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Showing posts from March 8, 2014

When Regulation Threatens, Bankers Predict Doom For Main Street

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[Absolutely nothing has changed in the big banks' behaviour. *RON*]

 by Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica, March 5, 2014

First, there was the TruPs crisis, as everyone surely recalls.

No?

Well, after the Volcker Rule was finalized, some banks suddenly realized that they might have to sell some obscure holdings to conform to the rule — bundles of investments in banks, called trust-preferred securities, or TruPs. The American Bankers Association reacted immediately, warning that the nation’s community banks faced an avalanche of losses. Legislators readied bills to fix the problem that was supposedly facing banking’s little guys. Regulators felt embattled.

Then, the watchdogs tweaked the rule modestly, and the squall dissipated as quickly as it had arisen.

No sooner had that issue been resolved when Washington convulsed with a new crisis, now upon us: the C.L.O. panic. Haven’t heard of this one, either? What, are you paying attention to something like the standoff …

How Canada’s weak economy is ‘struggling to create many new jobs’

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[Chief economist at BMO: "outside of recession periods, that’s one of the more sluggish growth rates I’ve seen." Glad to see that Harper's whole 'austerity plus massive corporate welfare' thing is working out so well. See also Statistics Canada failing to tell whole story about Canada’s job market, CLC says. *RON*]
Gordon Isfeld, Financial Post, March 7, 2014


OTTAWA — Canada’s labour market is back to where it began a year ago, with nearly flat growth over the past 12 months.
After huge swings, from gains to losses to more gains, employment dipped again last month — not by much, but enough to cause more head scratching by economists and policymakers.

B.C. economy sheds thousands of jobs, but unemployment rate stays the same in February

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[Christie Clark's job creation plan, which she has been "working on" for more than two years now: ten thousand more people out of work and more people have simply given up looking for work. It also seems that, in large part, this is because, while the economy founders, she continues apace with government austerity, since the big losses are in "health care, social assistance, professional and scientific services" *RON*]

Vancouver Sun and Canadian Press, March 7, 2014

The B.C. economy shed thousands of jobs in February, although the unemployment rate held steady, according to Statistics Canada.

The agency says 10,400 fewer people were employed in the province last month, with the losses evenly split between part-time and full time positions.

The unemployment rate for B.C. was 6.4 per cent, unchanged from a month earlier, as fewer people participated in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in B.C. was unchanged…

Toews now a possible candidate for Supreme Court

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[Because he has been appointed to Manitoba's top trial court, Vic "stand with us or with the child pornographers" Toews, the noted Constitution-hater, whose views on justice are slightly to the right of a medieval Viking clan chieftain, is now eligible for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada. Definitely, see also Judge Vic Toews. *RON*]

SEAN FINE AND BILL CURRY, Globe and Mail, Fri, Mar. 07 2014, updated Sat, Mar. 08 2014

Vic Toews, a former Conservative justice minister, has been appointed to Manitoba’s top trial court, setting up a possible candidacy for the Supreme Court of Canada, which will have a vacancy from the West within two years.

Mr. Toews, 61, who retired from the government last July, is known for tough-on-crime legislation and his criticism of activist judges. Ten years ago, in a speech called “Abuse of the Charter by the Supreme Court” at an anti-abortion conference in Winnipeg, he praised the work of the conservative…

Ukraine is About Oil. So Was World War I

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[Impossible to say if Freeman is right in giving central place in the jockeying around the Ukraine crisis to oil, but he is surely right in saying that oil is a key reason why the US reflexively opposes Russia today. *RON*]

 by Robert Freeman, Commondreams.org, March 8, 2014

Ukraine is a lot more portentous than it appears. It is fundamentally about the play for Persian Gulf oil. So was World War I. The danger lies in the chance of runaway escalation, just like World War I.
Let’s put Ukraine into a global strategic context.

The oil is running out. God isn’t making any more dinosaurs and melting them into the earth’s crust. Instead, as developing world countries aspire to first-world living standards, the draw-down on the world’s finite supply of oil is accelerating. The rate at which known reserves are being depleted is four times that at which new oil is being discovered. That’s why oil cost $26 a barrel in 2001, but $105 today. It’s supply and demand.

Oil …