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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 13 October

by ceebs Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 04:09:12 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1821 - birth of Rudolf Virchow, the father of modern pathology (d. 1902)

More here and here

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Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:00:39 PM EST
BBC News - Cable accepts unlimited tuition fees plan

Business Secretary Vince Cable has given the government's approval to a report calling for an unlimited rise in tuition fees in England's universities.

Mr Cable told the House of Commons he endorsed the "persuasive proposals" of Lord Browne's radical funding reforms.

A backbench rebellion by Lib Dem MPs has been threatened - but Mr Cable defended the plans as "fair and progressive".

Students have warned that raising fees would mean "crippling debts"



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:11:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Government may cap tuition fees at £7,000, says Vince Cable | Education | guardian.co.uk

The government may cap tuition fees at £7,000 a year, Vince Cable said today, as he told MPs he accepted the thrust of Lord Browne's report proposing a radical overhaul of higher education funding.

In statement to MPs, the Liberal Democrat business secretary scrapped his party's policy of opposing tuition fees - but he may still face rebellion from his backbenchers. Before the election all Lib Dem MPs, including Cable and Nick Clegg, signed a pledge opposing tuition fees.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:18:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Hungary emergency toxic sludge dam 'almost completed'

Emergency crews in Hungary have almost completed a new dam to contain further spillage from the reservoir that leaked toxic sludge earlier this month, officials say.

They say final test are being conducted on the emergency barrier.

Meanwhile the Hungarian government is preparing to take over the company at the centre of the disaster.

Eight people have died from the 4 October spill that devastated towns near Akja in the west of the country.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:29:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Ukraine train and bus collision kills 42

At least 42 people have been killed and nine people hurt in a collision between a train and a small bus in eastern Ukraine, officials say.

The incident happened near the town of Marhanets, south of the main regional city of Dnipropetrovsk.

The inter-city passenger bus tried to cross the track, ignoring the warning of an approaching train, reports said.

Some of the injured are in a critical condition and the death toll could rise.

Railway officials said all the casualties were on the bus.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:30:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - France hit by third national strike this month

French unions are staging a day of nationwide strikes and demonstrations in opposition to the government's pension reforms - the third in a month.

Unions and police say Tuesday's protests in Paris are the biggest so far, estimating a turnout of 330,000 and 89,000 respectively.

The cabinet wants to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62.

Some unions will vote later on Tuesday to decide whether to escalate their protests with open-ended strikes.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:30:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - German army chief honours Holocaust victims in Israel

AFP - German army chief of staff General Volker Wieker on Tuesday began his first trip to Israel by visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial dedicated to six million Jewish victims of Nazism.

General Wieker was accompanied by his Israeli counterpart, General Gabi Ashkenazi, as he took part in a special ceremony to mark the occasion.

Wearing a red beret and his dress uniform, the general placed a flower wreath wrapped in the black, red and yellow colours of the German flag in the Hall of Remembrance.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:35:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Inquests shown 7 July aftermath videos

The inquests into the 7 July suicide bombings in London have been shown new footage of the aftermath of the four explosions.

The bombs were detonated on three London Underground trains and a bus on 7 July 2005, killing 52 people.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 03:23:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Budget cuts force NHS hospitals to stop non-emergency surgery | Society | The Guardian

An NHS primary care trust with a budget of £650m has been forced to announce a radical set of cuts which will mean non-emergency surgery in local hospitals being barred to patients for a month.

Some treatments, including in vitro fertilisation, will be stopped until next year, and operations such as hip replacements will be cancelled to deal with the £50m gap in the trust's projected budget.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 03:30:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
50 million...there are bankers, and many groups of bankers, who will be getting bonuses of this magnitude, indirectly and directly from public financing of banks...from the coffers of the economy that has failed the public.



Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 07:52:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MP Mike Hancock questioned by police | Politics | The Guardian
Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock was questioned by police last night following allegations of improper behaviour towards a female constituent. In a statement on his website, the Portsmouth South MP said he had gone voluntarily to a police station and "co-operated fully" with inquiries.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 08:43:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Cuts endanger UK, RAF's Timo Anderson warns

A senior RAF officer has warned that cuts to military aircraft numbers would leave the UK vulnerable to attack.

Air Marshal Timo Anderson, director general of the Military Aviation Authority, addressed MPs in a private talk, and gave a stark assessment on cuts expected to be outlined next week.

The RAF is expected to lose significant numbers of jet fighters in spending cuts of up to 10% over four years.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 09:50:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Entirely predictable. Britain will be invaded the moment a single aircraft is mothballed.

I am sick of this fantasy that Britain is only great because of the big stick it wields in America's name. Germany and Japan have far better economies than we do and very low level militaries. Not just because america occupies them, but also because they do not threaten anyone. Even China has little interest in using its army against anyone other than its own people, crushing their opponents with trade is easier and has fewer issues of unintended consequences.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:30:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Associated Press | 2.10.10
Druids have been worshipping the sun and earth for thousands of years in Europe, but now they can say they're practicing an officially recognized religion.

The ancient pagan tradition best known for gatherings at Stonehenge every summer solstice has been formally classed as a religion under charity law for the first time in Britain, the national charity regulator said Saturday. That means Druids can receive exemptions from taxes on donations -- and now have the same status as such mainstream religions as the Church of England.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 03:15:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... the labour market. Exhibit 209,878,343:

Vikarer er lavstatus og får den kolde skulder - Avisen.dk

Vikarjob i Danmark er typisk - i modsætning til udlandet - ufaglærte og stiller ikke store krav til uddannelse.Temp jobs in Denmark - unlike in other countries [read: English-speaking countries. Danish newsies don't read or speak French, German or Russian - Jake] - are typically unskilled and do not place great demands on education.
Derfor er der mindre prestige i dem, siger Jakob Tietge, chefkonsulent i Dansk Erhverv, og tilføjer:This makes them less prestigious, says Jacob Tietge, Senior Adviser to the Danish Chamber of Commerce, adding:
"Der er også en lidt negativ klang over ordet vikar, selv om mange vikarer har virkelig gode kompetencer, der er screenet af vikarbureaet. En af grundene kan være, at vi i folkeskolen husker vikartimer som mindre seriøse - i nogle tilfælde - en slags pause fra undervisningen.""There is also a slightly negative tone of the word "temp" [in Danish the term for "temporary worker" carries connotations of temporary replacement for an indisposed employee - Jake], although many temps have really good skills that are screened by their bureau. One reason may be that we remember lessons from replacement teachers in elementary school remember as less serious - in some cases - a sort of break from teaching."

Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that the Danish labour market is structured around full-time salaried employment, not temp work. It can't possibly be because temps serve the same institutional function as scabs. Perish the thought.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 02:00:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:01:04 PM EST
Halifax share windfall shrinks to £38 | Business | The Guardian

The cost of the banking crisis to private investors - many of them first-time investors - is spelled out by new research showing that the near £1,500 windfall of shares handed to millions of former members of Halifax when it converted from a building society has collapsed in value to £38.

On the second anniversary of the multi-billion taxpayer bailout of the banking system, research by the Guardian and stock broker Hargreaves Lansdown shows the devastating impact on the 7.6m Halifax customers who received free shares at its landmark stock market flotation in 1997.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mortgage lenders post 8% drop in August new home loans | Money | guardian.co.uk

Conflicting information about the strength of the housing market was reported today when lenders announced the number of new loans fell 8% in August compared to July but the government's house price index indicated prices had risen month on month.

The Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML) said loans to home movers dropped 10% to 33,200 and their average deposit grew from 33% in July to 34% in August, meaning they were borrowing at the lowest loan-to value ratios for six years. The proportion of income spent on interest payments had also dropped marginally (0.1%) month on month to 9.5%, and by 1.9% from August 2009.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:25:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
World First (World_First) on Twitter

HOENIG - FURTHER QUANTITATIVE EASING A 'RISKY' STRATEGY THAT COULD LEAD TO 4 PCT-5 PCT INFLATION

 HOENIG - FED SHOULD REMOVE COMMITMENT TO LOW RATES FOR EXTENDED PERIOD, RAISE RATE TO 1 PCT



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:42:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SYSTEMIC FEAR, MODERN FINANCE AND THE FUTURE OF CAPITALISM   Jonathan Nitzan & Shimshon Bichler

Crisis of Capital, Crisis of Theory: A Conference of the Forum on Capital as Power

ABSTRACT:
Is capitalism about to collapse? Like every other mode of power, capitalism rests on confidence in obedience: the confidence of the rulers in the obedience of the ruled. Emperors are sure of their rule over obedient subjects and slaves; lords are certain they can rule their obedient vassals and serfs; and capitalists trust the obedience of their underlying masses. The confidence of rulers is mediated through their dominant dogma: when the dogma holds, the rulers are hubristic, steadfast and ruthless; when the dogma disintegrates, the rulers, gripped by systemic fear, become hesitant and lose their ability to rule.

Systemic fear often culminates in systemic collapse. The downfall of the last Babylonian emperor, Belshazzar, the collapse of Easter Island, the French Revolution against the ancien régime, the fall of Soviet Union and many more such episodes were all preceded by systemic fear: for whatever reason, the rulers lost faith in their dogma and confidence in their subjects' obedience. But their systemic fear remained elusive: we know of it only anecdotally, subjectively, and always retrospectively - after their mode of power lies in ruins.

Modern finance has made systemic fear transparent. For the first time in history, we have an objective, numerical measure of the rulers' confidence in obedience - and this measure is available not in retrospect, but here and now. The indicator in question is forward-looking capitalization: the financial ritual with which capitalists discount to present value their expected future profit. This ritual stands at the heart of the modern capitalist dogma, and it is currently broken: for the past decade, capitalists have been looking not forward to the future, but backward to the past. In other words, capitalists no longer trust their own dogma: they are no longer confident in the obedience of the ruled or in their own ability to rule.

DATE/TIME/PLACE:

Friday, October 29, 2010, 3:00-5:00 pm || York Lanes, Room 280N || Keele Campus of York University Toronto, Ontario Canada

Original paper, HTML format, PDF

The paper came out this summer and was an update of one from the summer of 2009. His thesis seems increasingly confirmed by events. The financial sector has made such a mess of things that they cannot act in their normal way nor can they find an acceptable, (to them) way to deal with the massive fraudulent debt that they have created. The authors show that this has been the case since 2000.

That businesses act differently during times of crisis and times of prosperity doesn't seem to radical an idea, but it is not a part of Mainstream Economics.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 03:23:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is capitalism about to collapse?

If it does it will be replaced by something worse if a world war doesn't intervene. Think about who controls everything. If they are not viscerally threatened they will simply concoct another scheme to enslave and impoverish the masses.

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 Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:23:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose a world war would not be manipulated by your supposed controllers of everything?

How about putting in some careful thought before hitting the Post button?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 01:21:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with that idea is that a world war, even if it avoided nuclear involvement, would involve mainland USA because if anywhere is gonna have a war, the US is high on the list.

and the rich do not want war in their own backyard as wars are messy and there might be collateral damage the rich do not want.

So, there won't be a war.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:33:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ketchup economists have been telling everyone who would listen that "finance is the brain of the economy".

It appears that the economy has a terminal case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 02:49:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bovine Spongiform EconomicsTM?

Maybe we need a macro...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:04:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Been done.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:46:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Neo-Classical Economics = Bovine Spongiform Economics

or

NCE = BSE

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 02:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The advantage of that is that the acronym for Bullshit Economics is the same...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:30:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<blockqoute>It appears that the economy has a terminal case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.</blockqoute>

And here I thought it was just a serious case of Head in Ass disease.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 11:05:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is both. The Head In Ass Syndrome just tells us what the sponge has been absorbing.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 02:03:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's an interesting paper.

Completely unexpectedly, it turns out that you can't run an economy on trust while also demanding that financial transactions screw the counterparty and/or associated employees to the maximum possible extent.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:58:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No COLA - Bernanke gets Trumped?   Bruce Krasting  on Zero Hedge

Social Security announced that there will be no increase in benefit levels for another year. The reason? Deflation. Based on the Cost of Living index no increase in checks is justified. You might get an argument on that from the 60+% of the beneficiaries whose primary source of income is SS. This will impact the macro economic picture.

....

SSA will pay ~$700b in benefits this year. 3% of that comes to $21b. That is a pretty important number. Most of the SS checks are spent. Little of it is saved, so this will impact consumption on a nearly 1 to 1 basis. $21b is 1/4% of our GDP (includes multiplier). Poof!

Does this matter? Sure it does. Economists who forecast growth will have to knock down their numbers by at least ¼% as a result. There would have been some multiplier affect from the extra spending, now there won't be any. Between the cummulative impact of two years of no increases and the multiplier this could be a drag on GDP by 1/2% for 2011 versus what has been assumed.

We don't know what Ben B will do in a few weeks, but we can sort of guess about what is coming. It will be a longer-term commitment to acquire Treasury bonds. The high-end estimates are about $100b per month for a year. Something over a trillion in all. Using those kinds of numbers, I have seen estimates that the impact will be a positive to GDP to the tune of a lousy ½%.

So, the same effect as pumping $1.2trillion in QE into the economy can be had by providing a 3% Cost of Living Adjustment to Social Security checks, which would only cost $27 billion! So does the inability to change the requirements for an SS COLA stem from ideological blindness, from comitment to an agenda or from both? How can $1.2 trillion in QE be better for the financial integrity of the USA, etc., etc., etc, than a fiscal policy of deficit spending of a mere $27 trillion. Especially when spending the $27 billion is more likely to work?

A cynic might suggest that $1.2 trillion in QE would provide a larger and more opaque bonus pool for the executives of the TBTFs than would a mere $27 billion in deficit spending. Plus, Congress and the president would have to own providing a 3% COLA, while they can continue to rail at the Fed for QE and score more points with the ignorant electorate.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 03:45:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let the old folks and disabled buy cheaper cat food. They say it all tastes the same.

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 Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:25:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"They say" is an inadequate reference source for that sentence. You should do the research yourself before making the statement. Be prepared.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 11:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And technically speaking, cat food is poisonous to humans when ingested in quantity.  Too protein-rich, even the kibble.  Buy dog food.
by Zwackus on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:32:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have heard that dog food is more suited to humans. Cat food is quite repugnant.

And that's just a sniff test.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:34:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How the banks got us coming and going | SocialistWorker.org

NOW THAT the same predators who pushed people into self-destructing mortgages have been caught carrying out fraudulent foreclosures, will hard-pressed homeowners finally get permanent relief?

If they organize and fight back, yes. But the banks and their political front-men and -women will do anything they can to prevent that.

The Democrats are both squirming over their role in abetting the banks' foreclosure factories and sensing a political opportunity. Thus, President Barack Obama has refused to sign what had been stealth legislation designed to speed up the "robo-signing" of foreclosure documents by forcing states to accept all such documents as valid, even if they originated in a state where this sort of dubious paperwork is standard.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 03:48:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NOW THAT the same predators who pushed people into self-destructing mortgages have been caught carrying out fraudulent foreclosures, will hard-pressed homeowners finally get permanent relief?

A resounding NO!

All questions should be that easy.

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 Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:27:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Investors Flock to Greek Bond Sale - NYTimes.com

LONDON -- With an austerity program well underway, Greece held a successful bond sale Tuesday amid a growing debate about whether the country should be given more time to repay the international bailout loans that saved it from bankruptcy.

Greece is taking the right steps to reduce its deficit and the International Monetary Fund would allow the country more time to repay its emergency loans if the euro-zone nations agree to do the same, the I.M.F.'s managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said Sunday.

Responding to these comments in an interview with the Greek television channel Skai late Monday, the Greek finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, said that there had already been an "unofficial discussion" about a possible extension.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 03:55:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Josh Rosner: "Could Violations of PSAs Dwarf Lehman Weekend?" Yves Smith naked capitalism

(PSA=Pooling and Servicing Agreements)

Josh Rosner, a well respected bank analyst (he describes himself as "a recovering GSE analyst") is circulating a client note and it takes the foreclosure crisis very seriously. The critical part is his discussion of the conveyance chain. As we indicated before, the minimum chain for a recent mortgage securitization is is A (originator) => B (sponsor) => C (custodian) => D (trust). Older deals might only have three parties, but recent vintage typically had at least four, and some as many as seven or eight.

The reason for doing this is bankruptcy remoteness. You as the buyer of a mortgage backed security want certainty in what you purchased. If an originator goes bust (as ironically many did), you don't want the creditors to say, "They were already toast by the time they set up that MBS, so the sale of the loans was a fraudulent conveyance, we are gonna take the loans back."

The way to prevent that was to introduce intermediary parties between the originator and the trust. Each party had to be independent (which meant fit the legal definition of independence; the intermediary parties and even many originators were dependent on financing called warehouse lines from the investment bank packager/distributors). The note (the borrower IOU) had to be endorsed (like a check) to the next party in the chain, who then endorsed it over to the party after that, with the last party being the trust.

Rosner's remarks are consistent with our prior posts, and he adds a couple of important additional observations: We have a larger and more significant concern, which, if proved out, could call into
question the validity of nearly all securitizations and raise material questions about
whether "true sale" was achieved.  

   Nearly all Pooling and Servicing Agreements require that "On the Closing Date, the Purchaser will assign to the Trustee pursuant to the Pooling and Servicing Agreement all of its right, title and interest in and to the Mortgage Loans and its rights under this Agreement (to the extent set forth in Section 15), and the Trustee shall succeed to such right, title and interest in and to the Mortgage Loans and the Purchaser's rights under this Agreement (to the extent set forth in Section 15)". Also, an Assignment of Mortgage must accompany each note and this almost never happen.

    We believe nearly every single loan transferred was transferred to the Trust in "blank" name. That is to say the actual loans were apparently not, as of either the cut-off or closing dates, assigned to the Trust as required by the PSA.

    Rather than continue to fight for the "put-back" of individual loans the investors may be able to sue for and argue that the "true sale" was never achieved. To think of it simply, if you go to sell your car and you endorse your title but neither you nor the party you are selling it to sign their name who owns the car? It appears you likely still do.

    While there may be a view that the government can intervene it appears that the private contract spelling out the terms was violated at the transfer point. The Trustee, who has responsibility to make sure all loans were properly assigned to the trust, may have liability. So too might the lawyers who issued the legal opinions.


Obama might try to help Wall Street, but, in the end, it could well be the sharks turning on one another that ends the fiasco. It might not be a good time to have been one of the institutions that provided "warehouse lines" of credit to the various "mortgage brokers" who originated the loans under the "originate to sell" model, especially if your institution was also involved in servicing the mortgages and is securitizing them. Given how things were going in 2004 it seems unlikely that anyone in any particular chain was truly independent. It's getting interestinger and interestinger.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 04:44:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, it gets interesting, but I just think that means the con that will be put in place to save the finance industry will be more damaging to the interests of the dumb schmucks who bought that shit home owners

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:19:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't the latest version just mean that none of the loan transfers were legal, so that the homeowner is simply liable to the mortgage originator (assuming the latter has kept his records....)?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 02:48:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that homeowners finding problems with the chain of custody for their mortgage might be justified in making payments into an escrow account. The situation is genuinely FUBAR.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 01:56:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- In an effort to rush through thousands of home foreclosures since 2007, financial institutions and their mortgage servicing departments hired hair stylists, Walmart floor workers and people who had worked on assembly lines and installed them in "foreclosure expert" jobs with no formal training, a Florida lawyer says.

In depositions released Tuesday, many of those workers testified that they barely knew what a mortgage was. Some couldn't define the word "affidavit." Others didn't know what a complaint was, or even what was meant by personal property. Most troubling, several said they knew they were lying when they signed the foreclosure affidavits and that they agreed with the defense lawyers' accusations about document fraud.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 08:31:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh lord.  Their own employees are admitting incompetence and fraud.

This gets better all the time.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 10:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But didn't you know? Fraud on the court is just a technical matter. It is fortunate that the biggies are about to go to legal/financial Armageddon. I don't get the feeling that, otherwise, The US Department of Justice would do anything about these "technical" problems.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 10:58:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IANAL

Fraud is a tort and thus someone who commits fraud is open to a Civil Action.  

Knowingly committing a fraud rips the corporate shield, thus the Board of Directors and management become personally liable to the victim for compensation.

How that can play-out is anybody's guess.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 02:27:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreclosure Fraud: It's Worse Than You Think   Diana Olick  CNBC Real Estate Reporter  (H/T Business Insider)

A source of mine pointed me to a recent conference call Citigroup had with investors/clients.  It featured Adam Levitin, a Georgetown University Law professor who specializes in, among many other financial regulatory issues, mortgage finance. Levitin says the documentation problems involved in the mortgage mess have the potential "to cloud title on not just foreclosed mortgages but on performing mortgages."

The issues are securitization, modernization and a whole lot of cut corners. Real estate law requires real paper transfer of documents and titles, and a lot of the system went electronic without much regard to that persnickety rule. Mortgages and property titles are transferred several times in the process of a home purchase from originators to securitization sponsors to depositors to trusts. Trustees hold the note (which is the IOU on the mortgage), the mortgage (the security that says the house is collateral) and the assignment of the note and security instrument.

The issue is in that final stage getting to the trust. The law demands that when the papers get moved around they are "wet ink," that is, real signatures on real paper. But Prof. Levin tells me that's not the worst of it. Affidavits assigned to the notes and security instruments are supposed to be endorsed over to the trust at the time of sale, but in many foreclosure scenarios the affidavits have been backdated illegally.

So with the chain of documentation now in question, and trustee ownership in question, here is one legal scenario, according to Prof. Levitin:

The mortgage is still owed, but there's going to be a problem figuring out who actually holds the mortgage, and they would be the ones bringing the foreclosure. You have a trust that has been getting payments from borrowers for years that it has no right to receive. So you might see borrowers suing the trusts saying give me my money back, you're stealing my money. You're going to then have trusts that don't have any assets that have been issuing securities that say they're backed by a whole bunch of assets, and you're going to have investors suing the trustees for failing to inspect the collateral files, which the trustees say they're going to do, and you're going to have trustees suing the securitization sponsors for violating their representations and warrantees about what they were transferring.

Josh Rosner, of Graham-Fisher, put the following out in a note today, claiming violations of pooling and servicing agreements on mortgages could dwarf the Lehman weekend:

   Nearly all Pooling and Servicing Agreements require that... (See quote in Yves article above. It is more complete.)




As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 12:37:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And there is an interesting comment thread at the Business Insider article.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 12:47:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My fave so far:
Wall Street Begins To Fear Nightmare Foreclosure-Gate Scenario Where All Of Housing Finance Is Wrecked
You can't possibly believe that the Constitution has any legal standing anymore. Are you freaking retarded? If you were to read the US Constiution to a Congressman they'd laugh in your face. We're a banana republic now where the rule of law is whatever the guy with the money and the guns says it is, and that guy ain't you, sucker.

Twank, is that you?
by Bernard on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 09:45:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I still believe that the problem is so serious that pointy heads in Chicago, DC & NYC are gonna be pushed into a room and ordered to find a way out that reconciles this and protects the banking system.

And I believe that all of those people who have issues with their mortgages, even if they can demonstrate that the paper is worthless, will lose out. Because they'd rather protect the uberclass of financiers than the American middle class.

and if the level of dispossession is sufficiently large, America is heading to a bad place.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:37:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Citigroup Call On Implications On Foreclosure Crisis: "Just The Tip Of The Iceberg" | zero hedge
"Our speaker predicted that more and more lenders are likely to stop their foreclosure processes in both judicial and non-judicial states. He also expects more states' attorney generals to get involved. At the federal level, it is possible than banking regulators might step in as there is legal and reputational risk for the banks involved. Ultimately, if these issues do in fact escalate, the Administration may try to broker some sort of settlement. If such deal brokering does take place, Levitin believes that "some payment" will be exacted from the lenders and servicers. The Administration could bargain for more mortgage principal write downs." In other words, the endgame will likely end up being the extraction of material concession from the banking syndicate, in the form of systemic mortgage writedowns, with Obama's blessing, which will likely put the 25% of homeowners who are underwater on equal footing with the other 75%. It may turn out that this was the plan all along. And people naively wonder why banks have hundreds of billions in cash stashed on the sidelines...


"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 06:47:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - JP Morgan reports $4.4bn third-quarter profit

JP Morgan has reported a 23% rise in profit in the third quarter, as the bank was able to set aside less money to cover loan losses.

The company reported a net profit of $4.4bn (£2.8bn), compared with a profit of $3.6bn a year ago.

The bank set aside $1.5bn for retail credit losses during the quarter, less than half the $3.9bn it set aside during the third quarter of 2009.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 08:08:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Currency wars: China should impose green taxes on its exports | vox EU - Gérard Roland
There is a creative solution that would show genuine international leadership on the part of Chinese leaders: start imposing a green tax on Chinese exports. This would have the same effect as an import tariff imposed on the US side but the revenue would instead go to the Chinese government.

If they use the tariff revenues solely for green investments to reduce Chinese carbon emissions, they would achieve two goals at the same time:

  1. reduce the international currency tensions that risk leading to dangerous trade wars while saving face,
  2. show international leadership in adjustment to climate change.

China has, after all, become a main manufacturing hub in today's world economy and it seems only normal that all countries that benefit from Chinese goods pay their part in reducing carbon emissions related to that manufacturing process.

If Chinese leaders were bold and creative enough to make such a move, it would certainly not be enough to shame US politicians into doing something about climate change but it would further isolate the all-too-large-lunatic fringe in the US that claims that climate change is a hoax.

It would certainly do a lot to show that Chinese leaders are able to think beyond the sole interests of their country and exercise some international leadership in one of the most important issues of the twenty-first century.

by Bernard on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 09:36:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it would further isolate the all-too-large-lunatic fringe in the US that claims that climate change is a hoax.

I can see it now "Look Climate change taxes ARE a communist plot, and now we've got proof"

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 10:21:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:01:27 PM EST
BBC News - US 'should delete its logos' on aid to Pakistan

A group of 11 prominent charities is preparing a letter calling on the US to remove logos on American-funded assistance in Pakistan.

The letter, signed by charities including Save the Children, Oxfam, and World Vision says that such "branding" of aid jeopardises their neutrality.

They say that this is especially dangerous in a country with numerous anti-American militants.

The letter will be delivered later this week in Washington, officials say.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:09:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
N Korea ruler's son opposes dynasty - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

The eldest son of Kim Jong-il, North Korea's reclusive leader, has expressed opposition to hereditary transfer of power to a third generation of his family, just days after his brother has been chosen by their father as heir. But he wished his brother the best in his new career.

Kim Jong-nam's remarks come days after North Korea unveiled Kim Jong-un as successor to his father at a large military parade in Pyongyang, the country's capital.

"Personally, I am against third-generation dynastic succession," Kim Jong-nam said in an interview with Japan's TV Asahi on Sunday, the day before the parade where his brother took centre-stage and made his national and international debut.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:09:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wonder what tune he'd be singing if he was gaining power and not the brother?

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 Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:30:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Chilean attempt to rescue 33 miners draws near

The first man to be freed from the San Jose mine in northern Chile is expected to reach the surface later on Tuesday, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne says.

He said the rescue operation could begin in the "last quarter of the day" (from 2100 GMT), once final safety tests had been carried out.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:12:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the one good news story this week

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:20:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, we can always find some bad news in the good, too!

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:50:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Breaking News (BreakingNews) on Twitter
Rescue chief confirms capsule door was damaged in the first test - El Pais


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 09:55:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Breaking News (BreakingNews) on Twitter
#Chile rescue worker reaches bottom of emergency shaft to cheers of trapped miners


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 10:39:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Breaking News (BreakingNews) on Twitter
Chilean miner Florencio Avalos begins ride in rescue capsule to surface


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 10:57:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had to get up early to watch this. It's an amazing achievement.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 11:23:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well i wasnt going to stay up but...

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:27:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the universe displaying a sense of humour in having an hourly rescue of the miners on the birthday of one M. Thatcher. just at the point she'll have forgotten, she'll be panicked all over again.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 07:58:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Plane crashes near Afghan capital Kabul

A civilian cargo plane has crashed near the Afghan capital Kabul with at least seven crew on board, government officials say.

They say the aircraft was carrying supplies to Nato forces and had taken off from the US base at Bagram. It went down in mountains to the east of Kabul.

Police say the crash happened in a remote area and it could take rescuers several hours to reach the wreckage.

Nato planes are conducting a search and rescue mission



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:14:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Senior officials jailed for three years over Cairo Van Gogh heist
Eleven Egyptian officials including the head of the culture ministry's fine arts department were convicted of negligence and jailed for three years Tuesday, after a $50 million dollar Van Gogh painting was stolen in August from a Cairo museum.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:32:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Karzai bid to placate angry Afghans - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has met villagers of Masmut in eastern Laghman province in a bid to placate them over civilian deaths in a Nato raid last month.

Al Jazeera's Sue Turton, reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, said that Karzai, along with senior government officials, offered the villagers condolences on Tuesday and vowed to invest in the region.

Locals had been angry over the raid on September 25, in which Nato said 30 Taliban fighters were killed. Villagers, however, say many of among the dead were civilians.

The villagers were also expecting General David Petraeus, the senior US general in Afghanistan, at the meeting.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:43:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It must be really strange to live as a civilian in an occupied country. Can't wait till it happens to the US, deaths here and there and absolutely no recourse other than ...

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 Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:45:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's not strange, it's terrible. We don't need to have meories of occupied europe fro mthe second world war, the massacres and the concentration camps. Look at Palestine, look at Iraq, look at Afghanistan. Guantanamo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib. Those are happening now.

that is occupation and it is not "strange".

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:41:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lieberman: Palestinians may try to form autonomous Arab regions within Israel - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that the Palestinians' refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state raises concern that before reaching a peace deal, they would try to create autonomous Arab regions within Israel.

While meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb in Jerusalem, Lieberman also said that there is a possibility that the Palestinians may try to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:44:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Netanyahu asking Palestinians to cede right of return - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Benjamin Netanyahu is not satisfied with forcing gentiles who wish to obtain Israeli citizenship to formally declare their recognition of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Now he is demanding that the neighbors on the other side of the border also declare Israel to be a Jewish state (what about "democratic"? ).

They will grant recognition in perpetuity, while he will grant a temporary settlement freeze for two months. Maybe three. Judaism for sale.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:45:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What a bloody conundrum!  How many hoops are they going to make the Palestinians jump through???

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:53:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not how many hoops that is the issue because there will always be another one. It is the process of delay, of humiliation that is important.

Israel does not want a resolution because that would limit its ability to act without restraint and it cannot abide that possibility.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:42:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was feigning naïveté.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 06:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And one of the Palestinian leaders has said that they will recognize Israel in whatever form it wants, in return for withdrawal to the 1967 lines. Which won't happen, of course.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 06:52:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GUATEMALA CITY, Oct 11, 2010 (IPS) - A high-level commission has been set up to look into appalling medical experiments carried out by U.S. researchers on hundreds of Guatemalans in the 1940s, and the government of this Central American country is debating alternative ways for the United States to make reparations. "These acts should be condemned and the case brought to trial," Amílcar Pop, an indigenous Guatemalan lawyer, told IPS. "We need to repudiate what happened and condemn the attitudes that made it possible. Humanity has evolved and these actions cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. What the United States did was a crime against humanity."

ACAN-EFE: The Central American countries agreed to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the Dominican Republic for the high tariffs imposed on products in the region, an official source.

Colombia Reports: With 186 votes on the first ballot, Colombian joined the U.N. body for the 2011-2012 term representing Latin American and the Caribbean.  Colombia's ambition to sit on the Security Council for the sixth time in the country's history was opposed by Bolivia, which said that Colombia's presence on the Security Council would expand the power of the United States, a permanent member of the council. Bolivia was one of five countries that abstained from voting. Venezuela voted in favor of Colombia earning the seat.

Colombia Reports: The Accusation Commission of the Colombian House of Representatives has opened a preliminary investigation into former President Alvaro Uribe's involvement in the illegal wiretapping of government critics.

Argentina, BUENOS AIRES - Argentina will present to the United Nations a copy of the formal protest Buenos Aires conveyed to the British government over London's plans to hold military exercises in the disputed Falkland Islands, Ambassador Jorge Argüello said Monday.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - Hurricane Paula smashed homes and forced schools to close in Honduras on Tuesday as it headed toward Mexico's resort-dotted Yucatan Peninsula.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:59:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fourth miner rescued: sole Bolivian miner emerges from San Jose mine.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 06:48:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Judge Orders Injunction on `Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  October 12, 2010 at 5:52 p.m. ET

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday immediately stopping enforcement of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, suspending the 17-year-old ban on openly gay U.S. troops.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling also ordered the government to suspend and discontinue all pending discharge proceedings and investigations under the policy.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Pentagon and Department of Justice officials said they are reviewing the case and had no immediate comment.

The injunction goes into effect immediately, said Dan Woods, the attorney who represented the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay rights group that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban's enforcement.

"Don't ask, don't tell, as of today at least, is done, and the government is going to have to do something now to resurrect it," Woods said. "This is an extremely significant, historic decision. Once and for all, this failed policy is stopped. Fortunately now we hope all Americans who wish to serve their country can."



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 07:13:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:01:50 PM EST
BBC News - Ban on Gulf of Mexico oil drilling to be lifted

The moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is to be lifted, the US government has confirmed.

The six-month ban was introduced in the aftermath of April's BP oil spill, but calls had been growing for it to be ended because of its economic impact.

Before oil firms can resume deep-water work in the region they will first have to meet a range of new safety rules.

A federal report said the moratorium had caused a temporary loss of between 8,000 and 12,000 jobs in the Gulf.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Google wades into offshore power lines - MarketWatch

Google Inc., Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp. and Swiss-based Good Energies Investment Corp. on Tuesday pledged seed money to develop an undersea power-cable network along the U.S. Eastern seaboard, the companies said Tuesday.

The funding supports a venture by Trans-Elect, an independent transmission company seeking to build a 350-mile transmission system off the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to Virginia.

The network would supply electricity from future offshore wind farms that will be run by an independent U.S. power producer, the companies said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:17:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the Numbers: Google's Offshore Wind Investment | GigaOM
Google and investors Good Energies and Marubeni are trying to kick-start a ground-breaking project to build a 350-mile cable on the east coast to power offshore wind farms. When built, it will be one of the largest projects of its kind in the U.S., and is an example of how a few pioneer investors can seed a market. But how do the gigawatts, dollars, and price points break down? Here's Google's offshore wind investment by the numbers:

6 GW (or 6,000 MW): The amount of clean power capacity that could be generated by the offshore wind farms that would be built next to the wind power transmission backbone.

<...>

60,000 MW: The potential offshore wind capacity of the entire Mid-Atlantic region.

1.9 million: The number of homes that could be powered by offshore wind farms that would be built next to the transmission line backed by Google.

Tens of millions: The amount of the initial investment from Google, Good Energies, and Marubeni.

<...>

$2,500 per kilowatt to $5,800 per kilowatt: The high capital costs of offshore wind power from 2007 through 2009, according to the DOE.

9 cents to 25 cents per kilowatt hour: The average price of offshore wind farm power.

<...>

Under 5 cents per kilowatt hour: The average price of coal power (without factoring in the price of carbon and other environment costs).

<...>

20 percent: The percentage of electricity that the DOE wants to come from wind power in the U.S. by 2030.

<...>

43,000 jobs: The amount of jobs created if all of the offshore wind capacity in the U.S. was tapped.



Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer.
by marco on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 04:55:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Google and Spectrum Bridge Send Your Power Use Data Over TV "White Space"  | Fast Company - Ariel Schwartz (June 24, 2010)
... Google has long been excited about the idea of white spaces. In a 2008 blog post, co-founder Larry Page imagined the possibilities of these unused signals:

We will soon have "Wi-Fi on steroids," since these spectrum signals have much longer range than today's Wi-Fi technology and broadband access can be spread using fewer base stations, resulting in better coverage at lower cost. And it is wonderful that the FCC has adopted the same successful unlicensed model used for Wi-Fi, which has resulted in a projected 1 billion Wi-Fi chips being produced this year. Now that the FCC has set the rules, I'm sure that we'll see similar growth in products to take advantage of this spectrum.

If the Google/Spectrum Bridge trial goes well, we may see ultra-powerful white space wireless pop up in more populated areas. That's good news for Google, which has invested in the smart grid through multiple ventures, including its own PowerMeter software. It's also promising for anyone living in a remote area without wireless. Thanks to white space, wireless may soon have no boundaries.



Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer.
by marco on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:10:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brussels plans strict new controls for offshore oil drilling | Business | The Guardian

The European commission is to reveal plans for tougher controls on offshore oil and gas drilling tomorrow. It would force national governments to abide by rules set in Brussels and extend liability for oil companies in the event of a disaster, The Guardian has learned.

The commission will also call for a moratorium on "complex" drilling projects in Europe until the lessons of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico have been digested - a move that has been rejected by Britain.

If the commission proposals became European law they would have far-reaching effects on the UK oil industry. More than half the offshore rigs in the EU are in British waters.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:20:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Failure to impose CCS levy on energy bills would be 'disastrous', MPs told | Environment | The Guardian

A failure by the UK government to provide the billions of pounds needed to build full-scale demonstration plants that capture and bury carbon emissions from power plants would be "disastrous", MPs were toldtoday.

Developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants is seen as critical to meeting the UK's legally binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years. But, ahead of the government's comprehensive spending review on 20 October, businesses - including Shell and Siemens - and policy experts have voiced fears that the government will not i impose a levy on energy bills to provide the estimated £4bn needed



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:28:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Carbon Capture, with all the feel-good, cosmetic and public-funding financial benefits to corporations as the Missile Defense Shield.

File under Hypocrisy(ies) (hypo-crisis?) of the small government crowd.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 08:07:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Silicon Valley's Solar Innovators Forced to Retool - NYTimes.com
FREMONT, Calif. -- A few years ago, Silicon Valley start-ups like Solyndra, Nanosolar and MiaSolé dreamed of transforming the economics of solar power by reinventing the technology used to make solar panels and deeply cutting the cost of production.ounded by veterans of the Valley's chip and hard-drive industries, these companies attracted billions of dollars in venture capital investment on the hope that their advanced "thin film" technology would make them the Intels and Apples of the global solar industry.

But as the companies finally begin mass production -- Solyndra just flipped the switch on a $733 million factory here last month -- they are finding that the economics of the industry have already been transformed -- by the Chinese. Chinese manufacturers, heavily subsidized by their own government and relying on vast economies of scale, have helped send the price of conventional solar panels plunging and grabbed market share far more quickly than anyone anticipated.

As a result, the California companies, once so confident that they could outmaneuver the competition, are scrambling to retool their strategies and find niches in which they can thrive.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 03:54:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUObserver: Oettinger backtracks on oil drilling ban


EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Commission appears to have backtracked on earlier plans for a compulsory moratorium on deepwater oil drilling inside the EU, with new proposals set to call for a voluntary ban at member state discretion.

The executive's energy commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, is scheduled to announce the review of Europe's drilling activities on Wednesday (13 October), calling on national governments to voluntarily suspend drilling in very deep waters and environmentally sensitive areas like the Arctic.

A more forceful draft circulating last week simply called on member states to implement the ban however, attracting the ire of British MEPs who feared such a move would cost jobs.

The EU's biggest oil reserves are found in the North Sea off Scotland, with MEPs from the region instrumental in watering down a parliamentary declaration last week that ultimately opposed a compulsory ban, while at the same calling for tighter security restrictions in the sector.

That warning appears to have been taken on-board, with Wednesday's final draft set to give member states the means, under EU law, to impose a ban if they choose, according to Reuters.

Green MEPs welcomed the proposals to strengthen EU rules but were disappointed by the commission's softened stance on a drilling ban, arguing that Europe is not prepared to deal with a spill on the scale of the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year.



Vencit omnia veritas.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:42:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Naturally, there's too much money at stake.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China's Wind Power Projected to Equal 13 Three Gorges Dams by 2020 | Greenpeace China - Press Release 2010.10.13
China's wind power can reach 230 GW of installed capacity by 2020, which is equal to 13 times the current capacity of the Three Gorges Dam; its annual electricity output of 464.9 TWh could replace 200 coal fire power plants, according to China Wind Power Outlook 2010, a new report jointly released by Greenpeace, the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA), and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

<...>

Compared to multinationals, many Chinese companies are young and lack a strong basis for research and development. Despite a renewable energy policy requiring grid companies to purchase all electricity from wind farms, access to wind power for the grid is frequently lagging behind an unstable, out-dated grid infrastructure. There is also the problem of a lack of incentives and penalties for grid companies, and slow progress in more wind energy technologies.

Wind Power Outlook 2010 PDF!



Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer.
by marco on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:56:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Denmark pollutes like an oil state [Danish]

Title really says it all.

(Of course, Denmark is an oil state - for a little while yet. But Oil State has connotations of dirty brown people speaking unintelligible languages and genuflecting towards the wrong pagan idols.)

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 02:12:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:02:12 PM EST
Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) -- Students who go abroad while in college are likely to increase or even double their alcohol intake while they're away, a new study has found.

Drinking increased most dramatically in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the study by researchers at the University of Washington found. Students reported drinking more when they perceived their fellow travelers were drinking more heavily, and those who planned to make drinking part of their cultural immersion did so.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:08:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Vaughan Williams choral work to premiere next year

An unperformed choral work composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams more than 100 years ago will be premiered next year.

The 45-minute piece, called A Cambridge Mass, was discovered during an exhibition at the Cambridge University Library.

Conductor Alan Tongue, who found the piece, said: "I knew immediately that here was a significant work."

Mr Tongue will conduct the concert, which will take place in March.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:08:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WOW!!!

Can't wait to hear it.

His Cambridge music is fun to listen to:

I expect there's a reason it hasn't been heard in 100 years but "Hope waxes eternal in the human breast."

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 10:26:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've sung several choral pieces by him, but way back in my youth.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 10:31:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His oratorio?  You Brits are big on oratorios.

(Strange people that you are.)

:-)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 02:32:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tea Party luring US into adventures in irrationality - opinion - 12 October 2010 - New Scientist

Compared with what may be in store for the US, George W. Bush's administration looks positively friendly to science, says Chris Mooney

THE Tea Party isn't nearly as entertaining as it ought to be. It is still unclear whether this particular brand of patriotic extremism is a passing fad or something more. Come the US mid-term elections on 2 November, those of us who care about science and rationality may not be laughing.

On the surface, the movement seems impelled by the economic pain Americans are feeling. But look more closely and it's hard to miss what historian Richard Hofstadter called the "paranoid style" in US politics, marked by "exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy". An essential strand of that is anti-intellectualism and disdain for science.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:09:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US midterms: Political freak show - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

I'm you, dear readers. Well, actually, I'm not. But I'm also not a witch, so at least I've got that going for me.

The above is of course a reference to Delaware's favourite Wiccan of Wilmington, Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, who began her most recent television advertisement by assuring viewers that she, indeed, is "not a witch." In past political years this might have been considered a bit low-brow, to actually have to assure the voting public you didn't spend most days at dusk swooping over the heads of the Lollipop Guild.

The bar has been raised among this year's crop of weirdos and wackadoos seeking higher office in America. If you don't have the Second Amendment tattooed on your buttocks or actually think you're The Walrus, don't even try and claim to be among the craziest third of aspiring politicos on the current American landscape.

For Jay Leno may have once called politics "show business for ugly people." But the larger truth these days is that a run for political office is a surefire way for those seeking a moment in the spotlight, but lacking any discernible talent or a handle on the truth, to have their hour in the headlines. It's show business for crazy people.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:10:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Washington Monthly
ANGLE MAKES UP CITIES, TOO.... About a week ago, extremist Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) appeared at a town-hall-style event, and was asked about "Muslims taking over the U.S." In right-wing circles, the notion of some kind of invasion that would leave white Christians as a persecuted minority is fairly common, and the right-wing Nevadan stoked the fires of fear.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:11:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gender gap is narrowing around the world, report claims | World news | The Guardian

The gender gap is narrowing across the globe, with large parts of the world moving towards greater equality between the sexes in terms of pay, education, health and political representation, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

Nordic nations, longtime champions of an equal society, topped the list with Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden demonstrating "great equality between men and women" in the forum's Global Gender Gap Index.

Of the countries surveyed, 59% narrowed the gap in the past year. Denmark, the Philippines, the UK and Sri Lanka stayed at the same ranks as in 2009, keeping them in the top 20.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:22:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spying and lying about the left - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

The US peace group "Peace of the Action" has discovered documents showing that it and many other organisations have been under surveillance for many months by a private agency called the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR).

Founded by antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, Peace of the Action has focused on opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by pressuring legislators and organising demonstrations and civil disobedience actions at visible places around Washington DC.

According to the ITRR's Web site:

The Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR) is an American and Israeli nonprofit corporation created to help organisations succeed and prosper in a world threatened by terrorism.

ITRR's Israeli and American experts provide counter-terrorism training, seminars and security specialisation in dealing with threats such as weapons of mass destruction (WMD), suicide bombers and other forms of international terror striking both the public and private sector.

The revelations about the Philadelphia-based ITRR emerged as part of a scandal involving the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, an office of the Department of Homeland Security, which gave a no-bid $103,000 contract to ITRR to gather information on various community groups.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:37:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Football's Brain Injury Lessons Head To Battlefield : NPR

Experts on brain injury are trying to take what they've learned on the football field and apply it to the battlefield.

That will mean identifying military personnel who have suffered a concussion, and forcing them to rest until their brains have a chance to heal.

The approach is similar to what happens in the NFL -- players who suffer a concussion may be benched for a week or more, even if they object.

Brain injury experts say mandatory rest and evaluation are even more important in combat because of new discoveries about the way energy from an explosion appears to reach the brain and cause damage. The goal is to prevent fighters who have already had one concussion from suffering another while their brain is still especially vulnerable to damage.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:47:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
News and Talk of Sonoma County
A federal judge has issued a nationwide injunction stopping enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ending the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.
 
U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling Tuesday was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 04:08:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hunting One Language, Stumbling Upon Another | New York Times - John Noble Wilford
... At a rushing mountain river, the linguists crossed on a bamboo raft and entered the tiny village of Kichang. They expected to hear the people speaking Aka, a fairly common tongue in that district. Instead, they heard a language, the linguists said, that sounded as different from Aka as English does from Japanese.

After further investigation, leaders of the research announced last week the discovery of a "hidden" language, known locally as Koro, completely new to the world outside these rural communities. <...>

As Dr. Harrison and Dr. Anderson expanded their research, comparing Koro with several hundred languages, they determined that it belonged to the Tibeto-Burman language family, which includes 400 tongues related to widely used Tibetan and Burmese. But Koro had never been recognized in any surveys of the approximately 150 languages spoken in India. ...



Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer.
by marco on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 05:15:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First miner brought safely to the surface!

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 11:21:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:02:37 PM EST
Cartoonist Les Gibbard 1945-2010 | UK news | The Guardian

Les Gibbard, illustrator, animator and political cartoonist on the Guardian for 25 years, has died at the age of 64.

He joined the Guardian in 1969, following in the footsteps of Sir David Low and Bill Papas, and at just 23 was the newspaper's youngest ever cartoonist.

Throughout the offices of the prime ministers Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher and John Major, his incisive daily pictorial commentaries gave readers a unique slant on world history.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 02:08:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Football Italia - the Italian football website for English-speaking football fans
There is chaos at Marassi with Serbian hooligans demolishing the stadium and injuring their own goalkeeper.

The Euro 2012 qualifier between Italy and Serbia in Genoa might not go ahead, as the visiting fans are in the process of wrecking the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

The trouble started outside with fans hurling objects at police and the security forces. They even got in to the team bus and threw smokebombs, including their own goalkeeper Stojkovic.

Serbia lost 3-1 at home to Estonia on Friday and are struggling badly in qualifying.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 03:18:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC Sport - Football - Italy-Serbia Euro 2012 tie abandoned after fan trouble

The Euro 2012 qualifier between Italy and Serbia in Genoa was abandoned after Serbia fans continued to throw flares on to the pitch and light fireworks.

The kick-off had already been delayed by 45 minutes after Serbia fans clashed with Italian police earlier in the day.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 12th, 2010 at 04:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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