L'Autre Monde 13 janvier 2011: Gentilly-2 et portrait de l'économie mondiale
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L'Autre Monde 13 janvier 2011
90 min / Radio de l'UQAM, CHOQ FM
| Diffusion en direct : Jeudi à 11:00h |
Au programme cette semaine, 13 janvier 2011:
Le dossier de la réfection de la centrale nucléaire Gentilly-2 continue d'avancer sans que la population québécoise soit adéquatement informée sur les enjeux réels.
Nous brossons un portrait en profondeur de l'état de l'économie mondiale et nous vous livrons les nouvelles les plus importantes. Ne manquez pas le volet concernant la peur qui est en train de secouer Wall Street et les banquiers privés.
Soyez de la partie les jeudis dès 11h sur les ondes de CHOQ FM, la radio officielle de l'UQÀM, l'alternative à Montréal et dans le monde!
***Hyperliens vers les sources des informations discutées sur l'émission d'aujourd'hui:
Project Censored specializes in covering the top stories which were subjected to censorship either by being ignored or downplayed by the mainstream media each year. The Project Censored research team is composed of over 200 university faculty, students, and community experts drawn from an international network of 30 colleges and universities. This capable team annually reviews up to 1,000 news story submissions for content, reliability of sources, and significance. The top 25 stories selected are submitted to a distinguished panel of judges who rank them in order of importance. The results are published each year in an excellent book available for purchase at their website, amazon.com, and major book stores.
A summary of the top 10 media censorship stories of 2010 provided below proves quite revealing and most informative. Each summary has a link for those who want to read the entire article. For whatever reason the mainstream media won't report these stories. Yet thanks to the Internet and wonderful, committed groups like Project Censored, the news is getting out to those who want to know. By revealing these examples of media censorship, we can stop the excessive secrecy and work together for a brighter future. And don't miss the section on little-known inspiring stories, too. Please help to spread the word, and take care.
Note: Major parts of these summaries were taken from an article by Rebecca Bowe at the SF Bay Guardian.
Top 10 Stories of 2010 Subjected to Media Censorship
1. Global Plans to Replace the Dollar (For full story, click here)
Since the financial meltdown of 2008 sent a jarring ripple effect throughout the global economy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been talking up the idea of an international market that doesn't use the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency. The dollar now holds the status of the predominant anchor currency held in foreign exchange reserves, securing the United States' strategic economic position. In July of 2009 at the Group of Eight Summit in Italy, President Medvedev underscored his call for a newly conceived "united future world currency" when he pulled a sample coin from his pocket and showed it off to heads of state, the Bloomberg news service reported. And the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development suggested in a report that the present system of using the dollar as the world's reserve currency should be subject to a wholesale reconsideration, according to an article in the U.K.'s Telegraph.
Sources: Christian Science Monitor, “Iran and Russia Nip at US Global Dominance” Truthdig, “The American Empire Is Bankrupt” Bloomberg, “Medvedev Shows Off Sample Coin of New ‘World Currency’ at G-8” Telegraph (UK), “UN Wants New Global Currency to Replace Dollar”.
2. US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet (Full story here)
The U.S. military burns through 320,000 barrels of oil a day. Yet that tally doesn't factor in fuel consumed by contractors, or the energy and resources used to produce bombs, grenades, missiles or other weapons of the Department of Defense. By every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products – yet it has a blanket exemption in commitments made by the United States to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Despite its status as top polluter, the Department of Defense received little attention during talks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Meanwhile, human health is threatened by the long-term environmental impacts of military operations throughout the globe. And depleted uranium contamination from the Iraq conflict has been linked to widespread health problems. "The greatest single assault on the environment comes from one agency," author Barry Sanders wrote in The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism, "the Armed Forces of the United States."
Sources: International Action Center, “Add Climate Havoc to War Crimes: Pentagon’s Role in Global Catastrophe” Planet Green, “Can You Identify the Worst Polluter on the Planet? Hint: Shock and Awe” New America Media, “Cancer: The Deadly Legacy of the Invasion of Iraq” Ottawa Citizen, “U.S. Plots Arctic Push”.
3. Internet Privacy and Personal Access at Risk (For full story, click here)
The Cybersecurity Act was proposed in June of 2009, giving the president the power to "declare a cyber security emergency" and do whatever is necessary to diffuse a cyber attack. The Senate Homeland Security Committee approved a comprehensive cybersecurity bill this past June, which has drawn sharp criticism for the inclusion of a provision that would allow the president to shut down networks in the event of an emergency. Reporting in Wired, Noah Schachtman broke the story that the Central Intelligence Agency was investing in Visible Technologies, a software firm that can collect, rank and analyze millions of posts on blogs, online forums, Flickr, Youtube, Twitter and other social media sites. Wired also reported that the Obama administration had followed the lead of George W. Bush by urging a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.
Sources: CNET News, “Bill Would Give President Emergency Control of Internet” Wired, “U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm that Monitors Blogs, Twitter” Wired, “Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case”.
4. ICE Operates Secret Detention and Courts (For full story, click here)
The federal office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is confining people in 186 unlisted and unmarked subfield offices, many in suburban office parks or commercial spaces that reveal no information about their ICE tenants. Reporting in The Nation, Jacqueline Stevens describes ICE's jail network and the agency's penchant for secrecy when it comes to withholding public information about the facilities. "The absence of a real-time database tracking people in ICE custody means ICE has created a network of secret jails," Stevens wrote. "Subfield offices enter the time and date of custody after the fact, a situation ripe for errors ... as well as cover-ups." As a result, detainees can literally be "lost" by attorneys or family members for days or weeks at a time after being transferred.
Source: The Nation, “America’s Secret Ice Castles” Human Rights Watch, “Locked Up Far Away, The Transfer of Immigrants to Remote Detention Centers in the US” The Nation, “ICE Agents’ Ruse Operations”: The Nation, “Secret Courts Exploit Immigrants”.
5. Blackwater (Xe): The Secret US War in Pakistan (For full story, click here)
The notorious private military contractor Blackwater has changed its name to Xe Services, but it hasn't escaped scrutiny. According to a story that ran in The Nation in December 2009, the contractor is at the center of a covert program in Pakistan run by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command in the city of Karachi. Blackwater (Xe) is involved in planning targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and al-Qaida operatives and helps direct a U.S. military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the U.S. military. The Pentagon has disputed the claim, stating, "There are no U.S. military strike operations being conducted in Pakistan." More recently, The New York Times reported that Blackwater had created a web of more than 30 shell companies to win defense contracts, and specifically mentioned that the company employees had loaded bombs and missiles onto predator drones in Pakistan.
Sources: New York Times, "30 False Fronts Won Contracts For Blackwater" The Nation, “The Secret US War in Pakistan” Antiwar.com, “Blackwater Wants to Surge Its Armed Force in Afghanistan” Raw Story, “Ex-employees Claim Blackwater Pimped Out Young Iraqi Girls”.
6. Health Care Restrictions Cost Thousands of Lives in US (For full story, click here)
As the health-care debate raged on and Americans heard over and over again about supposed "death panels" and the government's infringement on personal freedom, one important study was largely drowned out. Research led by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center revealed that lack of health insurance may have figured into 17,000 childhood deaths among hospitalized children in the U.S. in the span of less than two decades. The results of a study published in the Journal of Public Health compared more than 23 million hospital records from 37 states between 1988 and 2005, and found that uninsured children in the study were 60 percent more likely to die in the hospital than those with insurance. "Can we say with absolute certainty that 17,000 children would have been saved if they had health insurance? Of course not," notes a co-investigator. "From a scientific perspective, we are confident in our finding that thousands of children likely died because they lacked insurance or because of factors directly related to a lack of insurance."
Source: Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, “Lack of Insurance May Have Figured in Nearly 17,000 Childhood Deaths” Physicians for a NHP, “Over 2,200 Veterans Died in 2008 Due to Lack of Health Insurance” Democracy Now!, “Mother Speaks Out on CIGNA’s Denial of Healthcare to Cancer-Stricken Twin Daughters”.
7. External Market Forces Wreak Havoc in Africa (For full story, click here)
Vast tracts of land are being purchased by wealthy nations from mostly poor, developing countries in order to produce crops for export. Throughout the African continent, an estimated 50 million hectares (200,000 square miles) of land have been acquired or are in the process of being negotiated for purchase over the last several years, with international agribusinesses, investment banks, hedge funds, and commodity traders leading the rush for cheap, undeveloped, arable land. Ethiopia has approved at least 815 foreign-financed agriculture projects since 2007, but the food that is produced there will be exported rather than used to feed the 13 million people in need of food aid in that country. Food shortages and riots in 28 countries in 2008, declining water supplies, climate change and huge population growth together have made land attractive. Africa has the most land and, compared with other continents, it is cheap.
Sources: New York Times, “Is There Such a Thing as Agro-Imperialism?” Christian Science Monitor, “Africa: From Famine to World’s Next Breadbasket?” Oakland Institute, “Great Land Grab: Rush for World’s Farmland Threatens Food Security for the Poor” Inter Press Service, “Land Grabs for Food Production Under Fire”.
8. Massacre in Peruvian Amazon over US Free Trade Agreement (Full story here)
While this story highlighted a "massacre in the Amazon," a later installment appeared in the Huffington Post titled "Victory in the Amazon." On June 5, 2009, 50 or more Peruvian Amazon Indians were massacred after a 57-day protest against the implementation of decrees under the Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. These decrees would have opened vast swaths of indigenous land in the Peruvian Amazon to private investment by gas, mining, and oil companies. This prompted Amazon peoples to block highways and gas and oil pipelines. But the conflict escalated when armed Peruvian government agents attacked the protesters with rifles and, according to eye witnesses, burned bodies and threw them into a river. In the aftermath Peru's Congress voted 82 to 12 to repeal two of the decrees that the indigenous groups had been standing against. Daysi Zapata, a representative of the association of indigenous groups, celebrated the triumph: "Today is an historic day. We are thankful because the will of the indigenous peoples has been taken into account."
Sources: Center for International Policy, “Massacre in the Amazon: The US-Peru Free Trade Agreement Sparks a Battle over Land and Resources” Inter Press Service, “‘Police Are Throwing Bodies in the River,’ Say Native Protesters” Huffington Post, "Victory in the Amazon".
9. Human Rights Abuses Continue in Palestine (For full story, click here)
While there is a great deal of coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Project Censored highlights little-discussed human rights abuses. An Amnesty International report charges that Israel is denying Palestinians the right to access adequate water by maintaining total control over the shared water resources and pursuing discriminatory policies. Other articles detail how Israel had begun barring movement between Israel and the West Bank for those holding a foreign passport, including humanitarian aid workers and thousands of Palestinian residents. After a 15-month study conducted by an international team of scholars, the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa concluded that Israel is, from the perspective of international law, an occupying power in Palestinian territories which implements a system of apartheid. Rare mainstream media glimpses of Israel's apartheid system, like the CBS 60 Minutes segment 'Is Peace Out of Reach?' in January 2009, air and then fade away after drawing vitriolic, selectively focused criticism.
Sources: Amnesty International, “Israel Rations Palestinians to Trickle of Water” Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, “Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid” Electronic Intifada, “Israel Brings Gaza Entry Restrictions to West Bank” CBS 60 Minutes, "Is Peace Out of Reach?".
10. US Funds and Supports the Taliban (For full story, click here)
While this story appeared on the front pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post, they omitted some key facts. The Nation broke the story, and at the time Project Censored was researching it, there was nary a mention in the mainstream media of how American tax dollars wind up in the hands of the Taliban. In some cases, money goes to Afghan companies run by former Taliban members like President Hamid Karzai's cousin, Ahmad Rateb Popal, who was charged in the 1980s with conspiring to import heroin into the United States. U.S. military contractors in Afghanistan also pay suspected insurgents to protect supply routes. "It is an accepted fact of the military logistics operation in Afghanistan that the U.S. government funds the very forces American troops are fighting," according to the Nation story.
Sources: The Nation, “How the US Funds the Taliban” New York Times, ”U.S. Said to Fund Afghan Warlords to Protect Convoys"; Washington Post, "Mismanaged U.S. contractor money aids enemy in Afghanistan".
Dossier nucléaire / Gentilly-2
par Michel Duguay et Philippe Giroul
Mondialisation.ca | 9 janvier
Le 10 décembre dernier, lors de la première journée d’audience de la Commission canadienne de sûreté nucléaire (CCSN) consacrée à la demande d’Hydro-Québec de renouveler son permis d’exploitation de la centrale nucléaire de Gentilly-2, nous avons entendu des commentaires de la part de la CCSN et de ses commissaires qui étaient très critiques envers les manquements à la culture de sûreté chez Hydro-Québec à Bécancour. M. François Rinfret, qui est à la CCSN responsable pour Gentilly-2, a déclaré (voir p. 39 de la transcription) : «Lors de son évaluation pour l’année 2009 d’Hydro-Québec à Gentilly, le personnel de la CCSN avait détecté et rapporté un problème de culture de la qualité à Gentilly». À la p. 40, M. Rinfret a ajouté : «Le domaine de sûreté et de réglementation au système de gestion a donc reçu la cote inférieure aux attentes de 2007 à 2009.» Un peu plus loin, M. Rinfret justifie la nouvelle exigence de la CCSN pour un plan de redressement de la qualité à Hydro-Québec : «Il devenait impensable de permettre une quatrième année consécutive d’exploitation avec un programme de gestion de la qualité au rendement insatisfaisant.»
Alors qu’il est bien connu dans la communauté nucléaire canadienne que le réacteur CANDU à la centrale Gentilly-2 est affligé par plusieurs questions problématiques de sûreté (safety issues), nous apprenons maintenant qu’il y a des lacunes importantes à Gentilly-2 dans la gestion de la qualité.
En préparation pour la journée du 10 décembre, la CCSN avait publié en novembre 2010 le document clé 10-H15.C intitulé «Hydro-Québec, Centrale nucléaire de Gentilly-2 et installation des déchets radioactifs». Dans ce document, la CCSN révélait que son personnel recommandait qu’on accorde à Hydro-Québec un renouvellement de son permis d’exploitation de Gentilly-2 jusqu’au 30 juin 2016. Ce document mentionne que la réfection de Gentilly-2 pourrait débuter à l’automne 2012. L’extension du permis sur cinq ans s’appliquerait donc à une centrale reconstruite.
Cette recommandation du personnel de la CCSN doit être vigoureusement rejetée par un public québécois averti. Une raison pour ce rejet est donnée à la page 26 du document 10-H15.C. Cette page discute le choix entre deux solutions qu’Hydro-Québec doit faire pour solutionner le problème d’emballement possible du réacteur CANDU suite à une perte de caloporteur majeure (PERCA) dans un accident. Une première solution est dite «analytique» et est favorisée par Hydro-Québec; une deuxième solution implique des changements de conception, notamment au niveau du combustible nucléaire. Le document 10-H15.C affirme ceci : «Le projet relié à la solution analytique prendra plusieurs années à être complété, et pour l’instant on ne peut exclure la possibilité qu’en bout de ligne, la solution analytique s’avère trop difficile à démontrer et qu’une solution impliquant des changements de conception soit nécessaire.» Le document mentionne 2013 comme étant l’année où les travaux sur la solution analytique pourraient être complétés par l’industrie nucléaire.
C’est ici qu’un public québécois averti peut commencer à sentir le vent glacial soufflant entre les icebergs à travers lesquels le Titanic se déplaçait à pleine vitesse en avril 1912. Il est bon de rappeler quelques faits accompagnant le projet de réfection de Gentilly-2 :
1. Le projet a été annoncé à deux milliards de dollars. Tous les projets canadiens de réacteurs nucléaires ont connu des dépassements de coûts : Gentilly-2 par un facteur de quatre, Darlington près de Toronto par un facteur de trois;
2. En juin 2009, l’agence de cotation Moody’s a prévenu les compagnies d’électricité nord-américaines qu’elles risquent une décote si elles investissent dans de nouvelles centrales nucléaires;
3. En février 2010, la firme parapublique Ontario Power Generation (anciennement Ontario Hydro) a annoncé sa décision de ne pas reconstruire quatre réacteurs nucléaires CANDU à la centrale Pickering B près de Toronto, jugeant cette opération non-rentable ;
4. La conception de Gentilly-2 remonte au début des années ’70, l’époque où Gentilly-1 débutait des essais. Depuis l’an 2000, la CCSN reconnaît que les modèles physiques et les logiciels utilisés dans les années ’70 ne sont pas acceptables aujourd’hui. La Canadian Nuclear Association a écrit ceci sur Gentilly-1 :
‘’In 1971, the 250 MW Gentilly-1, a prototype reactor, came into operation near Trois-Rivières on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. Built and owned by AECL and operated by Hydro-Québec staff, the reactor had design and operational problems and was not economical. It was taken out of service in 1979.’’
5. Gentilly-1 avait fonctionné seulement 180 jours et s’était avéré très instable. Gentilly-2 souffre de la même faiblesse de conception que Gentilly-1 en ce qui concerne le coefficient positif de réactivité nucléaire dû au vide (coolant void reactivity).
6. Le réacteur CANDU de Gentilly-2 est la source d’électricité la moins fiable et la moins prévisible au Québec. Des arrêts prévus, et imprévus, la mettent hors opération pendant des semaines, voire des mois. En cas de panne du réseau électrique, une centrale nucléaire doit se déconnecter du réseau et le plus souvent doit être en arrêt pendant des jours.
Le Jour 2 de l’audience publique de la CCSN est planifié pour les 14 et 15 avril 2011 à Bécancour. Au terme de ce Jour 2 les commissaires de la CCSN seront appelés à exercer leur autorité finale sur l’avenir de la centrale Gentilly-2. Le public québécois est invité à présenter des mémoires au Jour 2. Comme le public n’a pas été informé par la CCSN des questions problématiques qui affligent Gentilly-2 et des modifications qu’Hydro-Québec veut lui apporter lors de la réfection, nous demandons que le Jour 2 de l’audience soit reportée en 2012, voire même en 2013. Cela donnera le temps à la CCSN de compléter ses études de l’examen intégré de sûreté d’Hydro-Québec et d’informer objectivement le public québécois sur toutes les questions en jeu, tel qu’exigé par la loi canadienne sur le nucléaire. De plus nous demandons que la CCSN exige immédiatement la sécurisation physique de tout le site, comprenant particulièrement la salle de contrôle, la piscine remplies de déchets hautement radioactifs et les aires d’entreposage à sec afin de faire face à d’éventuels événements terroristes.
La prolongation de la dangereuse opération de Gentilly-2 présente une menace pour la base de l’économie québécoise. Si un accident nucléaire majeur se produisait à Gentilly-2 les conséquences catastrophiques évoquées dans un documentaire de la TV de Radio-Canada, le 1er novembre 2009, ne rendraient pas les québécois reconnaissant à l’égard de ceux qui ont influencé les décisions pro-nucléaires. De plus, une menace de décote financière est suspendue au-dessus du Québec à cause de l’état précaire de Gentilly-2.
Y a-t-il un pilote responsable sur ce « Titanic » Gentilly-2 ?
Il est remarquable de constater que la province la plus avancée en technologie nucléaire, l’Ontario, va porter à 6 le nombre de réacteurs CANDU en état d’arrêt permanent. De son côté, le Nouveau-Brunswick souffre financièrement de la lente et coûteuse réfection de Point Lepreau.
Est-ce que nos dirigeants politiques au Québec sauront changer la direction du « Titanic » nucléaire Gentilly-2 et procéder à son déclassement, comme il avait été prévu du temps de Robert Bourassa et de René Lévesque?
© Droits d’auteurs Michel Duguay, Mondialisation.ca, 2011
L’adresse url de cet article est: www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22686
- par Hélène Lamothe - 2010-06-14
Risques cachés à Gentilly-2 : militarisation de la centrale nucléaire ?
Dans un article paru dans le Nouvelliste du 12 mai dernier, le directeur de la DSP, le Dr Grenier, avec son expérience acquise comme coordonnateur du Plan des mesures d'urgence externe à la centrale nucléaire de Gentilly-2 pendant 8 ans, déclarait ne pas comprendre que les activités de la centrale G-2 puissent reprendre, après une éventuelle réfection, sans avoir un système d’alerte rapide en cas d’accident. Je me pose la question suivante : est-ce que la population court des risques cachés ?
Le gouvernement vient d’effectuer un exercice dans le cadre du plan des mesures d’urgence nucléaire pour G-2. Il s’agissait de simuler un « incident » à la centrale nucléaire. Les endroits concernés étaient Nicolet et Bécancour, excluant la rive Nord, et impliquaient quelques dizaines de personnes de différents ministères.
Et voilà maintenant qu’Hydro-Québec achète deux blindés pour « protéger » cette centrale nucléaire dite « sécuritaire » . Ne manque-t-il pas un sous-marin ou une frégate pour protéger les accès nautiques et un hélicoptère pour surveiller les airs, 24 heures sur 24 ? Tant qu’à gaspiller, allons-y gaiement pour « préserver la santé, la sûreté et la sécurité des Canadiens et de protéger l’environnement », comme le mentionne si souvent la Commission Canadienne de Sûreté Nucléaire sur son site Web. Le dossier des déchets nucléaires inquiète aussi le Dr Grenier. Alors qu’aucune solution n’est connue ni pour leur traitement sécuritaire ni pour leur destination finale, comment peut-on nous rassurer ? L’ajout projeté de 2500 tonnes supplémentaires n’arrangera pas l’affaire.
Pourquoi le gouvernement et Hydro-Québec persistent-ils à poursuivre le projet aventureux et dangereux de la reconstruction de Gentilly-2 ? Deux tanks pour notre sécurité énergétique : sommes-nous rendus en Afghanistan ? Gentilly-2 vit à l’heure du « terrorisme international »… H-Q se militarise !
Gentilly-2 est une aberration sécuritaire et financière considérable que nos gouvernants ne devraient pas accepter, sous aucune considération. Ce legs toxique et financier intergénérationnel est scandaleux ! Les motifs présentés dans des rapports « ingénieux » pour cautionner sa reconstruction ne tiennent pas la route. Comment faire entendre raison au gouvernement actuel qui, pour des motifs obscurs, continue à ignorer la réalité? La demande d’enquête sur la construction ne devrait-elle pas comprendre aussi la saga de G-2 ?
Ces nouvelles m’ont profondément insécurisée face aux énormes responsabilités qu’incombe la survie d’une centrale nucléaire CANDU dont la technologie est mal maîtrisée. Connaissons-nous vraiment les dangers d’un tel joujou, qui plus est non rentable et impertinent du point de vue énergétique, dans notre région, au cœur même du Québec ?
Hélène Lamothe, Trois-Rivières
© Droits d'auteurs Hélène Lamothe, Mondialisation.ca, 2010
L'adresse url de cet article est: www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19721
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Due to the failing infrastructure across the United States, the lack of oversight, and outright negligence of the government, we are being poisoned from every angle imaginable.
Nuclear plants from coast to coast have been encountering problems as maintenance has become a budget issue. This is startling considering humans are the ones that developed such devises in the first place. Shouldn’t we have a backup and/or service plan set up along with many fail safe procedures when dealing with such a powerful and dangerous technology?
Énergie nucléaire et Gentilly-2: Dangers inacceptables pour le Québec – Entrevue spéciale avec Julie Lemieux
Oh boy is 2011 going to be an exciting year! Some things that I think might happen:
-Volatility is going up across the board. If you have the stomach for the swings that are coming across all markets there is a ton of money to be made; balls and timing are all that are necessary. The markets will create dozens of opportunities to make and lose...
For the first time since 2008, inflation is hitting consumers in the stomach.
Grocery prices grew by more than 1 1/2 times the overall rate of inflation this year, outpaced only by costs of transportation and medical care, according to numbers released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Economists predict that this is only the beginning. Fueled by the higher costs of wheat, sugar, corn, soybeans and energy, shoppers could see as much as a 4 percent increase at the supermarket checkout next year.
"I noticed just this month that my grocery bill for the same old stuff - cereal, eggs, milk, orange juice, peanut butter, bread - spiked $25," said Sue Perry, deputy editor of ShopSmart magazine, a nonprofit publication from Consumer Reports. "It was a bit of sticker shock."
Read Full Article
For the last two weeks we have reported and researched the possibility of a food shortage due to a mixture of freezing temps, moves by our government that seem to hurt rather than help food prices, and hot, dry weather in the regions that haven’t froze.
Here are just a few of the hundreds of articles that have come out in the past month that point to rising food prices worldwide.
Not to be "chicken little" about this possibility, but please: do have storable drygoods and canned foods on hand.
Make sure you eat through anything with an expiration date before the product expires, and please have basic medical supplies on hand.
Also, if you are on any kind of critical prescription drugs, speak with your physician about having some extra on hand just in case.
The world may face social unrest including food riots in April as grain prices increase, said Philippe Chalmin, an economic adviser to the French government.
Crop damage caused by flooding in Australia and drought in Argentina is likely to boost grain prices in coming months, Chalmin, an economics professor at the University of Paris- Dauphine, said in an interview in the French capital today.
“I’m very concerned,” Chalmin said. “Around Easter we could start to see food riots.”
The corn market is extremely tight heading into the New Year, and analysts expect short supplies and heavy use to keep upward pressure on corn prices in 2011...
Rioting broke out across Algeria
again yesterday, with police deployed around mosques in the capital after days of violent protests against high food prices and unemployment.
Riot police armed with tear gas and batons maintained a strong presence around mosques in Algiers, while unrest spread outside the capital. The official APS news agency said protesters ransacked government buildings, banks and post offices in several eastern cities overnight, including Constantine, Jijel, Setif and Bouira.
Afternoon Price Check, January 3: Crude Oil Hits 2-Year High, Oil Prices Fall from Early Rally to Turn in Moderate Gains
The price of crude oil hit a 26-month high point before falling in late trading at the NYMEX today.
Crude and heating oil prices started 2011 off with a bang at the NYMEX this morning, shooting upwards out of the gate and touching record highs before paring gains later in the day. In the interim, the price of crude oil rose to $92.58 a barrel, its highest price since October of 2008.
Crude oil’s price could soar to nearly $150 a barrel by summer, Joe Petrowski, chief executive of Gulf Oil and the Cumberland Gulf Group, told CNBC Thursday...
Now that Christmas is over, the indicators for 2011 plunge!
India may drop the US dollar as payment for oil from Iran. The replacement would be the Japanese yen and the Emirates dirham.
According to London’s Asharq Al-Awsat, the switch could help India avoid American retaliation for dealing with the Iranians.
Iran is under international sanctions for refusing to come clean on the nature of its nuclear energy programme. The United States has unilaterally imposed some extra sanctions.
Projections by Robert Novy-Marx and Joshua Rauh show the average city has $15,000 per household in unfunded pension liabilities. A lot of it is off-balance sheet, hidden from easy public view. Many, many cities are in trouble. Here are the top ten major cities that are in trouble and when they will run out of money:
#1 Philadelphia- Unfunded liability of $9 billion, $16,696 per household, only 4 years before the pension accounts are empty
#2 Chicago- Unfunded liability of $44.8 billion, $41.966 per household, money runs out in 7 years
#3 Boston- Unfunded liability of $7.5 billion, $30,901 per household, money runs out in 7 years
#4 Cincinnati- Unfunded liability of $2 billion, $15,681 per household, money runs out in 8 years
#5 St Paul- Unfunded liability of $1.4 billion, $13,686 per household, money runs out in 8 years
#6 Jacksonville- Unfunded liability of $4 billion, $12,944 per household, money runs out in 8 years
#7 New York City- Unfunded liability of $122 billion, $38,866 per household, money runs out in 9 years
#8 Baltimore- Unfunded liability of $3.7 billion, $15, 420 per household, money runs out in 10 years
#9 Detroit- Unfunded liability of $6.4 billion, $18,643 per household, money runs out in 11 years
#10 Fort Worth- Unfunded liability of $2 billion, $7,212 per household, money runs out in 11 years
Take a stab at who will eventually be paying for the shortfall.
An independent analysis of California’s three big pension funds has found a hidden shortfall of more than half a trillion dollars, several times the amount reported by the funds and more than six times the value of the state’s outstanding bonds.
New York State, along with its cities and counties, have promised $200 billion worth of retirement health care benefits to their employees, and no one knows where that money is going to come from, according to a study conducted by the Empire Center for New York State Policy...
The shell game started in 1995 with Christine Todd Whitman.
Public-pension fraud runs rampant in New Jersey.
Details are inside...
The U.S. isn't the only place that's facing a major pension fund crisis. The Christian Science Monitor has this alarming report:
People’s retirement savings are a convenient source of revenue for governments that don’t want to reduce spending or make privatizations...
MSNBC host Contessa Brewer said that people are taking their own lives when their pensions fail. She said “we’re hearing horrific stories, John, about people who are taking their own lives” when the plans they have made for their senior years don’t work out.
This blood stains the hands of everyone in Wall Street and Washington DC who profited from the mortgage-backed securities fraud, and the subsequent firestorm of home confiscations to cover the banks' forced repurchase.
Overdrawn American cities could face financial collapse in 2011, defaulting on hundreds of billions of dollars of borrowings and derailing the US economic recovery. Nor are European cities safe – Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, Venice: all are in trouble
More than 100 American cities could go bust next year as the debt crisis that has taken down banks and countries threatens next to spark a municipal meltdown, a leading analyst has warned.
2011 will be the year of the municipal default. At least that's what analysts like Meredith Whitney predict, as do bond investors that have been fleeing the muni market.
There are many reasons to be worried. First, the expiration of Build America Bonds will make it harder for cities to raise funds.
Second, city revenues are crashing and keep getting worse. Property taxes haven't reflected the total damage from the housing crash. High joblessness is cutting into city revenues, while increasing costs for services.
This trend may well accelerate wildly in the coming year.
Must See Chart - Data Is From CBO - Congressional Budget Office
Includes Unfunded Liabilities
Graphing the national debt and unfunded liabilities thru 2009. Dr. Kotlikoff, economics professor at Boston University, has the 2010 numbers inside.
The Congressional Budget Office whose Long-Term Budget Outlook, released in June, shows an even larger problem.
Based on the CBO’s data, I calculate a fiscal gap of $202 trillion, which is more than 15 times the official debt. This gargantuan discrepancy between our “official” debt and our actual net indebtedness isn’t surprising. It reflects what economists call the labeling problem. Congress has been very careful over the years to label most of its liabilities “unofficial” to keep them off the books and far in the future.
Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers, said if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, the “impact on the economy would be catastrophic.”
“I don’t see why anybody’s playing chicken with the debt ceiling,” Goolsbee said today on ABC’s “This Week” program. “If we get to the point where we damage the full faith and credit of the United States, that would be the first default in history caused purely by insanity.”
The government is slated to hit the legal limit on borrowing, $14.3 trillion, early this year. Congress must agree to raise that ceiling or the U.S. could be forced to default on its obligations.
Not raising the debt ceiling would be "catastrophic"?!?
Catastrophic for whom, I have to wonder.
If We the People have to live within our means, why can't the US Congress?!?
The Treasury Secretary of The United States of America just said that if we don’t get another $1 trillion or so dollars by March of this year then this country will begin to default on its debt obligations. These remarks are extremely serious and should be understood for what they are.
We are, literally and without mixing words, on the brink of economic catastrophe.
The scary thing is, according to Mr. Geithner and the many supporters of raising our debt ceiling, that borrowing more money is the only solution available.
I think this article was written before the Ibanez decision came down yesterday. The situation is more dire than described above.
In 1999 Congress repealed Glass-Steagal, triggering a reckless gambling binge on derivatives by banks using their customers (not their own) money.
One of the "products" created by Wall Street during this binge was the mortage-backed security. These were sold and "ponzied" to create the immediate impression of runaway profitability.
Demand was so great for this new product that there was a shortage of new mortgages to put into the MBS. This launched the availability of the sub-prime mortgages, and Congress, themselves invested in the Wall Street firms trading the MBS, dangled an $8000 home-buyer tax credit before Americans to lure more of them in, to "front load" the bubble machine. Demand for mortgages for the MDS was so great that some brokers, either intentionally or possibly due to a goof within MERS (itself created to short circuit the title transfer process), sold the same mortgages into multiple MBS; a clear case of fraud.
Then the wheels came off the bandwagon and the purchasers across the world who invested in the MBS started to realize that many of those mortgages in the MBS were no good, already in default, and/or oversubscribed. Wall Street banks were forced to repurchase those fraudulent securities, attempting to do so quietly lest word of the colossal fraud escape to the general public.
The banks' losses were staggering and hundreds of banks began to fail despite massive cash infusions from the US taxpayers, again courtesy of that same Congress whose members were themselves invested in the Wall Street firms that created this mess.
In order to recapitalize and avoid collapse, the banks started foreclosing on homes in order to take them and place the value of the asset (inflated under mark-to-market accounting practices declared legal again despite the ENRON disaster) on their books.
Speed was life, the rush to foreclose was on. The so-called mortgage modification program was a polite fiction to convince the voters that the same government that had baited them into the scam with that $8000 tax credit was now on their side. But people trying to use mortgage modification were told they had to be in default, and were tricked into withholding payments, which allowed the banks to initiate more foreclosures. More homes were lost in the mortgage-modification program than were saved.
Foreclosure fever dripped the banks, and abuses started to pile up. Homes that were not delinquent on their mortgages were foreclosed. Homes without mortgages were foreclosed. Banks were selling homes without actually owing the title.
Finally, as the scandal became public the courts demanded the paperwork at least have the semblance of proper form and legality. But the use of MERS had severed the link between the mortgage and the note. Both are required legally to foreclose a property. Lenders who had the note had no idea where the actual title was located, so the "foreclosure mills" were born; legal offices specializing in "recreating" missing paperwork to expedite the foreclosure process. Documents were forged and robo-signed. This is criminal felony fraud! While the banks may get a free pass from the US and state governments, civil cases and class-actions are piling up alongside lawsuits from foreign banks that will not be cowed by threats from Washington DC.
The shock waves from the Ibanez case are rippling through the banks and I have no doubt there are emergency meetings going on today on boardrooms across America. Tens of millions, possibly hundreds of millions of foreclosures have just been invalidated, foreclosures already counted on the books as income-to-be-received. The too-big-to-fail banks may already be insolvent as I type this. The panic is on. The fangs are out. Guess whose blood the bankers hunger for.
What we have done to future generations over the past 30 years is absolutely criminal. 30 years ago the U.S. national debt was a bit under one trillion dollars, and at that time it was considered a huge national crisis. Today, the national debt is 14 times larger and the years ahead look absolutely apocalyptic at this point. We have literally sold our children and our grandchildren into perpetual debt slavery.
The following are 17 national debt statistics which prove that we have sold our children and our grandchildren into perpetual debt slavery....
#1 As of December 28th, the U.S. national debt was $13,877,230,355,933.00.
#2 If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt.
#3 If the federal government began repaying the national debt at a rate of $10 million dollars a day it would take approximately 3,800 years to pay off the national debt.
#4 Today, the U.S. national debt is increasing by roughly 4 billion dollars every single day.
#5 The U.S. government is borrowing approximately 2.63 million more dollars every single minute.
#6 On September 30th, 1980 the U.S. national debt was 907 billion dollars. Just thirty years later, the U.S. national debt is over 14 times larger.
#7 According to a recent U.S. Treasury report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will reach 19.6 trillion dollars in 2015.
#8 It is being projected that the U.S. government will be paying 900 billion dollars just in interest on the national debt by the year 2019.
#9 A trillion $10 bills, if they were taped end to end, would wrap around the globe more than 380 times. That amount of money would still not be enough to pay off the U.S. national debt.
#10 The U.S. Congress has raised the federal debt ceiling six times in just the past three years.
#11 The 111th Congress added more to the U.S. national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined.
#12 The 111th Congress got us into so much new debt that it breaks down to $10,429.64 for each of the 308,745,538 people counted by the 2010 U.S. census.
#13 The U.S. government currently has to borrow approximately 41 cents of every single dollar that it spends.
#14 When you break down the debt that the U.S. government owes to China alone it comes to over $10,000 for every single American family.
#15 If you were alive when Christ was born and you spent one million dollars every single day since that point, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now. Almost unbelievably, the U.S. government will accumulate well over a trillion dollars more debt in 2011.
#16 If right this moment you went out and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.
#17 The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government debt held by the public will reach a staggering 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.
But the American people don't want to hear that we have spent decades creating a horrific debt crisis that is not going to be easy to fix. They just want someone to "tweak" a few things and get us back to being the greatest economy on earth. Unfortunately, it is simply not that easy.
Just check out the chart posted below. Our debt is exploding at an almost exponential rate....
The number of U.S. consumers who filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 was the highest in five years, and the figure could rise as Americans struggle with excess debt in an uncertain economy, a report issued Monday said.
Roughly 1.53 million consumer bankruptcy petitions were filed in 2010, up 9 percent from 1.41 million in 2009, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, citing data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.
Even discounted homes don't sell anyomore...
2 excellent charts - takes 10 seconds
There are over 4 million more Americans living in poverty than previously reported and poor people make up 15.7 percent of the population instead of 14.3 percent, according to new figures for 2009 released by the US Census Bureau on Wednesday.
I would suspect that even that adjustment to 15.7% of the US population living in poverty is still way too conservative a figure.
The federal government has accumulated more new debt--$3.22 trillion ($3,220,103,625,307.29)—during the tenure of the 111th Congress than it did during the first 100 Congresses combined, according to official debt figures published by the U.S. Treasury.
This does NOT include the debt obligations created by the Federal Reserve's emergency funding for banks, now estimated at $16 trillion. And either those banks have to squeeze that money out of you to repay the Fed, or the Fed will demand payment from taxes it eh borrowing banks collapse (which 98 of them are about to do), but one way or the other,m you will be forced to pay for all, until you stand up and say, "No more" like the people of Iceland did.
If you haven't noticed lately, America is literally falling apart all around us. Decaying infrastructure is everywhere. Our roads and bridges are crumbling and are full of holes. Our rail system is ancient. Our airports and runways have definitely seen their better days. Aging sewer systems all over the country are leaking raw sewage all over the place. The power grid is straining to keep up with the ever-increasing thirst of the American people for electricity. Dams are failing at an unprecedented rate. Virtually all of our ports are handling far more traffic than they were ever intended to handle. Meanwhile, our national spending on infrastructure is way down.
"Sorry, we had to spend that money to keep the Wall Street CEOs out of prison for fraud!" -- Official White Horse Souse
Important Chart - Takes 5 Seconds
One glance at this beauty shows that consumers have barely begun the process of deleveraging. It's going to be several more years before household balance sheets are repaired and ready to assume more debt. Hello, Tokyo.
12 more charts below.
By Steve Keen, Associate Professor of Economics & Finance at the University of Western Sydney, and author of the book Debunking Economics.
The aggregate data is unambiguous: the US economy is delevering in a way that it hasn’t done since the Great Depression, from debt levels that are the highest in its history. The aggregate private debt to GDP ratio is now 267%, versus the peak level of 298% achieved back in February 2009–an absolute fall of 31 points and a percentage fall of 10.3% from the peak.
Read Dr. Keen's full article (more charts and analysis):
Includes Peter Schiff's WSJ op-ed from last week on housing...
Important Chart - Takes 2 Seconds
The game here is simple. Already Wall Street is getting ready to create yet another casino game out of bundling delinquent property taxes into investment vehicles, creating the promise of endless profits from inflated "fees" and "service charges" to be applied to the amount owed by the property owner, or ultimately by the seizure of their homes. So local communities are raising property tax rates not in the expectation of getting the money, but in selling the delinquent tax bill to Wall Street!
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – Gov. Pat Quinn and the leaders of both houses of the Illinois General Assembly have agreed on raising the state income tax.
If the bill passes, the plan would raise the personal income tax rate from the current 3 percent to 5.25 percent. That’s a 75 percent increase. In real dollars, that would mean if you currently owe $1,000 in taxes, next year you would owe $1,750.
THE euro has only a 20 per cent chance of survival, a leading think-tank warns today.
It is possible that the eurozone may not even survive next year according to the Centre for Economic and Business Research.
Chief executive Douglas McWilliams said the euro has an 80 per cent chance of failing in its present form in the next 10 years.
He said living standards would have to fall by about 15 per cent in the weaker economies and Government spending slashed if the single currency was to survive.
The CEBR warned that the financial problems which have crippled Greece and Ireland will spread to other European countries mired in debt.
In a report released today, they say there could be another eurozone crisis in the spring – “if not before” – with Spain and Italy in the firing line.
Mr McWilliams argued that in order for the currency to survive as it is German growth needed to be sustained at more than three per cent for the next four years.
He added that living standards in Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy needed to be drastically cut and Government spending in those weaker countries would have to be reduced by 10 per cent of GDP.
Translation: "You must make do with less, so that we may have more." This is the same mantra Americans are hearing from the Federal Reserve. "You must make do with less, so that we may have more." "You must make do with less, so that we may have more." "You must make do with less, so that we may have more."
Fuck that shit!
Top Illinois Democrats have agreed to push a plan that would temporarily boost income taxes by 75 percent and double cigarette taxes, Senate President John Cullerton said Thursday.
History has shown us that as taxes rise so does the debt. Clearly this is a wrong path to follow, yet the money addicts in power still follow it. It is time for an intervention (for their own good, of course).
Beginning January 1st, 2011 every single day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65. That is going to keep happening every single day for the next 19 years.
You and I live in a totally different world than the ultra-rich and the international banking elite do. Many of them live in a world where they simply do not pay income taxes. Today, it is estimated that a third of all the wealth in the world is held in offshore banks. So why is so much of the wealth of the globe located in places such as Monaco, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Isle of Man? It isn't because those are fun places to visit. It is to avoid taxes. The super wealthy and the international banking elite think that it is really funny that our paychecks are constantly being drained by federal taxes, state taxes and Social Security taxes while they literally pay nothing at all. These incredibly rich elitists make a ton of money doing business in wealthy western nations and then they transfer virtually all of their profits offshore where they don't have to contribute any of it in taxes. It works out really great for them, but it sucks for the rest of us.
It is estimated that approximately $1.4 trillion is held in offshore banks in the Cayman Islands alone. According to an article in Forbes magazine, there is a total of approximately 15 trillion to 20 trillion dollars in offshore bank accounts, brokerage accounts and hedge fund portfolios.
A recent article in the Guardian stated that a third of all the wealth on the entire globe is held in offshore banks and that the vast majority of international banking transactions take place in these tax havens....
On a conservative estimate, a third of the world's wealth is held offshore, with 80% of international banking transactions taking place there. More than half the capital in the world's stock exchanges is "parked" offshore at some point.
All of the biggest banks in the world are involved in playing this game. All of them have big branches in these various tax havens. All of them work very hard to ensure that the tax burdens on their ultra-rich clients are as light as possible.
Nobody knows for sure how much money big governments around the globe are missing out on from all this tax avoidance, but everyone agrees the number is huge. It is at least in the hundreds of billions of dollars every single year.
Now that's what I call TERRORISM!
This is state-sponsored/condoned CAPITAL FLIGHT,by economic terrorist money-launderers,racketeers,embezzlers who,
-never pay US taxes,
-never feed their capital BACK into their sovereign economies(from which it's STOLEN)from the bottom-up,and who
-make tax-free PROFITS which are PRIVATISED,until they FAIL (due to massive risk-taking using OUR national stakes).
Then, their criminally negligent LOSSES,are passed over to us,the loyal stupid TAX-PAYING public,who have already been ROBBED,and are shouldered MORE with the DEBTS of the State protected CRIMINALS,while they make CAPITAL FLIGHT to recoup(on our bailouts)and come back to DO THE SAME AGAIN!
No wonder EU economists are calling it the DOOM LOOP.
Go figure the US cancer-riddled capitalism,where our public(bank)servants,in the Whore-House on the Hill PROTECT the crooks first, and make us,their employers,PAY for their crimes??
Privatise the PROFITS and SOCIALISE THE LOSSES from their criminal high-risk hedging!
Subpoena,indict,try and hang the economic-terrorist bastards!
And empty those offshore BANKSTER accounts and feed it back into public healthcare,pensions,jobs,education,infrastructure,science...
from which it WAS STOLEN!
According to the Hawaii Reporter, the bill for the trip included:
$63,000 on an early flight bringing Mrs Obama and the children to Hawaii ahead of the president.
$1,000,000 on Mr Obama’s return trip from Washington on Air Force One.
$38,000 for the ‘Winter White House’ the president has rented for his family on the beach.
$16,000 to rent beachfront homes for Secret Service and Navy Seals.
$134,000 for 24 White House staff to stay at the Moana Hotel.
$251,000 in police overtime.
$10,000 for an ambulance to be on hand at all times
The U.S. economic cost of the illegal Iraq invasion and war...
Important Chart - Quick Look - Takes 5 Seconds
Americans want Congress to bring the $1.4 trillion federal deficit under control -- but they don't want anyone touching their Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, entitlement programs that account for 40% of all spending. Nor, according to a new Bloomberg National Poll, do they favor drastic cuts in domestic or defense spending. And one more thing. Don't raise their taxes.
According to comments from administration officials, the Obama Administration’s $50 billion projection for 2012 war funding is going to be blown apart, with a closed-door meeting putting the actual funding request closer to the $120 billion range.
Ultimately, however, these “emergency” war funding requests seem to be continuing for the forseeable future, even though President Obama made folding them into the military’s regular budget a top priority. Splitting up the record budgets is just too politically convenient, particularly when the administration is running massive deficits, to stop.
This is an absolutely obscene amount of money to be spent for these wars without end, and may well ultimately bankrupt and destroy this country.
US President Barack Obama has signed a major defense bill effectively preventing the closure of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today.
It's "the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government" to centralize efforts toward creating an "identity ecosystem" for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.
The Obama administration is currently drafting what it's calling the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, which Locke said will be released by the president in the next few months. (An early version was publicly released last summer.)
I would almost be willing to bet that some sophisticated coding will be able to get around this in a heartbeat.
The second half of 2011 will mark the point in time when all the world’s financial operators will finally understand that the West will not repay in full a significant portion of the loans advanced over the last two decades. For LEAP/E2020 it is, in effect, around October 2011, due to the plunge of a large number of US cities and states into an inextricable financial situation following the end of the federal funding of their deficits, whilst Europe will face a very significant debt refinancing requirement (1), that this explosive situation will be fully revealed.
What Moody's is saying is that unless the government of Ireland agrees to force the Irish people to cover the bankers' frauds, the bankers won't play nice with the Irish government any more. God reason for the people of Ireland to emulate the people of Iceland (it is just one letter's difference) and replace the government.
The Italian Banking Association has declared "war on cash" in a country where credit-card usage is less than half the European Union average, according to the Bank of Italy. The association, known by its Italian acronym ABI, says it costs banks and companies as much as 10 billion euros ($13.3 billion) a year to process cash payments, mainly in increased security and labor. Rome-based ABI aims to cut those expenses by promoting electronic payments with credit and debit cards and wire transfers in both the public and private sectors.
Actually, the "cost" of using cash is the loss of processing fees the bank collects on every plastic transaction. Plus, if all commerce travels through the banks, then the banks and government have a perfect spying operation that watches every action of every citizen.
TORONTO - The recent economic crisis could permanently limit Canada's future GDP growth, unless governments get rid of barriers to foreign ownership and policies that hinder the elderly from working, according to report published Thursday.
The report by the Centre for Study of Living Standards in Ottawa notes that Canada survived the recession relatively well compared to many other countries but the recession still led to a downward spiral in potential growth.
It says the lower level of investment that came with the downturn led to a one percentage point fall in potential GDP growth last year, which the report authors describe as "severe." They expect growth to go back into the positive to about two per cent in the medium term, but that is still at a rate below pre-crisis levels.
The authors, who are economists with the International Monetary Fund, suggest this can be fixed by policies aimed at raising potential growth. They suggest encouraging international trade and reducing barriers that prevent foreign ownership of telecommunications companies, airlines and broadcasters.
They say that Canada's labour productivity has slowed, and removing obstacles that make it harder for seniors over age 65 to work is another way Canada's GDP growth can fully recover. They also cite the need to bolster research and development, which is typically low in Canada compared to the rest of the world.
Interest rates will have to rise almost sixfold over the next two years to cope with rising inflation, business leaders have warned.
Myra Butterworth -- The Telegraph
It will bring financial pain to seven million home owners with floating interest rates who will see a jump of almost £200 on a typical monthly mortgage payment...
Globalist delusions of grandure have seemingly now morphed into schizoid hallucinations.
Europe is on the cusp of change. An EU heads-of-state summit Dec. 16 launched a process aimed to save the common European currency. If successful, this process would be the most significant step toward creating a singular European power since the creation of the European Union itself in 1992 — that is, if it doesn’t destroy the euro first.
Envisioned by the EU Treaty on Monetary Union, the common currency, the euro, has suffered from two core problems during its decade-long existence: the lack of a parallel political union and the issue of debt. Many in the financial world believe that what is required for a viable currency is a fiscal union that has taxation power — and that is indeed needed. But that misses the larger point of who would be in charge of the fiscal union. Taxation and appropriation — who pays how much to whom — are essentially political acts. One cannot have a centralized fiscal authority without first having a centralized political/military authority capable of imposing and enforcing its will. Greeks are not going to implement a German-designed tax and appropriations system simply because Berlin thinks it’s a good idea. As much as financiers might like to believe, the checkbook is not the ultimate power in the galaxy. The ultimate power comes from the law backed by a gun.
Mervyn King plotted a secret bailout of the banking system six months before Gordon Brown decided to take action.
The problem with a private central bank issuing the public currency at interest is that eventually they start thinking they really are the government!
Gulf states have held secret talks with Russia, China, Japan and France to replace the US dollar with a basket of currencies in the trade of oil, the UK's Independent newspaper says.
Nearly half of workers in the financial services sector are threatening to find new jobs if their expectations for bumper bonuses are not met this Christmas.
More collapsing banks could mean more 'too big to fail' banks
Daniel Tencer -- Raw Story
The $700-billion bank bailout, launched in the final months of the Bush administration, was meant to save US financial institutions from a systemic collapse. But an analysis of banks' earnings statements concludes that nearly 100 bailed-out banks are at risk of collapsing all the same...
This year recorded the highest number of bank failures since 1992, according to figures released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).
As 2010 comes to a close, the nation saw 157 banks fail over the past 12 months, up from 140 in 2009. Furthermore, 860 institutions were on the FDIC's "problem" banks list as of Sept. 30, the highest number since 1993.
One cannot begin to speak about the alleged "economic recovery" with a straight face, looking at numbers like these.
This is without question the most important decision so far in the war against the unlawful and fraudulent conduct of the originators, securitizers, out-source-providers, default servicers, and their so-called lawyers! The Judge articulates the business models we are dealing with better than anyone has done in any opinion, article or brief. I am sure your work contributed greatly to the education of the court and for that you should be highly commended. This Judge really and truly got it! It is the perfect outline of the transactional requirements and debunks every bogus argument that the other side has been advancing for year”.
This Massachusetts State Supreme Court Decision is far bigger news than the Arizona shooting. The wounding of a congresswoman, tragic as it is, does not affect our daily lives. But this court decision, which may set the precedent that invalidates million and millions of fraudulent foreclosures, impacts every community in the nation.
The bankers do not want you paying attention to this court ruling.
The bankers are desperate not to see identical lawsuits and identical decisions start to appear in the other 49 states.
The Federal Government took your jobs to make it easy for the banks to take your homes to bail themselves out of the fraudulent mortgage-backed security scandal. Now the banks have been caught in even more fraud. The wheels are coming off the foreclosure wagon, and how lucky for the bankers the media has another story to stay obsessed with this weekend!
Please forward the story of the Massachusetts State Supreme Court Decision to all your friends and networks. Tell them this is what affects their lives.
"News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising".
former NBC news President Rubin Frank
The Massachusetts court is the highest to ruled on this issue and the decision has the potential to invalidate thousands of foreclosures across the state. It also provides more ammunition to borrowers in other states who could push the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the nation's highest court rules that these transfers are not legal, the multi-trillion-dollar mortgage-backed securitization industry could face massive liability.
But Real Estate law is considered the states' purview. As Tracy Long commented on Friday's radio show, the Federal Government cannot intervene without creating a Constitutional crisis, or worse, because the general public would see overt bias in favor of Wall Street over the people, a revolution.
U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co. lost a foreclosure case in Massachusetts’s highest court that will guide lower courts in that state and may influence others in the clash between bank practices and state real-estate law. The ruling drove down bank stocks.
The state Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a judge’s decision saying two foreclosures were invalid because the banks didn’t prove they owned the mortgages, which he said were transferred into two mortgage-backed trusts without the recipients’ being named.
Joshua Rosner, an analyst at the New York-based research firm Graham Fisher & Co., called the decision “a landmark ruling” showing that at least in Massachusetts a mortgage “must name the assignee to be valid.”
When you thought you’d seen every possible fuck-up in mortgage land, a new one comes to light...
A slightly different twist on pernicious fraud...
View coalition’s letters to...
Bank of America...
Details inside - This is a pretty big deal - Wait until you see the large coalition of states and municipalities involved in the drafting of these letters...
Citigroup Faces Putback Risks
Citi may be liable for buying back as much as $35 billion of the loans. After recovering some through foreclosure sales, Citi may be looking at a loss of $22 billion.
Quick Read - Details Inside...
The author sent this our way this morning. This is the best, most thorough piece I've read on the Massachusetts ruling.
Take a couple minutes for this one....
Great Clip - Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism - Recorded Yesterday
"The mortgage service industry makes much more money from foreclosures than from restructuring debt."
'When a burglar goes in, they don't take your photos and your husband's ashes,' says alleged victim of wrongful foreclosure
The New York Times
TRUCKEE, Calif. — When Mimi Ash arrived at her mountain chalet here for a weekend ski trip, she discovered that someone had broken into the home and changed the locks.
When she finally got into the house, it was empty. All of her possessions were gone: furniture, her son’s ski medals, winter clothes and family photos...
WEBMASTER COMMENT: I don't want to give anyone ideas, but if the banks are gonna steal your stuff even if the bills are paid ... why bother paying any more bills?
Certified letter to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan from the Association of Financial Guaranty Insurers, which is the industry group representing the monolines in their suit against BAC.
Dear Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan:
You owe us between $10-20 billion for MBS fraud....
U.S. home foreclosures jumped in the third quarter and banks' efforts to keep borrowers in their homes dropped as the housing market continues to struggle, U.S. bank regulators said on Wednesday.
Okay, one more time.
The bankers do not WANT you to stay in your home. A monthly payment stretching 20 years into the future does not help the bankers. They need to grab the entire value of your home as an asset on their balance sheet, to offset the losses form the forced repurchase of the fraudulent mortgage-backed securities. Otherwise they go to prison for fraud.
This is forced wealth confiscation, done in a way to trick the American people into thinking it is their own fault they lost everything.
Home foreclosure sales slowed down at the end of 2010 for two reasons: the regular holiday foreclosure freezes, and the remnants of the so-called robo-signing scandal.
In the fall, many lenders put evictions on hold while they reviewed their foreclosure procedures. Rick Sharga of RealtyTrac says that's behind us now — and the pace of foreclosure is about to pick up.
"I'd be really, really surprised if we didn't see a probably record quarter in the first quarter of this year," he says.
Sharga expects banks to repossess close to 100,000 homes in January alone.
The five largest mortgage loan servicers, including Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co, may be the first to settle with 50 state attorneys general who are investigating foreclosure practices, Bloomberg reported, citing Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
So, the people behind the mortgage fraud loot Americans for trillions of dollars worth of homes, then pay a hundred million or so in fines to the states, and we're supposed to think that is the end of it?
Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) - The five largest loan servicers, including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, may be the first to settle with all 50 state attorneys general probing foreclosure fraud, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said.
The group isn’t pursuing a criminal investigation, Miller said. “Our focus is to reform the servicing process and that’s inherently civil, not criminal,” he said.
Bank of America Corp. is settling some buyback claims on bad home loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as it attempts to separate itself further from one of the of the housing downturn's biggest headaches.
This is an admission of what I have been saying all along. The financial institutions that sold fraudulent mortgage-backed securities are being forced to buy them back. In order to keep the losses from the forced repurchases from driving the banks into insolvency, the banks needed new assets on their balance sheets, in this case the homes of Americans. That is the reason for the orgy of foreclosures, many against homeowners not actually delinquent in their payments, and some without even having a mortgage at all. This is wealth confiscation from the people to prop up the bankers, done in a covert way to trick Americans into thinking it is their own fault they lost their homes.
STUDY THE PHOTOGRAPHS ON DISPLAY AT THIS ARTICLE, THEN AND ONLY THEN REPLAY THE VIDEO BELOW.
This video documents Downtown Oakland, California -- the Main Street of one of the most politically and artistically influential cities in the US. Empty office building after empty storefront after empty business. Side streets are even worse.
Macomb County investigators announce that the death of 62-year-old David Widlak of Grosse Pointe Farms was most likely a suicide.
Widlak was last was seen Sept. 19 at the Mount Clemens-based Community Central Bank Corp.
What this article does not mention is that Widlak was President and CEO of the bank. And all of a sudden we have a lot of people with inside knowledge of the mortgage fraud turning up dead.
So, a young woman with access to Citigroup inside information splatters on the sidewalk and ANCNNBBCBS rushes to reassure us all that even though this woman had no reason at all to kill herself, that her death must have been a suicide!
The Exploitation Truly NEVER Ends...
WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THIS LIST OF WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING
Guess what, Ireland. Brian Lenihan and Brian Cowen just sold you down the IMF river. Why? To bail out bank bondholders and giant European banks. Of course! That's what governments are for these days, apparently. And they'll tell you that the bailout policy is all for you own good. And for little old ladies and pensioners and orphans. Just don't tell that to the cancer patients.
Check it out below -- Guido Fawkes' blog has acquired the list of Anglo-Irish Bank's bondholders.
~ And just who owns the Federal Reserve Bank? I will tell you: 1. The Rothschilds of London and Berlin; 2. Lazard Brothers of Paris; 3. Israel Moses Seif of Italy; 4. Kuhn Loeb and Warburg of Germany; 5. Lehman Brothers, Goldman, Sachs; 6. The Rothschild-controlled Rockefeller interests of New York.
~ These are all Jewish names. Keep on peeling the onion and the Jewish House of Rothschild with their International Jewish Banking connections manifest their control over America’s society. This is scary stuff!
Federal Reserve Directors: A Study of Corporate and Banking Influence
Case Reveals Fed's Status as a Private Institution
Below are excerpts from a court case proving the Federal Reserve system's status. As you will see, the court ruled that the Federal Reserve Banks are "independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations", and there is not sufficient "federal government control over 'detailed physical performance' and 'day to day operation'" of the Federal Reserve Bank for it to be considered a federal agency:
Lewis v. United States, 680 F.2d 1239 (1982)
The Federal Reserve, through its extensive network of consultants, visiting scholars, alumni and staff economists, so thoroughly dominates the field of economics that real criticism of the central bank has become a career liability for members of the profession, an investigation by the Huffington Post has found.
MUST READ INVESTIGATIVE PIECE
The 22 statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America.
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace.
Regulators on Friday shuttered three small banks in Georgia and one each in Florida, Arkansas and Minnesota, raising to 157 the number of U.S. banks brought down this year by the struggling economy and soured loans.
So many Americans have been jobless for so long that the government is changing how it records long-term unemployment.
Citing what it calls "an unprecedented rise" in long-term unemployment, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), beginning Saturday, will raise from two years to five years the upper limit on how long someone can be listed as having been jobless.
The move could help economists better measure the severity of the nation's prolonged economic downturn.
When numbers are tallied on this basis, look for true unemployment figures most likely to double.
Movie rental giant Blockbuster will close 180 stores by the end of the first quarter, the company said. The retailer did not disclose specific stores to be closed.
Since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, the Dallas-based company has shuttered 58 stores.
Before its filing, Blockbuster operated 3,425 stores nationwide, of which 402 were franchise locations. Worldwide, the chain had more than 6,500 stores as of Jan. 20...