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theSun | FRIDAY FEBRUARY 6 2009 17

business

Updated
IS in
a new
model
pg 18

could trigger a trade war.

briefs
Senators, on a voice vote,
approved an amendment
requiring the Buy American
provisions be “applied in a
manner consistent with US
obligations under international
Exec pay limits for agreements”.
bailout companies The change gives Canada,
WASHINGTON: President Barack Mexico, the European Union
Obama took on bailed-out Wall and certain other major trad-
Street firms on Wednesday, setting ing partners some comfort
a US$500,000 (RM1.8 million) an- they would be exempted
nual cap on pay for top executives from a strict requirement in
at companies receiving taxpayer the bill that all public works
funds and tapping popular anger projects funded by the stimu-
over financial sector excesses. lus package use only US-made
He said more measures would iron, steel and manufactured
be outlined next week to overhaul goods.
the crisis-hit US financial sector, The House of Representa-
which has been propped up with tives has passed a nearly
billions of dollars in public funds. identical Buy America provi-
“This is America, we don’t sion without such a guarantee.
disparage wealth. ... What gets – Reuters
people upset, and rightfully so,
is executives being rewarded for Downturn costs HK
failure. Especially when those tycoons billion$
rewards are subsidised by US
taxpayers,” he said. HONGKONG: Hongkong’s top
The president won support in 40 tycoons lost more than half
Washington, with some Republicans their total wealth over the past
who were critical of the financial 12 months as plummeting stock
sector bailout praising the move. markets savaged investments,
But Wall Street critics said the Forbes magazine said yesterday.
compensation cap was a political The total wealth of the city’s 40
gambit that could prompt a talent richest men, women and families
flight from affected firms. – Reuters plunged from US$179 billion
(RM644.4 billion) to US$82 billion
Senate OKs softened (RM295.2 billion), Forbes said in
an article to mark the start of the
‘Buy American’ plan Chinese Year of the Ox.
WASHINGTON: The US Senate Li Ka-shing, head of conglom-
voted on Wednesday to soften erate Hutchison Whampoa which
a “Buy American” plan in its has interests ranging from ports
US$900 billion (RM3.24 trillion) to mobile phones, saw his wealth
stimulus bill after President drop from US$32 billion (RM115.2
Barack Obama expressed billion) to 16.2 billion (RM58.32
concern the original language billion). – AFP