Links 1/2/08

Soros slams emissions trading systems Responsible Investor

Bush to Revive Push for Housing Remedy Wall Street Journal. Noteworthy because first, no specific measures proposed, second, the programs mentioned as most likely in by the Journal are smoke and mirrors.

What accounts for the clean-up of US manufacturing: technology or international trade? Vox EU. “Since the 1970s, US manufacturing output has risen by 70% but air pollution has fallen by 58%. Was this due to improved abatement technology or shifting dirty production abroad?”

The Dollar in the New Year Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser. Be sure to read the punch line at the end.

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    an. 2 (Bloomberg) — Centro Properties Group, facing a Feb. 15 deadline to refinance A$3.9 billion ($3.4 billion) of debt, will consider offers for all its assets including 700 U.S. malls.

    It may also divest stakes in its Australian and U.S. wholesale funds, recapitalize or sell stock, according to a statement today. The Melbourne-based company on Dec. 17 said it may have to sell assets to pay debt, sparking an 86 percent two- day slump in its shares.

    “The trouble is that when you signal you are distressed, you may have to take a haircut when selling assets, particularly the good ones,” said Michael McCormick, who helps manage about $170 million at Leyland Private Asset Management in Sydney.

    The company has been approached after the A$4.1 billion plunge in its market value during Dec. 17-18 made it Asia’s worst casualty so far of the global credit squeeze. Potential buyers may include Westfield Group, Morgan Stanley, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Stockland, said John Snowden, head of property securities at Centro’s largest shareholder, Colonial First State.

    Centro, with a market capitalization of A$933.8 million, didn’t provide the names or the number of investors that have made approaches. Calls to spokespeople at Westfield and Stockland in Sydney and Brookfield in Toronto weren’t immediately returned. Hugh Fraser, spokesman for Morgan Stanley in Sydney, declined to comment.

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