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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 20 November

by Nomad Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:15:02 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europe on this date in history:

1923 - replacement of the German Papiermark by the Rentenmark, to end the hyperinflation in Germany

More here and here

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by Nomad on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:00:45 AM EST
David Cameron axes equality assessments in war on 'red tape' | Politics | guardian.co.uk

David Cameron has axed standard assessments used to gauge how policies affect different social groups as part of a drive to get rid of the "bureaucratic rubbish" that gets in the way of British business.

Cameron also vowed to slash three-month consultation periods on future government policy proposals, signalling that the public may not get a say at all on some proposals, with the final decision left to individual ministers. Other measures include reducing the time limit for bringing judicial reviews, hiking up the legal charge involved, and halving the number of possible appeals.

The prime minister outlined plans to axe equality impact assessments at the CBI conference, saying new government measures needed to be "tough, radical and fast" to help British business compete in the global race. He said "faster government" was one of the key steps Britain needs to take to thrive - "in this global race you are quick or you're dead", he said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 02:35:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A war on Judicial Review? [updated] « UK Human Rights Blog

The Prime Minister is to "get a grip" on people forcing unnecessary delays to Government policy by cracking down on the "massive growth industry" of Judicial Review. David Cameron told business leaders today:

"When this country was at war in the 40s, Whitehall underwent a revolution. ... everything was thrown at `the overriding purpose' of beating Hitler. ... this country is in the economic equivalent of war today - and we need the same spirit. We need to forget about crossing every `t' and dotting every `i' - and we need to throw everything we've got at winning in this global race."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:42:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We need to forget about crossing every `t' and dotting every `i' - and we need to throw everything we've got at winning in this global race."

by cracking down on equality assessments, which are obviously one of the greatest impediments to Britain's ability to compete in the world.

Tax avoidance from amazon, starbucks, the City etc ? Not so much.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:04:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The war effort was pretty egalitarian, as far as I know, including introducing rationing to make sure the better-off didn't monopolise resources, and making sure that everyone got a decent minimum.

The current iteration seems to be about eliminating every mechanism which enables the disadvantaged to get their share.

War is peace, etc.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:20:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The war effort was pretty egalitarian, as far as I know, including introducing rationing to make sure the better-off didn't monopolise resources, and making sure that everyone got a decent minimum

If only that were true. By the end of the war and beyond, the minimum was barely enough to prevent starvation.

Meanwhile the rich got plenty. during the blitz the communists used to organise "marches" up the West End to ensure that, when the sirens went, they could take shelter in upper class hotels where the food was plentiful and, during air raids, free.

naturally, the police were soon deployed to keep the riff raff out of the nice (and largely unbombed) bit of london

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 12:54:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
War, you say? My thoughts on that is pretty the same as my second thought on hearing about World Trade Center on the 11th of September, 2001:
Very much the wrong guy in charge to deal with that.

Update: people go to war precisely to get "due process," "rule of law" and so forth.


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 04:28:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - France UMP vote: Fillon and Cope both claim victory

A vote to decide who will lead France's conservative opposition UMP has plunged the party into disarray and acrimony.

Both candidates have claimed victory and accused their rival of fraud and ballot-stuffing.

Only a handful of votes separate right-wing candidate Jean-Francois Cope and ex-Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

A final result is expected later on Monday, but party grandees said the UMP had been damaged, and urged both candidates to end their war or words.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 02:36:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Copé now official winner with 50.3% against Fillon 49.7%.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:12:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Dutch Prince Johan Friso shows 'minimal consciousness'

Dutch Prince Johan Friso, who has been in a coma since being struck by an avalanche in March, is showing signs of "minimal consciousness", officials say.

The Dutch royal house says that "the prognosis, however, remains very uncertain and the medical team is still very concerned".

Prince Friso, aged 44, was buried under snow for about 15 minutes before being rescued in Austria in March. He had been skiing off piste.

He is the second son of Queen Beatrix.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 02:37:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
showing signs of "minimal consciousness", officials say

Better than most of the British royal family, then.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:21:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was just thinking that if this were the British or Swedish royals, I'd make a tasteless joke.

"Friso" has to be a very unusual name, shurely?
No, apparently there's one or two other people.

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:53:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Charlemagne: Europe's British problem | The Economist

ARE the British leaving the European Union? Hardly a conversation passes in Brussels without somebody asking. Britain's friends are alarmed, some rivals gleeful. For the EU as a whole, the prospect of "Brixit" compounds the uncertainty of the euro crisis. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, says she cannot imagine the EU without Britain. But Michel Rocard, a former French prime minister, speaks for many when he says that "the United Kingdom, which has blocked all progress on European integration since 1972, has distanced itself from the euro zone. Let's take advantage of that."

In many ways, the British have only ever been half-in; they are not part of the euro or the Schengen passport-free travel zone. The prime minister, David Cameron, says that he wants to stay in the EU and its single market (and one day to renegotiate Britain's membership). But some moves give the impression that Britain is on its way out. Its plan to opt out of big chunks of justice and police co-operation is one example. Another is Mr Cameron's threat to veto the EU's next budget unless it is frozen. Most worrying is the drumroll of Eurosceptic MPs seeking an in-or-out referendum. A parliamentary vote calling for the EU budget to be cut suggests that Mr Cameron does not control his Tory backbenchers, and that the Labour Party is ready to exploit anti-EU sentiment.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:39:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And whatever problems exist, the Economist wishes to make worse

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:06:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - SAS cuts deal with unions to avoid bankruptcy

The troubled Scandinavian airline SAS has said it has reached a deal with trade unions needed to avoid bankruptcy, following all-night talks.

Owners and creditors of the airline have a plan to cut costs and jobs, but it needed approval from eight trade unions representing pilots and cabin crew in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

The airline said on Monday afternoon it had reached agreement with the one remaining union that had held out.

SAS wants to cut 6,000 jobs.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:43:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Markets rally on report of 'Tentative deal' over Greece aid - as it happened | Business | guardian.co.uk

Eurozone finance ministers are reportedly ready to give a 'tentative agreement' to advance Greece its next aid tranche, when they meet in Brussels on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, the Eurogroup will decide tomorrow to advance Greece its next loan - worth up to €44bn - if it can persuade them that it has met all its demands. Athens and the EC may also sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (see 3.50pm).

* News of the plan send shares and the euro rallying, with European markets enjoying their biggest rise in nearly two and a half-months (see 4.52pm).



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:45:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moody's downgrades France's government bond rating to Aa1 from Aaa, maintains negative outlook

Frankfurt am Main, November 19, 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded France's government bond rating by one notch to Aa1 from Aaa. The outlook remains negative.

Today's rating action follows Moody's decision on 23 July 2012 to change to negative the outlooks on the Aaa ratings of Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. At the time, Moody's also announced that it would assess France's Aaa sovereign rating and its outlook, which had been changed to negative on 13 February 2012, to determine the impact of the elevated risk of a Greek exit from the euro area, the growing likelihood of collective support for other euro area sovereigns and stalled economic growth. Today's rating action concludes this assessment.

Moody's decision to downgrade France's rating and maintain the negative outlook reflects the following key interrelated factors:



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:52:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece issues key austerity decrees ahead of crucial Euro Group meeting - Xinhua | English.news.cn

Greek government on Monday issued two key decrees detailing fiscal adjustment monitoring procedures and structural reforms ahead of a crucial Euro Group meeting on Tuesday, aiming to secure further international aid to avert a catastrophic default.

The step was met with a new wave of anti-austerity demonstrations by affected municipal workers who staged sit-in protests at ministries in Athens and city halls across the country.

According to the special legislative acts which need no parliamentary approval, the Finance Ministry will have enforced powers over other ministries, local administration and public companies as of this month.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreigners offered chance to stay in Spain for £130,000 - Telegraph

The plan, aimed principally at the Chinese and Russian markets, was announced yesterday by the secretary of state for trade, who insisted it was necessary to reduce Spain's housing stock in a stagnant market.

"In coming weeks, we will start to reform the law regarding foreigners to reactivate demand abroad and contribute toward reducing housing stock," Jaime Garcia-Legaz said at a conference in Madrid.

The scheme would also allow foreign buyers to move around the 25-nation Schengen zone freely, as the agreement allows holders of a residency permit of one country in the area to travel to - thuogh not work in - any other.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:05:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what if members of al-qaeda choose to buy ? Do they get full rights too ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:07:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
paging AT

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:08:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:26:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, what abbreviation or shorthand am I not understanding?

"AT"?


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:55:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
User ATinNM, who wants to immigrate to Europe.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:59:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, thanks.

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 07:36:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To what significant extent are rich people deprived of freedom to do what they damn well like anyway?

It's the poor who have to fight for work and residence permits.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:31:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Job opportunities in domestic services, security, and building fences.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 04:31:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
of the average mid-level drug dealer.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:24:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Spanish government has already legalised money-laundering and there have been suggestions that drug dealers have offered to buy some of those airports that were built and have no flights to them.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:29:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure flights can be arranged from certain exotic locations, inbound cargo only

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 12:58:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]

With a residence permit by Manel Fontdevila

Rajoy: €160,000 and the flat is yours and, in addition, you get the residence permit! ... Sometimes there are bugs, insects... Nothing to worry about, of course!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:51:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fontdevila's cartoon is a perfect illustration of the juxtaposition of stories from today's Eurointelligence:
Spain to offer residence to foreigners who buy real estate

The latest proposal by the Spanish government is to offer residence permits to foreigners buying properties worth more than €160,000, writes Reuters. The possible reform of the immigration regulations was, naturally, suggested by the secretary of state for trade (!) who said on Monday that the measure would be aimed at the Russian and Chinese markets. In Spanish, El Pais adds that the government has claimed similar arrangements are in place in Portugal, Ireland, Canada and the US. It's possible that people who obtain residence in this way are exempted from the obligation to actually reside in Spain for 50% of the year. The General Lawyers' Council has criticized the idea as open to 'arbitrariness and cronyism'.

Spanish politics overwhelmed by social tension

On Saturday El Pais wrote that Spain's major parties PP and PSOE worry that social tensions will increase in the next few months as the number of long-term unemployed citizens without a subsidy soars above the current historical highs. There are forecasts of an unprecedented number of insolvencies and potential evictions in families which, as a result of austerity, also have to pay for medication, have lost aid for school meals, aid for dependent care, and are facing a higher VAT on their purchases. The average family income has fallen by €2000 and the household saving rate has dropped by half. The government is preparing for eventual violent episodes linked to protests, while the PSOE is said to worry most about popular disaffection for institutions and parties.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of health service workers and users marched in Madrid to protest against the planned privatizations of a number of hospitals by the Madrid regional government, reports The West Australian.

There have been other marches in Madrid every day since last Wednesday's general strike, as well as a three-day garbage collection strike accompanied by a campaign on social media to dump garbage in front of bank branches, as reported by Huffington Post (Spain Edition).



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 07:02:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The U.S. has E-visas for investors, where the idea is that they are supposed to be creating jobs for Americans. I'm not aware of visas for people who are only putting up property values so that Americans cannot afford homes - do they exist?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 07:26:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Response to this here was "that is sort of awesome!" If it goes through, one could potentially see lots of Americans showing up as well as Russians, Chinese, and al-Qaida enthusiasts...
by asdf on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 09:50:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Northern Morocco has a lot of Spanish immigrants these days. Including Spanish beggars.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 09:55:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Silvio Berlusconi's accountant 'taken hostage in 35 million euro extortion attempt' - Telegraph

Police said Giuseppe Spinelli, 71, one of the ex-premier's most trusted confidantes, was taken hostage with his wife Anna by the gang, which consisted of three Italians and three Albanians, in their home last month.

Three members of the gang allegedly forced their way into the Spinellis' apartment near Monza, north of Milan, at around 10pm on Oct 15. The other three are believed to have been keeping watch and providing backup.

Early the following day they forced Mr Spinelli to call Mr Berlusconi, demanding 35 million euros ransom in return for their release.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:05:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They expect Silvio to pay WITH HIS OWN MONEY? What could Spinelli say that would not immediately be discounted? Publicly disclose where some bodies are buried?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 11:43:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Moody's reads the Economist (20.11.2012)
Rating agency downgrades France to Aa1, citing rigid labour and services markets, and low levels of innovation as the main reason; the decision had no discernible impact on financial markets, which concluded that the decision contained no essential new information; Jean-François Copé was confirmed as new leader of the French conservative party;  Copé  won by a margin of only 98 votes over the more moderate Francois Fillon after both had claimed victory on Sunday;  French commentators worry that the UMP fractions benefit centrists and Front National; Eurogroup  is likely to give political endorsement on unfreezing loans for Greece today, talks on debt reduction likely to continue; current schedule suggests final approval on December 3; Greece enacted two legislative bills on expenditure supervision, privatisation revenue payments on escrow account, and salary cuts for parliament employees;  Greece's current account dropped 76% to €3.4bn in the first nine months of this year compared to last year; Belgium reached agreement on austerity budget overnight; Portugal is "broadly on track" according to troika report, though  significant downturn risks remain;  Jens Weidmann advocated weighted votes in the board of the Single Supervisory Mechanism to ensure that taxpayers are adequately represented; says bank supervision is ultimately a form of fiscal policy as it includes resolution policies; he also advocates a toughening in capital adequacy rules by proposing risk weights to sovereign debt; in its monthly report, the Bundesbank says Germany is facing a broad-based downturn that is beginning to spread from exports to the domestic economy; Ignazio Visco says Italy's banking system has weakened in the crisis, and is now facing risks; President Giorgio Napolitano says the government should favour spending cuts over tax increases; eurozone debt securitisation volumes reach a new low; Spain is now so desperate that the government offers residence to Russian and Chinese who invest more than €160000 in Spanish real estate; Spain's political parties fear a rise in social tensions as austerity measures are kicking in and leave families worse off; there have been several organised mass protests in Madrid following last Wednesday's general strike; even wealthy Spanish investors in preferred bank stocks are crying foul over rules to bail them in as part of the eurozone rescue programme; Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo says Catalonia has never been independent, and has no right to secede; Stefan Kaiser says that Angela Merkel's strategy of dragging out the resolution until after the German elections was cowardly and dishonest; Hans Werner Sinn advocates "temporary" Euro exit for Greece and Portugal; Heiner Flassbeck, meanwhile, says the south cannot simultaneously adjust while German wages rise by only 2.5% - something has to give.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:27:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hans Werner Sinn advocates "temporary" Euro exit for Greece and Portugal

In an interview with Der Spiegel, German economist Hans-Werner Sinn says that "temporary" Euro exit would allow Greece and Portugal ("the only two countries that consume more than they produce") to devalue without "excessive austerity measures" which "will drive these countries to the brink of civil war". Rather than "socializing the debts of Southern banks" through a banking union followed by Eurobonds, Sinn argues that "temporary" Euro exit should be "an orderly process" involving aid for the country's banks and for purchasing essential imports.

(It is remarkable that Sinn sees nothing wrong with "aid for banks and essential  imports" while rejecting any sort of transfer union. Also that he assumes countries exiting the Euro "temporarily" will want back into what he calls "the yoke of the Euro", when there is no suggestion of how "the Euro's defects" are to be corrected.)



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:52:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The best thing about the Spiegel interview is the accompanyng photograph.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:54:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe he's learning physics?
Missing one finger for that.

Hmm, if the thumb is nominal flow of capital, and index finger is regulatory framework, is middle finger ... wealth? Taxes? Tax avoidance?


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 07:45:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I was going to ask about the "temporary" thing.
Is it like a temporary work permit only in reverse?


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 07:40:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heiner Flassbeck on the effect of eurozone adjustment on German wages

In a commentary in FT Deutschland, Heiner Flassbeck makes an interesting point about the dynamics of eurozone adjustment. He says if the south adjusts, as everybody is demanding, then this raises the question how Germany can generate growth. If the south reduces the current account deficits against Germany, then Germany cannot be in a position to maintain its surplus at current levels, unless the whole of the eurozone goes into a massive surplus. That seems unlikely. The result of adjustment in the south is thus adjustment in the north, but that means that the net exports will shrink, and thus GDP. For Germany to realise any growth at all, it is absolute essential that wages go up to generate domestic demand. He writes that the Council of Economic Advisers' estimate of a 2.5% wage increase is simply inconsistent with a scenario of continued German growth and southern European adjustment.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 06:57:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Econoblog 101: Alan Greenspan and the `Distorted Economy' (November 20, 2012)
Jan Tinbergen in his Prize Lecture in 1969 said about economic models:
In an attempt to evaluate what model building has contributed to the theory and practice of economic science I feel that at least we can say that models have had a didactic value. Often in our text books we bring simplified, not to say over-simplified, pictures of reality which nonetheless contribute to making understood some essential features of that reality. This is true already of some models inspired by Lord Keynes' fundamental work (10). It is true also of Leontief's input-output models (13). If I am allowed to quote a recent example I am guilty of myself, the same can be said of models introducing the difference between tradables and non-tradables (14). This model shows that if a country wants to eliminate a balance of payments deficit by living within its means, that is, by reducing its expenditure to its income, income itself is bound to fall and not so little.
Oddly enough, we are back in today's `post-crisis' crisis. Let me repeat the last sentence: This model shows that if a country wants to eliminate a balance of payments deficit by living within its means, that is, by reducing its expenditure to its income, income itself is bound to fall and not so little. Politicians of Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc., should listen up. The whole EMU crisis is the outcome of intellectual failure, I think. Loyalty has ruled over science, consensus over discussion. That did not only happen in the economics discipline, but also happened in politics, the press and the parties themselves.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 09:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On first read I thought Greenspan had said that. Sounded far too sensible and not nearly VSP enough.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 10:16:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's something the old Randian goat said recently.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 11:06:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.
It's odd how at the same time he's talking about raising taxes. I guess pain is pain is good.

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 12:10:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He says it's worth raising taxes a bit if it leads to killing (benefits for) the poor.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greenspan quote in that blog post is
I think we're in a pause in a recovery, a modest recovery.  But a pause in the modest recovery feels like quasi recession.  Our problem, basically, is that we have a very distorted economy in the sense that there has been a significant recovery in a limited area of the economy amongst high-income individuals who have just had $800 billion added to their 401(k)s and are spending it and are carrying what consumption there is.  Large banks, who are doing much better, and large corporations, whom you point out and the-and everyone's pointing out, are in excellent shape.  The rest of the economy, small business, small banks, and a very significant amount of the labor force, which is in tragic unemployment, long-term unemployment, that is pulling the economy apart.  The average of those two is what we are looking at, but they are fundamentally two separate types of economy.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 11:28:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FTD closes shortly after Frankfurter Rundschau's insolvency.

Apparently nobody wants to read about things they don't know already.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter

by generic on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 12:28:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I put it under Europe since this will significantly increase the rate of stupid in German media.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 12:29:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Nomad on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:00:47 AM EST
Sky magazine tax loophole saved broadcaster up to £40m a year | Media | guardian.co.uk

A magazine for satellite TV customers published by BSkyB was used as a tax avoidance scheme that saved the company up to £40m a year.

The broadcaster had been saving millions in VAT by charging satellite customers a nominal £2.20 a month for the Sky magazine, using a tax loophole that has now been closed. Magazines, along with books and newspapers, are normally zero-rated for VAT - this meant that Sky could avoid VAT on a small but significant percentage of revenue.

The saving, at about £3 to £4 per person, would have amounted across Sky's 10 million subscribers to at least £30 to 40m a year



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 01:30:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris Johnson stokes multinational tax debate | Business | The Guardian

Boris Johnson has urged the government to make multinational companies such as Google pay their share of tax in the UK instead of pushing ahead with "absurd" Liberal Democrat proposals to impose a mansion tax on large homes.

The mayor of London stoked the debate over taxation paid by US companies on their UK operations by suggesting Google, which bases its European unit in low-tax Ireland, should hire unemployed British 18-24 year-olds in recompense.

The London mayor used a speech to business leaders at the annual Confederation of British Industry conference to make the case for "low but fair" taxes, as well as taking a swipe at Lib Dem policies.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 02:37:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
why is it "either/or" ? Do all of them.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:12:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely.
With back benchers in revolt, perhaps Clegg could suggest a deal on this: skip the mansion tax and we'll support you in closing the loopholes. You know Labour well be in favour.
(And perhaps Cameron won't just laugh.)

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 04:34:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I always forget the Tories aren't really free marketeers. They are just as ready as "Old Labour" to tell business what it should do.

(Very detailed instruction, too: "unemployed British 18-24 year-olds". Any specific locations?)


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 04:36:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, no, a simple error but you have accidentally reversed the relationship

I always forget the Tories aren't really free marketeers. They are just as ready as "Old Labour" to let business tell it what it should do.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 01:10:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China central banker admits side effects in macro-controls - Xinhua | English.news.cn

China's macro-economic policies against the global financial crisis are effective, but there are latent side effects, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), said Sunday.

"No macro-control policy is of all benefits but no harm," Zhou said at the Financial Street Forum in Beijing.

China has adopted positive monetary policies and a package of stimulus plans to fight the global financial downturn and these measures have worked effectively, Zhou said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:54:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence e-mail news briefing:

In a commentary in FT Deutschland, Heiner Flassbeck makes an interesting point about the dynamics of eurozone adjustment. He says if the south adjusts, as everybody is demanding, then this raises the question how Germany can generate growth. If the south reduces the current account deficits against Germany, then Germany cannot be in a position to maintain its surplus at current levels, unless the whole of the eurozone goes into a massive surplus. That seems unlikely. The result of adjustment in the south is thus adjustment in the north, but that means that the net exports will shrink, and thus GDP. For Germany to realise any growth at all, it is absolute essential that wages go up to generate domestic demand. He writes that the Council of Economic Advisers' estimate of a 2.5% wage increase is simply inconsistent with a scenario of continued German growth and southern European adjustment.

(Ah but Germany doesn't need the Euro area! Germany will export to the Rest Of World(1), to the Moon, to Mars, next stop Andromeda!)

(1) If Rest Of World not in slowdown led by Euro area slump.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:29:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And a little child cried: "The emperor has no clothes!"

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 05:15:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and certain unknown and unknowable alleged prominent people sued him for libel

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 01:16:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Nomad on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:00:50 AM EST
BBC News - Gaza crisis: 'More than 100' killed in Israeli strikes

More than 100 people have died in the Gaza Strip in six days of violence, Hamas officials say, as Israeli forces continue air strikes they say aim to stop rocket attacks into Israel.

Monday's fatalities include a commander of the Islamic Jihad militant group.

More than 100 rockets were fired on Israel by militants on Monday. Three Israelis have died since Wednesday.

Efforts to secure a ceasefire continue, with a senior Egyptian official saying there are "encouraging signs".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 01:47:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gaza conflict: senior Islamic militant killed by Israeli strike - Telegraph

Israel confirmed the attack, with its intelligence services saying the strike had targeted "senior Islamic Jihad officials" who were on the premises.

It was the second time in as many days that Israel had fired on the Shuruq Tower in the city's upscale Rimal neighbourhood which is used by media outlets including Sky News, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network, Russia Today and Iran's Press TV.

Smoke was seen billowing from the lower floors of the tower, also used by Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV whose offices were destroyed in the first strike on Sunday morning, officials said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:05:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Palestinians protest in the West Bank - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Palestinians have taken to the streets across the West Bank in protest at Israeli air attacks on the Gaza Strip, leading to one death in the southern city of Hebron.

A second person died on Monday of wounds sustained from an earlier protest.

Protests broke out in Hebron's Old City after which Palestinian protesters were pushed back into the centre of the city by Israeli security forces.

According to witnesses, Hamdi al-Falah, 17 years old, was shot four times by Israeli troops.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:07:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deaths in India's festival stampede - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

At least 14 people have been killed and more than a dozen injured following the collapse of a bridge which triggered a stampede during a Hindu festival in the eastern Indian city of Patna, officials say.

Jayant Kant, a police superintendent in Patna, said Monday's stampede occurred when a makeshift bridge erected to help people reach the Ganges river gave way under the weight of devotees rushing to offer prayers to the setting sun as part of an annual Hindu religious ritual.

Most of the casualties are thought to have been the result of the stampede and not the collapse of the low-slung bamboo-and-rope bridge designed to help worshippers cross rough terrain.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:06:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU recognises Syria opposition bloc - Europe - Al Jazeera English

European Union foreign ministers have said they view Syria's just-formed National Coalition to be the "legitimate representatives" of the Syrian people.

A statement from the bloc's 27 ministers on Monday welcomed the November 11 formation of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and said: "The EU considers them legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people."

"This agreement represents a major step towards the necessary unity of the Syrian opposition."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:07:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Colombia rebels declare unilateral ceasefire - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Colombia's FARC rebels say they will call a two-month unilateral ceasefire, the first truce in more than a decade, as peace negotiators meet in Cuba in the latest attempt to end the five-decade-old conflict.

The announcement was made by Ivan Marquez , FARC's lead negotiator, as he arrived for talks in Havana on Monday.

"This policy decision of the FARC is a contribution made to strengthen the climate of understanding necessary so that the parties that are starting the dialogue achieve the purpose desired by all Colombians," he said.

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said it would halt all offensive military operations and acts of sabotage against infrastructure beginning at midnight on Monday night and running till January 20.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:08:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Solzhenitsyn's One Day: The book that shook the USSR | Steve Rosenberg | BBC

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Alexander Solzhenitsyn's classic novel, was published 50 years ago this month. A short, simply-told tale about a prisoner trying to survive the Gulag - the Soviet labour camp system - it is now regarded as one of the most significant books of the 20th Century.
[...]
It was Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev who had sanctioned publication of Solzhenitsyn's novel nearly a decade after Stalin's death. Allowing a book on the Gulag, he thought, would help debunk Stalin's personality cult. However, one story sparked many more.
[...]
According to a recent survey, 48% of Russians today believe that Stalin had a positive influence on their country. Only 22% consider it was negative.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 05:31:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps comparable portions of the US electorate have similar views about the US financial sector.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 11:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS IN GAZA | New Yorker | 19.11.12
Sooner or later, hopefully sooner, the all-too-familiar scenes of violence in the Gaza Strip--the sight, on Sunday, of children's bodies being pulled from a flattened house; the rocket launches--will temporarily stop. As after every round that preceded this, a ceasefire will eventually be reached. The question is what we will have learned.

Since the bombing began, both sides have asked how this ends. If the answer is something other than with a repetition in a few more years--a perpetual state of war--Israelis must wrestle with the question of their own identity. No, that question is not the clichéd one: Does Israel have a right to exist? Rather, the more imperative question is: Is the way in which Israel exists--as an occupier, a colonizer, and ultimately, as an apartheid state--right? Is there another solution, involving a single, democratic state?

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 09:23:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Nomad on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:00:53 AM EST
BBC News - Solar storm as desert plan to power Europe falters

An ambitious plan to provide 15% of Europe's power needs from solar plants in North Africa has run into trouble.

The Desertec initiative hoped to deliver electricity from a network of renewable energy sources to Europe via cables under the sea.

But in recent weeks, two big industrial backers have pulled out.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:34:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whilst I understand the reservations being expressed, you can't help but feel a huge opportunity is being missed

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:15:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Details of cheap energy plan to be unveiled by minister | Money | The Guardian

The energy secretary, Ed Davey, will attempt on Tuesday to fulfil David Cameron's surprise promise to ensure all energy consumers are automatically put on the lowest energy tariff suitable for them.

He is expected to announce that all energy companies must slash the confusing thicket of competing tariffs and reduce them to four. He will also require that the companies put consumers on the lowest tariff available to them.

The scheme could be in force by 2014 but its small print will be studied by Labour to see if it matches Cameron's original boast.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:44:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This completely destroys the whole idea of the privatised electricity/gas market. Good.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:16:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All nations will suffer effects of climate change, warns World Bank | Environment | guardian.co.uk

All nations will suffer the effects of a world 4C hotter, but it is the world's poorest countries that will be hit hardest by food shortages, rising sea levels, cyclones and drought, the World Bank said in a report published on Monday on climate change.

Under the new World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, the global development lender has launched a more aggressive stance to integrate climate change into development.

"We will never end poverty if we don't tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today," Kim told reporters on a conference call on Friday.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:51:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MP Peter Lilley has received more than $400,000 in oil company share options | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The Conservative MP Peter Lilley, one of only three MPs who voted against the Climate Change Act, has received share options worth at least $400,000 from an oil company, Guardian analysis has revealed.

Lilley's links to the oil industry have long been declared by the former cabinet member. But the revelation about the full extent of his financial interests will place him under further scrutiny in his new role as a member of the Commons select committee on energy and climate change, which will be quizzing the energy and climate secretary, Ed Davey, about the energy bill on Tuesday.

Since 2006, Lilley has been a non-executive board member of Tethys Petroleum, a Cayman Islands-based oil and gas company with drilling operations in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In the register of MPs' financial interests, Lilley has routinely declared that he receives a quarterly payment from Tethys for "attending meetings and advising on business developments". The latest quarterly payment registered by Lilley on 1 October was £11,750 for 30 hours' work, meaning he has received £47,000 over the past year.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 07:12:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you

(we need a Captain Renault macro)

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 01:13:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
((shocked))

I'm SHOCKED, I tell you, SHOCKED

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:42:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you have to choose Bleached Kermit from the CLUT?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 04:24:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Nomad on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:00:56 AM EST
US paper spaceplane disintegrates at 107,000ft * The Register
The University of Southern Indiana's second attempt to claim PARIS's Guinness World Record for the highest launch of a paper plane ended dramatically on Saturday when the Geronimo aircraft (pictured below) disintegrated at around 107,000ft (32,612m).


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:03:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - AC/DC release catalogue on iTunes

Rock band AC/DC has released their music on Apple music store iTunes.

They had previously voiced strong opposition to the digital service.

Until now its members maintained their songs should not be made available for individual download because they were all integral parts of various albums.

But the Australian band's 16 studio albums, four live albums and three compilations, which have sold more than 150 million physical copies worldwide, are now available in the iTunes store.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:09:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AC/DC finally admit 21st century happened

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:17:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Android flaw blocks December dates

A flaw in the latest version of the Android operating system has resulted in the month of December disappearing from an app for storing information about contacts.

The flaw affects the "People app", which is the default app for keeping contact information on Android devices.

The People app calendar goes from November 2012 straight to January 2013.

Android is Google's operating system. Version 4.2 was launched in October 2012.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:10:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zero indexing! I'd never have guessed.

Sound of weak typing proponents laughing. Or quacking derisively, I guess. Who'd have thought programming and cricket would intersect?

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 05:24:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was on a bulletin board site where the posts were numbered, and we had elaborate rituals around "millenium" posts (1000, 2000 etc). One day I noticed we were approaching a magic number, but none of the others knew what I was talking about, not being techies.

So it was probably me who got post number 32767... but I'll never know for sure, because it broke the software (16-bit integer!)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 07:15:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
XKCD

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 07:27:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they based it on the Mayan calendar.

Maybe that's what will destroy the world next month. Y2K12 bug?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 07:08:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Nomad on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:00:58 AM EST
Owner surprised to find cat regularly catches bus - Telegraph

The ginger moggy, who was named after the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, has taken to hopping on and off the public transport at the bus station near his home.

The 15-year-old Tom even sits on bemused passengers' laps as the bus makes up to 10 mile round trips from Bridport to Charmouth in Dorset.

Dodger is such a regular customer that some of the drivers take tins of cat food to work with them to give to him. They even know what stop to let him off at.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 12:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Sun is falling apart just in time for the Mayan predictions - which, unfortunately, but typically, were misinterpreted.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:23:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 Thought you meant the 'newspaper.'

Oh well. Better luck next cosmic cycle, maybe.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 03:59:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Phwoar, what a long count.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 05:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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