Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

28 February

by dvx Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:12:31 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

  • EUROPE - the public affairs of the European continent and the EU.
  •  ECONOMY & FINANCE - with a focus on the economic crisis.
  • WORLD - geopolitics, the affairs of nations and supranational entities.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - what we extract from the planet and the effect we have: environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - how humans live together: society, culture, history, science and technology, information...
  • ON THIS DATE - an occasional item about what happened on this date in history.
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • If you click on "Post a Comment", this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page. Please use "Reply to This" to avoid doing that.

Display:
EUROPE


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:13:12 PM EST
Eurozone crisis live: Deadlock deepens in Italy as Grillo rejects centre-left | Business | guardian.co.uk

Grillo rules out alliance with centre-left group

Big news from Italy - Beppe Grillo has ruled out forming an alliance with the centre-left, dashing hopes that the two sides could form a stable government.

The leader of the Five Star Movement made the announcement in a blog post in which he blasted Pier Luigi Bersani as "a stalker" and a "dead man talking" who should have resigned rather than attempted to woo his rivals - as he did last night.

Writing on his blog, Grillo reiterated his opposition to any form of formal alliance with Bersani's Democratic Party. Instead, Grillo said, Five Star would only support policies which it agreed with.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:34:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy's political deadlock deepens - FT.com

Italy's political deadlock following inconclusive elections took a turn for the worse on Wednesday when Beppe Grillo announced that his Five Star Movement would not give a vote of confidence in parliament to any government led by the two main parties.

Mr Grillo's declaration through Twitter on Wednesday risks killing a proposal made by Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the centre-left Democrats, to form a minority government with the support of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement on a suggested programme based on political reforms and an easing of austerity measures.

Writing on his blog, Mr Grillo, a comic-turned-politician, depicted Mr Bersani as the "talking dead" and described him as a "political stalker who has been making indecent proposals to the Five Star Movement for days, instead of resigning as anyone else would have done in his position".

The parliamentary arithmetic in the Senate, where no party has a majority, makes for an extremely complex situation. If the 54 future senators of the Five Star Movement act as a bloc by either voting against, abstaining or staying away from the vital confidence vote, the centre-left would have no hope of forming minority government without the support of Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:38:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Beppe Grillo's Blog

Bersani is a political stalker. For days he has been harassing the M5S with indecent proposals instead of resigning as anyone else would do in his position. He's even managed to lose while winning. He has even done worse than poor Waterloo Veltroni. Bersani has spent the last few months thinking up exquisitely political opinions, including:
"Web Fascists, come here and tell us we're zombies"
"With Grillo we'll end up like Greece"
"Lenin is no match for Grillo"
"You're a useless autocrat"
"Grillo is leading people outside democracy"
"Grillo is leading to disaster"
"Grillo wants to govern on top of the rubble"
"Grillo is taking people for a ride"
"Inside the 5 Star movement there's not much democracy"
"Grillo makes promises like Berlusconi"
"Grillo says things that are unknown to all the democracies"
"Grillo? He can take us out of Europe"
"That's enough with just one man in charge. Let's look into each other's eyes. The Internet is not enough"
"If Grillo wins, the country will be in a mess"
"We are the top party by a very wide margin and this means that we are understood. Because unlike that one there who shouts, we look at each other eye to eye and we hold primaries. We are in the midst of the people."
"Indecent, a male chauvinist like Berlusconi"
"Coming from Grillo there's populism that can become dangerous"
Now this failed stain removing operator has the cheek to ask us for our support: "I know they used to tell us to 'go home'. Now they're in parliament too. Italy is also their country. Let's see what they want to do for their country and the country of their offspring."
In the last twenty years the PD has been in government for at least 10 years and in the last 18 months it has been in the super-government with the PDL voting for any rubbish from Rigor Montis. Hand shakes and daily hugs between Alfano and Bersani in the Lower House, do you remember?
The M5S will not support any "confidence vote" for the PD (nor for the others). In parliament it will vote for the laws that are in accordance with its programme irrespective of who proposes them. If Bersani wants to propose the abolition of public contributions to the parties starting from these elections, we'll back that enthusiastically (the M5S has turned down the 100 million euro due to them). If he wants to insert into the timetable the introduction of a citizen's income we'll vote for that with passion.

this post on the italian blog has 13,000+ replies!
whem monti put up a FB page it had to come down after a few days, so many insults.

this is generational, politics 2.0


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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 03:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
for having stood up to Germany and austerity ... i.e, the destruction of the Italian society ala Greece.

Go Italy!

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 Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 08:08:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Garibaldi biscuits all round!


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 12:20:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this; giving the context for the insults solely quoted in international media. Based on this, Bersani's rhetoric was worse than Steinbrück's...

Still, Grillo's position seems incoherent or not fully honest. If laws are to be voted on on a case by case basis, there needs to be a government first, and for that, there needs to be a vote of confidence. So, assuming he is fully aware of that, Grillo is either trying to push Bersani into making a deal with Berlusconi, or trying to engineer new elections.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 01:45:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are the rules of a vote of confidence, if M5* abstains in the Senate then what? If you only need more yays then nays then Montis coalition support would be enough. Or if Montis coalition also abstains, then Bersani has 123, Berlusconi 117 and Bersani wins as long as not all lifers and minor parties line up behind Berlusconi.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 02:03:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Italian Constitution:

The decisions of each House and of Parliament are not valid if the majority of the members is not present, and if they are not passed by a majority of those present, save for those instances where the Constitution prescribes a special majority.

So a relative majority in the presence of abstainers is not enough.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 11:13:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Panic in Greek pharmacies as hundreds of medicines run short | World news | The Guardian

Greece is facing a serious shortage of medicines amid claims that pharmaceutical multinationals have halted shipments to the country because of the economic crisis and concerns that the drugs will be exported by middlemen because prices are higher in other European countries.

Hundreds of drugs are in short supply and the situation is getting worse, according to the Greek drug regulator. The government has drawn up a list of more than 50 pharmaceutical companies it accuses of halting or planning to halt supplies because of low prices in the country.

More than 200 medicinal products are affected, including treatments for arthritis, hepatitis C and hypertension, cholesterol-lowering agents, antipsychotics, antibiotics, anaesthetics and immunomodulators used to treat bowel disease.

Separately, it was announced on Tuesday that the Swiss Red Cross was slashing its supply of donor blood to Greece because it had not paid its bills on time.

Chemists in Athens describe chaotic scenes with desperate customers going from pharmacy to pharmacy to look for prescription drugs that hospitals could no longer dispense.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:34:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece government increases sport funding - Sport - Al Jazeera English
The Greek government has pledged to revise blanket cuts in funding for sport and allocate an extra $14.38 million to stop some beleaguered federations from closing down.

Rowing was one of the sports that would benefit, officials said. Last month, world championship silver medallists Nikos and Apostolos Gountoulas quit the sport, complaining that elite athletes could no longer afford to compete for Greece because of funding cuts.

The budget for Olympic sports federations has been slashed by 50 percent year on year since 2010, while cuts of between 60 and 80 percent were due to be put into effect for 2013 under the country's austerity measures.

A total budget of $19 million was officially announced last week but, after meetings between Hellenic Olympic Federation (HOC) officials and sports federation heads, the government had agreed to provide more funding to help between 300 and 400 federations, sports minister Giannis Ioannidis told a news conference on Wednesday.

"After discussions with the prime minister I have been given the okay to add an additional 11 million euros to the existing 14.5 million," Ioannidis said.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:27:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Red Cross is a business now?

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 06:01:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel cabinet lowers bars to German labor market | Business News | DW.DE | 27.02.2013

The German government has made it easier for skilled, non-academic workers to seek employment in Germany. Rule changes aim to slash bureaucracy and recognize foreign qualifications in target industries.

New immigration rules were tailored specifically for non-academic, but skilled workers from outside the European Union, making it easier for them to get their foreign qualifications recognized by German authorities, the conservative-led government of Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.

The rule changes would come into effect in July and are aimed to plug shortfalls in, for example, the number of train drivers, plumbers and electricians, the government said.

More than 40 percent of existing labor immigration rules were jettisoned, Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement, which would leave the door wide open for skilled laborers from abroad to help the country progress.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:34:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Polish plumbers can move from the UK over to Germany now, I guess.
by asdf on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:47:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx:
from outside the European Union

is the operative phrase.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:10:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lord Rennard did not resign purely on health grounds, Nick Clegg admits | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Nick Clegg has admitted that the Liberal Democrats' former chief executive Lord Rennard did not resign from the party purely on health grounds, as the deputy prime minister had insisted at the weekend.

Clegg, who has rejected claims of a cover-up after criticism that he and his party did not do enough when confronted with allegations of sexual harassment against Rennard, had maintained that the peer stood down in 2009 for health reasons. But on Monday the Guardian reported that senior Lib Dems suggested Rennard quit after pressure from Clegg's office.

During his weekly phone-in on LBC radio, Clegg said: "He left on health grounds but of course the issues of his inappropriate behaviour were in the background."

He said that as the party's new leader he had wanted a new chief executive "to represent his values and his priorities. I felt it was time for a change at the top of the professional party." Rennard's ill health was "the immediate reason he stood down", he added.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:36:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, he probably "knew what was good for him," so technically "health reasons" is correct.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 06:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Three dead in shooting at Swiss factory - Europe - Al Jazeera English

At least three people have been killed and seven others injured during a shooting at a factory near the Swiss city of Lucern, prosecutors have said.

They said the suspected shooter was among the dead.

Swiss police said in a brief statement that the shooting took place at around 9am local time (08:00 GMT) at a wood processing company called Kronospan in the town of Menznau.

Police said the emergency services were on the scene and the area had been largely cordoned off, but gave no further details, saying only they would give further updates later in the day.

A major police deployment was under way, the statement said.

The local Neue Luzerner Zeitung newspaper cited a witness as saying that the shooter opened fire in the company canteen.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:27:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The `Bedroom Tax' Debate | Jon Leighton

I thought I'd share some of the comments made in the House of Commons debate (Wed 27th Feb 2013) on the bedroom tax or spare room subsidy if you prefer. I stress, this is only a snapshot of some of the debate. For more of the detail, you should go here to read the full transcript.

Although the undoubted star of the show is the Conservative MP for North East Somerset, Jacob Rees Mogg, we start here with an impassioned defence of the poor and vulnerable from Caroline Lucas from the Green Party. She was certainly not alone in raising these issues but she was one of the most effective.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:05:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there have been suggestions that this is the current government's "poll tax", ie a policy so overtly punitive for the poor that it creates mass resistance.

The trouble is that, until the policy actually comes into force, it will be difficult to gauge the level of resistance

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 04:08:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That and it's much harder to resist, you can't just not pay your poll tax in this case.

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 Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:34:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the organisation is good enough

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:45:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm, with a poll tax protest, they could say "Pay up " and you could say "Piss of" and there was very little they could actually do about it. With a bedroom tax protest, they're just suddenly going to cut the ammount that you are being given in housing benefit, and you'll then still have to pay the landlord. it isn't him or her who's being protested about, and there isn't anything they can do about it. If they cut your rent, then you have to report it to the council or you're comitting fraud.

The one thing that a landlord can do is re-classify rooms so they aren't bedrooms, so you don't lose benefit, and they don't risk losing rent. But that is all very dependent on your landlord.

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 Feb 28th, 2013 at 03:38:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera: Slovenian parliament ousts PM over corruption (27 Feb 2013)
In her address to legislators ahead of the vote, Bratusek hinted at a break from austerity policies which provoked massive strikes and protests over the past year.

"Slovenia cannot afford ... the economic contraction and rising unemployment. It is clear that cutting spending will not in itself spur economic growth. This policy does not lead to deficit reduction, which has been the stated goal of the current government," she said.

...

She listed her priorities as kick-starting growth, balancing public finances without stifling growth, protecting and developing the public sector and restoring the people's trust in institutions of the state.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 12:11:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pengovsky blog: Alenka Bratušek Ousts Janez Janša as PM
While momentous in its own right, this event is only the first step in a treacherous process of coalition negotiations between parties that have considerable history. Although technically ousted, Janša's government remains in a caretaker role until a new government is confirmed by the National Assembly which must be done in 15 days starting tomorrow. Failing to do so in three attempts, her designation is voided and the procedure to nominate a new PM kicks is with president of the republic front and centre. In this case that would translate into early elections. And, truth be told, this is not an altogether unlikely scenario.
This 'Pengovsky' is a... should we say.. peculiar site (go in and look at the banner image - I can't link to it, it seems to be hidden in Javascript)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 12:15:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My employer's web filter thinks it's pornographic.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 04:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mine doesn't yet.
Matter of time.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 06:06:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Napolitano. Chapeau!
Napolitano merita l'onore delle armi. In questi anni è stato criticato per molte scelte a mio avviso sbagliate, ma ieri in Germania ho visto, al termine del suo mandato, il mio presidente della Repubblica. Un italiano che ha tenuto la schiena dritta. Il candidato cancelliere dell'SPD come successore di Angela Merkel, Peer Steinbrueck, ha commentato i risultati delle nostre elezioni "Sono inorridito dalla vittoria di due clown nelle elezioni italiane", dando in sostanza degli imbecilli a circa 8.700.000 italiani che hanno votato il M5S e ai 7.300.000 che hanno scelto il Pdl. Una dichiarazione offensiva che denota arroganza e scarsa intelligenza politica, doti necessarie per ambire alla carica di cancelliere.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:52:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:13:27 PM EST
Spain deficit falls, but not to pledged level | Business | DW.DE | 27.02.2013

The Spanish government has announced it has succeeded in bringing down the country's budget deficit. But it also had to concede that progress had not been big enough to meet the target set by EU authorities.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced on Wednesday the government managed to significantly reduce the country's budget deficit in 2012.

He said it fell to 6.7 percent of gross domestic product last year, down from 9 percent in 2011. Rajoy noted the reduction came after a series of spending cuts and tax increases.

But even the drastic austerity course imposed by Madrid was not able to bring Spain's spending and borrowing parameters in line with the targets set by the EU executive.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:36:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German economic miracle: thanks to debt relief? | Germany | DW.DE | 27.02.2013

Highly indebted, without access to capital, viewed suspiciously by creditors - that was Germany in 1953. Half the country's debts were canceled 60 years ago this week - the foundation of the "economic miracle."

Many Germans are still proud of the so-called "economic miracle." Post-war growth was extraordinary - the new Federal Republic's economic output doubled between 1953 and 1963 alone. Generations of schoolchildren have since be taught that the Germans are simply unbelievably hardworking people who were supported by US money after the war.

"That is a very regrettable part of the suppression of history in this country," says Joachim Kaiser of erlassjahr.de, an alliance that campaigns for the cancellation of debts in the developing world. He believes that the Germans have forgotten that they were hopelessly in debt after World War II, not unlike Greece today. The parallels with Greece today are hard to overlook

It was only with the London Debt Agreement of 1953 that the German economy was given room to breathe again, says historian Ursula Rombeck-Jaschinski of Stuttgart University: "One could even argue that the economic miracle would have been impossible without the debt agreement."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:36:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DW.DE:
"One could even argue that the economic miracle would have been impossible without the debt agreement."

One could even argue that, without benevolence from the US hegemon and other European countries victims of Nazism, Germany would have been set for long-term grinding poverty.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:19:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"That is a very regrettable part of the suppression of history in this country," says Joachim Kaiser of erlassjahr.de, an alliance that campaigns for the cancellation of debts in the developing world.

Erlassjahr being, of course, the German word for Debt Jubilee (Year)

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:22:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 03:58:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Euro Gains Against Dollar as Italy Meets Bond Target; Yen Climbs - Bloomberg

The euro strengthened for the first time in three days against the dollar as Italy reached its target in a bond sale and a report showed economic confidence in the region improved this month.

The 17-nation currency climbed from almost a seven-week low yesterday even as Beppe Grillo, whose populist movement was the top vote-getter in Italy's indecisive election this week, rejected a call by Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani to back a coalition. The yen rose versus most of its 16 major peers on speculation its slide in the past six months factors in the Bank of Japan (8301)'s plan to boost stimulus. The Dollar Index fell before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke resumed testimony in Washington today.

"The Italian bond auction was an encouraging sign and suggests that, despite the political gridlock and a resumption of fears about the euro-zone project, there are some buyers out there still," Richard Franulovich, a senior currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) in New York, said in a telephone interview. "The overall attitude on the euro has shifted dramatically, and it's now a case of selling it on strength."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:44:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bond Cliff Looms With Slowest Sales Since 2008: Credit Markets - Bloomberg

Company bond sales worldwide are on pace for the slowest February since 2008 as the prospect of rising interest rates in the U.S. and persistent recession in Europe quashes the busiest start to a year on record.

"Economic conditions don't warrant necessarily any significant increases in funding," Kevin Flanagan, chief fixed- income strategist at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Purchase, New York, said in a telephone interview. "In terms of balance sheet and liquidity, cash on hand and refunding, the lion's share of all that balance sheet repair work has been done."

Debt maturing in three years accounted for 23.2 percent of U.S. sales this month, the biggest share since March 2011, amid concern borrowing costs may rise as the Federal Reserve signals it may wean the economy off stimulus measures. In Europe, companies are avoiding the bond market as they accumulate more than three times the cash they held a decade ago, with the European Commission forecasting the euro area will shrink for a second year.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:45:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When all of the usual suspects in business and finance have made a thorough mess of the international economy the only real way for activity to be restarted is for clear direction to come from some of the larger governments - which is, unfortunately, the biggest taboo of the currently dominant economic cult.

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 Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:08:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Calgacus blog: Economics (aka MMT) in Three Words (July 4, 2011)
"Money is debt" is true absolutely, metaphysically, transcendentally, eternally, wholly, utterly , subjectively and objectively. Like any subject, once you understand its (rarely spoken) trivialities, its philosophy, its (objective) logic, dare I say its metaphysics? -everything afterward is child's play, intuitive. In fact, much of the modern school of MMT & Circuitism etc just rediscovers once well-known ideas. Though of course it has gone beyond most of them. Some of the most interesting predecessors don't seem to have been redigested yet, though.

...

"Debt" is not "money owed". Debt is the primary concept, left undefined, at least initially. "Debt" comes first. The concept of Money is defined in terms of the concept of Debt, not vice versa. Ethologists see the idea of debt even in chimps - if I do you a favor, you owe me one in return -in giving a banana, in helping one chimp beat up another chimp. Money is nothing but a vast system of Brownie Points regulating the movement of real goods and services.

An agreed-on money is a standardization of debt - it is a measure of debt. We use number systems - positive and negative numbers, rational or real (not really, we don't do infinite precision) to operate with this debt standardization. It is exact, because we make it exact. If we wanted to, we could just decree that 1 million could be the largest amount we use, so 1 million "+ "1 million = 1 million. We would just be using a different number system, and it would be exact with that alternate system.

Econ in 3 words, short addendum (AUGUST 18, 2011)
The 3 things:

  1. Debt, obligations - understood as "I owe that guy a favor" "I owe my parents something for taking care of me as a child". Obligations -Understood in the most intuitive, immediate, abstract way.

  2. Money, particularly fiat money

  3. Financial debt, like government bonds, like credit card debt.

These are all the same thing. The last two are instances of the first, the most general and most important. All they are - all money, bonds, financial assets are - is denominating, standardizing, linearizing, dating and measuring the first thing. Imagine a tribe of chimps that is keeping scores on who owes who which favors. And this system keeping track of favors owed is usually supervised by the #1 Chimp - the Great Chimp.

That's us. That's what a monetary system is. The Great Chimp is the government. Banks are his assistant chimps. The basic money is the favors owed to ordinary chimps by the Great Chimp.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 01:28:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SPEECH: Deeper Integration in the Eurozone and Britain's Place in Europe (28/02/2013)
As John Maynard Keynes, the greatest (British) economist and also the greatest British liberal since John Stuart Mill, noted before the Bretton Woods talks, such adjustment is "compulsory for the debtor and voluntary for the creditor". Keynes knew what he was talking about, as he was representing the interests of a debtor nation.

But this does not invalidate the case for a more symmetrical external rebalancing within the eurozone, involving creditor as well as debtor countries. The Commission has recommended that surplus countries should implement reforms to strengthen domestic demand.

...

While I am not sure if Keynes himself would be a Keynesian today, at least an unreconstructed one, I am in fact a Keynesian myself, if that is measured by one's belief in the dangers of a liquidity trap and the rationale of counter-cyclical economic policy.

In other words, once you have room for fiscal manoeuvre, you can pursue counter-cyclical economic policies, with targeted investment for growth-enhancing purposes like research and infrastructures, as in Sweden today. But I also live in the real world, under the shadow of a confidence crisis and of public debt at 90% on average in Europe. Even Germany's public debt exceeds 80% of GDP. This is a world of hard choices, imperfect policy options, a still fragile financial sector, intense market pressure and political and financial constraints.

And in this real world where we operate, Europe is getting its public finances back on track. Deficits in the eurozone have fallen from around 6% of GDP on average in 2010 to around 3.5% in 2012. We forecast the average deficit will drop below 3% this year.

Olli "don't mention the multiplier" Rehn, abusing and misrepresenting Keynes one speech at a time.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 12:03:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
once you have room for fiscal manoeuvre, you can pursue counter-cyclical economic policies

If that doesn't make Keynes rise from the grave in fury then either
a) nothing will or
b) I've misunderstood "Keynsian", "counter-cyclical", "liquidity trap" and probably "logic".


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 12:24:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I also live in the real world, under the shadow of a confidence crisis and of public debt at 90% on average in Europe greedy plutocracy that owns the political process of which I am but a grateful employee.

Fixed it for him. But also, as Junker said, when it is serious you have to lie.

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 Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:06:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leaving aside the pertinence of a focus on public debt and public deficits during a depression -and in the context of the current monetary union, a reasonable case can regrettably made for at least looking at them- I am left speechless by this use of average debts and deficits in the total absence of a fiscal union.

This really is on a par with Bill Gates walking into a bar making everyone immensely rich (on average).

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 05:22:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:13:41 PM EST
Obama to meet congressional leaders on ways to avoid sequester impact - The Washington Post

President Obama will meet with congressional leaders Friday at the White House to discuss a way to avoid the fallout of deep spending cuts, amid intensifying warnings that they could affect the daily lives of Americans in a variety of ways.

Obama's meeting with the top four Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate is scheduled for the day the so-called "sequester" cuts begin to take effect, a point that Republicans emphasized in questioning the administration's seriousness about stopping the reductions.

Among the sequester's possible impacts, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration warned Wednesday, are major flight delays and the closure of hundreds of air traffic control towers at smaller airports across the country.

"Flights to major cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco could experience delays, in some instances up to 90 minutes during peak hours, because we'll have fewer controllers on staff," FAA administrator Michael P. Huerta said in a speech to an American Bar Association forum in Washington. "And delays in these major airports could ripple across the country."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:29:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:30:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Conservative Justices Voice Skepticism on Voting Law - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON -- A central provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 may be in peril, judging from tough questioning on Wednesday from the Supreme Court's more conservative members.

Justice Antonin Scalia called the provision, which requires nine states, mostly in the South, to get federal permission before changing voting procedures, a "perpetuation of racial entitlement." Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. asked a skeptical question about whether people in the South are more racist than those in the North. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asked how much longer Alabama must live "under the trusteeship of the United States government."

The court's more liberal members, citing data and history, said Congress remained entitled to make the judgment that the provision was still needed in the covered jurisdictions.

"It's an old disease," Justice Stephen G. Breyer said of efforts to thwart minority voting. "It's gotten a lot better. A lot better. But it's still there."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:31:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep digging, GOP!
by asdf on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:49:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NYT:
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asked how much longer Alabama must live "under the trusteeship of the United States government."

That a Supreme Court judge could make such an assessment is mind-boggling.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:27:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The USSC is a group of bizarrely conservative men specifically chosen for their  corporate friendly outlook on the governance of the USA.

Theirs is entirely power without responsibility

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 04:14:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually 3 of the nine are women, which is much higher than the percentage in Congress, or in the British Parliament (it's even slightly higher than the Italian parliament which is now at 31%)
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 04:20:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The USSC is a group of bizarrely conservative men

Especially Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 08:12:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm all for this crap because it will lead to redder red states and bluer blue states and hopefully the fracturing of the Empire with its pseudo-democracy.

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 Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 08:26:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TPM is asking whether Scalia is actually a democratic plant:
[...] sounds more like you're listening to some sort of talk radio blowhard than a Supreme Court Justice.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 12:29:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US considers sending aid to Syrian rebels - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

The White House is considering a shift in policy towards the nearly two-year-long conflict in Syria, and may send body armour and armoured vehicles to rebels, and possibly provide military training as well, the Washington Post has reported citing US and European officials.

John Kerry, US secretary of state, was expected to discuss the proposed policy change with officials during his nine-nation tour of European and Arab capitals, the newspaper said on Tuesday.

US officials remain opposed to sending weapons to the rebels, it said.

Kerry was to meet Syrian opposition leaders at a Friends of Syria conference in Rome on Thursday.

He said in London on Monday that President Barack Obama was evaluating more steps to "fulfil our obligation to innocent people", but did not give details or say whether Washington was reconsidering whether to arm the rebels.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French troops in 'very violent' Mali combat - Africa - Al Jazeera English

France's defence minister has confirmed that French forces are engaged in heavy fighting in northern Mali, as  suicide car bombing killed six government allies in the city of Kidal.

The bomber carried out the attack on Tuesday evening at a checkpoint at an entrance to Kidal, Ag Alghabas Intalla, a leader of the Islamic Movement of Azawad, or MIA, said by phone from Kidal.

He said he counted six dead and others wounded. The MIA group is fighting with the Malian army and French troops against armed rebels.

Responsibility for the suicide attack has not been claimed, but it is suspected to be the work of fighters of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO.

"The suicide attack targeted the checkpoint on the eastern side of Kidal which is manned by the MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad)," a French military official told AFP news agency in Gao, the main city in the north.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:32:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/02/26/184266/mexico-arrests-elba-esther-gordillo.html

MONTERREY, Mexico -- Mexican authorities Tuesday announced the arrest on corruption charges of Elba Esther Gordillo, the mighty head of the national teachers' union, striking a blow against one of the country's most despised, but also most powerful political figures.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam accused Gordillo and her top aides of misusing more than 2.6 billion pesos - the equivalent of slightly more than $200 million - in union money.

Some of the money was wired to accounts in Switzerland, he said, while other funds were used on plastic surgery. Some $2.1 million was spent at the Neiman Marcus store in San Diego, Calif.

Authorities arrested Gordillo, 68, when she arrived near Mexico City on private jet from San Diego. Gordillo maintains a $1.6 million home in La Jolla, a San Diego suburb. Among the questionable expenditures that caught the attention of investigators, Murillo Karam said, were hangar rental and aircraft maintenance in San Diego.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:32:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Afghans killed in Taliban 'poison attack' - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

Taliban fighters have poisoned and killed 17 people, including 11 policemen and six civilians, in an overnight attack on a post manned by a government-backed local police in eastern Afghanistan.

Details of Wednesday's pre-dawn attack on an Afghan Local Police (ALP) checkpoint were still not clear, as officials were investigating how the fighters breached security at the post in Ghazni province.

Abdul Jamhe Jamhe, Ghazni deputy provincial council head, said the fighters somehow infiltrated the post and poisoned those inside the compound before launching the assault.

"An infiltrated local policeman first drugged all 17 of hiscomrades, and then called the Taliban and they together shot
them all," Mohammad Hassan, chief police detective for Ghazni, told the Reuters news agency.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:33:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Maldives girl to get 100 lashes for pre-marital sex

A 15-year-old rape victim has been sentenced to 100 lashes for engaging in premarital sex, court officials said.

The charges against the girl were brought against her last year after police investigated accusations that her stepfather had raped her and killed their baby. He is still to face trial.

Prosecutors said her conviction did not relate to the rape case.

Amnesty International condemned the punishment as "cruel, degrading and inhumane".

The government said it did not agree with the punishment and that it would look into changing the law.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:49:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First blame the victim. Then punish her.

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 Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:16:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that adding insult to injury, or injury to insult?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 03:59:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blood & Treasure

The Zambian government has reportedly engaged Chinese experts to install a secret internet monitoring facility in the country. In tandem with this move, President Michael Sata has given authorization to the Special Division of the Office of the President (also known as the Zambian Security Intelligence Service) to monitor the telephone and online communications of anyone living in Zambia if ordered to do so by the Attorney General.

 Assuming this story checks out it's interesting that Zambia is calling on the fraternal services of China in this matter, since Saha ran on an explicitly anti-Chinese platform when he was elected. But it's not surprising that a country like Zambia would do this. Authoritarian regimes will likely already have their own installed capacity catering for their particular requirements. Besides, it's hard to imagine, say, Russia or Vietnam allowing China to crawl all over its network infrastructure.




"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 06:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVING OFF THE PLANET
Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:13:55 PM EST
Salazar: On Energy, Expect Four More Years of the Same | Mother Jones

If you aren't happy with President Obama's plan for powering the US, don't hold your breath for any changes in his second term.

Speaking today to a conference of leaders of the offshore wind industry in Boston, outgoing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar hinted at the nation's energy future. "It's going to be very much a continuation agenda," Salazar said of Sally Jewell, Obama's pick to succeed him.

Salazar noted with pride how in Obama's first term, the equivalent of 30 fossil-fuel-fired power plants worth of renewable energy projects have been approved for public lands, a trend he's confident will continue into the future. But stashed away in his remarks was also a renewed commitment to growing fracking nationwide and oil drilling in the Alaskan arctic, two key aspects of Obama's "all-of-the-above" energy policy that have drawn fire from environmentalists, and which Salazar equated with renewables as "very important" components of America's energy plan going forward. Salazar: Obama's second term is "going to be very much a continuation agenda."

Salazar, making a rare public appearance without his signature Stetson hat, closed his speech with an excerpt from Obama's recent State of the Union address, wherein the president called on America to be a leader on renewables. But later, speaking to reporters, Salazar expressed ambivalence about the Keystone XL pipeline, saying only that he supported the president's review process and he trusted incoming State Secretary John Kerry, with whom the ultimate call on Keystone XL rests, to make the right decision. He also sidestepped a question about the risks of fracking, saying that "shale gas has a lot of promise for energy security in the US. We will be implementing an agenda that takes advantage of it all."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:49:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama had better think carefully about this, or his "progressive" environmental agenda will be overtaken by events.

After a series of costly and embarrassing accidents in its efforts to drill exploratory wells off the north coast of Alaska last year, Royal Dutch Shell announced on Wednesday that it would not return to the Arctic in 2013.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/business/energy-environment/shell-suspends-arctic-drilling-for-201 3.html?_r=0
by asdf on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:52:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Weather extremes provoked by trapping of giant waves in the atmosphere

Feb. 25, 2013 -- The world has suffered from severe regional weather extremes in recent years, such as the heat wave in the United States in 2011 or the one in Russia 2010 coinciding with the unprecedented Pakistan flood. Behind these devastating individual events there is a common physical cause, propose scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The study will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and suggests that man-made climate change repeatedly disturbs the patterns of atmospheric flow around the globe's Northern hemisphere through a subtle resonance mechanism.

"An important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes of the Earth normally takes the form of waves wandering around the planet, oscillating between the tropical and the Arctic regions. So when they swing up, these waves suck warm air from the tropics to Europe, Russia, or the US, and when they swing down, they do the same thing with cold air from the Arctic," explains lead author Vladimir Petoukhov.

"What we found is that during several recent extreme weather events these planetary waves almost freeze in their tracks for weeks. So instead of bringing in cool air after having brought warm air in before, the heat just stays. In fact, we observe a strong amplification of the usually weak, slowly moving component of these waves," says Petoukhov. Time is critical here: two or three days of 30 degrees Celsius are no problem, but twenty or more days lead to extreme heat stress. Since many ecosystems and cities are not adapted to this, prolonged hot periods can result in a high death toll, forest fires, and dramatic harvest losses.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:50:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suppressed South Carolina Climate Change Report Warns of Big Impacts | ThinkProgress

South Carolina news outlet TheState.com reported on Sunday that an official, comprehensive assessment of dramatic climate change impacts looming large in South Carolina's future was buried and barred from release, apparently due to political pressure.

According to TheState.com, the report, completed by a working group of 18 senior state scientists under the auspices of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, found that the Palmetto State faces an average temperature rise of as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 70 years. Along with the heat would come increases in wildlife disease, loss of habitat for wild game, degradation of the state's valuable recreational and commercial fisheries, increases in "dead zones" off the state's coast, and salt water intrusion into coastal rivers and freshwater aquifers.

The report also issued a dramatic warning: As South Carolina's climate warms, it could face in-migration of harmful invasive species from Florida, including piranha and Asian swamp eels.

Even more alarming than piranhas and eels, however, is the possibility that South Carolina's conservative state government may have suppressed the report -- intended for public education and planning purposes -- for political reasons.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:50:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leatherback sea turtle could be extinct within 20 years at last stronghold in the Pacific Ocean

Feb. 26, 2013 -- An international team led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has documented a 78 percent decline in the number of nests of the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) at the turtle's last stronghold in the Pacific Ocean.

The study, published online Feb. 26 in the Ecological Society of America's scientific online journal Ecosphere, reveals leatherback nests at Jamursba Medi Beach in Papua Barat, Indonesia -- which accounts for 75 percent of the total leatherback nesting in the western Pacific -- have fallen from a peak of 14,455 in 1984 to a low of 1,532 in 2011. Less than 500 leatherbacks now nest at this site annually.

Thane Wibbels, Ph.D., a professor of reproductive biology at UAB and member of a research team that includes scientists from State University of Papua (UNIPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia, says the largest marine turtle in the world could soon vanish.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:50:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Proud Species Commits Suicide Rather Than Be Driven To Extinction By Humans
COOS BAY, OR--Amidst rapidly deteriorating environmental conditions that have left the species in imminent danger of extinction, the world's leatherback sea turtles announced plans Tuesday to commit mass suicide rather than allow human beings to wipe them out. "For years we've just been sitting around waiting for these assholes to finish us off, but I say if we're gonna go out, we do it on our own terms," said a 25-year-old female leatherback, who along with others of her species confirmed she would rather throw herself into the rudder of a fishing boat than "give those cocksuckers the satisfaction of finishing the job."


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:54:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Hindu: A submerged continent found
Nick Kusznir, professor of geophysics at the University of Liverpool in the U. K. and co-author of the paper that appeared this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, says: "We found that under Mauritius there were areas with an unusually thick Earth's crust."

In deep oceans the thickness of Earth's crust, which forms the upper layer of the planet and protects us from the extremely hot magma underneath it, is about seven km.

But underneath Mauritius and leading to Seychelles, which is more than 1,000 kilometers away, there were large chunks of the crust that were as thick as 30 km. "While we cannot be certain about the origins of the zircons, when combined with the evidence of thicker crusts in such big parts of the ocean floor, we can be quite certain that a small continent existed underneath Mauritius," says Kusznir.

Okay, that's enough science for today, let's go back to our regularly scheduled programming
There are a number of popular myths about submerged continents.
Anyway, this is from Google Maps:

Is this an opportunity for offshore wind?

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 11:29:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Is this an opportunity for offshore wind?

Where do you see (creditworthy) demand for power anywhere near that place? And how long would the power cable would need to be?


Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 09:55:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do like Iceland: build aluminum smelting plants on Seychelles and Mauritius.

And the cable would be about 500km long.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 10:58:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then you have parallel multi-billion scale projects in one (or more) emerging market(s) and that's nightmare to coordiante and make happen.

And offshore wind does not provide the kind of cheap baseload power than aluminum producers are used to (and actually need - aluminum production actually needs very reliable power supply, so wind alone would certainly not work).

and 500km of cable is pretty expensive, you'd need rather large projects to make it worthwhile... (50km cables already add 2c/kWh to the cost of production for a 500 MW project...)

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 01:10:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Offshore charging stations for US/Chinese/Indian navy?
Assuming they have electrical ships, of course.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 12:30:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That as to wait for the next scramble for coaling charging stations.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Réunion Island?

Ile de la Réunion : vers l'indépendance énergétique ?

Alors que dans les années 80, la totalité de l'énergie produite à la Réunion était d'origine renouvelable, l'île est devenue peu à peu dépendante des énergies fossiles. Ainsi, la part des énergies renouvelables est passée en 2008 à 36 % de la production totale d'électricité. Une forte croissance démographique (de 500.000 à 800.000 habitants entre 1980 et 2030) et la hausse du niveau de vie conjuguées à une baisse de la production hydroélectrique ont mené le territoire à s'équiper de centrales thermiques au fioul et au charbon pour répondre à la hausse de la demande.
by Bernard on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 04:13:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Problem with wind farms à la Réunion is that it's cyclonic. There is a French company that makes cyclone-proof wind machines (Vergnet), but it makes your electricity a bit more expensive. And since diesel will very soon come down in price again, you see, it's not worth investing in.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 03:28:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:14:12 PM EST
Ivory Coast's Women Reject Equality in Household Debate - Bloomberg

Eugenie Kramoh says she's angry at Ivory Coast's government for passing a law last year that improved her legal and financial status and made the country eligible for more donor funds.

"I doubt they were thinking about the well-being of women when they voted the law," the 52-year-old married house cleaner and Abidjan resident said as she was hailing a taxi to buy groceries at a supermarket. "It's difficult enough to get married and this will make it only more difficult."

About 55 percent of adult women in Ivory Coast can't read or write, compared to 35 percent of men, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

About 55 percent of adult women in Ivory Coast can't read or write, compared to 35 percent of men, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The removal of a rule that places men at the head of the household sparked the anger of many women in Ivory Coast. They say they'll no longer have the lifelong financial security of marriage, even as the new policy allows them to keep more of their own salaries, set up businesses without their husbands' approval and make more choices on how money is spent.

President Alassane Ouattara dissolved his government in November after he faced opposition from his ruling coalition on the law change. The bill was approved as soon as Ouattara appointed a new prime minister, making the country eligible for as much as $1 billion in development funds from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corp. a Washington-based government aid program.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:47:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"State as replacement husband" requires a certain level of "state".


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 06:42:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Doubts Emerge on the Value of Very Low Cholesterol Levels: Scientific American
Soon after Joseph Francis learned that his levels of `bad' LDL cholesterol sat at twice the norm, he discovered the short­comings of cholesterol-lowering drugs -- and of the clinical advice guiding their use. Francis, the director of clinical analysis and reporting at the Veterans Health Administration (VA) in Washington DC, started taking Lipitor (atorvastatin), a cholesterol-lowering statin and the best-selling drug in pharmaceutical history. His LDL plummeted, but still hovered just above a target mandated by clinical guidelines. Adding other medications had no effect, and upping the dose of Lipitor made his muscles hurt -- a rare side effect of statins, which can cause muscle breakdown.

So Francis pulled back to moderate Lipitor doses and decided that he could live with his high cholesterol. Later, he learned that other patients were being aggressively treated by doctors chasing stringent LDL targets. But Francis found the science behind the target guidelines to be surprisingly ambiguous. "You couldn't necessarily say lowering LDL further was going to benefit the patient," he says.

The standard advice may soon change. For the first time in more than a decade, the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is revising the clinical guidelines that shaped Francis's treatment (see `How low can you go?'). Expected to be released later this year, the fourth set of guidelines, called ATP IV, has been drawn up by an expert panel of 15 cardiologists appointed by the institute. The guidelines will set the tone for clinical practice in the United States and beyond, and will profoundly influence pharmaceutical markets. They will also reflect the growing debate over cholesterol targets, which have never been directly tested in clinical trials.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:51:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Geneticists Estimate Publication Date of The Iliad : Scientific American

(ISNS)--Scientists who decode the genetic history of humans by tracking how genes mutate have applied the same technique to one of the Western world's most ancient and celebrated texts to uncover the date it was first written.

The text is Homer's "Iliad," and Homer -- if there was such a person -- probably wrote it in 762 B.C., give or take 50 years, the researchers found. The "Iliad" tells the story of the Trojan War -- if there was such a war -- with Greeks battling Trojans.

The researchers accept the received orthodoxy that a war happened and someone named Homer wrote about it, said Mark Pagel, an evolutionary theorist at the University of Reading in England. His collaborators include Eric Altschuler, a geneticist at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, in Newark, and Andreea S. Calude, a linguist also at Reading and the Sante Fe Institute in New Mexico. They worked from the standard text of the epic poem.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:54:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lars Hedegaard, Anti-Islamic Provocateur, Receives Support From Danish Muslims - NYTimes.com

When the news broke on Feb. 5 that Mr. Hedegaard had narrowly escaped an attack on his life, recalled Imran Shah of Copenhagen's Islamic Society, "we knew that this was something people would try to blame on us. We knew we had to be in the forefront and make clear that political and religious violence is totally unacceptable."

The Islamic Society, which runs Denmark's biggest mosque and played an important role in stirring up passions against the cartoons of Muhammad, swiftly condemned the attack on Mr. Hedegaard. It also said it regretted its own role during the uproar over the cartoon, when it sent a delegation to Egypt and Lebanon to sound the alarm over Danish blasphemy, a move that helped turn what had been a little-noticed domestic affair into a bloody international crisis.

Another Islamic organization, Minhaj ul Quran International, the Danish offshoot of a controversial group in Pakistan that has taken a hard line at home against blasphemy, added its own voice, organizing a demonstration outside Copenhagen's city hall to denounce the attack on Mr. Hedegaard and defend free speech.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 09:54:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ON THIS DATE


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:14:43 PM EST
1903 - Vincente Minnelli, American film director (d. 1986)

)

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:27:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:37:40 PM EST
Van Cliburn, celebrated classical pianist, dies at 78 - The Washington Post

Van Cliburn, the tall, gangly, curly-haired Texan who became the most famous classical pianist in American history over the course of a single extraordinary week in 1958, died Feb. 27 at his home in Fort Worth. He was 78.

His death, from bone cancer, was announced by his publicist and longtime friend, Mary Lou Falcone.

In April 1958, Mr. Cliburn went to Moscow at the height of the Cold War and brought home the gold medal in the new Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition for his rendition of the composer's Concerto No. 1. The contest had been established to showcase the Russian superiority in culture, a mere six months after the scientific triumph of launching Sputnik, the first space satellite.

Mr. Cliburn's performance -- the crystalline touch, the welling songfulness -- prompted an eight-minute standing ovation. But such were the political tensions of the time, the judges of the competition checked with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev before announcing their decision to give the prize to a non-Soviet musician.



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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:38:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]