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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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India cuts rates to stimulate growth

Category : World News

India has cut interest rates for the third time this year in an attempt to revive growth in its sluggish economy.

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US growth is faster than expected

Category : Business, World News

The US economy grew at a faster than expected 0.4% in the fourth quarter, the Department of Commerce says, but the overall picture remains sluggish.

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India cuts rates to spur growth

Category : Business, World News

India cuts its main interest rate for the second time in three months as it looks to revive its sluggish economic growth.

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Dow stalls just below record high

Category : Business

U.S. stocks ended a sluggish month in the red, but managed to log gains for the month.

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VIDEO: Moody’s cuts UK’s AAA credit rating

Category : World News

The UK has lost its top AAA credit rating for the first time since 1978 on expectations that growth will “remain sluggish over the next few years”.

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Obama pledges to reignite economy

Category : World News

President Obama urges Congress to back his plans for government action to revive the sluggish US economy in his annual State of the Union speech.

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India lowers growth forecast to 5%

Category : World News

India lowers its growth forecast for the current financial year, underlining the challenges it faces in reviving its sluggish economy.

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Treasury needs more ‘innovation’

Category : Business

The UK economy will see “sluggish growth” for two years, unless the Treasury and Bank of England adapt a more innovative approach to boosting expansion, a study has said.

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VIDEO: Looking for Egypt’s entrepreneurs

Category : Business

As long as instability continues and economic growth remains sluggish, creating jobs will remain one of the biggest challenges for Egypt.

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Democrats and the ‘better off’ question: time to say it loud and proud | Richard Adams

Category : Business

Republicans may be quick to jump on Stephanie Cutter’s claims – but four years ago, the American economy truly was in crisis

Stephanie Cutter, the Obama campaign’s deputy director, was the unlucky sacrifice chosen to walk into a political minefield today: matching the Obama campaign’s political aims with the reality of the sluggish American economy.

Asked “are we better off today than we were four years ago, when President Obama was elected?” on the Today show, Cutter replied confidently: “Absolutely.” It wasn’t so much the answer as the alacrity with which Cutter gave it: like an intern being offered a happy-hour martini.

Although she also proffered a series of justifications – Cutter said the economic recovery “might not be as fast as people hoped, and the president agrees” – the Republicans were quick to pounce on Cutter’s remarks, brandishing them as evidence of the Obama campaign’s failure to grasp the realities of high unemployment and sluggish growth.

For Cutter and the rest of the Obama campaign, there’s a compelling need to go out on a limb and say yes, things are better than they were, even if that makes them an easy target for the Romney campaign. It helps that there’s some economic and financial justification for the “absolutely” claim, but it’s the political angle that means they have to take a hit now to try and avoid the fate of George Bush Sr in 1992 or Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Ronald Reagan’s winning 1980 campaign asked a simple question of voters: were they better off than they were four years ago? The Obama campaign is desperate not to be caught in the same trap – even if it hasn’t yet figured out how to avoid it.

On the political talk shows over the weekend, a string of Democrats hummed and hawed when confronted with the question, which we shall call AYBONTYWFYA – not a village in Wales where Ann Romney’s family emigrated from, but the handy “Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Years Ago?” By Monday a decision had been taken that the campaign needed to be more robust in answering AYBONTYWFYA.

Cutter was the first out of the blocks to hurdle AYBONTYWFYA – and she was followed by Joe Biden, who told a crowd at a campaign stop: “America is better off today than when [the Republicans] left.”

The way out of the Reagan trap for Democrats, though, is to say yes to AYBONTYWFYA [pronounced eye-bonty-wifya] and point to a compelling economic statistic to back it up. Maryland governor Martin O’Malley showed the way in telling CNN: “We are clearly better off as a country, because we are now creating jobs rather than losing jobs.”

Republicans, though, continue to faint in mock horror, reeling off a long list of statistics that suggest otherwise. Yet there is much truth in the Democrats saying yes.

Almost exactly four years ago, the US – not to mention the global financial system – was in a crisis unparalleled in modern times. By 3 September 2008, Lehmann Brothers – then the fourth largest US investment bank – was stuttering towards its eventual bankruptcy on 15 September. Bear Stearns had already gone under, Merrill Lynch sold itself off cheap, the insurance giant AIG was soon to sink into disaster. The credit market was frozen. The US auto industry was close to a coma. The housing market was in a Cindarella-like sleep after feasting on the poisoned apple of sub-prime mortgages.

It is a truth beyond doubt that the current state of the US economy and financial system is far, far removed from that era of fear. It is recovering, although that recovery is by no means complete, for reasons that people can argue over. Unemployment remains high, although the labour market is largely a lagging indicator of economic activity, which is all too sluggish.

Barack Obama’s bad luck was to take office just as the worst after-effects of the economic recession hit. In the UK, the Cameron government was far luckier, because of the later UK election cycle. That’s why Republicans are careful to try and push Obama’s election as far back into the popular memory as they can – hence Paul Ryan blaming Obama for a car plant slated to be closed before he even took office.

The Republicans of course want to have it both ways: complaining that Obama is blaming everything on the Republican administration of four years ago, and then harking back four years with AYBONTYWFYA. That’s called having your cake and eating it too.

There’s always a legitimate debate to be had on the direction of the economy, but it is not on the brink of an abyss, nor is it time to deny history.