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The Media Future

Here is a short video of what 2014 will look like, as made in 2003

Read more at epic.makingithappen.co....

Flying South - Newsweek: International Editions - MSNBC.com

Looks like the next batch of billionaires is coming from the 3rd world

Read more at msnbc.msn.com/id/105100...

WHY is NO ONE talking about Mexico??

Mexico's effervescent financial markets, which are growing three times faster than the rest of the economy, have been among the strongest performing in the world. The benchmark IPC stock exchange index is on course for growth of more than 40 per cent for the third year running, while bond markets are booming as foreign investors comb the globe for higher yields. Also, a decade after the banking system collapsed in the wake of the Tequila crisis, lending is rapidly gathering pace.

This deepening of Mexico's capital markets has been taken advantage of by the government to rid itself of the "original sin" of being overburdened with foreign debt, warned against by economists in the 1990s. "There is redemption!" jokes Guillermo Ortiz, governor of the Bank of Mexico.

With domestic debt now far outweighing external debt, and no danger of a crisis sparked by the elections, the narrowing differential between domestic and US interest rates is more likely to impact Mexico's markets. As interest rates continue their downward path begun in September and US rates keep rising, the almost 7 percentage point differential reached in May this year is expected to fall to 3 points by May 2006.

Nevertheless, corporate bond issuance has continued to flourish after little activity following the financial crisis of 1994-95. The $683m issued in 1999 compared with $11.4bn in 2004. Mortgage companies, retailers, and micro-financiers have been tapping into the markets like never before, and banks are introducing new instruments. The growth of asset- and mortgage-backed securities, which account for about a quarter of total issuance this year, is opening access to those who did not have it before.

Regulatory problems have restricted the broadening of the equities market, although a new capital markets law could help solve some of these issues such as the strengthening of minority shareholder rights. The law could also stimulate increased involvement of the vast number of medium-sized family-owned businesses in Mexico, which have traditionally preferred to finance themselves through uncomplicated bank loans because of the costly, time-consuming and complicated rules that capital market issues involve. A market for high-yield Mexican bonds also needs to be developed, as most low-grade issuers are forced to seek financing abroad.

"It's a very large market that hasn't been exploited yet - the potential for growth there is huge," says Jaime Guardiola, who heads BBVA Bancomer. After many banks went bust in 1995, bank participation in the mortgage market has suddenly taken off, and it is expected to be one of their key areas of growth in coming years.

The Real Estate Journal..

Has some great links to try out... Index of popular areas of US Real Estate speculation.

Whats wrong with Mexico?

Sales by oil exporters — countries like Russia, Norway, and Mexico as well as members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) — will be about US$700 billion dollar this year. The International Monetary Fund projects their collective current-account surplus at about US$400 million.

Despite record revenues, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the national oil and gas monopoly, is teetering on bankruptcy, its debts equal to its assets, according to General Director Luis Ramíirez. Exploration is being cut back although proven reserves are shrinking at an alarming rate. Mexico might be an oil importer within a decade. There is neither money nor technology to probe the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where geologists believe another huge oilfield awaits them.

First in line is government. Far from funding special projects to move the country forward, Pemex provides about one-third of general revenues — money the government uses just to operate. That's like spending one's inheritance on groceries.

Pemex has always been a secretive organization, replete with slush funds and offshore companies that few people know about. There is minimal accountability to monitor the comings and goings of its billions of dollars.

Meaningful tax reform would reduce the temptation for politicians to deny Pemex a chance for a decent return. Labor reform would allow workers to choose leaders with their interests in mind, instead of those of a political party.

A robust anti-corruption program combined with equally robust audits of the company's every nook and cranny would help Pemex earn and keep money from every barrel of oil produced.

A merit-based system for appointing senior management would provide new opportunities for increasing efficiency.

Perhaps the highest hurdle of all is a more pragmatic approach to nationalism. Mexico doesn't have to give up control over its petroleum resources to allow outside capital and expertise to help it find and develop reserves. It might require some hard bargaining, but before it can bargain it needs parliamentary consensus.

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