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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 15 October

by In Wales Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 04:07:36 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


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1926 - birth of Michel Foucault, a French philosopher, sociologist, and historian. (d. 1984)

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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:20:24 AM EST
EUobserver / Voting begins for EU 'worst lobbying' award

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Voting has begun for the 'Worst EU lobbying awards 2010' - an initiative drawing attention to companies that reportedly use underhand techniques to influence the direction of EU legislation.

Attending the opening press conference in Brussels on Wednesday (13 October), Danish centre-left MEP Dan Jorgensen said it was time to introduce a new authorisation procedure and code of conduct for the estimated 15,000 lobbyists that operate in the EU capital, with severe penalties for those that break the code.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:30:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / EU states and MEPs clash over international talks

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Member states are considering taking the EU Parliament to court if it does not back down on demands for new powers on EU foreign policy and international agreements, EUobserver has learnt.

Ambassadors representing member states at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday (13 October) signaled their discontent over an inter-institutional agreement between the European Commission and the EU legislature which may give fresh powers to euro-deputies, especially when it comes to international negotiations on behalf of the EU.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:32:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Nato ministers agree to 'cut fat'
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Nato defence ministers on Thursday (14 October) agreed to plans put forward by secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen to "cut fat" by reducing the number of headquarters and staff. The money saved is to be used for new capabilities such as cyber defence and an anti-ballistic missile shield.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:33:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany backs NATO plan for missile-defense shield | World | Deutsche Welle | 14.10.2010

Germany has expressed its approval for an anti-missile system proposed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at a summit of member countries' defense and foreign ministers.

 

The 28-nation military alliance gathered Thursday in Brussels to discuss its new 10-year strategy designed to usher in a new era with a new orientation. Top of the agenda was a nuclear-missile shield to protect Europe and North America.

 

"We believe that, on substance, the missile shield is a good idea," German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told reporters ahead of the meeting.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:38:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shield against whose missiles ?

Iran's 500 mile fire crackers ? N Korea's inner city ballistic missile ?

Or Martians ?

We're going through a recession guys, now is not hte time for recreating cold War fantasies

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:19:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if the work were done in countries that are in recession, that would constitute a stimulus for those economies. The last thing needed is for most of the work to go to Germany. Call it "Anti-Missile Keynsianism".  :-)

But, of course, most of the work will end up in the countries that need it least, possibly excepting the UK. And presuming that the work is done in Europe. The USA could certainly use the work. It fits the economic function provided by capital spending: people are employed building things that are not immediately consumed. Not to say that it wouldn't be even better were similar sums spent on infrastructure that people would actually use.

But if they pay for it by firing government workers, then they have just replaced one kind of non-consumption oriented production with another. But politics and spin trumps all.

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 Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:34:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the problem with what you propose is that military spending is an economic dead end in that the product provides zero added value to the economy (even if you sell it abroad). It is simply dead weight economically.

If you build trade goods or infrastructure these assets multiply their value, weapons systems may direct tax dollars into the pockets of citizens in the same way as any other govt project, but at the end nothing is added to the economy.

So military spend adds mass not energy.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 09:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends. Part of the money for the missile shield goes to solve interesting technical puzzles that may further down lead to useful stuff. Better than buying and dropping bombs at least.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 09:50:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I never claimed that military production resulted in useful things, other than military advantage. But, because that production is not consumed in a normal sense, it has the same effect, in a macro sense, as capital spending -- i.e. you are paying people for production that will not be consumed. They will spend their wages on things that are consumed. That helps the larger economy, which is largely based on production of goods and services for immediate consumption. See THE GREAT SLUMP OF 1930 by Keynes and do the little arithmetical calculation he suggests.

This used to be more effective, before consumer goods manufacturing was exported to low labor cost countries, but it would still help the domestic service based economy by providing relatively high wage jobs and injecting purchasing power into the base of the economy.

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 01:24:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Using the military spending to "help the domestic service based economy by providing relatively high wage jobs and injecting purchasing power into the base of the economy" is all good from a very narrow perspective.

broadening the horizon a bit, that same money could be used to fund all manner of civilization-enhancing technologies and projects, including even the arts.  with far more payback.

humanity ain't gonna advance while it keeps funding old-school death. 'specially not as the oceans die off, and the nutrient-depleted topsoil washes away.

if i had 1/100th of amurka's military budget to spend for ten years, we'd have floating windmills producing hydrogen being deployed around the world in year 11.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:06:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am certainly not advocating 'Military Keynesianism', only noting what its effects are on the economy. It would be much better to have the same money put into just about any long term social capital good.

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:44:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Better than buying and dropping bombs at least.

But they do them both at the same time. The classic Reagan get what you give motif: finance both Iran and Iraq to kill each other, hiding the addicted wife while buying and selling drugs to finance munitions prohibited by Congress, spend massive amounts of money for carriers, battleships and planes while kicking off the faux dream of missile defense.

27 years later they still have failures with beacon-blaring targets.

The only spin-off so far is a good laugh or two from the one or two comedians keeping track.

Happy Cuban Missile Crisis Anniversary.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 01:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - US urges allies to endorse missile shield

AFP - The United States urged NATO allies Thursday to invest in a missile shield and avoid deep cuts in military budgets at a rare meeting of foreign and defence ministers clouded by the war in Afghanistan.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates made the plea, echoed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, amid French reservations about the system.

"The studies have been done, the data are well-known and the affordability is clear," Gates told alliance ministers. "It is time for a decision."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:48:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yea, cos firing a few secretaries is gonna pay for a missile shield.

these guys grew up molly-coddled on the comforts of Cold War Welfare and they can't let go. they are still in the mentality of inventing fantastical threats and getting a budget to come up with some stupid hardware to counter it. it never mattered that none of it ever worked cos the problem wasn't there anyway.

It's time to let go guys, we can't afford you anymore.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:22:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's time to let go guys, we can't afford you anymore.

Remember that old TV ad phrase "There's always room for Jello"? Well there's always megabucks for the military/industrial complex, and lobbyist bribes will make it happen.

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 06:57:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Polish minister steps out of race for EU foreign affairs job

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Poland's junior minister for EU affairs, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, has pulled out of the competition to become one of Catherine Ashton's top deputies.

The news was broken by Polish press agency PAP on Wednesday (13 October) citing "senior diplomatic sources."

Mr Dowgielewicz is said to have stepped aside in order to boost the chances of another Polish candidate, Maciej Popowski, to get the post of deputy secretary general in the European External Action Service (EEAS) and to concentrate on running the Polish EU presidency in late 2011.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:35:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Roma expulsion orders called into question by lawyers

At dawn on August 14, seventy Roma were evicted from the house in which they were squatting in the city of Montreuil, just south of Paris. Fourteen men were separated from their wives and children and placed into police custody. As evening neared, the men left the police station after each had been handed an official document: an Obligation to Leave the French Territory (OQTF), a month's notice to pack their bags.

The document clearly states the reason for their expulsion: they've lived in France for over three months, have insufficient financial resources to stay and no family obligations in the country. In accordance with European law, this gives France sufficient reason to demand their departure.

The group's lawyers, Helene Clement and Guillaume Traynard, think otherwise. The documents issued to the 14 Roma families are identical, save the blank space where their names and dates of birth were filled in by hand. Clearly, Clement and Traynard, argue, French authorities have failed to check the status of each of the Roma.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:46:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely these OQTFs are at least as valid as the typical foreclosure paperwork used in US residential mortgage foreclosures.

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 Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:24:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Unions call for new protests Oct. 19 as strikes continue for third day
French unions called for another day of strikes and protests to take place on October 19 over plans to raise the retirement age as an ongoing open-ended strike disrupted services and transport for a third day on Thursday.

"Union organisations ask the senators not to adopt this unfair reform," they said in a statement after Paris talks on their next move in a showdown with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has refused to back down on the flagship reform of his term.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 01:49:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Basel III is bad news for emerging economies
... as Basel III staggers towards the finishing line at November's Group of 20 leading economies meeting in Seoul, it has become clear that the needs of emerging markets have been ignored. 2004's Basel II proved fiendishly difficult to apply in conditions where even large corporations lack credit ratings; where the data to build credit scoring systems barely exists; and where there are few institutional investors who might actually read public disclosures. Far from fixing this, Basel III makes it even worse.
...
Basel III poses two fundamental challenges for emerging markets. The first concerns deadlines. After the banking industry stoked fears that Basel III's requirement to raise more capital could choke off nascent economic recovery, an Augustinian compromise was reached... As a result, implementation is now stretched until the end of this decade.

Yet emerging markets need to operate on a different timetable... However, Basel III's transition period means that no emerging economy is likely to want to be the first mover. Bankers in developing countries will argue with some justification that they should not be disadvantaged relative to competitors in advanced economies.

The second challenge is whether it makes sense for emerging market banks to be more highly capitalised and liquid than those in wealthier countries... But, as the tier 1 ratio rises, should emerging economies ratchet up their own requirements just to maintain an emerging market premium?



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:29:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Big Banks May Escape Capital Surcharge as Global Talks Founder - Bloomberg
Leaders of the world's largest economies, divided over how to curb risk-taking by their biggest banks, will likely fail to agree on a capital surcharge.

Instead, the Financial Stability Board, which is weighing measures to prevent such institutions from causing another economic crisis, will recommend a range of options without setting a level of extra capital to be imposed globally, said members of the group who declined to be identified because the discussions are private. The FSB will meet in Seoul next week.

The fissures running through the group are similar to those that split the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision when it considered tighter capital requirements for all banks this year. Germany, France and Japan are resisting a surcharge for big lenders, as are lobbyists for those firms, while the U.K., U.S. and Switzerland advocate the approach, members say. That camp agreed to soften some of the Basel capital rules with the understanding that more would be done to restrain the largest banks through the FSB.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Companies / Rail - French tensions rise over German trains
France's transport minister has stepped up his government's opposition to Eurostar's planned €600m order for German-built trains, saying that only trains built by France's Alstom could use the Channel tunnel.

Dominique Bussereau's remarks to LCI Television are likely to increase European Commission concern over France's stance over the order, announced on October 7, for 10 new Velaro high-speed trains from Germany's Siemens.

Eurostar, controlled by SNCF, France's state-owned train operator, is the first SNCF affiliate to order high-speed trains from a manufacturer other than Alstom, France's national champion.

Mr Bussereau repeated claims rejected by the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission and Eurostar that Siemens' trains would represent a safety risk. Eurostar's decision to opt for Siemens trains was "null and void", he said. "Since the beginning we have told the management of Eurotunnel, which manages the tunnel, and Eurostar, which operates it . . . that material other than Alstom material cannot be used," he went on. He added, however, that it was not a question of Alstom and other manufacturers, but that only Alstom trains currently met the safety rules.

Eurostar said it was confident it had chosen the best train for its customers. "We intend to proceed as planned," it said.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:37:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I listened to a debate about this on the radio. The basis for the safety issues is that the Alstom trains are built so that the train can be stopped such that the exit doors align with the tunnels emergency exits, and that passengers can get from all cars to each exit. The german trains are shorter and don't have the passages so that passengers are forced to walk out of the train and feel through the smoke to get to the exits...

Don't know any more subtle details than that.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:09:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I thought as well. But does this have anything to do with who makes them? Is there some reason why you can't run a longer train with Siemens cars, or are they confusing two issues?

Of course, there's also the additional problem of what happens if a door comes off a German train in the tunnel...

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:00:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree; I don't think it is a matter of exactly who makes them, just that they are to be made to a certain specification and only one maker is doing it that way. The confusion is at the reporter's end.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:11:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian.
But today, more than 60 years after he gave it a name, and nearly two decades after construction was begun, the Gotthard Base tunnel (GBT) will finally be completed.

At 57km (35 miles), it will be the longest railway tunnel in the world and will cut the journey time from Zurich to Milan by 60 minutes to two-and-a-half hours. With high-speed trains running at near ground level through the towering Gotthard massif, both passengers and freight will - just as Gruner predicted - be carried through the mountains in under two hours.

[...]

This afternoon, in the presence of the Swiss transport minister, Moritz Leuenberger, and the virtual presence of his EU counterparts, watching the ceremony via a video-link to Luxembourg, a giant drilling machine called Sissi will bore through the final centimetres of rock to connect both ends of the tunnel.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:51:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:21:16 AM EST
German economy on course for strongest growth in decades | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 14.10.2010

Germany's national economy will continue its recovery despite a slowing global economy, leading economic forecasters said Thursday. Analysts predicted growth of 3.5 percent this year and two percent in 2011.

 

In their twice-yearly report, Germany's five leading economic think tanks also predicted that unemployment will get better. The number of people without a job is expected to fall below three million next year, the lowest level since 1992.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:38:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / World - German warning on `aggressive' Chinese rivals
German companies have complained about state-owned Chinese rivals landing an increasing number of contracts in eastern Europe and central Asia by means of "price-dumping, aggressive financing and generous risk-guarantees" from Beijing.

In a paper seen by the Financial Times, German industry's Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations warns that China seems driven by geopolitical rather than economic goals, with potentially dire consequences for the European Union.

The committee, which represents five industry associations and 140 top companies, called on Berlin to lobby Beijing and European countries to ensure China does not help its exporters more than other nations.

The call comes amid tensions between Beijing and the west over exchange rates and perceived impediments to trade and investment in China - and also reflects fears about Chinese companies' increasing technological know-how.

A number of leading German industrialists, among them the chief executives of BASF and Siemens, criticised China this summer for its procurement practices and for a forced transfer of know-how in return for market access.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:16:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rioters and police clash at Acropolis | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 14.10.2010

Riot police used tear gas and batons to disperse hundred of protestors barricading the Acropolis for a second straight day Thursday. The protestors, most of them workers at the Culture Ministry, are demanding back wages and permanent employment contracts.

The strike began on Wednesday, when some 200 employees  barricaded the Acropolis and refused to allow tourists to enter Greece's most famous tourist site unless their demands were met.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:39:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Riot police break up anti-austerity protests at the Akropolis
AFP - Riot police on Thursday stormed the Acropolis to break up a blockade of Greece's top monument by protesting culture ministry staff as the government faced fresh opposition to its austerity policies.
   
The police broke into the monument perimeter through a side entrance and used tear gas to disperse media covering the event as they tried to corner the protesters and evacuate the site, which was closed to the public for the second day.
   
The protesters grabbed on to fence railings to prevent their removal from the hilltop site overlooking central Athens as gathered tourists snapped pictures.
   
At least one protester was detained as the police emptied the site, an AFP photographer said.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French Senate postpones pension reform vote | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 14.10.2010

France's Senate has delayed a planned vote on a bill that would introduce pension reforms and raise the retirement age, a ruling party spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The legislation, which would raise the early retirement age from 60 to 62 by 2018 and lift the age of eligibility for a full pension from 65 to 67, has set off nationwide strikes and protests, disrupting transport, schools and services.

The vote, which had been expected to be held on Friday or Saturday, has been pushed back until October 20, according to a lawmaker speaking to the Agence France-Presse news agency. The spokeswoman for the ruling conservative UMP party said parliament's upper house needed more time to debate around 820 proposed amendments filed by the Socialist opposition.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:39:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The weapons and tactics of a currency war | Business | Deutsche Welle | 14.10.2010

Conflict is growing in the trade relationship between the United States and China, with the yuan being held at an artificially low value to secure a competitive advantage for Chinese exports.

Goods produced in a country such as China with an inexpensive currency effectively cost less when sold to consumers in a country with a higher value currency. Those goods then become desirable, helping to spur the economy in the producing country.

But China is by no means alone in engaging in this type of policy. Many countries seek to make their exports more attractive by keeping their currency weak. And there are plenty of strategies by which to do so.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:40:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hochtief prepares defense against Spanish takeover bid | Business | Deutsche Welle | 13.10.2010

Threatened by a possible hostile takeover, German construction giant Hochtief has enlisted help from the political establishment. The Spanish construction company ACS - which is already the company's largest single shareholder with a nearly 30 percent stake - announced its takeover plans last month.

SPD party leader Sigmar Gabriel will visit Hochtief's headquarters in Essen on Thursday to meet with its works council and gather information about the situation. ACS is set to submit its offer to Germany's financial regulator, BaFin, for review on the same day.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:42:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This pending take-over has a certain mordant symmetry. A giant German construction company taken over by a Spanish construction company. Spain had the biggest construction bust and Germany financed the largest part of that bust, IIRCC. But how did ACS manage to get into position to even threaten such a feat?

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 Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:44:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Simple, ACS is big. If they managed to survive the Spanish crisis they're in a position to take over anyone.

Also, because of the absence of a construction boom in Germany, German construction companies are relatively smaller.

None of this means that ACS' bid is sound. It might be, or not. Takeovers are not about the health of the business.

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 01:48:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
off the top of my head w/ no research, i'd say that ACS must expand to other markets because of the slowdown in Spain.  Further, they see Hochtief with a huge coming position constructing in the offshore wind sector.  In fact, hochtief is in a 50% partnership with Beluga Shipping to not only construct, but build construction and transport vessels.

this could be one reason why the german gov is taking a stance to prevent the takeover.

all taking place on the new battlefield of market protectionism (see cf. german giants taking on China over IP, tech transfer steals, and low yuan; or france/Alsom taking on Eurotunnel/Siemens; dollar devaluation.)

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:25:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crazy Horse:
this could be one reason why the german gov is taking a stance to prevent the takeover.
Germany joined the EU to take over others' firms, not the other way around.

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:44:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
???  SPD chief Gabriel has already called on Merkel to intervene, as well as calling for changes to law to make it harder for hostile takeovers.  bruederle has so far refused, but as in Opel, some action is quite likely.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 06:20:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is one set of rules for German firms and one for others, obviously.

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 06:25:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pardon? Uhhh...give me a second...I'm updating the Colonialism Disguised As Capitalism Handbook.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:29:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Government to scrap state bodies to cut costs | Reuters

(Reuters) - The government is to abolish, merge or reform 481 semi-independent state agencies to cut spending and help reduce its deficit, under a plan that will cost thousands of jobs and change the way many services are delivered.

The overhaul of what the government calls "arm's length bodies" because they are not under direct ministerial control will affect agencies with a wide variety of responsibilities ranging from competition to child protection to renewable fuels.

"It will save money, but that is not the principal objective of it, actually. The principal objective is to increase accountability," Francis Maude, the minister in charge of the reforms, told BBC radio.

The coalition had pledged in its government agreement to reduce the number and cost of arm's length bodies as part of its deficit reduction strategy.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:56:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Government to create single competition authority | Reuters

(Reuters) - Britain plans to streamline its antitrust regime by merging two existing bodies into a single competition and market authority, in a move broadly welcomed by business leaders.

An official list of public bodies facing reform said the government would consult next year on a merger of the Competition Commission with the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The proposal would transfer the OFT's consumer and enforcement functions to another body.

The CBI welcomed the move on Thursday, which it said it had advocated. The heads of the two organisations also backed the proposal.

"The planned merger would improve the efficiency of the competition regime by cutting duplication," said Matthew Fell, CBI Director of Competitive Markets.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:58:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain plans to streamline its antitrust regime by merging two existing bodies into a single competition and market authority

Won't that make it a monopoly?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:24:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Osborne : "Drat, I was hoping nobody would notice"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Government scraps 192 quangos | Politics | guardian.co.uk

The government today delivered its promised "bonfire of the quangos", abolishing 192 government agencies, merging another 118 and substantially reforming a further 171.

Thousands of jobs will go and as many will be transferred into new departments. It amounts to the biggest shakeup of government the coalition has made to date.

Health bodies are dealt a particularly heavy blow with the Health Protection Agency being scrapped and its functions brought into the Department of Health. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Human Genetics Commission and the Human Tissue Authority will all be scrapped.

The BBC World Service and the British Council have both won reprieves and the Equality and Human Rights Commission will be retained, though its regulatory functions will be substantially changed and its budget is expected to be dramatically reduced.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 12:02:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Britain's austerity apostles duck the debate
What macroeconomic theory do the budget hawks have to subscribe to, to believe that taking £100bn out of the economy in the next four years will produce recovery? And what do the budget doves need to believe to claim the cutters are wrong?

David Cameron, Mr Osborne, and Nick Clegg appear to believe in something called "crowding out". This is the view that for every extra pound the government spends, the private sector spends one pound less. Jobs created by stimulus spending are jobs lost by the decline of private spending. Any stimulus to revive the economy is doubly damned: not only does it fail to stimulate, but, because government spending is less efficient than private, it reduces the economy's longer term recovery potential.
...
A refinement of this argument is "psychological crowding out". In this version it is not a shortage of saving, but a shortage of confidence in the government's creditworthiness - due to a fear of default - which causes interest rates to rise. Either way the deficit "crowds out" private investment. Net stimulus: zero.
...
Keynesians do not deny the possibility of "psychological crowding out": markets are subject to all kinds of irrational hopes and fears. But what the cutters mean by "crowding out" can normally only happen at full employment. At full employment, extra public spending obviously subtracts from private spending. But this is not the position we are in today.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:22:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The principal objective is to increase accountability...

Because anything that once was thought to benefit from being isolated from partisan politics is to become more accountable by either being dissolved or made part of the partisan process? Is Civil Service next?

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 Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:51:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Government to raise £4 billion/year via pension tax change | Reuters

(Reuters) - The government said on Thursday it would cut the tax relief on pension savings for around 100,000 higher earners, in a move designed to raise 4 billion pounds a year and help reduce a record budget deficit.

The move follows the scrapping of child benefits for higher earners last week and may provide political cover for the coalition government to say its cuts are fair when Chancellor George Osborne presents his spending review on Oct 20.

The government also said on Thursday that it would abolish, merge or reform 481 semi-independent agencies, proposals likely to cost thousands of jobs.

This follows reports on tackling government waste and charging higher university fees this week, all of which help set the scene for the government to cut most departmental budgets by a quarter or more.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:57:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rising bills push 500,000 more into fuel poverty | Reuters

(Reuters) - Rising gas and electricity bills have pushed half a million more people into fuel poverty, leaving them struggling to heat their houses, the government said on Thursday.

A household is said to be living in fuel poverty when 10 percent or more of its income goes on heating costs.

The figures were published less than a week before pensioners learn whether the government will cut subsidies to help them pay their fuel bills over the winter.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change's latest figures showed the numbers rose to 4.5 million in 2008, from 4 million in 2007. That equates to 18 percent of all households.

About 3.75 million of those are deemed to be "vulnerable households" where at least one person is disabled, sick, elderly or a child.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:58:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clegg tries to limit student fee rebellion | Reuters

(Reuters) - Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wrote to his Liberal Democrat legislators on Wednesday in a bid to head off a threatened rebellion over plans to double university charges for students.

The plans in a government-ordered review have caused tensions in Clegg's party and could lead to a parliamentary defeat if enough Liberal Democrat legislators rebel.

The divisions were not expected to bring down the coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, but add to uncertainty over whether it can hold together for a full five-year term.

The government on Tuesday backed the proposals to remove a cap of 3,290 pounds a year that universities are allowed to charge students for their tuition, and take Britain closer to a U.S.-style fees model.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:59:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bank's Tucker says recovery not on sure footing - report | Reuters

(Reuters) - The Bank of England's deputy governor Paul Tucker said the economy in Britain and globally was yet to find a "sure footing," a newspaper reported.

In an interview in the Daily Mail on Thursday, he also said that while activity has slowed "the labour market hasn't softened particularly."

"The macro-economy globally, regionally (the euro zone), even domestically isn't on a sure footing as yet," he was quoted as saying.

"The commercial property market in many parts of the world is still a source of risk."

Unemployment in Britain is running at 7.7 percent, and the number of Britons claiming jobless benefits rose for a second month in September.

The Bank of England is having to weigh up whether to pump more money into a sluggish economy or raise rates to counter inflation which remains stubbornly above target.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 12:00:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unemployment in Britain is running at 7.7 percent...

Is this the narrowest possible measure of unemployment, such as U1 in the USA? If so, what would be the broadest measure, corresponding to the US U6?

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 Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:57:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's closer to U3, but it has the added kink that a lot of people were classed as medically unfit for work so written out of the figures by an earlier tory government.

Current figures are that 29.16 million are in employment, so that gives a total for working age people of 31.95 million the current changes in sickness rules are going to dump an extra half million into the unemployed figures which will push it up to at least 9.86%

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 09:21:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The policy was due to an earlier tory government, but a lot of the people were actually classified as unfit by a more recent non-tory one. Once the policy was put into effect, some of the people themselves  figured out what was going on, and took advantage of it, increasing the numbers (I know a doctor who served on one of the committees that deal with this, and he has lots of horror stories from there. Of course he blames it on Labour, not being aware of how it started).
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 09:26:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See this diary and this one.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 11:21:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One in three Britons could not survive a week on their savings | Money | guardian.co.uk
With less than £249 in savings, 15 million people would run out of money in less than a week if they lost their job.

Fifteen million Britons could not survive from one weekend until the next on savings, according to research by HSBC. The bank has found that 30% of adults have less than £249 set aside as a financial safety net: 11% have some savings but less than £249, while 19% have no savings at all.

Apparently £249 is the equivalent of five days' average take-home pay, though the recommended minimum safety net is three months' pay, which based on the average would be £4,683.
...
The numbers of those claiming jobseeker's allowance announced yesterday show the fastest increase since January, to 1.47 million, and many more are expected to be joining the queue after next week's announcement on public sector spending cuts. And Lloyds has announced that it intends to scrap 4,500 jobs across its group IT operation, leading to the loss of 1,600 permanent UK roles.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 01:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Brussels - French-UK stand-off stalls hedge fund deal
A stand-off between France and the UK has dashed hopes that an agreement on European rules for hedge funds and private equity funds could be reached this week, forcing diplomats to suspend a final negotiating session.
...
The core issue remains how to treat fund managers from outside the EU bloc. The UK, along with the European Commission and a clutch of other countries, wants them to have pan-EU marketing rights, or a so-called "passport", provided they meet certain standards. The US has also weighed in, arguing that it would be discriminatory if fund managers within the bloc enjoyed a passport while those outside it did not.

France, having initially opposed a passport for non-EU managers, has conceded that it will now accept this in principle but insists passport rights must be tightly controlled by the European Securities and Markets Authority, the new pan-EU securities regulator. However, the UK and its supporters are wary about handing too much power to ESMA.
...
But EU officials are also concerned that attention needs to be paid to some of the outstanding issues which MEPs have with the proposed rules, including provisions dealing with "asset-stripping".



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:16:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do I hear the <scritch crunch munch> of locusts?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:22:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If hedge and private equity funds face limits on asset stripping, how are they to make money? Most unfair!

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 12:02:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Robo-signing eviction scandal rattles Wall Street | Business | The Guardian
Fears US regulators will rule that thousands of Americans may have been unfairly evicted from their homes rattled Wall Street today as the scandal over the use of "robo-signers" escalated.

Employees at mortgage firms are alleged to have rubber-stamped documents to force out defaulting homeowners without following the correct procedures.

Shares in Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan all fell sharply after it emerged that Xee Moua, an employee at Wells Fargo, the second-largest US mortgage servicer, had pushed through 500 foreclosures a day.

The growing scandal over the way homeowners have been evicted came as property data firm RealtyTrac reported that the number of houses seized by banks topped 100,000 for the first time in September. Lenders took possession of 102,134 properties in September. The state with the highest rate was Nevada.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Home Seizures Reach Record Amid Foreclosure Review - Bloomberg
More than 100,000 U.S. homes were seized by lenders in September, a record number that probably will decline in coming months as major banks halt repossessions and review their foreclosure practices.

Lenders took over 102,134 properties last month, RealtyTrac Inc. said in a report today. That was the highest monthly tally since the company began tracking the data in 2005, surpassing the August record of 95,364. Foreclosure filings, including default and auction notices, rose 3 percent from the prior month to 347,420. One out of every 371 households received a notice.

Sales of properties in the foreclosure process accounted for almost a third of all U.S. transactions in the month, a sign that a prolonged delay in repossessions may hurt the housing market, RealtyTrac said. Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. lender, said Oct. 8 it would curtail foreclosures across the country, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Ally Financial Inc. stopped seizures in 23 states where court approval is required.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:31:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The good news is that with banks stopping the foreclosure procedures, the statistics for foreclosures will go down for a while.

I say "Foreclusures down by record numbers - BUY STOCKS NOW"

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:55:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
CDS Rout In Financials Continues, As Equities Finally Smell The Foreclosed Coffee | zero hedge
Equities, being traded now exclusively by Fed-frontrunning retards and virus-infested robots, are a little slow." Prophetically, the equity slowness has finally caught up with reality, and BofA and Wells stocks are tumbling.


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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:59:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but no:

Are the Bank Foreclosure "Moratoriums" More PR than Real? « naked capitalism

Or have they? Florida is a judicial foreclosure state, and local reports suggest the banks are still moving forward with foreclosures. Note the inconsistencies between the statements of the bank employees versus the action on the ground. From the Fort Myers News Press:.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., along with some smaller lenders, have announced that they were holding off on court-based foreclosures...

But in Lee County, court records show both of those banks have continued to get court judgments allowing the sale of mortgages on foreclosed houses at public auction.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:15:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Florida become an anecdote, though an important one. In this case, perhaps that they are blatantly sticking out like a sore thumb will keep the issue alive. Otherwise it will be a mea culpa, a few weeks of study, a pronouncement that everything is perfectly in alignment again and the poaches will have the protection of everyone's apathy for 'old news'.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:14:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
naked capitalism
First Topic of the day: Foreclosures

Robo-signers: Mortgage experience not necessary Yahoo! Finance (Mortgage servicers hired hair stylists, Walmart floor workers and installed them in "foreclosure expert" jobs. Here's a quote from one of these experts: "I don't know the ins and outs of the loan, I just sign documents." Gee, I wonder who will be the fall guy here. )

U.S. Home Seizures Climb to Record as Banks Review Foreclosure Practices Bloomberg

A Look at How Unregulated Servicers Are, and the Consequences for Leaving this Crisis Mike Konczal

Emptywheel on the Stress Tests, Servicing Fraud as a Counter-Cyclical Diversification Strategy Mike Konczal

Florida's 30-Second Foreclosure Dash Hits Wall of Fraud Claims Bloomberg

The enormous mortgage-bond scandal Felix Salmon

The Real Foreclosure Crisis: Who Owns the Mortgages? HuffPo (note that Yves has said the MERS issue is secondary. She says the issues created by the RMBS are not easily remedied.)



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:36:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Melanchton's Empty Wheel link, which discussed the promises made to Elizabeth Warren's Congressional Oversight Panel regarding the bank's loan servicing business:
For what it is worth, I'm sure those conducting the stress test knew that this conflict existed and knew that it was very profitable to the banks. Servicing is considered a "hedge", because as the origination business dries up foreclosures will increase and servicing income would go up, something Countrywide and others loved to talk about.

So a hedge turns into a thicket!

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 12:17:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guest Post: Why Is the White House Against Freezing Foreclosures? A Look At The Fed's Suddenly Worthless Trillions In MBS Holdings | zero hedge

At first, there was a deafening silence from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on the foreclosure front. It was as if they: 1) didn't read the news; or 2) were afraid someone would notice afresh their incompetence in dealing with the ongoing housing crisis and deteriorating economy, while convincing everyone that the bank bailouts and subsidizations were good for us.

Last week, while Senator Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others in Congress were dispensing irate pre-election sound-bites, attorneys general across the country were gearing up for investigations. Banks were reluctantly announcing foreclosure moratoriums because it's quarterly earnings season and uncertainty is bad for stock prices, and Geithner was defending TARP and mixing it up with China over the dollar. Meanwhile, the Fed was gearing up to buy more Treasuries, like some kind of rapacious alien that eats its progeny, because no one else wants our debt.

But that changed when Geithner came out of hiding yesterday with a stance. (Bernanke is still in hiding, but will support Geithner's view soon.) Unsurprisingly, Geithner chose to side with the likes of conservatives and CNBC. Thus, his response to Charlie Rose when asked whether he supported banks in declaring a foreclosure moratorium was: "No, I wouldn't say it that way."



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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:07:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Geithner: Foreclosure Freeze Would Be 'Very Damaging'

As doubts about the legality of foreclosure proceedings continue to grow, Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner said a nationwide foreclosure freeze would do more harm than good, Bloomberg reports.

Speaking to PBS's Charlie Rose, Geithner, who called the foreclosure crisis "a national tragedy," said a moratorium could further depress housing prices and said it would be "very damaging to exactly the kind of people we're trying to protect," according to the transcript of his remarks (hat tip to Politico). A nationwide freeze could prevent foreclosed properties from being sold, and, as Geithner noted, unoccupied houses tend to hurt the value of their neighbors.

President Obama's top adviserr David Axelrod has also said he was "not sure" about a national moratorium. Both Axelrod and Geithner warn that such a move could cause collateral damage to valid foreclosure processes. Geithner told Rose "we're not going to make the problem worse."



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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:37:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From Politico´s transcript:
Geithner ... The reason why [recovery]'s slower, Charlie, than we'd like is -- fundamentally goes back to the causes of the crisis. You know, you had a crisis caused by the fact that as an economy we were living way beyond our means. People were borrowing more than they could afford. They were spending more than they earned, and you had this huge growth and leverage in the financial sector. And when you have a recession, a crisis caused by that, it takes more time to dig out of it. And the things that are causing growth to feel slower now, to seem slower, weaker now, are fundamental to the process of healing. We see weakness in it, people are concerned by weakness in it, but it's really about future strength, because as the American people repair their balance sheets, as save more of a share of their income, as they reduce their debt outstanding, that'll make us stronger in the future. In the short term, it means growth is slower than we'd like, but it's fundamentally healthy for us. And we are, in my judgment, Charlie, a substantial way through the process of healing, of fixing the things that were broken, you know, the financial sector much less leveraged, we've had a traumatic huge adjustment in house prices, real estate prices across the country, and private savings rates are already increased quite significantly. So those things are really important for future growth and they're encouraging, but they do mean that we're not growing as fast as we'd like, and I think Washington's got more work to do to try to provide some support for the economy.

Charlie Rose: You're encouraging banks to declare a moratorium on foreclosures?

Tim Geithner: No, I wouldn't say it that way. I think that you know what you're seeing in housing still now is a national tragedy, still very, very difficult. You know, again, this was a crisis caused by a lot of people were taken advantage of, a lot of people were too optimistic about what they could afford in terms of a house, lot of people were speculating in real estate, and a lot of innocent victims got caught up in the consequences of those basic mistakes. You saw, you know, the nation's largest banks that ran these servicing businesses, not invest anything like what they needed to, to run that business effectively in a downturn like that. And you're seeing the consequences of all those mistakes play out still across the American economy. Now, you've seen some banks suspend temporarily the foreclosure process so they can just make sure that they're not causing any injustice to the borrowers and that's very important for that to happen. And we're going to --

Charlie Rose: So you're pleased to see that happen.

Tim Geithner: I think where that's happening again the suspension is to make sure they're not causing any injustice is very important, but I think it's important to recognize, Charlie, that if you -- a national moratorium would be very damaging to exactly the kind of people we're trying to protect, because the consequence of that would be in neighborhoods that have been most affected by the foreclosure crisis, where you see lots of houses on the block empty, unoccupied, what it means is those communities will be living longer with houses unoccupied, with more pressure on their house price with the people still in their houses. That would be very damaging, and so again we want to make sure we're holding these services accountable, that they're not causing any injustice to people who can afford to stay in their home, and we're going to make sure we're careful in doing that. But we also want to make sure that we're not going to make the problem worse.



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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:45:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A nationwide freeze could prevent foreclosed properties from being sold,

A nationwide freeze would stop the houses being unoccupied in the first place...

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:03:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely.

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:06:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh. And why would Geithner care about that?

a national moratorium would be very damaging to exactly the kind of people we're trying to protect,

I don't think he means the about-to-be homeless.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:31:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The stated reason is total bunk. But "we know" middle-class voters care about their net equity and the value of their home so let's argue that a foreclosure moratorium would negatively impact property values. And the mechanism by which we argue this happens doesn't matter because in narrative logic all that people will remember is halting foreclosures is bad for property values.

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 09:33:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this is starting to creep out, a bit like the family that leaves the dead relative's room, 'just like he left it', as a shrine.
we wouldn't want house prices to fall harder would we?
so we go dust the old paradigm again.

memo to tim, this bubble's popped, trying to stop it deflating is an expensive exercise in futility.

and so it went, slow recovery, my ass. it's a corporate/banking system recovery, and a disaster for everyone else. high dow, people on food stamps.

there should be oscars for this, it reminds me of greenspan at his oiliest. pacino, de niro, brando got nothing on these guys...

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:20:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What does the Fed care if the US denominated assets it holds become worthless? It's the monetary authority!

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:15:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Out of Maine, a National Foreclosure Freeze - NYTimes.com
All of this is largely because Mr. Cox realized almost immediately that Mrs. Bradbury's foreclosure file did not look right. The documents from the lender, GMAC Mortgage, were approved by an employee whose title was "limited signing officer," an indication to the lawyer that his knowledge of the case was effectively nonexistent.
...
"When Stephan says in an affidavit that he has personal knowledge of the facts stated in his affidavits, he doesn't. When he says that he has custody and control of the loan documents, he doesn't. When he says that he is attaching `a true and accurate' copy of a note or a mortgage, he has no idea if that is so, because he does not look at the exhibits. When he makes any other statement of fact, he has no idea if it is true. When the notary says that Stephan appeared before him or her, he didn't."
...
But Judge Powers went further than that, saying that GMAC had been admonished in a Florida court for using robo-signers four years ago but had persisted. "It is well past the time for such practices to end," he wrote, adding that GMAC had acted "in bad faith" by submitting Mr. Stephan's material:

"Filing such a document without significant regard for its accuracy, which the court in ordinary circumstances may never be able to investigate or otherwise verify, is a serious and troubling matter."



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 06:55:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Out of Maine, a National Foreclosure Freeze - NYTimes.com

Mr. Cox, 66, worked in the late 1980s and early 1990s for Maine National Bank, a subsidiary of the Bank of New England, which went under. His job was to call in small-business loans. The borrowers had often pledged their houses as collateral, which meant foreclosure.

"It was extraordinarily unpleasant, but it paid well," he said. "I had a family to support."

The work exacted its cost: his marriage ended and a serious depression began. He gave up law and found solace in building houses. By April 2008, he said, he was sufficiently recovered and started volunteering at Pine Tree Legal.



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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:06:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And so, we approach the essence.

Corporations are given stature, allowed to be a body do to speak, for some public good. People become corporations, and get certain benefits and protections and responsibilities by promising X to the community.

As it was pointed out a few days ago, fraud pierces the corporate veil. The people become people again.

If such things as 3 Strikes Laws had a purpose, it would certainly be so for corporations, and the people who let the policies slip to such an onerous degree as to let things like this happen get the same treatment as any other criminal who commit crimes.  The company disappears for a while, or forever. The people who invested in it take a loss for having backed someone who would do anything to make them money on their stationary money.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:40:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dollar sinks further against yen, euro and Australian dollar | Business | The Guardian
Speculation that the US Federal Reserve could be about to launch a second phase of quantitative easing (QE), creating billions of dollars to reignite the world's largest economy, pushed the US currency down to a 15-year low against the yen today.

Investors fear that a possible massive programme of bond purchases by the Fed will flood the financial system with dollars, eroding the dollar's value.

The dollar fell 0.8% against the euro, trading at $1.40, and 0.4% against the yen, changing hands at less than ¥81, the lowest level since 1995.

The Australian dollar, backed by the growing strength of the country's abundant commodities, such as iron ore and coal, edged ever closer to parity with the dollar, touching an all-time high of $0.994.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:28:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Trade Gap Grows, Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise - Bloomberg
The trade deficit widened 8.8 percent to $46.3 billion in August from $42.6 billion the prior month as a rise in imports swamped gains in exports, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The number of Americans filing claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly climbed by 13,000 to 462,000 last week, according to the Labor Department.

Economists at Morgan Stanley cut their forecast for third- quarter growth based on the increase in imports from countries like China, while at the same time boosting estimates for business investment. The prospect that unemployment holds above 9 percent through next year and a lack of inflation are among reasons Federal Reserve policy makers may ease monetary policy.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:33:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the stock market is at 11,100. What could be wrong?

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:53:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise

Unexpected ... by what idiot?  


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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:11:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Markets - Dollar fall sparks stability warnings
The dollar tumbled against most major currencies on Thursday, prompting warnings that the weakness of the world's reserve currency could destabilise the global economy and push other countries into retaliatory devaluations to underwrite their exports.

Increasing expectations the Federal Reserve will pump more money into the US economy next month under a policy known as quantitative easing sent the dollar to new lows against the Chinese renminbi, Swiss franc and Australian dollar. It dropped to a 15-year low against the yen and an eight-month low against the euro. The dollar index, which tracks a basket of currencies, reached its lowest level this year.

A senior European policy-maker, who asked not to be named, said a further aggressive round of monetary easing by the US Federal Reserve would be "irresponsible" as it made US exports more competitive at the expense of its rivals.

Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist for BNY Mellon, said: "In narrow terms, the US is winning the currency wars as a weaker dollar will help its economy, but it could damage the other big economic blocs of China, Japan and Europe."



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:13:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it falling or is it winning the currency wars?

Another analyst, another reason read into random price movements...

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:20:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Capital Markets - Investors split over the deflation dilemma
Investors are torn between two extremes. Is the US heading for a decade of Japan-style stagnation characterised by years of falling prices - or will the hundreds of billions of dollars likely to be pumped into the economy by the Federal Reserve lead to the opposite: rising inflation?
...
"Investors are quite schizophrenic at the moment. They are worried about deflation in the short term but are concerned further out about inflation," says Keith Wade, chief economist at Schroders, the fund manager. "It means they will have to change horses over the next year or two."

FedsFew investors reckon that prices will fall persistently, especially with the Fed determined to head off that outcome. But, with economic growth still anaemic and core inflation at less than 1 per cent in the US, the immediate threat is clear enough.

"The deflation risks are probably higher than the inflation risks," says Richard Urwin, investment head in fiduciary mandates for BlackRock in London. "While we are in a low-growth environment, these deflation concerns aren't going to disappear easily."



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:19:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - John Ross -

Pelosi does not seem to appreciate, however, that the US cannot profitably produce the goods it imports from China. If tariffs were imposed, similar low-price products would be imported from India or Mexico. No American jobs would be created. Indeed, a trade war would lead to a net loss of American jobs. Any country hit by tariffs invariably reciprocates, and China would act against competitive US industries such as farm products and hi-tech.
[....]
A much more attractive future, he argues, "requires a national industrial-restructuring programme in which the government would invest in 21st-century technologies with the goal of establishing an unassailable American lead".

If the economics of this proposition are so simple, why doesn't it happen? As George Soros explains, it is because of American anti-statist ideology: "The imbalance between consumption and investment must be corrected ... The obvious solution is to distinguish between investments and current consumption, and increase the former while reducing the latter. But that seems politically untenable ... a quarter-century of calling the government bad has resulted in bad government."

The fact that some US politicians' economic arguments are confused is because they have created a situation whereby America has ample finance but no mechanism to turn it into investment - consequently it remains in economic stagnation. Instead of creating a scapegoat in China and proclaiming "currency wars", the way out is to address the US's real economic problems.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:01:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:21:32 AM EST
EUobserver / Pakistan to EU: Help us to fight terrorism

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Pakistani foreign minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi has urged the EU to keep aid flowing in order to help combat extremism in the aftermath of the floods disaster.

Speaking at a hearing in the EU Parliament in Brussels on Thursday (14 October), the minister said: "If you want to help us fight extremism and terrorism one way of doing that is making Pakistan economically stable."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:35:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Police arrest suspects in plot to kill prime minister, foreign minister
AP - Pakistani police arrested a group of Islamist militants plotting to kill the prime minister in a gun and suicide bomb attack at his house, officials said Thursday. The seven men also are accused of targeting other government leaders for assassination.   Militants in Pakistan have frequently attacked government officials, security officers and political leaders as part of a campaign to destabilize the U.S.-allied government and take over the state. Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun-and-bomb attack near Islamabad in 2007.   The conspiracy against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was nearly complete, police officials said.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:49:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - NATO backs Taliban talks, vows no halt to military action
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday said the alliance was ready to support possible peace talks with the Taliban but ruled out halting military operations against the Afghan insurgency.

While the NATO-led force was willing to provide "practical assistance" for reconciliation efforts, "we should continue our military operations" against the Taliban, Rasmussen told a news conference.

Talks with the insurgents must be led by the Afghan government "but our position is if we can facilitate this process through practical assistance then why not?" said the NATO secretary general, without providing further details.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
translation: we've lost the war, but the charade must go on until the treasury is dry, paying our enemy (in borrowed rembimbis) to enable us to kill them better.

vonnegut would have had a field day with this

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:30:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"...and so it goes."

I guess you are saying that finally the Opium Wars are ending? the victors declared too early? My, how fast 150 years go by.

It occurred to me while reading some silly right wingers article...he was building his frame on how unfair the Chinese system was, because the state banks were funding industries without regard to profit...

THEY'RE COMMUNISTS YOU IDIOT~!

It's like the mirage the Reaganistas created, imagining that capitalism won the war against the fascism of Russia...the Chinese are proclaimed as having turned into capitalists when all they are doing is using tools that others attribute to capitalism.

"...and so on."

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 08:22:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Chileans celebrate heroic rescue of all miners
AFP - A complex, against-all-odds rescue of 33 miners trapped in Chile for more than two months transfixed this nation and the world Wednesday, with wild celebrations breaking out at its successful completion.
  
The ascent of the last of the miners, grizzled leader Luis Urzua, capped nearly 22 hours of euphoric scenes happening every 30 minutes or so, when each of the trapped men was winched individually to the surface through a narrow escape shaft.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:45:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
getting turned off by the ubernationalistic turn this story's taking...

the billionaire pres celebrating the gold mine heroes and flagwaving away, with industrial safety what it is...

cheesy. it's a universal story, let it be that, instead of piggyback politics-as-per.

focus that emotion into fuelling deeper respect for the earth and less national anthemism!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:37:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hah. And you didn't even see the WSJ story calling it a triumph of poor, maligned capitalism.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:24:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Israelis wary of Ahmadinejad border tour in Lebanon
AFP - Israelis were on Thursday warily watching their northern border for a rare opportunity to see up close the arch-enemy of the Jewish state -- Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
  
The Iranian president, who is on a two-day trip to Lebanon, was expected to make a controversial tour of the southern border region during the afternoon which has been slammed by the United States and Israel as "provocative."
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:47:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahmadinejad is just the sort of islamic leader Israel craves. He ticks every box for cardboard cut out enemy.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:40:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - No. 2 junta leader under interrogation in Niamey
AFP - Niger's number two junta leader, Colonel Abdoulaye Badie, is under arrest at military headquarters in Niamey, a military source said on Thursday.
   
"Colonel Badie was arrested yesterday afternoon and is under detention in military headquarters in Niamey," the military source said.
   
"He is being interrogated," the source added, without explaining the reasons for the arrest.
   
Badie was permanent secretary to the junta under General Salou Djibo, leader of the coup which overthrew Niger's president Mamadou Tandja in February. He also served as chief military quartermaster.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:48:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rule of Law Index | World Justice Project
After three years of intensive development, testing, and vetting--including interviewing 41,000 people and over 900 experts in 35 countries--the World Justice Project is ready to publicly release the first annual WJP Rule of Law IndexTM.

The Index provides detailed information and original data regarding a variety of dimensions of the rule of law, which enables stakeholders to assess a nation's adherence to the rule of law in practice, identify a nation's strengths and weaknesses in comparison to other countries, and track changes over time.

[DOWNLOAD]



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 01:47:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm glad you caught this, i also did but couldn't then post a comment.  It relates to what i wrote to Migs some nights ago about the US justice system.


All well and good for a rational person trained in physics and math to think that, but there's a better than even chance you're underestimating the prejudices and corruption inherent in the US "justice system."

Property rights may be more "sacred' in the US than anywhere else (pointing to exactly what's wrong with the civilization as a while), but me bets they're more sacred for financial engineers who own the government than for pigmented people who were sold a bill of goods.

the breakdown of the system of law, poignantly underscored by the supremes giving corporations the right to unlimited free spending for elections, has been going on for decades if not longer.  just worse now of course.

it will be one of the key factors in the breakdown of the US system (while a renewed judiciary is born bottom-up.)  Corporate finance not only owns the government, but the judicial system, with significant exceptions of course. (9th circuit is one.)  since they also own the fourth estate, where can the citizenry turn???

There could well be an entire diary series on this issue.  

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:08:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crazy Horse:
There could well be an entire diary series on this issue.  
And that would be a good thing...

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 Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chile, SANTIAGO, Oct 13, 2010 (IPS) - "This country has to understand that changes must be made," said Mario Sepúlveda, the second Chilean miner -- of the group of 33 trapped 700 metres underground for over two months -- rescued in the early hours of Wednesday morning.  But what changes? What lessons has the mining accident in the northern region of Atacama left Chile, the world's largest producer of copper? In the media frenzy surrounding the rescue operation that started Tuesday night, no one has bothered to mention that there were more than 191,000 workplace accidents in this South American country of 17 million people in 2009, including 443 deaths, and 155 deaths in the first quarter of this year alone.

Juan Cole on the Chile mine disaster: So here are the questions that a social historian would ask about the sorry episode, and which I never heard anyone on television news ask during all the wall to wall coverage...

Honduras: The drum beat of violence and assassinations targeting union members and others in the National Resistance Front continues in Honduras, as human rights defender Berta Oliva described during a Chicago visit before receiving the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington D.C. Wednesday on behalf of a coalition of Honduran human rights groups including her group, COFADEH. (The award is named for Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and IPS staffer Ronni Karpen Moffitt, murdered by agents of then-Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1976.)  Just in the last month, numerous acts of violence and intimidation have occurred: a social security unionist and a member of the campesino group MUCA were killed; 22 university union employees were illegally ordered arrested; and an opposition journalist survived an attempted murder. Oliva noted that 83 members of the resistance movement have been murdered or disappeared since current president Pepe Lobo Sosa took office in January.

GUATEMALA CITY - Spain will contribute a total of $58.6 million for Guatemalan reconstruction over the next two years, Madrid's secretary of state for international cooperation said on Tuesday. (...) Of the $58.6 million offered by Spain for the reconstruction of this Central American country, $3.7 million will go to housing construction, while some $2.2 million will be channeled through Unicef to finance programs to fight juvenile malnutrition.  Spain's AECID foreign aid agency will contribute $7.2 million for the recovery of educational infrastructure, while $15 million more, which was originally approved in 2009 for infrastructure projects for the water supply, will be "reprogrammed" for relief projects.  Another $30 million - 10 percent of Spain's total budget for Latin America within the Water Fund - will be directed to preventing the effects of climate change.

Caracas, 13 Oct. AVN .- The State Enterprise In Support Food Production (EMAP) of Bolivia will expand rice sales to Venezuela and Cuba by the Unified Regional Compensation System (Sucre), said Bolivian Vice Minister for Domestic Trade and Exports, Huascar Ajata, on Wednesday. The deputy minister said that the sale could be in the order of $ 6 million, while recalling that on Friday his country has completed the first sale of 5,000 tons of crude soybean oil to Caracas, as quoted by Prensa Latina.

MIAMI, USA -- At 8:00 pm EDT Wednesday, the centre of Hurricane Paula was located near latitude 21.8 north, longitude 85.6 west. Paula was moving toward the north-northeast near 3 mph. A turn toward the northeast and east is expected on Thursday. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, on this track Paula will be passing very near or over western Cuba on Wednesday night or early Thursday. Maximum sustained winds are near 85 mph, with higher gusts.

Mexico, AguachileWhile many a proverbial eyebrow were raised by the presence of el innombrable during the bicentennial festivities, Carlos Salinas' return to the public view was in a quite institutional role: Felipe Calderón invited all current presidents to attend. Similarly, at a forum yesterday celebrating the 20th anniversary of the IFE, the Federal Electoral Institute, the "unnameable" was invited and held a speech. (...) Salinas was invited to the forum for the simple fact that the IFE, in its initial form, and despite all its deficiencies, was set up in 1990 under his watch. It was, however, the first time in quite a few years that the reviled ex-president made a public discourse. It is worth reading in its entirety, and can be accessed here.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:54:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Bloomberg.
What were banking regulators doing while some of the biggest U.S. lenders routinely filed false foreclosure documents in local courthouses around the country? In the case of IndyMac Federal Bank, it turns out the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was running the joint.

[...]

The FDIC formed IndyMac Federal in July 2008 as the successor to the failed bank, and continued operating it in conservatorship before selling it in March 2009.

Among the sworn statements IndyMac filed with the court was a December 2008 affidavit by an IndyMac vice president, Erica Johnson-Seck, who said she had personal knowledge of the amount of money the Machados owed on the mortgage. That wasn't true, she later testified in a deposition. To be fair, there's every reason to believe the old IndyMac was engaged in this sort of conduct already, before it was shut down.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:14:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Antiwar.com.
Following up on last month's demands that Pakistan agree to yet another massive tax increase on "wealthy landowners," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stepped the issue up even more, threatening to withdraw all humanitarian aid from the nation unless they comply.

Today it was even worse, as Clinton pressured the European Union to do the same. Between them, the US and EU have contributed more than half of the $1.5 billion in humanitarian aid for this year's disastrous floods.

"It is unacceptable," according to Secretary Clinton, "for those with means in Pakistan not to be doing their fair share to help their own people." While rich Pakistanis have contributed to relief efforts, they have balked at donating to the official government aid program, citing corruption.

I hope the U.S. does the same thing the next time an earthquake hits California...
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 06:12:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent - Johann Hari - Obama's robot wars endanger us all

Imagine if, an hour from now, a robot-plane swooped over your house and blasted it to pieces. The plane has no pilot. It is controlled with a joystick from 7,000 miles away, sent by the Pakistani military to kill you. It blows up all the houses in your street, and so barbecues your family and your neighbours until there is nothing left to bury but a few charred slops. Why? They refuse to comment. They don't even admit the robot-planes belong to them. But they tell the Pakistani newspapers back home it is because one of you was planning to attack Pakistan. How do they know? Somebody told them. Who? You don't know, and there are no appeals against the robot.

Now imagine it doesn't end there: these attacks are happening every week somewhere in your country. They blow up funerals and family dinners and children. The number of robot-planes in the sky is increasing every week. You discover they are named "Predators", or "Reapers" - after the Grim Reaper. No matter how much you plead, no matter how much you make it clear you are a peaceful civilian getting on with your life, it won't stop. What do you do? If there was a group arguing that Pakistan was an evil nation that deserved to be violently attacked, would you now start to listen?



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:04:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a dystopian alternative universe Man In High Castle-style book on how Delaware was given back to the Delaware tribes and the homeowners with the Bank of Delaware mortgages rose up in rebellion? or how Roosevelt accepted the passengers of the St. Louis, giving them and all other refugees the entire wastelands of Florida instead of sending them back to Germany to be slaughtered? and the aftermath of that?

Nationalism is a few hundred years past its sell by date. I'm really getting tired of being reborn into this stagnant cesspool of idiocy. Robots violating the Three Laws. No freakin' way. These are wartools worked by midget minded people who knowingly act upon malicious robo-signed information, committing acts of criminal negligence at best, and slaughter of civilians war crimes at worst...often at the same time...

...with my tax money, with the stated approval of Congressman Schiff of Glendale California (the great defender of the yearly Armenian Holocaust Legislation) and President Obama of Hawaii...in my name.

War is Peace

Democracy is ...shooting people with high powered weapons from thousands of miles away as if that were the real thought out solution to a problem that wasn't going to require solutions of even greater magnitude to solve the problems it is creating...with the will of the people governed.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 08:51:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:21:58 AM EST
Hungarian alumina plant to reopen as toxic sludge death toll reaches nine | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 14.10.2010

Hungarian disaster officials say an alumina plant behind a toxic sludge spill last week that ravaged local villages and rivers will reopen on Friday, as the death toll from the disaster climbed to nine late Wednesday.

The Hungarian government has since taken control of the plant for a period of two years, appointing Gyorgy Bakondi to head the plant and announcing it would resume operations.

"We have already switched on the industrial heating [at the plant]," Bakondi told a press conference with Sandor Pinter, Hungary's interior minister.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:41:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Prime minister visits toxic sludge-hit area
REUTERS - Prime Minister Viktor Orban visited the area around an alumina plant which flooded parts of western Hungary with toxic sludge last week and his government will decide later on Wednesday whether to restart production.   Latest checks showed no further deterioration in the damaged wall of its giant reservoir, Gyorgyi Tottos, a spokeswoman for disaster crews on the scene, told Reuters.   Orban has blamed "human negligence" for the escape of industrial waste at MAL Zrt's plant that killed nine people, injured over 120 and polluted a tributary of the Danube.   The National Disaster Unit said on its website the latest victim died in hospital on Wednesday of injuries sustained during the spill.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:50:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - France faces prospect of fuel shortage if strike continues
AFP - France faced the threat of fuel shortages on Wednesday as a wave of strikes against President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reform plans shut down 70 percent of its oil refining capacity.
   
One day after a massive nationwide protest brought more than a million workers and students into the streets, dozens of follow-on strikes erupted around the country, disrupting transport, schooling and services.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:46:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Indian villagers poison elephants: officials

AFP - A growing tussle for land between farmers and wild elephants in northeast India has resulted in the suspected poisoning deaths of four elephants in the past week, officials said Friday.

Officials in Assam state believe the four animals were deliberately poisoned by lacing home-made alcohol with toxic chemicals.

"We have taken the matter very seriously and already an enquiry by the chief wildlife warden is on and strict action will be taken against anyone found guilty of poisoning the elephants," state forest minister Rockybul Hussain told AFP.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:47:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
U.N. climate panel agrees reforms; Pachauri stays | Reuters

(Reuters) - The U.N. panel of climate scientists agreed on Thursday to push ahead with reforms after errors in a 2007 report and chairman Rajendra Pachauri rejected suggestions he should step down.

The panel said after an October 11-14 meeting in Busan, South Korea, that it would tighten checks for errors and set up a "task force" to agree wider reforms by mid-2011 such as an overhaul of the panel's management.

"Change and improvement are vital to the IPCC," Pachauri told a telephone news conference.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been under pressure after errors in its 2007 report, including a projection that Himalayan glaciers could all melt by 2035 -- centuries before the worst-case thaw.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 12:01:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe contemplates raising carbon target to 30% | Environment | guardian.co.uk

European environment ministers will meet in Brussels later today to debate whether the EU should increase its greenhouse gas emissions target for 2020 to a 30 per cent reduction against 1990 levels.

The meeting follows the release yesterday of a joint declaration by many of the largest businesses in Europe urging ministers to formally upgrade the EU target from the current 20 per cent cut.

The statement was signed by 29 European companies from across a wide range of sectors, including BNP Paribas, BSkyB, Capgemini, Centrica, Crédit Agricole, GE Energy, Johnson Controls Inc, Google, Marks and Spencer, Nike, Philips Lighting, Sony Europe, Swiss Re, Thames Water and Vodafone.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 12:04:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Global Economy - Opec leaves production levels unchanged
The Opec oil cartel agreed to maintain its current production level on Thursday, signalling the group's satisfaction with prices of around $70 to $85 a barrel.

The cartel, which controls 40 per cent of the world's oil production, said in a statement after a regular meeting in Vienna that whilst economic recovery was under way, "there is still considerable concern about the magnitude and pace of this recovery."
...
Wilson Pastor-Morris, the Ecuadorean natural resources minister and current president of the oil cartel, said the present quotas, agreed during a meeting in December 2008, had "served [their] purpose well" and "reduced volatility at a critical time for the world economy". The present agreement allows the 11 Opec members subject to quotas to produce 24.85m b/d. In practice, they pump some 26.8m b/d. Iraq, the 12th member of the cartel and not covered by quotas, produces another 2.4m b/d.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:13:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Favourite Link of the Week:  Impossible Hamster

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...
by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:23:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So why do economists think we can grow for ever and ever and ever ?

By doing what the banksters actually did. They multiplied the money by moving it to hyperspace so that they could spend the same money on loaning it out, hedging the better, swapping the collateral and taking out an insurance policy against default. especially since the riskier the loan and the more chance of default, the more likely they were to get higher multiples of the same money by more collateral swaps and subsequent insurance policy payouts.

win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win win .......................

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:47:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rebekah and Stephen Hren: Solar Power International 2010 Day 1: Lakota Sioux Leading Nation Away From Fossil Fuels

Solar Power International 2010 Day 1: Lakota Sioux Leading Nation Away From Fossil Fuels What's Your Reaction: Inspiring
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"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 07:41:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oops, try again...
Rebekah and Stephen Hren: Solar Power International 2010 Day 1: Lakota Sioux Leading Nation Away From Fossil Fuels
Henry Red Cloud heads Lakota Solar Enterprises, a Pine Ridge, South Dakota reservation-based manufacturer that produces solar air heaters for local residents. In the past four years they've not only built and installed over 1,000 solar air heaters, they also created the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. At this facility, Native Americans from around the country can received training on solar technologies from other Native American trainers.

sorry folks

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 07:44:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jesse's Café Américain: Guest Post: Peak Oil - There Is No 'Plan B' By Chris Martenson


The hard news is that there is no "Plan B." The future is likely to be more chaotic than you probably think. This was the primary conclusion that I came to after attending the most recent Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO) in Washington, DC in October, 2010.

The impact of Peak Oil on markets, lifestyles, and even national solvency deserves our very highest attention - but, it turns out, some important players seem to be paying no attention at all.

ASPO conferences tend to start early, end late, and be packed with more data and information than should be consumed in one sitting. Despite all this, I was riveted to my seat. This year's usual constellation of excellent region-by-region analyses confirmed what past participants already knew: Peak Conventional Oil arrived a few years ago, and new fields, enhanced recovery techniques, and unconventional oil plays are barely going to keep up with demand over the next few years.



Vencit omnia veritas.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:02:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:22:15 AM EST
German Historical Museum breaks taboos with exhibition on Hitler | Culture & Lifestyle | Deutsche Welle | 14.10.2010

Billboards with eye-catching images are among museums' favorite advertising strategies, but when it comes to a major exhibition on Hitler in the German capital, the posters are heavy on text and contain no pictures of the Third Reich's dictator.

Nonetheless, the German Historical Museum is breaking new ground with its "Hitler and the Germans - Nation and Crime," which opens Friday. The exhibition is the first to focus specifically on the relationship between Hitler and the German people during the Nazi period, and it breaks with convention in Germany by putting Hitler at the center.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:40:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU approves French online music subsidy | Science & Technology | Deutsche Welle | 14.10.2010

The European Union on Tuesday approved a plan that would let the French government subsidize music purchases through online subscription services.

 

The scheme would allow French citizens between the ages of 15 and 25 to purchase 50 euro ($70) Carte Musique, or "Music Card," for only 25 euros. The money could be spent on online music subscription services. French officials have said the plan would last for two years and people would be able to buy one subsidized card per year.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:42:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Urban artists bring street vibe indoors | Art & Architecture | Deutsche Welle | 11.10.2010

For decades, urban art forms involving spray cans, stencils and paste-ups have been executed under the cover of darkness. Often merging social commentary with urban beautification, artists needed to work quickly - and stay one step ahead of police and security guards.

 

Now, street art is wandering from the alley to the art gallery - thanks to star underground artists like Britain's Banksy, who auctioned a piece for 288,000 pounds (around $460,000) in 2007 and raised the eyebrows of gallerists the world over.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:44:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Need a lift? Phone your car and it'll pick you up | Reuters

(Reuters) - German scientists have unveiled the latest in self-driving car technology -- an autonomous vehicle named "MadeInGermany" (MIG), which passengers can even call for a lift.

Computer scientist Raul Rojas and his team at Berlin's Free University (FU) have developed the experimental car which they hope will revolutionise the future of driving.

Passengers can phone their MIG using an iPad or smartphone and the Global Positioning System integrated into these devices reveals the caller's location to the car, which then works out the best route and tells the passenger how long it will take it to get there.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:52:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Study highlights mental problems in US teens
Around half of US teens meet the criteria for a mental disorder and nearly one in four report having a mood, behavior or anxiety disorder that interferes with daily life, American researchers say.

Fifty-one percent of boys and 49 percent of girls aged 13-19 have a mood, behavior, anxiety or substance use disorder, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In 22.2 percent of teens, the disorder was so severe it impaired their daily activities and caused great distress, says the study led by Kathleen Merikangas of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH).

"The prevalence of severe emotional and behavior disorders is even higher than the most frequent major physical conditions in adolescence, including asthma or diabetes," the study says.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:03:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes; I had this in many forms: Can't Get In Her Blouse Disorder, The Depression of Erupting Pimples, I Can't Dribble A Basketball Phobia, What Can Algebra Do For Me Anxiety and If My Parents Get Another Yellow Car I'll Be Laughed At Forever Moods. Fortunately, now there are drugs for these afflictions...well, there were drugs then, but they weren't sold to the profit of BigPharma.

All hail progress.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:47:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please note that 49% of boys and 51% of girls have not yet been diagnosed with a disorder.

We are working on this. We apologise for the delay.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:39:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:22:31 AM EST
Star Wars dub sends jobbing ad man into orbit | Reuters

(Reuters) - Spend a couple of hours overdubbing a scene from Star Wars for a laugh, post it online, and you may end up with so many work offers that you'll wish you were in outer space. Just ask Dominik Kuhn.

Since Kuhn spent "two hours, at most" one morning redubbing a tiny part of the popular science fiction film and uploaded it onto video sharing website Youtube, marketing executives have flocked to hire him -- even though he was making fun of them.

What started out in 1977 as Darth Vader and the commanders of the Death Star discussing the threat from Luke Skywalker's rebel alliance had 30 years later become a boardroom dispute over an unnamed Stuttgart firm's new advertising strategy.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:54:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the englisch version. Was likely funnier in Swabian, but i not Swabian speak.



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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 04:34:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Queen Elizabeth cancels Christmas party in tough times | Reuters

(Reuters Life!) - Queen Elizabeth has canceled a planned Christmas party at Buckingham Palace after deciding it would be inappropriate to celebrate as ordinary Britons feel the pinch from tough economic times.

The royal household thought the event, paid for by the Queen herself and usually staged every two years, would be unseemly as Britons cope with deep public spending cuts to bring down a record peacetime budget deficit.

"The queen is acutely aware of the difficult economic circumstances facing the country," a palace spokeswoman said on Thursday.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:55:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lady Thatcher pulls out of 85th birthday party at No 10 for health reasons | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Lady Thatcher has been forced to pull out of a Downing Street party to mark her 85th birthday after being taken ill with flu, Downing Street said today.

The former prime minister had been due to attend a gathering tonight of around 150 friends and former colleagues hosted by David Cameron to mark the birthday.

It will still go ahead at her insistence, No 10 said, with a fresh event to be put on when she has recovered.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 12:03:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Get away, they were afraid she'd go bonkers and start biting people and give them all leprous rabies.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:55:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean they havent already?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:58:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Every time I see a shaven head (like Foucault's), I can't help but think of the man who started this crazy craze, Telly Savalas, the American actor. What is missing in Foucault's pictures is the lillipop. He at least could have been more serious and not appear as a follower of passing fads.

Cab this man and his writings be taken seriously?

by shergald on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:22:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foucault shaved his head in imitation of Telly Savalas?

That's an original and interesting new find in Foucault studies, you should write an article on it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 02:18:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
38 Degrees | Community | Help design our spoof tax cheat adverts

Our campaign against tax dodgers is getting bigger! Lots of 38 Degrees members have already come up with great ideas for what we could do. Now, let's make sure the message really gets through to politicians.

The idea is to run bus stop ads, spoofing Government benefit cheat ads but targeting tax cheats instead. We can get people to start asking questions about why the Government makes so little effort to tackle tax cheats who cost us all billions each year - lots more than benefit cheats cost. The more ideas we come up with the better the ads will be! Below is an example of the ads we want to spoof and there are more examples on our Flickr group here, which is an easy way to view and share images on the internet. You can add your own ideas for images by joining the group and uploading them for others to see, or by sending them to images@38degrees.org.uk



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 10:05:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Stratfor article on Rare Earth Elements - Much of this was covered in Eurotrib comments of a couple years ago. But it gives a nice wrap up without much of Stratfor's usual US-exceptionalism and right-wing blather...outside of tweaking the "environmental lobby and indigenous groups" vested interests, but not the military.

China and the Future of Rare Earth Elements - Mauldin's Investor Insight
A recent diplomatic spat between China and Japan has heightened territorial tensions and called attention to China's growing forcefulness with foreign powers. One of the more intriguing aspects of this development was China's suspension of the export of "rare earth" elements (REE) to Japan. REE comprise 17 metallic elements with a variety of modern industrial and commercial applications ranging from petroleum refining to laptop computers to green energy applications to radar. China produces roughly 95 percent of the global supply of REE and Japan is the largest importer. China's disruption of REE shipments to Japan has caused alarm among other importer countries, bringing new urgency to the search for new supplies and substitutes.

The China Factor

Chinese control of the base of the REE supply chain has increasingly made China the go-to location for the intermediate goods made from REE. In time, China hopes to extend production into the final products as well. As new REE supplies cannot be brought online overnight, the Chinese will enjoy a powerful position in the short term. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce reports that China has ratcheted down REE export quotas by an average of 12 percent per year over the past five years, further leveraging this position. Reflecting that and the current China-Japan spat, the average price for REE has tripled in the year to date.

Rare earth elements are not as rare as their name suggests, however. Before the Chinese began a dedicated effort to mass-produce REE in 1979, there were several major suppliers. Pre-China, the United States was the largest producer. Appreciable amounts of REE were also produced in Australia, Brazil, India, Malaysia and Russia. Any sort of real monopoly on REE, therefore, is not sustainable in the long-run. But before one can understand the future of the REE industry, one must first understand the past.



Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 03:35:48 AM EST


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