via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.
Executive summary of this business of agriculture
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-- Schafer to meet Monday with meat, dairy,
poultry groups. As USDA seeks to calm the storm in the
wake of comments by USDA Secretary Ed Schafer last week that USDA would
utilize a loan guarantee program to help ethanol plants with financing
problems, a development which resulted in heavy criticism from meat, poultry
and dairy group officials, I have learned that Schafer will meet Monday
with the CEOs of the industry groups which sent him a letter on the topic
earlier this week.
-- It took a long time, but former
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan finally admitted he made mistakes.
In comments before a Congressional committee on Thursday, Greenspan said
he was "shocked" by the current market crisis, calling it a
"once-in-a-century credit tsunami." He admitted there was apparently
a "flaw" in his market ideology and that he was "partially"
wrong for opposing regulation of credit derivatives, but said it is unreasonable
to "expect perfection in any area where forecasting is required,"
adding that a 60 percent success rate at forecasting would be exceptional.
Perspective: Greenspan was the Fed's chairman during
both the Savings and Loans crisis of the late 1980s, early 1990s, and
during the start of the current financial system crisis. This has me
to say in my speeches that Greenspan was both the arsonist and the fireman
in trying to contain the damage begun during his helm at the Federal
-- SEC, CFTC merger? Christopher
Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said
during testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
on Thursday that he “strongly” supported a merger between
his agency and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), according
to Reuters. He said the “long-running turf battle” between
the two agencies “is one of the reasons that credit default swaps
But some CFTC officials contend a merger isn't as simple as it seems as
the two agencies really have two different focuses. CFTC Commissioner
Bart Chilton, a Democrat, said there is "logical strength" to
Cox's idea. But because the agencies have different mandates -- the SEC,
to protect investors, and the CFTC, to regulate the futures market --
"the issue of merger is not so simple," Chilton said, according
to the Wall Street Journal.
-- Bush administration to renew illegal
immigration crackdown. The Bush administration in its
final weeks “will revive a stalled crackdown on U.S. companies that
hire illegal immigrants, issuing a new regulation and asking a federal
judge to lift a ban on the measure, Homeland Security Secretary Michael
Chertoff announced" Thursday, the Washington Post reported.
Impact: If the court agrees, the government could
begin mailing notices to 140,000 employers regarding suspect Social
Security numbers used by an estimated 8.7 million workers, pressuring
businesses to either resolve discrepancies or fire workers within 90
days, the Post reported.
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