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Showing posts from November 18, 2014

Trans Mountain Pipeline: Big Bucks for US Investors, Peanuts for Us

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[Well researched piece on just how little Trans Mountain contributes to Canada's coffers. "Thanks to clever US owner, firm pays minimal taxes here, sometimes none." *RON*]

By Robyn Allan, TheTyee.ca, 17 November 2014

Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based multinational that owns and operates the Trans Mountain Pipeline System, claims Trans Mountain is a significant contributor to federal and provincial income tax revenues. The company is relying on this as proof it deserves a public licence to triple its pipeline capacity in Western Canada.

Pouring tax revenues into Canada is not the story Kinder Morgan tells its U.S.-based shareholders. Promoting Trans Mountain south of the border, Kinder Morgan boasts of tax refunds -- two in the past five years. From 2009 to 2013 Trans Mountain's combined federal and provincial Canadian corporate tax contribution averaged just $1.5 million per year.

How could this be? The answer lies in complexities of…

Recessions Leave Permanent Scars, Fed Research Finds

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[Fed study admits that the recession has permanently lowered the economy's growth potential and that the government should have taken "early and aggressive policy action" - while coyly avoiding the obvious, that this should have been an economic stimulus, played fortissimo. Meanwhile they continue to fuss over the (non-existent) inflation rate, as if that is the problem. When you add this to the IMF's recent report showing that austerity has been a failure you wonder how Germany can keep a straight face while issuing its corporatist policy pronouncements. *RON*]
By Pedro Nicolaci Da Costa, Wall Street Journal, 17 November 2014

Harsh downturns tend to permanently lower the economy’s growth potential, according to new research from the Federal Reserve that upends conventional theory and suggests early and aggressive policy action is advisable when dealing with recessions.

“Output typically does not return to pre-crisis trend foll…

Standard Chartered Is Outraged That It Is Treated Like A Criminal For Its Criminal Acts

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[An eye-popping piece on the unmitigated gall of criminals in bespoke suits and the corporate media that refuses to report on them with anything remotely approaching accuracy. *RON*]
By William K. Black, New Economic Perspectives, 17 November 2014

After a decade of committing tens of thousands of felonies that the U.S. government believes helped fund terrorism and Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, having the great fortune of settling the cases without any senior officers being prosecuted or its license to operate in the U.S. being pulled, having immediately violated the settlement agreement by lying about its prior actions, being discovered to have mislead the U.S. during the settlement negotiations, and being found to have continued to violate the same U.S. laws after entering into the settlement, one might think that Standard Chartered’s leaders would learn to keep their mouths shut and to obey the law at least until the settlement agreemen…

AT&T drops 'super cookies' from cellphone data

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[Big Brother is Watching You. AT&T drops tracking codes from their cell phone. Verizon does not. This information can be sold very profitably to data-miners who are interested in your shopping habits. *RON*]

By Jack Gillum, Associated Press / Miami Herald, 15 November 2014

AT&T Mobility, the nation's second-largest cellular provider, says it's no longer attaching hidden Internet tracking codes to data transmitted from its users' smartphones. The practice made it nearly impossible to shield its subscribers' identities online.

The change by AT&T essentially removes a hidden string of letters and numbers that are passed along to websites that a consumer visits. It can be used to track subscribers across the Internet, a lucrative data-mining opportunity for advertisers that could still reveal users' identities based on their browsing habits.

Verizon Wireless, the country's largest mobile firm, said Friday it still us…

Massive crowd on Burnaby Mountain, as Kinder Morgan injunction takes effect

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[First they got strong municipal support for the protest in the recent elections, now the protests themselves are stepping up in size. *RON*]

Mychaylo Prystupa, Vancouver Observer, 17 November 2014

What started as a trickle of oil-pipeline protesters two months ago has spilled into a massive anti-Kinder-Morgan movement on Burnaby Mountain, if Monday night's crowd is any indication.

More than 800 people showed up at 4pm – the exact time a B.C.-Supreme-Court-ordered-Kinder-Morgan injunction took effect.

It is now illegal for protesters to interfere with the company’s controversial pipeline survey work for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The RCMP were everywhere, but neither they nor the court order seemed to stop the crowds from expressing their anger at the project. Youth, seniors, native, non-native all showed up in force.

More notably, First Nations leaders led the fiery speeches.

"The government is unable to look out for the la…

Britain's Low Wage Economy Is Killing The Government's Austerity Plan

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[Following a so-called 'economic recovery' which consists almost exclusively of crummy McJobs, the UK government discovers that it's actually having to pay out more in social supports because people cannot afford basics like housing on these salaries. This has caused their austerity plan to backfire. *RON*]
Tomas Hirst, Business Insider, 17 November 2014

The Coalition government's plan to cut social security spending over this parliament has failed to deliver the promised cost savings — mostly because of Britain's jobs-rich, but pay-poor, recovery.

According to a research note released by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies on Monday, government changes to benefits and tax credits were expected to deliver £19 billion of cost savings compared to forecasts without those changes. In reality, however, real spending "will be only £2.5 billion lower in 2014-2015 than it was in 2010-2011".

Some £5 billion of this d…

Another austerity victim: Japan falls back into recession

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[The Japanese government's economic policy has been acting at logger-heads with its central bank's policies. As an update, see Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Calls Snap Election. See also Tens of Thousands Protest Greek Austerity Policies. *RON*]

By Matt O'Brien, Washington Post Wonk Blog, 17 November 2014

For the fourth time since 2008, Japan is back in a technical recession. Its economy unexpectedly shrank for the second quarter in a row, this time falling 1.6 percent as its big sales tax hike continued to slam growth.

Maybe Japan shouldn't do any more austerity until it's actually beaten deflation?

That, at least, is what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems to be thinking. He reportedly wants to hold snap elections over postponing next year's planned tax increase to try to get the recovery back on track. And that makes sense. Abe, after all, came into office last year with a popular mandate to end Japan's two-decades …