US should lead: Zoellick
The head of the World Bank said yesterday it was right for the US to take a leading role in some global institutions and that the right US candidate for the post of the bank’s next president would be good for the US and the bank. In an interview in Singapore, World Bank President Robert Zoellick also said he did not believe Spain, Italy or Portugal needed bailouts to ease massive debt burdens, but that reforms needed the critical support of Germany and other leading European nations. The World Bank last week launched the nomination process to select a new president to succeed Zoellick when he steps down in June, inviting names from any of its 187 member countries. Some nations say it is time for a non-US candidate to take the helm of the bank, pointing to the growing economic clout of the developing world.
Google sells Clearwire stake
Google Inc on Friday said it would sell its stake in Clearwire Corp, the struggling operator of a wireless data network. The search company is taking a 94 percent loss on the originally US$500 million investment made in 2008. Google said in a regulatory filing that it was seeking to sell its stake starting tomorrow for US$1.60 per share, or US$47 million total. Clearwire shares fell US$0.16, or 6.8 percent, to close on Friday at US$2.11. Google was part of a consortium that included cable companies and equipment provider Intel Corp that injected US$3.2 billion into Clearwire when it merged with a Sprint Nextel Corp unit in 2008. The hope was that Clearwire would be a powerful competitor to the established cellphone companies, providing fast wireless data at low prices.
Officials oppose QE3
Two US Federal Reserve officials opposed additional mortgage-bond purchases by the Fed, saying the measure was not needed and that the US central bank should not interfere in credit markets. Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis President James Bullard said he did not favor additional debt buying as inflation risks are “to the upside” and a damaged housing market limits the effectiveness of monetary policy. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said targeting a specific industry such as housing should be left to the US Treasury. “I am worried that if you try to push so hard on monetary policy even when the mechanism isn’t really working, the whole thing blows up on you,” said Bullard, who does not vote on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) this year. He also said that the FOMC would need to mark down its economic forecasts to warrant another program of large-scale asset purchases, known as quantitative easing.
Nike selling Lin shoes
Nike Inc will start selling Jeremy Lin (林書豪)-themed shoes this weekend, cashing in on the New York Knicks point guard’s recent rise to worldwide fame. Priced at US$130, the shoes will be available on Nike’s Web site. Nike said it would launch the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse Low basketball shoes, made especially for Lin, this weekend in Orlando, Florida, where the NBA is holding its All-Star festivities. “It’s not a signature line, but a version of the shoe that he’s been wearing this season,” the company said. The world’s biggest sporting goods company, headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, signed Lin in 2010, and launched its “Linsanity” line of clothes at Foot Locker Inc stores last week.