Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 4th, 2015 at 01:43:44 PM EST
′We can′t protect every sausage,′ says German agriculture minister over TTIP deal | News | DW.DE | 04.01.2015

Speaking with the German weekly news magazine, Spiegel, Schmidt said that German specialties could lose their European Union (EU) privileges as a result of the proposed EU-American Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which plans to enable free trade between the EU and America.

"If we want to take the chance to make the most of free trading with the huge American market, we can't protect every sausage and cheese as a specialty anymore," said Schmidt, who belongs to the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Merkel's CDU.

"The EU also protects specialties whose raw materials are no longer produced in their home regions," he criticized.

"It would be difficult to explain to our American trading partners that they can't export any Tyrolean ham or Dutch Gouda to us if we do not consistently enforce the protection," Schmidt added.

I thought we'd been assured that the TTIP wouldn't interfere with any of our agricultural and food regulations?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 4th, 2015 at 01:48:22 PM EST
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Exposing Corporate Europe

Could the world's largest weapons company soon be managing part of our medical systems?

That absurd and nasty idea is being actively discussed. The National Health Service in England recently held a meeting for firms interested in providing support services to doctors. Among those firms were Lockheed Martin, the same company that has supplied interrogators to the US torture chambers of Guantanamo Bay, fighter jets to Israel and cluster bombs dropped by US forces in Afghanistan.

Not content with arming a superpower, Lockheed has been trying to muscle into civilian markets. For a number of years, it has been involved in running parts of the postal services in the US and Sweden.

The arms industry is hoping that the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will provide it with greater opportunities.

The Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) - an umbrella group for weapons-dealers - has calculated that more than half of the 24 topics raised in the initial stages of the EU-US trade talks affect the companies it represents. Top of the list is "government procurement" - a fancy term for providing goods to public authorities and, in some cases, letting corporations run vital services.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 4th, 2015 at 02:02:32 PM EST
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I thought we'd been assured that the TTIP wouldn't interfere with any of our agricultural and food regulations?

Ummm, he was lying

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 5th, 2015 at 11:11:56 AM EST
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EUobserver / TTIP's teflon coat wears thin
BRUSSELS - The prospect of an EU-US trade agreement was one of relatively few sources of comfort for EU lawmakers during the bloc's struggling economy in 2013.

Opening the first round of talks last July, European Commission officials and ministers spoke of a "debt free stimulus" that could be worth as much as €100 billion extra to the EU's GDP. Many governments described the potential deal as "win-win".

Trade officials concluded their seventh round of talks on the cumbersome-sounding transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) in Brussels in October 2014. Their plan to initial a draft agreement by the end of 2015 remains the goal.

But in 2014, TTIP's teflon coat started to wear off as politicians and trade negotiators got down to hard detail, while opponents of the talks got organised.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2015 at 12:47:07 AM EST
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Piketty Says Gates Loves His Book While Disagreeing on Tax Plan - Bloomberg

Thomas Piketty, the French economist whose best-selling book has added tinder to the debate on income inequality, counts the world's richest person among his fans.

"I had this discussion with Bill Gates a couple of weeks ago," Piketty, the author of "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," said today at an economics conference in Boston. "He told me, `I love everything that's in your book, but I don't want to pay more tax." A tax on wealth is one of Piketty's key recommendations for addressing inequality.

"I understand his point," said Piketty, 43, who teaches at the Paris School of Economics. "I think he sincerely believes he's more efficient than the government, and you know, maybe he is sometimes."

Sure, at cornering a market.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 4th, 2015 at 01:50:22 PM EST
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It's his assets/capital that should be subject to increased taxes, not so much him.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Jan 5th, 2015 at 07:22:11 PM EST
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Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery

Danny Hillis, an MIT-educated computer scientist whose company, Thinking Machines, was at the forefront of the supercomputing world in the eighties, and who used to run R&D at Walt Disney Imagineering, thinks Epstein is actually using scientific knowledge to beat the markets. "We talk about currency trading -- the euro, the real, the yen," he says. "He has something a physicist would call physical intuition. He knows when to use the math and when to throw it away. If I had acted upon all the investment advice he has been giving me over the years, I'd be calling you from my Gulfstream right now."

On the 727 these days, he has been reading a book by E. O. Wilson, the eminent scientist and originator of the field of sociobiology, called Consilience, which makes the case that the boundaries between scientific disciplines are in the process of breaking down. It's a view Epstein himself holds. He wrote recently to a scientist friend of his: "The behavior of termites, together with ants and bees, is a precursor to trust because they have an extraordinary ability to form relationships and sophisticated social structures based on mutual altruism even though individually they are fundamentally dumb. Money itself is a derivative of trust. If we can figure out how termites come together, then we may be able to better understand the underlying principles of market behavior -- and make big money."

Make big money eroding all that's true and good about democracy by burrowing through its beams and causing it to crumble into fascism-lite.
Nice mission

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2015 at 06:22:15 AM EST
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Either he has found some usable pattern and is stupid enough to brag about it or - like every case before - he uses a combination of mumbo-jumbo, ponzi-mechanisms and luck to create that impression. If I were betting, I would bet on the latter.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 7th, 2015 at 07:29:41 AM EST
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