From Volume 5, Issue Number 1 of EIR Online, Published Jan. 3, 2006

World Economic News

2005 Was a Record Year for Hedge-Funds in Germany

According to a new survey done by Ernst & Young, reported Dec. 28, hedge funds and private-equity funds operations in Germany saw an increase of 18% from 2004 to 2005. The volume of investments (for takeovers and the like) was 29.5 billion euros, which, however, accounts for only 48% of funds' activities which are made public. With the 52% not reported, funds have invested about 60 billion euros in Germany, this year. And the trend seems likely to be unbroken for the coming year.

All the more urgent, then, that funds' activities are fully monitored, and monitored in time—which will be possible with new legislation that will go into effect in July 2006.

British Disability 'Reforms' Force Disabled To Work

The Labour government in Britain will announce in January "reforms" to the national incapacity benefits (disability) system, that will force people back to work. It is likely there will be another revolt by Labour MPs against Prime Minister Tony Blair's program, The Times suggested Dec. 28. Some 2.7 million people, mostly laid-off industrial workers, get disability benefits in Britain. Many recipients are actually capable of working, but no jobs are available. Blair wants to kick at least 1 million off these benefits.

Then, there is the question of just how Britain is going to provide 1 million new jobs. According to a new report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), many fewer new jobs will be created in Britain in 2006 than in 2005, since employers are urgently trying to cut costs. Manufacturing is laying off record numbers of workers, and other sectors will stop hiring, the report said.

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