Thursday, 30 September 2010

Irish taxpayers brace themselves for another bank bailout

Channel 4 News
"Ireland's Central Bank said the expected cost of bailing out the Anglo-Irish Bank would be 29.3bn euros but another 5bn euros may need to be poured into the nationalised lender in a "stressed scenario". Allied Irish Bank will also need another 3bn euros on top of the funding it has already received through the banking bail out."

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Labour Party Conference: David Miliband 'criticises' Ed's Iraq War comment

"David Miliband was caught admonishing Harriet Harman after she applauded his brother’s declaration that the invasion had been a mistake.In an attempt to please Labour’s faithful at the party’s conference in Manchester, the new leader said Labour had been “wrong” to invade Iraq. ...Alongside him Miss Harman, the deputy leader, clapped enthusiastically. Mr Miliband was caught by television cameras looking at her disdainfully before asking her: “Why are you clapping? You voted for it."

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Irish borrowing costs balloon on S&P warning

"An S&P analyst said in an interview broadcast on Tuesday that the agency's estimate that Ireland would have to pour €35bn (£29.6bn) into Anglo Irish, the nationalised bank, looked increasingly realistic and any amount beyond that could trigger rating downgrades. The €25bn of aid earmarked for Anglo Irish so far would already push Ireland's 2010 budget deficit to around 25pc of gross domestic product, compared with an EU limit of 3pc that Dublin aims to reach by 2014."

Monday, 27 September 2010

Labour has climbed in its coffin and is nailing down the lid

Daily Mail
"Unless he performs a self-transformation that would make Superman's quick telephone box changes look amateur, he will spend the next few years in a wilderness familiar in times past to Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock - as a party darling with little to say to the British people that they are foolish enough to believe. Miliband got his job against the wishes of a majority of Labour MPs and party members, because Britain's trade unionists think him the man most likely to fight for their sectional interests - no matter that these priorities are not shared by the nation."

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Ed Miliband's dazed triumph

Yahoo News
"..A stuffed trout would have seemed more animated as Ed Miliband gawped out at his new-found followers. He tottered on to the stage, looking utterly stumped by what to do next. The applause died away as his new-found followers waited for him to speak. He stared out. Was he savouring the moment? Or was he about to expire? An audience member laughed awkwardly. Finally, the new Labour leader spoke up.

"Never in my wildest imagination did I ever dream... I would lead this party," he said.

Ed Miliband crowned Labour leader, beating brother David into second

Daily Mail
"Ed Miliband tonight won the Labour leadership contest, edging his older brother David into second place by the tiniest of margins.Once regarded as the dark horse in the competition, the energy spokesman, 40, took the crown thanks to the party's complicated voting system.Seemingly surprised by the result, Ed said: 'I never thought I would be leader of the Labour Party.'

Charlie Whelan Wins by a Whisker

Guido Fawkes
"Unite’s massive effort to persuade disinterested union members to vote for Ed Miliband paid off. Ed won 50.65% of the vote. He lost in the MP and membership sections of the electoral college but took so much of the union vote it didn’t matter. The unions bought the election, endorsements and incredibly heavy promotion of their chose candidate paid off.

Are the Tories right to rejoice about Iain Duncan Miliband?

"Reading body language is perilous, as Nick Robinson just found out. It turned out that David Miliband’s smile before the result was forced, and Ed Miliband’s look of despair was the dawning realisation of what had just happened to him. The giveaway, in hindsight, was the smug smile on Ed Balls’ face, which should have told us that his deadly rival David M had just been stuffed ....Ed Miliband as leader is something the Tories have been praying for. ...The numbers alone will have them rubbing their hands with glee. The new leader is Labour’s Iain Duncan Smith, elected without the majority support of MPs."

Obama Stimulus Made Economic Crisis Worse, `Black Swan' Author Taleb Says

“Obama did exactly the opposite of what should have been done,” Taleb said yesterday in Montreal in a speech as part of Canada’s Salon Speakers series. “He surrounded himself with people who exacerbated the problem. You have a person who has cancer and instead of removing the cancer, you give him tranquilizers. When you give tranquilizers to a cancer patient, they feel better but the cancer gets worse.”

Today, Taleb said, “total debt is higher than it was in 2008 and unemployment is worse.”

Obama this month proposed a package of $180 billion in business tax breaks and infrastructure outlays to boost spending and job growth. That would come on top of the $814 billion stimulus measure enacted last year. The U.S. government’s total outstanding debt is about $13.5 trillion, according to Treasury figures. "

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Irish economy shrinks by 1.2% in second quarter

Irish Times
"Mr Lenihan said the only way Ireland could emerge from recession was to continue to drive exports.“The figures for exports are strong and I am encouraged by this - the necessary competitiveness improvements are working. We must export our way out of our current difficulties, there is simply no other way,” he said.

Bloxham’s chief economist Alan McQuaid said the overall figures were “disappointing to say the least”.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

It’s A Fed Day!

"...I’m expecting no interest rate change (so little impact on bonds) but ‘happy talk’ about more Q.E. on the cards (and that spooking some of the market a little with more future inflation fears). With $100 Trillion of shortfall on Social Security (once you figure in the demographics) over the next decade or two and a similar $100 Trillion of shortfall in Medicaid and similar ‘entitlement’ programs, IMHO, the only choice our government and The Fed has is to “inflate away the debt” longer term. So I’m pretty sure they will say “QE2″ is being prepared to sail if needed. And that will cause commodities to rise and stocks to fall. We’ll see if I’m right when The Fed announces."

Commonwealth Games 2010: crisis worsens as portion of weightlifting arena roof caves in

"...Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, but Indian Cabinet Secretary, KM Chandreshekhar, was quick to play down the latest disaster.

"The cables which were to be set up for the data network were placed on the false ceiling and due to the weight of the cables the ceiling fell off," he said. "

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The next recession is already on its way

"All around you the seeds of the next recession are being sown. While entrepreneurs plant their malinvestments, the Bank of England’s credit hose will make sure they flourish. Thanks to the Bank of England’s monetary policy the next recession is already on its way. The cost of credit remains artificially low, thanks to the Banks ongoing decision to keep interest rates at a mere half percent. They have been at this level since March 2009, well over a year now. When combined with the £200 billion of quantitative easing – printing money – then we have a lethal economic combination."

British terrorism suspect arrested in Amsterdam

"A British man of Somali origin has been arrested on suspicion of terrorist activity after leaving Britain on his way to East Africa. .....The man had already flown the first leg of his flight from Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport to Schiphol in Amsterdam and was on the plane ready to take off for the second leg. "

Friday, 17 September 2010

Judge issues astonishing warning over Eastern European crime gangs coming to Britain

Daily Mail
"A judge has launched an astonishing attack on criminal Eastern European gangs who come to Britain with the purpose of targeting elderly and vulnerable people.District judge Bruce Morgan said he was 'deeply concerned' about the impact of criminals who arrive in the country to steal and rob innocent people. ....The court proceedings were explained to Dadic via a translator speaking the Romany gipsy language with the Bosnian dialect."

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Your foreign service

Dr Richard North
"EU foreign policy chief Cathy Ashton has announced the appointments of 27 new heads and one deputy head to the EU's new diplomatic service, with the more influential member states securing the better share of the new ambassadorial postings.

The postings are for the EU's new European External Action Service (EEAS),
established under the Lisbon treaty, which came into effect last December, in "an effort to give the European Union a strong and unified voice in global affairs and bolster the bloc's influence overseas."

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Italy Seizes Mafia-Linked Assets Worth $1.9 Billion

"A statement by anti-Mafia investigators in Rome identified the businessman as Vito Nicastri, who works in alternative- energy production. He has not been arrested. His seized assets include more than 100 properties, 43 companies operating mainly in the wind-power industry, luxury cars, a 46-foot catamaran, bank accounts and securities, according to the statement. "

Monday, 13 September 2010

Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama to sign biggest arms deal in U.S. history with Saudi Arabia

Daily Mail
"The Obama administration is set to confirm the sale of £39billion worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia - the largest U.S. arms deal in history.The deal is expected to create at least 75,000 jobs and could see the sale of advanced fighter jets and military helicopters to America's key Middle Eastern ally.Talks have been ongoing between the two countries for months, but the scale of the deal has only now been revealed."

The TUC still has its head in the sand

"..If the threats of Mr Serwotka and his colleagues are to be believed, then we are in for the most turbulent period of industrial relations in decades. The Coalition has previously extended an invitation to the unions to discuss how savings could be made while limiting job losses – for instance, by reforming pensions, freezing pay or moving to part-time working – but they simply do not want to know. Perhaps if the bosses listened more to their members they might not be so quick to inflict serious hardship on the country when it is crawling out of economic recession."

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Obama Funds Pemex, Not American Oil

"So we will have a load of drilling rigs in the Gulf, just Mexican rigs, not US rigs. My advice for folks in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast drilling community is to learn to speak Spanish. (I’d suggest it for the folks in Texas, but they already speak Spanglish ;-)

But Pemex is State Owned. Part of the Mexican Government. Any way we could invest some money in it?

You already have… "

Here comes the bride... heading for a police van: Sham marriage suspects arrested at ceremony

Daily Mail
"Damian Green, Minister for Immigration, said: 'Illegal immigration is big business. At home and abroad, we are tackling highly organised crime groups who make their living by trying to exploit the immigration system and breach our border security.

'Some of these hide people in lorries in an attempt to cross our borders illegally; some provide them with fake identity documents; others set up bogus colleges or arrange sham marriages. Worst of all - some force women and children to work against their will in the sex industry.'

Saturday, 11 September 2010

David Cameron to bury poverty report in clash with Frank Field

"Mr Field will submit an interim report to Downing Street on "poverty and life chances" within days – but Number 10 has told the maverick MP there are "no plans" to publish it.

The decision follows a growing irritation among senior members of the Cabinet, including George Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove – who believe Mr Field is trampling on their Whitehall turf and coming up with proposals which could never be implemented. "

On Sept. 11 Anniversary, Rifts Amid Mourning

"The ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was marked on Saturday by the solemn memorials and prayer services of years past, but also by events hard to envision just a year ago — heated demonstrations blocks from ground zero, political and religious tensions and an unmistakable sense that a once-unifying day was now replete with division. "

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Lobbyists Rush to Hire G.O.P. Staff Ahead of Midterm Vote

"JPMorgan Chase, among at least a dozen recent hires, bought in Mel Martinez, the former Republican senator from Florida, as a senior executive. Robert L. Wilkie, a top Pentagon official in the administration of President George W. Bush, was hired by CH2M Hill, a construction and design firm, as a vice president overseeing military projects. And Research in Motion, which makes the BlackBerry, hired Jason C. Scism, a top Republican aide to Representative Darrell Issa of California, into an executive spot that was last held by a Democrat. "

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Taking the Democrats with him

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun (Australia)
Democrats in Congress are no longer asking themselves whether this is going to be a bad election year for them and their party. They are asking whether it is going to be a disaster.

The answer will probably be found in states such as Wisconsin, one of a growing number of spots on the map where Democrats accustomed to winning reelection with ease - including Sen. Russell Feingold - are unexpectedly in trouble.

The GOP pushed deep into Democratic-held territory over the summer, to the point where the party is well within range of picking up the 39 seats it would need to take control of the House. Overall, as many as 80 House seats could be at risk, and fewer than a dozen of these are held by Republicans.

Political handicappers now say it is conceivable that the Republicans could also win the 10 seats they need to take back the Senate. (Washington Post)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

New poll shows majority of Americans disapprove of Obama as he announces $50bn infrastructure plan to rebuild U.S.

Daily Mail
" * Plan to rebuild 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of railways and 150 miles of airport runways
* Congressional Republicans vow to oppose stimulus proposals over fear they will lead to massive tax rises

The majority of Americans disapprove of Barack Obama for the first time in his presidency, according to a new poll.Some 52 per cent of those questioned said he was not doing the job well, a huge increase of 27 per cent since he came to office.Mr Obama’s poor handling of the economic downturn was mostly to blame - a record 57 per cent said they were not happy with his response to the country's financial troubles."

Monday, 6 September 2010

Iran on brink of nuclear weapon, warns watchdog

"Iran has passed a crucial nuclear threshold, weapons inspectors have warned, and could now go on to arm an atomic missile with relative ease. "

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Obama wrongly attributes quotes on his new Oval Office rug to Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln

Daily Mail
"It took Barack Obama 18 months to put his own stamp on The Oval Office but it appears he needs a history lesson about its new contents.The new rug adorning the famous floor, it was said, was woven with quotes from Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.But the quotations attributed to Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King in the wheat-coloured carpet in fact came from reformist and abolitionist Theodore Parker."

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Blair Book's Journey To Crime Section

Sky News
"More than 3,000 people have joined a group on the social networking site called "Subversively move Tony Blair's memoirs to the crime section in book shops".The memoir - entitled A Journey - has turned up in various "inappropriate sections" including Horror, Crime and Dark Fantasy.The Facebook group claims it wants to "make bookshops think twice about where they categorise our generation’s greatest war criminal".

Friday, 3 September 2010

Barack Obama is locked in a lose-lose situation

"..Nobody could have expected Mr Obama to fix all these problems in the 20 months he has been in the job, but they might by now reasonably have expected at least a glimpse of the promised sunlit uplands.

There is no such vision on the horizon. Joblessness remains stubbornly high and, far from becoming self-sustaining, the recovery shows signs of stalling. In short, Mr Obama's economic policies have failed, or at least that is the growing public perception. ....Rarely have Americans felt so down in the dumps; collectively, they seem to have lost their innate sense of self-belief and optimism. Not since the 1930s has the American dream looked so forlorn. What's gone wrong, and why has the patient proved so unwilling to respond to the extraordinary fiscal and monetary medicine applied? ......Whatever his other achievements, Mr Obama will go down in history as the worst president since Jimmy Carter if he cannot make headway on either of these issues. It's hard to be optimistic. Mr Obama looks like a beached whale. "

How Barack Obama Became Mr. Unpopular

"..This shift in perception — from Obama as political savior to Obama as creature of Washington — can be seen elsewhere. When Obama arrived in office in January '09, his Gallup approval rating stood at 68%, a high for a newly elected leader not seen since John Kennedy in 1961. Today Obama's job approval has been hovering in the mid-40s, which means that at least 1 in 4 Americans has changed his or her mind. The plunge has been particularly dramatic among independents, whites and those under age 30. With midterm elections just nine weeks off, instead of the generational transformation some Democrats predicted after 2008, the President's party teeters on the brink of a broad setback in November, including the possible loss of both houses of Congress. By a 10-point margin, people say they will vote for Republicans over Democrats in Congress, the largest such gap ever recorded by Gallup."

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Wall Street Surges After Upbeat Reports on Economy

"Wall Street surged out of the gate and then kept going on Wednesday fueled by upbeat economic news from Australia, China and, somewhat surprisingly, on manufacturing in the United States. Markets were higher in Asia and Europe after reports showing a closely watched purchasing managers’ index in China picked up slightly in August after several months of slight declines, and Australia reported that its economy had expanded more than analysts had expected during the second quarter. In the United States, shares also got a lift from a report showing an unexpected jump in a manufacturing index. "