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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 11:42:14 AM EST
BBC News - Greek socialist leader Venizelos warns of 'mass poverty'

The leader of Greece's Pasok party Evangelos Venizelos has said Greece faces a choice between austerity and "mass poverty" in elections on Sunday.

"On Sunday, our people's fate is at stake," Mr Venizelos told the closing rally of his campaign in Athens.

The leader of the centre-right New Democracy party, Antonis Samaras, said the Left was "playing games with the country's European future".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:16:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Will people have the sense/guts to vote for a 3rd party?
Let's watch.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 05:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but what sort of 3rd party. IMO The Golden Dawn are worse than austerity

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 04:01:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Local - Fillon to review chess prodigy deportation

Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Friday he would review the case of a Bangladeshi boy who is France's under-12 chess champion and is threatened with expulsion because he lives here illegally.

"Naturally this young man, if he is a chess champion, merits that his case be examined with the greatest attention," Fillon told France Inter radio when asked about the status of 11-year-old Fahim Alam.

Alam arrived illegally in France in October 2008 with his father and in 2010 was issued with an order to leave the country. 

He was sheltered for a time by an immigrant help group and currently lodges with families from his chess club in the Paris suburb of Creteil.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:20:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Institutional Affairs / Barroso ignores outcry on China press gag

BRUSSELS - The European Commission has defended its decision not to hold a press conference after Chinese vice premier Li Keqiang's meeting with commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels this week.

"The EU institutions allow Russian and Chinese authorities to dictate who may and who may not be allowed to attend press conferences or whether a press conference will be held at all," Ann Cahill, the vice-president of the International Press Association (API) in Brussels, said at the commission's regular press briefing on Thursday (3 May).

"I would like to protest at this behavior and formally request President Barroso to hold a press briefing after his meeting with his Chinese visitors," she added, prompting a round of applause from international correspondents in the EU headquarters.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:22:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thierry de Montbrial: Putin may not finish his mandate | EurActiv

The big mistake was his deal with Medvedev, to say "OK now we switch." I think this in fact discredited him and Medvedev, who is in fact probably much more discredited than he is.

To go to the conclusion, first I think that when he decided to modify the constitution, to have a six-year term renewable once, he probably had in mind to be president for the next years up to 2024.

My first conclusion is that it is extremely unlikely that he will do a second term and it might even be quite difficult for him to end the first term. Because the next six years will I think see a continuation of huge social changes in Russia. Especially if Russia is developing well economically.

That will be continuation of the same paradox. In other words, my perception is that the great paradoxical consequence of the successes achieved in the previous decade is that Russia is now entering a new phase which is totally unprecedented in Russian history.

That is a gradual move towards more democracy in the Western sense. That would be gradual of course. I think from a historical viewpoint it would be recognised that to a large extent it is thanks to Putin.

But paradoxically again the consequence will be that Putin will certainly not stay as president for twelve years. Maybe six, maybe less.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:26:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Devastated textile town offers lessons for Serbia | Reuters

(Reuters) - The Zele Velkovic factory in Leskovac, once famous for its thriving textile industry, was one of the city's biggest when Yugoslavia started to implode in 1991.

The next two decades brought a slow decline fueled by chronic mismanagement and a dramatic loss of competitiveness. Where more than 600 worked, now just 70 walk the factory's cavernous halls, the deafening hammering of its old industrial looms barely disguising the emptiness.

Across the street, however, a factory hums and buzzes with the sound of modern machinery, looking like a sleek and shiny spaceship parked in a scrapyard.

Germany's Falke clothing producer is one of a handful of new arrivals to Leskovac, local proof of the recent textile revival around parts of Europe as some manufacturing is relocated from increasingly costly Asia.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:44:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austerity has brought Europe to the brink again | Lawrence Summers

Once again European efforts to contain crisis have fallen short. It was perhaps reasonable to hope that the European Central Bank's commitment to provide nearly a trillion dollars in cheap three-year funding to banks would, if not resolve the crisis, contain it for a significant interval. Unfortunately, this has proved little more than a palliative. Weak banks, especially in Spain, have bought more of the debt of their weak sovereigns, while foreigners have sold down their holdings. Markets, seeing banks holding the dubious debt of the sovereigns that stand behind them, grow ever nervous. Again, Europe and the global economy approach the brink.

The architects of current policy and their allies argue that there is insufficient determination to carry on with the existing strategy. Others argue that failure suggests the need for a change in course. The latter view seems to be taking hold among the European electorate.

This is appropriate. Much of what is being urged on and in Europe is likely to be not just ineffective but counterproductive to maintaining the monetary union, restoring normal financial conditions and government access to markets, and re-establishing economic growth.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:47:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe must balance austerity with growth: EU's Rehn | Reuters

(Reuters) - Europe needs to balance cutting its debt with measures to stimulate growth, the region's top economics official said on Saturday, as austerity threatens to drag the bloc into its second recession in three years.

During the financial crisis, the message from Brussels has been that struggling euro zone countries must cut their budget deficits and carry out structural reforms to increase competitiveness.

However, with unemployment at record highs and some peripheral countries already deep in recession, Europe must turn its attention to ways to stimulate economic growth to lessen the blow of austerity measures, Olli Rehn, Europe's commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, said.

"Fiscal consolidation, while necessary (needs to be) done in a growth-friendly and differentiated way, in order to strike a balance between necessary fiscal consolidation and concerns for growth," he said in a speech at the Free University of Brussels.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 02:44:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Growth is just another word for bankster profits. What we really need are jobs and investment, things which prevent "growth".

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 05:33:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 11:42:43 AM EST
Czech Austerity Splits Central Bankers With Rate-Cut Demand - Bloomberg

The Czech government's austerity drive is raising the prospect of policy makers lowering borrowing costs for the first time in two years as the economy struggles to emerge from a recession.

The Ceska Narodni Banka left the benchmark two-week repurchase rate at a record-low 0.75 percent yesterday, having left it steady since a cut in May 2010. Four rate setters voted for no change, two sought a decrease to 0.5 percent and one wanted an increase to 1 percent, Governor Miroslav Singer told reporters in Prague after the decision yesterday.

"Support for more easing was the real surprise," Roderick Ngotho, an economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London, said in an e-mail. "A combination of high inflation and disappointing economic data led to the unprecedented split among policy makers in their latest meeting."

Austerity measures aimed at stemming Europe's debt crisis have pushed economies from the Netherlands to the Czech Republic back into recession. Policy makers in Prague signaled potential monetary easing as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi yesterday left open the option for further stimulus if the euro area's economy continues to deteriorate.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:41:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Banks May Have to Disclose Profits From ECB Emergency Loans - Bloomberg

Banks may have to disclose profits from carry trades derived from 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) in European Central Bank loans and exclude the money from bonus pools, under draft proposals from European Union lawmakers.

Profit from carry trades, where investors borrow money at a low interest rate to buy higher yielding securities, "should not count toward computation of remuneration and bonus pools" at banks, under plans being weighed by European Union lawmakers, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News. The measure is one of dozens of proposed amendments to legislation to implement global capital and liquidity rules for EU lenders.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:41:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Michael Hudson: Geithner Turfed Out by EU Bankers (April 13, 2012)
Yes - the scribes, who were the intellectuals (the people who wrote cuneiform in Sumer) wrote textbooks and we have the textbooks that they taught. What I'm amazed to find out is that the textbooks and the economic models that were taught in 2000BC are superior to any of the models - the mathematics - that win Nobel prizes today. The Sumerians were very clear on what the mathematics were, and they are easy enough that any high-school student can understand them. The Sumerians said "How long does it take one mina to double at the rate of 20% per year?" - and the answer is 5 years. Now no economy can grow that fast, and in fact the Sumerians and Babylonians also had mathematical models for how fast herds grow and other activities grow, and these are S-curves. So the real economy grows in an S curve, but exponential compound interest keeps on growing until the debts exceed the amount that can be paid. This became very clear to the Sumerians and, realizing this, when a new Sumerian, Babylonian or other near-Eastern ruler would celebrate the first year on the throne, they would cancel all of the consumer debts so that they could begin with a clean slate. They would liberate the bond-servants who had been pledged for debts and they would return the land, or the crop rights, to the families that had forfeited them to foreclosing creditors. The whole economy could start with everybody able to support themselves. Having land was a condition for being able to fight in the army and defend the country against other city states that were trying to invade it, so the idea of a clean slate was for military reasons as well for social justice and plain economic logic.

...

About a hundred years ago, the financial sector joined with the landlords in being the major donors to the business schools and also the major donors to the political campaigns, and they sponsored economics departments and the mass media to tell people that all of the debts could be paid and that economies automatically settled down to equilibrium, and as the Chicago school of monetarists said, debts do not really matter because we owe it all to ourselves.

Well, when someone says that an economy owes all the debts to itself, what they really mean is that 99% of the population owe the debts to 1% of the population. The financial sector has turned what used to be classical political economy into what really is junk economics, in which the real economic problems that we have today cannot exist in principle. Reality cannot exist according to the textbooks!

Instead what they teach students is a kind of happy-faced science fiction story, where everybody can pay the debts and everybody earns whatever they get. Classical economics was all based, for 800 years, on the principle that there is such a thing as unearned income - land rents, interest and monopoly rents all were not earned; they were the result of privilege. But the reaction against classical economics said "Everybody earns exactly what get." So the national income accounts and product accounts that the governments publish all say that whatever the financial sector earns is providing a service of collecting the debt. Landlords provide a service by providing the land (that nature already provided, but somehow they interjected themselves right in between). One no longer hears words like rentier, or unearned income or unearned increment. And yet this is what 19th-century classical economics is all about, from the physiocrats to Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill.



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 05:06:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you think this is true

The way this plays out between America and Greece is that apparently, a few months ago, Europe had told Greece that Greece would have to write down the debts to about 25 cents on the dollar. The US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, went over to Europe and said that our US banks believed that Europe would bail out Greece and lend it the money to pay, so they have all made counter-parties to bet that Greece is going to pay 100 cents on the dollar. And your banks in Greece and France and Germany have all taken out insurance - they have bet that the price will go down, so if Greece defaults, we Americans are going to have to pay maybe $50 billion on losing bets. We would like you to please do what Europeans are supposed to do - will you commit financial suicide and will your leaders support the US banks against your own banks so that we will not lose money?

Not very similar to
http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/19/markets/greece-cds-payouts/index.htm

And the idea that the German government wanted Greek bonds to collapse is a rather surprising one - at least to me.

by rootless2 on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 05:45:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by rootless2 on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 05:52:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's quite possible that mostly US banks had sold oodles of CDS on Greek bonds to mostly EU bondholders.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 05:55:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's possible - although the businessweek article says that the net exposure was small - which may or may not mean anything.

In the event, despite all predictions, ISDA ruled that there was a default, but payouts were small.

The part i find most unlikely in that account is the claim that Germany wanted German banks to take the haircut. But I have to confess that German policy is a mystery to me.

by rootless2 on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 06:05:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The claim is that German banks had insurance against their losses - i.e., they had bought CDS - not that their government wanted them to take losses.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 04:37:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that claim ignores netting out.
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 08:51:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If A owes B who owes C who owes A, then you can't be sure that you can net out the obligations once the balloon goes up. A, B and C are going to have other creditors, who will object to B, C and A, respectively, getting preferential treatment.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 09:45:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The total payout was about 2.5 billion. See here. It appears the "recovery rate" was assessed at just over 20% and there was just over $3bn outstanding (down from 10bn three years ago).

I mean, the whole of Greece's debt was of the order of $50bn - it was the insanity of EU policymakers that turned it into a multi-trillion existential crisis for the Euro.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 04:45:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Net exposure is a nonsense figure when you're talking about credit risk rather than market risk.

You can have net exposure to price movements in grain by netting out your long and short. You cannot have net exposure to default events by netting out your long and short when they have different counterparties. It's a nonsense. Generally accepted accounting practise, but a nonsense no less for that.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 04:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a nonsense. Generally accepted accounting practise, but a nonsense no less for that.
If you want to see how far the rabbit hole goes...

FT Alphaville: [Greece CDS] Net notional outstanding is NOT $3.2bn (by Lisa Pollack on March 16, 2012)

The actual amount of net notional that settles in the Greece CDS auction on Monday isn't going to be $3.2bn.

That $3.2bn has been the amount that's been reported far and wide -- including by us on several occasions -- and it isn't correct, and we want to own up.

I have to admit I don't get it.
While we kinda have the opinion that the whole decade-ish-long existence of CDS, has been a net negative, we don't think that Greece CDS paying out is going to have some huge systemic impact.
Huge understatement there.
We just don't know.

What is for sure, though, is that the number involved on Monday isn't $3.2bn of net notional.

Sorry about that. We're kind of embarrassed that we didn't think of it earlier...

Talk about an inconclusive post... Then three days later she blogs... Preliminary Auction Results
The auction is for $3.2bn of CDS plus or minus a few hundreds of millions here or there, due to the additional single-name CDS trades that rolled out of the Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe indices on Tuesday and potentially not all of the contracts triggering.
and then a day later... Just to be pedantic: $3.1bn net
The maximum amount that could have potentially settled in the Greece CDS credit event auction on Monday, as DTCC repository data that has just been released shows, was $3.1bn -- not $3.2bn, as was widely reported.

This means that the maximum potential payout to credit default swap protection buyers, given that the final price in the auction was 21.5, was $2.4bn -- not $2.5bn, as was widely reported.

Here's the exact data from DTCC ...



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 05:30:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on the details of how the hedging was done doesn't it.

Since the ground principle of the ECB through the crisis has been "Bondholders get every penny", I'm dubious.

by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 08:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on the details of how the hedging was done doesn't it.

Not unless you're hedging with politically credible sovereign guarantees (from a sovereign that is actually sovereign).

If I lend you a million bucks and hedge it with a derivative I buy from Migeru, then I haven't hedged my credit risk. I've just moved it from you to Migeru. If I buy a put option and buy underlying on margin, then short a call option, I haven't hedged the risk that the dude who sold me the put option won't actually be able to pony up the money to cover my margin when the put goes in money. Even though I'm "fully hedged."

Since the ground principle of the ECB through the crisis has been "Bondholders get every penny", I'm dubious.

Hardly. The ECB has been using the crisis for shallow partisan ends throughout. One of those shallow partisan ends has been bailing out French and German bondholders at the expense of Greek and Spanish pensioners. This should not be confused with broader class solidarity with American bondholders (although that is certainly possible as well).

Besides, the ECBuBa isn't the only player here. Merkel has been playing a lot of the music for the game of musical bailout chairs.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 09:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A large part of the derivatives trade appears to be akin to the method used during the telecom bubble when A would sell bandwidth to B and then buy the same quantity back so both companies could report higher revenue growth.

If JP Morgan sells protection to DB and DB sells to JP Morgan, then neither is taking any risk at all.  If JP Morgan sells protection to DB and DB sells to SG and SG sells to Morgan probably not a lot of risk to JPM. If JPM sells protection to DB and then buys protection from SG and buys protection against SG failing from DB ... ?

Similarly, we have no idea about what collateral is involved.

by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 10:49:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or how many times it has been pledged. Joy.

If your impression is correct, then the "true" figure is substantially below the gross, but it could well still be substantially in excess of the net. And it will be well-neigh unknowable, since these things are traded off-exchange in considerable volume.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 11:55:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have friends who do credit risk analysis for banks. To me it all seems like linear interpolation plus mumbo-jumbo. How do you analyze a position that involves tens of thousands of transactions against mostly a few hundred parties (or fewer) with wildly varying terms and underlying assets?
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 12:04:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems probable. The German reaction to this crisis, from day one, has been to play musical chairs with the bill for bailing out their overexposed and inadequately supervised banks. Soaking Greece's creditors just in time for them to cash in on CDS contracts with US banks is a way to send (parts of) the hot potato in Timmy Geithner's direction, since he then has the unenviable choice between footing the bill for German insanity or telling everybody who bought CDS from an American bank to go whistle for their money.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 04:55:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding Geithner, Michael Hudson says this:
Listen to the interview recorded March 7th.

...

MH: Shorting is when you promise to deliver a stock or a security or a bond at a given price. For instance, you can say "I will sell you a Greek bond that is 50 cents on the dollar." That means that if the price of Greek bonds plunges and they default, you can buy them at 25 cents on the dollar and sell them at 50 cents on the dollar and make a mark-up. The way this plays out between America and Greece is that apparently, a few months ago, Europe had told Greece that Greece would have to write down the debts to about 25 cents on the dollar. The US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, went over to Europe and said that our US banks believed that Europe would bail out Greece and lend it the money to pay, so they have all made counter-parties to bet that Greece is going to pay 100 cents on the dollar. And your banks in Greece and France and Germany have all taken out insurance - they have bet that the price will go down, so if Greece defaults, we Americans are going to have to pay maybe $50 billion on losing bets. We would like you to please do what Europeans are supposed to do - will you commit financial suicide and will your leaders support the US banks against your own banks so that we will not lose money? Otherwise we will make sure that you do not win elections because we will pour American money into your opponents and we will put in a puppet government that does whatever we want. So it is your money or your life - you had better do what America tells you to do and bail out Greece. Well, I was told by German bankers that they told them, "Get the hell out of here!" And the result is that Greece is probably going to default in two days. So Mr Geithner said, "Look, if we go under, I'm going to make sure that we are really going to do everything we can to hurt you, but I'll give you the money - we at the Federal Reserve will just print tens of billions of dollars and we will give you the money to bail out Greece at US taxpayers' expense so that our main campaign contributors, the Wall Street banks, will not lose money." So in other words you have the Obama administration and the Secretary of the Treasury, loading down the American taxpayers with debt in order for yet another give-away for the banks that have made really bad judgments, and they are trying to make Europe lose too. Today in America, the stock markets fell 200 points on the Dow Jones Average because they realized that the game is up and this rip-off is going to stop, and the Obama administration has just shamefully tried to double-cross the electorate to Wall Street, its campaign backers, yet again.

So Hudson is referring to that March 2012 default event which within 2 weeks triggered an auction as described downthread. He's also referring to Geithner "a few months prior". Maybe this explains what happened in Wroclaw in September 2011?
I really don't understand what happened in Wroclaw.

Was Geithner invited, or did he crash the party?

If he was invited, why was he snubbed?

If he wasn't invited, why wasn't he told to stay away? And what did he expect to accomplish?

Also, might this explain why in April 2012, Geithner to EU: no IMF money for you, bitches?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 05:49:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of speculation in that, along with a heaping helping of conspiracy mongering over the ECB/Fed euro/dollar swaps.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 05:56:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's not talking about the liquidity swaps in that excerpt, do you mean elsewhere in the interview?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 02:42:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So Mr Geithner said, "Look, if we go under, I'm going to make sure that we are really going to do everything we can to hurt you, but I'll give you the money - we at the Federal Reserve will just print tens of billions of dollars and we will give you the money to bail out Greece at US taxpayers' expense so that our main campaign contributors, the Wall Street banks, will not lose money."

Bold mine.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 02:46:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But that account were true, Geithner would not know who is contributing to the Obama campaign.
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 02:47:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to clarify, my contention is that the bit I quoted is not credible, for a lot of reasons. The one you point out isn't one I would have thought of, but I won't object to adding it to the stack.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 03:29:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed, but this is an example of using a previous non-fact to buttress a new non-fact. Once you have established, against the evidence, that the Obama administration is funded by bank contributions, the claim that Geithner came to europe to demand Germany bail out American banks becomes more plausible to an audience that has already swallowed the first bit.
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 04:12:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 02:48:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That article makes Hudson appear to be totally unreliable as a source of information
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 10:50:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. What are your reliable sources of information about these shenanigans? Hudson claims (my emphasis):
KF: Why is this going to happen in two days? I would have thought it might have happened closer to the end of the financial year for the banking sector to perhaps write off some of these losses.

MH: Because in two days, Greece sends out a tender asking all the banks that hold its bonds to save the American gamblers from losing by saying "Will you voluntarily write down the debts by 75%? Will you lose three-quarters of your money voluntarily so that the American banks won't get angry and come over and shoot us?" That was the word used by the German bankers, that Americans will shoot them. They are afraid for their life - that is the real war going on and it frightens them. So the Greeks said, "Look, if you don't voluntarily write down the bonds that we cannot pay to 25 cents on the dollar, we are going to announce that we are in default." That happens on Thursday, and if that is in default, then all of the American casinos that have guaranteed against default are going to have to pay the German banks, the French banks, the Greek banks and the other European banks 100 cents on the dollar because that is what these banks have paid for - that is what a derivative and an insurance policy, or a credit default swap is, it is a guarantee. Like most American and British insurance companies, Wall Street does not want to pay. We have had pretty much a criminalization of the financial markets here in the United States, and actually, there has been a Nobel prize given to Akerlof for describing the financial sector as a criminalized sector, and that was an economics prize. So it is pretty much recognized in academia that Wall Street is corrupt, but this is not played up so much in the newspapers.

KF: So you have recently been in Germany and Italy and you had some private meetings with bankers - you are always called in as an adviser - is that where you found out this information on Geithner?

MH: Yes, from Frankfurt.

We can deem this an outlandish claim by Hudson or a credible claim by him that the German bankers are paranoid. You prefer to believe that Hudson is unreliable and the German bankers are not paranoid. I honestly don't know either way. But we honestly don't have a clue what Geithner came to do in Wroclaw.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 02:35:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because we have credible news account that Geithner's message was to stop killing the EU economy with austerity. That's been the US message to the EU for some time -not a message that has been well received but one that is consistent with the public statements and actions of the Obama administration. And there is no reason to believe the ECB or Germany is interested in bailing out US banks at the expense of their precious banks that they have driven most of the EU into recession to protect.

So it's a very unlikely message that, suspiciously, fits Hudson and Blacks hysterical line too well.

by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 02:46:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Millions Left Behind in Boom - The High Cost of Germany's Economic Success - Spiegel Online
Countries around the world envy Germany's economic success and look up to it as a role model. But a closer look reveals a much bleaker picture. Only a few are benefiting from the boom, while stagnant wages and precarious employment conditions are making it difficult for millions to make ends meet.

The majority of workers feel very little of what the Economist has dubbed "Germany's economic miracle." For decades, they have had to settle for falling or stagnating real wages, and wages and salaries have been declining for many years as a share of aggregate national income. "In no other European country has social inequality grown as strongly as in Germany," says Gerhard Bosche, ...

by epochepoque on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 09:38:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was hoping someone would post this long article, almost surprising that it comes from The Spiggle. Haven't had a chance to go through it all yet, but it almost seems to sum up ET discussions of the German labor force over the past two decades.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 05:19:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 11:43:00 AM EST
Chaotic start to arraignment of 9/11 suspects at Guantanamo | Reuters

(Reuters) - The arraignment of five Guantanamo prisoners accused of plotting the September 11 attacks got off to a rocky start on Saturday when the defendants removed their earphones and refused to listen to a translation of the judge's questions.

Star defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the September 11 hijacked plane attacks, refused to respond to the judge's questions about whether he was satisfied with his U.S. military and civilian lawyers.

"I believe Mr. Mohammed will decline to address the court. I believe he's deeply concerned about the fairness of the proceeding," said his civilian lawyer, David Nevin.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:44:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pathetic, they've tortured these guys for a decade and now pretend they can institute a legal process that involves anything recognisable as jutice within the Constitution.

And if it's outside the Constitution, then the description of America as a "Nation of Laws" goes up in smoke. And that, folks, is what I've been saying for the past 4 years

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 05:42:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Palestinian hunger strikers in prison clinic - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Ten Palestinian prisoners participating in a mass hunger strike in Israeli jails have been placed under medical supervision as their conditions worsen, officials said.

A spokeswoman for Israel's prison service said on Saturday that the 10 were transferred to a prison clinic for medical supervision.

But Sivan Weizeman, the spokeswoman, did not say when they were transferred or what medical treatment they were currently receiving.

Sahar Francis of Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner rights group, said the men were moved at different times last week.

She said the men under medical supervision were those who had been on hunger strike the longest.

The men are among hundreds of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike to demand better conditions and an end to detention without trial in one of the biggest prison protests in years.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:51:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deadly blasts target two Syrian cities - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Explosions have struck two cities in Syria, killing several people a day after a spokesman for Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy, said the UN peace plan for Syria remained on track.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that five people were killed on Saturday in a blast in the Tala Azaziya neighbourhood of Aleppo apparently targeting a car wash.

A Free Syrian Army member told Reuters that the opposition group had targeted the car wash because it was used by members of pro-government armed gangs and said he had seen seven bodies at the scene.

Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught, reporting from Mardin in Turkey, said: "The attack on the car wash, according to Free Syrian Army sources, was a revenge attack because it was a car wash used by Shabiha, a paramilitary militia that the government deploys.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:51:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Create chaos, cling to power? - Inside Story - Al Jazeera English
Why would Egypt's military hand over power? It says it will, but it has made itself and those at the top unbelievably wealthy.

At the end of last year, the country's Central Bank needed money - "have this" said the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and handed over $1bn.

All of the top men in SCAF are said to be millionaires. They pay no taxes. And the military controls between 20 and 40 per cent of the Egyptian economy. But there is no guarantee that that would stay the same when there is a new president and a new constitution.

After the deadly street fighting of the last week, Egypt's generals are being accused of actually encouraging the violence. The allegation is that by creating chaos they aim to be able to cling to some form of power.

Soldiers were accused of standing to one side during the attacks and not intervening until after people had been killed.

The military council warned protesters on Thursday that deadly force would be used against them if they approached the ministry of defence.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:53:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Calls Mount for Stronger U.S. Stance as Bahrain Resists Reform - IPS ipsnews.net
WASHINGTON, May 4, 2012 (IPS) - Citing growing violence and polarisation along sectarian lines, human rights groups and independent experts here are urging Washington to exert more pressure on the government of Bahrain to free political prisoners and launch a serious dialogue with its opposition on major democratic reforms.

While the administration of President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on the al-Khalifa monarchy to follow through on recommendations made by an international commission last November, it has been reluctant to take stronger steps for fear of alienating Saudi Arabia, Bahrain's much larger neighbour, according to analysts here.

The Pentagon also does not want to jeopardise its use of the island as the headquarters for its Fifth Fleet, particularly given its strategic location directly across the Gulf from Iran.

The administration "should be telling the Bahraini government that time is short, and, if they don't act, there will be an escalation on the U.S. side," said Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), who was briefly detained by police at a demonstration during a visit to the Gulf kingdom last month.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:54:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 11:43:24 AM EST
Big Oil dominates political attacks on Obama | Grist

Here's an astonishing statistic, brought to us by Bloomberg:

In April, 16,991 negative ads aired in various parts of the country and 13,748 of them -- or 81 percent -- focused on energy, according to data provided by New York-based Kantar Media's CMAG, which tracks advertising.

Energy? Really?

The details of the story make clear that the vast bulk of these negative energy ads are attack ads directed at Obama, purchased by big PACs -- Americans for Prosperity, American Energy Alliance, Let Freedom Ring, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies -- awash in Big Oil money.

What the hell is going on? Why is energy dominating the right's campaign against Obama?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:30:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
What the hell is going on? Why is energy dominating the right's campaign against Obama?

because it's the defining issue of our age.

the lobbies are terrified of any candidate who could harness the public fury at the oil and gas corporations who have been screwing us so handily since the carter presidency.

the only thing that can mend this broken economy is a concerted focus to clean energy, the New Deal and apollo program rolled into one massive rollout.

of course regulating financial loopholes and jailing some blanksters would be good news, taxing corporations, blocking tax havens, cutting military expenditure, buffet rule, tobin tax, all could do their part to rebalance the economy, but nothing would break the repeat cycle of corruption more than changing our energy policies from an exploitative, frack-you model, to the democratisation of energy, which is what it would be if the grid and homes were adapted to rooftop solar PV/thermal, distributed generation and negawatts-awareness.

the money pacs will go insane (heartland institute just gave us a taste of just how insane), in ways that will make the RIAA's persecution of filesharers look benevolent, but reality will out, as their efforts to demonise people who care about planetary survival become ever more grotesquely bizarre.

you can't fool all the people for ever. obama will keep appeasing the villains until he realises the public ain't buying the BS no more.

then that sumptuous loquacity can be bent to helping shepherd the american people through the 'slow emergency' powering down will seem like to many people, those who invested in the status quo, sacrificed for it, and now must watch lifetime savings vapourising into the maw of wall st profits, their old proud neighbourhoods going to seed, and their little sliver of the american dream being taken from them.

they're scared all right because the energy issue, once grocked by the majority, will do more rip back the curtain of lies and propaganda we've been being fed for decades faster and more effectively than anything they can do to keep the genie in the bottle.

that's why ET is so special...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 08:29:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OBAMA: "When a woman in Iowa shared the story of her financial struggles, he [Romney] responded with economic theory.  He told her, "our productivity equals our income."  Well, let me tell you something.  The problem with our economy isn't that the American people aren't productive enough -- you've been working harder than ever.  The challenge we face right now -- the challenge we faced for over a decade is that harder work hasn't led to higher incomes.  It's that bigger profits haven't led to better jobs.

"Governor Romney doesn't seem to get that.  He doesn't seem to understand that maximizing profits by whatever means necessary -- whether through layoffs or outsourcing or tax avoidance or union-busting -- might not always be good for the average American or for the American economy.

"Why else would he want to spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans?  Why else would he propose cutting his own taxes while raising them on 18 million working families?  Why else would he want to slash the investments that have always helped the economy grow, but at the same time, stop regulating the reckless behavior on Wall Street that helped the economy crash?

"Somehow, he and his friends in Congress think that the same bad ideas will lead to a different result.  Or they're just hoping you won't remember what happened the last time we tried it their way.

"Well, Ohio, I'm here to say that we were there, we remember, and we are not going back.  We are moving this country forward.

"Look, we want businesses to succeed.  We want entrepreneurs and investors rewarded when they take risks, when they create jobs and grow our economy.  But the true measure of our prosperity is more than just a running tally of every balance sheet and quarterly profit report.  I don't care how many ways you try to explain it:  Corporations aren't people.  People are people.

by rootless2 on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 08:50:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Granted, energy is the defining issue, but what does that have to do with Obama? If anyone has shown a lack of interest in actually effecting a change in conventional energy development and profits he has. Sure, a few nice words now and then, but status quo could be the dude's middle name.
by Andhakari on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 03:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well that was the point i was trying to make. if there's one thing the masses would like as much or more than stopping wall st's depredations, it's be to have no electric bills any more, to feel that climate change was being recognised, and that the government was not in hock to the energy lobby, as has been the case for yonks.

obama was probably warned the secret service would not guarantee his safety if he even thought about taking this direction.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 07:40:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So your theory is that the oil interests are spending 10s of millions of dollars because they have been deceived by Obama's rhetoric?
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 09:10:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rootless2:
So your theory is that the oil interests are spending 10s of millions of dollars because they have been deceived by Obama's rhetoric?

no. i think they're spending millions of dollars (chump change for them) to try and sway public opinion, because there is more and more evidence of climate change on the ground, the pentagon knows it very well, and they have obama's ear.

i do think energy lobbies are more powerful than the pentagon. obama probably defers to texxacon et al as 'savvy guys', because they have the strong cards. look at how the us gvt was completely codependent with BP with the last fuckup.

i think the lobbies feel invincible, but their achilles heel is the public throwing their lies back in their faces and calling them on their crap. this heartland BS is a prophylactic move, trying to head off the public at the pass. that's why i think OWS is wasting time not linking to ecology as well as economy the way they do.

i love them for expressing indignation at how we're being screwed through finance, but that's still a smaller picture than the ecological crisis in the wings, even a distraction, in a way, although joined at the hip.

obama can be an amplifier, and use his wit to help, but the signal won't come from anywhere else than the people themselves, via greenpeace, 350 org, FB and such probably. until then he will default to the status quo. case in point the recent pipeline confrontation.

if the signal were to come through politics as usual, the greens would be stronger in the usa.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 12:33:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very good.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 04:36:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's just campaign waffle.  Andkhari is right, he has shown absolutely no interest in moving the US towards such a model.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 05:57:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the contrary, the Solyndra fake scandal is a reaction by oil interests against the Obama government's investment in alternative energy technologies - an investment that very much threatens them.
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 09:15:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that was a bush baby, and a poster child of how not to go about it, tempting to believe it was designed to fail to embarrass the whole industry. the fact it's even been so politicised should be a major clue.

you know, like jerking the incentives/tariffs switch on and off to disincentivise investment.

it's just a question of time, obama would be smart to get out further in front of it all, though it may well end his life.

while we're discussing disincentives. there is no one to stand in for him if he goes, no other dem with half his mojo. it's possible he's too precious to waste...

al gore seems a spent force, politically.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 12:49:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China's Bright Food says it will buy 60% of Weetabix

China's Bright Food is buying 60 percent of Weetabix from British owner Lion Capital in a deal valuing the breakfast cereal giant at 1.2 billion pound (1.48 billion euros, $1.94 billion), the pair said on Thursday.

A joint statement said the transaction, which private equity group Lion Capital and Bright Food hope to complete this year, would "represent the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese company in the food and beverage sector."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:34:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they turn the windfarm onto blow, then  aim it over the factory, the smell of them making it will definitely reach my house

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 07:53:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ceebs:
If they turn the windfarm onto blow

Like Superman did here:

Link: WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 02:59:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
fitting end to a venerable british company, not...

and the mess of pottage offered in return?

19 euro drills that last a year? melamine dogfood?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 08:32:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
melamine dogfood

Have you tried Weetabix recently?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 04:20:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
lol.

no, actually, but i remember it well. one of the better least worse breakfast cereals, iirc.

compressed sawdust? it's silly to be patriotic about it, i know. rule britannia, eh what?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 07:50:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European climate change to hit Scandinavia and south hardest

Global warming in Europe this century will mostly affect Scandinavia and the Mediterranean basin, the European Environment Agency warned on Thursday.

"The highest warming is projected over the eastern Scandinavia, and southern and south-eastern Europe," experts at the agency said in comment accompanying a series of maps posted on the agency's website.

Europe will be on average 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer between 2021 and 2050 than the 1960-1990 reference period, the agency said.

However moderate the increase may seem, "it is important to note that these are average annual temperatures, potentially masking large extremes," it said.

In northeastern Scandinavia, the temperature change could be as much as 6.0 degrees higher by 2071 than the reference period, while the Mediterranean basin and parts of Eastern Europe will also see big changes.

Higher temperatures and dwindling rainfall "will have significant effects on agriculture and tourism industries, especially in the Mediterranean area," the agency said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:35:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the open thread:
SMHI: Sverige har blivit varmare - rapport | svt.se SMHI, Sweden has become warmer - report | svt.se

Hela Sverige har i genomsnitt fått det ungefär en grad varmare och omkring tio procent mer nederbörd än normalt. Detta enligt den analys som SMHI gjort av det svenska vädret under de senaste 20 åren, 1991 till 2011.

Entire Sweden has on average been about one degree warmer and had about ten percent more precipitation than normal. This according to the analysis SMHI made of the Swedish weather during the past 20 years, 1991 to 2011.
Ju längre norrut, desto varmare har det blivit. Nederbörden har ökat i norr och i söder, men minskat på delar av ostkusten, skriver Sydsvenskan.The further north, the warmer it has become. Precipitation has increased in North and South, but decreased in parts of the east coast, writes Sydsvenskan.
Begreppet "normalt" används för värdena under perioden 1961-1990.The term "normal" is used for values ​​in the period 1961-1990.


A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 05:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear waste 'may be blighting 1,000 sites' in the UK - The Ecologist
MoD under fire after DECC report finds number of sites contaminated with radioactive waste is far higher than previously estimated

Hundreds of sites across England and Wales could be contaminated with radioactive waste from old military bases and factories, according to a new government report.

Up to 1,000 sites could be polluted, though the best guess is that between 150 and 250 are, says a report on contaminated land by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), released last month, but previously unreported.

This is far higher than previous official estimates, with evidence from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) last December suggesting that there were just 15 sites in the UK contaminated with radium from old planes and other equipment.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:37:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan shuts down last nuclear reactor - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

Hundreds of Japanese demonstrators have been marching to celebrate the last of the country's 54 nuclear reactors being switched off.

The crowd gathered at a Tokyo park on Saturday said that they were not concerned about government warnings that the reactor shutdowns will lead to electricity shortages.

One of three reactors at the Tomari nuclear plant, on the northern island of Hokkaido, has gone offline for routine maintenance checks, meaning that for the first time in decades there is not a single active nuclear reactor in the country.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:50:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]


guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:55:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's actually heartening to know that Doyne Farmer is in charge of the EU Commission's CRISIS project
The models and tools used by central banks, finance ministries, and regulators today generally rely on three strong assumptions: 1) that households, firms, and governments are perfectly rational and are homogeneous in their behaviors, 2) that markets always clear and the economy settles into a balanced equilibrium state, and 3) that the detailed institutional structures and interconnections of the financial system, i.e. the `plumbing' of the system, does not generally matter for macro policy.

While models relying on these assumptions may provide `good enough' answers during normal times, during the crisis they proved highly inadequate. The crisis was characterized by behaviors that did not fit the `perfectly rational' models, markets that failed to clear, severe economic imbalances that were far from equilibrium, and micro level features of the system and network structures of interconnection between institutions had major systemic impacts.

The CRISIS project will seek to address these limitations by building a next generation macroeconomic and financial system policymaking model. The CRISIS model will be a bottom-up `agent-based' simulation that fully accounts for the heterogeneity of households, firms, and government actors. The model will incorporate the latest evidence from behavioral economics in portraying agent behavior, and the CRISIS team will also collect new data on agent decision making using experimental economics techniques. While any model must make simplifying assumptions about human behavior, the CRISIS model will be significantly more realistic in its portrayal of relevant agent behavior than the current generation of policymaking models.



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 07:22:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 11:43:43 AM EST
BBC News - World War II scoop reporter receives AP apology

The Associated Press news agency has apologised for sacking a reporter who broke the news that World War II had ended a day before the agreed embargo.

Ed Kennedy defied the military censors to report the Nazi surrender on the night of 7 May 1945 in France.

The UK and the US had agreed to suppress the announcement for a day so that Russia could stage a second surrender ceremony in Berlin.

AP has now said Kennedy did the right thing in breaking the embargo.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:15:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And this will help that guy in what way ? t's rather like those endless apologies over this that or other atrocity centuries ago that Tony Blair specialised in. I don't care what your historical revisionism is like, I want to know what you will do differently going forward. That's the harder thing.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:02:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They will move boldly forward and keep apologising 67 years after they fire journalists that do not take orders from the military. It's the right thing to do.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 01:39:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the very close temporal association with the expiration of Official Secrets Act protection for the relevant officials is of course a wholly coincidental coincidence.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 01:45:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jurassic pain: Giant 'flea-like' insects plagued dinosaurs 165 million years ago

It takes a gutsy insect to sneak up on a huge dinosaur while it sleeps, crawl onto its soft underbelly and give it a bite that might have felt like a needle going in - but giant "flea-like" animals, possibly the oldest of their type ever discovered, probably did just that.

And a few actually lived through the experience, based on the discovery by Chinese scientists of remarkable fossils of these creatures, just announced in Current Biology, a professional journal.

These flea-like animals, similar but not identical to modern fleas, were probably 10 times the size of a flea you might find crawling on the family dog - with an extra-painful bite to match.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:34:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Modern Obstetrics and Midwives Need to Join Forces - IPS ipsnews.net
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 5, 2012 (IPS) - María dos Prazeres de Souza has lost count of the number of births "without a single death" she has attended as a midwife, an occupation that there is renewed interest in strengthening in traditional communities in Brazil where state services are not available or are not entirely acceptable for cultural reasons.

The 74-year-old de Souza says that prior to 2008 she attended 1,000 births in her home city of Jaboatão dos Guararapes, in the rest of the state of Pernambuco, and in neighbouring states in Brazil's impoverished Northeast.

She said she never ceases to be amazed every time a mother's expression changes from pain to joy.

"A woman in labour feels pain, but when her baby is born she smiles and cries with happiness," she told IPS, recalling the tears of emotion she has shed herself at each birth she has attended.

De Souza, an indigenous woman, learned her skills as part of her cultural heritage. Her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother taught her the skills from childhood.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:58:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Physics of Spilled Coffee - ScienceNOW

Krechetnikov and his graduate student Hans Mayer decided to investigate coffee spilling at a fluid dynamics conference last year when they watched overburdened participants trying to carry their drinks to and fro. They quickly realized that the physics wasn't simple. Aside from the mechanics of human walking, which depends on a person's age, health, and gender, there is the highly involved science of liquid sloshing, which depends on a complex interplay of accelerations, torques, and forces.

Back at the lab, Krechetnikov and Mayer set up an experiment: They asked a person to walk at different speeds along a straight path with a filled coffee mug in hand. The volunteer did this in one of two ways-either focusing on the coffee mug, or looking straight ahead. A camera recorded the person's motion and the mug's trajectory, while a tiny sensor on the mug recorded the instant of spillage.

A fluid's back-and-forth movement has a certain natural frequency, and this is determined by the size of its container. In their paper published last week in Physical Review E, Krechetnikov and Mayer show that everyday mug sizes produce natural frequencies that just happen to match those of a person's leg movements during walking. This means that walking alone, without any other interference, is tuned to drive coffee to oscillate in a mug.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 02:39:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeebus!

Michael Hudson: The New Economic Archaeology of Debt (April 23, 2002)

Economists are accustomed to discussing interest rates in terms of what the production process can afford to pay for capital (or loans that provide capital) that is employed profitably. Basing their deductive reasoning on lending for productive investment, economists have constructed heuristic exercises to illustrate how loans of cattle, seeds and tools might have enabled early hunters and cultivators to produce more, and hence to pay a fair rate of interest to the suppliers of such means of production. This approach seems so logical that few economists have found it necessary to seek historical verification. But when historians such as Moses Finley have searched through classical antiquity's records, they have found that the ancient world provides little empirical evidence of productive loans. From Mesopotamia through classical antiquity, lending occurred almost entirely in the spheres of commercial trade and agrarian usury.

...

Along these lines already a century ago the German historical economist Wilhelm Roscher (1878) attributed the decline of interest rates from Rome through medieval and modern times to factors to which few historians have found relevant, such as the Ricardian principle of diminishing productivity in agriculture squeezing profits. He also cited the patience of individuals choosing to defer consumption so as to use their resources to make tools to obtain higher yields ("interest").[1] But the Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (1890) dismissed the conflation of interest with productivity and profit rates (that is, the idea of interest as reflecting payment for the use of "capital") as "naïve productivity" theorizing.

...

The ancient Near East did not enter Mauss's analysis, nor has it had much influence on subsequent anthropological research. Precisely because gift exchange is so integral a feature of mutual aid, marriage ceremonies and other alliances, funerals and other rites of passage, the custom does not offer much concrete help in explaining how charging specific rates of interest first evolved in Mesopotamia. Despite the wide-ranging scope of anthropological studies of debt phenomena, no surviving tribal community matches the historically unique ancient Mesopotamia or possesses its outward-reaching commercial dynamics. And it is in Mesopotamia, after all, that the phenomenon of interest-bearing debt is first attested, along with royal amnesties to cope with the strains it caused. Civilization's economic history developed in a particular way, with the temples and palaces of Sumer and Babylonia contributing key innovations.



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:02:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:07:37 PM EST


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 10:32:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Such an inglorious end to a true visionary, who coined the concept of Itanka, "My People First."

He brought the People in because being on the run in winter was too hard on them.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 06:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and finally, he was not, as said in the header, a chief. He had even more respect than that.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon May 7th, 2012 at 04:00:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Diary?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 7th, 2012 at 04:09:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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