Showing posts from August 27, 2015

Oil price fall hits Canada’s big banks

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[Mr. Bankster has a sad: "We're only going to make a zillion bucks, not the ga-zillion we deserve!" sobs deprived CEO shown below:
Yet, see also: TD Bank’s profit rises to $2.266B on Canadian, wholesale banking growth, and Royal Bank of Canada raises dividend 3% as profit rises on record-high Canadian banking earnings. Though, while we're at it, it's also true that: Oil Industry Needs Half a Trillion Dollars to Endure Price Slump. Where do you suppose this money will come from? Hint: hang on to your wallet. *RON*]
Ben McLannahan, Financial Times, 27 August 2015

Canada’s biggest banks have warned of more troubles to come from the fall in the oil price, as they reported surges in bad loans and chilling effects on consumer demand in the world’s 11th-largest economy.

So far the big lenders such as Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank have kept a lid on writedowns by assuming a recovery in the price of crude, while borr…

China can ride out this crisis. But we’re on course for another crash

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[While it's true that China's market mess contributed to the global shocks we're seeing, there's also a growing acknowledgement that this is an effect of general flaws in the neoliberal policy approach, including enforced austerity, that is being taken in both the developed and the developing world. See also: The antidote to economic anxiety is better government. *RON*]
Seumas Milne, The Guardian, 27 August 2015
Market mayhem is the product of the aftershocks of 2008. No wonder calls for alternatives are growing

It may not yet be the moment to get in supplies of tinned food. That was what Gordon Brown’s former adviser during the 2008 crash, Damian McBride, suggested on Monday as stock markets crashed from Shanghai to New York and $1tn was wiped off the value of shares in one day. But seven years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers brought down the global financial system and plunged half the world into a slump, it’s scarcely alar…

Canadian agency deciding Shell’s offshore drilling includes ex-Shell official

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[More Tory-fed regulatory capture. News of Harper-appointed official follows on Environment Minister granting Shell up to 21 days to stop underwater oil spills. "In contrast the United States requires Shell to have capping equipment on-site in Alaska within 24 hours.... Federal environmental reviews of the sort conducted for Shell’s drilling plans now happen with shortened timelines and drastically restricted public participation, and only for projects determined by the federal government. The Harper government has cut 40 percent of the budget of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and fired hundreds of scientists who contributed to environmental reviews." *RON*]
Martin LukacsTim Groves, The Guardian, 27 August 2015

The agency tasked with giving approval for Shell’s deep-water drilling off Canada’s east coast includes a Tory-appointed official who worked for Shell for decades, it has emerged.

Shell’s billion-dollar plans for e…

Ukraine crisis: Creditors to 'write off' 20% of debt

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[Become a poster-boy for US and EU anti-Putinism = 20% debt write-off. Lip back to Mighty Merkel & Company about austerity = too bad buddy. But it's not all "ideological," right? *RON*]

BBC News, 27 August 2015

The Ukrainian government says it has reached a debt restructuring deal with its creditors including a write-off of up to $3.8bn (£2.5bn; €3.4bn).

Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko said Ukraine's sovereign debt, estimated at $19bn, would be cut by 20% and the repayment period extended.

Ukraine's economic woes have spiralled since conflict erupted with pro-Russia rebels in the east in April 2014.

Hopes have risen of a peace deal amid continued fighting this week.

Whales Are Mysteriously Dying in the Pacific Northwest

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[But, of course, this has nothing to do with climate change. *RON*]

By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, 25 August 2015

​While we're all busy talking about anchor-babies, and watching the stock market behave like a feather in a wind tunnel, whales are dying in the northeast corner of the Pacific Ocean and nobody knows why in the hell this is happening. Although there are some guesses that aren't going to make the folks at the Heartland Institute very happy.

(And the caption on the picture is correct. It is helpful for scientific purposes to get to the body of the dead whale before the bears arrive. We see, "mysterious environmental catastrophe." The bears see, "Old Country Buffet.")​
Since May 2015, 11 fin whales, 14 humpback whales, one gray whale, and four unidentified cetaceans have stranded around the islands of the western Gulf of Alaska and the southern shoreline of the Alaska Peninsula. To date, this brings the large…

How companies make millions off lead-poisoned, poor blacks

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[Unbelievably venal and despicable. *RON*]

By Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, 25 August 2015

BALTIMORE — The letter arrived in April, a mishmash of strange numbers and words. This at first did not alarm Rose. Most letters are that way for her — frustrating puzzles she can’t solve. Rose, who can scarcely read or write, calls herself a “lead kid.” Her childhood home, where lead paint chips blanketed her bedsheets like snowflakes, “affected me really bad,” she says. “In everything I do.”

She says she can’t work a professional job. She can’t live alone. And, she says, she surely couldn’t understand this letter.

So on that April day, the 20-year-old says, she asked her mom to give it a look. Her mother glanced at the words, then back at her daughter. “What does this mean all of your payments were sold to a third party?” her mother recalls saying.

The distraught woman said the letter, written by her insurance company, referred to Rose’s lead checks. …

World trade suffers biggest fall in 6 years

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[Could we be at a turning point for globalization? "There’s an adjustment going on in the global economy and trade is a place where that adjustment becomes pretty visible." *RON*]

Shawn Donnan, Financial Times, 25 August 2015

The figures showing a contraction in global trade fuel a debate over whether globalisation has peaked

World trade recorded its biggest contraction since the financial crisis in the first half of this year, according to figures that will fuel a debate over whether globalisation has peaked.

The volume of global trade fell 0.5 per cent in the three months to June compared with the first quarter, the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, keepers of the World Trade Monitor, said on Tuesday.

Economists there also revised down their result for the first quarter to a 1.5 per cent contraction, making the first half of 2015 the worst recorded since the 2009 collapse in global trade that followed the crisis.


Dozens of dead migrants found in truck on road leading from Hungary: Austrian police

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[Building razor-wire walls will not work; it will create horrors such as this. And, in a terrible (non-)coincidence: Bodies of 50 migrants found during rescue of boat off Libya - video*RON*]

Ronald Zak, Associated Press / Globe & Mail, 27 August 2015

Police on Thursday discovered the partially decomposed bodies of dozens of migrants piled up in a truck parked on the shoulder of an Austrian highway leading from the Hungarian border.

Police official Hans Peter Doskozil said the truck had Hungarian license plates. The state of the bodies made establishing the identity and exact number of dead migrants difficult, but the total number could rise to 50, said Doskozil, chief of Burgenland police.

He said the truck was apparently abandoned Wednesday and its back door was left open, exposing the bodies to police.

Police ordered reporters converging on the scene about 40 kilometres southeast of Vienna, to move away from the vehicle, a white refriger…