The OECD has revealed its latest forecast for the world's 30 largest economies, and it does not make ...
The organisation's estimates for overall global growth has fallen from some 2% to 1% or less for this year, with barely any recovery forecast for 2002, when the global economy is now only expected to add 1.2% in value.
Any significant recovery is also being pushed further ahead into the future, with respite only coming sometime midway through next year, and perhaps not until the third or even fourth quarters.
Particularly worrying are the prospects for Germany and Japan: the former is expected to grow by just 0.7% this year, while the latter will actaully contract this year and again next year.
That leaves the US as the only economy able to pull everybody out of the quagmire, but that in turn depends on US consumers pulling the country up out of its current funk.
And consumers spending is at the heart of a class-action lawsuit against credit card companies Visa and Mastercard in the US, which could have significant impact on consumer spending says the FT.
The suit is about the charges the organisations apply to debit transactions, which points of sale must accept if they also want access to Visa or Mastercard's credit card services.
A court of appeals has just thrown out the organisations' appeal to overturn the class-action status of the lawsuit, and with 4 million names attached to the case, damages could reach $100bn or more if lawyers for companies such as Wal-Mart are successful.
If they lose, Visa and Mastercard could go bankrupt, and the whole system of issuing and using credit and debit cards would face some serious changes, and nobody knows how that would affect consumer confidence in the US.
The Times reports that investors in the UK could have to wait up to two years before finding out the true state of the rail infrastructure, threatening any immediate moves to secure further private financing in the wake of the collapse of Railtrack.
Because the company never succeeded in drawing up a list of assets - in effect nobody knows what Railtrack actually owns - there can be no 'due dilligence' undertaken by potential investors to put a value on the business.
Without 'due dilligence', companies are unlikely to put money into the new non-profit organisation envisaged to take over Railtrack's responsibilities.
One investor told The Times that private industry would not make the same mistake twice and invest in a company where the underlying assets were not known.
An ambitious objective
'Something completely new'
'Illusion of control'
Reasons to be cheerful
Total investment reaches £9m