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Index August 2011

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2011-08-01: US Senate postpones vote on debt ceiling as deadline looms;
2011-08-02: The nonsense battle over the Debt Ceiling;
2011-08-03: Putin says U.S. is parasite on global economy;
2011-08-04:  Fault Lines: The top 1%;
2011-08-05: Citywatch: Slow Money;
2011-08-06: Somalia famine has killed 29,000 children;
2011-08-07: Capitalism and we, the others;
2011-08-08: The Market Has Spoken: Austerity Is Bad for Business;
2011-08-09: Les Etats-Unis se préparent à intervenir militairement en Somalie;
2011-08-09: The Evils of Unregulated Capitalism;
2011-08-10: Plan for China to invest in agricultural business rather than buy the farm;
2011-08-11: Commentary: It’s time for U.S. to stop blames, take responsibility;
2011-08-12: Analysis of Financial Terrorism in America;
2011-08-12: EU: Bankrottgefährdete Staaten sollen durch die Hintertür noch mehr Gelder bekommen;
2011-08-13: Economic Irrationality and Systems Collapse: When The Irrational Is Considered Rational;
2011-08-14: Kollaps Europa: Die verlorene, arbeitslose Jugend;
2011-08-14: Was S&P Downgrade a Preemptive Strike Against Prosecution?
2011-08-15: Hit me baby one more time;
2011-08-16: It’s the Free Trade, Stupid;
2011-08-17: Ex-terrorist says terrorists and NATO lost war;
2011-08-18: German GDP figures highlight downward trajectory of global economy;
2011-08-19: Titanic Battle or Insider Trading?
2011-08-15: Hit me baby one more time;
2011-08-16: It’s the Free Trade, Stupid;
2011-08-17: Ex-terrorist says terrorists and NATO lost war;
2011-08-18: German GDP figures highlight downward trajectory of global economy;
2011-08-19: Titanic Battle or Insider Trading?
2011-08-20: Who–and What–Are Behind the Official History of the Bin Laden Raid?
2011-08-21: Billionaire throws party on Long Island … ;
2011-08-22: Caught Red-Handed: Washington tried to snatch $ 1,5 Bio;
2011-08-23: GMOs coming to parks and lawns near you?
2011-08-24: The global recession and India;
2011-08-25: Former Wikileaks employee destroys unpublished leaked documents;
2011-08-25: Notre ordre démocratique et libéral est en danger;2011-08-26: U.S. High Finance Drives the World into Interest Slavery Systematically;
2011-08-27: Causes of Ethnic Divide in Sindh Versus Punjab;
2011-08-28: Now We’re Doing Inequality on a world-class Level;
2011-08-29: Bailing out the financial aristocracy;
2011-08-30: Opinion: Is capitalism doomed?
2011-08-31: Challenging the Power of Capital, What Forms of Mass Action?

Challenging the Power of Capital, What Forms of Mass Action?

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One Year After the G20 Protests – Published on Global Research.ca, by Clarice Kuhling, August 29, 2011.

In June 2010, leaders of the G20 countries gathering in Toronto were met with a large protest march organized by union officials as well as by a series of actions organized by community-based activists. Police arrests of activists began before the march. Many hundreds of arrests followed, in the wake of attacks on property in downtown Toronto by some protestors … //

… From Anger to Action: Continue Reading…

Opinion: Is capitalism doomed?

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The recent credit rating downgrade and Eurozone debt crises are slowly showing signs of The Great Depression 2.0. – Published on Al Jazeera, by Nouriel Roubini, August 18, 2011.

… Another round of bank bailouts is politically unacceptable and economically unfeasible: most governments, especially in Europe, are so distressed that bailouts are unaffordable; indeed, their sovereign risk is actually fuelling concern about the health of Europe’s banks, which hold most of the increasingly shaky government paper.  Continue Reading…

Bailing out the financial aristocracy

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by David Ruccio, August 26, 2011.

We’ve known all along about the TARP funds.* http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-tarp-funds.htm
Now, thanks to Bloomberg, we know about the $1.2 trillion of public money, which is about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke showered on the Wall Street aristocracy … //   Continue Reading…

Now We’re Doing Inequality on a world-class Level

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by Joseph Stiglitz about the USA – Published on Current Concerns no 14, (Source: Vanity Fair.com: Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%, Mai 2011, 5 pages long), August 22, 2011.

America has long prided itself on being a fair society, where everyone has an equal chance of getting ahead, but the statistics suggest otherwise: The chances of a poor citizen, or even a middle-class citizen, making it to the top in America are smaller than in many countries of Europe. The cards are stacked against them. It is this sense of an unjust system without opportunity that has given rise to the conflagrations in the Middle East:   Continue Reading…

Causes of Ethnic Divide in Sindh Versus Punjab

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Causes of Ethnic Divide in Sindh Versus Punjab – Solution is assimilation so that you become part of the majority rather than a minority pressure group – Published on CHOWK /Politics, by Shahzad Kazi, August 09, 2011.

A big difference between migration to Sindh versus Punjab is that, most who migrated to Punjab were from East Punjab and the few who were not had to integrate by learning the language. Second and third generation immigrants to Punjab now call themselves Punjabi. On the other hand the vast majority of migrants to Sindh were Urdu speaking from different parts of India and they primarily settled in big cities like Karachi and Hyderabad.  Continue Reading…

U.S. High Finance Drives the World into Interest Slavery Systematically

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A new form of imperialism – Published on Current Concerns no. 13, by Prof Dr Eberhard Hamer, August 9, 2011.

Much that appears to be absurd in the Euro crises and the world financial crises might well be strategically wanted and planned:  Continue Reading…

Notre ordre démocratique et libéral est en danger

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Interview de Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider par Jürgen Elsässer du magazine Compact au sujet des divers plans de sauvetage de l’euro, publié dans Horizons et débats no 33, le 22 Aout 2011.

Jürgen Elsässer: Vous avez, avec vos collègues économistes, déposé un recours contre la prétendue aide à la Grèce et contre le «plan de sauvetage» temporaire. Dans quelle mesure, à votre avis, la Constitution et la démocratie allemandes sont-elles menacées?   Continue Reading…

Former Wikileaks employee destroys unpublished leaked documents

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Published on en.WIKInews, August 23, 2011.

A former Wikileaks employee has destroyed 3,500 unpublished leaks to Julian Assange’s site, and taken the site’s encrypted system to create a spinoff project. Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s former right-hand man, left Wikileaks last year after a disagreement between the pair; and, has now demolished files sent to the Wikileaks site such as- the US no-fly list, Bank of America documents and “detailed information about 20 neo-Nazi groups”.  Continue Reading…

The global recession and India

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Published on Hindu Business Line, by C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh, August 23, 2011.

With global growth slowing and financial markets experiencing a downturn, the fallout for India is a matter of concern. The channels through which these effects could be transmitted are more in number than conventionally recognised … //

… Exposure to global finance:  Continue Reading…

GMOs coming to parks and lawns near you?

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GMOs coming to parks and lawns near you? – Published on Intrepid Report, by Reid Mukia, August 22, 2011.

On the Friday before the 4th of July weekend, the US Department of Agriculture USDA discreetly dropped a bombshell. They announced that their Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service APHIS would not regulate Scotts Miracle-Gro’s
genetically engineered GE Kentucky bluegrass which is resistant to Roundup herbicide (Scotts is Monsanto’s exclusive agent for marketing and distribution of Roundup).  Continue Reading…

Caught Red-Handed: Washington tried to snatch $ 1,5 Bio

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… to pay its NTC employees. – Published on Voltairenet.org, by Thierry Meyssan, August 18, 2011. (Same in FRENCH – LA MAIN DANS LE SAC: Washington tente de voler 1,5 Mia de $ … pour payer ses salariés du CNT, dans Voltairenet.org, par Thierry Meyssan, le 6 août 2011).

The United States tried to seize on Monday 1 500 000 000 dollars owned by the Libyan state, but at the last minute South Africa got in its way. The documents emanating from this episode, and unveiled by Voltaire Network, reveal that the members of the NTC and their staff are the direct employees of a US entity … //  Continue Reading…

Billionaire throws party on Long Island …

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Published on WSWS, by David Walsh, 20 August 2011.

American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, in a short story, once famously noted that the very rich “are different from you and me.” In that same story, “The Rich Boy” (1926), Fitzgerald’s protagonist is made a partner in a brokerage firm in 1923 and earns $25,000 a year, or $325,000 in current dollars. Not a paltry sum, but hardly one that would put you in the category of the “very rich” these days, at least as the term is understood on Wall Street. The “very rich” today are a great deal more different “from you and me.”

On August 13, billionaire private equity investor Leon Black organized a 60th birthday party for himself at his estate in Southampton, on Long Island, that cost “millions of dollars,” according to an account at CNNMoney. Reportedly, pop singer Elton John, who gave an hour-and-a-half concert for the 200 guests, was alone paid $1 million for his services … //  Continue Reading…

Who–and What–Are Behind the Official History of the Bin Laden Raid?

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Published on Who-What-Why, by Russ Baker, August 17, 2011.

Article Summary:  When you look closely, nothing seems right about what will surely become the accepted account of the raid that nailed America’s enemy number one. And then things get even weirder.

The establishment media just keep getting worse. They’re further and further from good, tough investigative journalism, and more prone to be pawns in complicated games that affect the public interest in untold ways. A significant recent example is The New Yorker’s vaunted August 8 exclusive on the vanquishing of Osama bin Laden …  // Continue Reading…

Titanic Battle or Insider Trading?

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The S&P Downgrade and the Bilderbergers: All Part of the Plan? – Published on Global Research.ca, by Ellen Brown, August 18, 2011.

… The One World Company:

Daniel Estulin, noted expert on the Bilderbergers, describes that secretive globalist group as “a medium of bringing together financial institutions which are the world’s most powerful and most predatory financial interests.” Writing in June 2011, he said:

  • Bilderberg isn’t a secret society. . . . It’s a meeting of people who represent a certain ideology. . . . Not OWG [One World Government] or NWO [New World Order] as too many people mistakenly believe. Rather, the ideology is of a ONE WORLD COMPANY LIMITEDContinue Reading…

German GDP figures highlight downward trajectory of global economy

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Published on WSWS, by Barry Grey, August 17, 2011.

Economic growth in Germany, which had been largely powering limited economic growth in the European Union, ground to a virtual halt in the second quarter of this year, according to figures released Tuesday by Germany’s statistical office … //

… Comparisons to the Depression of the 1930s are proliferating, along with grim warnings from governments, policymakers and commentators. “We are entering a new danger zone,” World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Sunday during a visit to Australia. He added that world leaders need to take strong action “both short- and long-term to restore confidence.” But he remained vague as to what these measures should be.  Continue Reading…

Ex-terrorist says terrorists and NATO lost war

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Lev Vershinin interviews Dr. Rejeb Muftakhov Budabusa – Published ob Fubar and Grill.org FU, by folkie, 12 August 2011.

In a TV interview, Dr. Rejeb Muftakhov Budabusa, judging by numerous paraphrases and a more or less detailed digest, made a considerable impression on “all Paris” not having forgotten that in February and early March, he ardently advocated “peaceful demonstrations” in Benghazi and for “salvation from the punishment of Cyrenaica.”

He’s a fairly well-known, serious economist who belongs to the Bengazi elite, and was one of the most prominent dissidents. He then went to Paris, was no less a prominent figure in emigre circles, criticized Gaddafi, and in the early events was the representative of the “MSP” in France. Interesting to evaluate the past months,” he said today, to La Rex and political scientist, Lev Vershinin.  Continue Reading…

It’s the Free Trade, Stupid

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Published on Global Geopolitics.net, by Ian Fletcher, August 11, 2011.

One point that seems largely to have been missed in recent weeks, amid all the excitement over the Federal budget and the sovereign-debt crises in Europe, is how free trade is largely the root cause of all these problems. Let’s trace the causation for a minute.

Start with the Federal budget. Federal revenues are derived from the underlying economy, and therefore, if the underlying economy were larger, revenues would be, too—even without any tax increases. As a result, anything that causes the U.S. economy to be smaller, tends to widen any gap between taxes and revenues.

Enter free trade:  Continue Reading…

Hit me baby one more time

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Markets will take any help they can get – Published on The Economist, August 13, 2011.

ADDICTS always crave one more hit. With stockmarkets slumping over the past two weeks investors hoped that the Federal Reserve would unveil a third round of “quantitative easing” (QE), the creation of money to bolster asset prices, on August 9th. The second round, announced in August last year, had triggered an equity rally in late 2010.

Instead of pure heroin, investors got methadone in the form of a commitment from the Fed to keep rates at their current low levels for another two years. While Wall Street managed a late rally on the day (the Dow gained almost 430 points, or 4%), the Fed’s hit gave only a brief rush. Share prices resumed their fall on August 10th … //  Continue Reading…

Was S&P Downgrade a Preemptive Strike Against Prosecution?

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Watch this video: Gerry Epstein* about S&P face possible prosecution for role in sub-prime debacle, 8.06 min.

* (co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute PERI, University of Massachusetts Amherst).

Kollaps Europa: Die verlorene, arbeitslose Jugend

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Interview über Gründe und Folgen mit Prof. Hermann Adrian von der Uni Mainz, Teil I

Im KOPP-Verlag, von Eva Herman, 11. August 2011.

Europa kollabiert. Finanziell, wirtschaftlich und sozialpolitisch. Neueste Zahlen vom europäischen Arbeitsmarkt sind schockierend: Mehr als 20 Prozent der 15- bis 24-Jährigen haben keinen Job. Die Gewaltausschreitungen in England, Spanien, Griechenland und anderen Ländern werden immer heftiger. Europas Zukunft, so scheint es, hängt an einem seidenen Faden.

In Spanien liegen die Jugendarbeitslosenzahlen bei fast 50 Prozent, in Griechenland bei ca. 44 Prozent, in Italien und Irland bei fast dreißig Prozent. Auch in Frankreich und Schweden sind knapp 25 Prozent der jungen Menschen ohne Arbeit. Und in Deutschland sind 23- bis 29-Jährige zu bereits 18 Prozent arbeitslos. Continue Reading…

Economic Irrationality and Systems Collapse: When The Irrational Is Considered Rational

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Linked on our blogs with Danny Schechter, USA. – Published on Global Research.ca, by Danny Schechter, August 11, 2011.

Oh thank you, Wikipedia*, for this definition: Irrationality is cognition, thinking, talking or acting without inclusion of rationality. It is more specifically described as an action or opinion given through inadequate reasoning, emotional distress, or cognitive deficiency. The term is used, usually pejoratively, to describe thinking and actions that are, or appear to be, less useful or more illogical than other more rational alternatives.

And what about this one? Market Psychology? This term is defined in the Investopedia this way:  Continue Reading…

EU: Bankrottgefährdete Staaten sollen durch die Hintertür noch mehr Gelder bekommen

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Bei Kopp online, von Michael Grandt, 9. August 2011.

Offensichtlich reicht es nicht, dass man für zahlungsunfähige europäische Länder bereits Hunderte von Milliarden Euro zur Verfügung stellt. Jetzt sollen sogar Staaten, die NICHT zur Eurozone gehören, über Strukturfonds an Steuergelder kommen.

Strukturförderung« heißt der Begriff, der quasi über die Hintertür neue Steuergelder für angeschlagene europäische Staaten locker machen soll. Damit sollen jetzt auch Staaten beglückt werden, die NICHT zur Eurozone gehören: Neben Griechenland, Irland und Portugal sollen demnach auch die Nichteuroländer Rumänien, Lettland und Ungarn in den Genuss von Fördergeldern kommen.  Continue Reading…

Analysis of Financial Terrorism in America

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Over 1 Million Deaths Annually, 62 Million People With Zero Net Worth, As the Economic Elite Make Off With $46 Trillion – Editor’s Note: The following report includes adapted excerpts from David DeGraw’s book, The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III, release Date: 9.28.11

Published on AmpedStatus.org, by David DeGraw, August 10, 2011.

… Abstract: Welcome to World War III:

  • Despite increasing personal financial hardship, most Americans remain unaware of the economic world war currently unfolding. An all-pervasive corporate and government propaganda campaign has effectively obscured this blatant reality. After extensive analysis, it is evident that World War III is a war between the richest one-tenth of one percent of the global population and 99.9 percent of humanity. Or, as I have called it, The Economic Elite Vs. The People. This war has been a one-sided attack thus far. However, as we have seen throughout the world in recent months, the people are beginning to fight back. The following report is a statistical analysis of the systemic economic attacks against the American people.  Continue Reading…

Commentary: It’s time for U.S. to stop blames, take responsibility

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Published on Xinhuanet.com/english, August 8, 2011.

The White House on Saturday challenged the ruling by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade U.S. long- term credit rating form top rank of AAA to AA+, citing the agency’ s decision relied on faulty math and in haste.

Disappointingly, instead of reflecting on themselves and sitting down to fix problems in a cooperated way, the Democrats and Republicans in Washington are questioning the creditability of the downgrade ruling and blaming each other for the ever-first shame of slipping out top credit rating club.

During the angry finger-pointing, the U.S. politicians seemed to have forgotten Wall Street’s severest losses in almost three years last week, forgotten mounting concerns about double-dip recession, and forgotten the criticism over their irresponsibility showed during the debt arm-twisting from all over the world.  Continue Reading…

Plan for China to invest in agricultural business rather than buy the farm

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Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, by Siobhain Ryan, August 3, 2011.

CHINESE companies could be encouraged to invest in Australian agricultural businesses instead of buying up farms under a new foreign investment model based on the practice in the mining sector.

Trade Minister Craig Emerson proposed the approach yesterday as a way of addressing public concerns over foreign ownership of farmland, while leaving the door open for investments that boosted agricultural productivity and sated the growing Chinese appetite for food imports.  Continue Reading…

The Evils of Unregulated Capitalism

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Remedy for the US economy: end the wars, rein in military and drug costs, and raise taxes – at least on the very rich

Published Current Concerns no 12 (Source: AlJazeera.net, 10 July 2011),  by Joseph E. Stiglitz, August 2011.

ef. In June 2009, the then President of the UN General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, and former chief World Bank economist and Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz had called together a “conference at the highest level” on the issue of the world financial and economic crisis and its impact.

This was the urgent attempt, not only not to leave the topic of global crisis to their originators, the G20, but also to help those to have their say and to participate, who most clearly experienced the consequences of the crisis. All countries, the G192, the world community, was to be involved in solving this problem of humanity, because the crisis affected the whole international community and therefore all peoples had to be equally involved in the quest for solutions. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, and Joseph E. Stiglitz had consistently advocated that the nations were treated as equal and sovereign partners and that powerful financial blocks or individual industrial states should not dominate.

At the conference it was clear that a new way of thinking was urgently needed, an economy based on exploitation, competition, selfishness, greed, an economy structured by the developed countries had had its day. Rather, a world economy was needed, that was driven by ethical principles: respect, caring, responsibility, cooperation – an economy in which the human being was again the focus. These ethical principles should help to “overcome the selfishness and take the necessary measures to prevent the crisis to become a catastrophe, but instead an opportunity, to create new forms of cohabitation, innovative business models and a highly developed sense of life and living together”. (Opening address by Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, Current Concerns No 14 of 14.7.2009)

The then pressing demands while facing the devastating impact of the global financial and economic crisis, particularly for poorer nations, seem to have faded largely unheard in the west in the meandtime: The report of the Stiglitz Commission, which was presented at the conference, had asked for fundamental reforms of the international financial markets, amongst others a representative world economy council and capital transaction controls. At that time this attempt was rejected by the industrial nations … //

… So what happened?

Unaffordable tax cuts and wars, a major recession, and soaring health-care costs – fueled in part by the commitment of George W. Bush’s administration to giving drug companies free rein in setting prices, even with government money at stake – quickly transformed a huge surplus into record peacetime deficits. The remedies to the US deficit follow immediately from this diagnosis put America back to work by stimulating the economy; end the mindless wars; rein in military and drug costs; and raise taxes, at least on the very rich.

But the right will have none of this, and instead is pushing for even more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, together with expenditure cuts in investments and social protection that put the future of the US economy in peril and that shred what remains of the social contract.

Meanwhile, the US financial sector has been lobbying hard to free itself of regulations, so that it can return to its previous, disastrously carefree, ways.

But matters are little better in Europe. As Greece and others face crises, the medicine du jour is simply timeworn austerity packages and privatisation, which will merely leave the countries that embrace them poorer and more vulnerable.

This medicine failed in East Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere, and it will fail in Europe this time around, too. Indeed, it has already failed in Ireland, Latvia, and Greece. There is an alternative: an economic-growth strategy supported by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Growth would restore confidence that Greece could repay its debts, causing interest rates to fall and leaving more fiscal room for further growth-enhancing investments.

Growth itself increases tax revenues and reduces the need for social expenditures, such as unemployment benefits. And the confidence that this engenders leads to still further growth. Regrettably, the financial markets and right-wing economists have gotten the problem exactly backwards: they believe that austerity produces confidence, and that confidence will produce growth. But austerity undermines growth, worsening the government’s fiscal position, or at least yielding less improvement than austerity’s advocates promise. On both counts, confidence is undermined, and a downward spiral is set in motion. Do we really need another costly experiment with ideas that have failed repeatedly? We shouldn’t, but increasingly it appears that we will have to endure another one nonetheless.

A failure of either Europe or the US to return to robust growth would be bad for the global economy. A failure in both would be disastrous – even if the major emerging-market countries have attained self-sustaining growth.

Unfortunately, unless wiser heads prevail*, that is the way the world is heading. (full text).

(Joseph E Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University, a Nobel laureate in economics, and the author of Freefall: Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy. W. W. Norton & Company, 2010, ISBN 9780393338959).

*(wiser heads are not foreseen, as the rainmakers WANT this world to fail … believing, they can dominate after even better, having definitively shut down any protest).

Les Etats-Unis se préparent à intervenir militairement en Somalie

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Same article on WSWS in english: US prepares for military intervention in Somalia, by Susan Garth, 6 August 2011.

Lié dans nos blogs avec World Food Program in Somalia: Angel of mercy or angel of death? – Publié dans World Socialist Web Site WSWS, par Susan Garth, 8 août 2011.

Le gouvernement Obama prépare une nouvelle intervention militaire en Somalie, prétextant  des préoccupations humanitaires pour les victimes de la sécheresse qui meurent de faim. Les médias se sont alignés sur une campagne mêlant larmes de crocodiles et lamentations avec des dénonciations du mouvement islamiste al-Shabaab qui est accusé d’avoir aggravé la crise.  Continue Reading…

The Market Has Spoken: Austerity Is Bad for Business

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Ellen Brown, August 6, 2011.

… The Problem Is Not Debt But a Shrinking Money Supply:

The markets are not reacting to a “debt crisis.”  They do not look at charts ten years out.  They look at present indicators of jobs and sales, which have turned persistently negative.  Jobs and sales are both dependent on “demand,” which means getting money into the pockets of consumers; and the money supply today has shrunk.   Continue Reading…

Capitalism and we, the others

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Horace Campbell, August 4, 2011.

On August 2, a few hours before the deadline for the US government to raise its debt ceiling or face default, President Barack Obama signed into law the Budget Control Act, after Congress passed it by wide margins. This debt ceiling agreement calls for over $2 trillion ($900 billion now and $1.2 trillion by the end of the year) in fiscal spending cuts spread over ten years. These cuts are expected to only reduce GDP growth in 2012 by 0.1% … //  Continue Reading…

Somalia famine has killed 29,000 children

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Claim by US officials follows declaration of three new famine zones by UN and warning that more areas are vulnerable

Published on Al Jazeera /english, August 5, 2011.

US officials say that the famine in Somalia has killed more than 29,000 children in the last 90 days. Separately, the UN has declared that three new regions in Somalia are famine zones, making a total of five regions affected by famine thus far in the Horn of Africa country. The UN had said last month two regions were suffering from famine. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN’s food arm, has said that famine is likely to spread across all regions of Somalia’s south in the next four to six weeks.  Continue Reading…

Citywatch: Slow Money

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Nourishing the Planet – Published on Nourishing the Planet, by Wayne Roberts, August 3, 2011.

Citywatch: Whether it’s action or traction in the food world, cities are stepping up to the plate. The world is fast going urban, as are challenges of social, economic and environmental well-being. Citywatch is crucial to Worldwatch. Wayne Roberts, retired manager of the world-renowned Toronto Food Policy Council, has his eye out for the future of food in the city.

A lot of people blame fast buck artists for bringing on the 2008 economic crash, but few have yet looked to slow money artistry to get the economy moving in a better direction.  Continue Reading…

Fault Lines: The top 1%

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With 1% of Americans controlling 40% of the country’s wealth, we examine the gap between the rich and the rest

Published on AlJazeera, August 2, 2011.

The richest one per cent of Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country’s income and control an astonishing 40 per cent of its wealth.

Inequality in the US is more extreme than it has been in almost a century – and the gap between the super-rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years.  Continue Reading…

Putin says U.S. is parasite on global economy

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(First my comment: it’s not the American people, it’s just a clique of few gangster families. Why do we let them do? Why we accept this being legal? Have we all a collective Stockholm Syndrome?). – Published on Heartfelt, by blog owner (source: Reuters /Maria Tsvetkova), August 2, 2011.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States Monday of living beyond its means “like a parasite” on the global economy and said dollar dominance was a threat to the financial markets.

“They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy,” Putin told the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi while touring its lakeside summer camp some five hours drive north of Moscow.

“They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar,” Putin said at the open-air meeting with admiring young Russians in what looked like early campaigning before parliamentary and presidential polls … (full text).

The nonsense battle over the Debt Ceiling

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Published on the Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Dean Baker, July 29, 2011.

Policy debates in Washington are moving ever further from reality as a small elite is moving to strip benefits that the vast majority need and support. The battle over raising the debt ceiling is playing a central role in this effort … //

… The claim that the deficit is a chronic problem and not primarily the result of a severe cyclical downturn also opens the door for cuts to the country’s major social welfare programs. These cuts are hugely unpopular. All three major programs enjoy overwhelming support among people in all demographic groups, including conservative Republicans. There is no way that an ambitious politician would ever suggest major cuts to these programs apart from a crisis. Continue Reading…

US Senate postpones vote on debt ceiling as deadline looms

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Published on DW-World.de, by Spencer Kimball and David Levitz, July 30, 2011.

In Washington, Democrats and Republicans remain deadlocked in the race to avoid a new economic crisis. After Democrats killed a Republican plan, they must now find a compromise to avert a debt default … //

… Edging toward default:

The US Treasury has said that it will not be able to meet all its obligations and could risk an unprecedented default on loans, triggering a downgrade of US credit ratings, unless Congress passes an increase in the debt limit by Tuesday.  Continue Reading…