Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warns that the Republican Party's deal to slash budget by $61bn will hit the economy's fragile recovery. President Obama has already pledged to veto the aggressive cuts. Fears over the strength of the US economic recovery were growing last night after a highly unusual all-night session of the Republican House of Representatives agreed to slash the federal budget by $61bn by the end of September.
What's happening in Wisconsin is not complicated. At the beginning of this year, the state was on course to end 2011 with a budget surplus of $120 million. As Ezra Klein explained, newly elected GOP Governor Scott Walker then " signed two business tax breaks and a conservative health-care policy experiment that lowers overall tax revenues (among other things). The new legislation was not offset, and it turned a surplus into a deficit."
For the past three decades, the Federal Reserve has been given a dual mandate: keeping prices stable and maximizing employment. This policy relies not only on the fatal conceit of believing in the wisdom of supposed experts, but also on numerical chicanery.
"If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions." ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd US President. "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd US President
Madoff: 'The attitude was sort of, "If you're doing something wrong, we don't want to know" ' In first interview since arrest said he skipped son's funeral as his attendance 'would be cruel to my family' Bernard Madoffhas claimed that banks were 'complicit' in fleecing billions of dollars fromvictims. Bernard Madof has claimed that banks were 'complicit' in fleecing billions of dollars from victims. Disgraced Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff said banks and hedge funds were 'complicit' in his scheme to fleece victims out of billions of dollars.
Thousands of public workers marched in Wisconsin's capital before a legislative vote on Wednesday on whether to slash public worker pensions and curb collective bargaining rights of unions. It's a scene that may be played out in many states struggling with budget deficits.
This may be a highly distasteful proposition, but just for a moment, I want you to sit back, and imagine that you are a member of the corporate banking elite. You are a walking talking disease ridden power mad pustule who naively believes himself intellectually superior to the vast majority of humanity and above the inherent laws of conscience, honor, and general good taste. You are a villain in the purest sense, in that you not only do great harm to the world, you actually SEEK to do great harm to the world, if only to benefit yourself and your exclusive circle of “friends”; a clan of degenerate blood thirsty sociopaths with delusions of omnipotence that stalk the night like Armani wearing Chupacabra exsanguinating the joy from poor unsuspecting cultures. You are capable of anything, and sadly, you take “pride” in this fact…
Financial crooks brought down the world's economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them. Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer. "Everything's fucked up, and nobody goes to jail," he said. "That's your whole story right there. Hell, you don't even have to write the rest of it. Just write that."
Akasha Perez is an activist at San Francisco State University and a member of the SFSU chapter of CSU Students for Quality Education. She talked to David Elaine Alt about the impact of the budget cuts and fee hikes that have been imposed on California campuses--and the struggle ahead as activists prepare for a March 2 day of action to defend public education.
A spike in global food prices has pushed millions more into poverty since last summer, said World Bank president Robert Zoellick. The World Bank has given a stark warning of the impact of the rising cost of food, saying an estimated 44 million people had been pushed into poverty since last summer by soaring commodity prices.
President Obama has unveiled a budget plan seeking to trim the federal deficit by cutting or eliminating some 200 federal programs, many dedicated to social services and education, while increasing military spending and funding for the construction of nuclear power plants. Announcing his $3.7 trillion proposal, Obama touted his previously stated pledge to freeze funding for domestic programs outside of the military for five years. Obama’s plan includes two modest tax hikes for banks and oil companies. It also calls for ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in 2013 and returning the estate tax to its higher 2009 levels. For analysis of Obama’s proposed budget, we are joined by John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine.
Many of us are caught in the precarious position of being intellectually aware that we are heading into a worsening economy with signs of a looming global food crisis, and feel as though we must simplify or streamline our lifestyle to prepare for possible disruptions in our standard of living. In a world where consumption has become a sport, you may actually find it more satisfying to shed some material weight. Even if your financial situation is not too dire, it is still a sensible idea to keep preparedness in mind.
A link between Cartagena in the Caribbean to an unspecified site on the country's Pacific coast would facilitate Chinese imports. Chinese plans for a rail link in Colombia could compete with the Panama canal which transformed global trade when it was opened in 1914. It is a dream that bewitched Spain, ruined Scotland, stumped France and empowered the US: a path from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. The ambition unleashed ruinous follies in Panama's jungles until the US finally finished a canal in 1914, an engineering feat that transformed global trade. Now, almost a century later, China is envisaging a new link between the seas: a rail link through Colombia – a potential rival to the canal that would crown China's economic push into Latin America.
Is Barack Obama trying to play a joke on all of us? The budget that the Obama administration has submitted for fiscal 2012 is so out of touch with reality that it may as well be a budget for "Narnia", "Fantasy Island", "Atlantis" or some other mythical land.
The ruins of the American economy represent a massive crime scene. Wall Street built a house of cards on fraud and misrepresentation, it crashed, and Americans' aggregate net worth is now more than $12 trillion off of its peak. Unemployment remains sky-high and the prospects for a robust recovery anytime soon are dim.
Adding to already rising food prices due to monetary inflation and weather related supply problems around the globe, one of the world’s leading food distribution companies, Sysco Corporation, is advising clients and their customers that the recent freeze across North America has significantly impacted growing operations in Mexico (as well as parts of the U.S.) leading to 80% - 100% crop damage:
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) sounded like he was about to hit the campaign trail again during his speech at a right-wing forum Friday, but before he left the podium, he warned Americans that their federal government was in trouble. "Tragically, you're going to have the opportunity [to not ask the federal government for anything], because government is in the process of failing, and they can't deliver on the goods, just as the Soviets couldn't deliver the goods and maintain their own power," he said during the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The recently renovated Blackstone Hotel in Chicago is a shining example of the great taxpayer ripoff in action - all courtesy of your favorite too big to be failures.
Once upon a time, the United States was the greatest industrial powerhouse that the world has ever seen. Our immense economic machinery was the envy of the rest of the globe and it provided the foundation for the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world. But now the once great U.S. economic machine is being dismantled piece by piece.
Ron Paul has just stepped up his war of rhetoric with his nemesis the Archchairsatan Rudolf Vissarionovich von Bernankestein (because never before have we had a genocidal central planner hell bent on printing the world's fate out of a deflationary collapse), and in an interview with Larry Kudlow said what everyone who is watching the day after day melt up (and wondering what comes next) openly thinks: that when all is said and done, and there is no incremental vapor and no incremental HFT levitation effect, that the US collapse will be comparable only to that of the Soviet Union. Needless to say, we are confident he is optimistic.
The prices of a range of basic foods surged at the start of the year, showing the biggest monthly rise in more than five years. Bread, pasta, and packets and tins of food increased in cost by 2.7 per cent between December and January to reach an annual rate of 6.3 per cent, according to the British Retail Consortium.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. For three years, two successive U.S. administrations have made “fixing the housing sector” explicitly a top priority. Since that time, we have been assured by a plethora of politicians, housing “experts”, and media talking-heads that the U.S. housing sector had “bottomed”, and (like the U.S. economy itself) had begun a “recovery”. It was all fiction. New numbers show that roughly 27% of all U.S. mortgages are currently “underwater”, worse than the (supposed) “bottom” of the original collapse, when that number soared to a previous record of 25%. This single number exposes a multitude of myths.
Food prices have been trending upwards. Unchecked increases have social and political repercussions. Speculation on food as a commodity has contributed to the spiral. “Market panic” and “herd mentality” must be checked to avoid volatility. The local and international media have reported almost everyday on the global food price spiral since the beginning of 2011. This reflects concern that price increases of common food items may lead to serious effects on the poor and middle class and indeed destabilise societies. In January 2011, the riots in Tunisia, and the shortage of chillies in Indonesia are but two recent manifestations of the phenomenon. There are serious consequences from unchecked price spirals and the real causes of the increases must be addressed.
On August 9, 2007, an incident took place at a bank in France that touched-off a financial crisis that that would eventually wipe out more than $30 trillion in capital and thrust the world into the deepest slump since the Great Depression. The event was recounted in a speech by Pimco's managing director Paul McCulley, at the 19th Annual Hyman Minsky Conference on the State of the U.S. and World Economies. Here's an excerpt from McCulley's speech:
For Northeastern farmers long used to coping with all sorts of cold-weather problems, this winter presents a new one: snow and ice that's bringing down outbuildings, requiring costly repairs, killing livestock and destroying supplies.
The US Labor Department reported Friday that non-farm payrolls grew by a paltry 36,000 in January, far less than the 145,000 increase projected by economists. The net increase in jobs was well below the already inadequate 121,000 recorded in December.
Underlying the sudden, volatile uprising in Egypt and Tunisia is a growing global crisis sparked by soaring food prices and unemployment. The Associated Press reports that roughly 40 percent of Egyptians struggle along at the World Bank-set poverty level of under $2 per day. Analysts estimate that food price inflation in Egypt is currently at an unsustainable 17 percent yearly. In poorer countries, as much as 60 to 80 percent of people's incomes go for food, compared to just 10 to 20 percent in industrial countries. An increase of a dollar or so in the cost of a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread for Americans can mean starvation for people in Egypt and other poor countries.
What if the financial crash of 2008 were followed by a Tea Party of a different kind -- one that stood up to the wealthy criminals that caused the crisis.
The FDIC continues to close banks at a rapid rate. U.S. regulators closed two banks in Georgia on Friday in addition to a Chicago bank. American Trust Bank of Roswell, Ga. was closed and will be acquired by Renasant Corp’s subsidiary. North Georgia Bank will be taken over by BankSouth. Locally, Community First Bank of Chicago will be acquired by Northbrook Bank and Trust Co. of Northbrook. Continue reading on Examiner.com: Community First Bank of Chicago closed by the FDIC - Chicago banking | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/banking-in-chicago/community-first-bank-of-chicago-closed-by-the-fdic#ixzz1DIpdmXJ5
At 64.2%, the labor force participation rate (as a percentage of the total civilian noninstitutional population) is now at a fresh 26 year low, the lowest since March 1984, and is the only reason why the unemployment rate dropped to 9% (labor force declined from 153,690 to 153,186).
Unilever, the consumer goods firm whose brands include Flora and Persil, today warned that more price rises were on the horizon as it struggled to digest rocketing commodity prices. Its chief executive, Paul Polman, said foods made with edible oils such as margarine and salad dressings would be hardest hit. The price of palm oil and sunflower oil has risen by 75% and 60% respectively in the last year.
China is central to international efforts to address the global food security challenge. However the Chinese interpretation of the concept of Food Security is problematic: it is outdated and diverges from the international norm. The new year began with global food prices rising to the highest level since 1990. They even exceeded the 2008 price hikes that sparked deadly riots across the world. Although not attracting as much world-wide attention as the global financial crisis, food security could be the gravest challenge to humanity. It means a lot more than simply putting food on the table. To tackle the food security challenge, international cooperation is important, but efforts of states are critical, particularly China.
A federal government insider tells me we should soon expect the Obama administration to push Congress to ratify the stalled Colombia Free Trade Agreement, a treaty strongly opposed by unions and human rights activists, in both the United States and Colombia. Obama inherited three such pending treaties—Colombia, Korea and Panama—and he could back all three as a package
Some in Washington want to cut US Department of Defense spending to help balance the federal budget. But can proposed cuts begin to make a dent in a national debt that exceeds $13 trillion?
In defense circles, "cutting" the Pentagon budget has once again become a topic of conversation. Americans should not confuse that talk with reality. Any cuts exacted will at most reduce the rate of growth. The essential facts remain: U.S. military outlays today equal that of every other nation on the planet combined, a situation without precedent in modern history.
Investors transferred hundreds of millions of dollars out of the country since the start of the protests a week ago. Economists are warning that if Egypt's turmoil continues much longer, the country will not have enough currency reserves to avoid a long term financial crisis. Currency traders said on Monday that investors have transferred hundreds of millions of dollars out of the country since the start of the protests six days ago.
BEIJING (Reuters) - Quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve and other central banks cannot address fundamental economic problems but may lead to excessive global liquidity and competitive currency depreciation, China's central bank said on Sunday. In its monetary policy report for the final quarter of 2010, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) also confirmed that it would target 16 percent growth of the broad M2 measure of money supply this year, down from the 19.9 pct growth recorded at the end of 2010.
"The gap between rich and poor is growing without relent. Global justice is a prerequisite for sustainable development and we have to understand that our lifestyle is not sustainable." - President of the Swiss Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey So what drives these parasites who despise any trace of free markets? Paul B. Farrell in Market Watch pulls no punches with his answer. “But the real motives of the Super Rich are personal wealth, political power, glory. They care little for the masses. They are myopic narcissists, like Blofeld’s Angels of Death, trained solely to laser in on profit opportunities, marginalizing risks. Sadly, they will never see the next big catastrophe in time, will not act till it’s too late”
Nomi Prins - former managing director of Goldman Sachs and head of the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London - notes that the Egyptian people are rebelling against being pillaged by giant, international banks and their own government as much as anything else. She also points out that the Greek, British, Tunisian and other protesters are all in the same boat:
Even as he admitted that not raising the debt ceiling would mean a "financial disaster" for the US and the world, the Speaker said Sunday that Democrats must agree to big spending cuts before the GOP-controlled House will support the Obama administration's spending plans.
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