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thinkahol *

Op-Ed Columnist - Structure of Excuses - NYTimes.com - 1 views

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    "Structural" unemployment is a fake problem, which mainly serves as an excuse for not pursuing real solutions.
François Dongier

Map Stream - 3 views

  • A debate map exploring the causes, consequences and responses to the emerging global financial crisis.
thinkahol *

BBC Speechless As Trader Tells Truth: "The Collapse Is Coming...And Goldman Rules The W... - 2 views

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    BBC News-Sept. 26, 2011- http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/bbc-victim-hoax-no-yes-men-154724196.html Just listen to this guy. Thanks to zerohedge for posting this story.
Giorgio Bertini

Eisenhower's worst fears came true. We invent enemies to buy the bombs « Lear... - 1 views

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    It is not democracy that keeps western nations at war, but armies and the interests now massed behind them. The greatest speech about modern defence was made in 1961 by the US president Eisenhower. He was no leftwinger, but a former general and conservative Republican. Looking back over his time in office, his farewell message to America was a simple warning against the "disastrous rise of misplaced power" of a military-industrial complex with "unwarranted influence on government". A burgeoning defence establishment, backed by large corporate interests, would one day employ so many people as to corrupt the political system. (His original draft even referred to a "military-industrial-congressional complex".) This lobby, said Eisenhower, could become so huge as to "endanger our liberties and democratic processes".
Giorgio Bertini

The era of cheap capital draws to a close - 1 views

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    Interest rates are rising in the long term. Businesses will have to adapt, while governments must prevent an era of creeping financial protectionism.
Giorgio Bertini

The train that never stops at a station - A brilliant new Chinese train innovation - ge... - 1 views

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    No time is wasted. The bullet train is moving all the time. If there are 30 stations between  Beijing and  Guangzhou , just stopping and accelerating again at each station will waste both energy and time. A mere 5 min stop per station (elderly passengers cannot be hurried) will result in a  total loss of 5 min x 30 stations or 2.5 hours of train journey time!
thinkahol *

Look Out, Here Comes the 'Feral Underclass' - 1 views

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    Why this absence of political ambition? What explains the rioters' genuflection at the altar of "crude materialist, market-driven hedonism"? To zone in on the answer, we need to step back and remind ourselves how strikingly unequal distributions of income and wealth impact how we interact with "things."
    In relatively equal nations, societies where minor differences in income and wealth separate social classes, people typically do not obsess over "things," the baubles of modern life. The reason? If nearly everyone can afford much the same things, things overall tend to lose their significance. People in more equal societies will be more likely to judge you by who you are than what you own.
    The reverse, obviously, also holds true.
    "As inequality worsens," as Boston College economist Juliet Schor has explained, "the status game tends to intensify."
    The wider that gaps in income and wealth go, the greater the differences in the things that different classes can afford. In markedly unequal societies, things take on ever greater significance. They signal who has succeeded and who has not.
    In London, the developed world's most unequal city, these signals may dominate daily life as ferociously as anywhere else on Earth. Their incessant repetition drowns out the socially cohesive signals that people see and hear and feel in more equal societies, the sense that "we're all in this together."
    "Let this week be a wake up call," London's Compass think tank observed right after the heaviest rioting. "There is more to clean up than broken shop windows."
thinkahol *

Vision: Across the Country, People Are Rising Up to Fight for Change - 1 views

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    "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power than can transform the world." -The late people's historian Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 - January 27, 2010)

Giorgio Bertini

Chancellor Merkel fails to win opposition support for Greece bailout - 1 views

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    The German government has failed to win backing from opposition parties for its bill to participate in the Greece bailout.
thinkahol *

Attorneys General Settlement: The Next Big Bank Bailout? | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone - 1 views

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    The point of all of this is, if you add up all of the MBS-related liability out there, the banks as it stands are facing an Armageddon of claims from all sides. It can't possibly be less than a trillion dollars, and it's probably much, much more.

    But the Obama administration's current plan is to let them all walk after paying a few shekels apiece into a $20 billion kitty.
Giorgio Bertini

Troubles in the EuroZone: Will the Contagion affect the U.S.? - 1 views

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    Could euro devaluation increase the size of the U.S. deficit? Marshall Auerback explores the possibility, and what it means if deficit hysteria continues unchecked.
Giorgio Bertini

Five forces reshaping global economy: Global Survey results - McKinsey Quarterly - 1 views

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    The core drivers of globalization are alive and well, but executives are still grappling with how to seize the opportunities of an interlinked world economy.
Giorgio Bertini

Brazil's Iran Diplomacy Worries U.S. Officials - 1 views

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    As President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva heads to Tehran this weekend to make what many Western diplomats consider a last-ditch attempt at persuading Iran to temper its nuclear ambitions, officials in Washington have expressed concern that the effort could backfire, helping the Islamic republic to block - or at least delay - the United States and its allies from imposing sanctions.
thinkahol *

The Coming Insurrection « Support the Tarnac 10 - 1 views

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    From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out. This is not the least of its virtues. From those who seek hope above all, it tears away every firm ground. Those who claim to have solutions are contradicted almost immediately. Everyone agrees that things can only get worse. "The future has no future" is the wisdom of an age that, for all its appearance of perfect normalcy, has reached the level of consciousness of the first punks. 

thinkahol *

Extortion Politics - 1 views

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    Extortion Politics: Why Won't American Business Stop the GOP From Threatening to Blow Up the Economy?
thinkahol *

Is Capitalism Doomed? - Nouriel Roubini - Project Syndicate - 1 views

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    Karl Marx was right, it seems, in arguing that globalization, financial intermediation run amok, and redistribution of income and wealth from labor to capital could lead capitalism to self-destruct. So what can be done to prevent that outcome?
thinkahol *

Reading Marx's Capital with David Harvey » Blog Archive » Feral Capitalism Hi... - 1 views

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    But the problem is that we live in a society where capitalism itself has become rampantly feral. Feral politicians cheat on their expenses, feral bankers plunder the public purse for all its worth, CEOs, hedge fund operators and private equity geniuses loot the world of wealth, telephone and credit card companies load mysterious charges on everyone's bills, shopkeepers price gouge, and, at the drop of a hat swindlers and scam artists get to practice three-card monte right up into the highest echelons of the corporate and political world.
thinkahol *

Why "business needs certainty" is destructive - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com - 1 views

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    Businesses have had at least 25 to 30 years near complete certainty -- certainty that they will pay lower and lower taxes, that they' will face less and less regulation, that they can outsource to their hearts' content (which when it does produce savings, comes at a loss of control, increased business system rigidity, and loss of critical know how). They have also been certain that unions will be weak to powerless, that states and municipalities will give them huge subsidies to relocate, that boards of directors will put top executives on the up escalator for more and more compensation because director pay benefits from this cozy collusion, that the financial markets will always look to short term earnings no matter how dodgy the accounting, that the accounting firms will provide plenty of cover, that the SEC will never investigate anything more serious than insider trading (Enron being the exception that proved the rule).

    So this haranguing about certainty simply reveals how warped big commerce has become in the US. Top management of supposedly capitalist enterprises want a high degree of certainty in their own profits and pay. Rather than earn their returns the old fashioned way, by serving customers well, by innovating, by expanding into new markets, their 'certainty' amounts to being paid handsomely for doing things that carry no risk. But since risk and uncertainty are inherent to the human condition, what they instead have engaged in is a massive scheme of risk transfer, of increasing rewards to themselves to the long term detriment of their enterprises and ultimately society as a whole.
thinkahol *

Commodity Prices and the Mistake of 1937: Would Modern Economists Make the Same Mistake... - 1 views

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    In 1937, on the eve of a major policy mistake, U.S. economic conditions were surprisingly similar to those in the nation today. Consider, for example, the following summary of economic conditions: (1) Signs indicate that the recession is finally over. (2) Short-term interest rates have been close to zero for years but are now expected to rise. (3) Some are concerned about excessive inflation. (4) Inflation concerns are partly driven by a large expansion in the monetary base in recent years and by banks' massive holding of excess reserves. (5) Furthermore, some are worried that the recent rally in commodity prices threatens to ignite an inflation spiral.
        While this summary arguably describes current trends, it is taken from an account of conditions in 1937 that appears in "The Mistake of 1937: A General Equilibrium Analysis," an article I coauthored with Benjamin Pugsley. What we call "the Mistake of 1937" was, in broad terms, a decision by the Fed and the administration to implement a series of contractionary policies that choked off the recovery of 1933-37 and brought on the recession of 1937-38, one of the worst on record. What is particularly noteworthy is that the inflation fears that triggered the Mistake of 1937 were largely driven by a rally in commodity prices. These circumstances invite direct comparison with our own time, when a substantial recent rise in commodity prices (which now seems to be abating somewhat) stoked inflation fears and led some commentators to call for an increase in the federal funds rate.
        The question for the contemporary reader is this: If we could transport a modern-day economist back to 1937, would he or she have made the same mistake? My suggested answer-admittedly somewhat hopeful-is no. I base this view on the fact that most economists today distinguish between the temporary movements in the consumer price index that stem from volatility in commodity prices and the movements that reflect fundamental inf
Giorgio Bertini

Volcker Sees Euro 'Disintegration' Risk From Greece - 1 views

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    Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said he's concerned that the euro area may break up after the Greek fiscal crisis that sparked an unprecedented bailout by the region's members.
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