Showing posts from January 10, 2015

Shell cuts jobs in Alberta oilsands operation

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[Saudi Arabia has years of cash reserves to ride through this game of chicken. The oil companies clearly do not. *RON*]

Derrick, West Coast Native News, 10 January 2015

EDMONTON — Shell Canada Ltd. says it is reducing its workforce at its Albian Sands oilsands operations near Fort McMurray, Alta.

A company spokesman says the cuts will affect less than 10 per cent of its 3,000-plus workforce at the Muskeg River and Jackpine oilsands mines.

Cameron Yost says the actual number of reductions hasn’t been determined and most of the people who will be affected will be salaried employees.

He says the cuts are to ensure that Shell’s oilsands business remains competitive and continues to thrive.

Yost says in some cases people will be considered for jobs elsewhere in Shell’s global operations.

Shell says its Albian Sands mining operations account for 17 per cent of Canada’s total oil production.

“We have taken a decision to adjust our Albian Sands organization to…

New Findings Point to Private Credit "Perfect Storm" Brewing in Your Financial Future

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[Scary predictions concerning the over-extension of consumer debt. *RON*]
Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, 10 January 2015

Yves here. This is an important, accessible post that describes something we’ve discussed occasionally: that growth in private borrowings is a type of economic drug. While it appears salutary in the early stages, too much leads to financial instability and crises. This view is presented long-form in Richard Vague’s recent book, The Next Economic Disaster: Why It’s Coming and How to Avoid It, and we featured an excerpt from it.

This post gives a more rigorous look at the same issues and reached similar dire conclusions.

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Editor at INET. Originally published at INET

Alan Taylor, a professor and Director of the Center for the Evolution of the Global Economy at the University of California, Davis, has conducted, along with Moritz Schularick, ground-breaking research on the history and role of credit, partly fun…

Days of Sirens, Fear and Blood: ‘France Is Turned Upside Down’

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[There will be far more on this in days to come. Indignant authoritarian righteousness is killing us from all points across the religious and political spectrum. See Judy Johnson's What's So Wrong With Being Absolutely Right? See also 45 Examples of Muslim Outrage About Charlie Hebdo Attack That Fox News Missed*RON*]

By Steven Erlanger, New York Times, 9 January 2015

PARIS — It was a day of sirens, helicopters in the air, frantic news bulletins; of police cordons and anxious crowds; of young children led away from schools to safety. It was a day, like the previous two, of blood and horror in and around Paris, one that ended with France unsure whether this drama is now truly over or a predictor of more cultural, religious and political violence to come.

France has been profoundly shaken by the killings of famous cartoonists and editors on Wednesday in an act of violent religious extremism, followed by an extensive manhunt that could hav…

Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, and Ideology

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[Hopefully 'The Austerian Papers' will be collected in book form before long. Meanwhile if you're looking for something current to read on this, one of the best new books is Tim Harford's The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run -- or Ruin -- an Economy. *RON*]
Paul Krugman, New York Times, 10 January 2015

Many economists responded badly to the economic crisis. And there’s a lot wrong with mainstream economic analysis. But how closely are these two assertions related? Not as much as you might think. So I’m very much in accord with Simon Wren-Lewis on the remarkable unhelpfulness of recent heterodox assaults on the field. Not that there’s anything wrong with being heterodox in general; but a lot of what we’ve been seeing misidentifies the problem, and if anything gives aid and comfort to the wrong people.

The point is that standard macroeconomics does NOT justify the attacks on fiscal stimulus and the embrace of austerity. …

Canada's Labour Force Participation Rate Hits 13-Year Low

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[Austerity continues to screw Canadians. On January 9, Minister of Employment Jason Kenney tweeted that it is "great to see the creation of 54,000 full time jobs last month." What Kenney failed to mention was that 58,000 jobs were lost in December. In ten years as Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has managed to attain the smallest number of Canadians working or actively looking for a job since the tech bubble burst. *RON*]
Sunny Freeman, Huffington Post, 9 January 2015

The number of Canadians who have a job or are actively looking for work has reached a 13-year low.

Canada’s labour participation rate fell to 65.9 per cent in December, according to the latest jobs report released Friday. That’s the lowest level of participation since October, 2001, just after the tech bubble burst.

The country lost 4,300 jobs in December, but the unemployment rate stayed put at 6.6 per cent because the labour force also shrank — by 11,400 people, said Paul As…

Introducing the Good Economy Project

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[Do you want to learn about taxes, inequality and what it means to have a "good economy" in BC? Then check out the Good Economy Project page at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Understanding the news means understanding the rationale behind the policy alternatives. These are just the reports; click on the above link to watch their videos as well. *RON*]

Progressive Tax Options for BC: Reform Ideas for Raising New Revenues and Enhancing Fairness January 29, 2013 | BC Office

Beyond the 1%: What British Columbians think about taxes, inequality and public services November 29, 2012 | BC Office

BC's Regressive Tax Shift: A Decade of Diminishing Tax Fairness, 2000–2010 June 28, 2011 | BC Office

Fair Shares: How Banks, Brokers and the Financial Industry Can Pay Fairer Taxes April 27, 2011 | National Office

Having Their Cake and Eating It Too: Business Profits, Taxes, and Investment in Canada: 1961 Through 2010 April 13, 2011 | Nati…

City of Port Moody not satisfied over pipeline response

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[Another municipality declares itself to be dissatisfied enough with the NEB review process to actively oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline: "of the 2,400 follow-up questions filed by various intervenors... the NEB ruled that Trans Mountain would have to respond to just 107 questions, rejecting 93 per cent of the requests." Where is Christy Clark hiding in all this? *RON*]

Jeremy Deutsch, Tri-Cities NOW, 9 January 2015

The City of Port Moody may consider ways to stop the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project, after receiving what it calls an "inadequate" response to questions.

For several months, the city has been taking part in the National Energy Board (NEB) pipeline project hearing process as an intervenor. While the intervenor status has allowed the municipality to ask questions of Trans Mountain related to the project, what it got back in return wasn't what it expected.

According to a city staff report, Port…