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Pension: World

Archives: 2002


Add Labor Unrest to List of Schröder's Woes (December 19, 2002)
Mr. Schroeder, the German chancellor
, faces a potential strike by three million public-service workers in Germany by mid-January. Negotiations between the government and Germany's largest union, Verdi, broke down. The union’s leader, Mr. Bsirske, is demanding a pay increase of slightly more than three percent. The coalition government is torn between the pressure of elections next February and the German budget deficit for 2003, exceeding the European Union ceiling.

CSFB Gets Record UK Fine for Japan Breach (December 19, 2002)
Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) must pay an unprecedented size UK fine ($6.4 million) for trying to mislead Japanese regulatory and tax authorities. These are extremely expensive actions for any company. Will this lead to more lawsuits? In the United States for example, CSFB is one of the investment banks facing fines totaling $1 billion.

Credit Suisse Chief Waives Severance Pay (December 19, 2002)
Investors in Switzerland and around the world are outraged over accounts of corporate greed in severance pay, pension plans and bonuses to executives who companies have run into serious trouble. But in Switzerland few companies disclose the pay of their top managers. This year, Marcel Ospel, chairman of UBS, Credit Suiss's bigger rival, set the pace for change by disclosing his $7.3 million pay packet. Au contraire, Lukas Mühlemann, the departing chairman of the Credit Suisse Group, has given up his right to a severance package: a  first!

Head of the Pension Fund: our goal for 2003 is to improve medical services for veterans (December 15, 2003) (in Russian)
The head of the Pension Fund of Russia has revised its program for the year 2003. The key element is improvement of the health care for older veterans, through additional medical insurance and investing in health facilities.

Experten fordern Rente erst ab 67 (December 12, 2002)(in German)
In Germany, pensions beginning at 65 years is too expensive in the long term, believes employer's president Hundt. To save money and to save on pensions, he believes all employees should work up to the age of 67 years. The SPD, the socialist party in the Government Coalition, says this nonsense.

Grüne Abgeordnete gegen höhere Rentenbeiträge (December 12, 2002)( in German)
Several Green representatives threaten their party orders to reject the law increasing the pension contribution rates to 19.5 percent. The Berlin Green representative Werner Schulz said to the news magazine " Der Spiegel" that he estimates the number of the possible deviationists at " three to four times as large " as the group who had rejected sending armed forces to Afghanistan a year ago. At that time four Green members of parliament didn’t vote. 

Ukrainian pensioners do not hold out up to a living wage (December 10, 2002) (in Russian)
In Ukraine only 233 thousand pensioners out of 14 millions receives pension that equals or exceeds a living minimum. A seminar organized by the Ukrainian Federation of Employers and a technical assistance project sponsored by the US Agency for International Development revealed this sad situation.

Rentenbeitrag steigt auf 19,5 Prozent (November 5, 2002) (in German)
Within the red-green coalition, the SPD (the Socialist German party) has asserted itself against the Green. The contribution to the pension scheme will rise on 19.5 per cent. The Greens didn’t dissuade in the chancellor's office the social democrats from their plan.


It Will Be A Tragedy If The Firefighters Are Crushed (November 2002)
The Fire Brigade Union strike in England is likely to end in “humiliation” for firefighters, who will be “forced to trail back to work defeated.” This Guardian opinion article warns that the firefighters’ defeat will represent a blow to the labor movement in England.

Means-testing hits pensioners (November 20, 2002)
A leading pension charity has warned the government it risks increasing pensioner poverty amid reports of poor take-up of means-tested benefits.

Allianz der Jungpolitiker fordert Rentenreformen (November 12, 2002)(in German)
Some young German politicians have engaged in power politics that may hurt the German chancellor. The quarrel revolves around the straight increase in pension contributions making it a generation question. The young SPD’s demand is clear: a voluntary privatized feature in pensions and to lower employer taxes in this electoral period.

110 Jahre deutsches Sozialversicherungssystem (in German)
Here is the 110-year-old history of the German Health System. Otto von Bismarck, the German chancellor in 1891 drew up a law about the old-age pension and insurance for sick and disabled. It became the basis for the pension scheme. In 2002, in parallel to the pension sinking, the government is considering an additional private pension fund covered with capital. The government provides for it about 10 billion Euros in the final 2008.

The Role of Social Security Privatization in Argentina Economic's Crisis
Argentina privatized partially its Social Security system in 1994. The economic collapse that resulted from Argentina's inability to continue its deficit ultimately affected Argentina's Social Security program.

ING launches first foreign Non-State Pension Fund in Russia (Octpber 24, 2002)
In Russia, a foreign private pension fund, ING, started recently. The company believes that both substantial legal and tax reforms will create considerable demand for its novel products.

Future pensioners should become investors (October 24, 2002) (in Russian)
Starting in 2003, tens of millions of Russian workers will be encouraged to invest in private pension funds. But some experts fear that they will refuse to choose private pension funds.   Russians have seen their pension monies disappear as the government left the Soviet model.  Rogue capitalists have stolen much from the public resources so building trust may prove difficult, especially in view of the worldwide downturn in stock market indices.

Problem 2006: how will Russia deal with $20 billion pension pyramid (October 23, 2002) (in Russian)
The money of current and future pensioners in Russia is used to finance current budget expenditures, mainly external debt payments. If the Pension Fund continues investing into state equities, as is planned, the Ministry of Finance will owe pensioners more than $20 billion, or more than a fourth of the yearly budget in three years.

Social funds in Russia (October 23, 2002)(in Russian)
Social funds in Russia comprise about one half of the federal budget. So, they are often targete
d for government expenditures reduction. The article suggests increasing retirement age in Russia to decrease both the rate of pensioners to workers and social taxes  Russia has one of the lowest retirement ages in the world: 60 for men and 55 for women. And Russia has unfavorable rate of pensioners: 69.2 per 100 working persons (comparing to Germany - 55.3, and France - 51.3). But are these jobs for older workers?

Government Increases Pensions for Former Military and Police Servants (October 23, 2002) (in Russian)
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine will increase pensions by 10% starting January 1, 2003 for former military and police servants. ‘The next task is to reduce disproportion in pension size among those retired in different time periods’, says Vladimir Seminozhenko, Vice-Prime-Minister of Ukraine.

En Grande-Bretagne, les fonds de pension militent pour la retraite à 70 ans (October 12, 2002) (in French)
As in most of the other countries of Europe, the British pension scheme is in crisis. The slightest profitability of the capital of pensions due to the fall on the stock market puts in danger the incomes of the future pensioners. The national Association of the capital of pension British (NAPF), who includes the administrators of private pensions and manages 750 billion pounds (1 200 billion euros), has just proposed a radical revision of the system..

Britain 'failed to regulate' Lloyd's (October 7, 2002)
A European Parliament has condemned the UK Government for its failure to regulate the Lloyd's insurance market: will it become a future case in the European court of Justice ?

We Have to Renew Merit Based Pensions (October 7, 2002) (in Russian) Interview with the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of Ukraine Ivan Sahan regarding the new legislative proposal on mandatory pension insurance submitted to the Parliament for approval on September. The new proposal provides three-level pensions: (1) pay as you go system, (2) mandatory accumulative funds, and (3) private pension funds. One of the main challenge is the new proposal is introducing a merit based pension.\

3,3 milliards d'euros de déficit en 2002, 4,6 milliards en 2003 (September 24, 2002)
Every year, it is the same news : a deficit in the French Health System. The good news is that the World Health Organization has named the French Health Program as the best in the world.

Experts meet to discuss right to a basic income (September 10, 2002)
Do global citizens have a right to a Basic Income in a world where services and goods have become monetized?   The International Labour Organization hosted a conference on this important topic that contained a number of interesting discussions about reducing world poverty.

Pension 'crisis' looming (September 8, 2002)
Pensioners face retirement in poverty as final salary schemes are being phased out, the TUC has warned.

Steel pension row reaches Downing street (September 8, 2002)
Caparo is the latest in a long line of companies to announce the closure of its employee final salary pension scheme.

RMT threatens pensions strike (September 5, 2002)
There is a fear that rail companies may try to close their final salary pension schemes to new workers.

Pension delays to urge elderly to work (August 30, 2002)
To encourage work beyond retirement age, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare plans to allow employed elderly people to postpone their pension benefits so they can receive more when they do retire.

In 2003 Pensions Will Be Increasing Three Times (August 27, 2002) (in Russian)
The Russian Government plans to increase pensions three times during the year 2003: February 1, April 1 by 11.2 percent, and August 1 by 6 percents, says Mihail Zubarov, Head of the Pension Fund of Russia. Now the minimum pension in Russia is 766 roubles, mean – 1417, maximum – 1734. Mr. Zubarov also admitted that more than one million pensioners receive two state pensions, with the maximum pension exceeding 3.5 thousand roubles. (1 US dollar equals approximately 31 Russian roubles.)

Japanese Companies Move to Adopt 401(k)-Type Plans (August 26, 2002)
Increased number of Japanese companies are embracing a defined-contribution pension system. By March 2003 over 700 firms will have 401(k) plans.

Millions 'Need Pension Safety Net' (August 25, 2002)
More than 12 million UK employees have no occupational pension. Women in low-paid, part-time jobs seem to fair the worst.

Welsh Lose Out on Pensions (August 25, 2002)
Workers in Wales are less likely to be paying into a company pension than those many other areas of the United Kingdom.

Most Pension Plans in the Red, Study says (August 22, 2002)
Pension plans at two-thirds of Canada's blue-chip firms are deep in the red following a dismal year that shattered the return expectations of most actuaries, according to a Bay Street report.

Union Votes on Pension Strategy (August 20, 2002)
Unions in UK want government to apply legal safeguards that ensure money saved and promised through pension and other benefits will actually be paid once a worker retires. Union members voted unanimously in favor of using industrial action to protect workers.

The Reluctant Opponent (August 17, 2002)
Firms like steel company, Caparo, struggle to keep current pension levels afloat through poor economy and decreasing profits. Workers of Caparo strike for their pension rights.

When Employers are Flexible Friends (August 17, 2002)
Companies are beginning to recognize that they need to address aging employees' changing needs, but most have yet to take action. 

Colombia Government Seeks $4 Billion in Financing for 2003 (August 16, 2002)
Colombia needs $4 billion for 2003 to honor the debt and interest payments on  foreign debts. These loans will also help to put new reform pension bills into action.

Concern over Pensions (August 16, 2002)
As Aeorspace and defense companies falter, huge pension liabilities build.  Further unveiling of poor accounting methods for businesses across the U.S. and England lead to more and more pension worried investors.

Swiss Life Calls for Cut in Pension Rate Ahead of Debate (August 16, 2002)
Swiss government tackles issue over cutting guaranteed rate of return on corporate pensions.  Pension businesses beg for rate to be lowered from 4% to 3% given the falling stock prices and low return on government bonds.

O'Neill Shows Support for Argentina, but No New Aid (August 7, 2002)
While people in Argentina have demonstration against IMF “help”, treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill is going to help to make the next loan for the country.  

Merrill Settles Pension Dispute (August 6, 2002)
The transfer of an undisclosed sum of money six years ago, without admitting any liability, is the reason for the dispute between Merrill Lynch, who manages a pension fund, and a retailer, J Sainsbury PLC. Merrill Lynch claims that J Sainsbury PLC’s pension fund had underperfomed the market.

The Brazilian pension system: recent reforms and challenges ahead (August 23, 2002)
Brazil’s public pension expenditure is about 9 per cent of GDP, above the OECD average.  Beyond its fiscal impact, the Brazilian pension system is also unjust. About half of total pension expenditure is paid to former civil servants, which account for only 5 per cent of total retirees.
The general regime available to private sector workers underwent major changes in 1999, which will help ensure its long-term actuarial and financial balance. This paper argues that the main challenge is to reform the special pension regimes for civil servants.

A story of "hardship and decline" (July, 2002)
A new ILO study  of industrial enterprises in Ukraine says the first decade since the break-up of the Soviet Union has meant a shrinking economy and plunging living standards. Some workers work on paper, others are on unpaid leave. And some aren't paid at all.

Welfare Minister Proposes Pension Break for Disabled (July 28, 2002)
Welfare Minister Chikara Sakaguchi has proposed a plan to pay half the amount of a special pension benefit for disabled people to some of those who are not legally eligible. About 120,000 people who had not joined the national pension program by the time they become disabled and who were students before April 1991 would be eligible for benefits to be paid as an exceptional measure.

South America Offers a Lesson In Privatizing Pension Systems (July 30, 2002)
The article examines Argentina and Chile’s experience with Social Security privatization in comparison with possible privatization in the U.S. The reform of Social Security in the U.S. is not likely to occur until the 2004 presidential elections.

Bleak Outlook for Pensioners at Mercy of Volatile Markets (July 23, 2002)
UK state pension is no longer acting as a shield against volatility of stock market.

MPs Vote Themselves Pension Rise (July 23, 2002)
Members of Parliament have voted to better their own pensions. They will now serve less time before receiving an increased sum. Taxpayers of the UK will help fund parliament’s increased wages. Many feel new law is a disgrace.

Baby-boomers' Pension Warning (July 23, 2002)
UK’s FTSE 100 Index of Leading Shares fell to a six year low on July 22nd, indicating that pensioners of the baby-boom generation may not enjoy similar high returns of the past two decades. Research suggests private pensions are a higher risk than government related plans.

BoE Warns on Pension Uncertainty (July 22,  2002)
Bank of England warns aging population may have less retirement money than previously perceived. With people living longer, Financial Services sends the message to start thinking earlier about retirement.

Cuts may weaken domestic demand (July 20, 2002)
Attempts by Japanese Prime Minister to slash administrative and policy-related spending could backfire and smother domestic demand, depriving the economy of its ability to revitalize, experts warn. Slashing spending on such areas as the pension system, unemployment benefits and support for small businesses will dampen the recovery of domestic demand.

Don't Settle for Anything Less (July 20, 2002)
Divorced women in the UK are missing out on pension sharing. The law allows for only one spouse to share in the pension of his/her spouse. After years of marriage and monetary dependence, divorce leaves many on income support.

Arithmetic of Poverty (July 20, 2002) (in Russian)
Hmelnitskaya oblast has the highest proportion of people whose income is below the officially stated minimum monthly wage: about 36% of the population receives less than 342 grivnas a month (1 USD equals approximately 5.4 grivnnas). The vast majority of these people are pensioners. 

Singapore in rethink on pensions investments (July 16, 2002)
A government-appointed panel tackles two current economic problems in Singapore: the inflexibility of the pension system and unemployment.

Pondering pensions (July 11, 2002)
The aftermath of the Public Finance Initiatives on the pensions of millions Britain people has to be overhauled.

IMF panel to advise on Argentine economy (July 11, 2002)
A panel composed of the heads of large banks is researching the economic situation in Argentina to advise the IMF’s  direction with Argentina.

Labour has 'dashed' retirement hopes (July 10, 2002)
With falling stock markets, new Labour taxes will leave millions more UK people dependent on State.

Argentina Devaluation Makes Dollarization Look Far Better (July 10, 2002)
During six month of devaluation, peso lost 70% of its value. The Argentine economy is collapsing with no real remedy in sight.

European Outline Sweeping Changes to Farm Policy (July 10, 2002)
In response to the increasing US farm bill subsidies, the European Commission is going to reduce its farm subsidies. The European parliament will use farm subsidies in rural development and meeting environmental, animal welfare, and food safety standards.

Review of British Savings Industry Recommends a Major Shake-Up (July 9, 2002)
Former Lloyds of London Chief Executive, Ron Sandler, presents his outlook on the future of the British Savings Industry. In a governmental-sponsored review, Sandler points out that the industry has to be reformed.

South Africa Weighs a Welfare State System of Payment for All Would Be Continent's (July 9, 2002)
There is no welfare in any African country. South Africa debates the possible dole of $10 per month regardless of the 40percent of unemployment. There is doubt that South Africa can afford the welfare program.

China's Powerful Police (July 9, 2002)
China tolerates vast worker’s layoffs and lack of welfare benefits. The Chinese Communist Party increases number of police in response to workers’ protests. This is a story about a Canadian journalist who has been arrested and interrogated by Chinese police.

Pensions shake-up proposals to be unveiled (July 8, 2002)
Alan Pickering, former chairman of the British National Association of Pension Funds, publishes his report in response to the recent report by Ron Sandler. In the report, he highlights that the variety of UK pension products has to be simplified.

New talks planned on pension reform (July 8, 2002)
The Italian government makes a second attempt to privatize its pension system. The present governmental expenditures for the state pension system is 15 percent of its GDP, but the population of older people is growing.

Brazil leftwing party may give its backing to IMF plan (July 8, 2002)
The $1.6 billion Brazilian loan agreement with IMF expires in December, 2002. In the upcoming October’s presidential elections, Brazil’s leftwing Worker’s party could win elections supporting a new deal with IMF.

Making Germany fit for the future (July 7, 2002)
Germany will run the presidential elections in September, 2002. Regardless of the reelection heat, the country needs urgent changes. Social Security, health care, and basic social insurance coverage has to be rehabilitated.

Nonpartisan panel to study reforms for pension system (July 6, 2002)
As the national pension program creaks ever nearer collapse in a society with an increasing number of old people, lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party and opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) are mounting a study group that aims to draft reforms before the 2004 mandate. The bipartisan effort is a radical departure from the usual pattern of letting bureaucrats lead the reform process.

Warning on final salary pensions (July 4,2002)
Opas offers help to people who have a dispute over or complaint about an occupational or personal pension. It also provides general information and advice about entitlements and rights.

Il Lavoro Degli Anziani E I Connessi Profili Previdenziali E Sanitari (July 3, 2002) (in Italian)
Here is a prime example of prejudice toward older workers!  Due to the aging of the population, Europe will increasingly face challenges connected to the provision of long-term health care services and the sustainability of the pension systems. Italy is particularly weak due to the lack of adequate eldercare structures and of the enormous deficit of its pension system. Confindustria, the organization of Italian entrepreneurs, believes that, among the various policies that must be implemented, it is particularly important to increase the older working population through benefits and incentives. Nevertheless it is essential to respect the enterprises’ priority to favor a turnover that privileges young workers who are believed to be “keener to adapt to production and technological innovation”.

Wall St Has Its Doubts Over Brazil's Intervention Plan (July 3, 2002)
Wall Street worries as Brazil's central bank announced it would spend up to $1.5 billion intervening in the currency market every day in July.  

Apology for new pensions error (July 2, 2002)
Contributions to UK pensions may have been significantly overestimated because of a statistical error.

Brazil's Win to Aid Economy, But Only in the Short Term (July 1, 2002)
Can Brazil’s success on the soccer field provide anything more than a fleeting boost to Brazil's beleaguered markets? In recent weeks, Brazil's currency and stock markets have tumbled into a free fall amid concerns that Brazilians could elect a leftist, Luiz Inacio da Silva of the Workers Party, in October. 

Respect for the elderly to be put to the test (July 1, 2002)
In 2000, Tung Chee-hwa, Hong Kong’s chief executive presented the countries first compulsory pension scheme to advance the current inefficient welfare program. However, growing unemployment, shrinking government revenue, and a second economic downturn in five years challenges the pension scheme.

Pensions for life? The rise of pensions as a development issue (June 2002)
This excellent summary overview of pensions and provident funds on economic growth in developing countries shows what’s happened during nations’ forced march to privatization.  

The challenge for India: Do new initiatives go far enough? (June 2002)
Robert Palacios article on Indian pensions gives a classic example of the World Bank’s orthodoxy that it  has imposed with such pain on many developing countries in the past two decades.  While the injustices of the current system in India are clear—very few persons have pension coverage—the World Bank formula succeeds in making poverty more pervasive.

The spread of benefits: Alleviating poverty in Brazil (June 2002)
Social security coverage of the Brazilian elderly has never been better than at the end of the 1990s. According to a household survey by Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicilios (PNAD), 77.3% of people aged 60 or over were receiving a regular benefit from a social security scheme . In the early 1970s, social security coverage in the country was close to 30%.  Brazil’s universal social rights position undergirds this healthy and humane development.

Reforming the reform? Towards recovery in Latin America (June 2002)
This close—but summary—look at the results of Argentine pension reform reveals the terrible difficulties facing impoverished elderly.  And the story is far from over.

Asia - success or failure? Provident funds governance (June 2002)
Many Asian countries rely on provident funds to finance retirement. Globalisation, rapid ageing, a need for fiscal consolidation and more individualistic preferences have increased the significance of provident funds, but substantive reforms in their governance processes are needed to realise their full potential.

Pensions in Development (June 2002)
There is now a substantial accumulation of evidence about the resuots of World Bank-imposed  pension reform experiences in middle income countries over the past two decades.  Author Roger Charltone challenges the orthodoxy with a proposal for an international advisory regime that could design ways to provide income for all the elderly in developing countries

Future uncertain: Social pensions in Southern Africa (June 2002)
In South Africa there are over 1.6 million social pensioners, each receiving R600 (about £39) per month. This impressive achievement in poor countries may be threatened.

China: Elderly's Quality of Life to Improve (June 28, 2002)
The Beijing China Daily reports that the Ministry of Civil Affairs is making reforms which will insure that all retired people will receive their pensions on time.  China now is home to 130 million elderly citizens, many more than found i
n any other country.

The richest Ukrainian pensioners are former people’s deputies (june 27, 2002) (in Ukrainian)
The former people’s deputies receive the highest pension in Ukraine, 1126 grivnas in average. The next highest paid pensioners are prosecutors with about 700 grivnas. The next are public servants and people with disabilities. The rest of the pensioners receive about 120 grivnas. (1 USD = approximately 5.4 grivnas). Looks like a class system!

What kind of social welfare system does China need? (June 26, 2002 )

In his article “What kind of social welfare system does China need” (Economic Information Daily, 2002), Shusheng Gao pointed out four problems of current social welfare system in China, and suggested two ways to reform current system to meet people’s expectations.  He recognized that the social welfare system is essential to China’s state-owned-enterprise (SOE) reform, structural change, and social stability. (The text is available in both English and Chinese.)

Global investing: a slow road to German pension reform (June 26, 2002)
After five decades of dominance of Social Security in Germany, the first step to move to the privatization of pension has failed. According to the recent poll more than 70 per cent of Germans are not interested in private pension plans.

Argentina's Contagion (June 25, 2002)
At first Argentina’s economic collapse six months ago was believed to become bankrupt without causing any impact beyond its borders. But Financial markets in Brazil, Chile and elsewhere are starting to show signs of weakness attributable in part to Argentina's ongoing agony.

Brazil's Roller Coaster Market (June 25, 2002)
At one point in today’s trading, June 25, the real briefly hit a record low in value against the dollar. The real has fallen by more than 10 percent since the beginning of June. But investors main concerns is the alarming popularity of Luiz Inacio da Silva, candidate of the left-wing Workers' Party who called for Brazil to reject its foreign debt.

Pension Reform Could Be Godsend For Weak Latin Markets (June 25, 2002)
Proponents of private pension plans argue that privatization of Social Security in Latin America should attract more foreign and domestic investors.  The plan would boost local economies and cut the governmental debts. The article discusses the pension reforms in Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela

In a Pending Trade Scrap, Brazil May Fight U.S. Farm Bill in WTO (June 24, 2002)
Brazil is going to challenge the U.S. farm bill, which is inconsistent with the rules of WTO. The subsidies would considerably benefit the local farmers; however, it would affect the farmers in developing countries. The U.S. subsidies would deprive Brazilian farmers of extra exports, and it would increase the pressure between the countries under the WTO rules.

Brazil Scrambles to Demonstrate That It Can Avoid a Debt Default (June 24, 2002)
The International Monetary Fund failed to bring economic stability to Brazil. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill claims that the monetary aid to Brazil is a waste of the U.S. taxpayer’s money.

Brazil Tries to Fight 'Wave of Anxiety' on Economy (June 14, 2002)
Brazilian government tries to calm financial markets and strengthen its falling economy by announcing package of measures meant to restore re-establish confidence

Pension in Development Stimulating Dialogue? (June 2002)
The World Bank pushes privatization of Social Security, while alternative reform tries to strike a balance between market-based and contributory social security plans. Who loses?

Pension Limit Ignores Inflation Impact (June 2002)
The Canadian government has set out to change its federal pension plan so that it takes into account inflation. Inflation eroded the multiplier used to calculate individual pensions by over $3500. Plan scheduled to take affect in 2005.

Politics of Reform: The Spread of Radical Change (June 2002)
Post-socialist old-age security turns Chili’s pension program around from a Bismarkian model to a privatized one.  Reform heavily relies on consensus building and making all sectors, including unions, satisfied with new developments.

The Spread of Benefits Alleviating poverty in Brazil (June 2002)
Brazil’s elderly receive top-notch social security coverage.  Over 75% of people over 60 are under the new plan.

Poor could miss out on full pension credit (May 30, 2002)
Once again women come out on the short end in British pensions. The requirements are so rigid that it leads to a daze.

A Fair Deal for the World (May 23, 2002) 
Joseph Stiglitz gives a complete review of Mr. George Soros book on Globalization, saying it is a brilliant and powerful book, which goes beyond describing the failures of current international arrangements.

Argentina leader faces first strike (May 22, 2002)
The Argentine President, Eduardo Duhalde faces his first protest since he took office in January. Workers demanded a pay raise and protested against the IMF’s severe measures required before it agrees to negotiate a loan.


IMF OKs Year Delay in Argentina Loan (May 21, 2002)
The head of the IMF said they are willing to give Argentina an additional year to repay a $136 million loan, which was due this week. Argentina is still hoping to negotiate $9 billion in new loans to help improve their economy. But the IMF has not yet mentioned new negotiations.

Bush turns his back on the world's poor (May 21, 2002)
A new bill passed by the Democratic- controlled Senate and signed by President Bush on Monday, 20 is believed to give 80% increase in subsidies to US producers of cotton, peanuts and wheat, benefiting the richest agro-business enterprises while abandoning the roughly $10bn a year the US offers in foreign aid to the World’s poor.

Argentina Says Bank Takeover Temporary (May 20, 2002)
The State owned Banco de la Nacion takeover of the three small banks was just a temporary move to help the banks survive the country’s financial crisis, Prime minister Roberto Lavagna said, Monday, May 20.

Venezuela Economy Shrinks (May 20, 2002) 
Venezuela’s economy is shrinking. Venezuela’s economy is in search of external financing to meet half of a projected $ 7 billion fiscal deficit, this financing will come from institutions such as the World Bank, the inter-American Development Bank and the Andean Development Corp.  

Concerns Push Argentine Peso Down (May 20, 2002)
Worried investors in Argentina purchased dollars as safeguard, because of the rising concerns over the Argentine banking system, pushing the Argentine peso to a two-month low on Monday, May 20.

More Financial Upheaval in Argentina (May 20, 2002)
Argentina’s Banco de la Nacion will take over three provincial banks that were close to collapse on, May 20, 2002. These include, Banco Bisel, Banco del Suquia and Banco de Entre Rios.

UN: Asia's Aging Population May Be Squeezed Financially
(May15, 2002)

A study conducted by the U.N.’s ESCAP said many Asian countries are likely to experience greater social turmoil than more developed nations because they offer fewer social programs for the elderly.  

Argentine Foundation Keeps Crumbling (May 14, 2002)
The Argentine government is facing a desperate cash squeeze and is asking the World Bank to let it postpone the $ 800 million in loans that is due this week.  

Brazil's April Tax Receipts BRR19.83B, Up 8.5% On Yr (May 13, 2002)
The tax department said Monday, May 13, that Brazil's tax receipts rose 8.54% in real terms in April from year earlier results on back tax collection from pension funds and additional revenues from the fuel tax, known as Cide.

EU Urges UK To Scrap Compulsory Retirement Age – Paper 
(May 13, 2002) 

The Observer newspaper reported that the European Union is advising the UK to remove the compulsory retirement age of 65 so that people can work longer to fund their old age. Is fear of immigration from Africa and Asia fueling this policy?

Argentina Says Banks Won't Close ( May 12, 2002)
On Friday, May 10, reports said that several Argentine banks were on the verge of being closed because of lack of operating capital and reserves. But Roberto Lavagna told reporters late Sunday, May 12, that banks would operate normally on Monday, May 13, 2002.

Chavez: U.S. Must Explain Reaction (May 9, 2002) 
The Venezuelan President said the United States must explain its reaction to last month’s failed coup in Venezuela. Washington has been accused of somehow being involved in or supporting Chavez's overthrow.

Culprits Everywhere but in the Mirror (May 8, 2002)
A first hand account of an Argentina expatriate who sees politics as corruption continued.

Argentina Shakes, Uruguay Rattles (May 8, 2002)
After Argentina’s devastating economic crisis, Uruguay appears to be the only nation in South America that has been affected by its neighbor’s problems. Moody’s Investors Service said the country was "increasingly vulnerable to macroeconomic shocks emanating from Argentina."

Venezuelan Democracy Investigated (May 7, 2002)
A weeklong investigation into the state of Venezuelan democracy has started Monday May/05 by The Organization of American States Rights commission. President Chavez has denied accusations that he has been undemocratic.

Backlog Delays Social Security (May 2, 2002)
Jo Anne Barnhart, a Social Security Commissioner said that disabled Americans who apply for benefits must usually wait up to three years to stat receiving them. ``I think the length of time the disability claims process can take is unacceptable,'' said Mrs. Barnhart.

Retirement in Chile is a private – and heated – matter (May 1, 2002)
Some Chileans say the US should dump Social Security in Favor of the Chilean model of employee-financed contributions-However over 42% of Chileans have no pension at all.  

Brazil's April Tax Receipts BRR19.83B, Up 8.5% On Yr 
(May 13,2002)

The tax department said Monday, May 13th that Brazil's tax receipts rose 8.54% in real terms in April from year earlier results on back tax collection from pension funds and additional revenues from the fuel tax, known as Cide.

Argentina Shakes, Uruguay Rattles (May 8, 2002)
After Argentina’s devastating economic crisis, Uruguay appears to be the only nation in South America that has been affected by its neighbor’s problems. Moody’s Investors Service said the country was "increasingly vulnerable to macroeconomic shocks emanating from Argentina."

Retraite, mode d'emploi (May 7, 2002) (in French)
In this article from a French newspaper, Le Figaro Economie, you will find an explanation of the French pension system. As the French population is aging, politicians and citizens are considering reforms …

Public warned over pensions scheme (May 3, 2002)
A warning has been issued about the risk in participating in « pension liberation » schemes. Britain people could lose a lot of money.

Backlog Delays Social Security (May 2, 2002)
Jo Anne Barnhart, a Social Security Commissioner said that disabled Americans who apply for benefits must usually wait up to three years to stat receiving them. ``I think the length of time the disability claims process can take is unacceptable,'' said Mrs. Barnhart.

Venezuelans March Against Chavez (May 1, 2002)
Thousands of Venezuelan demonstrators took the streets today, May 1st, to protest against President Hugo Chavez, three weeks after Mr. Chavez was ousted and replaced with a business leader for three days and then swept back into power. There is continuing suspicion that the US CIA is helping stage his overthrow. Chavez was elected in a democratic vote.

IMF Hopes Argentina Will Move Quickly (April 30, 2002)
The IMF said they were encouraged by a new economic plan Argentina has developed, but says that Argentina will have act fast and decisively if they want to  get control of the country’s economic crisis.

Back in Business, Argentina Calms Down and the Peso Perks Up 
(April 30, 2002)

The Argentine economy for the first time today, 29th of April, after four months of turmoil, resembled a normal country. Banks reopened, the stock market was trading and pesos were being exchanged into dollars.

President Chavez Warns Of Conspiracy (April 30, 2002)
President Hugo Chavez elected a commission to try an smooth relations with his opponents who tried to ousted him on April 12, but was back into power two days later.

Verizon Retirees Almost Force a Change in Pay (April; 28, 2002)
Retired workers of the phone giant company Verizon Communications Inc. came close to demanding a change in pay. They wanted the company to stop including income generated by its pension plan in its formula for setting executive pay.

Argentine Economy Head Leaves Void (April 24, 2002)
Argentine President struggled to set up a new rescue plan for Argentina’s worst economic crisis. He also is expected to name the new economic minister late Wednesday 24th, to fill the place left empty by Mr. Jorge Remes Lenicov’s resignation.

Carmona Dismisses Pinochet Comparison (April 19, 2002) 
Pedro Carmona dismissed comparisons to Augusto Pinochet after his one –day rule in Venezuela, he said, "I want to emphasize that I have a proven commitment to democracy, and that this image of a 'Pinochet Light' they're trying to put on me is totally false."

Bush Says Goals for Chávez Must Be Democracy and Unity 
( April 19, 2002)

After Military leaders removed Mr. Chavez from office last week, but he was able to return. President Bush said he hoped Mr. Chavez had learned some lessons about democracy from the attempt to oust him. 

OAS Warned on Venezuela Unrest (April 19, 2002)
Cesar Gaviria, Secretary General of the Organization of the American States warned that without national dialogue and other remedial measures, the political upheaval that shook Venezuela a week ago could be repeated. 

Argentina Workers Demand Back Pay (April 19, 2002)  
Angry demonstrators gathered in several Argentine provinces Thursday 18th, to demand months of pay back.

Bush Officials Defend Their Actions on Venezuela (April 18, 2002) 
The Bush Administration is trying to duck accusations that the White House actively worked to bring down Venezuelan President Duhalde.

Argentine President Nixes Bank Plan (April 17, 2002)
The Argentine Government had a plan intended to slow thousands of court orders giving Argentines access to their bank savings, but President Eduardo Duhalde decided against signing the measure on Tuesday 16th.    

Brazil to Pass on IMF Money (April, 17, 2002)
Brazil will pass on IMF's loan this year, since its economy is doing so well and will also pay back $4.65 billion borrowed from the IMF last year.

Washington's Chavez dilemma (April 16, 2002)
Washington had welcomed Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez fall from power. Now Mr. Chavez’s return is both an embarrassment and an annoyance to the United States.     

Acting Leader Of Venezuela Steps Down (April 14, 2002)
Pedro Carmona, Venezuelan interim President installed by the military resigned late night of April 13, saying he was stepping down with full responsibility before the nation and the Venezuelan people.

Leader of Venezuela Is Forced To Resign (April 13, 2002) 
Venezuelan President resigned today, April 12 after military leaders took control of the country. His resignation followed anti-government protest, which led to at least 12 people dead.

Private funds tackling growing pension woes (April 12, 2002)
Private pension funds in Russia will get recognition in the next 10 years. Even though the average state pension is $29.40 to $33.78, and private pension funds offer $8 to $60 a month, people do not trust private pension funds. The private funds are associated with commercial banks, which swallowed people’s living savings in the last decade.

Venezuelan Military Says Chavez Is Ousted (April 12, 2002)
The military took control of the Venezuelan country from the President Hugo Chavez. General  Alberto Camacho Kairuz said, "All of the country is under the control of the national armed forces. “ the government has abandoned its functions.

Angry Argentines Burn U.S. Flags (April 8, 2002)
Dozens of Argentines today April 8, gathered at Buenos Aires International Airport to demonstrate against the IMF’s response to the Argentine crisis. American flags were burned and a major highway was blocked as an IMF official arrived for another round of discussions.

Les orientations des seize prétendants à l'Elysée (April 5, 2002)
(in French) Next month, France will have a new President elected for 5 years. In this article, the 16 candidates present their ideas about the French retirement system and the future reforms.

Argentina's Fallen Economic Czar Is Held in Arms Deal (April 4, 2002)
Domingo Cavallo, Argentina’s minister of the economy in the 1990’s was arrested today April 4, in suspicion of involvement in aggravated contraband, and causing economic collapse last year.

En Grande-Bretagne, la "Rolls-Royce des régimes de pensions" vit ses dernières années (April 3, 2002)
(in French) In Great-Britain, the pension system is in crisis. A retired person gets a low pension from the State. Then he can get a pension from a Pension Fund… But now, the British pension system needs changes. Retirement age should be lift to 70 before 2030.

L'Europe demande une accélération de la réforme des retraites 
(April 2, 2002)

(in French) Europe asks for an acceleration of the reform of retirement. At the Barcelona Summit, in March 2002, the European Union made the wish that the age of retirement will be raised by 5 years before 2010. But France disagrees… The average age of retirement in Europe will be 63, instead of 58.

A-t-on le droit de travailler pendant sa retraite ? (April 2, 2002)
(in French) Do you have the right to work during your retirement in France? This is the question raised by the French newspaper Le Monde in this article. According to your job, you can get your pension and your salary. But you can get your pension, only if your salary is under a certain level.  

IMF Delegation Back in Argentina (April 1, 2002)
The International Monetary Fund Delegation has arrived in Argentina to decide whether to grant the stricken country aid. President Duhalde is hoping to persuade the IMF to loan at least $10billion.

Anxious Argentines Catch 'Green Fever (April 1, 2002)
Argentines are still mistrustful of the peso therefore Argentines outside currency exchanges are constantly whipping out their calculators to keep up with fast-changing exchange rates. The media has named this  “ La Fiebre Verde”(Green Fever).

Many worried about pensions: poll (April 1, 2002)
A recent survey which was composed by one Japanese company shows that 75.8 percent of the respondents have fears about their pensions, their future. This company got the highest despondence rate on this survey since 1997. This also shows that many Japanese people are seriously concerned about their social welfare security.

Such a Reform is Offensive (April 1, 2002) (in Russian)
The Head of the public movement “For Worthy Older Age” says that during the last ten years the Government simply destroyed the pension system in Russia. She argues that reforms  that started January 2002 will have no results, in the same way that the previous three pension reforms did not have results. The only result of  these reforms is complete impoverishment of older people.

Venezuela's President Versus Military: Is Breach Widening?
(March 26, 2002
Rear Adm Carlos decided not to overthrow president Hugo Chavez, and instead told the Venezuelan country to “ Unite to demand the immediate resignation of President Chavez.”

Brazil's Prized Exports Rely on Slaves and Scorched Land
(March 26, 2002)

Recruiters in Brazil gather at a bus station only waiting for the tired and desperate to disembark, some lies and an easy handshake brings thousands of peasants into slavery. “We were forced to start work at 6 in the morning and to continue sometimes until 11 at night, but I was never paid during that entire time because they always claimed that I owed them money," said Bernardo Gomes da Silva who was able to escape imprisonment after twelve year

 A Escravidão na Amazônia (March 26, 2002)
(Article in Portuguese) Recruiters in Brazil gather at a bus station only waiting for the tired and desperate to disembark, some lies and an easy handshake brings thousands of peasants into slavery. “We were forced to start work at 6 in the morning and to continue sometimes until 11 at night, but I was never paid during that entire time because they always claimed that I owed them money," said Bernardo Gomes da Silva who was able to escape imprisonment after twelve year.  

Fresh pension reform under fire (March 25, 2002)
The new policy in Britan is meant to encourage those on low and middle incomes to save for their retirement.

Latin Americans say Bush failed them (March 24, 2002)
Many Latin American nations and businesses believe that President Bush failed to maintain his promises of a fundamental commitment to the South. But Bush supporters say he is still determined to secure a Free Trade Area of the Americas by the year 2005.  

Speech by Dr. Fidel Castro (March 21, 2002)
“The World economy is today a huge casino. Recent analyses indicate that for every dollar that goes into trade, over one hundred end up in speculative operations completely disconnected from the real economy.” Speech given by his Excellency Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz, President of the Republic of Cuba, at the International Conference on Financing for Development. Monterrey.

UN Poor Nations Need More Aid (March 21, 2002)
In Monterey Mexico, world leaders called on the rich Nations to increase their financial help to the poorest regions of the world. "Global security is closely tied to the health of the world economy," said Peruvian President Toledo. Without financial help poor nations are the breeding ground for violence.

Brazil Leader Lashed Out at IMF (March 11, 2002)
Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso said that the IMF should change its accounting rules to help developing nations deal with financial crises more easily.

Peso Down Steeply, Argentines Strengthen Currency Curbs
(March 26, 2002) 

On March 25th, thousands of people stood in bank lines for hours hoping to get rid of pesos for dollars, after the Argentine government imposed a strict new control on foreign exchange market. This was a response to the fall in the value of the peso despite emergency government measures to prop it up. 

Argentine coup Anniversary observed (March 24, 2002)
On Sunday March 24th, in Buenos Aires Central Square, thousands of Argentine’s gathered to demonstrate against the country’s last military coup, which took place 26 year ago.

Argentine Runs 780M Peso Deficit (March 20, 2002)
The Argentine Government announced on Wednesday 20th, that it had run a public deficit of 780 million pesos in the first two months of the year, taking another dreadful turn for the Argentine’s economy.

Bush Proposes New Aid to Mexico ( March 20, 2002)
President Bush said he would direct $30 million to Mexico over the next year as an attempt to discourage illegal immigration by intensifying Mexican business. But some Mexican authorities said President Bush’s plan is too small to reduce immigration.

Venezuelans Clash Over Wage Policy (March 20, 2002)
Street fighting took place in Venezuela when President Chavez supporters banned the Venezuelan Workers Confederation from approaching the Lara State government to protest against government wage policies.

Brazil Cuts Interest Rates (March 20, 2002)
Brazil’s interest rates were cut on Wednesday 20th to 18.50 percent from 18.75 percent. Another cut could be forthcoming next month if positive economic signs continue.

Argentina to Rethink Economic Plan (March 19, 2002)
If the IMF refuses emergency aid, Argentina will be forced to draw up yet another new economic plan. Argentine officials said they would need at least $25 billion to strengthen the banking system and revitalize the crushed economy.

Pour réformer les retraites, un nouveau rapport préconise de limiter les départs anticipés (March 14, 2002)
In France, a new governmental survey examined the issue of working and ageing. France is still the first European country with the most numerous preretired people : at 58,5 for men and 56,5 for women.

Argentina Official: IMF Accord Near (March 13, 2002)
Argentina’s Economic Minister Jorge Remes Lenicov is confident Argentina will soon be in agreement with the IMF on the much needed financial aid. " In 70 or 80 percent (of things), we are near an agreement. I am not considering the possibility that there will not be an accord with the Fund," he said.


Argentine Default Reopens 'Dirty War' Wounds (March 12, 2002)
With Argentina’s worst economic crisis, families of the 30,000 people who were killed by military and security forces during the "dirty war" of the 1970’s are now denied the agreed payment of up to $256,000 as restitution for each death.

Latin America Recovery expected (March 11, 2002)
 According to the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Latin America’s economy will only start recovering in 2003. And U.S recovery will bring better commodity prices, more tourism and renewed demand for goods made in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Hard Times for Argentine Politicians (March 11, 2002) 
Politicians’ lives in Argentina are nowadays pelted with eggs, spit on and bombarded with shouts of “ Thieves!” they are harassed in grocery stores, cafes and airliners. “ While we tumbled into chaos, our politicians built personal fortunes. Now they’ve sucked the system dry, “ said lawyer Sergio Falcon.

Argentines Lose Confidence in Banks  (March 8, 2002) 
Curbs placed on withdrawals during economic crisis anger depositors. “ I will never willingly put a cent in a bank again!” said Alonso, a depositor of BankBoston in Argentina, the only saving institution she still trusts is her mattress.

Retraite et épargne : ne confondons pas ! (March 8, 2002)
The French pension system will be an important issue during the presidential election held next May in France. The current President, Jacques Chirac, would like to create a Pension Fund whereas the French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, has an another point of view on this issue.

Rich Nations Pressured for Aid (March 7, 2002)
World Bank President Wolfensohn issued a plea for an increase aid to poor nations, as a contribution towards enduring victory over terrorism. But the U.S resists giving poor countries more anti-poverty money, and has already blocked an effort by Britain and other nations to insert specific targets for increased aid into the Monterrey conference.

Emerging Brazil (March 6, 2002)
Brazil is now a calm island in the middle of turbulent neighbors. For years, Brazil and Argentina competed for influence on the continent, and its military dictators viewed each other with suspicion. Now the collapse of the Argentine peso has given Brazil a rare opportunity to act as No. 1 power in the South American continent.

Chavez: Troops Should Fight Poverty (March 2, 2002)

Venezuelan President Chavez recommended that his troops and troops of neighboring countries fight poverty in the Caribbean and in Latin America. This would help to strengthen democracy and stabilize the region.


IMF, Argentina To Hold Talks On Loan Package (March 2, 2002) 
The International Monetary fund said that it would begin negotiations with Buenos Aires on a loan package aimed at relieving the nations economic crisis. But Argentine’s chance for a loan of more than $20 billion is small, since IMF officials has said that such a figure is too high.  


U.N. Report Sees Aging World (March 1, 2002)
The United Nations said that the world's population is in fact progressively getting older everywhere.  This trend will be seen accelerating in the 21st century and it is likely to have profound implications on economies in all regions.

Venezuela to spend $2B on Programs (March 1, 2002)
Venezuela’s economy has suffered because of a drop in the demand for crude oil, which generates 40% of government income and 80% of export revenue for the country. Still Venezuelan President will spend $2 billion dollars on job programs, health care and education to compensate for a 30 % drop in the value of its currency. Will it be enough?

Unemployed Protest in Argentina (March 1, 2002)
More protests carried on in Argentina’s Plaza de Mayo this Friday 01/03, as lawmakers continue debate on Argentina’s economic recovery.  "It's been months since I've held money in my hands," said one of the protesters in the city's Plaza de Mayo.  

IMF Supports Argentina on Agreement (February 28, 2002)
On Wednesday 27/02 Argentine President announced what he called “ the first step to put Argentina back on its feet” by reaching an agreement with its provinces which deals with Argentina’s budget deficit, fixes the amount of money the provinces can receive from the central government and commits the approval governors to cutting their deficits by 60 percent this year.

Critics Say Koizumi's Economic Medicine Is a Weak Tea 
(February 27, 2002)

The Japanese Government declared an economic reform package in order to end current economic recession. This package urges the Central Japan Bank to issue more money to save financial institutions tat have so many bad loan profits. As the article title describes, this economic may not improve the Japanese economy rapidly.

Venezuela Gen. Demands Chavez Quit (February 26, 2002)
A fourth military officer has demanded that President Hugo Chavez resign. Air Force Gen. Roman Gomez Ruiz expressed unhappiness with alleged government corruption and the president's management of the armed forces. Chavez was elected in 1998 with overwhelming support from the poor majority, but his popularity has plummeted over frustration with crime and unemployment.

Argentine Government Says It Can't Pay Its Workers 
(February 26, 2002) 

The Justice Department announced it has dropped Argentina from the program which allows Argentines to travel to the United States without a visa. From now on Argentines need to obtain a visa before stepping on American soil. Argentina had participated six-years and is now the first nation to be removed
from the program.

Pension bomb in Europe (February 22, 2002) (in Russian)
Under the forecast of demographers, average life expectancy in Europe for men will be 80, and for women 85 years in the year 2050, and for each person over 65 there will be only two working persons. As possible solutions to avoid pension crisis the author sees privatization of pension system, increasing of immigration of the workforce, decreasing unemployment and increasing the retirement age.

Argentina Dropped From Non-Visa Travel Program (February 21, 2002)
The Justice Department announced it has dropped Argentina from the program which allows Argentines to travel to the United States without a visa. From now on Argentines need to obtain a visa before stepping on American soil. Argentina had participated six-years and is now the first nation to be removed from the program.

Take a look at the Photos of Argentine's protests as it stands on the brink of economic collapse

Jospin Seeks French Vote as Hands - On President (February 21, 2002)
Prime Minister Lionel Jospin declared his candidature for the presidential election and promised to reform the state-sponsored retirement benefits system to cope with the funding strains of an aging population. He said he would not allow U.S.-style private pension funds to set up in France but took a more open tack on other sensitive economic issues.

Jobless Argentines Protest (February 21, 2002)
Argentines marched once again on the Buenos Aires’s main Square of Plaza de Mayo this Wednesday Feb. 20. Several thousand jobless Argentines protested against the governments handling of a deep economic crisis.  The International Monetary Fund has demanded payment of loans and provoked this crisis. Violence came at the end of an evening of peaceful protest by some 2,500 people – mainly middle-class families and members of left-wing political groups. Read Stiglitz's article.

O'Neill Urges Argentina on Reforms (February 20, 2002)
With daily street protests and growing misery among its citizens, U.S treasury says that Argentina is heading in the right direction, but should still make economic changes and create a sustainable base before the IMF supports any loans.  

Venezuela Legislators Seek Changes (February 20, 2002)
Venezuela's foreign minister outlined the country's economic policy to foreign diplomats as lawmakers demanded changes in the Cabinet to help stabilize the volatile economy. Since the Venezuelan Bolivar float against the dollar last week, it has depreciated 17 percent since Feb. 13.Analysts fear inflation could rise from 10 percent to 30 percent annually.

Venezuela's Currency Plunges as Controls End (February 14, 2002)
Late Tuesday President Mr. Chávez announced the surprise decision to abandon a controlled devaluation scheme and let the currency float. He also announced a 7 percent cut in government spending to help close a projected $8 billion budget deficit. But the Venezuelan bolivar fell by 19 percent, closing at 980.50 to the dollar, compared to 792.50 Friday 02/08.

L'Union demande à la France de réformer ses retraites 
(February 13, 2002)

(in French) The EU Council of Finance Ministers highly recommands that France and Spain make some changes in their Pension System. The EU seems to be satisfied by the reforms made by Italy and Great-Britain. But France faces difficulties to change its system.

Argentine Peso Strengthens Slightly (February 12, 2002) 
During the second test of the float of the Argentine peso Tuesday 02/12, the Argentine peso strengthened slightly at mid-afternoon at about 1.9 to the dollar, slightly higher then on Monday, 2.0.

Argentina Lets Peso Float (February 12, 2002)
The lines in the Argentine banks extended half a block as Argentina lets peso go. The peso was selling at about 2.03 per dollar for large transactions, and the majority of people who were selling dollars rather than selling pesos, were doing so not because of any confidence in the Argentine economy but because they badly needed to pay their bills.

L'Europe amorce lentement le virage de la retraite par capitalisation (February 11, 2002)
(in French) The European Union asks the fifteen member states to develop rapidly the reform of their Pension system using pension funds. But each country has its own system and the European Union might have to develop a European policy to achieve an equal system.

Second Teubal letter about Older Women's Plight in Bankrupt Argentina (February 11, 2002)
A second letter on February 11, 2002, from Ruth Teubal, a university professor and Argentine resident since childhood, gives an eyewitness account of what’s been happening in the streets and neighborhoods since the Meltdown began. She also describes some history of the privatization at International Monetary Fund insistence, of Argentine public services in the early 1990’s and the rapid and hefty payoffs to politicians and the rich who benefited. The subsequent impoverization of middle, working, and poor Argentines followed quickly and set the stage for today’s social crisis.

Argentines Told to Brace For Free-Floating Peso (February 11, 2002)
Argentine peso is to be freely floated this Monday February 11th and to be fully uncoupled from the dollar for the first time in more than a decade. By allowing the peso to float freely, the government will obtain greater control over the economy and eventually hope that the economy will bounce back as Brazil's did in 1999 following a collapse of its currency.

Argentina Presents Austere Budget In Hopes of winning More IMF Aid
(February 10, 2002)

Economic Minister Lenicov announced a federal budget that imposes more restrictions on crisis-racked Argentina reducing spending to 15%, or 3.6 billion dollars, in hopes to win more IMF aid. But economists said the government gross domestic product, inflation and deficit forecasts are too optimistic. The U.S. and IMF want to see an “ appropriate” Argentine economic plan. The successful flotation of the peso is therefore critical to inspiring confidence. Meanwhile, Argentines suffer.

IMF Criticizes Brazil's Exposure to Instability in Currency Markets (February 8, 2002)
The IMF has warned Brazil that its economy is still vulnerable to the economic crisis in Argentina. The IMF said, " Brazil responded swiftly in the face of a significant deterioration in the external environment, but since Brazil relies on foreign investment to finance its account deficit, Brazil still remains in danger."

Eyes-Only Memos Show Who Done It ( February 7, 2002)
Police gunned down dozens of Argentines in December 2001, the nation’s currency collapsed, and unemployment increased tremendously. Argentine’s economy had been murdered.  Now the question is, who did it? 

IMF's Stony Silence On Austerity Plans Worries Argentina 
(February 7, 2002)

Argentina is worried since the IMF has kept quiet about the country’s efforts to obtaining emergency loans. Argentines economic minister Remes Lenicov said, “ There should have been a stronger reply”. The IMF has remained silent concerning most of Argentina’s recent moves.

IMF: Argentina Crisis Hurts Brazil (February 7, 2002)
The IMF said that the Argentine crisis will cost Brazil as much as $2 billion in lost revenue this year. The IMF has loaned Brazil twice in three years, but Brazil has managed to repay most of its first loan. Will the Argentine meltdown topple Brazil as well?  

Tales of Argentina's plight (February 6, 2002)
Here are three stories, one about a retired couple, an office worker and a freelancer whose dreams have been stolen by Argentina’s worst economic crisis.

The Middle Class Struggles to Find Dollars (February 6, 2002)
After a bank holiday was declared this weekend in Argentina, to prevent Argentines from cashing out of the banking system, most desperate middle-class depositors have been scrambling to stay one step ahead of the restrictions, trying everything, from boat trips to Uruguay to buying shares on the Buenos Aires stock market, to protect their wealth. But the IMF policies did much to create this crisis. (Read Stiglitz's article.)

Social Forum Wraps Up in Brazil (February 5, 2002)
Activists closed out the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre (Brazil), with an anti-globalization march, protesting against the U.S proposal of Free Trade Area of the Americas. Some like Joao Pedro Stedile of Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement called the trade zone "a U.S. government project to colonize not only the markets, but also the territory of the Americas and create better conditions for North American companies to exploit our labor and our resources."

Older women in Argentina (February 5, 2002)
Here is an email from Ruth Teubal from Argentina who gives first-hand account of the terrible situation facing older women in her country. 
(Read Stiglitz's article)

Argentine Government Buys Time, Banks Shut Monday 
(February 4, 2002)

Argentine banks and the foreign exchange market will be closed Monday as the government buys time to clear up confusion over a court ruling, that overturns a freeze on save. The government intends to make the economy run just on pesos, some experts say the ruling overturning the savings freeze has left banks and the currency facing possible collapse.

Roused by Economic Crisis, Argentina's Middle Class Finally 'Gets Involved' (February 4, 2002)
"We have been asleep for far too long, and it's about time we woke up," said Noemí de Marco,52, owner of a cookie store. A new and increasingly assertive civic movement known as the "self-convened neighborhood assemblies” has emerged in Argentina. Now ordinary Argentines are meeting after workdays and weekends not only to discuss their anger and new ways to help their country deal with its crisis. "Through our own indifference, we have allowed the country to be stolen from us by corrupt politicians who have no respect for the law or their fellow citizens and who see the state only as a tool to enrich themselves."

Argentina Offers Economic Plan, Hoping to Sidestep Court 
(February, 4, 2002)

The Argentine government said that it would allow the peso to float freely against the dollar, but not eliminate and ease freeze on bank accounts. Argentina’s Economy Minister Jorge Remes Lenico, said that all financial debts and assets would be converted from dollars into pesos, "We want our autonomy and our own currency," he said. The government's decision to abandon the two-tiered exchange rate is a major concession to the International Monetary Fund and other lenders, since such a system is inherently unworkable and vulnerable to corruption.

World Gold Council Siezing Golden Opportunity In Japan 
(February 3, 2002)

Japanese people, who still have higher total saving amount rate in the world, is facing a point where they have to reconsider a safe place for keeping their money. No more banks, no more stocks, then what is next? It is gold. This is a report from the World Gold Council in Japan. Are Japanese people comfortable to sleep hiding the gold under their Futon?

In Footsteps of Evita: Argentina's New First Lady 
(February 1, 2002)

Hilda Duhalde, Argentina's new first lady, has established herself as what the local press calls "the vice president" and "superminister" in charge of  social programs. "I have to concern myself with the poor…" That is my role here," to "worry about those who I believe still do not have a voice in Argentina, even though there are millions of them,” said Mrs. Duhalde. But questions about Mrs. Duhalde's qualifications and administrative ability have been raised; some say this is just one more sign of the government's desperation.

Bigger Crowd Urges a Focus on Social Ills (February 1, 2002)
While many gather at the Waldorf- Astoria in New York for the World Social Forum, thousands of the most vocal critics of globalization are also gathering in Porto Alegre, Brazil’s capital of Rio Grande do Sul, to discuss how to attack global capitalism. More than 14,000 delegates four times the crowd in New York and another 25.000 people came to attend parallel demonstrations. But few delegates expect concrete proposals to emerge.  Instead, many hope to meet others progressive persons who will make another world possible.  

Chomsky elogia genéricos e quebra de patentes. (January 31, 2002)
(in Portuguese) Mr. Chomsky, an American professor spoke at the Capital of Rio Grande do Sul. He made propositions on globalization and made comments about the terrorist attacks on Sept 11th, “ It was a shock”, I was the first time in history that arms were pointed at a different direction”. According to Mr. Chomsky even worst events may take place. He affirmed he should not be characterized as  “ a Forum antiglobalization”. And he says that during this moment of crisis the rich are taking even more advantage of the poor countries.  

Argentina's Economic Crisis May Affect Migration Trends (January 2002)
The current economic crisis in Argentina is likely to affect migration in Latin America. International organizations on labor have noticed that Argentina and Venezuela have attracted the largest numbers of migrants in Latin America, coming mainly from Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay. But with the recent happenings, Argentina is faced with new unemployment rates and a further delay in reducing unemployment is likely to result in additional emigration. Where will older persons figure in this migration?

Globalization Foes Converge on Brazil For Protest of World Economic Forum (January 30, 2002)
Opponents of globalization began to gather on, January 31, in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre for the World Social Forum. As many as 60,000 protesters are expected to attend from numerous countries. Opponents of globalization feel they've gained ground in their fight against "neoliberalism" after Sept 11th.

Argentina's Menem Denies Bribes (January 23, 2002) 
Former President Menem of Argentina has denied that he took bribes to cover up the supposed Iranian involvement in a 1994 bombing of a Jewish center that killed 86 people. It was also claimed that Menem might have built up $10 million in Swiss bank account.

Jitters in Japan for Savers and Banks (January 23, 2002)
Abnormal economy requires special measures (January 16, 2002)

The Japanese government announced that the guaranteed payoff time deposit amount from any single bank will be up to 10 million yen($75,466) as of April 2002. Ordinary saving accounts will be treated in the same way in April 2003. “Recession is not an appropriate word any more. “Crises” might be the one unless the Japanese government finds emergency recovery procedure. Here are two article which were written from an outsider point of view and an Japanese economist one. 

Amid Banking Troubles, Low Interest Rates, Japanese Still Move Money to Bank Accounts (January 29, 2002)
Most Japanese bank are forced to the edge because of bad debt; meanwhile, Japanese people are still keeping their saving at those banks. Total Japanese household asses is 1,400 trillion yen ($10.36trillion), and half of this wealth, 716 trillion yen is kept in regular bank accounts and the post office. Japanese people believe their savings will be protected whatever financial crises happen. Can the government and the banks keep up with people’s expectation? Now the government is limiting up to 10 million yen per deposition.

International Economy: US blocks move for big rise in aid to poor countries (January 28, 2002)
The US blocked an agreement to increase development aid to poor countries which would have helped meet the UN’s target of reducing world poverty by 2015.Many NGO's left the United Nations' Financing for Development Preparatory Committee meetings disappointed -- and angry  -- at the intransigence of the rich countries to move toward a more equitable world.  These issues confront all people and have a particularly heavy effect on older people. The aged in many developing poor countries work until they die; years of structural adjustment policies have made them ever poorer, with little hope for public social protection.

Appeal to governments from European NGO's on our minimum expectations for the outcome of the Monterrey Financing for Development Conference (January 25, 2002)
Many NGO's left the United Nations' Financing for Development Preparatory Committee meetings disappointed -- and angry  -- at the intransigence of the rich countries to move toward a more equitable world.  These issues confront all people and have a particularly heavy effect on older people.  The aged in many developing poor countries work until they die; years of structural adjustment policies have made them ever poorer, with little hope for public social protection As the relatively "developed" Argentine government imploded in December, the desperate government raided private pension funds to pay the IMF. In January 2002, as the Japanese government with the world's second largest economy struggled to prevent a bank crash, they imposed limits on insured funds in the small credit unions and local banks where many elderly keep their retirement savings.

Argentina Caps Politica Appointee Salaries At ARS3000/Mo
(January 24, 2002)

President Eduardo Duhalde’s administration are set to have their salaries limited to 3.000 pesos a month. Government officials have expressed concern since new protests and riots would take place if it were to be applied the salary cap to all government officials.  

Brazil Keeps Interest Rates High (January 23, 2002)
Brazil’s Central Bank left its prime interest unchanged at 19 percent for the sixth month Higher prices of fuel and food are to pressure inflation in January. Brazil's inflation target this year is 3.5 percent, with a ceiling of 5.5 percent. How can working people buy food? But the policy pleases the IMF.

IMF Endorses Brazil's Economic Plan (January 23, 2002)
IMF said Brazil has qualified for an additional $448 million loan, since Brazil had achieved its targets in the area of inflation and government budget deficits, and has successfully been under control during the economic troubles in Argentina.

Lessons from Argentina's debacle (January 10, 2001)
Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize for Economics last year, was Chief economist at the World Bank during the East Asian financial crisis and the beginnings of Argentina’s serious troubles. He made an analysis of the “Argentina’s debacle” and drew seven lessons for governments and international organizations.

Viewpoint: 'Our dreams have been stolen'
Here are three stories,one about a Taxi driver, a computer programmer and a pensioner whose dreams have been stolen by Argentina’s worst economic crisis.

Argentines Brace For Devaluation Of Their Currency; Peso's Decline May Mean Ruin for Many (January 4, 2002)
The collapse of Argentina has increased the pressure to abolish the dollar peg and devalue the peso. Devaluation of the peso brings fear to many elderly Argentines who are threatened to be left in financial ruins in their twilight years.

Duhalde Names Lenicov Finance Minister Ahead of Unveiling Economic Measures (January 4, 2002)
Mr. Eduardo Duhalde named Jorge Remes Lenicov who had served as economic chief of Buenos Aires province from 1989 to 1997, as the new finance minister. Mr. Duhalde and Mr. Remes, are expected to announce a package of economic changes, including an overhaul of Argentina's decade-old one-to-one peg between the peso and dollar. But the Argentine people are divided about Mr. Duhalde capabilities.The province of Buenos Aires budget deficit swelled from $124 million in 1991, when Mr. Duhalde took office, to more than $1.57 billion when his governorship ended in 1999, with heavy investments in the public sector.

Argentina Hasn't Exempted IMF From Moratorium on Paying Debts
(January 4, 2002)

Argentina's failure to pay is posing some questions about whether one of its biggest creditors, the International Monetary Fund, is going to get paid. Eduardo Duhalde Argentina’s fifth President in two weeks, has not singled out the IMF or multilateral lenders, but has also not excluded them either, as the government scrapes together its remaining cash to keep the economy afloat. People familiar with the IMF say it will probably make an effort to avoid letting Argentina fall into debts, possibly by lending more money. But if Argentina fails to make payments to the IMF for six months, it could come to join a shortlist of bankrupt states that includes Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Liberia and Sudan.

Social programs should erase anxieties of the future (January 4, 2002)
The Japanese economy is far away from recovery; the recession is getting worse. This brings up a serious necessity of reforming the social and welfare system in order to protect both beneficiaries and benefactors. Retired old people and even young people are anxious about their insecure life.

Argentine Cabinet Is Sworn In as Duhalde Continues to Mull Devaluation of the Peso (January 3, 2002)
President Eduardo Duhalde's took office Wednesday as Argentina’s fifth president in two weeks, his cabinet was sworn in, while trying to rescue Argentina's financial problems. New measures are to be announced Friday.  President Duhalde said he would go around the free-market economic policies he blames for his country's ruin. "The very essence of this perverse [economic] model ended convertibility, threw two million of our countrymen into poverty, destroyed the Argentine middle class, bankrupted our industries and pulverized the jobs of Argentines,” said Mr. Duhalde.