz Pirzada completed their arguments.

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posted @ 10:32 PM, ,

ADB Outlook - GDP Growth

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Year wise break of GDP Growth of 44 Economies and member countries of Asian Development Bank (ADB) plus Brunei is as follows


Developing Asia----4.5%---6.6%
Hong Kong--------(3.0%)---3.5%
South Korea-------(2.0%)---4.6%


posted @ 4:55 PM, ,

Capital Management

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Economic conditions of people is getting better day by day after facing severe turmoil during some last quarters. We have observed in past that there are number of companies managed by private people which took care of investment made by general public and invested their funds in different avenues. However, these all companies incurred abnormal losses and didn’t provide reasonable return to their clients and customers against their investment.

These days there are many firms which promise to take care of your investment through investing in various market products. However, I personally found Ritchie Capital Management one of the best among all. Ritchie Capital Management, LLC is a privately owned hedge fund sponsor. The firm provides its services to pooled investment vehicles. It invests in the various public equity and other alternative investment markets of the United States of America.

I personally like urban farming program which has been introduced considering the worth of food and its relationship to energy and water. Urban farming provides a glimpse to the solution that food systems can play in helping us address climate change, health and livelihoods. I recommend every one to visit the neatly laid out sight and see what they are offering and how?

posted @ 4:53 PM, ,

Top Ten Countries With External Debt

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Dubai isn't the only part of the world that is managing debt payments, despite the recent coverage about debt restructuring at Dubai World. Here's the top 10 countries by external debt - the total public and private debt owed to non-residents, repayable in foreign currency, goods, or services. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis. All information is from the CIA World Factbook and is current up to December 31, 2008. The list might just surprise you...

10. Luxembourg External debt: $2,020,000,000, 000 ($2 trillion)
9. Japan External debt: $2,231,000,000, 000 ($2.2 trillion)
8. Spain External debt: $2,317,000,000, 000 ($2.3 trillion)
7. Italy External debt: $2,328,000,000, 000 ($2.3 trillion)
6. Ireland External debt: $ 2,356,000,000, 000 ($2.4 trillion)
5. Netherlands External debt: $2,461,000,000, 000 ($2.5 trillion)
4. France External debt: $4,935,000,000, 000 ($4.94 trillion)
3. Germany External debt: $5,158,000,000, 000 ($5.2 trillion)
2. United Kingdom External debt: $ 9,041,000,000, 000 ($9 trillion)

And at #1?

The United States, with an external debt of $13,750,000, 000,000 ($13.75 trillion)

So where does the UAE come on the list? 33rd, with an external debt of $134,700,000, 000 (134.7 billion) - or in short, the UAE's external debt as a whole (which includes that of Dubai World) would need to be 15 times larger to make it into the top 10.

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posted @ 5:04 PM, ,

Lotte Pakistan PTA Limited - New Identity New Begining

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Lotte -  the Asian conglomerate has acquired the majority shareholding in Pakistan PTA Limited, making Lotte PPTA a member of the Lotte Group. Lotte aims to become one of Asia's top 10 golbal corporations by 2018.

My question to all of you is whether it is benefial way get foreign remittance in Pakistan or its just a mode of quitting from Pakistan's Assets.

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posted @ 12:11 PM, ,

List of Nobel Laureates 2009

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Charles K. Kao 
"for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication"

Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith
"for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor"


Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath
"for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome"


Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak
"for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase"


Herta Müller
"who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed"


Barack H. Obama 
"for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples"


Elinor Ostrom 
"for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons"

Oliver E. Williamson 
"for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm"

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posted @ 3:20 PM, ,

Obama Received Nobel Peace Prize 2009

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The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

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posted @ 3:09 PM, ,

Trade Show Displays

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Thing are very much complicated these days. People have transformed their living style from simple way of living to stylish and modern way. Most companies have started using trade show carpets for their exhibition that really help to  promote their business. Further, printed logo canopy and other different styles of tents are used by number of companies to selling their products at very congenial way.

There are number of private firms which are providing flooring, carpet and conopy related services. However a complete range of trade show displays, tress, director chairs, counter and cabnits, graphic tents, design and layout, trade show graphics, monitor stands, giveaways, budget panel system, trade show flooring, budget pop ups, hanging over heads displays, logo canopy, lighting, light box, sign holders, trade show furniture, table top displays, shipping cases, hospitality tables and many more is only available here.

Explore the neatly laid out sight and see what they are offering and how? I personally like logo mats those include water hog impressions, water hog logo inlay, super scarpe logo, classic impressions and color star computuft. Anyone who is interested to customize his own logo can also contact them.

posted @ 2:48 PM, ,

Obama Speech - Afghanistan Policy

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President Obama announced Tuesday that he would speed 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in coming months, but he vowed to start bringing American forces home in the middle of 2011, saying the United States could not afford and should not have to shoulder an open-ended commitment.

“America, we are passing through a time of great trial,” Mr. Obama said. “And the message that we send in the midst of these storms must be clear: that our cause is just, our resolve unwavering.”

The military escalation Mr. Obama described and defended in his speech to a national television audience and 4,000 cadets at the United States Military Academy here, the culmination of a review that lasted three months, could well prove to be the most consequential decision of Mr. Obama’s presidency.

In his 33-minute address, he sought to convince an increasingly skeptical nation that the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the continued existence of Al Qaeda across the border in Pakistan — what he called a “cancer” on the region — were direct threats to the United States, and that he could achieve the seemingly contradictory goals of expanding American involvement in the war even as he sought to bring it to a close.

The scene in the hall was striking and somber: row after row of cadets, in their blue-gray uniforms, listening intently to a strategy that could put many of them in harm’s way. “If I did not think that the security of the United States and the safety of the American people were at stake in Afghanistan, I would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow,” Mr. Obama said. “So no, I do not make this decision lightly.” He called on foreign allies to step up their commitment, declaring, “This is not just America’s war.”

He delivered a pointed message to Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, saying, “The days of providing a blank check are over.”

Addressing critics who have likened Afghanistan to Vietnam, Mr. Obama called the comparison “a false reading of history.” And he spoke directly to the American people about the tough road ahead.

“Let me be clear: none of this will be easy,” Mr. Obama said. “The struggle against violent extremism will not be finished quickly, and it extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will be an enduring test of our free society, and our leadership in the world.”

With the economy weak and the issue of jobs foremost on Americans’ minds, the president conceded that the new strategy would carry an expensive price tag, which he put at an additional $30 billion in the first year.

Yet with some Democrats talking of a war surtax, Mr. Obama offered no details of how he intended to pay for his new policy, saying only that he was “committed to addressing these costs openly and honestly.”

White House advisers said they expected the administration would do so in the coming weeks, as officials including Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testify on Capitol Hill starting Wednesday.

The approach laid out by Mr. Obama — not so much a new strategy as a doubling down on the one he embraced earlier this year — incorporated the basic goals and came close to the force levels proposed in the counterinsurgency plan that Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top military commander in Afghanistan, put forward in September.

In that report, General McChrystal said, in stark language, that unless significantly more troops were sent, the war in Afghanistan was likely to be lost.

But by including an explicit timetable to begin a withdrawal, Mr. Obama highlighted the seemingly conflicting pressures defining the debate over how to proceed: to do what is necessary to ensure that the region is not a launching pad for attacks on the United States and its allies, and to disengage militarily as quickly as possible.

Senior administration officials suggested, however, that any initial withdrawal starting in mid-2011 could be very limited, depending on the military situation at that point.

“The pace, the nature and the duration of that transition are to be determined down the road by the president based on the conditions on the ground,” said Michèle A. Flournoy, under secretary of defense for policy.

The initial political reactions showed the crosscurrents facing the White House. Republicans applauded the buildup of troops but questioned the commitment to a timetable for bringing them home.

“Setting a draw-down date before this surge has even begun is a mistake, and it sends a mixed message to both our friends and our enemies regarding our long-term commitment to success,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas.

But among many Democrats, the response ranged from noncommittal to outright opposition.

“I see no good reason for us to send another 30,000 or more troops to Afghanistan when we have so many pressing issues — like our economy — to deal with in this country,” said Representative Louise M. Slaughter, Democrat of New York.

Mr. Obama is calculating, administration officials said, that the explicit promise of a drawdown will impress upon the Afghan government that his commitment is not open-ended.

Mr. Obama was less clear publicly on how he planned to address the issue of Pakistan, which many administration officials say will prove to be a far more intractable problem in the long term than Afghanistan.

The expanded operations could include drone strikes in the southern province of Baluchistan, where senior Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding, officials said.

The new Afghanistan strategy draws heavily on lessons learned from Mr. Bush’s “surge” and strategy shift in Iraq in 2007, which Mr. Obama opposed.

In addition to the influx of troops and the training of the Afghan Army, administration officials said they were taking other lessons from the Iraq buildup, like empowering local security forces to stand up to Taliban militants in their communities and enhancing the training of national forces by embedding American troops with Afghan counterparts and later pairing American and Afghan units to fight side by side.

The 30,000 troops that Mr. Obama is sending are part of what one administration official characterized as a short-term, high-intensity effort to regain the initiative against the Taliban.

Administration officials said that they were hoping to get a commitment for an additional 5,000 to 8,000 troops from NATO allies — perhaps as early as Friday at a foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels — which would bring the number of additional troops in Afghanistan to close to the 40,000 that General McChrystal was seeking.

Mr. Obama is sending three of the four brigades requested by General McChrystal. The first Marines will begin arriving as early as Christmas, and all forces will be in place by May, a senior administration official said.

The 30,000 new American troops will focus on securing and protecting the country’s top population centers, including Kabul, Khost and Kandahar, the Taliban’s spiritual capital. Military officials said that two brigades would go south, with the third going to eastern Afghanistan.

Military officers said that they could maintain pressure on insurgents in remote regions by using surveillance drones and reports from people in the field to find pockets of Taliban fighters and to guide attacks, in particular by Special Operations forces.

The strategy also includes expanded economic development and reconciliation with less radical members of the Taliban.

In addition, Mr. Obama is making tougher demands on the Afghan government; he spent an hour on the phone Monday with Mr. Karzai, White House officials said, and pressed him on the need to combat the corruption and drug trafficking, which many Western officials say has fueled the resurgence of the Taliban.

During the conversation, Mr. Obama, described by one White House official as “very explicit,” pressed Mr. Karzai on the need to take steps that would show progress. Mr. Obama congratulated Mr. Karzai on setting up a corruption task force, but also pressed him on the need to make sure that officials appointed by the government are untainted by corruption.

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posted @ 9:07 PM, ,


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directory comparison

posted @ 8:49 PM, ,

an euphonious is for life, not just xmas!

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an euphonious is for life, not just xmas!

posted @ 7:19 PM, ,

Dubai Crisis: Central Bank - Lender of The Last Resort

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The Central bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said that it "stands behind" the country's local and foreign banks, which face losses from Dubai World's possible default, and offered them access to more money under a new facility.

The central bank sought to reassure UAE banks and foreign banks operating in the country about Dubai's financial difficulties, sending a strong message that it was willing to provide ample liquidity and guarantee to banks.

Dubai World, a state-owned investment company struggling with $59 billion ([euro]39 billion) of debt, said last week that the firm and its main property subsidiary Nakheel would seek a "standstill" agreement with creditors.

This led to a slump in global markets and raised prospects of rising loan write-offs for Emirates and foreign banks in Dubai, which has total debts of $80 billion.

The central bank said it would make available to banks "a special additional liquidity facility linked to the current accounts" at the central bank that can be drawn upon at a cost of 50 basis points (0.5 per cent) over the three-month Emirates inter-bank offered rate, the Abu Dhabi-based regulator said.

"This is very a reassuring move by the central bank in order to limit the risk of any run on Dubai-based banks," said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh. It will alleviate any "liquidity concerns by foreign banks about the banking system, mostly those based in Dubai", he said.

The UAE's banking system is "more sound and liquid than a year ago" and local banks' sale of medium-term notes and commercial paper in foreign markets has declined by 25 per cent over the period, the central bank said.
Accountants Deloitte have been appointed advisers to Dubai World to help the company restructure its debts. The firm had a $3.5 billion bond payment due next month but wants breathing space from all debt repayments until the end of May.

Last year, the UAE finance ministry poured $6.8 billion into bank deposits, the first tranche of a $19.1 billion rescue facility it set up to help lenders weather the global credit crisis. It deposited another $6.8 billion into banks in November 2008, but has not made any statements since regarding the remainder of those funds.

This came after the central bank set up a $13.6 billion emergency bank lending facility to combat the crisis.

Dubai World's investments range from Turnberry in Scotland, host of the 2009 Open golf championship, to the luxurious Palm manmade islands being developed by Nakheel. The company has also invested in the QE2 cruise liner, Emirates airline and the Travelodge budget hotel chain. Dubai World may seek to sell assets to solve its debt crisis


posted @ 11:27 AM, ,

IMF Sells 10 Tonnes of Gold to Sri Lanka

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The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday it had sold 10 tonnes of gold to Sri Lanka's central bank for 375 million dollars, as part of a restructuring of IMF financial resources. It was the third IMF sale of gold in a month as the Washington-based institution seeks to reduce its dependence on lending revenue and bolster its finances amid the global economic crisis.

The IMF said the sale to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was based on the market prices prevailing Monday. On November 2, the IMF said it had sold 200 tonnes of gold to India's central bank for 6.7 billion dollars. The fund announced on November 16 the sale of two tonnes of gold to Mauritius for 71.7 million dollars.

The IMF executive board approved in September the sale of 403.3 tonnes of gold. The fund, which currently holds roughly 3,000 tonnes of gold, is the world's third-largest official holder of the precious metal after the United States and Germany. The IMF said it would sell gold directly to central banks and other official holders for an initial period before selling the remaining amount on the open markets "in a phased manner over time."

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posted @ 11:25 AM, ,

How To Live Well in Uncertain Life

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posted @ 11:22 AM, ,

Light Within

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