UNITED NATIONS, Sep 22, 2010 (IPS) - As a three-day anti-poverty talkfest drew to a close Wednesday, the United Nations shifted its focus from the poor and the hungry to two of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society: women and children. The mission: a "massive drive" to save the lives of more than 16 million women and children dying of deadly diseases every year, primarily due to the lack of basic medical care.
The national unemployment rate may have only ticked up slightly in August, but on a state-by-state basis, the jobs picture continues to look a lot more grim in places like Nevada, Michigan and California. A total of 27 states reported higher unemployment rates in August, nearly double the 14 that saw increases in July, the Labor Department said in its monthly report on state unemployment Tuesday.
While global food prices declined for the first half of this year, they have spiked in recent months, according to a new World Bank publication, and this volatility could in turn push up the local food prices of the world's poorest and most malnourished countries.
By Gregory Bresiger From: NewsCore September 20, 2010 9:09AM Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Print Email Share Add to Digg Add to del.icio.us Add to Facebook Add to Kwoff Add to Myspace Add to Newsvine What are these? THE actual figure of the US' national debt is much higher than the official sum of $US13.4 trillion ($14.3 trillion) given by the Congressional Budget Office, according to analysts cited by the New York Post. "The Government is lying about the amount of debt. It is engaging in Enron accounting," said Laurence Kotlikoff, an economist at Boston University and co-author of The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future.
Too Big To Fail Global Banks Will Collapse Between Now and First Quarter 2011 Readers of my articles will recall that I have warned as far back as December 2006, that the global banks will collapse when the Financial Tsunami hits the global economy in 2007. And as they say, the rest is history. Quantitative Easing (QE I) spearheaded by the Chairman of Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke delayed the inevitable demise of the fiat shadow money banking system slightly over 18 months.
Last Thursday Michael Hudson addressed the Council of Economic Advisors to the President of Brazil (CDES) . He offered an unsparing description of how the global economy is being shaped and exploited by Northern bankers. Then he outlined the ways in which Brazil and other major “BRIC” economies – Russia, Chinas, India – can steer an independent path and thus preserve and improve their nations’ condition . CounterPunch is delighted to feature here Dr Hudson’s very striking address. AC/JSC
Remember The Sorcerer’s Apprentice? The wannabee enchanter sets a spell to get his broom to carry water to the magician’s workshop, but his skills don’t extend to stopping the process. By the time the boss gets back, the place is awash. Something similar may be happening to your money. And if so, you’d better hope that the Obama administration gives its fullest support to Elizabeth Warren, its shadow appointment as consumer affairs czarina.
In the news in DC this week, six more banks got seized yesterday by the FDIC (in Ohio, Georgia (3), New Jersey, and Wisconsin), Elizabeth Warren traded in her TARP Oversight Committee job (that only had two more weeks to run) for two new jobs Adviser to the President and Special Adviser to Timothy Geithner to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau home foreclosures hit a new record high, and the Census Bureau released a new report on poverty, which included nuggets like this:
The poverty rate in 2009 was the highest since 1994, but was 8.1 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available. The number of people in poverty in 2009 is the largest number in the 51 years for which poverty estimates are available.
In 2009, the family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 11.1 percent and 8.8 million, respectively, up from 10.3 percent and 8.1 million in 2008.
The poverty rate and the number in poverty increased across all types of families: married-couple families (5.8 percent and 3.4 million in 2009 from 5.5 percent and 3.3 million in 2008); female-householder-with-no-husband-present families (29.9 percent and 4.4 million in 2009 from 28.7 percent and 4.2 million in 2008) and for male-householder-no-wife-present families (16.9 percent and 942,000 in 2009 from 13.8 percent and 723,000 in 2008).
For most Americans, the economic collapse is something that is happening to someone else. Most of us have become so isolated from each other and so self-involved that unless something is directly affecting us or a close family member than we really don't feel it. But even though most of us enjoy a much closer relationship with our television sets than we do with our neighbors at this point, it is quickly becoming undeniable that a fundamental shift is taking place in society.
The number of people living in poverty in America rose to 43.6 million in 2009, the US Census Bureau reported Thursday. This is the largest number since the agency began making such estimates 50 years ago and represents an increase of 3.8 million compared to 2008.
“War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.” Major General Smedley Butler (1881-1940) most decorated Marine in US history who saved President Roosevelt from 1933 Business Plot right-wing military coup The true state of how far the United States has fallen from its once most admired position of being a ‘beacon of freedom’ to the world went on full display today with the firing of veteran Washington D.C. newsman named Doug McKelway for his daring to report to the American people that challenging the British oil giant BP over the Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe would be a “risky strategy” because “the one man who has more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else in history is now sitting in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama.” The firing of McKelway follows by a few weeks the grim warning of a ‘September Surprise’ set to destroy the US and Global financial markets issued by Obama’s personal public speaking trainer, and popular author, Tony Robbins, who told the American people that news shows in his country were engaged in vast cover-up to keep from them the truth of what was going to happen.
More than 100 U.S. banks failed to pay an August 16 dividend on bailout money they borrowed from the U.S. government, signaling that the number of banks struggling to meet obligations under the program is rising. The statistics, compiled by SNL Financial L.C. from U.S. Treasury data, show 115 U.S. banks skipped the August 16 dividend payment required under the Trouble Asset Relief Program, or TARP. The figure is a 26 percent increase from May 2010, when 91 banks deferred that payment.
Consumer confidence unexpectedly dropped to a one-year low in September, indicating the biggest part of the economy is being handcuffed by a struggling labor market. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment fell to 66.6 from 68.9 in August, the group said Friday. This month’s reading was less than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.
The number of people living in poverty in America rose to 43.6 million in 2009, the US Census Bureau reported Thursday. This is the largest number since the agency began making such estimates 50 years ago and represents an increase of 3.8 million compared to 2008. As of last year, one in every seven Americans was poor, according to the government’s definition of poverty. The official poverty rate of 14.3 percent is the highest since 1994.
Gold rose to a record for the second time this week as the dollar's drop spurred demand for the precious metal as a hedge against turmoil in the global economy and financial markets. Silver extended a rally to a 30-month high.
Latest Census report shows 50.7 million people don't have health insurance. In a reflection of the battered economy, the number of people without health insurance rose sharply last year to 50.7 million — an all time high — according to data released Thursday by the Census Bureau. That pushed the rate of uninsured Americans to 16.7 percent last year from 15.4 percent in 2008, when there were 46.3 million uninsured. It was one of the largest single year increases since the Census starting tracking the figure in 1987.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor examines an aspect of the housing crisis that the media pay little attention to--the struggle of renters to find affordable housing. MOST OF the news coverage of the housing crisis has focused on the plight of homeowners: declining home sales, the continuing and unabated rise of foreclosures on single-family homes, and the growing number of mortgages that are "under water"--that is, the loans are for more than the actual value of the homes, with the decline in home values.
The withering recession pushed the number of Americans who are living in poverty to a 51-year high in 2009 and left a record 50.7 million people without health insurance last year, the Census Bureau announced Thursday. The 43.6 million Americans who were poor in 2009 - up from 39.8 million the year before - was the most since poverty estimates were first published in 1959. The national poverty rate of 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008, was the highest since 1994.
It's autumn, so it's time for Washington to ask, as it does every six months, whether any of its major trading partners are currency manipulators seeking to gain an unfair competitive advantage. China, as ever, is the prime suspect. In the world outside Washington, most people might say the question has an easy answer. Of course, China manipulates its currency: the yuan is allowed to trade in only a very tight range against the dollar and China's export success is built partly on that foundation.
Maybe you're one of the thousands of young lawyers in America working in some low-skill, part-time job because law firms have cut so many of the starting positions you were educated to take. If so, I have good news: Jobs for young lawyers are now mushrooming in companies that provide legal services to U.S. corporations. Unfortunately, you'll have to move to India to get one. And the pay will be -- how shall I put this? -- "disappointing."
High unemployment, other problems point to lingering housing pain Video. A record number of homeowners lost houses to their banks in August as lenders worked through the backlog of distressed mortgages, real estate data company RealtyTrac said Thursday. New default notices decreased at the same time, suggesting that lenders managed the flow of troubled loans and foreclosed properties hitting the market to limit price declines, the company said.
Fear gripped Wall Street on the morning of September 15, 2008, as investment giant Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following weeks of stock market losses and the steady downgrading of its assets. Traders hoped that the century-old warhorse would be saved in an 11th hour reprieve. But when last minute negotiations with Barclays broke down, Lehman had no choice but to call it quits. The news sparked a frenzied selloff as millions of shares were dumped at firesale prices. As fear turned to panic, turbulence spread across the markets and the grim predictions of a systemwide meltdown began to materialize.
As consensus grows regarding the futility of US national security policy, concerns arise over Barack Obama's strategy. Possibly the most dramatic mea culpa in Presidential history, Bill Clinton, newly appointed as UN Special Envoy for Haiti, admitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the US policy of compelling poor developing countries to buy US agricultural products at subsidised prices, which destroyed local agricultural sectors, was a disaster. “I did that. I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did. Nobody else."
Two years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers sparked the greatest financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, none of the underlying contradictions of the world capitalist system has been resolved. On the contrary, they are assuming ever-more malignant forms as the ruling classes all over the world launch an offensive against the working class to make it pay for the crisis.
Co-Host Juan Gonzalez: Are middle-class Americans becoming an endangered species? One out of every six Americans are in government anti-poverty programs. More than 50 million are on Medicaid. Forty million receive food stamps. And 10 million receive unemployment benefits. The prospects for a speedy recovery from the Great Recession appear dim.
The Obama administration has responded to reports of an epidemic growth of poverty in America to levels not seen since the 1960s by categorically ruling out any anti-poverty programs like those initiated under the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. In the midst of a week-long campaign of speeches and events aimed at packaging the administration’s pro-corporate policies as populist measures to aid the “middle class,” Obama exhibited callous indifference to the suffering of millions of Americans when he was queried at his Friday press conference about possible anti-poverty measures.
So, Goldman Sachs’ top econowonk Jan Hatzius — here at MarketBeat central we refer to him colloquially as “Johnny the Hat” — says the Fed may announce a new round of quantitative easing as early as November. (Quantitative easing, at least as recently practiced by the Fed, is essentially printing money to by U.S. debt.)
ROME - Figures the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) presented here Tuesday revealing a reduction in the world's number of hungry people in 2010 for the first time in 15 years should be a cause for celebration. In reality it is a hollow success. It is not that the fall is too small to be significant. On the contrary, the United Nations agency estimates 925 million are undernourished this year, a drop of 98 million on the 2009 level of 1,023 billion, almost 10 percent down.
Economic collapse, world depression, free rides for the banks, more wars...
Bill Murphy, the chairman of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, gave chaostheorien.de an exclusive interview, in which he stressed the importance of a clear understanding of the gold market. Moreover, he explained why central banks can’t prevent the gold price from rising anymore, and said: “The Gold Cartel have been winning battles in the last ten years, but they’re losing the war.“
Gold has surged to a new high as the prospect of inflation reared its ugly head in the United Kingdom on bad news from a report indicating a weaker-than-expected eurozone industrial production. Germany and France, despite sovereign debt fears, have been able to manage anemic growth but today’s data signals a slow down. Gold traded as high as $1,261.90 on Tuesday. Photo: Bullion Vault. On Tuesday the gold price traded as high as $1,261.90 and as low as $1,246. “The U.S. dollar index was adding 0.03% to $81.90 while the euro was losing 0.19% to $1.28 vs. the dollar. The spot gold price was rising $14.30, according to Kitco’s gold index,” writes Alix Steel for The Street.
America and Europe face the worst jobs crisis since the 1930s and risk "an explosion of social unrest" unless they tread carefully, the International Monetary Fund has warned. "The labour market is in dire straits. The Great Recession has left behind a waste land of unemployment," said Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's chief, at an Oslo jobs summit with the International Labour Federation (ILO). He said a double-dip recession remains unlikely but stressed that the world has not yet escaped a deeper social crisis. He called it a grave error to think the West was safe again after teetering so close to the abyss last year. "We are not safe," he said.
In a shock warning to a World entering its third year of Global economic chaos, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, stated today that the unemployment situation facing all Nations has now become a “catastrophic situation” that is “unparalleled” and is fast leading to the creation of a “lost generation” of human beings numbering in the hundreds of millions.
The Federal Reserve will buy about $27 billion of Treasuries and Treasury inflation-protected securities in nine operations from Sept. 15 through Oct. 6, the New York Fed said on its website on Monday.
Census figures for 2009, to be released Thursday, are expected to show that the poverty rate soared last year to nearly 15 percent. One out of every seven Americans is now living below the official poverty level, the highest proportion since the 1960s. One in five American children is living in poverty. The Associated Press reported the sharp rise in the poverty rate after interviewing six demographers who have been tracking the preliminary census figures, and finding “wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.”
His achievements are impressive but insufficient, his party is confused. As elections loom, fundamentalists and fantasists are seizing the initiative. Christine O'Donnell, a candidate in Delaware's Republican senatorial primary, is against masturbation and believes that her opponent's supporters follow her home at night and hide in her bushes. For her, last Thursday was a day of mixed fortunes.
In that order. The scary people have already started coming out of the woodwork. The times lately have been mostly uncertain, but soon they'll turn scary, too, as it becomes clearer that the people running things in the USA have no idea what's going on or what they're going to do about it -- and what's going on is an involuntary permanent re-set of the terms of everyday life, from a wet-dream robotic "consumer" techtopia to something more like the first chapter of Tobacco Road, with a family of half-wits reduced by hard times to fighting over a sack of turnips in a roadside ditch. That's the story-arc anyway, and lots of people won't like it. But the theme of dwindling resources is not a pretty one.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says the Obama administration hopes the top House Republican was serious in expressing support for renewing tax cuts for the middle class, adding that GOP hopes to also extend reductions for the rich lack common sense.
LILLE, France, Sep 13, 2010 (IPS) - Broken bicycles and old suitcases mark the entrance to the makeshift camp. Ankle-deep in mud that is newly wet from a rain-shower, the visitor is taken by the hand by lively children to meet their parents.
Economists peddling dire warnings that the world's number one economy is on the brink of collapse, amid high rates of unemployment and a spiraling public deficit, are flourishing here. The guru of this doomsday line of thinking may be economist Nouriel Roubini, thrust into the forefront after predicting the chaos wrought by the subprime mortgage crisis and the collapse of the housing bubble.
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