Showing posts from March 2, 2016

The End of Big Banks

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[Good ideas, but I wonder what he's been smoking when he says, "When reasonable Republicans and Democrats begin to converge on policy, we are more likely to get sensible change." Meanwhile, the moral compass continues to spin without direction: Barclays chairman complains about 'disproportionate' fines. *RON*]

Simon Johnson, Project Syndicate, 29 February 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – After nearly a decade of crisis, bailout, and reform in the United States and the European Union, the financial system – both in those countries and globally – is remarkably similar to the one we had in 2006. Many financial reforms have been attempted since 2010, but the overall effects have been limited. Some big banks have struggled, but others have risen to take their place. Both before the 2008 global financial crisis and today, just over a dozen big banks dominate the world’s financial landscape. And yet the ground is shifting beneath the financial…

G20 finance chiefs meet -- and fail to agree on the policy menu

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[On the utter bankruptcy of Western politicians in the face of the corporatocracy. They can't even pretend that they intend to do anything except blindly follow their corporate overlords until they retire and collect their real paycheque. See also: Some Real Costs of the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Nearly Half a Million Jobs Lost in the US Alone. *RON*]
By Duncan Cameron,, 1 March 2016

For the last five years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has consistently been revising downwards its forecasts of world economic growth.

In a slowing global economy, eyes turned to Shanghai where the Group of 20 (G20) finance ministers and central bankers sat down February 26-27 to assess the worsening outlook, and agree on what to do together.

The G20 final communiqué identified a number of issues such as volatile capital movements and sluggish investment; but failed to announce any joint course of action or agree on the policy menu.

Joint act…

The Graveyard of the Elites

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[An excellent diatribe on junk politics and the corporatocracy. "Politicians are little more than brands. They sell skillfully manufactured personalities. These artificial personalities are used to humanize corporate oppression. They cannot—and do not intend to—end the futile and ceaseless wars, dismantle the security and surveillance state, halt the fossil fuel industry’s ecocide, curb the predatory class of bankers and international financiers, lift Americans out of poverty or restore democracy... Corporations control the three branches of government. Corporations write the laws. Corporations determine the media narrative and public debate. Corporations are turning public education into a system of indoctrination. Corporations profit from permanent war, mass incarceration, suppressed wages and poor health care. Corporations have organized a tax boycott. Corporations demand 'austerity.'" *RON*]
By Chris Hedges, TruthDig, 28 Feb…

Germany attempts to ban neo-Nazi party amid fears over rising racist attacks

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[The constitutional court will hear arguments from five state premiers that the far-right NPD should become the third party to be banned since the war. The growing European political schism over refugee asylum is reflected in the fact that this story appears on the same day: Germany opens its doors to Yazidi women and children enslaved by Isis. *RON*]

Agence France-Presse, The Guardian, 1 March 2016 Germany’s highest court will hear a landmark request on Tuesday to ban a neo-Nazi fringe party, more than a decade after a first attempt failed.

The case before the Federal Constitutional Court will argue that the far-right and anti-immigrant National Democratic Party (NPD) is a threat to the country’s democratic order.

What Trumpism means for democracy

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["If Donald Trump secures the Republican nomination – an increasingly likely prospect – the party will implode and the US will cease to be a constitutional republic in all but name." One thing alluded to here, that I've been thinking, is how ironic it will be if Trump is defeated for the nomination, sane Americans breathe a huge sigh of relief, then wind up with a whack-job like Ted Cruz as President. See also: Donald Trump Wants to Commit War Crimes and Neocons Still Think He's Too ModerateTrump Supporters Violently Shove a Young Black Woman Out of Super Tuesday Rally, and Robert Reich: Donald Trump Isn't a Conservative, He is an Authoritarian. *RON*]

Andrew J Bacevich, Tom Dispatch / The Guardian, 2 March 2016 Whether or not Donald Trump ultimately succeeds in winning the White House, historians are likely to rank him as the most consequential presidential candidate of at least the past half-century.

He has already tran…

Super Tuesday: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump capture 7 states each

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[Bernie Sanders wins 4 states; Ted Cruz carries 3, Rubio only 1. Final numbers are still being tallied but, at 10 am Eastern time, Clinton had 979 delegates, Sanders had 382. 2,383 are needed to win. On the other hand, where the Republicans are concerned, even though Trump is way ahead, it is possible that there may be "an open convention where neither he nor anyone else has the votes for a first-ballot victory." As more numbers become available, the second-place finishes will be meaningful for the end result. But having Cruz (who is now urging his rivals to drop out 'for the sake of unity') in second place to Trump cannot be heartening for the Republican mainstream ("Seven, three, one—with, from the perspective of Republican Party leaders, the wrong Trump challenger getting the three."). Some detailed numbers are available at the National Post. *RON*]

The Associated Press, CBC News, 2 March 2016

Democrat Hillary Clin…