Home / 2012 / February (page 40)

Monthly Archives: February 2012

BOJ To Expand Asset-Purchase Fund By Y10T (about $130 Billion)

13 Feb 2012 23:03 EST DJ BOJ Expands Asset-Purchse Program By Y10T, Revises Wording Of Price Target

TOKYO (Dow Jones)–The Bank of Japan decided Tuesday to expand its asset-purchase program again by Y10 trillion and changed the wording of its price target following political pressure to strengthen its commitment to ending deflation.

The central bank’s policy board said it will boost the size of its asset purchase program including low-cost loans–the main tool for credit easing amid near zero interest rates–to Y65 trillion from Y55 trillion.

Only one out of the 11 analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted the BOJ to ease. Most BOJ watchers had said that while there were concerns over the impact of the strong yen and the European debt crisis, neither financial nor economic conditions had worsened to levels that warrant immediate further action.

The BOJ policy board also revised the wording of its “understanding of price stability,” saying now it has set a “price stability goal” of 2% or lower in the core consumer price index in the medium- to long-term and a goal of 1% growth for the time being.

The bank had come under criticism that its definition of price stability, the goal it seeks to achieve in its fight against deflation, was too convoluted and vague.

Faced with a prolonged deflation, politicians have stepped up their calls on the BOJ to take fresh action, with some threatening to revise legislation to strip away the central bank’s independence from the government.

The bank’s policy board voted unanimously at the end of a two-day meeting to leave its policy rate–the unsecured overnight call loan rate–in a 0.0%-0.1% range.

The dollar rose against the yen on the BOJ action, climbing to Y77.87 from Y77.59 before the announcement, the highest since Jan. 26.

The additional easing “was certainly a surprise to the currency market,” said UBS senior dealer Hirotsugu Inoue.

Additional easing by a central bank will increase the supply of money in the economy and therefore tend to push down the currency’s level.

The Japanese government bond market rallied on the news with the benchmark 10-year JGB bond futures contract rising to 142.68 from 142.37, pushing the yield down to 0.960%.

The central bank also maintained the size of its asset purchase program–the main tool for credit easing amid near zero interest rates–at Y55 trillion.

Market participants will now focus on Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa’s comments at a press conference from 0630 GMT, to seek an explanation for the move.

-By Megumi Fujikawa and Tatsuo Ito, Dow Jones Newswires; 813-6269-2786; [email protected]

Comments »

Obama’s Budget Ends Funding for D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

Lindsey Burke

The Obama administration is once again standing with education special interest groups and against low-income children in Washington, D.C. His 2013 budget request zeros out funding for the highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which was revived last year thanks to the hard work of Speaker John Boehner and the thousands of D.C. families who received scholarships to attend a private school of choice.

In 2009, Senator Dick Durbin included a provision in an omnibus spending bill prohibiting any new children from receiving scholarships unless the program was fully reauthorized by Congress and authorized by the D.C. City Council. The make-up of Congress in 2009 was such that a reauthorization of the voucher program was highly unlikely, meaning Durbin’s provision effectively doomed the program, since no new children were allowed to receive scholarships.

But in April 2011, Speaker John Boehner forced President Obama’s hand during heated budget negotiations, securing the restoration and expansion of the D.C. OSP. Families were elated. Once again, children would have the opportunity apply for scholarships to attend a private school of their choice, providing them a lifeline out of the underperforming and often dangerous D.C. Public Schools.

The D.C. OSP’s restoration in early 2011 was an important milestone in the “Year of School Choice.” More than 1,600 low-income children in the Nation’s Capital are using vouchers this school year to attend a school that they chose.

The D.C. OSP has been highly successful. According to federally-mandated evaluations of the program, student achievement has increased, and graduation rates of voucher students have increased significantly. While graduation rates in D.C. Public Schools hover around 55 percent, students who used a voucher to attend private school had a 91 percent graduation rate.

And at $8,000, the vouchers are a bargain compared to the estimated $18,000 spent per child by D.C. Public Schools.

The Department of Education’s budget will increase 3.5 percent if the proposal is enacted, continuing a failed trend of spending more taxpayer dollars through Washington on a myriad of programs with a poor track record.

By contrast, the D.C. OSP has a stellar track record of increasing academic success, student safety, and parental satisfaction. And because of the nature of the District of Columbia (education in D.C. is under the jurisdiction of Congress), it is entirely appropriate for the federal government to fund the D.C. OSP.

The President’s budget request signals that his administration is more interested in propping up a government school system than providing options for children to receive a quality education. Regardless of the prospects of advancement for the budget request, elimination of funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program shows that the Obama administration is not interested in funding “what works.” If the move is not a concession to education special interest groups, the administration should explain why they have placed this critical school choice program on the chopping block.


Comments »


[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9chNh_baJe0&feature=g-all-u&context=G290057fFAAAAAAAAQAA 603 500]

This is in response to this ridiculous video

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl1ujzRidmU 603 500]

Comments »