Political uncertainty in Russia fueling capital flight says NY-based Russian analyst

By Ted Regencia
Written for the Business and Economics Reporting Class
at Columbia Journalism School

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency for the third time is causing political uncertainty among Russia’s business elite, so much so that it is fueling a capital flight, a Russian energy analyst said.

Natasha Udensiva, a visiting Russian scholar at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, said a retreat in direct investments particularly in the energy sector could cost Russia its current position as the number one oil-producing country in the world.

“There is a lot of outflow investment coming from Russia because there is no political stability,” Udensiva said during the forum, “Russian Energy Diplomacy under Putin,” in New York. “There is a lot of doubt how [Putin] will handle the economy.”

Putin was voted back to the presidency in March with over 60 percent of the vote. He is expected to take over the post from President Dmitry Medvedev on May 7.
Continue reading “Political uncertainty in Russia fueling capital flight says NY-based Russian analyst”

Chicago home sales up; but prices at record 10-year low

Text and photo by Ted Regencia
Written for the Business and Economics Reporting Class
at Columbia Journalism School

Around this time a year ago, Kevin Anderson, a broker at Chicago’s largest residential real estate company @properties, was feeling downcast. A historic snowstorm had just hit the Windy City and he had only managed to list or sell two properties. As 2012 enters its second month, Anderson is more upbeat. So far he has four units listed or under contract.

“It is a buyer’s market,” Anderson said. “We have not seen this in decades, so it’s a great time to buy if you can.” Consumer sentiment is also up, he said.

Continue reading “Chicago home sales up; but prices at record 10-year low”

Economists predict weak U.S. jobs numbers for January 2012

Text and photo by Ted Regencia
Written for the Business and Economics Reporting Class
at Columbia Journalism School


Coming off the heels of a busy holiday season that saw a gain of 200,000 U.S. workers in December, economists estimate a sluggish January 2012 job market, with only over 100,000 jobs added and an unemployment rate inching up a tenth of a percent from last month to 8.6.

As the gift-giving period ended, as many as 40,000 couriers and messengers hired late last year were most likely left without work by January, slicing 20 percent from the December figure, according to Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington D.C. Additionally, the construction sector also slowed down due to the weather and the already weak building activity across the country.

“I think we’re probably going to get somewhere in the range of 100,000 to 120, 000 jobs,” Shierholz said referring to the job increase.

Continue reading “Economists predict weak U.S. jobs numbers for January 2012”

After midnight with the fishmongers in the Bronx

Text, photo and audio by Ted Regencia

NEW YORK — It’s been almost six years since the New Fulton Fish Market moved to The Bronx on Nov. 14, 2005 after 180 years of smelling up lower Manhattan. The $86-million, half-mile long facility houses more than 30 wholesale distributors, bringing over a billion dollars in annual revenue. Critics contend it lacks the character of the old market by the Brooklyn Bridge, and its remote location contributes to a recent slump in sales. Others say the city-owned Hunts Point warehouse has modern amenities that keep the produce fresh and in high demand. Most recently, one operator declared bankruptcy leaving the warehouse 15 percent empty. But on a midnight visit not too long ago, the market still pulsates with energy. And with the thick smell of the sea wafting over the vending spots, there’s no mistaking this is the world’s second largest fish market.

Also published in BronxInk.org