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Summer of Rage: Greece in Turmoil

June 16, 2011 Comments off


Protesters face riot police during an anti-austerity demonstration near parliament in the centre of Athens. With the Greek government facing collapse, Europe is warned of financial chaos. Photograph: Panagiotis Tzamaros/AFP/Getty

This is what I been writing about since the first of the year. I am afraid we have arrived at a pivotal point in global history; Economic stabilization is the key to preventing a full meltdown of the EU and Europe, and perhaps avoid a global economic calamity.

To understand what is going on, here are a few articles:

Guardian UKGreek Crisis Sends World Markets into Turmoil
Guardian UKEurope Warned of Financial Chaos Over Greek Debt Crisis

The Greek government was on the brink of collapse after pitched battles on the streets of Athens on Wednesday, sending world stocks tumbling as EU leaders squabbled over whether and how to launch a second attempt to keep Greece from insolvency.

George Papandreou, the socialist prime minister, appeared to admit defeat by offering to dissolve his government and form a national unity coalition, but admitted his efforts to negotiate with the opposition conservatives had failed.

“Tomorrow I will form a new government, and then I will ask for a vote of confidence,” Papandreou said on state television. The move followed intense but fruitless negotiations with the conservative New Democracy party to engineer a consensus behind the savage public spending cuts deemed necessary and a wholesale privatisation programme.

The opposition had called for Papandreou’s resignation and a renegotiation of the bailout terms with the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund as the price for its assent to a national coalition.

Earlier, riot police had battled with tens of thousands of protesters in the capital against the radical austerity measures being imposed to try to secure a second bailout in a year, running to tens of billions of euros.

EU governments, the ECB, and the European Commission were gridlocked over how to respond to the debt emergency, which pushed Greece closer to sovereign default, possibly triggering a fresh European banking crisis.

A sense of siege descended on Brussels as the Greek drama appeared to be heading towards a denouement. The ECB warned that a Greek default could spark “contagion” across Europe, causing Greek banks to implode and inflicting major damage on the big banks in France and Germany.

“It looks like a week of chaos,” said a European official in Brussels. Senior diplomats in Brussels said that an emergency meeting of the 17 eurozone finance ministers on Tuesday had failed to bridge the differences over how to construct a second bailout in a year for Greece, running to almost €100bn. In May last year the EU and the IMF put together a €110bn bailout for Greece, the first in a single currency country. That experiment has failed. Ireland and Portugal have since also needed to be rescued from national insolvency.

“The euro area faces a very challenging situation that comes mostly from the interconnection of the sovereign debt crisis and the situation of the banking sector,” the ECB said. “Greece could have a contagion effect,” added Vitor Constancio, an ECB vice-president.

The Perfect Storm May Threaten Global Economyclick here

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1984 Grace Commission Relevant Today

June 13, 2011 Comments off

100% of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal Debt … all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services taxpayers expect from government.”

-Grace Commission report submitted to President Ronald Reagan – January 15, 1984

The Private Sector Survey on Cost Control (PSSCC), commonly referred to as The Grace Commission, was an investigation requested by United States President Ronald Reagan, in 1982. The focus of it was waste and inefficiency in the US Federal government. Its head, businessman J. Peter Grace, asked the members of that commission to “be bold” and “work like tireless bloodhounds. Don’t leave any stone unturned in your search to root out inefficiency.”

Source: Wikipedia, click here

Daily Hurl: Bernanke On Economy

June 8, 2011 Comments off

The jobs that have been created by our large multinational corporations, like the bailed-out GE, are primarily outside of the country, as Bernanke admitted.

Source: Robert Scheer at Truthdig

Dow Drops 300 Points on Weak Economic News

June 1, 2011 1 comment

Weak manufacturing and anemic job creation caused the Dow to take a 300 point dive today. As I have written many times here, until the major corporations invest the nearly $3 trillion they have in capital reserves and the banks cut loose on the more than $2 trillion they are sitting on, the U.S. economy will continue to slip and slide.

I heard a housing report this morning and it stated that housing will not return to “normal’ for 5 ~ 8 years.

Job creation is around 200,000 a month for the last three months. We need to be above 250,000 a month over the next 3 years ( easy math ) to get back to 2007 employment levels.

With the Republicans threatening to shut the government down (more blackmail tactics), unless Medicare is “reformed” and trillions cut from the deficit and debt ( two different things), job creation will take a back seat to nasty politics for the foreseeable future.

As I posted recently: There are answers to putting our nation back on the road to recovery. One glaring answer is to let the $2 trillion dollar Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire next year. This is supported by a recent report from the Center on Budget and Public Policy. The CBPP reports: Simply letting the Bush tax cuts expire on schedule… would stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio for the next decade.

Read related Atlantic Monthly article: Does Washington DC Care About the Economy Anymore?

Paul Ryan Budget Proposal Voted Down By Senate

May 25, 2011 Comments off

The Ryan Plan is history. Bye-bye, DOA, Flamed out. Done. Over. Toast.

The Senate has rejected the controversial budget plan proposed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which sailed through the House along partisan lines last month. The Senate vote was 57-40 against the bill. Source: Huffington Post

Wisconsin Teachers Sick-Out Under GOP Attack

May 25, 2011 Comments off

Huffington Post reports: A recent spate of Wisconsin public information requests forced school districts to determine whether citizens deserve to know if teachers who took sick days on Feb. 16 were really suffering from the flu, or instead were protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) policies.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported online Tuesday that conservative groups filed public records requests to uncover the names of the teachers who played hooky to protest legislation that drastically altered the laws governing their profession. The sick-out led to school closures, as teachers rallied en masse against Walker’s proposal to end collective bargaining for civil employees, including teachers.

The Wisconsin law and subsequent protests contributed to igniting a national debate about the role of public employees — and particularly work protections for teachers. While job security for teachers was traditionally pegged to senority, new laws are taking student test scores into consideration and limiting teachers’ right to collectively bargain their salaries.

In Wisconsin, most districts complied with the information request, but not Madison, which cited concern for protecting both teacher morale and safety. And in response to arguments from local divisions of the state’s largest teachers union, a judge blocked the release of names in the Holmen and La Crosse districts.

Read entire article, click here

Story of Citizens United vs FEC

May 17, 2011 Comments off

I’m a small business owner and cannot seem to catch a break. My inlaws are members of unions, teachers and postal workers – and they are under attack. Our public lands are under siege as large corporations insist on mining, drilling, and otherwise exploiting the forests, deserts, and reserves that make up public lands. Banks are no longer interested in loaning to small businesses. Many large corporations are no longer interested in investing in America or Americans. What’s going on!? I think this little video provides some answers:

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