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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 11 June

by dvx Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 04:08:56 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Civil rights on this date in history:

1963 - Alabama Governor George Wallace stands at the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in an attempt to block two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending that school. Later in the day, accompanied by federalized National Guard troops, they are able to register.

More here and here

In this June 11, 1963 photo, National Guard Brig. Gen. Henry Graham informs Gov. George Wallace, right, that the guard is under federal control as the two meet at the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

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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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:39:10 PM EST
Tests reveal bean sprouts as likely source of E. coli outbreak | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 10.06.2011

Tests have revealed that bean sprouts are the likely source of an E. coli outbreak in Germany that has killed 31 people and made nearly 3,000 ill since May.

 

Officials revealed on Friday that the deadly 0104 strain had been found on bean sprout packaging from an organic farm in the municipality of Bienenbüttel in that state of Lower Saxony.

 

The finding was reported by the consumer protection agency of the neighboring state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

 

"The discovery confirms our current warning against the consumption of bean sprouts. It is therefore becoming increasingly more likely that bean sprouts are the source of the E. coli infections," said the state's consumer protection minister, Johannes Remmel.

 



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:47:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain won't sue, but Germany will help after E. coli error | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 09.06.2011

A visiting Spanish minister said in Berlin on Thursday that Germany would help restore the reputation of Spanish vegetables after a mistaken E. coli health warning shook consumer faith and pushed down prices last week.

The Spanish government, however, is not planning to seek financial compensation from Germany or the northern state of Lower Saxony, which issued the warning.

"The German government has agreed to make an effort to improve the image of Spanish produce in Germany," Spain's Europe Minister Diego Lopez Garrido told reporters at a press conference in Berlin, after talks with his Germany's Deputy Foreign Minister Werner Hoyer. "Twenty-five percent of our vegetable exports are to Germany, it is our most important export market. Therefore it is also the duty of the German government to assist us with promotion."

Garrido described the false cucumber alarm as "unfortunate," saying mistakes had been made, but he also said it was time to look ahead, seek the source of the outbreak and work on compensating European farmers who have suffered.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:47:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German farmers fret over sales lost to E. coli fears | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 08.06.2011

Leonhard Palm is nervous. The normally jovial farmer operates a small organic farm in Bornheim, near the western German town of Bonn, and he's growing increasingly concerned about the fallout from the E. coli outbreak.

"Initially our sales weren't impacted - we're a small, organic farm, people can see where the produce comes from," Palm said. "But the longer this outbreak lasts and the more products are cast under suspicion, the more uncertain the consumer gets."

Recently, the demand for his lettuce has dropped by about 50 percent. Palm only harvests what he can sell, meaning he leaves half the heads on a field, at a loss of about 1,500 euros ($2,100) a week. His tomatoes and cucumbers are ready to be harvested now, and he's worried they may suffer the same fate as the lettuce.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:48:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See!! Republicans are right. We don't need no God-damn government. The marketplace is self-correcting. Yaaah capitalism. As long as none of the rich/powerful are inconvenienced, the rest of you are on your own. Deaths? Too bad. Fight your way to being one of the ultra-wealthy. Wimps.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 08:49:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe put on the back burner in Turkish election campaign | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 10.06.2011

Little remains of the pro-Europe enthusiasm that was evident six years ago when Turkey began accession negotiations to the European Union.

The process of joining the bloc is currently at an impasse and public patience appears to be strained.

Some of the so-called "chapters" that new member states must negotiate with Brussels - each over a particular aspect of policy - have, for example, been suspended because of Turkey's role in the Cyprus conflict.

Where progress has been possible, its speed depends upon the pace of reform within Turkey itself, which is not always quick. For the wider public it seems, the EU is no longer a priority.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:48:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Parliament grants extension of German military missions | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 10.06.2011

The German parliament extended two of the Bundeswehr's military engagements on Thursday. Germany's participation in the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) has been extended for an additional 12 months, but will come with troop reductions.

Currently, the maximum number of troops that can serve in Kosovo is 2,500. This number will sink to 1,850.

International peacekeeping forces arrived in Kosovo in 1999, following a 78-day NATO bombing campaign to end a conflict between Serbian forces and fighters from the ethnic Albanian majority in what was then a province of Serbia.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:48:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Euroskeptic party to be excluded from Finnish government | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 10.06.2011

Finland's prime minister-elect said he will not include the euroskeptic True Finns party in the government he is attempting to form.

Jyrki Katainen said on Friday that he wants to form a six-party government including left-leaning parties, but not the True Finns.

Katainen, the head of the right-leaning National Coalition, told reporters that he was aiming to finalize discussions with the other parties by next Friday.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:49:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French judges delay decision on Lagarde inquiry - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - A top French court has put off until July 8 a decision on whether to open a formal inquiry into Finance Minister and IMF candidate Christine Lagarde's role in a 2008 arbitration case, a judicial source said on Friday. "The court's petitions commission will announce its decision on the 8th of July," the source said.g deputies that Lagarde abused her authority in approving a 285 million euro payout to a businessman friend of President Nicolas Sarkozy will hang over her bid to be the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund chief



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Croatia wins approval for EU membership in mid-2013 - EU - FRANCE 24
AFP - Croatia took a giant step towards European Union membership Friday, winning a green light from Brussels to join in mid-2013, a move raising hopes for other Balkan nations knocking at the EU's door.
              
"Today is a historic day for Croatia and the European Union," said Jose-Manuel Barroso, head of the EU executive, on announcing that Zagreb had finally made sufficient progress on meeting stringent conditions required to join the bloc.
              
"I would like to congratulate the people of Croatia," the European Commission president added. "Joining the EU family of nations is first and foremost your success!"


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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:12:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mob rule: Iceland crowdsources its next constitution | World news | The Guardian

It is not the way the scribes of yore would have done it but Iceland is tearing up the rulebook by drawing up its new constitution through crowdsourcing.

As the country recovers from the financial crisis that saw the collapse of its banks and government, it is using social media to get its citizens to share their ideas as to what the new document should contain.

"I believe this is the first time a constitution is being drafted basically on the internet," said Thorvaldur Gylfason, member of Iceland's constitutional council.

"The public sees the constitution come into being before their eyes ... This is very different from old times where constitution makers sometimes found it better to find themselves a remote spot out of sight, out of touch."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 06:52:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like this. I hope they pull it off. It'll be a good model for CA when the US poops out.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 08:55:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brian Lenihan, Ireland's Finance Minister, Dies at 52 - NYTimes.com
LONDON -- Brian Lenihan, who as Ireland's finance minister led the nation's effort to fend off bankruptcy during the worldwide economic collapse, died on Friday at his home in Dublin. He was 52.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 09:01:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 02:47:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Silvio Berlusconi's record: The man who screwed an entire country | The Economist

The Rubygate trial has besmirched not just Mr Berlusconi, but also his country.

However shameful the sexual scandal has been, its impact on Mr Berlusconi's performance as a politician has been limited, so this newspaper has largely ignored it.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 02:48:09 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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:39:26 PM EST
German finance minister urges private investment in new Greece loans | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 10.06.2011

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble called for quick action on new emergency loans to Greece on Friday in an address to the German parliament.

"The situation in Greece and Europe is serious," he said, adding that the danger of Greece defaulting on debt would mean danger for the whole eurozone and global economic development.

Schäuble also called for the participation of private investors in a new rescue package.

"If there are doubts about the ability of Greece to pay back its debt and we must win time with a new package, then the involvement of the private sector in the solution of the problem is unavoidable," he 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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:48:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Europe - Germany refuses to back down on Greece

The German government on Friday signalled it would not back down in its stand off with the European Central Bank over the involvement of owners of Greek sovereign bonds in a new round of aid for the debt-ridden country.

Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, told the country's parliament he was sticking by his demand that the package observe "a fair distribution of risks between tax payers and private creditors".

That followed Thursday's warning by ECB president Jean Claude Trichet that forcing the involvement of Greece's private creditors would be akin to a default, an "enormous mistake" that would rattle a recovering financial system.

Mr Trichet was reacting to a letter from the German finance minister to eurozone peers and the ECB in which he demanded that "substantial" numbers of private creditors agree to extending the maturity on Greek paper by seven years.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:53:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Step right up, patriotic German businessmen. Line forms to the right. I can see it now......I wish.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 12:04:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Time to Get Outraged by the Banks

"First, the BIS data very helpfully breaks exposures into two pieces: direct exposures, which basically means creditors who own bonds issued by one of the PIGs; and indirect exposures, which for the most part means agents who sold default insurance to creditors, primarily through credit default swaps. As summarized in the following table, it seems that approximately 30% of total potential exposures to debt from the PIGs are covered by default insurance (see the figures in red). Put another way, if one of the PIGs defaults, creditors who actually hold bonds from that country will absorb about 70% of the losses, while agents (primarily banks and insurance companies) that sold insurance against the possibility of default will have to cover the remaining 30%.

(...)

Finally, it's worth noting that once you account for the substantial payouts that US agents will have to make to European creditors in the case of a default by one of the PIGs, financial institutions in the US have roughly as much to lose from default as those in France and Germany. (See the figures in blue in the table above.) The apparent eagerness of US banks and insurance companies to sell default insurance to European creditors means that they will now have to substantially share in the pain inflicted by a PIG default.

"Implications

"This has some important implications. First, US and European financial institutions are likely to have very different incentives as negotiations regarding debt restructuring and reprofiling proceed. US banks and insurance companies are surely delighted with the " soft restructuring" that is currently being discussed. Such a partial default would probably not trigger default insurance payments, and so the pain would be borne almost exclusively by European institutions. On the other hand, some time soon it seems likely that European creditors will begin to prefer a "hard restructuring" that would require default insurance payouts from the US institutions that sold such insurance. Given how strikingly one-sided the net default insurance payments will be (from the US to Europe), it's easy to imagine how that could shape future negotiations over debt relief for the PIGs.

"Second, there's an interesting puzzle here. Why have European and American financial institutions behaved so differently when it comes to the PIGs? Specifically, why have American firms been so willing to sell default insurance to the Europeans, though they have not bought much PIG debt? And conversely, why have the Europeans systematically been so eager to buy insurance for their PIG debt, even at the very high price such insurance now commands? In essence, European firms have been betting that a PIG default will happen sooner rather than later, while US firms have been betting that default would happen later or not at all."

If I read those tables correctly, that means US banks have sold some $120 billion of credit default swaps to European banks.



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 06:04:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rule by Rentiers - NYTimes.com

The latest economic data have dashed any hope of a quick end to America's job drought, which has already gone on so long that the average unemployed American has been out of work for almost 40 weeks. Yet there is no political will to do anything about the situation. Far from being ready to spend more on job creation, both parties agree that it's time to slash spending -- destroying jobs in the process -- with the only difference being one of degree.

Nor is the Federal Reserve riding to the rescue. On Tuesday, Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, acknowledged the grimness of the economic picture but indicated that he will do nothing about it.

And debt relief for homeowners -- which could have done a lot to promote overall economic recovery -- has simply dropped off the agenda. The existing program for mortgage relief has been a bust, spending only a tiny fraction of the funds allocated, but there seems to be no interest in revamping and restarting the effort.

The situation is similar in Europe, but arguably even worse. In particular, the European Central Bank's hard-money, anti-debt-relief rhetoric makes Mr. Bernanke sound like William Jennings Bryan.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:54:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When will the "arab spring" come to the US? When will we get organized and get off our fat asses and throw off our yokes? The "Libya solution" is the only way I see.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 09:00:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What, you want NATO to attack the US Army?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 11:04:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should learn ... got to watch what I type around here.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 03:11:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not?

But, if you want a response to your questions, it is that you'll get an Arab Spring in California when you have lived for several generations under real dictatorship and grinding poverty. Not before.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 04:19:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well aren't we the optimist today. I'd like to see things getting better before I hit the cremation oven; this slow death crap our society is doing blows.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 05:28:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can understand the frustration.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 02:48:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Stocks Fall for Sixth Week as Greek Lenders, Home Retail Tumble - Bloomberg

European stocks fell for a sixth week as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke gave no hint that he will unveil a new round of stimulus to support an economic recovery that investors speculate is faltering.

Four Greek banks, including the country's biggest lender National Bank of Greece SA (ETE), sank more than 7 percent, dragging the Stoxx 600 Banks Index lower. Home Retail Group Plc (HOME) plunged 22 percent after the company said that sales slumped at its Argos chain as the market for consumer electronics weakened.

The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 2 percent to 268.13 this week, for the longest losing streak since 2008, as investors speculated that the slowdown in the global recovery will continue. The gauge has slumped 7.9 percent from this year's high on Feb. 17.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:46:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stocks Fall in Longest Dow Slump Since 2002 - Bloomberg

U.S. stocks extended a sixth weekly drop, the longest slump for the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 2002, oil plunged and Treasuries and the yen gained amid concern the global economy is slowing. Crude extended losses as OPEC said Saudi Arabia pumped the most crude since 2008.

The Dow lost 143.61 points, or 1.2 percent, to 11,980.75 at 12:17 p.m. in New York, its first dip below 12,000 since March, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 1.2 percent. Ten-year Treasury yields lost five basis points to 2.95 percent, while the yen rose against all 16 major peers. The cost of insuring Greek and Portuguese debt rose to all-time highs amid lingering concern over Europe's debt crisis. Oil sank below $100 a barrel.

Financial shares led declines in the S&P 500 after the Federal Reserve said it will expand a capital-planning program to the 35 largest U.S. banks. China reported a smaller-than- estimated trade surplus today as export growth slowed, while U.K. manufacturing growth fell more than economists forecast. The Russell 2000 Index of small U.S. stocks and the Nasdaq Composite Index both erased their gains for 2011.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:46:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Will Trail Global Growth for Decade: Fink - Bloomberg

Laurence D. Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc. (BLK), said the U.S. will trail the global economy for much of the next decade.

The U.S. economy will grow 2 percent to 3 percent for the next five to ten years, lagging behind global growth of 3 percent to 5 percent, Fink said today in a Bloomberg Television interview with Erik Schatzker from the Morningstar conference in Chicago.

"We will have modest growth for five to 10 years," Fink, who heads the world's largest asset manager, said in the interview. "If we cut our deficits, I may be wrong, and they might be lower," he said, referring to the U.S. growth numbers.

A series of reports suggests the world's largest economy is decelerating. Manufacturing grew at its slowest pace in more than a year in May, consumer spending rose less than forecast in April, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly climbed to 9.1 percent in May. Fink said as recently as January that he didn't believe the U.S. would enter a prolonged period of below-average growth.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:46:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Laurence D. Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc. (BLK), said the U.S. will trail the global economy for much of the next decade.

Simple solutiuon. Get rid of the US, end all of this bullshit military spending, produce stuff at home.

CUT CHINA OFF!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 09:03:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oil Tumbles on Saudi Output, Economy - Bloomberg

Crude oil tumbled the most in four weeks after the al-Hayat newspaper reported Saudi Arabia will raise oil production to 10 million barrels a day next month, and on concern the global economic recovery is slowing.

Oil declined as much as 3.1 percent as London-based al- Hayat cited unidentified senior OPEC and industry officials as the sources of the Saudi output plan. China reported a smaller- than-estimated trade surplus today. India's industrial output growth eased in April and U.K. manufacturing dropped.

"The expressed intent of the Saudis has been to make up for the missing Libyan barrels and to cap oil prices," said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank in Washington. "In addition to the Saudi news, most economic indicators have been looking terrible."



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:50:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UPDATE 1-Fed expanding capital tests for U.S. banks | Reuters

WASHINGTON, June 10 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve will subject more banks to annual stress tests to determine whether they have enough capital and can raise their dividends.

On Friday, the Fed said it is proposing that banks with $50 billion or more in assets be subjected to the capital testing regime, bringing the number of banks that would face annual tests to 35 from its prior level of 19.

The tests seek to determine how a large bank whose failure could hurt the economy and markets would weather a financial shock or an economic downturn.

"Institutions would be expected to have credible plans to have sufficient capital so that they can continue to lend to households and businesses, even under adverse conditions," the Fed said in a release.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AIG Does It Again: Sale of Maiden Lane II Assets Tanking Credit Markets  naked capitalism

Readers may recall that AIG had approached the Fed about buying the entirely of its Maiden Lane II portfolio, the off balance sheet vehicle established to hold the non-CDO assets removed from the otherwise bankrupt insurer. The logic appeared to be that the insurer would be able to liquify its equity in the vehicle. It seemed pretty obvious at the time that the Fed could not justify selling the whole book to AIG; if there were any unrealized gains in it, selling it at the current accounting value would be a subsidy to AIG. The bid was also thus a strategy to force the vehicle to be unwound and any gains to be realized (which would lead AIG showing a profit on its position).

The problem is the "profit" appears to have been based on optimistic accounting, something we found to be the case in the Fed off balance sheet we've analyzed at length, Maiden Lane III. As Jim Chanos noted by e-mail, "Real transaction prices are not good for some of the `marks' in many portfolios!" Needless to say, this also calls into question the use of Blackrock as asset manager, since the valuations were based on its marks.

From Bloomberg:

   Federal Reserve auctions of mortgage securities that the central bank assumed in the rescue of American International Group Inc. are fueling a selloff in credit markets as Wall Street rushes to hedge against losses on stockpiled debt.

    Declines in credit-default swaps indexes used to protect against losses on subprime housing debt and commercial mortgages accelerated this month, reaching almost 20 percent in the past five weeks as the cost of the insurance climbs, according to Markit Group Ltd. The plunge this week started infecting everything from junk bonds to the debt of financial companies.

    The Fed has been selling the $31 billion Maiden Lane II portfolio piecemeal after rejecting a $15.7 billion bid from AIG for the entire pool in March. Since then, Europe's sovereign debt crisis has deepened and the U.S. recovery has shown signs of slowing, with unemployment rising to 9.1 percent, the highest level this year, and the economy growing 1.8 percent in the first quarter, less than forecast.

    "Dribbling risk into the market makes sense if everything is good and continues to improve," said Ashish Shah, the head of global credit investments in New York at AllianceBernstein LP, which oversees $214 billion in fixed-income assets. "But when you get yourself into a position where the Street suddenly feels they're long inventory and the macro backdrop is weaker, now you're selling into weakness."


All things considered, that went remarkably well, considering that they are flushing a prize winning load of excrement onto already down markets.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 12:12:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Krugman: Rule by Rentiers (9 June 2011)
What lies behind this trans-Atlantic policy paralysis? I'm increasingly convinced that it's a response to interest-group pressure. Consciously or not, policy makers are catering almost exclusively to the interests of rentiers -- those who derive lots of income from assets, who lent large sums of money in the past, often unwisely, but are now being protected from loss at everyone else's expense.

...

While the ostensible reasons for inflicting pain keep changing, however, the policy prescriptions of the Pain Caucus all have one thing in common: They protect the interests of creditors, no matter the cost. Deficit spending could put the unemployed to work -- but it might hurt the interests of existing bondholders. More aggressive action by the Fed could help boost us out of this slump -- in fact, even Republican economists have argued that a bit of inflation might be exactly what the doctor ordered -- but deflation, not inflation, serves the interests of creditors. And, of course, there's fierce opposition to anything smacking of debt relief.

...

No, the only real beneficiaries of Pain Caucus policies (aside from the Chinese government) are the rentiers: bankers and wealthy individuals with lots of bonds in their portfolios.

This is not his blog, it's his Op-Ed.

It echoes his article form 13 years ago: The Hangover Theory

The hangover theory is perversely seductive--not because it offers an easy way out, but because it doesn't. It turns the wiggles on our charts into a morality play, a tale of hubris and downfall. And it offers adherents the special pleasure of dispensing painful advice with a clear conscience, secure in the belief that they are not heartless but merely practicing tough love.
Powerful as these seductions may be, they must be resisted--for the hangover theory is disastrously wrongheaded. Recessions are not necessary consequences of booms. They can and should be fought, not with austerity but with liberality--with policies that encourage people to spend more, not less. Nor is this merely an academic argument: The hangover theory can do real harm. Liquidationist views played an important role in the spread of the Great Depression--with Austrian theorists such as Friedrich von Hayek and Joseph Schumpeter strenuously arguing, in the very depths of that depression, against any attempt to restore "sham" prosperity by expanding credit and the money supply. And these same views are doing their bit to inhibit recovery in the world's depressed economies at this very moment.

...

Most modern hangover theorists probably don't even realize this is a problem for their story. Nor did those supposedly deep Austrian theorists answer the riddle. The best that von Hayek or Schumpeter could come up with was the vague suggestion that unemployment was a frictional problem created as the economy transferred workers from a bloated investment goods sector back to the production of consumer goods. (Hence their opposition to any attempt to increase demand: This would leave "part of the work of depression undone," since mass unemployment was part of the process of "adapting the structure of production.") But in that case, why doesn't the investment boom--which presumably requires a transfer of workers in the opposite direction--also generate mass unemployment? And anyway, this story bears little resemblance to what actually happens in a recession, when every industry--not just the investment sector--normally contracts.

...

The hangover theory, then, turns out to be intellectually incoherent; nobody has managed to explain why bad investments in the past require the unemployment of good workers in the present. Yet the theory has powerful emotional appeal. Usually that appeal is strongest for conservatives, who can't stand the thought that positive action by governments (let alone--horrors!--printing money) can ever be a good idea. Some libertarians extol the Austrian theory, not because they have really thought that theory through, but because they feel the need for some prestigious alternative to the perceived statist implications of Keynesianism. And some people probably are attracted to Austrianism because they imagine that it devalues the intellectual pretensions of economics professors. But moderates and liberals are not immune to the theory's seductive charms--especially when it gives them a chance to lecture others on their failings.

Austrian economics is the economics of the rentier class. In times of prosperity it is harmless, but in times of crisis it reliably turns recessions into depressions. And, unfortunately, it is intuitively and moralistically appealing.

Yeah, it's bear cavalry time.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 06:41:11 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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:39:43 PM EST
Vietnam to hold naval drill amid China rift - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

Vietnam has announced it will hold a live-fire naval drill next week in the South China Sea as an escalating maritime dispute fuels tensions with Beijing.

Relations between China and Vietnam are at their worst in years as the two countries trade accusations over recent confrontations between their ships in potentially energy-rich contested waters.

A Vietnamese naval officer told the AFP news agency on Friday that the six hours of exercises would be held on Monday around Hon Ong island, about 40km off Quang Nam province in central Vietnam.

The officer declined to give the reason for the night drill or say how many vessels would be involved.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:20:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syrian army starts crackdown in northern town - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Syrian state television says the country's army has begun operations in Jisr al-Shughur, a restive northern town near the Turkish border, as anti-government protests are held in cities across the country.

The government said the operation on Friday aimed to restore security in the town, where authorities said 120 security personnel were killed by "armed groups'' last week.

"Our correspondent in Jisr al-Shughur told us now that in response to people's calls, units from the Syrian Arabic Army started its duties in Jisr al-Shughur ... to arrest armed members," the television report said.

 

The reporter accompanying the army said troops backed by tanks were on the outer edges of the town, ready to enter.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:20:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Syria unrest: Renewed clashes 'leave 22 dead'

At least 22 people have been killed in fresh clashes between anti-government protesters and Syrian security forces.

Activists say tanks opened fire in the northern town of Maarat al-Numan, leaving several protesters dead and many others wounded.

The violence came as government forces moved on the nearby town of Jisr al-Shughour where the government said 120 security personnel had been killed.

Hundreds of civilians have fled north into Turkey to escape the assault.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Renewed NATO air strikes rock Tripoli - Africa - Al Jazeera English

NATO war planes are continuing to bombard the Libyan capital Tripoli, with large explosions echoing over the city.

At least three strikes in the early hours of Friday sent plumes of smoke over Tripoli, and the direction of the strikes suggested that either the compound of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's embattled leader, or nearby military barracks were shelled.

After the strikes, pro-Gaddafi supporters fired assault rifles into the air and beeped their car horns in defiance.

The night strikes followed a total of 14 air attacks that were carried out on Thursday, considerably fewer than the heavy bombardment on Tuesday that flattened major buildings in Gaddafi's compound in the centre of the city.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:20:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libyan rebels in Misrata accuse Nato of ignoring requests for air support | World news | The Guardian

Commanders in the besieged Libyan rebel enclave of Misrata have complained that Nato has ignored requests for air support during a week of heavy attacks by pro-Gaddafi forces.

Government troops launched infantry and artillery attacks on Friday on the western end of the Misrata pocket, inflicting heavy rebel casualties.

A Reuters journalist counted 10 bodies in a hospital after three rebel ambulances were destroyed on the road to the front.

At Misrata's Hikma hospital, a steady stream of ambulances brought wounded fighters in from the front.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US and Bahrain: Sending Ludo home - Features - Al Jazeera English

On a sunny day in early March, Bahraini protesters agitated for their rights in broad daylight outside the US embassy in Manama.

They carried signs that said "Give me liberty or give me death" and "Stop supporting dictators".

Ludovic Hood, a human rights specialist in the political section of the US embassy, offered doughnuts to the protesters - a quintessentially American handout.

In response, a local cleric opined: "These sweets are a good gesture, but we hope it is translated into practical action."

[...]

But those protesters did not expect that, just two months later, Hood would be shipped back to the US from his post in Manama - prematurely, some say - after having been threatened on Bahraini pro-government websites.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:22:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iraq 'to request' US troops to stay - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Iraq will ask the US to keep its troops in the country beyond the 2011 withdrawal deadline set by US President Barack Obama, Leon Panetta, the White House's pick to lead the Pentagon, said.

"It's clear to me that Iraq is considering the possibility of making a request for some kind of (troop) presence to remain there," Panetta said, adding that he had "every confidence" the request would be "forthcoming at some point."

The outgoing CIA chief told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that the US should agree once the request is made.

"It really is dependent on the prime minister and on the government of Iraq to present to us what is it that they need, and over what period of time, in order to make sure that the gains that we've made in Iraq are sustained." Panetta told the committee.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:22:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder whether they felt they had any choice at all.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 08:33:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conviction in Danish cartoon attack plot - Americas - Al Jazeera English

A US federal jury has convicted a Chicago businessman of helping plot an attack against a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

But the jury in the US state of Illinois cleared Tahawwur Rana of the most serious terrorism charge of co-operating in the deadly 2008 rampage in the Indian city of Mumbai.

The jury reached its split verdict after two days of deliberations on Thursday, finding Rana guilty of providing "material support to terrorism" in Denmark.

He was also found guilty of providing support to the Pakistan group that claimed responsible for the three-day siege in India's largest city that left more than 160 people dead, but he was found not guilty of taking part in the attack itself.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:23:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BOGOTÁ, Jun 10, 2011 (IPS) - The Victims and Land Restitution Law, signed Friday by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, "is an important message for reconciliation in the country," said lawmaker Guillermo Rivera, one of the sponsors of the law. After four years of hurdles and delays, including the public opposition of former president Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010), the 76-page bill was finally signed into law by Santos in the presence of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Colombia Reports: Aerial crop fumigations by the Colombian government may have caused irreversible genetic damage to 10% of Ecuadorean citizens living on the country's northeastern border, revealed a study conducted by the Universidad de las Americas in Quito. The university's Biomedical Investigations Institute carried out medical diagnoses of 521 people from communities on Ecuador's border with Colombia between 2009-2010, with the goal of studying the social, health and genetic effects of the herbicide glyphosate, sprayed aerially by the Colombian government to combat the growth of coca crops.

Colombia Reports: Colombia's intelligence agency DAS made an alliance with the paramilitary organization AUC in the 2004 murder of a trade union representative, a court ruled. The court's decision is the first that directly states an alliance between the AUC and DAS and was handed down March 30, 2011 at the conviction of extradited paramilitary leader "Jorge 40" who commanded the AUC's Northern bloc. a human rights lawyer told newspaper El Tiempo.

LIMA, Jun 10, 2011 (IPS) - Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala will push the legal system to investigate and prosecute those responsible for a massive forced sterilisation campaign targeting poor indigenous women carried out by the government of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), said the spokeswoman for Humala's party, Aída García Naranjo.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - The number of cholera cases is rising in parts of Haiti hit by heavy rains early this week.  Alain Legarnec, mission chief for the French aid group Doctors of the World, said Friday that a clinic in the southwestern town of Jeremie treated 77 people for cholera in recent days. That's a fivefold increase from last week and was most likely caused by rising river levels, he said.

MercoPress: Lucky week for Brazil's Petrobras that announced major oil and gas discoveries in the US Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Spirito Santo in Brazil. The discovery in the US Gulf of Mexico includes major oil and gas finds in ultra-deep Hadrian area waters, in the Keathley Canyon concession with recoverable volumes estimated in excess of 700 million barrels of oil equivalent. These are among the biggest discoveries made in the Gulf of Mexico in the last decade.

Just-The-Facts Week In Review.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 09:54:29 PM 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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:40:00 PM EST
Phage May Have Been Key to Europe's Deadly E. Coli Outbreak: Scientific American

Women, beansprouts, cucumbers, bacteria, cows: the cast of the current European Escherichia coli outbreak is already a crowd. Enter the phage. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, and they are star players in the chain of events that led to this outbreak.

Bacterial infections often originate from contaminated food, but it is now about six weeks since the start of this outbreak and the trail is going cold. It's hard to be sure of the culprit--but this simply serves to highlight the importance of understanding how infectious bacteria get into the food chain in the first place.

Case-control studies of patients in the German outbreak pointed to salad vegetables, and both cucumbers and beansprouts have been suspects. It is possible that the vegetables were contaminated with bacteria originally carried in soil or water; but the more likely source of the bacteria is animals. Pathogenic E. coli are typically passed to humans from ruminant animals (cows or sheep) via fecal contamination in the food chain or through consumption of raw milk or meat products.

But how do pathogenic E. coli arise in the first place? This is where bacteriophage come in. The bacterium in this outbreak, currently recognized as strain O104:H4, makes Shiga toxin, which is responsible for the severe diarrhea and kidney damage in patients whose E. coli infections develop into hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The genes for the Shiga toxin are not actually bacterial genes, but phage genes being expressed by infected bacteria. So when an E. coli bacterium gets infected with a Shiga-toxin-producing phage, it becomes pathogenic to humans.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:31:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rapid Decline in Mountain Snowpack Bad News for Western U.S. Rivers: Scientific American

Snowpack in the northern Rocky Mountains has shrunk at an unusually rapid pace during the past 30 years, according to a new study.

The decline is "almost unprecedented" over the past 800 years, say researchers who used tree rings to reconstruct a centuries-long record of snowpack throughout the entire Rocky Mountain range.

Their work, published yesterday in the journal Science, suggests that the plummeting snowpack could have serious consequences for more than 70 million people who depend on water from the runoff-fed Columbia, Colorado and Missouri rivers.

"The Northern Rockies have shown the greatest response to warming in terms of snowpack decline," said lead author Greg Pederson, a research scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Northern Rocky Mountain Research Center. "Temperature, especially now, seems to be undercutting snowpack."



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:31:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bikes are now the hottest accessory | Grist

Bike lanes and bike riders may be controversial, but bikes as an image are marketing gold right now. Want to sell it? Put a bike on it! Transportation Nation found bikes for sale or used as display elements at Kate Spade, CB2, Club Monaco, Anthropologie, the Gap, Urban Outfitters, and Brooklyn Industries.

Sure, those bikes are being used to move whatever consumerist crap people are hawking. But on the flip side, the consumerist crap is also kind of selling the bike. If bikes are promoted as the image of coolness all over your favorite trendy store, you might just start thinking that riding a bike is kind of cool.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 02:05:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK climate projects evaporate : Nature News

An acclaimed series of climate-change projects are being discontinued by Britain's international-relations body, despite concerns from the government department that funds the work.

The British Council has decided not to continue funding several of its climate-change projects beyond this financial year. Although the council insists that it "has no intention of terminating our work around climate change", staff are starting to leave the programme and much of the work will be stopped.

The programme previously cost around £3 million (US$5 million) a year and has involved some 100 million people from around the world in projects that build links between scientists, artists, policy-makers and members of the public.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 02:20:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now we have a Conservative government amidst a "recession", the UK is keen to get rid of all that DFH anti-modernist crap about self sufficiency and windfarms.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 08:36:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says radiation levels in one of the reactor buildings remain too high for workers to do their jobs.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, sent 9 workers into the No.3 reactor building for about 20 minutes on Thursday, in a bid to start stabilizing the reactor.

The utility plans to inject nitrogen gas into the containment vessel to prevent accumulated hydrogen from causing an explosion. It also intends to install a system to cool the reactor with circulating water.

The workers withdrew after measuring radiation of 100 millisieverts per hour near the reactor's containment vessel.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 02:56:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nigel Lawson says the Coalition's absurd energy policy is damaging industry and adding hundreds of pounds to every family's fuel bills | Mail Online

The Coalition's obsession with climate change is damaging Britain's recovery from recession, former Tory chancellor Nigel Lawson warns today.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Lord Lawson delivers a scathing assessment of David Cameron's so-called `green agenda' and says it is `time this Government grew up'.

Lord Lawson, one of the most respected Tory figures of recent decades, accuses the Prime Minister of risking Britain's economy to make a `symbolic' point.

In a devastating verdict he writes: `The Government's highly damaging decarbonisation policy, enshrined in the absurd Climate Change Act, does not have a leg to stand on. It is intended, at massive cost, to be symbolic: To make good David Cameron's ambition to make his administration "the greenest government ever".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 06:48:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gas prices: Fuel bills increase due to crackpot green taxes you're never told about | Mail Online

Scottish Power has understandably provoked howls of protests after announcing plans to raise its gas price by a thumping 19 per cent and its electricity tariffs by an inflation-busting 10 per cent.

And over the next few days and weeks, I am sure its main competitors will announce similar price hikes -- leaving Britain's unhappy householders facing annual power bills some £200 higher than they were a year ago.

Of course, the power companies will offer the normal excuses. Media-trained chief executives will point to increases in wholesale power prices, which have gone up by about 25 per cent since last winter.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 06:53:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Twitter / @atomic_spin: @mjrobbins 2nd time in 2 d ...
2nd time in 2 days Mail has given a column to a high-ranking member of the Global Warming Policy Foundation:


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 06:54:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the minds of conservative, energy conservation and renewable energy is an anti-modern, anti-industry DFH concerns used as wedge issues by tofu-knitting socialists to bring us back to the hand loom and horse powered agriculture.

The idea that electricity doesn't come from a nuclear reactor or a coal burning plant where the energy source is obtained as a miracle of modern technology simply offends their 1950s ideas about what progress entails

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 08:43:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the minds of conservative, energy conservation and renewable energy is an anti-modern, anti-industry DFH concerns used as wedge issues by tofu-knitting socialists to bring us back to the hand loom and horse powered agriculture. anything that diminishes or potentially diminishes their power/wealth is undesirable, regardless of the cost to the planet. Everything else is PR.


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 09:35:39 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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:40:23 PM EST
Spain Detains 3 in PlayStation Cyberattacks - NYTimes.com

RIS -- The Spanish police said Friday that they had apprehended three men suspected of computer hacking in connection with recent cyberattacks on Sony's PlayStation Network as well as corporate and government Web sites around the world. Readers' Comments

Share your thoughts.

The National Police identified the three as the local leadership of the shadowy international network of computer hackers known as Anonymous, which has claimed responsibility for a wide variety of attacks.

Anonymous is made up of people from various countries organized into cells that share common goals, the police said, with activists operating anonymously, but in a coordinated fashion.

One of the "hacktivist" detainees, a 31-year-old Spaniard, was detained in the southern city of Almería sometime after May 18, the police said. He had a computer server in his apartment in the northern port city of Gijón, from which the group attacked the Web sites of the Sony PlayStation online gaming store.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:32:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New Way to Make Lighter, Stronger Steel -- In a Flash

ScienceDaily (June 9, 2011) -- A Detroit entrepreneur surprised university engineers in Ohio recently, when he invented a heat-treatment that makes steel 7 percent stronger than any steel on record -- in less than 10 seconds.

In fact, the steel, now trademarked as Flash Bainite, has tested stronger and more shock-absorbing than the most common titanium alloys used by industry.

Now the entrepreneur is working with researchers at Ohio State University to better understand the science behind the new treatment, called flash processing.

What they've discovered may hold the key to making cars and military vehicles lighter, stronger, and more fuel-efficient.

In the current issue of the journal Materials Science and Technology, the inventor and his Ohio State partners describe how rapidly heating and cooling steel sheets changes the microstructure inside the alloy to make it stronger and less brittle.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:33:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Europe drought: France pledges 1bn euros for farmers

France has pledged 1bn euros (£0.9bn, $1.5bn) in compensation for farmers after the EU's top grain producer saw its worst spring drought in 50 years.

Announcing the figure in parliament, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said it might change "because it depends on the requests of the farmers".

Farmers are being offered relief on tax and loan repayments.

Drought has gripped much of northern Europe, with recent rains believed to have come too late for many crops.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:34:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drought declared in East Anglia, with other parts on brink | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Parts of East Anglia are officially in a state of drought, according to the English environment department Defra and the Environment Agency.

Areas in the south-west, south-east, the Midlands and Wales are experiencing near-drought conditions following the driest spring on record in south-east and central southern England. Overall, England and Wales are at their driest since 1990.

Widespread hosepipe bans are unlikely, although Severn Trent Water has said it is considering "every option". Farmers face restrictions on drawing water from water courses and rivers to protect wildlife.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:36:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Naturally, after the driest spring for a century, it's now raining, or at least a light shower, pretty much every day

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 09:34:34 AM 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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank You Anthony Weener.

"I can do anything I want! I'm a celebrity!"

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 09:39:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Google Doodle Strikes Again! 5.35 million hours strummed « RescueTime Blog

Happy birthday to guitar legend, Les Paul who would have been 96 today!

Google launched its Les Paul Tribute Doodle on Thursday which allowed users to record and playback friend's recordings or just play along. Almost immediately you could hear the rumblings on Twitter and Facebook about this great musician's effect on music and many aspiring musicians - lots of people were doing their best Les Paul impersonations all the while Google entertained the masses. As one Twitter user said, "he's the REAL guitar hero!"

Here's what we saw on Thursday:



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 07:05:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Should rainbows be banned in schools? - The Week
St. Joseph Catholic Secondary School in Ontario, Canada, has banned rainbows, after 16-year-old Leanne Iskander, founder of the school's "unofficial" gay-straight alliance (official gay clubs aren't allowed), displayed the multicolored motif at an anti-homophobia event. The school maintains that the symbol is simply too politically charged to be displayed on campus. Instead of backing down, Iskander and her fellow students went undercover, baking rainbows hidden inside cupcakes, using colorful batter that was only revealed when the treats were pulled apart, and selling them for 50 cents each. They wanted to donate the $200 they raised to an LGBT organization, but the school insisted that the cash go to a Catholic homeless shelter, and is sticking with its anti-rainbow stance. Is this rainbow ban fair?


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 08:41:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the ban fair ? Depends on whether you're a homophobic superstitious f...wit or not I guess

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 09:36:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
`The Wire' creator to Holder: I'll do another season if you end the drug war | The Raw Story

WASHINGTON - The creator of the beloved and critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire offered Eric Holder a counter-offer in response to the U.S. Attorney General's casual plea for another season of the show: I'll do it if you end the war on drugs.

"I want to speak directly to [Co-creator Ed] Burns and Mr. Simon: Do another season of The Wire," Holder said at a recent drug policy event in the nation's capital. "I want another season or I want a movie. I have a lot of power Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 11:25:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly there's too much money and too many vested interests tied up in perpetuating it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 11:49:21 AM 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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:40:44 PM EST
Sarah Palin emails released | World news | guardian.co.uk

Thousands of Sarah Palin's emails dating from her time as governor of Alaska have been released in a move that opponents say could damage a potential run for the White House.

The emails, copies of which were handed to the Guardian in six crates, date from her inauguration as governor in 2006 through to 2008, when she was propelled to fame as the Republican vice-presidential candidate. The period coincides with Palin's giddy rise and fall in approval ratings, culminating with a series of rows, including an ethics investigation and a falling-out with her running mate, John McCain.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:20:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarah Palin Uses Email Dump To Release Critics Personal Information

As the media swarms over Sarah Palin's emails has anyone thought to ask why the personal information of those who wrote emails critical of Palin was not redacted?

Some very ugly things are going to come out of these emails and not against Sarah Palin. Frankly I'm very disturbed by her legal team's choices in what I'm reading. Sarah Palin and her legal team spent two and half years combing these emails for pages they wanted to withhold and for redactions to protect the privacy of some people. But you want to know whose information they left in?

Any person who wrote to criticize the Governor has their email and phone number out for the Palin cult to attack. Sarah Palin once again used a seeming "attack" on her (aka, a request for transparency) as an opportunity to turn the guns of her internet vigilantes on her detractors. This is an outrageous compromising of those citizen's privacy and safety.

Yes, they are private citizens, not public officials.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 07:51:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indiana Jones whip expected to fetch £50,000 at auction | Film | The Guardian

The famous bullwhip used in the classic film Raiders of the Lost Ark is to be sold - and is expected to fetch £50,000.

Harrison Ford's character of Indiana Jones is never without his trusty whip, and it helps him escape death on numerous occasions.

The film is 30 years old and its popularity has endured, meaning memorabilia is hugely collectable.

The 12.5 ft-long "stunt whip" is thought to be the one used when Jones was dragged behind a military troop carrier, and is the only one from the film left intact.



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 Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 01:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 03:36:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Singing D's first single is in 'pre-release' (selected radio shows get advance copies to build buzz). Comes out officially next Wednesday. First reactions amazingly positive - even the presenter of the biggest show said she was almost rendered speechless.

Typical female listener comment: "Sounds like a girl who doesn't agree with the idea of there being a weaker sex".

I'll put it up here for your listening pleasure when I can, but even the old dad has to follow protocol.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 07:40:00 AM EST


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