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There Are Only 2 Ways to Save the Economy:
Innovation or Inflation
It all comes down to this: We have to match growth to debt. If we can't create miracles from growth, we have to consider inflation to reduce the value of our debt
By Michael Mandel - TheAtlantic.com
We have only two ways out of our current global economic mess: innovation and inflation. And as the saying goes, we should hope for the best (more innovation) and prepare for the worst (higher inflation).
Looking across the world, the underlying problem is that borrowers--households and governments--have taken on debt that they can't afford to pay back, given the current rate of income and economic growth. In the U.S, too many homeowners are struggling with mortgages that far exceed the value of their homes and cannot be repaid from their current incomes. In Europe, Greece and perhaps other countries have issued bonds that they cannot pay back unless growth unexpectedly skyrockets.
Lew Rockwell says the Fed can't Afford Inflation,
but can it Avoid it?
Is gold firming for a rally as US faces another downgrade?
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): With Gold futures relatively range bound for the past month, uncertainty with regard to its trend continue. However, most seem to be bullish on gold in general considering the economic threats from Europe and US.
So what will propel gold beyond its strong resistance at $1680 into new highs?
The US looks a possible trigger. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) had expressed concerns that the US may face a second downgrade from its Triple-A status from another major agency before the end of the year.
Stack Attack on Gold
BY BILL FLECKENSTEIN - FinancialSense.com
This weekend's New York Times carried a story that was worth noting, not because regular readers aren't aware of it, but because it is a problem we are going to see replayed over and over in various cities, counties, and states over the next few years. Headlined, "The Little State With a Big Mess," the story is author Mary Walsh's chronicle of Rhode Island's financial plight in which she notes, "As Wall Street fixates on the financial disaster in Greece, a fiscal wreck is playing out right here. And the odds are that it won't be the last. Before this is over, many Americans may be forced to rethink what government means at the state and local level." She is exactly right about that.
Gold surges over 3 pct as haven bid restored
By Frank Tang and Amanda Cooper
(Reuters) - Gold prices roared to one of the biggest one-day rallies in years on Tuesday, as euro zonejitters and gloomy U.S. consumer data rekindled a dormant safe-haven bid and triggered a flurry of technical buying.
After several months of trading largely in sync with riskier assets, gold raced more than 3 percent higher even as stock markets sank, cruising toward its best three-day run since a sharp fall in early August and reaching its highest price in more than a month. Silver soared 4 percent.
'Gold prices in 2012 may average $1800-$1900/oz'
The Gold Report: Swiss Bank UBS recently lowered its 2011 average gold price to $1,615/ounce (oz.) to account for a stronger U.S. dollar, and predicted an average gold price in 2012 of $2,075/oz. How does that compare to Global Hunter Securities' projections?
Jeff Wright: We have a somewhat lower view of gold into 2012, closer to an average of $1,800/oz. to $1,900/oz.
In some respects, the dollar is weakening, but as the sovereign debt crisis in Europe lingers, the dollar has also strengthened. As long as you have worldwide volatility and a strengthening dollar, gold will be kept in check because its price is denominated in dollars. Once the European debt crisis resolves itself, gold will continue its upward bias and appreciate over time.
BY NED W SCHMIDT - FinancialSense.com
2011: Keynesianism Dead
Greece was the poster child for Keynesianism. The idea was simple. No one would really have to work. Everyone could retire after a few years of work on a full government pension. Pay taxes? Not required. All of this was to be financed indefinitely by the issuance ofgovernment debt.
The government debt would be sold to banks. What if some of those debts, now in the case of Greece, might be uncollectible in the promised time period? No need to worry. The taxpayers in the rest of the EU will pay the credit card companies.
Eric Sprott, Financial Sense NewsHour 19 Oct 2011
Guess Who’s Even More Leveraged Than the European Banks?
Submitted by Phoenix Capital Research - ZeroHedge.com
While the world is awash in liquidity, no one seems to notice that it’s actually in the form of leverage or cheap debt, NOT real capital or equity.
The US banking system as a whole is leveraged at 13-to-1. While this is not horrible relative to Europe’s banking system (more on this in a moment), these levels still mean that an 8% drop in asset values wipes out ALL equity.
Then you have Europe’s banking system, which is leveraged at 26-to-1. Anecdotally, this is borderline Lehman Brothers (30 to 1). At these levels, even a 4% drop in asset prices wipes out ALL equity.
Japan’s banks are leveraged at 23 to 1. France’s are 26 to 1. Germany is 32 to 1.
You get the idea.
However, worse than any of these the US Federal Reserve. With $2.8 trillion in assets and only $52 billion in capital, the Fed is leveraged at 53 to 1. Yes, 53 to 1.
Italian government on brink of collapse
By Guy Dinmore in Rome and Peter Spiegel in Brussels - FT.com
Italy’s prime minister was fighting on Tuesday night to stave off a collapse of his centre-right coalition government over European Union demands for more concrete economic reform measures in time for Wednesday’s highly anticipated summit of eurozone leaders.
The demand came as European officials attempted to reach a final agreement on giving the eurozone’s €440bn rescue fund more firepower so that it can assist Italy by purchasing Italian bonds, lowering Rome’s borrowing rates, which are near 6 per cent.
While such EU assistance falls well short of a full-scale Italian bail-out, senior European officials said it would come with tough new conditions, and that the demands on Silvio Berlusconi were the beginning of a more intrusive effort by Italy's eurozone partners to ensure Rome convinces the financial markets it is sincere about fiscal reforms.
Greenspan: Why European Union Is Doomed to Fail
By: Maneet Ahuja, Hedge Fund Specialist - CNBC.com
The European Union is doomed to fail because the divide between the northern and southern countries is just too great, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan told CNBC in a recent interview.
"At the outset of the creation of the euro in 1999, it was expected that the southern eurozone economies would behave like those in the north; the Italians would behave like Germans. They didn't," Greenspan said. "Instead, northern Europe fell into subsidizing southern Europe’s excess consumption, that is, its current account deficits."
Europe must do debt deal quickly: U.S. Treasury
By Greg Robb, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Europe must move "quickly and firmly" to implement any agreement to solve the euro-zone crisis, said Charles Collyns, Treasury assistant secretary for international finance, on Tuesday.
European leaders will gather Wednesday for a second summit meeting in four days in an effort to agree on a wide-ranging set of measures designed to contain the crisis.
In testimony prepared for a House Financial Services subcommittee on international matters, Collyns said that the European officials have a framework for an agreement which is to be "finalized" on Wednesday.
EU's Greek problem
On the Edgee with Max Keiser -10-22-2011
Euro bailout wrangles spook markets
as fears of slump intensify
Hopes that summits in Brussels would deliver a 'grand bargain' to bring an end to an 18-month sovereign debt crisis fading fast
By Larry Elliott, David Gow in Brussels,
and Jill Treanor - Guardian.co.uk
Fears intensified of a fresh global slump on Tuesday as it emerged thatEurope's leaders were still at loggerheads over a three-pronged plan to save the single currency.
Hopes that summits in Brussels on Wednesday would deliver a "grand bargain" that would finally draw an end to an 18-month sovereign debt crisis were fading fast as talks planned for Wednesday morning were cancelled, rumours surfaced of a collapse in Silvio Berlusconi's Italian government and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, adopted a hard line in negotiations with her French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, over the shape of a rescue package.
Brazil Refuses To Buy European Bonds,
Dashing Hopes For A BRIC-based European Rescue
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
About a year ago, we speculated that as part of the ongoing currency warfare between Brazil and the "developed" world, its finance minister Guido Mantega would keep his trade surplus trump card until the moment of biggest impact. That moment has come, after the financial head (with the Playboy-posing daughter) just told Europe to take a hike. "I believe that European countries do not need funds from Brazil to buy bonds. Brazil is not considering it," Mantega told reporters in Brasilia. "They have to find solutions to the European problems within Europe." And with Brazil out, it is certain that China will not step up over fears of appearing weak and needing to provide vendor financing to its biggest export partner. Unfortunately for Europe this means that at least one component of the revised SPIV: that which foresees public investment from third parties into the EFSF (a new twist proposed only last week), can now be safely forgotten, bringing us back to page one and the entire 5x levered CDO structure which as has been explained numerous times, is Dead on Arrival. There is, however, one loophole. "Mantega said Brazil would be willing to provide financial help via the International Monetary Fund."
IMF considering participation in EU bailout fund
By Jan Strupczewski and Francesca Landini
(Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund is considering taking part in a special investment vehicle being proposed by the euro zone bailout fund but has not made a decision yet, euro zone officials said on Tuesday.
"The IMF has indicated that they are considering it -- they have not taken a position," one euro zone official said. "It will all depend on the whole package."
Euro zone leaders are expected to approve a plan on Wednesday to increase the fire power of the European Financial Stability Facility, a 440 billion euro bailout fund, without euro zone countries having to put more money into it.
Eurozone debt crisis: can the European ideal survive?
Whatever grand plan leaders come up with to solve the eurozone debt crisis, it will create as many problems as it solves.
By Jeremy Warner - Telegraph.co.uk
"You don't like the euro, so why do you want to be in our meetings?" asked the French President of David Cameron at the weekend, adding for good measure that he had "had enough" of British interference. The language may have been undiplomatic, but Mr Sarkozy did rather put his finger on the nub of the problem Britain faces in responding to the eurozone debt crisis.
So far the Coalition government has gone along with Europe's pained march towards fiscal union, even though this runs counter to the eurosceptic instincts of its Conservative hierarchy.
EU rescue plans hostage to raw politics
Europe's debt crisis has taken a deeply political turn as parliamentary battles rock Italy and Greece and once again cause simmering dissent in Germany, vastly complicating the search for a workable solution.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
Italy's coalition was scrambling to head off collapse late on Tuesday after deep rifts on austerity measures dictated by Brussels for a Wednesday deadline, when EU leaders reconvene for yet another crisis summit.
"I remain pessimistic," said Umberto Bossi, Northern League leader and key ally of premier Silvio Berlusconi, who had warned earlier in the day that the government was in danger of collapse.
EU crisis talks in limbo after crucial summit is cancelled
The crucial summit of Europe's finance ministers to thrash out the details of a eurozone rescue has been dramatically cancelled, leaving any solution to the crisis in limbo.
By Louise Armitstead - Telegraph.co.uk
The 27 finance ministers, including Chancellor George Osborne, were due to meet this morning to prepare an "ambitious and comprehensive response" to the problems stalking the eurozone.
However, while European heads of state are still due to meet as scheduled at 6pm, the cancellation of the finance ministers' meeting implied a detailed solution remained elusive.
The leaders are expected to announce an agreement that will increase the size of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to €1 trillion; produce a fresh Greek bail-out that includes a bigger hit for bondholders; and commit to inject €110bn into Europe's banks.
Keiser Report Occupies World! (E200 Special)
Loose monetary policy
and excessive credit
and liquidity risk-taking by banks
By Steven Ongena and José-Luis Peydró - VoxEU.org
A question under intense academic and policy debate since the start of the ongoing severe financial crisis is whether a low monetary-policy rate spurs excessive risk-taking by banks. From the start of the crisis in the summer of 2007, market commentators were quick to argue that, during the long period of very low interest rates from 2002 to 2005, banks had softened their lending standards and taken on excessive risk.
Indeed, nominal rates were the lowest in almost four decades and below Taylor rates in many countries, while real rates were negative (Taylor 2007, Rajan 2010, Reinhart and Rogoff 2010, among others). Expansionary monetary policy and credit risk-taking followed by restrictive monetary policy possibly led to the financial crisis during the 1990s in Japan (Allen and Gale 2004), while lower real interest rates preceded banking crises in 47 countries (von Hagen and Ho 2007). This time the regulatory arbitrage for bank capital associated with the high degree of bank leverage, the widespread use of complex and opaque financial instruments including loan securitization, and the increased interconnectedness among financial intermediaries may have intensified the resultant risk-taking associated with expansive monetary policy (Calomiris 2009, Mian and Sufi 2009, Acharya and Richardson 2010).
Bank runs Begin in Greece
Lines to Withdraw Deposits
Queue Up as Run on the Banks starts in Greece
By Mike Shedlock
With talk of 50% or 60% haircuts on Greek bonds, already mistrustful Greek citizens have queued up to pull deposits. Via Google Translate, The Bild reports Greeks Plunder their Accounts in Fear of Debt Cuts.
Monday morning, 7.40 clock in the district of Athens, "Agia Paraskevi". We, the BILD reporters are witnesses, of a queue in front of a branch of the "National Bank of Greece" right after the opening at 8:00.
"I come here to immediately pick up my pension € 300. Who knows what else happened today. My money is safe only when it is at home" said Pensioners Evagelos Dimitros age 73.
the be-be-beast is coming!
Vatican calls for global authority on economy,
raps "idolatry of the market"
"The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a "global public authority" and a "central world bank" to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises. The document from the Vatican's Justice and Peace department should please the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrators and similar movements around the world who have protested against the economic downturn.
In Cautious Times, Banks Flooded With Cash
By ERIC DASH and NELSON D. SCHWARTZ - NYTimes.com
Bankers have an odd-sounding problem these days:
they are awash in cash.
Droves of consumers and businesses unnerved by the lurching markets have been taking their money out of risky investments and socking it away in bank accounts, where it does little to stimulate the economy.
Though financial institutions are not yet turning away customers at the door, they are trying to discourage some depositors from parking that cash with them. With fewer attractive lending and investment options for that money, it is harder for the banks to turn it around for a healthy profit.
Waiting for Lehman
This is an adapted version of a post which appeared in my Strategic Planning Group. Adapted how? Well, the full argument is reprinted below — but the ugly money-grubbing stuff about what to do and what investment opportunities are good have been cut. After all, readers of the free version of my blog aren’t interested in such base dealings, right?
By Gonzalo Lira
In Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot, the four main characters wait in vain — Godot never arrives.
In the financial markets, the same thing is happening now — we are all waiting for Lehman: That sudden bankruptcy-crisis-calamity which sets off a whole series of credit events, which in turn causes massive sell-offs, plunging markets, collapsing confidence, and ultimately — just like the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers did back in 2008 — shoves the entire global financial edifice right up to the very edge of the cliff.
An apocalyptic end to world's biggest bubble
Denial, addictions feed inability to deal with population
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — The theme: Repent. Haunting images of fanatical serial killers warning, "The End is Near, Repent!" That message seared my brain as the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" rode into "Dexter's" dark world, the Miami Metro Police cable TV series. Now duty calls Dexter, CSI blood splatter expert by day, serial avenger by night.
Yes, the Four Horsemen, again. The perfect biblical metaphor for today's bizarre world, where irrational ideologies prey on us, driving America deep into a dark world we’ve seen before: Goethe's Faust, Dorian Gray, Dante's Inferno.
Watch out for China's 'freak' economy
This is the real danger to the global economy
By Brett Arends, MarketWatch
BOSTON (MarketWatch) — Forget Greece. Forget Italy. Forget "Occupy Wall Street."
The really ominous news right now?
It’s been the juggernaut carrying us all year. But Albert Edwards at SG Securities says the world’s second biggest economy is a "freak" and it’s starting to go berzerk.
What's going wrong? How? Here are some troubling signs:
The housing bubble is finally bursting.
Obama Doctrine: Ignore American Interests
By Mona Charen - PatriotPost.us
Two successful assassinations -- those of al-Awlaki and bin Laden -- have persuaded some that President Obama, whatever his domestic failures, has presided over a successful foreign policy. This is way too generous. In fact (with the exception of targeted assassinations and the surge in Afghanistan), the president seems to conduct foreign policy based on seat-of-the-pants responses to events, rather than relying on any over-arching strategy. And his reactions to such events are more often based upon reversing what he regards as past American sins than on pursuing America's interests in the world.
NY Fed's $40 Billion Iraqi Money Trail
By: Eamon Javers - CNBC Washington, DC Correspondent
It has been called the largest airborne transfer of currency in the history of the world. But finding out what happened to all the money involved has become one of the biggest financial mysteries of all time.
Beginning in the very earliest days of the war in Iraq, the New York Federal Reserveshipped billions of dollars in physical cash to Baghdad to pay for the reopening of the government and restoration of basic services.
The money was packed onto pallets inside a heavily guarded New York Federal Reserve compound in East Rutherford, New Jersey, trucked to Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, and flown by military aircraft to Baghdad International Airport.
Trends in the News by Gerald Celente | 10.18.11
A Nation Run Not By Shopkeepers,
But By Con Men, Protection Rackets, and Swindlers
JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
Income inequality such that it suppresses the middle class is a practical matter for what I hope are obvious reasons of inadequate demand and economic stagnation. As the US currently has one of the most extreme income distributions since the Great Depression it is a currently topic of renewed interest not seen in many years.
Mark Thoma has an interesting discussion of this here: Income Inequality Is Hobbling the Middle Class
But in addition to this more practical discussion, Matt Taibbi brings out a key point in his most recent essay on the financial crisis. It is not so much the inequality per se that is troubling people, but rather the concomitant gaming of the system, the blatant cheating, that is making people angry.
Wealth inequality in America, understanding the source.
BY ARKADY - RightCondition.com
With the OWS movement leaving many Americans confused as to whether they should support or stay away, one thing is for certain, Americans are aware of a certain truth that is happening in our country. We have a certain combination of events that is leaving many people struggling and asking very good questions.
The truth is this; We have structurally high unemployment, salaries are stagnant, debt burdens are rising, costs for education, health and energy are on the rise and we are increasingly overwhelmed with clear and present danger coming from every corner of the earth.
The Prepper Movement:
Why Are Millions Of Preppers Preparing Feverishly
For The End Of The World As We Know It?
In America today, there are millions of "preppers" that are working feverishly to get prepared for what they fear is going to happen to America. There is a very good chance that some of your neighbors or co-workers may be preppers. You may even have noticed that some of your relatives and friends have been storing up food and have been trying to convince you that we are on the verge of "the end of the world as we know it". A lot of preppers like to keep their preparations quiet, but everyone agrees that the prepper movement is growing. Some estimate that there are four million preppers in the United States today. Others claim that there are a lot more than that. In any event, there are certainly a lot of preppers out there. So exactly what are all these preppers so busy preparing for?
Deregulate or Die
A video by billionaire Charles Koch says President Barack Obama and George W. Bush are equally culpable in imposing too many federal regulations.
By Michael del Castillo - Portfolio.com
An 81,000-page increase in government regulations is costing our economy $1.75 trillion, or 43 million jobs, and the government is overcommitted by 10 times the size of the private-sector economy, says a video recently released by the Charles Koch Institute.
The video, posted on the organization's website, www.economicfreedom.org, also implies that if America doesn’t get its act together soon, our life spans will shorten by 20 years, falling to similar expectancies as those in Chad, Myanmar, and Venezuela. Pretty dire stuff. And seemingly aimed directly at the supporters of the Wall Street protests.
After 20 years on the rise, the video says, we are now into the ninth year of economic freedom decline, and just recently fell below Canada for the first time. But what is economic freedom? A nifty graph titled "Economic Freedom of the World" shows the recent fluctuations of a half dozen developed nations on its x-axis and on the y-axis is, well, nothing. The statistics are scarier than they are informative. Likely, they came from the Fraser Institute’s report of the same name, but the source is nowhere cited.
Episode One: Economic Freedom & Quality of Life
Episode Two: Economic Freedom in America Today
Income Inequality Is Hobbling the Middle Class
By MARK THOMA, The Fiscal Times
Income inequality in the U.S. has been rising for the last several decades, and with it concern about the consequences. For example, to what extent does the large flow of income into the hands of financial executives give them the power to influence Congress through campaign donations? How does this have an impact on the willingness of legislators to impose regulations that would stabilize the financial system but inhibit the ability of the financial industry to make the huge profits that fund political campaigns?
What's Good for Caterpillar Isn't So Great for America
The industrial juggernaut's profits are impressive, and hiring is way up. Too bad two-thirds of its new jobs are going overseas.
By Jordan Weissmann - TheAtlantic.com
Wall Street got a jolt of good news yesterday when Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of heavy machinery for mining and construction, announced a blockbuster round of third quarter results. The company crushed analyst predictions, posting record revenues that yielded profits 44% higher than a year before. The manufacturer's numbers helped send the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 104 points by the end of trading.
But for those inclined to care less about corporate earnings and more about the broad health of the U.S. economy, Caterpillar's announcement contained plenty of grist for concern. On the bright side, as Bloomberg points out this morning, the company's performance is one more sign that even in difficult times, exports are propping up U.S. growth. Unfortunately, its numbers had little to do with the weak domestic market. Like so many other companies, Caterpillar sees its best prospects abroad. And in that sense, its results captured the good, the bad, and the frightening of the halting U.S. recovery.
Consumer confidence tumbles, home prices stagnate
By Leah Schnurr
(Reuters) - Consumer confidence unexpectedly dropped to its lowest level in two-and-a-half years in October, while house prices were unchanged at low levels in August, suggesting the consumer is still struggling.
Taken along with recent regional manufacturing data that hinted at stabilization in the sector in October, Tuesday's U.S. data underscored the view that the economy should avoid another recession, though growth will be slow.
Confirmation of a growing but sluggish U.S. economy is expected from U.S. gross domestic product data for the third quarter on Thursday, but the surprising drop in consumer confidence suggests the recent bounce back from a weak first half year may not be sustained.
A 53% Surge in Poverty Rate Is Reshaping the Burbs
Outside Cleveland, Snapshots of Poverty’s Surge in the Suburbs
By SABRINA TAVERNISE - NYTimes.com
PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio — The poor population in America’s suburbs — long a symbol of a stable and prosperous American middle class — rose by more than half after 2000, forcing suburban communities across the country to re-evaluate their identities and how they serve their populations.
The increase in the suburbs was 53 percent, compared with 26 percent in cities. The recession accelerated the pace: two-thirds of the new suburban poor were added from 2007 to 2010.
"The growth has been stunning," said Elizabeth Kneebone, a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, who conducted the analysis of census data. "For the first time, more than half of the metropolitan poor live in suburban areas."
White House Unveils Details of Student-Loan Relief Plan
By: CNBC.com with wires
After announcing a mortgage-relief program for struggling homeowners, the White House on Tuesday revealed details of its student loan relief plan.
"College graduates are entering one of the toughest job markets in recent memory, and we have a way to help them save money by consolidating their debt and capping their loan payments. And we can do it at no cost to the taxpayer," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement.
Family Evicted During Home Foreclosure In Milliken Colorado
MILLIKEN, CO – OCTOBER 05: Homeowner Brandie Barbiere’s possessions were removed to the front yard during a home foreclosure on October 5, 2011 in Milliken, Colorado. Barbiere said she had stopped making the mortgage payments 11 months before, after she lost more than half her home child care business due to the poor economy. The Barbiere family’s possessions were removed to the front yard by an eviction team and the door locks changed. A nationwide glut of foreclosed homes is expected to depress U.S. housing values for years.
Obama Refi Plan is Not Housing Stimulus
By: Diana Olick - CNBC Real Estate Reporter
"President Obama is taking action."
At least that's what the blog on the WhiteHouse.gov says today in describing the president's trip to Las Vegas.
"We can't wait to help homeowners," it goes.
That action consists of revamping an existing government refinance program through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, so-called "underwater" borrowers. There are an estimated 11 million of those nationwide according to CoreLogic.
The original program, which started in 2009 and has helped about 900,000 borrowers get lower interest rates, was capped. You couldn't owe more than 25 percent more than your home was worth.
Employee disability benefits get costlier, complicated
By Linda Stern
(Reuters) - Like just about every other workplace benefit, disability insurance is becoming something workers have to manage and pay for, at least partially, themselves.
In the current open enrollment season for 2012 benefits, more employers are asking workers to put some of their own money up for high-end disability coverage. "We are seeing some gradual slide to more employee financial responsibility for long-term coverage," reports Rich Fuerstenberg, a partner with benefits consultant Mercer. "The employers who used to provide the entire cost now may provide a core benefit and allow workers to buy up their coverage."
The Media and 'Bullying'
By Thomas Sowell - PatriotPost.us
Back in the 1920s, the intelligentsia on both sides of the Atlantic were loudly protesting the execution of political radicals Sacco and Vanzetti, after what they claimed was an unfair trial. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote to his young leftist friend Harold Laski, pointing out that there were "a thousand-fold worse cases" involving black defendants, "but the world does not worry over them."
Holmes said: "I cannot but ask myself why this so much greater interest in red than black."
To put it bluntly, it was a question of whose ox was gored. That is, what groups were in vogue at the moment among the intelligentsia. Blacks clearly were not.
OWS's Beef: Wall Street Isn't Winning – It's Cheating
By Matt Taibbi - RollingStone.com
I was at an event on the Upper East Side last Friday night when I got to talking with a salesman in the media business. The subject turned to Zucotti Park and Occupy Wall Street, and he was chuckling about something he'd heard on the news.
"I hear [Occupy Wall Street] has a CFO," he said. "I think that's funny."
"Okay, I'll bite," I said. "Why is that funny?"
"Well, I heard they're trying to decide what bank to put their money in," he said, munching on hors d'oeuvres. "It's just kind of ironic."
Oh, Christ, I thought. He’s saying the protesters are hypocrites because they’re using banks. I sighed.
"Listen," I said, "where else are you going to put three hundred thousand dollars? A shopping bag?"
What Have We Gotten
For The Trillion Dollars We Have Spent
On Wars In Afghanistan, Iraq And Libya?
Over a trillion U.S. taxpayer dollars have been spent on wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Whether you are for the wars or against the wars, it is important for all of us to step back and evaluate what we have really gotten for all of that money. In Libya, we have actually helped al-Qaeda forces that were shooting at U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan take over the country. Now they have announced that they will be imposing strict Sharia law on all of Libya. After 10 years of having our boys shot up in Afghanistan, the Afghan government is so "grateful" that they are publicly saying that they will side with Pakistan in any future war against the United States. In Iraq, Islamic radicals are beheading and murdering dozens and dozens of Christians and the new Iraqi government seemingly can't wait to push the remaining U.S. soldiers out of the country. We ran up well over a trillion dollars of new debt to "liberate" these countries, but are they really in better shape than they were before these wars? Are we really in better shape than we were before these wars?
Paul Craig Roberts:
Washington will make Libya a puppet state
Smart Meters - opt out case won in Maine
Skelton, Taintor & Abbott
Wins Landmark Smart Meter Case
On behalf of several Maine residents, Skelton, Taintor & Abbott secured a landmark decision that will benefit utility customers throughout the country. Alan Stone, chair of the firm's energy law group, successfully convinced the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) to find that it was an unjust and unreasonable practice for Central Maine Power Company (CMP) to refuse to permit residential and small commercial customers to opt-out of CMP’s smart meter program.
Skelton, Taintor & Abbott represented a group of customers in a complaint against CMP, and convinced the MPUC to order CMP to offer customers the option of opting out of the smart meter program and retaining their existing electromagnetic meters. Stone proved that because of unresolved concerns relating to health, privacy and cyber security resulting from the installation of wireless meters on their homes, customers should have a choice concerning the installation of those meters. CMP argued vigorously that customers should not be allowed to opt out, and the MPUC found that position to be unjust and unreasonable.
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