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Index July 2012

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2012-07-01: $4 trillion conflict of interest: Investment bankers on Fed boards;
2012-07-02: China hires tens of thousands of North Korea guest workers;
2012-07-03: Financial Coup D’Etat in Europe: Government by the Banks, for the Banks;
2012-07-04: Germany is not New York;
2012-07-05: As Barclays CEO resigns: Libor manipulation scandal engulfs 16 top banks;
2012-07-06: Work force programs, key to economic stability;
2012-07-07: Canyons and rivers in Switzerland;
2012-07-08: Theory Talk #49, with John Mearsheimer;
2012-07-09: Third way takes the stage;
2012-07-10: The LIBOR affair: Banksters;
2012-07-11: Beyond Nuclear Denial;
2012-07-12: What About the Men? Why Our Gender System Sucks for Men, Too;
2012-07-13: Facing the tipping point of American civilization;
2012-07-14: Finding the Anti-World: The Next Holy Grail for Physics – Part 1;
2012-07-15: The Increasing Power Of Neoliberalism Globally;
2012-07-16: International Survey: Crisis Batters Global Faith in Capitalism;
2012-07-18: JPMorgan scandal: the tip of the iceberg;
2012-07-19: Do Business Schools Incubate Criminals?
2012-07-20: Inequality and American exceptionalism;
2012-07-21: Factoid of the day: capital flight and Target 2 imbalances;
2012-07-22: Report on the Greek Left;
2012-07-23: Africa palm-oil plan pits activists vs NY investors;
2012-07-24: Cuba’s Coming Co-Operative Economy?
2012-07-25: about our Future;
2012-07-26: The Crisis in 1000 words – or less;
2012-07-27: The Politics of Austerity, Occupy and the 2012 US Elections;
2012-07-28: There’s No More to Squeeze: Greeks Live in Dread of Troika Verdict;
2012-07-29: CA CAFR: Parks Dept. found $54 million, $2.3 billion more now found, full $600 billion next?
2012-07-30: The Demise of Union Power in American Politics & the Public Mind;
2012-07-31: Egypt: To strike or not to strike.

Egypt: To strike or not to strike

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Late pay and better working conditions are at the heart of tens of strikes that have gripped the country - Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Niveen Wahish, 25 – 31 July 2012.

Hundreds of workers at Cleopatra Ceramics, one of the largest private sector ceramics manufacturers, and thousands at Ghazl Al-Mahalla, Egypt’s largest textiles spinning and weaving company, were on strike. And these are only two of the many strikes that have gripped the headlines for more than two weeks. There are other stories: Fayoum university workers, notary office employees in Ismailia and Minya, along with train drivers — the list goes on.   Continue Reading…

The Demise of Union Power in American Politics & the Public Mind

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(Paranoia & Fantasy on the Right) – Published on ZNet, by Anthony Dimaggio and Paul Street, July 28, 2012.

The election season is upon us and along with it comes the standard Republican claims to be up against a powerful Democratic Party machine backed by the awesome clout of the “union bosses” of American labor. We have been told this endlessly by pundits on the reactionary right such as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck – those happy to misrepresent and distort the long decline and near-extinction of the American labor movement … // Continue Reading…

CA CAFR: Parks Dept. found $54 million, $2.3 billion more now found; full $600 billion next?

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Published on Washington’s Blog, by Carl Herman, July 28, 2012.

For five weeks I journalistically hammered that California’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report CAFR reveals $600 billion in surplus taxpayer assets, and the various local government agencies’ CAFRs are data-sampled to total $8 trillion in surplus assets.  Continue Reading…

There’s No More to Squeeze: Greeks Live in Dread of Troika Verdict

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Daniel Steinvorth in Athens, July 26, 2012;

Financial inspectors from the troika have arrived in Greece to draft their final report on whether the country has made enough progress with its austerity and reform efforts. But many Greeks have already lost hope and are counting on the worst – an exit from the euro zone.   Continue Reading…

The Politics of Austerity, Occupy and the 2012 US Elections

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A Solidarity Pamphlet – Published on Solidarity, by Marc Aaron, Warren Davis, Dianne Feeley, David Finkel and Kit Wainer, (on July 26, 2012 = on Socialist Project). Download the 16 pages-pdf.

AT THIS MOMENT, the central issue facing our society is how to respond to the deepest crisis of global capitalism since the 1930s. Unfortunately, we won’t be hearing a substantive debate about this in the 2012 elections. The Democratic and Republican parties both favor austerity — in short, making working-class people pay to bail out the corporations and get capitalism back on its feet.    Continue Reading…

The Crisis in 1000 words – or less

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Published on Real World Economic Review Blog, by Steve Keen, July 24, 2012.

URPE–The Union for Radical Political Economics–is holding a Summer School for the Occupy movement, and as part of that invited papers that explained the crisis in 1000 words or less (so that they can be printed on one double-sided sheet). Here’s my effort in somewhat less than 1,000 words (though with 2 figures). In the interests of URPE’s objective in this exercise, here’s the PDF of this blog post for general download.   Continue Reading…

what about our Future

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out of our past …

Cuba’s Coming Co-Operative Economy?

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Published on ZNet (first on The Bullet), by Marcelo Vieta, by Marcelo Vieta, July 21, 2012.

…  Almost instantly upon arriving in Cuba in late June of 2011 I noticed the wherewithal of its people, especially their tenacity to get by on little. In many ways, I discovered, Cubans have already been forging an alternative socio-economic reality for decades now. For instance, we can think of how they revolutionised their agricultural sector during and after the Special Period, making Cuba the first nation to adopt a predominantly organic farming sector rooted in agricultural co-ops and the notion of subsidiarity (i.e., economic activity with a strong focus on the local and managed by local people).   Continue Reading…

Africa palm-oil plan pits activists vs NY investors

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Published on Food Crisis and the global Land Grab, July 18, 2012.

It was a tough week for Cameroonian village chief Wangoe Philip Ekole. People in Fabe, angry at his support for a palm-oil plantation in their rainforest home, had put a curse on its seedling nursery, prompting petrified workers to lay down their tools and flee.

Ekole, who believes the project will bring people jobs and wealth, had persuaded them to return. But the whiff of revolt remained. Many of his 200 or so subjects accused him of seeking to enrich himself through the project. Some even disowned him as their leader.   Continue Reading…

Report on the Greek Left

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Leo Panitch: Recently returned from Greece, a report on Syriza, the left party that could win the next election

Watch this video, published on The Real News Network TRNN, 13.16 min, by Paul Jay, July 21, 2012: … The expectation is that this government won’t last, it won’t last six months. There is a modicum of relief that they came so close to winning but didn’t win, because heaven knows they weren’t ready to take over the state—they didn’t know who would be the ministers, they didn’t know where they would get the talent to bring 10,000 people into the state, and they were worried that if they did, that they would denude the movement of many of its activists.   Continue Reading…

Factoid of the day: capital flight and Target 2 imbalances

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Published on RWER Blog, by merijnknibbe, July 19, 2012.

Target 2 is, more or less, the ECB credit-card of entire countries. When a country (technically: the Central Bank of a Eurozone country) is short of money, either because of a deficit on the current account which is not matched by a positive capital account or because of a surplus on the current account which is overwhelmed by a large outflow of capital the resulting shortage of money is financed by Target 2 credit.   Continue Reading…

Inequality and American exceptionalism

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Published on RWER Blog, by David Ruccio, July 19, 2012.

American exceptionalism has long been a contested notion.

But there is one area in which the United States has been exceptional from the very declaration of independence: the relative inequality of the distribution of income.

In 1774, the United States was much more equal than England and Wales (and more equal, it seems, than other western societies, such as the Netherlands). Today, more than 200 hundred years later, the United States is more unequal than any of the other advanced capitalist nations.  Continue Reading…

Do Business Schools Incubate Criminals?

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Published on naked capitalism, by Yves Smith, July 18, 2012.

Luigi Zinglaes, who teaches at the University of Chicago’s business school, had an op-ed in Bloomberg provocatively titled “Do Business Schools Incubate Criminals?” He argues that business schools are “partly to blame” for the decline in ethical standards in the business world, and urges that ethics not be taught as a separate course by lightweight profs, but integrated into all courses.   Continue Reading…

JPMorgan scandal: The tip of the iceberg

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Published on Global (first on WSWS), by Andre Damon and Barry Grey, July 17, 2012.

JPMorgan Chase, the biggest US bank by assets, announced Friday that the trading loss from derivatives bets made by its Chief Investment Office (CIO) had reached $5.8 billion, nearly three times the amount the company had revealed in May. It added that the bad bets could result in an additional $1.7 billion in losses over the rest of the year.   Continue Reading…


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Tim Geithner’s Libor Recommendations Came Directly From Big Banks, Documents Show – Published on Huffington Post, by Ryan Grim, July 16, 2012.

WASHINGTON – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has so far escaped responsibility for the spreading Libor fixing scandal by releasing documents showing that when he became aware of the problem in 2008, as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, he made recommendations to address it.   Continue Reading…

International Survey: Crisis Batters Global Faith in Capitalism

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Gregor Peter Schmitz in Washington, July 12, 2012.

The global economic crisis has hit millions where it hurts the most: in the pocketbook. But a study released Thursday by the US-based Pew Research Center also finds that the crisis has damaged their faith in political leaders and the free market economy in general … //

… Greater Optimism in Emerging Economies:    Continue Reading…

The Increasing Power Of Neoliberalism Globally

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Published on ZNet, Taylan Tosun is interviewing Robin Hahnel, July 13, 2012.

Taylan Tosun: (1) Why are the centers of international financial power so afraid of even moderate inflation? Why are almost all the central banks of those countries charged with the task of “inflation targeting”? Why do international financial interests oppose the kind of moderate inflation which might well accompany pro-growth, anti-austerity policies?    Continue Reading…

Finding the Anti-World: The Next Holy Grail for Physics – Part 1

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Johann Grolle in Geneva, Switzerland, July 12, 2012. (Photo-GalleryTranslated from the German by Christopher Sultan).

The apparent discovery of the Higgs boson was hailed as a historic milestone, but for particle physicists it mainly marks the beginning of a new search. Rival teams at CERN in Switzerland are trying to decipher the secrets of antimatter. If they succeed, the laws of physics will have to be rewritten … //  Continue Reading…

Facing the tipping point of American civilization

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Brian P. Stetten, July 12, 2012.

When on Earth are we going to wake up and begin questioning the very nature of our economic and political systems? In June of last year, Conservative Member of Parliament Cecil Parkinson on BBC made the surreal statement, “The capitalists are destroying capitalism.” He stated this with a certain amount of surprise, as if he was saying to himself, “Why are they doing this? Eventually, they will only hurt themselves.”   Continue Reading…

What About the Men? Why Our Gender System Sucks for Men, Too

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The tools of feminism can also be applied to the damage and deformation that men suffer in our sexist society – Published on AlterNet/Gender, by Ozy Frantz and Noah Brand, July 11, 2012.

This article is from a book in progress by Noah Brand and Ozy Frantz. If you are anything like us, you spent some time when you were younger playing with optical illusions: the vase that, if you looked at it differently, was two faces; the fish that were also birds; the old woman who was also a young lady … //   Continue Reading…

Beyond Nuclear Denial

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How a World-Ending Weapon Disappeared From Our Lives, But Not (From) Our World – Published on ZNet (first on, July 09, 2012, by William D. Hartung, July 09, 2012.

There was a time when nuclear weapons were a significant part of our national conversation. Addressing the issue of potential atomic annihilation was once described by nuclear theorist Herman Kahn as “thinking about the unthinkable,” but that didn’t keep us from thinking, talking, fantasizing, worrying about it, or putting images of possible nuclear nightmares (often transmuted to invading aliens or outer space) endlessly on screen.   Continue Reading…

The LIBOR affair: Banksters

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How Britain’s rate-fixing scandal might spread—and what to do about it – Published on The Economist, July 7, 2012.

“SINCE we have not more power of knowing the future than any other men, we have made many mistakes (who has not during the past five years?), but our mistakes have been errors of judgment and not of principle.” So reflected J.P. Morgan junior in 1933, in the middle of a financial crisis. Today’s bankers can draw no such comfort from their behaviour. The attempts to rig LIBOR (the London inter-bank offered rate), a benchmark interest rate, not only betray a culture of casual dishonesty; they set the stage for lawsuits and more regulation right the way round the globe. This could well be global finance’s tobacco moment.  Continue Reading…

Third way takes the stage

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The formation of a new third current in Egypt’s political life is giving hope to the country’s secularists – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Mona El-Nahhas, 5 – 11 July 2012.

A group of civil political forces announced the birth of a “third current” in Egyptian political life at a press conference held on 28 June at a downtown Cairo hotel, the main aim of which was to oppose attempts to build either an Islamist or a military state.   Continue Reading…

Theory Talk #49, with John Mearsheimer

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Interview on Power as the Currency of International Relations, Disciplining US Foreign Policy, and Being an Independent Variable – Published on Theory Talks, Sunday, June 24, 2012.

… What is, according to you, the central challenge or principal debate in International Relations? And what is your position regarding this challenge/in this debate?

  • I think the principle debate in international relations theory, certainly in the US, is between realists on one hand and liberals on the other hand. There are three key liberal theories—economic interdependence theory, liberal institutionalism, and democratic peace theory—and those theories offer a very different view of the world than realism.  Continue Reading…

Canyons and rivers in Switzerland

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Work force programs, key to economic stability

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Published on The Register Guard, by JOHN LIVELY and CHUCK FORSTER, July 5, 2012.

Robert Reich, a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, prepared a speech, which he never gave, for this year’s college graduates that might well have included the phrase: “You’re screwed” … //  Continue Reading…

As Barclays CEO resigns: Libor manipulation scandal engulfs 16 top banks

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Published on World Socialist Web Site WSWS, by Christopher Marsden and Julie Hyland, July 4, 2012.

The Libor scandal, thus far focused on British-based Barclays bank, has revealed that global capitalism functions not as a free market, but as a rigged market controlled by contending groups of corporations, cartels and multi-billionaire speculators. The sums involved in the manipulation of Libor (the London inter-bank lending rate) and its European equivalent, Euribor, are staggering. The most conservative estimate of the money accrued to the world’s top banks by these practices is £48 billion ($75 billion).   Continue Reading…

Germany is not New York

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Published on RWER Blog, by Peter Radford, July 2, 2012.

It takes no extraordinary acuity to see that New York is not Germany, and that Germany is not New York. It takes a little more struggle to wish that they were more similar.

For if Germany were New York it would be part of a transfer union where funds flowed easily and anonymously from one local economy to another within the larger whole. Right now that would imply funds rolling out of Germany towards, for example, Spain without a word of debate. It would just happen. And, hey presto, Spain would be bailed out without having to commit to suicidal and, most likely, unsustainable economic policies.   Continue Reading…

Financial Coup D’Etat in Europe: Government by the Banks, for the Banks

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Published on Global (first on Web of Dept), by Ellen Brown, July 1, 2012.

On Friday, June 29th, German Chancellor Angela Merkel acquiesced to changes to a permanent Eurozone bailout fund—“before the ink was dry,” as critics complained.  Besides easing the conditions under which bailouts would be given, the concessions included an agreement that funds intended for indebted governments could be funneled  directly to stressed banks … // Continue Reading…

China hires tens of thousands of North Korea guest workers

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Because of sanctions, North Korea is unable to export weapons. So it is using its people to raise money. Most of their earnings will go directly to the North Korean regime – Published on Los Angeles Times, by Barbara Demick, July 1, 2012.

SEOUL — China is quietly inviting tens of thousands of North Korean guest workers into the country in a deal that will provide a cash infusion to help prop up a teetering regime with little more to export than the drudgery of a desperately poor population.   Continue Reading…

$4 trillion conflict of interest: Investment bankers on Fed boards

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Jerry Mazza, June 29, 2012.

Who else but Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders would have the courage to blow the whistle on the $4 trillion Fed scam involving near zero-interest Federal Reserve loans and other financial assistance that went to banks and businesses of at least 18 current and former Federal Reserve regional bank directors in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse, all documented in the Government Accountability Office records? Continue Reading…