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Good morning. Welcome to the program. I'm Whitney Fitzsimmons. In 'Business

Today' - issue success. HSBC

shares prove popular with

investors. Hardship assistance.

Australia's big banks agree to

help customers who've lost

their jobs. And - keeping up appearances. Massaging sales of

the recession-hit beauty

industry. Those stories shortly, but first, a quick

look at the markets.

For more on the market

action I'm joined by Juliette

Saly from CommSec. Good morning. Wall Street managed to

climb higher on Friday. What

are we expecting to see this

week? We will be trying to see

stocks consolidate those gains

made over the past month. Wall

Street has had its best four

week run since the 30s. The Dow

surging 22% over the month of

March. But it will be a quieter

week this week so it may be for

challenging for stocks to hold

onto the gains. We have only a

four day trading week in many

countries with markets closed

around many regions on Good

Friday. We're also expecting quiterer trade in mark on

Wednesday and Thursday for the

Passover holiday. But if stocks

can hold onto the gains made

over the last month, that will

be the best outcome for global markets. Looking at Britain -

we've seen there has been a

boost in profit warnings there? Yes. In fact in the

first quarter of 2009, 117 UK companies posted profit

warnings. The highest number

has come from support service

providers, followed by the

media and industrial

engineering. Ernst and Young

compiled this survey. They say

outlook for the rest of 2009 in

the UK is just as gloomy. They're predicting the worst is

yet to come for a number of

British companies. How will

regional markets trade

today? We've seen New Zealand's

share market open slightly

higher. We're expecting the

Australian share market to post

a gain of 1% today according to

the SPY futures. It will be

boosted by firmer metals

prices. We'll keep on eye on

Fortescue Metals shares. The

company is being taken to

court. In Japan we'll be

looking at es port companies.

They had a great run on Friday

in response to a weaker yen.

The Nikkei futures pointing to

a gain of 110 points on open.

We've seen a pullback in oil

and gold? We saw the oil price

fall slightly on Friday, down

by about 13 cents that came as

investors squared positions at

the end of the week. The oil

price now big 52 US dollars,

but that's after a 9% jump in

the oil price on Thursday. The

gold price has eased a bit

more. Down by more than 1% or

$12 an ounce. It's now below

the $900 US an ounce mark. That

came as investors switched out

of the safe haven gold and into

base metals which look like

they have better growth

opportunity at the moment.

Economic data, what can we

expect to see this week? It's

all about interest rate

decisions. We have both the

Reserve Bank of Australia and

the Bank of Japan meeting to

discuss target rates. We're

expecting here in Australia a

rate cut of about half of 1%.

Taking them to historically low

levels. There is a lot of need

for the Reserve Bank of

Australia to stimulate the

economy and also fears the lenders won't pass on the rate

cut in fall. We expect the Bank

of Japan will be mulling over the nation's worst ever

business confidence survey.

They're likely to keep rates on

hold at .1 of 1%. Thanks for

the update. Thanks. Juliette

Saly from CommSec there. Now a

look at what's happening with

currencies and commodities.

There's been strong support

for HSBC's capital raiseing

with shareholders snapping up

over 96% of the new shares on

offer. The 17.7 billion dollars

raised by HSBC makes it the

largest rights issue in British

corporate history. The shares proved popular because they

were being offered well below

the current trading price on

the London Stock Exchange. But

the result is still in stark

contrast to some other rights

issues from UK banks in the

past year. The cash injection

will plug holes in HSBC's

American business, and

strengthen its capital base for

acquisitions in Asia. Embattled

US car maker General Motors is

preparing for possible

bankruptcy. The company's new

government-backed chief Fritz

Henderson says that it may be a

necessary option, but he hopes

the company will emerge

stronger in the crisis. He made

the comments in a US television

interview where he indicated

that even more job cuts and

plant closures were likely

anticipating a future group

built around just four core

brands. US authorities are

looking at all options for bl.

M after the form Chief

Executive Rick Wagner was

sacked last week on White House

orders. Both President Obama

and his task force have indicated Chapter 11 bankruptcy

may be the Bev option for the

car maker. State owned Chinese

car companies are said to be

among the possible investors

for GM's European operations.

But German Chancellor Angela

Merkel has refused to commit to

a rescue plan which would save

GM Europe from being damaged by

the insolvency of its parent

company. Workers at Opel's

European headquarters coming in

for their early morning shift.

Expectations a visit by the

German Chancellor will do much

to secure their future. "At

least she will keep an answer

whether we'll keep going or

not." "I just want a clear

statement." But a clear

statement was not what they

got. Angela Merkel expressed

her support but her plan was

thin on detail. We must try to

do everything we can to find a

private investor, who with

state support builds a long-term foundation and who

believes in Opel. General

Motors employs around 50,000

people in Europe and says it

needs more than $4 billion to

keep its factories here open.

The German government has long

maintained that it won't use

taxpayers' money to bail Opel

out. A decision the boss of GM

in Europe says he accepts. TRANSLATION: We

understand that the fundamental

decision on how to help a

company in our situation is a

difficult political one to make

and that we all have to work

toward as sustainable

solution. Parent company

General Motors now has 60 days

to present a final

restructuring plan to the US

Government, which should

provide answers on how to fund

its European arm.

TRANSLATION: I think we must

use these 60 days and not just

at the last minute to lay the

foundation for a European Opel,

a European Opel for the

future. 60 more days to find

an investor, 60 more days

before these workers will get the answers they're looking


Bleak unemployment data from

the United States at the end of

last week overshadowed better

than expected figure on housing

and manufacturing. Companies

shed 663,000 jobs in March and

with demand still weak, the losses are expected to continue

for months to come. Businesses

continued slashing jobs at an

alarming pace last month. I

would take anything if I could

find it. I'm not finding

anything. Leaving millions of Americans in search of

full-time work. Everyone I know

is looking for work. Eric

Brown lost his job in the entertainment industry nine

months ago. I'm out there with

guys who have masters degrees,

who are applying for the same

construction and clean-up job

that I'm trying to get on to.

Seven states now have

unemployment rates over 10%,

but no part of the country has

been immune. From coast to

coast, the job market is bad,

and there's just really nowhere

to go to find a job.

Economists say the glimmers of

improvement that are cheering

the stock markets such as lower

mortgage rates an an uptick in

car sales have yet to reach the

millions of small business like

Lisa's that employ the majority

of Americans. We can't cut any

more jobs. This is the skeleton

crew. She told us her choice

was lay off most of her staff

or close her custom cabinet

business and she says she won't start rehiring until she's sure

the recovery is for

real. Inside of this

environment, nobody wants to

hire people back if you don't

really know you will have a

long-term job. That very

cautious attitude among

employers is one reason main

street is the last street to

recover at the end of a

recession. Economists say

improvements in the job market

lag the stock market by several months. Satyam Computer Services, which is trying to

sell a controlling stake, will

decide on the winning bid on

April 13. The fraught-hid

company says the headline

forbids has been extended at

the request of those candidates

who met with the Satyam board

on Friday. Australia's Prime

Minister is warning of dark and

difficult times ahead for the

region's fifth largest economy.

Kevin Rudds a called on

Australians to unite against

unemployment and the major

banks have answered it with pledges to

pledges to go easy on

borrowers who lose their jobs.

A multimillion-dollar

government package is aimed at

both maintaining jobs and

keeping students at school. The

wave of economic disaster has

washed Kevin Rudd from New York

and London to Melbourne's suburbs. This global economic recession is not caused by

people in this country and it's

not cause caused by the good

people in this community. It's

here in the mortgage belt that

the government fears the

recession will bite

hardest. But our job is to make

a difference here at the local

level. Under a deal brokered

by the Treasurer the four major

banks have agreed to lighten up on borrowers who lose their

jobs. The last thing we want to

do with roared to mortgages is

take over someone's

home. Repayment s may be

postponed, contracts extended

and fees waived for up to year.

It's a gesture from the banks

in return for generous

government guarantees. Part of

that does mean that there are certain circumstances where we

can call on them for

assistance. But the opposition

is worried where it leaves

non-bank borrowers. Kevin Rudd

has repackaged hundreds of

millions of dollars into what

he calls a jobs and training

compact. Little of it is new.

What's more telling is the

obvious shift towards harm

minimisation, ahead of a surge

in unemployment the government

is now resigned too. There's

$150 million for small

infrastructure works in areas of high unemployment, along

with a team of at least seven local coordinators spread

across the country and led by

businessman Lindsay Fox. And to

keep youth unemployment down,

the Commonwealth will push the

States to accelerate a lift in

Year 12 retext rates to 90% in

five years rather than 10. --

retention rates. I will not

stand idly by and watch a

generation of young people have

their potential, their talents

and their enthusiasm wasted in

an economic downturn.

Protection from a storm that

can't be averted.

At the G20 meeting the

world's largest economies

reached an agreement to tackle

the global financial crisis

with measures worth more than

$1 trillion. The moves have

been well received by markets

and economists globally, but

many argue until we see the

words become actions, it's

premature to sing the praises

of the G20. Professor Fariborz

Moshirian joins me now to discuss whether or not we will

see a global approach to the

financial crisis materialise.

Good morning, welcome to

'Business Today'. Good

morning. Now, we've seen

progress made on what the

underlying causes are, but how

much can a one-day summit actually

actually achieve? Well, they've

been working on their

communication for weeks and we

know they've been able to

identify the causes of the current global financial

crisis. As you stated the key

issue for us now is whether

they are capable of implementing those key statements and policies. Do you

think they're capable? Well,

it's really a matter of wait

and see. We have seen the G20

summit in Washington in

November. We have seen decline

in the volume of trade and more

protection ism. This time we

should wait and see. What's the

time line, though? A couple of

months, six months? How long

will it take? I think they have

basically delegated most of

these statements and

recommendations to national

authorities and national

regulators and they're relying

on national governments to show

goodwill for implementation of

those statements. I think

that's why it's an unknown

factor, because using national

interests or global interests

may not necessarily be the most effective way to tackle those

problems. You do say it's going to go down to the national interests and the

national governance of these

problems, so we're really yet

to see any kind of global unity

on this, aren't we? That's the

very issue, I think. If you

look at for instance the

European Union, 27 countries,

could we have 27 countries

together without having the

European Commission or the

European Parliament or the

European Central Bank for the

Eurozone or the European Court

of Justice? When it comes to

global crisis, we talk about

global solution. But global solution requires global

framework and global ownership.

And I think that global

framework is still missing.

Alright. Let's look at the

intangible emotional sentiment

that goes along with markets.

The problems in confidence and

trade are really global. Do you

think that what was outlined at

the summit will go some way to

restoring this confidence? Yes.

I would say we should welcome,

indeed, must welcome the fact

that we are not talking about

G7 or G8 any more when it comes

to global problems, we're

talking about G20. It's a great

achievement for our generation

to see now G20 is emerging as

if you like a body to tackle

global problems. But as I said

to you, and as you mentioned,

trade, finance, the environment, they all are

global in nature and question

is whether that global

framework and global ownership

and leadership is there. It's a

process. We are not there yet.

But certainly it has been a

positive step. Are you

confident that we will get

there, though? Well, to be

frank with you, I'm not very

confident that the current

summit and the motherhood

statements there, although they

had wonderful intention, about

identifying the krnt roots of

the global financial crisis,

without that international

framework and international

leadership and ownership, we're

going to see a major change in

the global economy. Let's move

on to another issue that was

much at the forefront of this.

There is a big push for China

to have a relative - a relevant

seat at the table. Australia's

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was

definitely behind that. How

much importance does China's contribution to the summit hold

in comparison to other

years? Well, there is no

question that China is the

third largest economy. It has

increased her status in the

global economy. IMF is going to

take certainly China far more

seriously. They are relying,

the IMF is relying on $750

billion contribution. China has

to contribute significantly to

this particular fund. And there

is no question China's role has

significantly increased. At the

same time we should also learn

from the history of Europe.

Germany has shown great

leadership in integrating her

economy into the European

economy. I think China now has

to focus on Asia, working with

more advanced economies like

Australia, New Zealand, Korea,

Singapore, to come up with more

financial integrated economy in

Asia, with maybe a single

currency in Asia, rather than

now directly talking about a now directly talking about a

global currency. I think China

has a lot to contribute

globally as well as

regionally. During the summit

also the regulatory strategy

was put in place, the new

financial stability board. How

effective can such an entity be in policing the global

financial affairs? Well, again,

we should welcome the fact that

we are talking about new

institution, if you like. But

then again, fundamental

question for us is: can board

at international level, without having jurisdiction over

national regulators and

national governments to be able

to tackle global problems? And

I think this is a question

again we have to wait and see.

It's logical like something 16

countries in Europe to have one

inflation, one single currency,

one interest rate without

having an effective European

Central Bank. And I think this

is again another challenge of

our generation, whether the new

institution like this financial

stability board is effective

enough in dealing with national

and global problems. Professor

Fariborz Moshirian, we're

nearly out of time but I just

want to ask you one more thing,

touching on the relevance of

the IMF. There was a lot of

praise behind the capital

injections from the G20. Does that mean that its role has

been enhanced and that it's more important now than

ever? Well, to be frank with

you, we know that IMF didn't

have much credibility in the

past. However, at the present

time, they have to play an

important role in transferring

money from developed countries

including of course emerging

countries like China to

emerging countries in eastern

European area as well as in

South East Asia. To this

effect, IMF is playing more

important role in transfer of

funds from it you like those

who can afford it to those who

cannot afford to sustain the

current global financial

crisis. But as to whether IMF

is going to play a leadership

role again is a question for us

to wait and see. Alright. Unfortunately, Professor

Fariborz Moshirian, we're out

of time. We'll have to leave it

there. Thank you.

The business of indulgence

grew in popularity during the

boom years. Luxurious day spas

threat throughout the suburbs

taking the average beauty

treatment to a new level and a

new price but now the

disposable income pool is shrinking and these

establishments are forced to

find new ways to encourage

clients to continue massaging

the household budget for life's little extras.

We did see a noticeable

impact within the months of

October and November.

Customers' attitudes have

definitely changed. We've

noticed that people are

stretching out the time between

each visit, and the average

dollar spend has definitely

decreased. Two years before

the catchphrase GFC had been

coined, Anna Lisa Tavrew was

already confronting the usual

hurdles of nurtureing a young

business through its early

days. I worked on a business

plan for a few months, but once

opening the doors, it doesn't

always work out as you believed

it would have. I guess opening

the business, I was a little

naive. I assumed that we'd be

OK. But that came as a big

shock. It wasn't that easy at

all. I had never done any

marketing. I always

concentrated on the in-spa marketing like with the clientele that was already on

the database, but I really

relied on word of mouth.

Even the beginnings of the

economic downturn had an impact

on turnover. Crystallising the

need to change approach. I

believe that it was in my best

interests to invest in a business consultant and marketing consultant. Unfortunately, I did have to

let a staff member go in

November. And that gave me the

extra disposable income to put

back into the business. It was

a huge investment, and I was

petrified. But I found that I

had no other option. We've

looked at the profit and loss

statement, and basically cut

costs with choosing a different

merchant facility,

re-evaluating our insurance

policy, electricity. I've had

to look at introducing other

massage oils that are much more

cost effective. She starts at

11 and she's pretty ... I also

know now I need to let

government reins a bit. I can't

do everything. I promoted one

of my staff members as manager.

She basically runs the whole

daily goings of the spa. The

marketing consultant is

initially focusing on boosting

the number of clients coming

through the door, rather than

increasing the individual

spend. With every call staff

would need to ask, how did you

find out about us? She has

helped me look at the

demographics of the day spa and

looked at hot spot areas within

a 5 kilometre radius. We've already put one marketing

campaign into place. I have

seen fantastic results with

that. The young businesswoman

believes the banking sector is

letting down small business. I

wouldn't say that they've been

helpful at all. I feel that

there's no personal relationship between us and our

banker. I guess I'd like to see

the banking managers actually

come out and visit the business

and have an understanding of

what the business is actually

doing. The cost and the risk

that they've taken. Anna Lisa

remains confident the heyday of

special pampering isn't over

yet. I think people are just

being a bit more cautious,

budgeting a little better these

days. They're not particularly

willing to give up their

lifestyle. We allow people to

put their feet up, clear their

mind and be completely selfish.

I heard a story once that I

think it was Elizabeth Arden,

she released her red lipstick

during the depression and

became a millionaire because

women would apply this red

lipstick and feel fantastic and

feel rich, even if it was for

that half-hour.

The bright lights aren't

quite as bright in Las Vegas at

the moment. The traditional

playground of high rollers and

conference delegate s is

feeling the pinch. The rule of

Las Vegas is that the house

always wins, but today, the

winning streak is over. The

debts are coming due and the

big money players who own the

casinos are in big trouble. Almost every major casino on the strip could be in

some form of bankruptcy.

Tourism is drying up and

dealing a cruel hand. Hotel

occupancy, down 15%. Even as

the cost of a room has

plummeted 20%. Gambling

revenue, the lifeblood of this

city, is off 15%. Adding to the

problem, public outrage over

corporate excess, which shamed

big companies into cancelling

conventions here. The business

of bringing corporations to Las

Vegas for meetings and retreats

is part of what makes this city

go. It's an $8.5 billion industry that supports nearly industry that supports nearly

75,000 local jobs. Everybody

that's around me has pretty

much went ... my father,

family, friends, nobody around

me is doing good. All lost

their jobs? Everybody has lost

their jobs. We met Brandy

Smith Phillips earlier this

year among the thousands in

line for a job at MGM's new

hotel an casino. Today the

project may sink the company.

MGM stock has dropped 95%.

Across town, a $4.8 billion

resort called the Echelon has

been halted as have projects at

Caesar's Palace and the Venetian. Nothing has been

close to as bad as this. The

scene in this city may have

been overconfident. Today, it's

time to pay up.

Now let's look at what's

making head lines around the

region. The business section in the 'Financial Times' reports

on Rio Tinto's plans for a

rights issue if its fundraising

deal with Chinalco falls

through. The 'Wall Street

Journal' previews what's

expected to be a dismal

American earnings season.

That's all for this edition of

'Business Today'. I'm Whitney

Fitzsimmons. Thanks for joining

me. Enjoy your day.

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