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Index August 2012

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2012-08-01: Open thread for night owls: Radical deregulation at root of financial crisis;
2012-08-02: Lies, damned lies, and the right-wing use of income statistics;
2012-08-03: more on financials;
2012-08-04: Libor scandal goes global;
2012-08-05: rainmakers at work – winning the $30 trillion decathlon;
2012-08-06: Alliance of moneyed aristocracy wants to jointly retain its power;
2012-08-07: what – how – with whom? Leading the Collective;
2012-08-08: Real World Economists Must Lead;
2012-08-09: Revolutionary Democracy in the Economy?
2012-08-10: The Two Faces of a Police State;
2012-08-11: Class Struggle in the Philippines;
2012-08-12: A July breeze;
2012-08-13: Bankster Fraud Has Driven 100 Million Into Poverty, Killing Many;
2012-08-14: rainmakers at work;
2012-08-15: German Provinces Struggle to Lure Skilled Workers;
2012-08-16: Uncertainty—in retrospect;
2012-08-17: Greece Before the Abyss: Only Bankruptcy Can Help Now;
2012-08-18: Exit SCAF, enter Mursi;
2012-08-18: ESM-Kläger warnt Karlsruhe;
2012-08-19: Women power in Tunisia?
2012-08-20: KITARO;
2012-08-21: the Economic Crisis explained;
2012-08-22: Secret Libor Committee Clings To Anonymity After Rigging Scandal;
2012-08-23: Our Coming Rentcropper Society;
2012-08-24: Final fantasies: The illusions of personal debt and Canadian consumerism;
2012-08-25: Power Politics vs. American Prosperity;
2012-08-26: Raising taxes on the rich works for everyone;
2012-08-27: La nouvelle Constitution Somalienne bannit les mutilations sexuelles;
2012-08-28: Don’t eat one day a week;
2012-08-29: The Bundesbank against the World: German Central Bank Opposes Euro Strategy;
2012-08-30: Of Human Bondage: The Global Traffic in Disposable Labor;
2012-08-31: The Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve

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Published on Dollars & Sense (also on ZNet), by Arthur MacEwan, August 26, 2012.

Yes, the Federal Reserve, the central banks of the United States, is a powerful institution, important to the operation of the economy. By regulating the supply of money and influencing (if not fully determining) interest rates, the Fed has a major impact on the overall level of production, employment, and inflation. Also, the Fed has a large role (along with some other agencies) in regulating the operations of banks.  Continue Reading…

Of Human Bondage: The Global Traffic in Disposable Labor

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Susan Rosenthal, August 28, 2012.

It’s a story as old as class society; employers seek more wealth by lowering wages, and workers seek to survive by raising wages. The history of this conflict has shaped, and continues to shape, our world.

The international traffic in temporary workers is Capital’s latest move to accumulate more wealth by lowering the price of labor.   Continue Reading…

The Bundesbank against the World: German Central Bank Opposes Euro Strategy

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Christian Reiermann, Michael Sauga and Anne Seith, August 27, 2012.

The European Central Bank plans to resume buying the bonds of crisis-hit countries on a large scale. Jens Weidmann, head of the German central bank, is firmly opposed to the idea, arguing that it will lead to inflation and lessen pressure on governments to carry out reforms. But he is becoming increasingly isolated within the ECB and in the political world … // Continue Reading…

Don’t eat one day a week

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(Each week a global thinker from the worlds of philosophy, science, psychology or the arts is given a minute to put forward a radical, inspiring or controversial idea – no matter how improbable – that they believe would change the world) – Published on BBC future / the 60 second Idea, August 16, 2012.

This week geneticist Frances Ashcroft says that everyone should give up eating for a day a week.

  • “My bright idea is for those in the developed world to fast one day a week. Three hundred and thirty six million people worldwide now have type 2 diabetes.   Continue Reading…

La nouvelle Constitution Somalienne bannit les mutilations sexuelles

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Publié dans SlateAfrique, par Anne Collet, août 2012.

L’Assemblée constituante somalienne a adopté le 31 juillet une Constitution provisoire entrée immédiatement en vigueur mais qui ne sera définitive qu’ après avoir été soumise à référendum. Parmi les articles adoptés, l’interdiction des mutilations génitales féminines (MGF) figure en bonne place.   Continue Reading…


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Published on Socialist Unity, Debate & Analysis for activists (first on NY Times, August 20, 2012), by Michael Moore and Oliver Stone, August, 22, 2012.

WE have spent our careers as filmmakers making the case that the news media in the United States often fail to inform Americans about the uglier actions of our own government. We therefore have been deeply grateful for the accomplishments of WikiLeaks, and applaud Ecuador’s decision to grant diplomatic asylum to its founder, Julian Assange, who is now living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.   Continue Reading…

Raising taxes on the rich works for everyone

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Published on People’s World, by SAM PIZZIGATI, August 24, 2012.

… Since the 1970s in the U.S., the tax rate on income over $400,000 has dropped from 70 percent to 35 percent. Over that same span, households in the U.S. top one percent have more than doubled their national income share, to 20 percent.

In Europe and Japan, by contrast, tax rates on the rich have dropped much more slowly and top one percent income shares have increased “only modestly,” they report.  Continue Reading…

Power Politics vs. American Prosperity

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Published on RWER Blog, by Ian Fletcher, August 23, 2012.

… I believe our ruling elite isn’t merely greedy for money. I believe they’re also greedy for something far worse. I believe they’re also greedy for world power beyond any extent to which this either serves American national security—or, for that matter, makes them richer.  Continue Reading…

Final fantasies: The illusions of personal debt and Canadian consumerism

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Published on, by Michael Laxer, August 22, 2012.

Canadians as individuals are in debt. In debt to an extent never before seen in Canadian history, and to an extent never likely to be seen again. Much of this debt, as I noted in an earlier piece, is invested in the ultimate middle-class dream of personal home ownership, a debt that has been backed by the government as a dangerous and “tax-payer” insured form of speculative stimulus.   Continue Reading…

Our Coming Rentcropper Society

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Published on naked capitalism, by Yves Smith, August 21, 2012.

We are in the midst of a sea change in terms of the relationship of ordinary Americans to the housing market. Policymakers are not only in denial as to its magnitude, but are actively enabling courses of action that are likely to prove destructive.

One of the accidental and fortunate discoveries of the 1930s was that a long-dated mortgage, meaning 15 to 30 years, was a good fit with working conditions of that era.   Continue Reading…

Secret Libor Committee Clings To Anonymity After Rigging Scandal

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Published on Bloomberg, by Liam Vaughan, August 21, 2012.

Every two months, representatives from the world’s largest banks meet at an undisclosed location to review the London interbank offered rate.

Who sits on the British Bankers’ Association’s Foreign Exchange and Money Markets Committee, the body that governs the benchmark for more than $300 trillion of securities worldwide, is a secret. No minutes are published. The BBA won’t identify any members, saying it wants to protect them from being lobbied, and declined to make the chairman available for interview.  Continue Reading…

the Economic Crisis explained

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  • The Fall of America and the Western World – 01 – The Economic Crisis, 62.14 min, uploaded by Rise Aquarius, August 15, 2012: The world is now engaged in an epic battle of survival from the devastating financial crisis that is wreaking havoc on people of all nations. This crisis is the direct result of an economic model that enslaves the middle class even as it makes the super rich even wealthier. But after years of abuse, de-regulation, lies, greed, and denial this economic model is on its deathbed, leaving you with the most to lose. – To understand what is currently happening and how to survive this coming financial Armageddon, we first must understand the nightmarish system of money we’ve been forced to live under and why it is doomed to fail …  Continue Reading…


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Women power in Tunisia?

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Tunisian women are becoming increasingly concerned at the possible consequences of Islamist rule – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Lasaad Ben Ahmed, 16 – 22 August 2012 (see picture).

Women’s Day, held on 13 August, was marked by exceptional events in Tunisia this year, with hundreds of Tunisian women gathering for a night-time demonstration at 14 January Square on Al-Habib Bourguiba Street in the capital Tunis. The demonstration was a clear signal of defiance to the Islamist groups that Tunisian women feel are threatening their rights, despite reassurances that the ruling Islamist Al-Nahda Party will not seek to change the country’s liberal personal status laws.  Continue Reading…

ESM-Kläger warnt Karlsruhe

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(scroll down and listen) ESM: Vertrag bringt 3,7 Billionen Euro Haftungen für Deutschland, 3.12 min, 17. August 2012;

financial links in english on YouTube:


Exit SCAF, enter Mursi

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After six weeks in office Egypt’s first civilian president has sidelined the military, forcing it to leave the political arena it controlled for six decades. What are the likely ramifications – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Amira Howeidy, 16 – 22 August 2012.

When the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued a constitutional addendum on 17 June — the final day of the presidential election runoffs — clipping the future president’s wings while giving the military exceptional powers, it was clear that Egypt was in the throes of a power struggle. It was also clear that — for the time being, at least — the army had the upper hand.   Continue Reading…

Greece Before the Abyss: Only Bankruptcy Can Help Now

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a commentary – Published on Spiegel Online International, by Stefan Kaiser, August 15, 2012.

… Officially, at least, everything is going according to plan. In September, officials with the troika — made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — are planning to travel to Athens to check on the progress that Greece has made with its cost-cutting program. Then, according to the plan, they could disburse billions more in aid out of the second bailout package for Greece, which the euro-zone countries and the IMF agreed on in February.   Continue Reading…

Uncertainty—in retrospect

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by David Ruccio, August 14, 2012.

Uncertainty is all the rage right now, with a wide variety of economists and central bankers “discovering” its disturbing effects in the midst of the current crises of capitalism.

But I’ll bet it’s just a passing fad. As soon as things return to normal, uncertainty will be put back on the shelf and, once again, be tamed and domesticated.  Continue Reading…

German Provinces Struggle to Lure Skilled Workers

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Headhunting in the Euro Crisis – Published on Spiegel Online International, by Guido Kleinhubbert, August 14, 2012. (Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan).

Provincial Germany has many booming regions that are suffering from a shortage of skilled workers. Now, companies are hoping to benefit from the euro crisis by attracting personnel from Southern Europe. But many young people prefer to go to hip Berlin, despite the lack of jobs there. The provinces, it seems, are just too boring … //

… Creating a Welcoming Culture: …  Continue Reading…

rainmakers at work

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David Icke – The Lion Sleeps No More:

  • part 1, 203.36 min (uploaded by FreeKwinsie, Febr. 15, 2012),
  • part 2, FULL, 211.31 min (uploaded by djwrecklessnyc, Dec. 14, 2011): English writer and public speaker, best known for his views on what he calls “who and what is really controlling the world.” Describing himself as the most controversial speaker in the world, he has written 18 books explaining his position.
  • same (a shorter version of only 108.07 min), uploaded by cloudskipa, March 23, 2011: Moon Control, taken from his latest seminar at the Brixton Academy in 2010.

Bankster Fraud Has Driven 100 Million Into Poverty, Killing Many

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We Are Witnessing a Financial Holocaust Brought on by the Banksters … Which Is Causing Many Deaths – Published on Washington’s Blog, by Blog owner, August 11, 2012.

Fraud caused the Great Depression and the current financial crisis, and the economy will never recover until fraud is prosecuted.

Fraud is the business model adopted by the giant banks. See this// Continue Reading…

A July breeze

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Topping the markets of the region in gains since the beginning of the year, the Egyptian stock exchange had a good month in July – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Sherine Abdel-Razek, 9 – 15 August 2012;

July was a good month for Egyptian equities with the market’s main index, the EGX30, gaining three per cent, pushing its gains since the beginning of the year to 34.2 per cent.

Year to date gains rank it at the top of its regional peers. On a monthly basis, the three per cent hike is almost double the increase in the emerging markets index calculated by Morgan Stanley.   Continue Reading…

Class Struggle in the Philippines

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Trade union leader speaks in Vancouver and Toronto – Published on The Bulldet, by Roger Annis, August 9, 2012.

On August 2, Pete Pinlac of the MAKABAYAN labour and political center in the Philippines spoke at a public forum hosted by the Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC). It was an extremely informative and inspiring event that reflected years of crucially important solidarity outreach by the Labour Council that began in 2008.   Continue Reading…

The Two Faces of a Police State

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Sheltering Tax Evaders, Financial Swindlers and Money Launderers while Policing the Citizens – Published on The People’s Voice, by James Petras, August 6, 2012.
(James Petras on the World People’s Blog).

… Introduction:

Never in the history of the United States have we witnessed crimes committed on the scale and scope of the present day by both private and state elites.   Continue Reading…

Revolutionary Democracy in the Economy?

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Venezuela’s Worker Control Movement and the Plan Socialist Guayana – Published on ZNet (Source:, by Ewan Robertson, August 07, 2012.

For quick reference, this article contains the following sections:
Introduction: Christmas at Grafitos
Part I: The Birth and Development of Plan Socialist Guayana

  • i) Venezuela’s Worker Control Movement
  • ii) The Nationalisation of Sidor and the Birth of Plan Socialist Guayana
  • iii) So what is the PGS?
  • iv) The Progress of Plan Socialist Guayana 2009 – 2012

Part II: The Promise, Politics and Problems of the PGS   Continue Reading…

Real World Economists Must Lead

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Published on RWER Blog, by Robert R.Locke, August 7, 2012.

I think the people in this blog need to show more leadership. That might be hard to understand for those who are use to thinking of the economy as a self-regulating mechanism and of economists as observers and thinkers. But the economic crisis is too important to be left to passivity.   Continue Reading…

what – how – with whom? Leading the Collective

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Simmelian tie(s) …  is a type of an interpersonal tie, a concept used in the social network analysis.
For a simmelian tie to exist, there must be three (a triad) or more of reciprocal strong ties in a group. A simmelian tie is seen as an even stronger tie than a regular strong tie. A simmelian tie can be seen as a basic element of a clique. … full text on en.wikipedia;
See also:

Leading the Collective: Social Capital and the Development of Leaders in Core-Periphery OrganizationsContinue Reading…

Alliance of moneyed aristocracy wants to jointly retain its power

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particularly Switzerland is in the crosshairs – Published on Current Concerns, by Dr Eike Hamer, publisher of Wirtschaft aktuell, Hannover, July 23, 2012.

To the article of Prof Stahel “The disintegration of the EU and the Russian-German Condominium over the rest of Europe” (see p.1 of this edition) a piece of news should be added which became publicly known a few weeks ago; it informs about the fact that both high finance groups of the European Roth­schilds and American Rockefellers have joined together.  Continue Reading…

rainmakers at work – winning the $30 trillion decathlon

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Received by e-mail, From: McKinsey Quarterly, Date: August 2, 2012.

By 2025, annual consumption in emerging economies will rise to $30 trillion, nearly half the global total. Yet today, the largest companies headquartered in developed economies derive only 17 percent of their revenues from emerging markets. Despite advantages in scale, technology, and access to capital, multinationals risk missing out on the defining growth opportunity of our times.   Continue Reading…

Libor scandal goes global

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Published on World Socialist Web Site WSWS, by Robert Stevens, August 3, 2012.

The UK Conservative/Liberal Democrat government this week announced the terms of a review into the deepening London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) crisis. The review was commissioned by Chancellor George Osborne, and will be led by Martin Wheatley, managing director of the Financial Services Authority FSA and chief executive-designate of the Financial Conduct Authority. Continue Reading…

more on financials

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Lies, damned lies, and the right-wing use of income statistics

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Published on Real-World Economic Review Blog, by David F. Ruccio, July 31, 2012.

… The right-wing wants desperately to show—against all the evidence—that the rich are being taxed to death and that income inequality has dramatically decreased.


So, up steps William McBride to do their bidding. He uses Congressional Budget Office data to attempt to show (a) the federal tax burden has continued to shift toward individuals at the top of the income distribution, who now carry the lion’s share of the tax burden, and (b) income inequality has lessened and is now no better than it was in the mid-1990s.   Continue Reading…

Open thread for night owls: radical deregulation at root of financial crisis

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Published on Daily Kos, by Meteor Blades, July 30, 2012.

The repeal of Glass Steagall itself did not cause the financial crisis. However, the repeal did help make the crisis worse. I bring this up because there has been a series of straw man articles claiming Glass Steagall was not a cause in the crisis. This misstates the impact and the broader context. The overturning of the successful 1933 legislation was part and parcel of an ideology that WAS a major factor in the crash: The erroneous belief system that banks can self-regulate. This manifested in a variety of bad ideas, poor oversight and worse legislation.  Continue Reading…