Specialist Mario Picone, right, watches the numbers as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. The Dow Jones industrial average has plunged more than 530 points and is in a correction amid a global sell-off sparked by fears about China’s slowing economy. Oil tumbled below $40 per barrel for the first time since the financial crisis. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
The financial markets are melting down. Here’s why.
A couple of months ago, the Shanghai bourse began the Mother of all Corrections. Within a few weeks, it had lost 30% of its value.
This first go-round of market mayhem was greeted with pretty much of a yawn in Europe and the US. This was especially so after the government in Beijing stepped in to prop up the markets.
However, that propping up failed to calm the markets. Beijing decided to let the market work, and the sell-off commenced again.
Now, though, there is the added component of a fear of a major Chinese slow-down in its broader economy. To paraphrase that old saw: When China sneezes, the world catches a cold.
The fear of a significant downturn in the Chinese economy is spooking markets all over the world like a bump in the night spooks wild horses. Without knowing exactly what’s coming down the pike out of China, markets are in a panic.
President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order, titled “Planning for Sustainability in the Next Decade,” which will cut the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels, in the Oval Office. Behind President Obama are senior advisor Brian Dreese and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy Kate Brandt
White House: Leading by Example On Climate Change: Our New Federal Sustainability Plan
Late last year, in an historic joint announcement with China, President Obama set an ambitious goal for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change – a clear sign that the United States’ commitment to leadership on climate change at home and abroad is stronger than ever. In the latest effort to continue that push, this morning, President Obama signed an executive order that will help us stay on track to meet the new target pledged in China and ensure that the federal government leads by example as the United States moves boldly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while boosting clean energy. This new sustainability plan for the next decade directs federal agencies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025.
That means big cuts to the dangerous emissions driving climate change – and also big savings. In addition to 21 million metric tons of emission reductions – the same as taking 4.2 million cars of the road for a year — achieving this goal will save taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs between 2008 and 2025. Today’s action builds off of the strong progress the federal government has made over the past six years. Already, federal agencies have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent since the President took office, and increased the share of electricity consumed from renewable sources from 3 percent to 9 percent in 2013. Agencies have also made progress on a number of other fronts, like reducing water use by 19 percent since 2007. But there is much more work to do – and that’s what today’s announcement is all about.
President Barack Obama is given a tour of solar panels on the roof of the Department of Energy (DOE). With President Obama (L-R) are DOE HQ Energy Manager Eric Haukdal, DOE Deputy Secretary Liz Sherwood and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy Kate Brandt
President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting at the Energy Department
In his ongoing effort to combat climate change both at home and abroad, President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday to reduce the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. Although the government contributes only a small percentage of total emissions, the cuts are expected to keep 26 million metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the air by 2025 – equal to taking about 5.5 million cars off the road for a year. The order also directs the government, which is the single largest U.S. consumer of energy, to increase its use of renewable energy to 30% of its consumption, giving a further boost to green industries. The executive order comes just days after an international team of scientists reported that the Totten Glacier of East Antarctica –
the largest and most rapidly thinning glacier in the region – is shrinking because of warm ocean water developing beneath it. The process could have “global consequences,” including rising sea level by at least 11 feet, the researchers wrote Monday in Nature Geoscience. On Thursday morning, Obama toured an installation of solar panels at the Energy Department’s headquarters and discussed the new emissions targets with federal suppliers, part of a larger effort to lead by example on the climate change issue. In November, Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached an agreement on a climate deal to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the growing crisis of global climate change. The pact includes a first-ever commitment by the Asian country to stop its emissions from increasing entirely after 2030.
At the time in his tenure when most presidents fret over their waning clout, Barack Obama is redefining the concept of the lame duck. His administration has been energized by his aggressive use of executive power. Some of the most hard-won achievements of his early years in office are beginning to pay off. And his political luck seems to be turning. With a term and a half behind him, Obama’s prospects are brighter than they have been for years. Though Republicans paint Obama’s glass as half full, and argued that the administration is overstating its record, that hasn’t rattled the man in the Oval Office.
The new sense of serenity in the White House solidified this week with figures showing that more than 16 million people have now signed up for health plans under Obamacare, the president’s top domestic achievement. That news came on the heels of booming jobs growth numbers and a tangible feeling that after years of slow recovery, things are looking up economically. The unemployment rate, at 5.5%, is at its lowest point since May 2008, before the Great Recession. And the U.S. economy is in much better shape than most of its rivals in the developed world. The White House believes that its initiatives on community college funding, the president’s moves to regulate the Internet and actions to reshape the immigration system are delivering a political dividend,
reasoning that many Americans are happy to see gridlock broken and the president taking action, a factor that might be partly reflected in Obama’s better poll numbers. Obama, meanwhile, more relaxed than ever. He’s speaking about race more freely than any time since he became president, notably in his speech on the 50th anniversary of the Selma civil rights marches earlier this month. And the White House counts a climate accord with China and a visit to India earlier this year as big wins for its strategy of rebalancing foreign policy towards Asia. The GOP, for its part, is learning what the White House found out years ago — that winning the Senate last year, and with it control of both chambers of Congress, brings its own problems.
President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China on his way to Myanmar
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, right, shakes hands outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
President Barack Obama waves from Air Force One upon his arrival at Naypyitaw International Airport in Naypyitaw, Myanmar
President Barack Obama is greeted upon his arrival on Air Force One at Naypyitaw International Airport
China’s Premier Li Keqiang, Myanmar’s President Thein Sein, U.S. President Barack Obama, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hold hands as they pose at the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Naypyitaw
President Barack Obama and Myanmar President Thein Sein and his wife
President Barack Obama speaks during the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting at the Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in Beijing. Asia-Pacific and world leaders gathered for the annual summit, with free trade at the top of the agenda as they sought to narrow differences on how to open commerce across the vast region.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, third left, as China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi, second right, stands by during a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping
President Barack Obama talks to Vladimir Putin during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing
President Barack Obama is welcomed by US Ambassador to China Max Baucus upon his arrival at Beijing Capital Airport in Beijing, China. President Obama is in China to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2014 Summit
President Barack Obama meets with the leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries in Beijing
President Barack Obama speaks during a bilateral meeting with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo
President Barack Obama meets with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
President Barack Obama speaks at the APEC CEO Summit at the China National Convention Centre (CNCC) in Beijing
Delegates use their smartphones to take pictures of President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama walks to the stage with Dow Chemical Co. President, Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris, at the APEC CEO Summit at the China National Convention Centre (CNCC)
President Barack Obama with China’s President Xi Jinping and Xi’s wife Peng Liyuan during the APEC Welcome Banquet at Beijing National Aquatics Center, or the Water Cube, in Beijing
President Barack Obama is greeted by China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong, as he arrives at Beijing National Aquatics Center, or the Water Cube, for the APEC Welcome Banquet
Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (L-R), Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, his wife Peng Liyuan and U.S. President Barack Obama arrive for a dinner hosted by the Chinese President
President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye talk as they depart the APEC Summit family photo
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) nations’ leaders and spouses pose for a family photo at Beijing National Aquatics Center, or the Water Cube, in Beijing, November 10, 2014. (Front row L to R) Vietnam’s President Truong Tan Sang, Angelica Rivera and husband Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Philippine President Benigno Aquino, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, China’s President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and his wife Iriana Widodo, U.S. President Barack Obama, South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha and his wife Naraporn; (Back row L to R) Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Bronagh Key and her husband New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key, Akie and her husband Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Laureen Harper and her husband Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his wife Lynda May Babao, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching, Taiwanese envoy to APEC summit Vincent Siew and his wife Susan Chu