Toyota To Withdraw 1.66M Vehicles Worldwide

Oct 29, 2010

Toyota Motor Corp.  faces another recall of its 1.66 million sold vehicles worldwide consisting of Avalons, Lexus, Highlander and other vehicles with three different problems primarily with its master cylinder brake seal.  The company announced no reported accidents from these automotive problems.  These recalled vehicles are in its home, Japan and its major market the United States.

What is happening with Toyota?  This car giant is an epitome of gold standard of reliability and excellence worldwide. But, recent technical problems on their cars have tarnished the image of the company as a major leading car manufacturer.

The Japanese car maker has made previous recalls two months ago with its 1.3 million units of Corolla and Matrix cars from the United States with defective engine control modules that can stall the vehicle.  Since the November 2009 recall, the company has recalled a total of 14 million units globally wherein 11 million have been in the United States.  These problems have given Toyota its worst safety crisis and triggering a stricter inspection guidelines from national safety regulation entities.

In the United States, the current recall will affect 740,000 units of Highlander, Avalon, the Lexus GS300, and IS 250s and 350s models.   A defective brake master cylinder seal might cause fluid leak from the cylinder and result to braking problems.

"We see the recall as a representative of our commitment to our customers. We want to do everything we can to help restore confidence in our brand and with our customers and their vehicles," said Toyota spokesman Bryan Lyons.

Asian Financial Hubs Haven For World Business

Oct 20, 2010

Singapore's financial district
Will top Asian cities emerge from the effects of economic crisis and position as the new global financial centers?  Does Asian economy better than its European and American counterparts?

The Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI) has recently assessed the rising competitiveness of top Asian financial centers that includes Singapore, Hongkong and Shanghai.  The GFCI is an annual competitiveness ranking of the world’s primary financial hubs based on the global financial environments.  According to the index, these cities are raising prominence in the world’s financial centers after New York and London.  These two cities still remain the leading global financial centers.

Hongkong, Singapore and Tokyo hold the third to the fifth spots according to the report. Shanghai gain ground by settling at sixth place.  The report affirmed the influence of these Asian cities in the world’s financial environment.   The cities of Chicago, Zurich, Geneva and Sydney completed the top 10 financial centers in the world.  Major Chinese cities of Beijing, Shenzen and Shanghai are regarded as most reputable financial centers in the list.

The index report was conducted online based on 7,270 assessments by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation from January and June this year.  The study dwelled on the following factors: business environment, people, quality and availability of IT and transportation, and market access.

The GFCI also reported that offshore centers, known as tax havens, have declined in the rankings as it drives for greater transparency.   The Isle of Man declined by eight notches to rank 32; the Cayman Island dropped to 34th spot and the Bahamas to number 64.   According to one financial analyst in New York, the Caymans and the Bahamas which are doing good business at present still have their bad reputation as financial hubs in the world.

With this current trend in the financial environment and the strong economy shown by most Asian countries, New York and London might be dislodged in the future surveys as top financial hubs in world.


UK Braces For Cyber Attacks, Terrorism

Oct 19, 2010

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visits a business and technology consultancy firm on the launching of Cyber Security Strategy launching (AP photo)

Terrorism, cyber attacks and natural catastrophes pose major threats to UK as cited by top national security officials in a recent National Security Strategy.  The report was released prior to a major military review on defense budget that may be slashed off.

The military report cited intelligence reports that the Al-Qaeda and Northern Irish terrorist groups are making some movements for big offensive against the government and upcoming international events.  The Olympic Games, to be hosted by London, in 2010  was cited as an 'attractive target' for terroristic attack.

"Our strategy sets clear priorities - counter-terrorism, cyber attacks, international military crisis, and natural disasters such as floods," the government said in its report entitled "A Strong Britain in an Age Of Uncertainty".  The issues on unconventional threats to national security will be used to justify cuts to the nation's large military hardware spending.

The government is making some fiscal moves to slash its record budget deficit of close to 11 percent of the national output, but will have to maintain Britain a strong military power in Europe.   The report stated that the planned budget slash will strengthen the nation's finances to a more sustainable leverage on its economy. 

Cyber attacks have been a global issue on criminality as a source for financial gain as well as attacks by cyber terrorists on military, utilities, transport, media and other networks to disrupt operations.  The British government is coming up with a "transformative program" on cyber security with a 500-million British pounds in budget.  The program aims to strengthen security ties with emerging global cyber powers such as China and India.