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Political Economy: January 9, 2011 - January 15, 2011

BP strikes deal with Russian oil company

Updated 8:30 p.m. BP struck a deal Friday that will give Russia's largest oil firm, Rosneft, a 5 percent stake in BP and will give the London-based oil giant access to exploration prospects in Russia that BP believes to be...

By Steven Mufson  | January 14, 2011; 8:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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While bankers lobby for seats to Hu Jintao state dinner, Oakland mayor confirms invite

The mayor of the Northern California city of Oakland is the first known guest of the Chinese president's state dinner at the White House next week. Jean Quan told Oakland Local that she will take interim San Francisco mayor Ed Lee, who is also Chinese-American, as her date.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 14, 2011; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  China, White House  
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Multiple protests planned for Chinese president's state visit

At least 17 Taiwanese-American organizations have announced that they will hold demonstrations in front of the White House and Students for a Free Tibet is organizing a march from the Chinese Embassy to the White House and will follow Hu around Washington, denouncing his country's policies at eight separate rallies that coincide with his meetings. The Uyghur American Association is also planning protests. The groups' protests will be Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International USA also plan to participate. Unlike President Obama's previous guests during state visits--the heads of India and Mexico, who are relatively non-controversial--China's president is routinely criticized for human rights abuses including censorship, jailing critics without due process and denying rights to minority populations.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 14, 2011; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  China, White House  
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Scholars weigh in: What should we expect from Hu-Obama meetings?

Will the two presidents announce breakthrough deals on the Chinese currency, North Korea, Taiwan or other highly sensitive issues? Or will the visit be mostly symbolic--a way for U.S. President Obama to show China the respect the Chinese feel they deserve? The consensus among China watchers is that the chances of the men finding a resolution for these sensitive issues is unlikely, but that there's likely to be progress on other fronts. Hu may press the U.S. to ease its ban on technology exports; Obama may focus on access for foreign firms to Chinese markets. The one thing that's almost certain to happen next week--because it has happened on every recent trip by a high-ranking Chinese official--is that the Chinese will throw money around to show that investments can go both ways, announcing large deals with American companies. President Obama met for more than an hour Thursday at the White House with five advocates for greater civil liberties and human rights in China. A senior administration official told Wilson that Obama will speak about human rights in his public appearance with Hu and bring up the issue during their private meetings.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 14, 2011; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  China, White House  
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Spike in global food prices contributes to Tunisian violence

The state of emergency in Tunisia has economists worried that we may be seeing the beginnings of a second wave of global food riots. Battered by bad weather and increasing demand from the developing world, the global food supply system...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 14, 2011; 1:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Food prices, International Economics  
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Economic agenda: Friday, Jan. 14, 2011

At 8:30 a.m. -- The Commerce Department releases retail sales data for December. Analysts are expecting yet another indicator of a strong holiday sales season, with a forecast gain of 0.8 percent. At 8:30 a.m. -- The Labor Department is...

By Neil Irwin  | January 14, 2011; 6:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  | Tags:  consumer price index, industrial production, retail sales  
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Pew poll shows shift in perceptions of world economic power from U.S. to China

As President Obama heads into talks with his Chinese counterpart next week, nearly half of Americans say China is the world's leading economic power, while just 31 percent picked the U.S, according to a new survey. Prior to the global economic crisis three years ago the numbers were almost the opposite, the Pew Research Center for People & the Press found. Only 30 percent said China was the global economic leader, versus 41 percent for the U.S.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 13, 2011; 4:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  China  
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Chinese state media sees Geithner speech in a different light than U.S. press

It's always interesting to compare the Chinese state-run media's take on something with what the Western press reports. The official Chinese report from the government-run Xinhua had a completely different take on the speech. There was no mention of the yuan or intellectual property. Instead Xinhua lead with: "The economic relationship between the United States and China "provides tremendous benefits" to both nations, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said here on Wednesday."

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 13, 2011; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  China, U.S. Treasury  
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Ahead of Chinese president's visit, U.S. and China trade criticism on economic issues

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner walks to a basketball court prior to playing basketball with students in Beijing in May 2010. (Photo Credit: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg) With Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit with President Obama less than a week...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 13, 2011; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  China, U.S. Commerce Dept., U.S. Treasury  
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White House seeks to avoid 2006 mistakes in upcoming state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao

Washington is abuzz with preparations for the state visit next week by Chinese president Hu Jintao. This time around, the Obama administration is determined to fete Hu and his delegation in the same way they hosted their counterparts from U.S. allies Mexico and India earlier. Hu will be honored at a black-tie state dinner--a symbolic victory for the Chinese leader who since his last visit has increased his country's prominence in global efforts ranging from discussions about how to stem the economic crisis to clean energy innovation. While details about Hu's visit have been hush-hush, it will be short, from Jan. 18-21. While in Washington, he'll be greeted with a formal arrival ceremony on the South Lawn with honor guards and the traditional 21-gun salute. There will then be a series of meetings between the two presidents and their aides followed by a press conference by Obama and Hu. On the evening of Jan. 19, the President and First Lady Michelle Obama will host a dinner that will include government officials from both countries as well as Chinese-Americans, corporate executives and others with ties to China. On Jan. 20, Hu is expected to arrive in Chicago.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 13, 2011; 1:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  China, White House  
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Economic agenda: Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011

At 8:30 a.m. -- The Labor Department releases data on inflation at the wholesale level in December. At 8:30 a.m. -- The Labor Department releases data on weekly claims for unemployment insurance. At 8:30 a.m. -- The Commerce Department releases...

By Mike Shepard  | January 13, 2011; 6:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  
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Fed report: Economic recovery on track at end of 2010

he U.S. economy "continued to expand moderately" in November and December, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in a new report that shows an economic recovery that, while not particularly rapid, is on track.

By Neil Irwin  | January 12, 2011; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Federal Reserve, U.S. Economy  
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Post-holiday blues from the folks who bring you Davos

The January blahs got a bit more dismal Wednesday when the World Economic Forum - the organization that sponsors the big snow-ski-and-ideas weekend in Davos, Switzerland, each year -- released its annual global risk report. This is not a document designed for good news: As the title suggests it's about what might go wrong, and there's plenty.

By Howard Schneider  | January 12, 2011; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  China, International Economics, White House  
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Economic agenda: Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011

At 8:30 a.m. -- Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner gives a speech at the School of Advanced International Studies on economic relations between the U.S. and China. At 2 p.m. -- The Federal Reserve releases its periodic beige book survey...

By Mike Shepard  | January 12, 2011; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  | Tags:  Geithner, beige book  
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In Detroit, the art of hyping auto design

DETROIT -- All the new car designs, as the hype at the North American International Auto Show would have it, are "sleek" or "dynamic" or "muscular." Yet not everyone is so sure the new styling is so innovative. A lot...

By Peter Whoriskey  | January 11, 2011; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Retail trade group hires new chief lobbyist

The National Retail Federation announced Tuesday that it has hired a new chief lobbyist to tackle key tax policy and workplace issues. David French will take will take over as senior vice president of government relations for the trade group...

By Ylan Mui  | January 11, 2011; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Corporate taxes, Corporations, Financial regulation, Retail  
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Economic agenda: Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

No set time -- Goldman Sachs is scheduled to release some time Tuesday a report detailing proposed changes to its business practices in the wake of regulators' allegations it misled clients about complex mortgage investments. At 9 a.m. -- U.S....

By Mike Shepard  | January 11, 2011; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  | Tags:  chamber of commerce, goldman, iPhone, job-market turnover, oil spill, verizon  
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GM unveils Chevrolet Sonic

General Motors is showing off its new small car here at the Detroit auto show, the Chevrolet Sonic, trying to impress the public with its "agile ride" and "turbocharged performance." But the real wow factor behind the Sonic may be...

By Peter Whoriskey  | January 10, 2011; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Chevrolet Volt named Car of the Year

General Motors Vice Chairman of Global Product Operations Thomas Stephens accepts the North American Car of the Year Award for the Chevrolet Volt. DETROIT -- The fuel-efficient Chevrolet Volt won the 2011 North American Car of the Year and...

By Peter Whoriskey  | January 10, 2011; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Auto industry  
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Auto show kicks off in Detroit

A man walks through the Audi display at the company's booth during the press preview day at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 10, 2011. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images) The North American International Auto Show opens for previews...

By Peter Whoriskey  | January 10, 2011; 8:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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