Nov 16, 2010

US Presidents: Delighted Leadership plays vital role

Everyone will agree with this comment of time that the United States of America (USA) has been ruling the world unilaterally without facing any bar on implementation of his decision. Here, the decision of American Senate and Congress is a must to be realized in any place of the world. However this uni-power circle can be harmful for all of the world including American people also. 

So, balance in US decision will ensure stability and balance over the world, it is believed by the conscious people no doubt. Chiefly, the decision making depends on empowered political party's commitment of US. Extremism is hatred for all. The theme mainly works as mandate achieving factor in all democratic decisions in all time in America. True picture of election is not altered there.

On this very reality of world politics American Presidents and their policies are very important to the effect of the whole world and it is interesting to be informed about the world ruler for the people thinking for a safe, valuable and sustainable world.

The list of American Presidents includes only those persons who were sworn into office as president following the ratification of the United States Constitution, which took effect on March 4, 1789. The list does not include any Acting Presidents under the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

There have been forty-three people sworn into office and forty-four presidencies, due to the fact that Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms and is counted chronologically as both the twenty-second and the twenty-fourth president. 

Of the 43 elected presidents of US, four died in office of natural causes include William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding and Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

One of the presidents resigned he is Richard Nixon and four were assassinated whose name are Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy. 

The first president was George Washington, who was inaugurated in 1789 after a unanimous Electoral College vote. 

William Henry Harrison spent the shortest time in office at 31 days in 1841. At over twelve years, Franklin D. Roosevelt spent the longest time in office and is the only president to serve more than two terms and died shortly into his fourth term in 1945. 

The current president is Barack Obama who assumed the office on January 20, 2009. He is the first president of African American descent. He is also the first president born outside the Contiguous United States, having been born in Hawaii.

Under the U.S. Constitution, the President of the United States is the head of state and the head of government of the United States. As chief of the executive branch and head of the federal government as a whole, the presidency is the highest political office in the United States by influence and recognition. 

The president is also the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces. The president is indirectly elected to a four-year term by an Electoral College (or by the House of Representatives should the Electoral College fail to award an absolute majority of votes to any person). 

Since the ratification of the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1951, no person may be elected to the office of the president more than twice. Upon death, resignation, or removal from office of an incumbent president, the Vice President assumes the office.

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1797. He was president for the period of April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.

John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States during March 4, 1797–March 4,1801.
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was the third President of the United States  during March 4, 1801– March 4, 1809. He is the principal author of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American politician and political philosopher who served as the fourth President of the United States during the period of March 4, 1809 to March 4, 1817. He is considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was the fifth President of the United States who served  two terms from March 4,1817 to March 4, 1825.

John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was the sixth President of the United States from March 4, 1825 to March 4, 1829. He was also an American diplomat and served in both the Senate and House of Representatives. 

Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States from March 4, 1829 to March 4, 1837. He was the military governor of pre-admission Florida in 1821 and the commander of the American forces at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) was the eighth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1837 to March 4, 1841. Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President (1833–1837) and the 10th Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson (1829–1831).

William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841) was the ninth President of the United States, an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. The oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the United States Declaration of Independence. He served the USA from March 4, 1841 to April 4, 1841.

John Tyler, Jr. (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) was the tenth President of the United States from April 4, 1841 to March 4, 1845. He is the first to succeed to the office following the death of a predecessor.

James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th President of the United States from March 4, 1845 to March 4,1849.
Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass and becoming the first President never to have held any previous elected office. He served from March 4, 1849 to July 9, 1850.

Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874) was the 13th President of the United States, serving from July 9, 1850 until March 4, 1853, and the last member of the Whig Party to hold that office. He became the second Vice President to assume the presidency after the death of a sitting president when he succeeded Zachary Taylor, who died of acute gastroenteritis.

Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804 – October 8, 1869), an American politician and lawyer, was the 14th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1853 to March 4, 1857. To date, he is the only President from New Hampshire.

James Buchanan, Jr. (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868) was the 15th President of the United States from March 4, 1857 to March 4, 1861. He is the last to be born in the 18th century. To date he is the only president from the state of Pennsylvania and the only life long bachelor.

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) served as the 16th President of the United States from March 4, 1861 until his assassination in April 15, 1865. He successfully led the country through its greatest internal crises, the American Civil War, preserved the Union, and ended slavery. Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, he was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives.

Andrew Johnson (December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875) was the 17th President of the United States from April 15, 1865 to March 4, 1869. Following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Johnson presided over the Reconstruction era of the United States in the four years after the American Civil War.

Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877 as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) was the 19th President of the United States from March 4, 1877 to March 4, 1881. He also served as the Governor of Ohio twice, from 1868–1872 and 1876–1877.

James Abram Garfield
(November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881) was the 20th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881 until his death on September 19, 1881, a brief 200 days in office. He had the second shortest presidential tenure after William Henry Harrison. He was also the only incumbent of the U.S. House of Representatives to be elected President.

Chester Alan Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) was an American politician who served as the 21st President of the United States. Arthur was a member of the Republican Party and worked as a lawyer before becoming the 20th Vice President under James Garfield. While Garfield was mortally wounded by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881, he did not die until September 19 of that year, at which time Arthur was sworn in as president, serving until March 4, 1885.

Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms from March 4, 1885 to March 4, 1889 and March 4, 1893 to March 4,1897 and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents.

Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was the 23rd President of the United States, serving one term from  March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1893.

William McKinley, Jr. (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States, and the last veteran of the American Civil War to be elected to that office. He served from March 4, 1897 to September 14, 1901.

 Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) was the 26th President of the United States. He is noted for his energetic personality, range of interests and achievements, leadership of the Progressive Movement, and his "cowboy" image and robust masculinity. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party of 1912. Before becoming President during September 14,1901 March 4,1909 he held offices at the municipal, state, and federal level of government. Roosevelt's achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician.

William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the 27th President of the United States and later the 10th Chief Justice of the United States. He is the only person to have served in both offices. He served from March 4, 1909 to March 4, 1913 as the US President.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was the 28th President of the United States. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. He is the only U.S. President to hold a Ph.D. degree, which he obtained from Johns Hopkins University. He served from
March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921 as the US President.

Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1921 until his death from a heart attack in August 1923. A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential newspaper publisher.

John Calvin Coolidge, Jr., (July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933) was the 30th President of the United States (1923–1929). A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state.
He served from August 2, 1923 to March 4, 1929 as the US President.

Nov 15, 2010

Use of gold in the last 100 years

 Central banks and international institutions have been the major holders of gold for more than 100 years and are expected to retain large stocks in future. They currently account for about 20% of above-ground stocks of gold. 
 The process of rebalancing reserve portfolios to adjust to changing conditions has led to a reduction in the amount of gold held by some central banks recently and this process may continue for some years to come. But the central banks have affirmed that gold will remain an important reserve asset for the foreseeable future and it retains an important role in reserve management. 

Central banks started building up their stocks of gold from the 1880s, during the period of the classical gold standard. Under that system, for countries on the gold standard, the amount of money in circulation was linked to the country's gold stock, and paper money was convertible into gold at a fixed price. 
The development of banking and credit meant that the amount of money in circulation was greater than the gold stock itself, but everybody had sufficient confidence in convertibility that there was no danger of this option actually being exercised. That at least was the case during the height of the gold standard for the UK, the then dominant economic, political and financial power. As other countries decided to join the gold standard, they also started to accumulate gold so as to be able to maintain convertibility at a fixed price.
The Bank of England, as the central bank at the centre of the system, commanded such universal confidence that it actually needed very little gold. In 1870, its reserves were 161 tonnes and by 1913 this had risen to a still moderate figure of 248 tonnes.
Percentage of gold holding in total reserve held by the Central Banks of top 12 countries in 2010 

Some other countries had by then accumulated much larger stocks: the United States had 2,293 tonnes, Russia 1,233 tonnes, France 1,030 tonnes, Argentina 440 tonnes, Germany 439 tonnes, Austria 378 tonnes and Italy 356 tonnes. Even Australia had more than the UK, at 310 tonnes. The world's total of official gold reserves is estimated to have been about 8,100 tonnes in 1913, compared with only 700 tonnes in 1870.

The period of economic nationalism between the two world wars saw a rapid concentration of gold in official hands - up to that point, most gold had always been held privately, circulating as currency among citizens and across borders in commercial trade transactions.
Gold, which had been the foundation of the first genuinely international monetary system during the period before World War 1, came to be used as a weapon in economic competition and national rivalries.

In 1933-34, the United States under President Roosevelt devalued the dollar in terms of gold, raising the price from $20.67 an ounce to $35.00 an ounce. This new higher price caused holders of gold around the world to sell their holdings to the United States. US official holdings rose from 6,000 tonnes in 1925 to 18,000 tonnes at the end of World War II, when it had about 60%of all the official stocks of gold.
At their peak in the 1960s, official gold stocks reached about 38,000 tonnes and probably accounted for about 50% - or perhaps slightly more - of all above ground stocks. 
Central banks kept gold because, through the fixed official dollar price of gold, and dollar convertibility, it was still the foundation of the international monetary system. Although there was no direct link between gold holdings and national money supplies (as there had been under the classic gold standard), gold was still the primary "reserve asset". Central banks could convert dollar balances into gold at the official price. 
So gold provided the "anchor" to which all currencies of member countries were linked, directly or indirectly. But gradually, as central banks created more money than was consistent with stable prices, and after several years of moderate but persistent inflation, the fixed official gold price again became unrealistic, and the United States, as the pivot of the system, was faced with the choice of deflating, devaluing or abandoning the system. In August 1971, it abandoned the system, with President Nixon "closing the gold window".

The previous twenty years had already seen a big shift in the ownership of official gold holdings. The post-war recovery of Europe and undervalued exchange rates generated large payments surpluses for Germany, France and other European countries and widening deficits for the United States - deficits that were financed partly by transferring gold. Thus US holdings fell from about 20,000 tonnes in 1950 to 9,000 tonnes in 1971. When in that year President Nixon suspended the convertibility of dollar balances into gold, the world entered the present floating exchange rate regime, where gold's role is confined to that of being one reserve asset, rather than the centre of the system. 
This cleared the way for the dollar to establish itself at the centre of the system and a large part of the world moved in effect onto a dollar standard. Indeed, under US pressure in 1978 the articles of the IMF were altered so as to forbid countries to peg their currencies to gold (a kind of anti-gold standard).

In the 1980s and 1990s central banks began re-appraising the role of gold in their external reserves. The movement to central bank independence and the more commercial attitude of their reserve managers led some of them to put more emphasis on the current yield on their reserve portfolios. In this environment, gold, as an asset that earns no interest - apart from a small return available from lending gold for those central banks willing to engage in the lending market - began to look vulnerable. Some central banks decided to reduce their gold holdings, and the total of official stocks declined by about 10% between 1980 and 1999. 
In September 1999, a group of European central banks agreed, in the first Central Bank Gold Agreement CBGA 1, to limit disposals to 400 tonnes a year for five years, and also set a ceiling on the volume of gold lent to the market. They also reaffirmed their confidence in the future of gold as a reserve asset. The agreement reassured the market about the intentions of central banks, since the signatories included those that had been seen as the most likely major sellers, and the price, which had reached a low of $252 an ounce in July 1999, stabilised. CBGA 1 proved very successful and was renewed CBGA 2 for a further five year term in 2004.

APEC leaders pledges for free trade area at Yokohama summit

Leaders of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Co-operation (APEC) forum have pledged to establish  a regional free-trade area.

The agreement was announced on Sunday at the end of a two-day summit held in Yokohama of Japan.

The initiative would link the world's three biggest economies - the United States, Japan and China.

However, deep differences remain - chiefly between the US and China - over trade imbalances and currency distortions.

The USA aims to increase their exports to the region and considers China's cheap currency is a barrier to that goal.

Chinese President Hu Jintao has said any change will only be made at Beijing's own pace.

In their final declaration, APEC leaders reaffirmed their "unwavering commitment to achieving free and open trade and investment in the region".

They also pledged to take "concrete steps toward realising a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific", but gave no timetable.

The declaration - entitled Yokohama Vision - also rejected any fresh barriers to trade and investment.

"We commit to take steps to roll back trade distorting measures introduced during the (financial) crisis."

The document included a commitment to move toward more "market-determined exchange rate systems".

However, no major specific attempts were set forward on how these targets will be achieved.

Observers think that the APEC meeting may help to cool down the hot retaliations what happened between Japan and China earlier.

Relations have been tense since early September, when a Chinese trawler and Japanese patrol ships collided near disputed islands in the East China Sea.

President Hu held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the sidelines of the summit - their first formal meeting since the row.

"I recognise that ties between Japan and China have taken a big step towards improvement," Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama told reporters.

Tokyo's ties with Russia have also been coming under strain recently, after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited one of four islands in the Pacific claimed by both countries.

The dispute was discussed by Mr Medvedev and Mr Kan, also on the sidelines of the meeting.

Mr Kan said the Russian president's visit had inflamed the feelings of the Japanese people, and the two nations must build mutual trust.

Speaking afterwards, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that his country's position was unchanged - and that Mr Medvedev would "decide for himself which region of Russia to visit".