Robert Rubin The corruptions of journalism were on full display when CNN’s Fareed Zakaria turned to Robert Rubin this past Sunday for advice on how to fix the financial crisis that he, as much as anyone, caused. I was trapped on a treadmill in front of an overhead television and unable to turn the thing off in time to avoid this assault on my mental and physical health.
The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened in June by a record $7.9 billion as imports rose and shipments abroad declined. The $49.9 billion gap was the biggest since October 2008 and followed a $42 billion shortfall in May, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Exports dropped by the most in more than a year.
The latest cool thing for the Washington elite is to beat up on school teachers and firefighters for their overly generous pensions. It turns out that some of these public sector employees get enough money in their pensions that they can actually enjoy a decent retirement.
Laurence Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University, talks about the state of the U.S. economy. Kotlikoff speaks with Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television’s InsideTrack." (Source: Bloomberg) Let’s get real. The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills.
The chair of President Barack Obama’s White House Council of Economic Advisors quit last week, the day before the elitist no-nothings in charge declared their “surprise” that 130,000 more jobs were lost in July.
Not a shocker… just a disappointment that once again illustrates the reality of politics in America. The millionaire former head of WWE, Linda McMahon, won the Connecticut GOP primary last night– having outspent her opponents and enjoying name recognition from her wrestling celebrity, as well as having the GOP establishment behind her– beating out Peter Schiff.
A major drought in Russia means Egyptians face the risk of missing their daily bread. Egypt, which imports around 60,000 tonnes of wheat a month from Russia, must now look elsewhere to satisfy the demand of a hungry population after Russia halted all its wheat export.
House lawmakers scurried back to Capitol Hill yesterday — booking last-minute flights and canceling appearances at town halls — and approved a $26 billion package that will provide aid to states, including an additional $655 million for Massachusetts.
The world is currently experiencing the modern day equivalent of the Great Depression, according to a prominent economist who has added his voice to scores of others now forecasting ongoing economic doom on a scale not seen since the 1930s.
AS THE US economy endures high unemployment and a jittery stock market, President Barack Obama has preached sacrifice and fiscal discipline. But the pictures coming out of a sun-splashed Spanish resort may be sending a different message.
Russia’s ban on wheat exports following widespread fires in the country sent food prices skyrocketing by 19 per cent in just a single week as fears grow that global volatility in foodstuffs and commodities could lead to a worldwide inflationary timebomb accompanied by widespread food riots.
Normally when I cover subjects in the economy, I try to take a “macro” approach, giving an overall view of various financial elements around the world and how they are clearly connected to one another in a greater synchronous social force. That is to say, in Chinese domestic consumption, or European debt obligations, or Russian gold reserves, and in many other factors, is encoded the very future of our own American economy. Showing others how to decipher that code is my primary mission.
Across our political system, we have lost checks and balances. It's time take back what's ours. Let's face it, what a America needs is good clean fight. A fight that brings in everyone, redefines categories and alliances, cleanses our putrid politics, and establishes a healthy politics for the 21st century. At this point, there's just no way around it. Our politics is so defiled, our economy so completely in the clutches of a rabidly greedy few, and our government wallows in incompetence to the point of criminality, that the only cure is for the American people in unison to stand up, take responsibility, and claim what is rightfully ours. History shows this is never done without a fight.
The US economy lost 131,000 jobs in July, considerably more than most economists had predicted. Companies added 71,000 positions, but the government laid off 143,000 census workers, contributing to the net loss. The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also revised downward its statistics for June, concluding that payrolls dropped by 221,000 that month instead of the 125,000 reported on July 2.
On Thursday, the Russian government placed a ban on all grain exports, in response to widespread crop failures caused by a severe drought. The measure will be in place from August 15 to December 1. Local authorities in each of the country’s 28 growing regions have declared states of emergency.
As we enter our ninth year of the War in Afghanistan with an escalated force, and continue to occupy Iraq indefinitely, and feed an endlessly growing Surveillance State, reports are emerging of the Deficit Commission hard at work planning how to cut Social Security, Medicare, and now even to freeze military pay. But a new New York Times article today illustrates as vividly as anything else what a collapsing empire looks like, as it profiles just a few of the budget cuts which cities around the country are being forced to make. This is a sampling of what one finds:
In recent months, President Obama reversed his campaign promises on trade issues - first by dropping his pledge to renegotiate NAFTA and then by pushing to pass NAFTA-style trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. Now, with the unemployment crisis persisting, the key jobs question is once again front a center in American politics. Specifically: How do we create jobs here at home and build our most valuable 21st century industries?
A giant bus which runs on wheeled "legs" that allow cars to drive underneath it has been designed by a Chinese company.
The dismal US job figures came as the National Institute of Economic and Social Research predicted a protracted depression for the UK economy.
Regulators have shut down a small bank in Chicago, lifting to 109 the number of U.S. bank failures this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday took over Ravenswood Bank, which had roughly $264.6 million in assets and $269.5 million in deposits as of June 30. Northbrook Bank and Trust Co. agreed to assume the assets and deposits of the failed bank.
The barrage of grim US economic data continued Thursday with the Labor Department’s report that first-time claims for unemployment benefits jumped by 19,000 last week, bringing the total to 479,000, the most since April. Like virtually all of the recent US economic reports, the jobless claims figures were worse than analysts’ forecasts.
Economists are still spinning fairy tales so they can celebrate bank bailouts. Too bad everybody's still broke and out of work. It is amazing that angry mobs have not risen up and chased all the economists out of the country. While the greed of the Wall Street gang provided the fuel for the bubble, the economists played an essential role as enablers. This was most directly true for economists in policymaking positions, like Alan Greenspan at the Fed.
The OECD's Carmel Cahill: "European subsidies for agriculture continue to benefit the largest land owners." Subsidies for agriculture in the industrialised countries of the world grew again in 2009, benefiting the largest companies and land owners, such as Prince Albert of Monaco and Queen Elizabeth of Britain.
Goldman Sachs and the rest of Wall Street gambled on food. Their bets paid off big time--at the cost of igniting a food crisis that pushed hundreds of millions into the ranks of the hungry. Alan Maass, author of The Case for Socialism, looks at their crimes. LAST YEAR, Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi wrote a damning exposé of mega-bank Goldman Sachs that began by describing the Wall Street giant as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."
Russia, the world's third wheat exporter, Thursday banned grain exports for the next four-and-a-half months due to a record drought that has destroyed millions of hectares (acres) of its land.
WHAT CONSTITUTES a crime? We are encouraged to see crime as something quite simple: Laws are made so that society can function smoothly. Steal or kill, and you are punished; disobey these laws, and you pay a price. This superficial view fails to explain some glaring contradictions in the law and its application, or the social context in which crime is defined. As Rosa Luxemburg once wrote, bourgeois justice is "like a net, which allowed the voracious sharks to escape, while the little sardines were caught."
Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance company operating under federal conservatorship, is seeking $1.5 billion in aid from the U.S. Treasury Department after a 12th straight quarterly loss.
The U.S. Postal Service reported a quarterly net loss of $3.5 billion on Thursday and said it will likely have a cash shortfall going into 2011.
The Battle of Obama’s Healthcare is looking to go down in history as a major confrontation between the power of federal government and the self-determination of individual states. And that eternal tension between what used to be called state’s rights and the coercive inclinations of federal authority has been at the heart of the most momentous struggles in national history – not least the civil war which tested the strength of the Union to breaking point.
Yields on short-term US Treasury debt have fallen to the lowest in history on mounting expectations of extra stimulus from the Federal Reserve. Ben Bernanke needs fresh monetary blitz as US recovery falters. Two-year rates fell to 0.52pc after a further batch of grim data hinted at a sharp slowdown in the second half of the year. Factory orders fell 1.2pc in June, while consumer spending fell flat.
The decision by the social democratic PASOK government to use the military to break a nationwide strike by truck drivers is a stark indication of the polarisation of class relations in Greece and throughout Europe. The 33,000 truck drivers stopped work on Monday in protest at government plans to revoke the current system of licensing trucks. The change threatens many owner-operators with bankruptcy.
We have arrived at critical juncture in the ongoing financial crisis. Have the government actions of the last year successfully spurred the animal spirits of Americans, resulting in a self-sustaining recovery? The Obama administration and most of the mainstream media would answer yes. GDP has been positive for the last four quarters. Consumer spending has increased in five consecutive months. Corporate profits have been relatively strong. The country has stopped losing jobs. The missing piece has been a housing recovery.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan believes that the US should "follow the law" and let the Bush tax cuts lapse. He disagreed Sunday with Republicans who say that tax cuts pay for themselves. "I am very much in favor of tax cuts but not with borrowed money," Greenspan said during an appearance on NBC. "The problem that we've gotten into in recent years is that spending programs with borrowed money, tax cuts with borrowed money, and at the end of the day that proves disastrous and my view is I don't think we can play subtle policy here," said Greenspan.
Yes, growth is slowing, and the odds are that unemployment will rise, not fall, in the months ahead. That’s bad. But what’s worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.
Security forces fear wave of terror as austerity programme provokes strikes, protests, violence – and assassination. Greek security forces have warned of a wave of violence reminiscent of the terror that stalked Italy in the seventies after urban guerillas threatened last week to turn the country into a "war zone". "Greece has entered a new phase of political violence by anarchist-oriented organisations that are more murderous, dangerous, capable and nihilistic than ever before," said Athanasios Drougos, a defence and counter-terrorism analyst in Athens.
For the definitive confirmation that the Fed is and has always been very open to, at least philosophically, pushing the market higher no matter what the cost (if not in practice - they would never do that, oh no, Liberty 33 would never stoop so low), is this quote from former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan who was on Meet The Press earlier, where he said the following stunner: "if the stock market continues higher it will do more to stimulate the economy than any other measure we have discussed here." In other words, the Fed's dual mandate of maximizing employment and promoting a stable inflation rate have been brushed aside,
President Obama’s four-hour visit to Detroit Friday brought him to the center of the economic catastrophe created by the profit system. The “Motor City” was once a byword for decent-paying jobs in the world’s biggest industry. But Detroit is now synonymous with poverty, urban decay, mass unemployment and the virtual breakdown of a functioning society.
The same week that European officials announced the results of bank stress tests designed to give bankers a green light to continue their speculative ways, European Central Bank (ECB) President Jean-Claude Trichet published a column in the Financial Times (July 22) arguing for an end to economic stimulus programs and the rigorous imposition of austerity measures across Europe.
The SEC just hit two Citigroup executives with fines for concealing $40 billion in subprime mortgage debt from investors back in 2007. The biggest fine is going to Citi CFO Gary Crittenden, who will pay $100,000 to settle allegations that he screwed over his own investors. The year of the alleged wrongdoing, Crittenden took home $19.4 million. That’s right. Crittenden will lose one-half of one percent of his income from the year he hid a quagmire of bailout-inducing insanity from his own investors. That’s it. No indictment. No prison time. Crittenden doesn’t even have to formally acknowledge any wrongdoing.
The economic recovery is sputtering, as Neil Irwin documents. Economists think growth between April and June was 2 to 2.5 percent, which is anemic at best. Job growth has been disappointing. Lately, I've been asking economists about this, and everyone says the same thing: The normal cycle of recovery has broken.
|Search the Site||Search the Internet|
|<< <||> >>|
|Your donation helps provide a place for people to speak out. thepeoplesvoice.org P.O. Box 159113 Nashville, TN 37215 Not tax deductible. email@example.com|