Showing posts from September 14, 2016

Bayer Clinches Monsanto With Improved $66 Billion Bid

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[Now that we're back to the inequality levels of the Great Depression, we're also seeing the return of the great Combines. "If the deal closes, it will create a company commanding more than a quarter of the combined world market for seeds and pesticides in the fast-consolidating farm supplies industry... We believe political push-back to this deal, ranging from farmer dissatisfaction with all their suppliers consolidating in the face of low farm net incomes to dissatisfaction with Monsanto leaving the United States, could provide significant delays and complications." *RON*]

By Reuters, New York Times, 14 September 2016

NEW YORK/FRANKFURT — German drug and crop chemical maker Bayer clinched a $66 billion takeover of U.S. seeds company Monsanto on Wednesday, ending months of wrangling with a third sweetened offer that marks the largest all-cash deal on record.

The $128-a-share deal, up from Bayer's previous offer of $127.50 …

BC Hydro: From Public Interest to Private Profits

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[Election 2017! W.A.C. Bennett created the Crown corp to build the province; today it enriches special interests. For more on the cynical election-time baffle-gabbery of Christy Clark, see: ‘New’ ferry service is restored old one. *RON*]

By Norman Farrell,, 12 September 2016

Strip away the accounting tricks and political spin, and BC Hydro’s reality emerges.

The Crown corporation’s customers face a future of massive rate increases to guarantee cozy deals that produce inflated profits for private companies.

It’s an extraordinary betrayal of the Crown corporation’s original role of bringing electricity and opportunity to British Columbians.

How did we get here? To understand that, we need to look at BC Hydro’s history.

Premier W.A.C. Bennett created British Columbia Hydro in the early 1960s to improve electrical service in rural areas and extend hydroelectric generating capacity.

After NEB scandal, chances of Energy East being built fall to 25 per cent: analyst

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[Groups like Enbridge are expanding heavily into the US: Enbridge to buy Spectra Energy in $37-billion deal. If we're lucky, they might be giving up on Canada as a place to invest! Note also that the petro-rep wearing the black hat in this scenario was none other than Liberal Party darling Jean Charest. *RON*]

By Dan Healing in News, Energy | September 12th 2016
Doubts are growing over the fate of the Energy East Pipeline after members of the National Energy Board panel examining the project resigned, leaving questions over how the review will proceed.

Analyst Dirk Lever of AltaCorp Capital in Calgary said Monday the pipeline regulatory process has become so "murky" and "messy" due to political pressure that it's difficult to say whether any pipeline approval can be assured.

"I think everyone just wants to see some clarity on it," he said. "Certainly from industry, they just want to know what they have …

Wheat, one of the world’s most important crops, is being threatened by climate change

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["...a global temperature increase of 1 degree Celsius would lead to a worldwide decline in wheat yield by between 4.1 and 6.4 percent... a loss of about 35 million tons each year... The consistent negative impact from increasing temperatures... warrants critical needed investment in climate change adaptation strategies" *RON*]

By Chelsea Harvey, Washington Post, 12 September 2016
One of the biggest concerns about climate change is the effect it will have on agriculture. Many studies have suggested that rising temperatures could be harmful to farms around the world, although there’s plenty of uncertainty about how bad things will get and which food supplies we should worry about most.

Now, a new study published Monday in Nature Climate Change reiterates concerns that wheat — the most significant single crop in terms of human consumption — might be in big trouble. After comparing multiple studies used to predict the future of global cr…

Wells Fargo Exec Who Oversaw Fake Accounts Received $125 Million Upon Recent Retirement, Praise from CEO; Senate Hearings Next Week

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[Banksters at play in the Banana Republic which is the United States. She'll probably go on to rule a Columbian drug cartel next, though it might be too far of a step down in pay. *RON*]
By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, 13 September 2016

Sanctimonious Wells Fargo, which was a major perp in foreclosure abuses, has finally managed to go too far. Even normally complacent institutional investors are disturbed how Wells Fargo threw customers illegally under the bus to wring some incremental revenues out of them.

Adding fuel to the fire is the revelation by Fortune that the officer on whose watch this abuse took place, one Carrie Tolstedt who conveniently resigned at the end of July, identified by an alert NC reader the day the scandal broke, made off with a cool $125 million in addition to earlier cash and prizes. From the Fortune story:
When Tolstedt leaves Wells Fargo later this year, on top of the $1.7 million in salary she has received over the …

The officer who killed Eric Garner got a big raise. The man who filmed him is in jail.

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[Officer Daniel Pantaleo received a 14% pay bump after he killed Eric Garner: "no disciplinary actions have been taken against Pantaleo — likely due to robust union protections that often stymie investigations and shield misconduct." *RON*]

Carimah Townes, Think Progress, 13 September 2016

It’s been over two years since Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s illegal chokehold killed Eric Garner, and despite the national fallout, the officer is making more money than before the fatal encounter. Even though he’s been on desk duty ever since, the officer has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars.

During fiscal year 2016, the officer received $119,996 — over $40,000 more than his official base salary of $78,026, according to payroll records obtained by Politico. The total amount includes $23,220 of overtime pay and $12,853 of “unspecified pay.”

It’s also a 14 percent increase from FY 2015, when he killed Garner. That year, he made $105,061.


Alberta's Minimum Wage Will Be $15 In 2018

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[Christy Clark's email address is: I've sent her a link to this story already; you do the same! *RON*]
By The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 13 September 2016

EDMONTON — It's now on the books and in effect: Alberta's minimum wage will be $15 an hour by 2018.

Labour Minister Christina Gray says cabinet has passed the required regulation to not only raise the rate to $12.20 an hour this October, but also to boost it by $1.40 an hour again in October 2017 and finally in October 2018.

The changes can only be rescinded by Premier Rachel Notley's cabinet or by a successor government.

The move aligns with promises made by Notley and Gray to hike the wage."We are committed to supporting to our low-wage Albertans, people who are working full-time jobs and are still not able to make ends meet." "One of the things we heard strongly from many of the stakeholders, including business, was the desire for certa…