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Showing posts from March 9, 2016

We're worried that deflation could trigger a wave of unemployment across Europe

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[On deflation, debt and unemployment. Earth to world leaders: your policies aren't working! *RON*]

Luke Bartholomew, Business Insider, 9 March 2016

The Eurozone officially fell into deflation again in February in spite of the best efforts of the European Central Bank (ECB). Mario Draghi is expected to announce further measures on Thursday to try to pull Europe out of its deflationary funk. But why are central banks and economists so afraid of low inflation and deflation? Surely slowly rising prices are a good thing? The answer is: we surely should be afraid.

The first reason is the dangerous way that deflation interacts with debt levels. If you have a debt then you need to directly repay what you owe: €100 of debt requires €100 to pay back. That’s obvious but consider what happens when prices are changing either up (inflation) or down (deflation). When you have inflation, when the price of what you want to buy is rising, the €100 in your poc…

U.S. Central Command Promotes The War On Yemen Where Al-Qaeda Is The Only Winner

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[Scarcely possible to determine who is working for whom any more, except everyone is playing realpolitik to support the corporatocracy. See also: The New Cold Warriors Bare Their Fangs Ahead of the Next Round of Syria Peace Talks, and Radar glitch requires F-35 fighter jet pilots to turn it off and on again. *RON*]
Posted by b, Moon of Alabama, 7 March 2016
Daniel Larison recaps the War on Yemen:
The Saudi-led intervention has been going on for over eleven months, and in that time it has failed in all of its stated objectives. The Houthis have not been driven from the capital, the former president has not be restored to power (not that most Yemenis would want him there now anyway), and the intervention certainly hasn’t produced the stability that the Saudis laughably claimed to be bringing.
...
Yemenis have been sorely deprived of basic necessities for almost an entire year thanks to the Saudi-led blockade, and the majority of the population is st…

Your Phone Was Made By Slaves: A Primer on the Secret Economy

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[On the new triangle trade, and the surprising connection between modern slavery and ecological disaster. Via Longreads, an extended excerpt from the book Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World. Copyright © 2016 by Kevin Bales. Published by arrangement with Spiegel & Grau an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. *RON*]
Kevin Bales. Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World. Spiegel & Grau, January 2016.


Below is an excerpt from Blood and Earth, by Kevin Bales, as recommended by Longreads contributing editor Dana Snitzky.

* * *

We think of Steve Jobs in his black turtleneck as the origin of our iPhones.

It’s never a happy moment when you’re shopping for a tombstone. When death comes, it’s the loss that transcends everything else and most tombstones are purchased in a fog of grief. Death is a threshold for the relatives and friends who live on …

How Hillary Clinton's State Department Sold Fracking to the World

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[I post this article from a year and a half ago in response to Monday's story: Hillary Clinton's Big Shift on Fracking. With Bernie Sanders hot on her heels, Hillary Clinton suddenly opposes fracking (kind of). It's worth knowing how she behaved toward the industry when she was in power and wasn't running scared for progressive votes. See also: Decoding Hillary: The Truth Vs. What She Claims About Her Wall St. Record. And, while we're at it: Washington Post Ran 16 Negative Stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 Hours. Also: Hillary vs. Bernie vs. the 1%. *RON*]

By Mariah Blake, Mother Jones, September/October 2014 Issue

ONE ICY MORNING in February 2012, Hillary Clinton's plane touched down in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, which was just digging out from a fierce blizzard. Wrapped in a thick coat, the secretary of state descended the stairs to the snow-covered tarmac, where she and her aides piled into a motorcade bound for the p…

Pipelines to Nowhere: Energy East, Kinder Morgan make no sense amid global green energy boom, tanking oil market

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[Provides links to a report that gives a roadmap for how Canada can make the transition to a green economy. *RON*]
by Will Dubitsky, Commonsense Canadian, 7 March 2016
Most financial analysts, economists and energy experts would have us believe that the fossil fuel sectors, and the petroleum sector in particular, are in a slump, that this is cyclical, and things will eventually normalize. This is because their “training” is based on the assumption that the future will follow the patterns of the past.

But what if it is the economic paradigm that is changing?

Two of the largest markets for fossil fuels are electrical power generation and transportation – the latter nearly 100% dependent on petroleum. With the former, the transition to a green economy is well-advanced, while in the case of the latter market, the signs are that a transition is imminent.
Renewables surpass fossil fuels with new installations

Canada Revenue offered amnesty to wealthy KPMG clients in offshore tax 'sham'

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[Via my friend Harry, a nice illustration of Canadian regulatory capture. Federal authorities demanded secrecy in no-penalty, no-prosecution deal to high net worth Canadians. The Feds have boundless money to hound you or I in the courts, while the rich go free. And why is there not a word about repercussions for KPMG? For a hint on this latter question, see: CRA 'special adviser' joined industry lobby group amid probe of KPMG, and Harper government partnered with industry group battling CRA over KPMG case. *RON*]

By Harvey Cashore, Dave Seglins, Frederic Zalac, Kimberly Ivany, CBC News, 8 March 2016

The Canada Revenue Agency offered amnesty to multi-millionaire clients caught using what's been called an offshore tax "sham" on the Isle of Man — a reprieve that was supposed to remain secret and out of the public eye until it was uncovered by a CBC News/Radio-Canada investigation.