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Fed saves Europe's banks as ECB stands pat
Stripped to essentials, America is once again having to rescue Europe from itself.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The interwoven banking and sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone has become so dangerous for the world that the US Federal Reserve has been forced to take emergency action, acting as global lender of last resort to shore up Europe's banking system.
That it should have to do so as Germany and the European Central Bank hold back for legal reasons and refuse to commit decisive power adds a strange diplomatic twist.
The move came once it was clear that Europe's prostrate banks would struggle to roll over $2 trillion (£1.3 trillion) of debts denominated in dollars. Data from ratings agency Fitch shows that US money markets have slashed funding for French banks by 69pc and German banks by 50pc.
Fed Acts To "Increase the Availability
of Dollars Outside the United States"
JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
Several people have asked what I think about this.
I wrote about this just yesterday. I could not ask for a better straight man than Ben Bernanke.
"I think the major monetization is already occurring in the Eurodollar markets, and an ongoing stealth bailout of European debt, in order to save the big money center banks at home and broaden the reach of the Dollar.
And this is why the Fed stopped reporting on Eurodollars some years ago, as a component of M3. It was to pave the way for the monetary equivalent of a financial neo-con, to addict European governance to the US dollar and pave the way for a stronger position for the dollar as a one world currency."
Fed Has Tools Beyond Swaps
for Countering Europe’s Sovereign-Debt Crisis
By Steve Matthews and Scott Lanman - Bloomberg.com
The Federal Reserve has tools available for easing Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis beyond its coordinated effort to reduce borrowing costs announced today, including cutting the U.S. discount lending rate.
Six central banks led by the Fed lowered the cost of emergency dollar funding for financial companies, reducing the premium banks pay to borrow dollars overnight from central banks by half a percentage point to 50 basis points.
Central bank deal
should remind eurozone leaders of looming disaster
So much for moral hazard. Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has decided he can't wait any longer for dithering eurozone politicians to sort out their problems.
By Damian Reece - Telegraph.co.uk
The warning signs of an impending European banking collapse, which would have global implications, cannot be ignored any longer.
Eurozone money supply has been contracting recently in an eerie echo of the events contributing to the 1930s Depression. American money market funds, a crucial source of liquidity, have been fleeing back home and leaving European banks without access to dollars to refinance their liabilities. Investors have been getting so nervous of collapse that they have sent bond yields on short-dated German bonds negative, paying Berlin to hold their cash.
Central Banks to the Rescue:
Should We Be Encouraged or Terrified?
Strong action by the world's stewards of monetary policy was necessary -- for now. Hardly anyone believes that the central banks' actions are more than scotch tape over a shattered EU.
By Jim Tankersley - TheAtlantic.com
Central bankers around the world are very, very worried about Europe, and they're starting to do something about it. This is equal parts terrifying and encouraging.
That's the critical takeaway from the liquidity injection - a fancy way of saying, turning up the spigot on global lending - embarked upon on Wednesday by the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and four other central banks from around the globe. The coordinated effort will make it cheaper for foreign banks to borrow U.S. dollars from their central banks, which is important, because those banks have found it increasingly expensive to borrow dollars elsewhere to maintain cash flows.
The central bank deal: Five things to know
Posted by Sarah Kliff
As my colleague Neil Irwin reports this morning, major central banks announced a new strategy this morning to halt Europe’s financial woes from undermining the global economy. Here are five things to know about what happened this morning:
1. The big ticket item: swaps to increase liquidity. One key challenge facing banks right now, particularly those in Europe, is liquidity: Making sure they have enough credit to meet their lending obligations. That’s exactly the issue that the Federal Reserve, along with five other central banks, is tackling today. They’re lowering the costs of moving money from the Federal Reserve to other central banks through what are called "liquidity swap lines." "In effect," Irwin explains, "the Fed is handing over money to other global central banks—now at a lower rate than in the past—and those central banks, in turn, lend the dollars to banks in their countries that are facing difficulties funding themselves."
Goldman Urges Bet Against Euro Junk Debt
By John Detrixhe - Bloomberg.com
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., after this year’s losing endorsement of U.S. bank stocks, recommends as its top trade for 2012 a bet against European high-yield corporate debt and forecasts a "deeper recession" for the region.
The fifth-biggest U.S. bank in terms of assets recommended in a research note that investors speculate on the rising cost of insuring against the default of European junk bonds by using the Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings. The gauge of derivatives will climb to 950 basis points, or 9.5 percentage points, from 770 basis points, according to Goldman Sachs, which urges investors to exit the trade if the index falls to 680 basis points.
Holding the EU together by Money Printing and Force
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
The European Union is frantically trying to come up with a plan to fix the debt crisis that is threatening to cause a worldwide financial calamity. It seems every day there’s a new idea to save the union. The latest is some sort of backdoor bailout through the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Why doesn’t the European Central Bank (ECB) just take care of the bailout by itself? It legally can't according to the treaty that formed the European Union. That hasn’t stopped the central bank from bailing out countries anyway. But now, debt levels are reaching a critical stage as in a possible default, and the biggest problem is Italy. Todayonline.com is reporting, "If Italy defaults on its debt of 1.9 trillion euros, the fallout could spell ruin for the euro zone and send shockwaves throughout the rest of the world. Yesterday, Italy’s borrowing rates skyrocketed to record highs in a 7.5 billion euro bond auction. The yield on its 3-year bonds surged to 7.89 per cent, 2.96 percentage points higher than last month, while yields on 10-year bonds spiked to 7.56 per cent, up 1.5 percentage points."
Nigel Farage: This is How Dictatorship Begins
Debt Crisis: US rescue act is a sign of the mess we’re in
For the eurozone, it was another humiliating turn of events. Faced with Europe’s abject failure to sort out its own mess, the US Federal Reserve has been forced to come riding to the rescue instead.
By Jeremy Warner - Telegraph.co.uk
It wasn’t quite D-Day – Europe is going to require much bigger solutions than the quite limited band aid offered yesterday by the world’s most powerful central bank – but it was the first bit of positive news the single currency has had for some time.
What’s essentially happened is that the Federal Reserve has agreed to step in and provide the cut-price dollar funding to eurozone banks which markets, fearing the worst about the future of the euro, have been refusing.
European ministers to seek more IMF backing
European finance ministers said they will bid for more support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as their plans for a "big bazooka" stalled and their agreements to recapitalise the banks threatened to unravel.
By Louise Armitstead - Telegraph.co.uk
After a two-day summit in Brussels, the finance ministers agreed to "explore" the possibility of the IMF backing the enfeebled European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), perhaps through the European Central Bank (ECB).
German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble said Germany would back more IMF involvement. "We are prepared to increase the resources of the IMF through bilateral loans," he said. "Naturally the details would have to be discussed."
Markets soar after central banks act to ease credit crisis
Stockmarkets soared as six of the world's richest central banks announced a co-ordinated effort to outflank European political deadlock and unlock the financial markets themselves.
By Louise Armitstead - Telegraph.co.uk
The US Federal Reserve led a synchronised wave of announcements from the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the central banks of Canada, Switzerland and Japan that were designed to pump liquidity into the markets.
The six banks said they were cutting the cost of dollar swap lines, effectively halving the price of banks borrowing dollars to fund themselves from 100bps to 50bps above a base rate. They aimed to unblock the flow of money which, compounded by a severe loss of confidence, is threatening to freeze the financial system again. The banks attempted co-ordinated action in September, but on a far smaller scale.
Businesses plan for possible end of euro
By Tony Barber and Daniel Dombey, FT.com via CNN.com
(CNN) -- International companies are preparing contingency plans for a possible break-up of the eurozone, according to interviews with dozens of multinational executives.
Concerned that Europe's political leaders are failing to control the spreading sovereign debt crisis, business executives say they feel compelled to protect their companies against a crash that can no longer be wished away. When German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy raised the prospect of a Greek exit from the eurozone earlier this month, it marked the first time that senior European officials had dared to question the permanence of their 13-year-old experiment with monetary union.
Keiser Report: Kleptocrats Go for Gold (E216)
Ten days to solve the euro – but how?
London (CNN) – The U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and other central banks Wednesday took co-ordinated action to oil the wheels of the world's financial system.
The move came as Olli Rehn, Europe's Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, warned the eurozone was entering a critical phrase to solve its debt crisis, which has deepened since Greece took its first bailout in May 2010. Rehn said the region has "10 days to complete and conclude the crisis response of the European Union."
The same could happen here...
Europe's Two Endgames
by Gary North - LewRockwell.com
On November 22, the New York Times published an interactive chart on which governments owe how much money to which foreign nation's banks.The chart reveals the fault lines in Europe's economy. The debts are owed above all to French banks. The biggest debtor is Italy. If Italy defaults, France's largest banks go down. Overnight.
On Monday, November 28, there was a Financial Times article speculating that the Eurozone has less than two weeks to survive. The headline: "The Eurozone really has only days to avoid a collapse." It was written by an associate editor of the publication.
The Other One Percent:
Corporate Psychopaths and the Global Financial Crisis
Abstract By Clive R. Boddy - JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
Anyone who has ever worked in a large corporation has seen the empty suits that seem to inexplicably rise to positions of power. They talk a great game, possessing extraordinary verbal acuity and an amazing ability to rise without accomplishments to positions of great personal power, often using it ruthlessly.
And anyone who has been on the inside of the national political process knows this is certainly nothing exclusive to the corporate world.
Here is a paper recently published in the Journal of Business Ethics that hypothesizes along these lines. It is only a preliminary paper, lacking in scholarship and peer review.
Abstract - full text
2 million Brits walk out over pension cuts
Strikes over public sector pensions hit services across UK as 2 million walk out
David Cameron and Ed Miliband trade blows as 60% of schools in England are closed and 6,000 NHS operations cancelled
By Dan Milmo, Caroline Davies, Polly Curtis and Hélène Mulholland - Guardian.co.uk
Trade unions and the government have traded blows over the impact of the biggest outbreak of industrial unrest in three decades, as up to 2 million public sector workers went on strike, forcing the closure of 62% of state schools in England and the cancellation of 6,000 hospital operations.
Heathrow airport reported minimal disruption as the mass rebooking of passengers helped reduce queues at border control, but the cabinet secretary, Francis Maude, acknowledged that the strikes over pension reforms had disrupted services. The impact includes:
Asian Stocks Jump as China Cuts Reserve Ratio,
Central Banks Act on Crisis
By Kana Nishizawa and Masaaki Iwamoto - Bloomberg.com
Asian stocks jumped, with the regional index set for its biggest gain since September, after six central banks cut the cost of emergency dollar funding for European banks and China reduced curbs on lending.
Developers Agile Property Holdings Ltd. (3383) and Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd. (3333) gained at least 14 percent, leading a gauge of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong to its largest jump since 2008.Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., a Japanese manufacturer that depends on China for about a quarter of sales, jumped 7.8 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s biggest mining company, gained 4.4 percent in Sydney after commodity prices rose.
China is importing inflation as long as it is tied to the dollar
Is the world nearing the end of the Dollar standard? If so, what will that do to the Dollar Gold Price – and the purchasing power of currency?
These are all questions pondered by ShadowStats.com editor John Williams in this interview with The Gold Report (TGR)
TGR:You've repeatedly said that the global economic crisis is not Europe's fault but part of a pending systemic collapse that started with the manipulation of the US financial markets — the moves you've been talking about. What countries or sectors will suffer the most if the crisis continues?
John Williams: The more closely they're tied to the Dollar, the greater the inflation impact will be in other areas, but the runaway inflation I'm talking about will be largely in the US and for people living in a US Dollar-denominated world.
That's from an inflation standpoint. Yet, it also will have an extremely negative impact on the US economy, and problems in the US economy indeed will have a global impact. The US economy is still the largest in the world, and you can't push it deeper into a depression without having negative economic consequences outside the US.
Paul Craig Roberts:
Germany's Failed Bond Auction was Orchestrated by the Banks
Need for Brazil Debt Kills US Defense Company
Political Calculations - Townhall.com
How dependent has the United States government under President Barack Obama become upon borrowing money from foreign sources to support its spending?
Would you believe the answer is: "enough to exclude a long-time U.S. manufacturer from consideration for a defense contract in favor of a foreign-based manufacturer, despite the U.S. manufacturer having invested considerable time and profits earned from their other products to develop a product that specifically satisfies the government's needs?"
Treasuries Rise for First Time in Five Days
on Speculation Fed to Cut Rate
By Wes Goodman and Monami Yui - Bloomberg.com
Treasuries rose for the first time in five days on speculation the Federal Reserve will lower borrowing costs to maintain economic growth, while Italy and Greece struggle with a debt crisis.
Benchmark 10-year yields declined from a two-week high after Jan Hatzius, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said the Fed will probably arrange a third round of bond purchases known as quantitative easing, or QE3, next year. The Fed and five other central banks announced plans yesterday to cut the cost of emergency dollar loans.
Gold Producers Poised
Like 'Coiled Spring' to Rally: Commodities
By Thomas Biesheuvel - Bloomberg.com
Gold mining stocks are trading at their cheapest level in at least nine years even as the industry’s profits are estimated to almost double this year and bullion trades close to its historic high.
The benchmark NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index (HUI) that includesBarrick Gold Corp. (ABX), Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) andAngloGold Ashanti Ltd. ended last week at 17 times earnings, the lowest since at least November 2002 and below a five-year average of 37 times
Two reasons why Silver looks extremely bullish
By Deepak Rangan
With Silver trading over 35% down from its May highs of near $50/oz, silver is looking extremely bullish for a number of reasons and many traders are expecting prices to double or even tripe over the next 6 months. Here are two reasons why silver is looking extremely bullish.
-Many Traders expect the US fed to unleash the next round of Quantitative Easing, QE3. On both previous occasions, silver prices have risen after the announcement of QE. In late 2008, when QE1 was announced, silver rose from around $10 levels to rise to near $20 levels when the QE2 was announced. Silver rose near $50 after the QE2 announcement..
The Man Who Busted the 'Banksters'
By: Gilbert King - SmithsonianMag.com
Three years removed from the stock market crash of 1929, America was in the throes of the Great Depression, with no recovery on the horizon. As President Herbert Hoover reluctantly campaigned for a second term, his motorcades and trains were pelted with rotten vegetables and eggs as he toured a hostile land where shanty towns erected by the homeless had sprung up. They were called "Hoovervilles," creating the shameful images that would define his presidency. Millions of Americans had lost their jobs, and one in four Americans lost their life savings. Farmers were in ruin, 40 percent of the country’s banks had failed, and industrial stocks had lost 80 percent of their value.
$1/2 Billion Swindle Delivered $1,015.25 Entertainment
By Tim Cavanaugh - Reason.com
Energy Secretary Steven Chuwhiffed in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, but he apparently hit arecord number of foul balls in one at-bat, so the crowd lost interest.
E&C Committee staff director Gary Andres has been outed as a vice chairman at Solyndra lobbying firm Dutko Worldwide, further depleting the will of House Republicans who are themselvesindentured to the green pork superstructure.
Mitt Romney adviser Ron Kaufman is a top adviser at Dutko, rendering it improbable that the rock-ribbed small government conservative will make much of a campaign issue of Solyndra.
29 Amazing Stats
Which Prove That The Rich Are Getting Richer
And The Poor Are Getting Poorer
In the United States today, there is one group of people that is actually living the American Dream. The ultra-wealthy have seen their incomes absolutely explode over the past three decades. Meanwhile, the U.S. middle class has been steadily declining and the ranks of the poor have been swelling. But this is what always happens when an economy becomes highly centralized. Today, gigantic corporations and "too big to fail" banks totally dominate our economic system. The whole game is rigged. Our system is now designed to funnel wealth away from the bottom 90 percent of the population and into the pockets of the ultra-wealthy. When you allow a handful of giant entities to run everything, it is going to inevitably create a situation where there are a small number of very big winners and a massive amount of losers. In America today, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Yes, there will always be poor people. Yes, those that work really hard and produce something of great value for society should be greatly rewarded. The way that our system should work is that it should empower individuals and small businesses to come up with new ideas, start companies, create jobs and produce massive amounts of new wealth. But instead, the number of small businesses in America is rapidly declining. The giant banks and the giant corporations that run everything are constantly running around stomping all of the "little guys" out of existence. This has created an environment where the rich are constantly getting richer and the poor are constantly getting poorer.
Tens Of Millions Of American Families
Are Living On The Edge Of Desperation –
And The Economy Is About To Get A Whole Lot Worse
Have you ever been so poor that you had to live in your car? Have you ever been so low on funds that the only place you could afford to live was a rat-infested motel? Have you ever spent a night living in a tent city or sleeping in the streets? If not, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate. As the recent Black Friday madnessdemonstrated, there are still lots of Americans that are doing well enough to go on wild shopping sprees, but the reality is that there are also millions of American families that are falling through the "safety net" to a place of total desperation. In a previous article I talked about the fact that the U.S. Census Bureau recently announced that a higher percentage of Americans is living in extreme poverty than has ever been measured before. Not only that, 2.6 million more Americans fell into poverty last year. That was also a new all-time record. As you read this, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one our of every four U.S. children is on food stamps. Tens of millions of American families are living on the edge of desperation. In many communities across the United States, there is so much despair in the air that it is almost tangible. When you look into the eyes of many Americans these days, it almost seems as if all the hope has been sucked right out of their hearts. Economic despair is at epidemic levels, and unfortunately the economy is about to get a whole lot worse.
Care for a horseburgerfor lunch?... will homeless PEOPLE or convicted prisoners, or even old people be next? The government bean counters will surely find that 'eating' them, instead of 'feeding' them is more cost effective, in this unscruplous day and age of devaluing human life to statistics and cold analysis within the death management system soon to be implemented with health care reform. Bizarre things are happening and it will wax worse... YOU don't object, do you?
Congress Lifts Horse Butchering Ban for the Good of Horses
By ALEXANDER ABAD-SANTOS - TheAtlanticWire.com
Congress has lifted a five-year-old ban on butchering and funding horse meat, proving our love of money, jobs, and yes, horses are the very reasons they could soon be what's for dinner. As gross, taboo, and as cruel as horse-meat sashimi may seem, it may actually be a good thing. If it's any solace, the bill and ban-lifting actually wasn't an outright decision--it more or less snuck in--as theStar Tribune noted that the ban was attached to last week's must-pass federal spending bill which averted a government shutdown. Because of the ban, the United States had been sending horses to Mexico and Canada to get slaughtered, and The New York Times reports that it's expensive to euthanize and send the horses abroad--which we did to about 138,000 horses last year. As one, mildly xenophobic horse-slaughter expert told The Times, "The Mexicans are getting rich off us ...They’re buying these horses cheap because they can. We have no other options." The AP notesthat our hatred of outsourcing our love of job creation is what garnered Congress' support of the bill: "Sen. Max Baucus said the poor economy has resulted in 'sad cases' of horse abandonment and neglect and lifting the ban will give Americans a shot at regaining lost jobs and making sure sick horses aren't abandoned or mistreated." Baucus's slaughter-statement actually echoes what's driving the support of butchering from some surprising (vets and breeders) horse advocates. "A coalition of horse breeders, slaughterhouses, large animal veterinarians and exporters say lifting the ban will create jobs ... and, moreover, cut down on the number of horses abandoned or starved by owners who can no longer afford the upkeep," notes the Star Tribune. So sorry horses, this butchering thing is totally for our your own good.
Lessons of History?
By Thomas Sowell (Archive) - PatriotPost.us
It used to be common for people to urge us to learn "the lessons of history." But history gets much less attention these days and, if there are any lessons that we are offered, they are more likely to be the lessons from current polls or the lessons of political correctness.
Even among those who still invoke the lessons of history, some read those lessons very differently from others.
Talk show host Michael Medved, for example, apparently thinks the Republicans need a centrist presidential candidate in 2012. He said, "Most political battles are won by seizing the center." Moreover, he added: "Anyone who believes otherwise ignores the electoral experience of the last 50 years."
Thomas Jefferson's Free-Market Economics
Mises Daily: by Murray N. Rothbard
The leadership of the French Smithians was quickly gained by Jean-Baptiste Say, when the first edition of his great Traité d'Économie Politique was published in 1803. Say was born in Lyons to a Huguenot family of textile merchants, and he spent most of his early life in Geneva, and then in London, where he became a commercial apprentice. Finally, he returned to Paris as an employee of a life insurance company, and the young Say quickly became a leader of the laissez-faire group ofphilosophes in France. In 1794, Say became the first editor of the major journal of this group, La Décade Philosophique. A champion not only of laissez-faire but also of the burgeoning industrielisme of the Industrial Revolution, Say was hostile to the absurdly proagricultural physiocracy.
What if the Constitution No Longer Applied?
by Andrew P. Napolitano - LewRockwell.com
What if the whole purpose of the Constitution was to limit the government? What if Congress' enumerated powers in the Constitution no longer limited Congress, but were actually used as justification to extend Congress' authority over every realm of human life? What if the president, meant to be an equal to Congress, has become a democratically elected, term-limited monarch? What if the president assumed everything he did was legal, just because he's the president? What if he could interrupt your regularly scheduled radio and TV programming for a special message from him? What if he could declare war on his own? What if he could read your emails and texts without a search warrant? What if he could kill you without warning?
Bankrupt Cities are Suddenly Un-Bankrupt! (Or Not)
ByRich Smith, The Motley Fool - DailyFinance.com
Last month, the capital city of Pennsylvania filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. Harrisburg had taken out a $317 million loan to fund a municipal incinerator, but it didn't have the money to pay even interest on the loan, much less the principal.
So the Harrisburg City Council did what any debtor, backed into a corner and seeing no way out, would do. Itfiled for bankruptcy protection.
Court Calls "Backsies"
That was a big black eye for Harrisburg, for the state that surrounds it, and, crucially, for the mayor who allowed things to deteriorate so badly. So the mayor challenged the council's bankruptcy petition, and according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary France, Harrisburg was indeed legally required to get the mayor's sign-off before filing for Chapter 9.
Inspector general says housing regulator failed to stop Fannie, Freddie mortgage issues
By Associated Press - WashingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON — A government watchdog said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac improperly foreclosed on homeowners and cost the government billions of dollars by not holding major banks to strict underwriting requirements.
The report released Tuesday also said the Federal Housing Finance Agency gave “undue deference” to Fannie and Freddie officials and didn’t scrutinize more than $35 million in bonuses and compensation to Fannie and Freddie executives.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Serious Delinquency Rates mostly unchanged in October
Fannie Mae reported that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate was unchanged at 4.00% in October. This is down from 4.52% in October of 2010. The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%.
Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate increased to 3.54% in October, up from 3.51% in September. This is down from 3.82% in October 2010. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%.
Recession Cut Nearly Six Million Jobs
By Kent Bernhard Jr. - Portfolio.com
Nearly six million private-sector jobs evaporated in the depth of the 2008-2009 recession, a new analysis by American City Business Journals shows.
Scott Thomas’ analysis of U.S. Census Bureau information published Tuesday shows that the number of private-sector jobs in the nation’s metropolitan and smaller "micro-politan" areas shrank to 107.45 million in 2009 from 113.4 million in 2008.
Young Americans Age 18-29 Are Less Critical of Government, More Open to Entitlement Reform, and More Socially Liberal
By Emily Ekins - Reason.com
According to a recent Reason-Rupe survey, young Americans ages 18-29 are less critical of government, more open to change, more trusting overall, and more socially liberal.
Young Americans are the only age group in which a majority approves of President Obama’s job performance (52 percent approve, 42 disapprove). More young Americans approve of Congress’ job performance compared to all other age groups. Nevertheless, congressional approval remains extraordinarily low, even for young Americans at 23 percent.
The "No Hire Until Obama Is Gone" Case
by J. Jennings Moss - Portfolio.com
A Georgia small-business owner's pledge not to hire any new employees until President Barack Obama leaves office has led to a passionate online debate about Obama's job and health care policies. Read on and offer your take.
In October, we ran a post from Kent Hoover about a Tea Party activist who wanted small-business owners to stop hiring until President Barack Obama left office (which, in her calculation, would be after a Republican defeated him in 2012). That item caused a few readers and one contributor to question why we were giving space over to a such a fringe opinion.
But a not-very-funny-thing happened on the way to late November: This notion that small businesses avoid hiring seems to be picking up steam, if the response to one Georgia business owner's story has any real legs.
The Explosive Story That Could Burn Electric Cars
The government is investigating the Chevy Volt for being a fire risk. That's bad news for GM and fans of green cars.
By Jordan Weissmann - TheAtlantic.com
Few phrases give car-makers nightmares like the words "fire hazard."
The reasons are fairly obvious. Nobody wants to drive their family around in a rolling tinder box. And the image of a burning vehicle can cause lasting damage to a company's brand. More than 30 years after it was taken off the road, the famously combustable Ford Pinto is still shorthand for everything that can go wrong with a car design.
So executives at General Motors are probably are losing sleep now that auto-safety officials are investigating whether the company's prized Chevy Volt poses a fire risk after a crash.
Amazon Has a Very Good Reason
to Now Support an Internet Sales Tax
By REBECCA GREENFIELD - TheAtlanticWire.com
Now that the legislation favors Amazon, in a total turnaround from earlier this year, today Amazon came out and said it "strongly supports" the Internet sales tax. A few months ago, Amazon was acting all baby, filing law-suits and refusing to collect the fees but today it has no problem with it at all. Yet, while Amazon lauds the legislation, eBay contines the fight, reports CNET's Declan McCullagh. What gives? Well, Amazon has had this epiphany that other Internet companies haven't because things are now working in its favor.
NRA News: UN Doomsday Treaty With Ginny Simone
NRA News' investigative reporter Ginny Simone takes a look at the global gun control goals of the United Nations. By pushing for a binding international treaty aimed at superseding the U.S. Constitution, the United Nations is committed to rendering Americans' Second Amendment rights to own a firearm meaningless. Simone interviews past and current U.N. officials and politicians and examines the debates at the United Nations Small Arms Summit to expose the international anti-gun agenda.
Tweet With Caution: The Government Is Watching You
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's reaction to a teenage girl's tweet seems trivial, but it is representative of our ever more closely surveilled, pro-snitching society
By Wendy Kaminer - TheAtlantic.com
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has been rightly ridiculed for informing on a teenager who had the nerve to ridicule him on Twitter. (All she needed to say after his office turned her in to school authorities for tweeting "he sucked" was "I rest my case.") But the spectacle of an adult male governor (or his staff) monitoring social media for disrespectful comments and whining about a teenage girl's tweet was as disturbing as it was laughable. Brownback has apologized for what he characterized as a staff overreaction, but, all things considered, this fracas over a high school girl's tweet was not anomalous. It exemplified several troubling, anti-libertarian trends.
Furious at Latest U.S. Attack, Pakistan Shuts Down Resupply Routes to Afghanistan Permanently
Written by John Daly - OilPrice.com
NATO recently literally shot itself in the foot, imperiling the resupply of International Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan by shooting up two Pakistani border posts in a "hot pursuit" raid.
Given that roughly 100 fuel tanker trucks along with 200 other trucks loaded with NATO supplies cross into Afghanistan each day from Pakistan, Pakistan’s closure of the border has ominous long-term consequences for the logistical resupply of ISAF forces, even as Pentagon officials downplay the issue and scramble for alternative resupply routes.
A Shift from the Middle East to the Pacific
By Christopher Hill - Project-Syndicate.org
DENVER – For two years, President Barack Obama’s administration has tried to convey a narrative in which it is winding up wars in Southwest Asia and turning America’s attention to its longer-term – and arguably more important – relationships in East Asia and the Pacific. In recent months, that narrative has gained the virtue of actually being true.
Now, the task will be to balance the need for responsible military drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan with a responsible buildup of activities in East Asia. And that means putting to rest fears that the United States is gearing up for confrontation with China.
Russia sent military ships to base in Syria
Russian warships were sent to the military base in Syria. The fleet is led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. Included also are a patrol vessel and other vessels.
The Russian government announced Tuesday that from December, a flotilla of warships will be sent to the naval base that it has in Syria. The authorities affirmed that the fleet will be led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and also have a patrol vessel, an anti-submarine ship, and other vessels.
U.S. Hunting for Chinese Telecom Spyware
By Michael Riley - Bloomberg.com
The U.S. is invoking Cold War-era national-security powers to force telecommunication companies including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) to divulge confidential information about their networks in a hunt for Chinese cyber-spying.
In a survey distributed in April, the U.S. Commerce Department asked for a detailed accounting of foreign-made hardware and software on the companies’ networks. It also asked about security-related incidents such as the discovery of "unauthorized electronic hardware" or suspicious equipment that can duplicate or redirect data, according to a copy of the survey reviewed by Bloomberg News.
China PMI Falls for First Time Since 2009
By Bloomberg News - Bloomberg.com
China’s manufacturing contracted for the first time since February 2009 as the property market cooled and Europe’s crisis cut export demand, a survey showed.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 49.0 in November from 50.4 in October, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in a statement today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 18 economists was 49.8. A level above 50 indicates expansion.
Barack Obama urged to change US stance at UN climate summit
Environmental groups and officials warn US will derail progress at Durban by blocking moves toward climate change fund
By Suzanne Goldenberg - Guardian.co.uk
Environmental groups and elected officials have warned Barack Obamathat America was emerging as the spoiler of the UN climate summit in Durban, unless there is a big shift in its negotiating stance.
In two separate, but strongly worded rebukes, Obama heard from some of his closest allies that his administration was not living up to his election promises on climate action.
Wonder what's about to go down in 4 days??
Britain expels Iranian diplomats and closes Tehran embassy
William Hague says diplomats must leave UK within 48 hours, saying storming of British embassy in Iran had backing of regime
By Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan - Guardian.co.uk
The foreign secretary, William Hague, has ordered the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from the UK and announced that the UK is closing its embassy in Tehran, saying that the storming of the mission on Tuesday had the backing of the regime.
Hague said Iranian diplomats would have to leave Britain within 48 hours, and that all British embassy staff in Tehran had now left Iran.
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