In today’s news update we provide links to information that is going on in Haiti, Obama’s banking proposals, China and Internet censorship and GE’s Q4 Profits.
“If these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have,” Mr Obama vowed on Thursday.
The president’s opening salvo, designed to stop banks taking too many risks in the future, comprises a four-punch combination:
- To limit the overall size of banks
- To ban banks from buying and selling assets with their own money, a practice known as proprietary trading
- To ban them from dealing in hedge funds
- To ban private equity trading, or buying and selling whole companies.
But these wide-ranging activities are undertaken by big banks across the world, and not just in the US.
Haitian government officials say an estimated 400,000 residents displaced by last week’s earthquake will be moved to new villages to be set up outside the devastated capital, Port-au-Prince.
Officials said Thursday they will provide transportation for the residents and hope to begin moving them as soon as possible. The 7.0 magnitude quake left an estimated 1.5 million people homeless, and earthquake survivors have been living outside in overcrowded camps with little or no sanitation.
BEIJING — The Chinese Foreign Ministry lashed out Friday against a speech on Internet censorship made the previous day by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, calling on the United States government “to respect the truth and to stop using the so-called Internet freedom question to level baseless accusations.”
General Electric Co. (GE) on Friday beat expectations with a 19% drop in fourth-quarter earnings, with an upbeat outlook that foresees a return to growth in 2011.
Orders have improved since its investor update in December, with delinquencies in its problematic finance unit also trending down, though commercial real-estate remains a key concern.
“The world we look at really has improved,” said chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt on a conference call with analysts.
Net profits for the December quarter of $3.01 billion, or 28 cents a share, compared with $3.72 billion, or 35 cents, a year earlier and a 26-cent consensus forecast among analysts. Revenue dropped 10% to $41.44 billion.