“This week, President Obama will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Coordination (APEC) meeting in Bali, Indonesia where he is expected to announce his goal of having the Trans-Pacific Partnership signed into law by the end of 2013. Obama will host a meeting of the leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nations during the APEC conference.
The Obama administration has been negotiating the TPP in secret for more than three years. Unlike past trade agreements, the text of the TPP is classified and members of Congress have restricted access to it. If they do read the text, they are not allowed to copy it or discuss any specifics of it. However, more than 600 corporate advisers have direct access to the text on their computers.
The final formal round of negotiations was held in Brunei this August and since then, there have been informal meetings to try and finalize sections of the agreement. As far as the President is concerned, the TPP is entering the home stretch. All he needs now is for Congress to vote to grant him Fast Track, also known as Trade Promotion Authority, and it’s a done deal.”
“This is because the TPP goes far beyond a trade deal. Only five of the twenty nine chapters contain provisions related to trade. The other chapters consist of provisions related to patent protections, investor state rights and finance deregulation, among others. The TPP is a backdoor corporate power grab to advance the stalled WTO agenda. Or as Sachie Mizohata writes in Asia Times, “The TPP is a Trojan horse, branded as a ‘free trade’ agreement, but having nothing to do with fair and equitable treatment. In reality, it is precisely ‘a wish list of the 1% – a worldwide corporate power’. “”
Via Activist Post
“As more and more countries within the European Union struggle economically, the euro – the union’s common currency – becomes more embattled, with its founder now even predicting its demise.
German Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine, who was responsible the euro’s development and launch, is now calling for the end of the single currency in order to let southern Europe recover. He says if not, the current fiscal course is “leading to disaster.”
“The economic situation is worsening from month to month, and unemployment has reached a level that puts democratic structures ever more in doubt,” he said, according to the Telegraph, one of Britain’s largest dailies.
“The Germans have not yet realized that southern Europe, including France, will be forced by their current misery to fight back against German hegemony sooner or later,” he said, adding that much of the current fiscal crisis has come in large part from Germany’s squeeze on wages, in order to gain export share.”
Via Natural News
“As you may have suspected, there’s far more to the Cyprus bank crisis story than meets the eye. It turns out the shutdown of Cypriot banks has caused a large-scale financial shutdown of the Russian government which uses Cyprus banks for most transactions.
On top of that, the EU central bank (ECB) has now issued an ultimatum that threatens to revoke all financial support and crash the Cypriot banks if they can’t come up with 5.8 billion Euros by Monday. Reuters reports:
The European Central Bank, which has kept Cyprus’s banks operating with a liquidity lifeline, said the government had until Monday to get a deal in place, or funds would be cut off – putting not just the Cypriot economy in jeopardy but billions of euros held on the island by foreigners, notably from Russia.
USA Today reports, “If it does not find a way by Monday, the European Central Bank said it will cut off emergency support to the banks, letting them collapse. That would throw the country into financial chaos and, ultimately, cause it to leave the eurozone, with unpredictable consequences for the region.”
Until then, the banks remain closed, and everybody knows the minute they open, every account holder will immediately transfer their money out of the banks, causing a near-instant bank run and a collapse.”
Via Natural News
“While many of us are disappointed with the results of the CA proposition 37 ballot initiative, to say the least, the political process is so corrupted with unlimited corporate spending1 that the real surprise for me would have been if it had passed.
Whereas the two-party system enables corporations to equally fatten the campaign larders of both “flavors” of senator, or president – Coke or Pepsi; Democrat or Republican – ensuring that while the public thinks one side is the victor, they get their hooks in no matter who wins, the California ballot initiative was actually a grassroots effort where the only side being funded by the multi-national corporations was the one against the people’s right to know what’s in their food.
In other words, this was a unique opportunity for an increasingly co-opted and “entertainment value only” American political system to vindicate itself, showing that a legitimate basic human right (informed consent; the right to choose not to consume potential toxins) could attain legal-regulatory support if enough folks voted for it.”
Via Activist Post
“ADP has announced revised methodology to “enhance” its monthly job reports, no doubt because its prior numbers simply were grossly inaccurate.
Indeed, I stopped commenting on ADP numbers because I thought they were absurd.
Let’s take a look at their revised methodology. Here is the ADP Jobs Report for September using the revised methodology.”
“Private sector employment increased by 88,200 jobs from August to September, according to the September ADP National Employment Report®. The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total U.S. nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally adjusted basis. Last month’s employment estimate was revised down from 80,000 to 76,400 jobs.”
“In the recent debate the Vice President laughed off the issue of cronyism as not that big a deal. Well one can understand why after reading the attached article by investigative reporter Charlie Gasparino. Either Joe Biden has no idea what cronyism is, or he is all too aware that his family has benefited greatly from it and is seeking to deflect any attacks. Read the attached report and decide for yourself.”
Bank Of America Gimmicks Continue – Chargeoffs Soar To Highest In A Year, As Loan Loss Release Surges
“When one combs through the usual hodge podge of purposefully distracting headline bullets in Bank of America’s quarterly release one as usual ends up with a sorry picture. Here are the key numbers: Noninterest income for the firm, traditionally about half of total revenues in addition to Net Interest Income, has continued to decline, and slid fo $10.5 billion, down from $12.4 billion in Q2 and down from $18.0 billion in Q3 2011. The other side: Total Interest Income (before expenses) also has continued to decline, and dropped to $13.976 billion from $13.992 billion a quarter ago, and down from $15.853 billion a year earlier. These numbers are hard to fudge. The number that is very easy to fudge is the Net Income (and per share) line, which was reported at $340 MM or $0.00 in diluted earnings per share after dividends. What helped substantially here is the following: while the firm booked a provision for credit losses of just $1.774 bilion, in line with Q2 and half of the $3.4 billion in Q3, 2011, what more than offset this was the surge in reserve reduction which soared to the highest in years at $2.348 billion, up from $1.853 billion in Q2 and way up from the $1.679 billion in Q3 2011. What is even more paradoxical is that despite what Moynihan is saying about an improvement in the housing market, the bank’s total chargeoffs rose to the highest in a year, at $4.122 billion, up from $3.626 billion in Q2, and the highest since Q4 2011. The result is that the Net charge off ratio also spiked to the highest in a year, at 1.86%. “
Via Zero Hedge
“White House records reveal that the moderator of last night’s vice presidential debate, Martha Raddatz, visited Vice President Joe Biden at his official residence on March 26, 2012. Raddatz is an employee of ABC News.
As the records show, that day Raddatz visited the VPR (or, the vice president’s residence) for a “Women’s History Month Reception.” That record was released on June 29, 2012.
According to Biden’s schedule released the day before the event, “the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden will host a reception in honor of Women’s History Month at the Naval Observatory.”
There appears to be no pool report from the event, which presumably was widely attended, that might have recorded the details from the events. “
“President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.
After TheDC made preliminary inquiries Monday to confirm Obama’s attendance at the wedding, ABC leaked a pre-emptive statement to liberal-leaning news outlets including Politico and The Daily Beast Tuesday, revealing what may have been internal network pressure felt just days before Raddatz was scheduled to moderate the one and only vice-presidential debate Thursday night.”
Via The Daily Caller
“At least two economists at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) have contributed to President Barack Obama’s campaign. Harley Frazis of Bethesda, MD, has contributed at least $2,000 to Obama and $9,000 to the Democratic National Convention over the last three election cycles. During his time at BLS, Harley has published a number of papers including his most recent, “How to Think About Time-Use Data: What Inferences Can We Make About Long- and Short-Run Time Use from Time Diaries?”
Stephen Phillips of Washington, D.C., has contributed at least $270 to Obama during the 2012 cycle. According to his LinkedIn profile, Phillips served as an economist at BLS between June 2009 and July 2012. Phillips was responsible for examining the impact of Obamacare on Healthcare North American Industry Classification System indices. Phillips was also assistant coach for a girls’ high school tennis team in 2010.”
Via Free Beacon