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Showing posts from July 5, 2015

Matthew Fisher: Greeks overwhelmingly vote ‘no’ in rejection of austerity

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[Well, the roller coaster just passed the top of the big, shaky hill! *RON*]

Matthew Fisher, National Post, 5 July 2015
ATHENS — Greek voters have strongly rejected the stiff bailout terms offered by the European Union in Sunday’s referendum on the country’s economic future.

With nearly 90 per cent of the ballots counted, more than six voters in 10 sided with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who had insisted that he would not further cut pensions or raise the value added tax and demanded that international creditors offer debt relief.

The result represents a stunning victory for Tsipras’s radical left government and its anti-austerity program. But the defiant result is likely to cause extreme dismay across Europe, where creditors and governments are likely to be stuck shouldering a lot of the Greek state’s colossal debt which exceeds 323 billion euros and counting.

There were scenes of delirium late Sunday as tens of thousands of ‘No’ supporters wavin…

Meanwhile In China

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[We'll see what happens and how the analyses shake out, but I still say it's looking like interference in the economy by the Chinese government is severely back-firing. *RON*]
Paul Krugman, New York Times, 5 July 2015
I am, of course, anxiously awaiting the results of Greferendum, although the next few days in Greece will be terrible whoever wins. But we shouldn’t lose sight of other risks facing the world. Some of us have been worrying quite a lot about China — an economy that at market exchange rates is 40 times the size of Greece, and is severely unbalanced. And in the past month, mainly in the past few days, the Shanghai stock index has fallen almost 30 percent. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the feared crisis has come, but it’s definitely not a good sign.

Wikileaks Exposes How TISA Will Gut Financial Regulations All Over the World

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[They keep them coming at you thick and fast, I believe, purposefully, so it all becomes too much for people to attend to and care about. But each and every agreement is as dangerous as a cobra, ready to sink its fangs into government sovereignty and democracy itself. *RON*]
By Don Quijones, Wolf Street, posted Naked Capitalism by Yves Smith5 July 2015

It’s almost impossible to keep anything secret these days – not even the core text of a hyper-secret trade deal, the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which has spent the last two years taking shape behind the hermetically sealed doors of highly secure locations around the world.

According to the agreement’s provisional text, the document is supposed to remain confidential and concealed from public view for at least five years after being signed! But now, thanks to WikiLeaks, it has seeped to the surface.

The Really, Really Good Friends of Services

TiSA is arguably the most important – yet least we…

Shocking Number of Deaths Linked to Sugary Drinks in New Study

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[184,000 deaths linked to sugar-sweetened beverages per year; low- and middle-income countries are bearing the brunt of the burden. "There are no health benefits from sugar-sweetened beverages, and the potential impact of reducing consumption is saving tens of thousands of deaths each year." *RON*]
By Josh SchererTakePart / AlterNet, 2 July 2015

Share a Coke with Javier. Share a Coke with Samantha. Share a Coke with a Dreamer. Share a Coke with 184,000 people around the world whose deaths are linked to sugar-sweetened beverages each year.

That last one might be too wordy to fit on a 12-ounce can, but that's the final number reached in a study — released Monday in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation — analyzing the link between sugary drinks and life-threatening disease.

Critics of the study point out that it was limited in its capacity to estimate the amount of sugar that would be consumed even if soda companies…

No, Puerto Rico Isn’t Greece

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[Krugman notes, "Now, none of this guarantees against bad economic developments, all it does is soften the blow.... But again, bad as it is, the Puerto Rico story isn’t remotely in Greece’s league." And yet, see also: Puerto Rico Is Emptying of People as Its Economy Disintegrates. *RON*]
Paul Krugman, New York Times, 4 July 2015

There are obvious parallels between the crisis in Puerto Rico and the disaster in Greece — a poor economy overshadowed by a huge wealthier economy to the north, budget problems, declarations that the debt is unpayable. And I don’t want to minimize the problems and pain in San Juan. But it’s important to understand that the depth of the pain is just not of the same order of magnitude, and not just because Puerto Rico’s banks are secured by a national safety net, although that helps.

I’ve been trying to produce some indicators using the Puerto Rico data, and they’re remarkably unlike Greece.

It’s true that Puerto Ric…

Man Admits To Plotting To Massacre Muslims, Judge Sets Him Free Anyway

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[The court's concurrence with violent discrimination and terrorism is palpable. *RON*]

By Judd Legum, Think Progress, 5 July 2015
Robert Rankin Doggart, a former candidate for Congress, admitted in federal court to “plotting the annihilation” of a village in New York that is home to many Muslims. Doggart’s plans included “burning down a school, a mosque and a cafeteria,” according to the criminal complaint.

“We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with three extra magazines, and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds,” Doggart allegedly said according to the transcript of a wiretap cited in the complaint. He also allegedly tried to recruit other individuals to participate in his plot through a Facebook group.

As part of a plea agreement, Doggart pled guilt to “interstate communication of threats” and faces up to five years in prison. He was in jail awaiting f…

GREECE DECIDES: Polls say 'No' voters have the lead

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["But — as Britain learned in its general election in May — opinion polls and predictions have a habit of turning out to be surprisingly wrong! So let's not get too excited." *RON*]

Jim Edwards, Business Insider, 5 July 2015
The "No" vote has the lead in opinion polls, according to the FTOne major Greek bank is near collapseThe polls close at 5 p.m. London time; first official projection expected around 7 p.m.Germany fears a "No" vote will tear a huge hole in its budgetThe ECB makes a statement: "Our will to act in this matter should not be doubted."  Greece is voting today in a nationwide referendum on whether the accept the EU bailout package. If it votes "Yes" (Nai), it must continue to repay the crushing debt load to the IMF that has crippled the country's economy over the last few years. But the country does get to stay in the EU and keep the euro as its currency. If it votes "No&…