Tuesday, January 22, 2008

News Mash-Up (How to Read the Media Primer)

So, there's a lot of "news" right now. I'm going to focus on one event (the Fed cut the interest rate) and you read the following and tell me which one do I think is drving the following "news" reports, enjoy!

Pre-emptive nuclear strike a key option, Nato told
Ian Traynor in Brussels
Tuesday January 22, 2008

The Guardian

The west must be ready to resort to a pre-emptive nuclear attack to try to halt the "imminent" spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, according to a radical manifesto for a new Nato by five of the west's most senior military officers and strategists….

The five commanders argue that the west's values and way of life are under threat, but the west is struggling to summon the will to defend them. The key threats are:

· Political fanaticism and religious fundamentalism.

· The "dark side" of globalisation, meaning international terrorism, organised crime and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

· Climate change and energy security, entailing a contest for resources and potential "environmental" migration on a mass scale.

· The weakening of the nation state as well as of organisations such as the UN, Nato and the EU.

A New, Global Oil Quandary: Costly Fuel Means Costly Calories

Published: January 19, 2008
New York Times

Rising prices for cooking oil are forcing residents of Asia's largest slum, in Mumbai, India, to ration every drop. Bakeries in the United States are fretting over higher shortening costs. And here in Malaysia, brand-new factories built to convert vegetable oil into diesel sit idle, their owners unable to afford the raw material.

This is the other oil shock. From India to Indiana, shortages and soaring prices for palm oil, soybean oil and many other types of vegetable oils are the latest, most striking example of a developing global problem: costly food. …

No category of food prices has risen as quickly this winter as so-called edible oils — with sometimes tragic results. When a Carrefour store in Chongqing, China, announced a limited-time cooking oil promotion in November, a stampede of would-be buyers left 3 people dead and 31 injured.

Cooking oil may seem a trifling expense in the West. But in the developing world, cooking oil is an important source of calories and represents one of the biggest cash outlays for poor families, which grow much of their own food but have to buy oil in which to cook it. …

[…]The food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, based on export prices for 60 internationally traded foodstuffs, climbed 37 percent last year. That was on top of a 14 percent increase in 2006, and the trend has accelerated this winter.

Markets in Flux After Fed Move

Published: January 22, 2008

New York Times

The Fed cut rates a week before a regularly scheduled meeting and about an hour before markets opened in New York. …

President Bush's State of the Union address is scheduled for Monday, January 28, 2008 at 9pm

Answer Key in next transmission.
Here's a hint: the food thing is not "news" people have been saying that for over a decade.

Appended at 3:22 pm
Here's a photo for all of you that think that the Fed can "do something" and the economy will just get better:

we're very confident.

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