Merkel Denies Need for EFSF to be AAA Rated; German CEOs Ponder Dumping the Euro for a “North-Euro” or Deutschmark; Schaeuble Rejects ECB as Lender of Last Resort
“Following the rating agency downgrades of numerous European countries especially France and Austria (please see S&P Says Eurozone Policies Fall Short , France at Risk of Further Downgrades for derails), close to 75 percent of the burden to ensure the euro bailout fund EFSF retained its AAA rating is on the back of Germany. Prior to the downgrade, German backing was 40%.
True to political form, Merkel downplayed the significance of the downgrade with a statement “I was never of the opinion that the EFSF necessarily has to be AAA”.
Well it certainly doesn’t “have to be” but what interest rates does one want, and how much German backstop does one want? Those are the critical questions.”
Japan’s Prime Minister Seeks Doubling National Sales Tax; S&P Downgrade of Japan Likely; No Winning Play for Japan
“No Winning Play for Japan
If Japan hikes taxes and reduces spending, the Yen will strengthen, and Japanese exports sink.
Demographics and balance of trade issues suggest there will still be insufficient buyers of Japanese bonds that need to be rolled over. Raising taxes in a global recession is not a wise thing to do as it will inhibit growth.
On the other hand, if Japan turns to printing, which I believe it eventually will, Japan would likely go into an inflation spiral.”
“Have you ever heard of the dodo bird? Once upon a time, dodo birds lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. But if you go there today you won’t find any because they are extinct. Well, if you are a blue collar worker in America today it looks like you are headed for a similar fate. Blue collar workers are truly becoming an “endangered species” in the United States. In the old days, the balance of power between business owners and labor was more even because they both needed each other. But today that has all changed. Thanks to robotics, automation and computers there is simply not as much of a need for physical laborers anymore and nothing is going to reverse that trend. Big employers will continue to look for ways to replace men with machines, and there is nothing wrong with that. But there is another major trend that is also destroying blue collar jobs in America that we should do something about. Right now, it is perfectly legal for big corporations to shut down manufacturing facilities in the United States and send the jobs over to nations on the other side of the globe where it is legal to pay slave labor wages and where there are barely any regulations. As you will see later on this article, this has been the biggest reason for the shocking blue collar job losses in America over the past decade. The big corporations don’t care that you need to pay the mortgage and put food on the table for your families. All they care about it the bottom line, and if dramatic changes are not made soon, the number of blue collar jobs leaving the United States will continue to increase.”
Prachatai describes itself as “an independent, non-profit, daily web newspaper established in June 2004 to provide reliable and relevant news and information to the Thai public during an era of serious curbs on the freedom and independence of Thai news media.” Their objectives include, “to promote active public participation in Thai news media.”
The “independent” daily web newspaper does indeed make daily posts with information taken from organizations with heroic sounding names, including “Freedom House,” “Human Rights Watch,” “Amnesty International,” and the “International Federation for Human Rights,” with almost all of their stories centered around anti-censorship, pro-free speech and pro-democracy topics.”
Via Activist Post
“Time and time again, anyone reading the mainstream news or reading articles on the Internet will read the claim that President Clinton not only balanced the budget, but had a surplus. This is then used as an argument to further highlight the fiscal irresponsibility of the federal government under the Bush administration.
The claim is generally made that Clinton had a surplus of $69 billion in FY1998, $123 billion in FY1999 and $230 billion in FY2000 . In that same link, Clinton claimed that the national debt had been reduced by $360 billion in the last three years, presumably FY1998, FY1999, and FY2000–though, interestingly, $360 billion is not the sum of the alleged surpluses of the three years in question ($69B + $123B + $230B = $422B, not $360B).
While not defending the increase of the federal debt under President Bush, it’s curious to see Clinton’s record promoted as having generated a surplus. It never happened. There was never a surplus and the facts support that position. In fact, far from a $360 billion reduction in the national debt in FY1998-FY2000, there was an increase of $281 billion.”
Ending Year National Debt Deficit
FY1993 09/30/1993 $4.411488 trillion
FY1994 09/30/1994 $4.692749 trillion $281.26 billion
FY1995 09/29/1995 $4.973982 trillion $281.23 billion
FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.224810 trillion $250.83 billion
FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413146 trillion $188.34 billion
FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526193 trillion $113.05 billion
FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656270 trillion $130.08 billion
FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674178 trillion $17.91 billion
FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807463 trillion $133.29 billion
As can clearly be seen, in no year did the national debt go down, nor did Clinton leave President Bush with a surplus that Bush subsequently turned into a deficit. Yes, the deficit was almosteliminated in FY2000 (ending in September 2000 with a deficit of “only” $17.9 billion), but it never reached zero–let alone a positive surplus number. And Clinton’s last budget proposal for FY2001, which ended in September 2001, generated a $133.29 billion deficit. The growing deficits started in the year of the last Clinton budget, not in the first year of the Bush administration.
Keep in mind that President Bush took office in January 2001 and his first budget took effect October 1, 2001 for the year ending September 30, 2002 (FY2002). So the $133.29 billion deficit in the year ending September 2001 was Clinton’s”
Via Town Hall
“In a move the technology sector will surely see as a victory, a controversial antipiracy bill being debated in Congress will no longer include a provision that would require Internet service providers to block access to overseas Web sites accused of piracy.
Rep. Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), one of the biggest backers of the Stop Online Piracy Act, today said he plans to remove the Domain Name System requirements from the Stop Online Piracy Act.
“After consultation with industry groups across the country,” Smith said in a statement released by his office, “I feel we should remove DNS-blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the [U.S. House Judiciary] Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision. “
“Yesterday’s trading revealed nothing of importance. Small moves in stocks and gold. And oil dipped below $100.
But the news has been generally “good” ever since the European Central Bank made it clear that it will print money rather than see major banks or minor nations get what is coming to them. Like its US counterpart, the ECB will not permit a major bank or sovereign debtor to go bust.
“ECB sees signs of let-up in debt crisis,” is today’s headline in The Financial Times.
Let’s see…the news report goes on to tell us that Spain and Italy were able to sell 22 billion euros of debt yesterday, proving that they can still finance their deficits…and that, therefore, we have nothing to worry about.”
Via Daily Reckoning