Showing posts from October 25, 2014

These Two World Leaders Are Laughing While the Planet Burns Up

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[Meet earth's worst climate villains. *RON*]

By Rebecca Leber, The New Republic, 21 October 2014

Canada once had a shot at being the world's leader on climate change. Back in 2002, our northern neighbors had ratified theKyoto Protocol, the world's first treaty that required nations to cut their emissions or face penalties. In 2005, the country hosted an international climate change conference in Montreal, where then-Prime Minister Paul Martin singled out America for its indifference. "To the reticent nations, including the United States, I say this: There is such a thing as a global conscience," Martin said.

Australia, too, was briefly a success story. The government ratified Kyoto in 2007 and delivered on promises to pass a tax on carbon by 2011. The prime minister that year, Julia Gillard, noted her administration's priorities to set "Australia on the path to a high-skill, low-carbon future or [leave] our economy to…

Jamie Dimon: U.S. Must Create a “Safe Harbor” Where JPM’s Corruption Is Not “Punished”

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[Excellent and to the point - the Corporatocracy is Now; the 0.1% is alive and well. The media is contentedly in collusion. *RON*]
Posted by Yves Smith on Naked Capitalism, October 25, 2014

Yves here. The irony is delicious. Chief bank apologist Andrew Ross Sorkin accidentally elicited a damning admission from JP Morgan chieftan Jamie Dimon. But that also reveals Dimon’s confidence that he is a member of a protected class, which sadly happens to be true.

By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Originally published at New Economic Perspectives

I want to give a hat tip to a recent Wall Street Journal article that brought to my attention two damning admissions by JPMorgan’s (JPM) CEO and Chairman of the Board, Jamie Dimon. The irony is that Dimon was lulled into making these admissions because he was basking in the perfect calm crea…

Canada, at war for 13 years, shocked that "a terrorist" attacked its soldiers

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[Saying everything Canadians are unable to say without fear of being shut down in their own country. See also: Canada’s Privacy Debate Goes Live Online with Glenn Greenwald*RON*]
By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, 22 October 2014

(updated below – Update II)

TORONTO – In Quebec on Monday, two Canadian soldiers were hit by a car driven by Martin Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old Canadian who, as The Globe and Mail reported, “converted to Islam recently and called himself Ahmad Rouleau.” One of the soldiers died, as did Couture-Rouleau when he was shot by police upon apprehension after allegedly brandishing a large knife. Police speculated that the incident was deliberate, alleging the driver waited for two hours before hitting the soldiers, one of whom was wearing a uniform. The incident took place in the parking lot of a shopping mall 30 miles southeast of Montreal, “a few kilometres from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, the military ac…

Conservatives mulling legislation making it illegal to condone terrorist acts online

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["Freedom of expression (s. 2(b)) is perhaps one of the most significant Charter rights in influencing Canadian society. Justice Peter Cory once wrote that it "is difficult to imagine a guaranteed right more important to a democratic society."" *RON*]
John Ivison, National Post, 23 October 2014
OTTAWA — The Conservatives are understood to be considering new legislation that would make it an offence to condone terrorist acts online.

There is frustration in government, and among law enforcement agencies, that the authorities can’t detain or arrest people who express sympathy for atrocities committed overseas and who may pose a threat to public safety, one Conservative MP said. “Do we need new offences? If so which?”

A B.C. framework for LNG, part 2: The LNG income tax

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[" that $300-900 million [in very optimistically projected tax income] to B.C.'s 2014 Budget of $44 billion. Drop, meet bucket." See also Jobs! Money! Nope! Benefits of LNG exports grossly exaggerated. *RON*]
By Marc Lee,, 24 October 2014

Well, we saw this coming but it's still sobering to see it in black and white. The B.C. government's decision to cut its proposed LNG Income Tax in half (from 7 per cent to 3.5 per cent) is simply a cave-in to industry. It's a massive giveaway of a public resource to global corporations by a desperate government who put all its eggs in one basket.

Not that we should be surprised. The recent trend in B.C. has been to give away its gas resources for next to nothing. The idea behind the LNG Income Tax was to capture some of the windfall profits from exporting to Asia, to be used for the public benefit. On this basis, we were promised a $100 billion Prosperity Fund, a de…

Does Inequality Cause Crime?

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[A commonsense idea with new research behind it: what matters isn't disparity itself, but whether people flaunt their riches. Plus, these crimes become personalized: when wealth is conspicuously displayed the crimes that head the list are assault and murder. *RON*]
Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, 23 October 2014

In 1899, Thorstein Veblen described a type of good that is more lusted after the more expensive it is (think Ferraris). And in 1968, the economist Gary S. Beckertheorized that criminals perform cost-benefit analyses just like everyone else: What are the odds of getting caught, and what’s the potential payoff? These two frameworks have lived out vibrant lives in academic journals, high-school textbooks, and college lecture halls, but, as they’re ostensibly unrelated, they’ve rarely been put in conversation with one another.

A study put out this month in Oxford Economic Papers does just that, in an effort to come up with a more nuanced unders…

France, Italy Take Austerity Fight to Brussels

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[This confrontation will be a test of the new EU Budget Rules. And, although he still blames his troubles on others, is David Cameron, perhaps, issuing a premonitory rumble about the UK economy when he says, "We are not immune to economic problems elsewhere in Europe..."? Also see the New York Times, Bloc in Europe Starts to Balk Over Austerity. *RON*]

By Matthew Dalton, Giada Zampano & Noemie Bisserbeu, Wall Street Journal, 23 October 2014

BRUSSELS—European Union leaders staked out opposing positions on austerity ahead of a summit here, where France and Italy will attempt to fend off pressure from the bloc’s budget hawks to cut their deficits faster.

The confrontation is shaping up as the most important test yet of the bloc’s new system for overseeing the national budgets of its member states, as worries mount that renewed political gridlock will undermine investor confidence in the eurozone again.

A group led by Germany argues th…