Tuesday, 30 August 2011

German business chief calls for country to quit euro and join new currency with Austria, Holland and Finland

Daily Mail
"A top German business leader today called for his country to quit the euro and join richer northern neighbours in a currency block instead. Hans-Olaf Henkel, the well-respected former head of the country’s main business federation, said his earlier support for the euro was ‘the biggest professional mistake I ever made’.He called on Germany, Austria, Finland and the Netherlands to quit the euro – ditching struggling economies such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy - and set up a new currency of their own."

Column - How Gillard tried to kill a story

Andrew Bolt,Herald Sun (Australia)
"The Prime Minister overstepped the line when she called the chairman and CEO of News Limited, John Hartigan. Calls that look like an attempt at censorship have many sinister overtones, with threats of inquiries and forced sales left hanging in the air. And I ask her: What are you so afraid of? What else would you stoop to in order to cling to power? "

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's hand overplayed

Andrew Bolt,Herald Sun (Australia)
"....This, then, is how news can be kept from the public.

Not being able to report on what I consider improper pressure by a desperate Prime Minister to kill a story meant I could not report fairly on the political scene as I saw it. I could not do my job, and I consulted friends about resigning. I am now told that News Limited was just being cautious while it checked its legal position. Hartigan told me: "At no stage is my job to stop stories getting into papers."

No, it was the Australian Prime Minister who, in my opinion, tried to do that."

Bolt column is up (Catallaxy Files)

Saturday, 27 August 2011

A tip on something that may force Gillard to resign

Andrew Bolt,Herald Sun (Australia)
"On Monday, I’m tipping, a witness with a statutory declaration will come forward and implicate Julia Gillard directly in another scandal involving the misuse of union funds. Gillard herself is not accused of any misbehaviour at all. I do not make that claim, and do not hold that belief. But her judgment - and that of at least one of her ministers - will come under severe question. She will seem compromised. It could be the last straw for Gillard’s leadership.

At the moment I am not at liberty to reveal the contents of the stat dec before me. I suspect a friend of mine in the media will be authorised to release it first. I will let you know when and where.


Michael Smith of 2UE has read out from this statutory declaration, drawn up by Bob Kernohan, the former president of the Australian Workers Union, in August last year. To honor my deal with the author, who will speak to Smith on Monday’s show, I believe, I will publish only those parts which Michael has already read out or paraphrased: ..."

Brothelgate has Labor on the Ropes!

Climate Common Sense
"The story has more twists and turns than a Le Carre spy story and today's Australian has no less than eight articles on the scandal as the relentless pressure on Labor continues as the details unfold."

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Immigration soared by 20% last year - making a mockery of Government pledge to bring it DOWN

Daily Mail
"The number of people migrating to the UK soared by more than 20 per cent last year, according to official figures released today. The rise from 198,000 in 2009 to 239,000 last year flys in the face of the Government's pledge to bring net migration down to just tens of thousands by 2015.Net migration is the difference of those arriving and leaving the country in 12-month period. Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the campaign group Migration Watch UK, said: 'These figures lay bare the legacy of the Labour government."

Monday, 22 August 2011

Still no apologies as Mr Blair rewrites history (again) and denies any blame for Britain's social ills

Daily Mail
"..At the very least, so any competent interviewer would have suggested, Tony Blair and New Labour failed to address the social ills that lay behind the unprecedentedly extensive civil unrest. In fact, I would go further, and argue that they did not merely allow problems to fester but, as a result of several short-sighted political decisions, contrived to make them worse. .....More damagingly still, during those boom years Mr Blair and, both as Chancellor and later as Prime Minister, Mr Brown failed to get members of the so-called underclass into work. Nearly all the 1.67 million jobs created between 1997 and 2010 went to new immigrants. These people were often deemed by employers to be better skilled or more employable than members of the indigenous underclass. It has been plausibly alleged that New Labour at least partly encouraged mass immigration in the hope of building up its electoral base, most first-generation immigrants being inclined to vote Labour. ...Reading his article, one gets the impression that he is scarcely any longer of this world, but poised in some stateless limbo unconnected with the rest of us.

As he has brazenly rewritten the history of why we went to war against Iraq, so he disowns any responsibility for what has happened to our society, even though he was Prime Minister for ten years. Of course, no one could sensibly maintain that the entire country is in the grip of a moral decline, and of course by no means all the causes for what has gone wrong can be laid at New Labour’s door. But that there is an immense problem no one could sensibly doubt. Hearing Tony Blair’s unself-critical voice again, I am relieved that he is not going to be called upon to put it right."

Friday, 19 August 2011

J K Rowling - part IV

Who Do You Think You Are? JK Rowling: Harry Potter and the riddle of the invisible author, review (Telegraph)
"There was – and I’ve noticed this before – an ever-present air of mild anxiety about her; even when she smiles, it’s an anxious-looking smile: her mouth seems to want to turn down at the corners. She came across a bit like a favourite teacher from primary school (as a matter of fact, she did use to teach). Imagine if Miss Honey, the lovely but downtrodden teacher in Roald Dahl’s Matilda, had become a multimillionaire author. .......So in the end we know lots about JK Rowling’s ancestors but still not much about her. The truth remains hidden. Unless of course the truth is that she’s simply a pleasant, courteous, fairly ordinary woman with a preternatural flair for writing stories. Which I reluctantly suppose is possible."

.....So the ultra private Mrs J Murray, aka J K Rowling, aka Joanne Rowling breaks cover. Well almost. If you are a fan of Roald Dahl’s Matilda you may notice a similarity with HP1. Is Mrs J Murray, aka J K Rowling, aka Joanne Rowling a fan too ? I think she is rather more than that....

Part 1 Here, Part 2 Here,Part 3 Here

£62bn lost on City's worst day for 3 years as bank fears spark panic on the markets

Daily Mail
Analysts tell of markets hit by a 'tidal wave of selling'
German index plummets by 5.8 per cent
French stock market falls 5.5 per cent
Dow Jones Industrial Average 3.9 per cent down
Morgan Stanley warns U.S. and eurozone 'dangerously close to recession'

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Britain's future (and his own) rests on Mr Cameron dismantling the pernicious Human Rights Act

Daily Mail
"One crucial test of this government’s good intentions is whether, as Mr Cameron intimated yesterday, it will get to grips with the Human Rights Act. He said it was ‘working to develop a way through the morass by looking at creating our own Bill of Rights’, before adding that ‘we will be using our own chairmanship of the Council of Europe to seek agreement to important operational changes to the European Convention on Human Rights’.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Paper money

Catallaxy Files
"Paper money backed only by credulity marks its 40th anniversary this week. But as the world endures yet more economic turmoil, and the European Central Bank prepares a team for the money printing Olympics in Washington DC, celebrations should be subdued."

Sunday, 14 August 2011

ECB is euroland's last hope as bail-out machinery fails to resolve crisis

"The leaders of Germany and France have three bad choices as they decide whether to save EMU this week, or pretend to do so. .....The path of least resistance for Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday is surely to force the ECB to change course, by treaty power if necessary.

Or kiss goodbye to the Kanzleramt, the Elysee, and monetary union."

If David Starkey is racist then so is everybody

"So it could have been me that fell into the BBC’s “raaaacist” trap instead of poor old David Starkey. And make no mistake it was a trap. Starkey’s debating opponent was Owen Jones, the BBC’s new pet angry young socialist whose default position is perpetual umbrage and righteous rage on behalf of the poor, working class, oppressed and – since Friday, apparently – black people. It’s a cheap trick but one that goes down very well at the BBC, which is why they have Jones back so often. ...To pillory a man for pointing out such a glaringly obvious cultural fact just because he’s white and Right-wing would have been quite wrong even before the riots. Post riots it is positively obscene."

Saturday, 13 August 2011

You May Not Like It, But David Starkey Was Right

Dale & Co
"Jerry Hayes is astonished at the reaction to David Starkey's Newsnight appearance and says he's no racist. .....So there was a sharp intake of breath when Starkey commented that 80% of gun crime was black on black. What a wicked thing to say. Really? It is true. Hardly racism. Just an unpleasant fact.

So the cool analysis that David Starkey was trying to explain, despite the wailings, squeals of outrage and shocked indignation, is this. Many young people have adopted a way of speech and a way of life that is alien to the tolerance and decency that is Britain. It glorifies the workshy, feckless fatherhood, gun crime and drugs. It worships greed and self gratification no maTter whom it hurts. If you want further evidence just look at the subliminal messages and popularity of Gangsta Rap. People like David Starkey should be listened to, not shouted down or censored. The profound cultural change he speaks of may not have been the cause of these riots, but they might give us some answers. As long as people have the courage to ask the question without fear of being branded racist."

Friday, 12 August 2011

The politics of envy was bound to end up in flames

Daily Mail
"Frankly, I don’t know what’s worse: Harriet Harman on Newsnight disgracefully trying to blame the Tory ‘cuts’ for this week’s robfest, or the rolling news channels giving airtime to masked criminals. ........As I wrote on Tuesday, there’s no lack of job vacancies, it’s just that they’ve all been filled by hard-working Eastern Europeans attracted here after Labour tore up Britain’s border controls.The kind of hooligan seen throwing petrol bombs at the police and climbing through the front window of Currys to liberate 42 inches of hi-def, surround-sound home entertainment isn’t interested in a law-abiding, nine-to-five existence.Most of them don’t get up before midday, except on the mornings they have to sign on the dole. ....There was a hand-wringing report on the local news in London which involved a social worker taking a BBC reporter on a tour of derelict playgrounds and boarded-up five-a-side football pitches.The reason they’ve been abandoned is not because of the ‘savage cuts’, as the report would have had you believe, but because they have been firebombed, vandalised and colonised by drugs dealers.Plenty of the rioters on the streets this week are of school age. Few of them even bother going to school, so they’re hardly going to sign up for a youth club. The idea that they’re protesting about tuition fees is beyond preposterous."

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Britain's liberal intelligentsia has smashed virtually every social value

Daily Mail
"So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value. The married two-parent family, educational meritocracy, punishment of criminals, national identity, enforcement of the drugs laws and many more fundamental conventions were all smashed by a liberal intelligentsia hell-bent on a revolutionary transformation of society. Those of us who warned over the years that they were playing with fire were sneered at and smeared as Right-wing nutters who wanted to turn the clock back to some mythical golden age. .....As David Cameron observed yesterday, there are clearly pockets of society that are not just broken, but sick. The causes of this sickness are many and complex. But three things can be said with certainty: every one of them is the fault of the liberal intelligentsia; every one of them was instituted or exacerbated by the Labour government; and at the very heart of these problems lies the breakdown of the family. ....In short, what we have seen unfolding before our horrified gaze over the past four days in Britain is the true legacy of the Labour years. The social and moral breakdown behind the riots was deliberately willed upon Britain by Left-wing politicians and other middle-class ideologues who wrap their utter contempt for the poor in the mantle of ‘progressive’ non-judgmentalism. These are the people who — against the evidence of a mountain of empirical research — hurl execrations at anyone who suggests that lone parenthood is, in general, a catastrophe for children (and a disaster for women); who promote drug liberalisation, oppose selective education (while paying for private tutors for their own children) and call those who oppose unlimited immigration and multiculturalism ‘racists’."

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

£20bn cost of Labour's wasteful PFI deals

Daily Mail
"Taxpayers are being forced to pay more than £20billion in extra borrowing costs under Labour’s wasteful private finance initiative, according to a report. MPs said the scale of the interest being paid to finance contracts to run 700 hospital, school, prison and other public sector building projects was ‘shocking’. The cost of the extra borrowing – over and above the cost of borrowing had the Government used a more conventional method of paying for the projects – would alone be enough to finance the building of 40 new hospitals."

Gold sets record $1,800 as French fears sink stocks

(Reuters) - Gold climbed to a third record in a row on Wednesday, extending its biggest rally since 2008 as a dive in French bank stocks sent new shudders through anxious financial markets and U.S. stocks skidded.

OK, Boris and Dave, here's how to respond to a riot

"A friend in New York has just sent me a link to an article in the Washington Times on Monday describing how Michael A. Nutter, the Mayor of Philadelphia, responded to a recent spate of “flash mob” attacks by African-American youths. The mobs, who organise themselves by sending texts and instant messages, have been assaulting groups of tourists and looting department stores in Philadelphia’s upmarket shopping districts. .....He concluded with a warning to the troublemakers, nearly all of whom are members of criminal gangs:

If you want to be aggressive, we’re going to be aggressive.

Let me just share this with you. We’ve got the biggest, baddest gang in town – a committed group of citizens and a committed government – and we’re working together and we’re not going to have this nonsense anymore.

Of course, there’s an important difference between these “flash mob” attacks and what’s been taking place in London over the past three nights – not all the rioters in London are black. Nevertheless, Boris and Dave could clearly learn a thing or two from the Mayor of Philadelphia about talking tough.

Fatherless Feral Youths

Guido Fawkes
"The scale of the problem is immense, in a generation since the sixties the percentage of births outside marriage has risen from 5% to 40%. Some of those are in co-habiting couples – which unfortunately are more fragile than traditional marriages – however the majority are brought up in fatherless households. A Civitas study found that children living without their biological fathers are more likely to get into trouble at school, to have adjustment problems and eventually go to jail. Iain Duncan Smith can’t solve deep social problems with welfare reform alone. Society needs to reverse decades of failed “progressive” thinking about the family and social norms. A culture which makes no value judgements about how we raise our children is creating tomorrow’s looters and rioters."

The Disastrous Death of Common Sense

The Commentator
"Former British Ambassador Charles Crawford argues that the Labour Party’s support for the unrelenting deconstruction of British values has created ignorant, violent decontextualised people, completely detached from history - and morality "

A Test for Obama’s View of a One-Term Presidency

“The problem for Obama is that right now, the United States is either at a precipice or has fallen off it,” said David Rothkopf, a Commerce Department official in the Clinton administration. “If he is true to his commitment to rather be a good one-term president, then this is the character test. In some respects, this is the 3 a.m. phone call.”

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

What Happened to Obama?

"IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public — a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. ......A somewhat less charitable explanation is that we are a nation that is being held hostage not just by an extremist Republican Party but also by a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election. "

Red sky at night, Tottenham's alight - as looters liberate everything from trainers to flat-screen TVs

Daily Mail
"The most frightening side-effect of the new ‘softly, softly’ policing approach is that the control of such estates has been surrendered to lawless gangs led by the likes of Mark Duggan, whose shooting by police sparked the peaceful demonstration which escalated into mob violence. Reliable locals attest that, despite the Guardian’s doting portrait of him as a respectable pillar of the community, Duggan was involved in drug dealing and gun crime. ......The usual suspects have been bleating about police brutality and ‘racism’ being the prime causes of the unrest.But if there is racism in Tottenham, it’s not white on black. The racial tensions involve hostility between Jamaicans, Nigerians, Cypriots, Albanians, Kurds and a host of Eastern European newcomers. .....One thing is certain: this wasn’t about poverty, not in the material sense. If there’s poverty, it’s spiritual poverty, moral poverty and poverty of ambition. In countries where there’s real deprivation, they have food riots. Here we have flat-screen TV riots."

'It's Europe's fault. I inherited this problem': Obama refuses to accept responsibility for financial crisis after Dow goes into freefall sparking panic on Wall Street

Daily Mail
*Obama blames problems in Europe, which have 'washed over' to U.S.
*President says he inherited problems when he entered the White House
*Asian markets plunge for another day, with Hang Seng down 5.7 per cent
*Nasdaq and S&P down seven per cent on Monday while Dow Jones falls 600
*But U.S. markets rebound today - with indexes opening up two per cent
*Tension builds between White House and rating agency Standard and Poor's
*S&P warns it could downgrade U.S. rating further if no fiscal improvement
*Also lowers credit ratings of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Monday, 8 August 2011

£46bn wiped off FTSE in one DAY as it loses more than 100 points for fourth day running - for the first time in its history

Daily Mail
*FTSE 100 closes down 178 points or -3.4 per cent
*Total wiped off companies since Friday hits £210bn
*Dow Jones opens down 2 per cent in response to credit rating downgrade
*Asian markets fall as global shares crisis deepens
*Chancellor Osborne calls France, Germany and America to act but remains on holiday in the U.S.
*U.S. warned it could be downgraded again if aggressive cuts are not made
*European Central Bank set to spend billions on buying Italian and Spanish bonds as it moves to stem sovereign debt

"Mr Roubini, a crisis economics specialist, called for medium-term fiscal austerity measures across the Eurozone and in the U.S. where he also called for mortgage debt reduction. He told the Financial Times: 'Another recession may not be preventable, but policy can stop a second depression. 'That is reason enough for swift and targeted action.'

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A world crying out for strong leadership

Daily Mail
"A woeful lack of leadership across the Western world is making a perilous situation worse. Markets hate uncertainty and they sense no one is in control. German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy are in denial about the true scale of the debt problem. The International Monetary Fund, which is supposed to enforce austerity measures on recalcitrant nations, is paralysed. First its boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned over lurid rape allegations, now his successor Christine Lagarde (who is not a trained economist) is embroiled in a corruption inquiry. Italy’s clownish premier Silvio Berlusconi has allowed his nation’s debt to reach 120 per cent of GDP with no sign of remedial action, and Spain is blighted by impotence pending an election next month. President Obama, having thrown a trillion dollars into a failed bid to stimulate growth, has largely retreated to the White House and seems interested only in being re-elected."

Australians kick Blair where it really hurts – if only we would do the same

Daily Mail
"At last the world has begun to see through Anthony Blair. Organisers of his latest tour in Australia and New Zealand have had to slash the prices of tickets by half to fill up empty tables. .....Until the millions who were willingly defrauded are prepared to admit that they liked being seduced by this transparent phoney, we cannot really call ourselves a grown-up country. But my congratulations to the people of Australia and New Zealand for kicking him in the wallet, where it really hurts."

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Only Believe in Gold

Guido Fawkes
"The inevitable is now in process, policy makers are not going to be able to avert inflation and economic retrenchment, markets are starting to recognise reality. The credit of the United States has been downgraded, the euro is in a death spiral, nations teeter on the brink of bankruptcy. Power and wealth are shifting eastwards on a tectonic scale. Ever since the 2008 credit crisis and the doomed attempt by central bankers to solve the underlying debt crisis with more debt and inflation. All predictable, in the case of the euro almost every eurosceptic from John Redwood to Nigel Farage predicted it down to even the exact catalyst – Greece – a decade ago."

In this grave crisis, the world's leaders are terrifyingly out of their depth

"Barack Obama feels more and more like a president from the Jimmy Carter tradition: well meaning but ineffectual. And contemplate the sheer fatuity of the statement issued by Angela Merkel’s office on Friday night: “Markets caused the drama. Now they have to make sure to get things straight again.” This remark reveals in the German Chancellor a basic inability even to grasp the nature, let alone understand the scale, of the disaster facing Europe this weekend. Such a failure of comprehension is entirely typical of a certain type of leader throughout history, at times of grave international urgency."

Double dip 'on the cards': UK economy in peril from world crisis, say ministers

Daily Mail
*U.S. has credit rating downgraded from AAA for the first time in history
*£164bn wiped off Britain's top companies in SIX days
*Cameron and Osborne break off holidays to deal with impending crisis
*Alistair Darling: 'I didn't think we'd get a double dip recession... now it's on the cards'
*FTSE 100 fell a further 2.7% yesterday

United States loses prized AAA credit rating from S&P

(Reuters) - The United States lost its top-tier AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's Friday in an unprecedented blow to the world's largest economy in the wake of a political battle that took the country to the brink of default.

Wild Friday: Rollercoaster day on Wall Street as twin engines of U.S. and European debt crises create perfect economic storm

Daily Mail
*Employment rises by 117,000, while jobless rate dips to 9.1% from 9.2%
*Offers hope after Dow fell more than 4% yesterday on worst day since 2008
*Investors fear recession and European debt crisis engulfing Spain and Italy
*Obama tries to calm fears, saying: 'We're going to get through this together'

Analysts warn DOWNGRADED U.S. credit rating could lead to hiked interest rates and borrowing costs

Daily Mail
*Downgrade may send shockwaves locally AND globally
*Borrowing costs for consumers and government to rise
*S&P cuts long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+
*Comes after Obama signed bill to reduce fiscal deficit

Capitalism in crisis, a warning from history: Eighty years ago, a banking collapse devastated Europe, triggering war. Today, faith in the free markets is faltering again

Daily Mail
"But in the summer of 2011, with the eurozone in chaos, the British economy stagnant and the U.S. crippled by debt, with social mobility at a standstill and millions of ordinary families squeezed until they can barely breathe, it feels disturbingly familiar. In the past two days alone, stock markets have been in free-fall across the capitalist world. With investors manifestly losing confidence in Spain and Italy, two of Europe’s biggest economies, a second devastating world recession cannot be ruled out. Although the share-price plunge does not yet come close to the infamous Wall Street Crash of 1929, this week’s market mayhem is a chilling reminder of the sheer fragility of the capitalist system. If the worst happens, if Spain and Italy go down and the euro crumbles, then the world economy really will be in trouble."

$3trillion wiped off value of shares in 'week from hell' for world economy

Daily Mail
"One analyst described the past seven days as the week from hell. London has seen hundreds of billions of pounds wiped off in share prices. In the US, Wall Street was experiencing losses of $2tn or more after a fortnight of frantic selling. The problems started at the start of the credit crunch four years ago - the unofficial anniversary is this coming Thursday August 9, and it has never gone away despite billions of taxpayers money being channelled into repairing the damage."

Friday, 5 August 2011

Euro crisis is spreading, says EU chief Barroso, as Britain could be forced to pay more to stave off collapse

Daily Mail
*FTSE falls by £45billion as debt crisis mounts
*Spanish and Italian markets both drop 3 per cent
*Letter from EU Commission president warns of 'growing scepticism of euro zone's capacity to respond'
*8440billion euro bail out fund will not have enough to successfully help Italy or Spain Raises fears that Britain could have to pay more to prevent crisis spreading

An alarming echo of the 1930s slump

Daily Mail
"Britain, however, has one of the most open economies in the Western world and is unable to shield itself from the volatility in euroland or the fears about debt and a double dip recession in the United States. In Europe, matters are going from bad to worse. Belgium is the latest country to join the PIIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain – on the injury list. Italy, which accounts for nearly 17 per cent of the euro area’s output and is increasingly seen as a financial pariah, could yet prove the biggest worry."

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Does Labour need its own tea party movement?

"Labour says the reason it created this fiscal mess was to save the country from a collapse of the banking system. But let's get real – the reason there's a deficit is because tax income didn't cover the high public spending before the credit crunch/banking crash. Had the Labour government had a spending review mid 2000s, and reduced public spending, the deficit today would have been smaller. We must begin to admit that we were fiscally irresponsible for years, in order to gain the trust of the public again, at least on the economy. .....It's clear we can't leave this job to the shadow chancellor – he's made hardly any effort (nor has Ed Miliband for that matter) to take responsibility for the economic mess we're in, or to develop the policies required to re-gain fiscal credibility. We need a more vocal group of 'fiscal realists' within the Labour Party, pushing forward the view I've outlined above more forcefully. In a way, we need our own kind of Tea Party."

'There ARE too many immigrants in the UK', say seven in 10 Britons

Daily Mail
"Seven in 10 Britons believe there are too many immigrants in the country, an Ipsos Mori poll showed. Three in four agreed that immigration has placed too much pressure on public services while three in five agreed that it had made it harder for Britons to get jobs."

Meltdown: £125bn wiped off FTSE 100 in five days as markets around the world go into freefall

Daily Mail
*FTSE closes down 191 points or 3.03%
*Dow Jones also falls by 2% in morning trading
*Spanish and Italian markets drop 3%
*BoE holds interest rates at 0.5% for 29th month in row

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The West's horrible fiscal choice

"Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said there is now a one-third chance of a full-blown recession next year in the US. Nobel leaureate Paul Krugman said obscurantists had run amok. "What we're witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels. We are doing a terrible thing. We are repeating all the mistakes of the 1930s, doing our best shot at recreating the Great Depression," he said. "

Monday, 1 August 2011

To Escape Chaos, a Terrible Deal

NYT Editorial
"There is little to like about the tentative agreement between Congressional leaders and the White House except that it happened at all. The deal would avert a catastrophic government default, immediately and probably through the end of 2012. The rest of it is a nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists. It will hurt programs for the middle class and poor, and hinder an economic recovery. "

The Diminished President

The President Surrenders (PAUL KRUGMAN)

US debt crisis: angry Democrats turn their fire on Obama

"Liberals who once lionized Mr Obama were enraged that the White House failed to twist Republicans' arms in Congress and include revenue increases in the deal, through closing tax loopholes for oil companies and removing various tax deductions that benefit the wealthy. The savings are made up entirely of spending cuts, though conservatives have had to swallow unwanted savings on the military.

The left-leaning grassroots organisation MoveOn described the deal as "grotesquely immoral".

"Our members are wondering, 'What in God's name is going on in D.C.?'" said Justin Ruben, executive director of the group, which claims five million members. "The country needs jobs, and Washington is debating what vital programme needs to be cut."" Michael Tomasky, a leading liberal commentator, wrote: "This is the lowest moment of Obama's presidency."

FTSE plunges after Obama's last-minute deal to avoid debt is soured by poor U.S. manufacturing figures

Daily Mail
*FTSE was up more than 82 points this morning - but then tumbled
*By mid-afternoon index was 22 points DOWN on the day's starting point
*Obama hoped deal would 'end crisis and remove cloud over the economy'
*Agreement will cut about $1trillion in U.S. spending over 10 years
*Another $1.2trillion would be cut automatically if a joint committee fails to find at least that much in budget savings
*Frantic behind the scenes lobbying expected on Monday to get deal ratified