Showing posts from February 10, 2015

EARTHQUAKES: Research shows strong correlation between quakes, oil activity

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[Pertinent to British Columbia is the fact that fracking wells create 3 to 7 million gallons of waste water per well. The explosive injection of the fracking fluid itself is also strongly suspected of triggering earthquakes. Not to mention the amount of water rendered unuseable for any other purpose and the risks incurred by wells that drill through and below potable water reserves en route to their gas and oil. Meanwhile, though they may be acting far too late, California Pledges Changes in Protecting Underground Water and Fracking opponents take aim at governor's climate credentials*RON*]

Mike Soraghan, E&E Publishing, 9 February 2015

New research is zeroing in on a significant correlation between oil and gas waste disposal and earthquakes in a two-county area in northern Oklahoma.

In the past year, earthquakes have become common in Alfalfa and Grant counties along the Kansas border. The frequent shaking comes on the heels of a 500 p…

Peasants Will Be Out With Pitchforks if We Don't Start Sharing the Wealth

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[Oh, those cute investor jokes.... "Let them eat cake!" says Angela Merkel. Is that the sound of a (political) guillotine blade cranking up? Turn, worm, turn. *RON*]
by Michael P Regan, Bloomberg, 9 February 2015

(Bloomberg) -- Rob Arnott, chief executive and co-founder of Research Affiliates LLC, recently picked up the phone to share some thoughts on the current state of the stock market.

Arnott is a pioneer of investing strategies that could be considered “unconventional” if they weren’t slowly but surely becoming more conventional. Among them is the idea of “fundamental indexing,” or weighting stock portfolios by economic metrics like sales, dividends and cash flows rather than the market value of the companies. (The term “smart beta” came later.)

As such, fundamental indexes tend to lean toward value stocks instead of growth stocks. How are they doing? Well, the FTSE RAFI U.S. 1000 Total Return Index returned 140 percent in the 10 yea…

Mark Carney warns of banking reform fatigue

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[The corporatocracy in full flight. How can you be fatigued by something that has never really happened? Possibly he means fatigue brought on by the sheer boredom of inaction? The biggest things the banks are fighting is having to put up more of their own money as an assurance against bank failure; they're counting on the public to bail them out no matter what they do (but to keep your socialist mitts off their profits). *RON*]

Reuters / The Guardian, 9 February 2015

The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has urged the G20 to mount a big push to implement global regulatory reforms, fearing that governments may be tiring of nonstop rule-making since the financial crisis six years ago.

Carney was speaking ahead of a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers whose regulatory task force, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), he chairs.

Since Lehman Brothers crashed in September 2008, the FSB has coordinated a welter of new banking and mar…

Merkel's Political Imperatives Spell Trouble for Canada

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[The title of this story doesn't make sense. Merkel is in fact being forced to try to do the right thing, but for the wrong reasons (for political survival, as opposed to doing this on principle). This spells trouble for Stephen Harper, not Canada. He desperately wants to look like he's accomplished something before the election is called; anything, even (or especially) a trade agreement that screws Canadians by transferring even more rights from the state to corporations. *RON*]
Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians, Huffington Post, 9 February 2015

German chancellor Angela Merkel will be in Ottawa for a visit on Monday, but she may not be bringing the news Stephen Harper wants to hear when it comes to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

That's because the German government wants to reopen CETA and amend the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. This controversial provision allows a transna…

Are Your Medications Safe?

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[Science isn't just irrelevant to the Big Pharma corporatocracy, it's an impediment to be overcome. "The FDA has repeatedly hidden evidence of scientific fraud not just from the public, but also from its most trusted scientific advisers, even as they were deciding whether or not a new drug should be allowed on the market. Even a congressional panel investigating a case of fraud regarding a dangerous drug couldn't get forthright answers.... It’s a sign that the FDA is deeply captured, drawn firmly into the orbit of the pharmaceutical industry that it’s supposed to regulate. We can no longer hope that the situation will get better without firm action from the legislature." *RON*]

By Charles Seife, Slate, 9 February 2015

Agents of the Food and Drug Administration know better than anyone else just how bad scientific misbehavior can get. Reading the FDA’s inspection files feels almost like watching a highlights reel from a Scien…

Prime Minister Harper creates Canadian secret police with his scary Anti-Terrorism Act

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[Protest and privacy in democracy versus the corporate totalitarian state. "Who will CSIS come after? Nobody knows, but the latitude allowed in the language of this new bill – 'terrorism in general' is the vague phrase at its core – is worrisome. CSIS can come after Canadians for 'interference with the capability of the Government of Canada in relation to…the economic or financial stability of Canada…[or] interference with critical infrastructure…' Chain yourself to a grossly polluting waste treatment plant? March down the street protesting the oil sands? Join the protests in Quebec over student fees, or against the G-8, or G-7, or G-20? Write an editorial endorsing civil disobedience against unfair laws?"

Warren Bell, Vancouver Observer, 10 February 2015

“A great evil has been descending on our world.”

Not climate change. Not the global arms race. Not racism, homophobia, or the absolutely colossal imbalance in mat…

G-20 Confronts Income Inequality Scourge for First Time in Draft

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[The worm continues to turn. The G20 is singing a song from the Paul Krugman hymnal when it emphasizes employment and "preventing the development of a vicious circle whereby weak demand and growing inequalities undermine potential growth and confidence, possibly leading to persistent stagnation." This is incompatible with German-style full-on austerity policies. *RON*]
by Simon Kennedy, Bloomberg Business, 10 February 2015

(Bloomberg) -- Group of 20 finance chiefs for the first time signaled joint concern on mounting income inequality across the world economy.

“In some countries, potential growth has declined, demand continues to be weak, the outlook for jobs is still bleak and income inequality is rising,” finance ministers and central bankers from the leading industrial and emerging markets said in the draft of a statement to be released after talks in Istanbul on Tuesday.

The G-20 officials have never explicitly mentioned income dis…