Even with Greece pulled out for an earlier set of headlines, there’s still lots to note, and after the jump, the ongoing debacle in Southern Europe, growing concerns in India and China, and lots more bad news from Fukushima [some of it really bad], where today Hitler adds his own inimitable voice.
We open with a rationale, from the London Telegraph:
Fed recoils from 1937 tightening error as jobs evaporate
The American economy has shed 347,000 jobs over the past two months, roughly comparable with the rate of loss seen during the Great Recession. It is remarkable that the US Federal Reserve should even have been thinking of phasing out life-support in such circumstances.
Not-so-Great Expectations, from On the Economy:
The Fed Marks Down Their Growth Forecast…Again
The Los Angeles Times reports a major shift:
Advantage of buying a home slipping away
The financial edge Southern California home owners have over renters has rapidly shrunk in recent months as home prices and mortgage rates have risen, according to a new report.
One piece of California residential real estate attracts the attentions of the London Daily Mail:
UC to spend up to $6m on crumbling mansion for new president Janet Napolitano despite tuition fees doubling and teacher layoffs due to budget cuts
Despite recent cutbacks University of California has asked for millions from private endowment board to renovate historic Blake House
It will cost $3.5- $6m to completely renovate the run-down abode, that for decades housed university presidents
Napolitano, former Homeland Security Secretary and the first female UC president will live in rented house costing $10,000 a month while mansion repaired
Napolitano’s base salary will be $570,000, and she’ll receive $142,500 in moving expenses
Plans also call for adding a laundry, kitchen and upgraded bathrooms to the 4,300-square-foot private living quarters
Banksters burned [well, at least singed a little] for behaving badly, from the New York Times:
JPMorgan Is Fined $920 Million Over Huge Trading Loss
More than a year after a multibillion-dollar loss at JPMorgan Chase, government authorities on Thursday extracted fines and a rare admission of wrongdoing.
And that wasn’t their only hit. From Reuters, the source of a $320 million hit:
JPMorgan told to fix credit card practices, pay refunds
From Reuters again, more bad news for banksters:
Wells Fargo cutting 1,800 jobs in mortgage business
A headline that makes us ask “What about those funny balloon voices?” From The Guardian:
Global helium shortage in prospect as US reservoir in line to close next month
Makers of medical equipment and electronics face rising prices and supply disruptions if Federal Helium Reserve in Texas shuts
From EurActiv, we hope they find the right connection:
EU policymakers push for action on obesity
Obesity-related illnesses have become such a problem in Europe that they have reached the top political level, with even the EU council’s Lithuanian presidency vowing to raise the issue at upcoming ministerials.
From The Independent, the unspeakable consequences of imposing a tax on spare bedrooms [including bedrooms in family homes still occupied by parents after the children have gone]:
Exclusive: Bedroom tax – now 50,000 people are facing eviction
One council tenant in three has been pushed into rent arrears since April, while tens of thousands in housing association properties are also affected
There’s a parallel housing problem as well, exposed by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism:
The Housing Crisis
Thousands of affordable homes axed
Housebuilders and councils in Britain’s biggest cities are failing to comply with affordable housing targets, and even ripping up legal commitments to build cheaper homes.
A three-month study by the Bureau has established that 60% of the biggest housing developments currently in the planning system are falling short of local affordable housing targets, preventing thousands of cheaper homes being built.
And from the London Telegraph, class fissures:
NHS bosses pocket big rises amid cutbacks, figures show
More than 10,000 NHS managers have seen their pay rise by 13 per cent in four years, with increases last year at three times the rate for nurses, official figures disclose.
The Independent reports a worrying number:
Economic recovery in doubt as figures show UK workforce produces 20% less than other major economies
‘Bad news’ for British productivity leads to questions over George Osborne’s claims we are in ‘early stages of recovery’
On to the emerald Isle, a qualified endorsement from The Guardian:
Ireland officially exits recession
GDP, which includes the multinational sector, grew 0.4% in the second quarter – although the domestic economy shrank 0.4%
From the London Telegraph, green, but German, and faring poorly:
Germany industry in revolt as green dream causes cost spiral
Germany’s top economic adviser has called for a radical rethink of the country’s energy policies, warning that the green dream is going badly wrong as costs spiral out of control.
New Europe, reporting the Iron Chancellor says Germany will take more profit — and less loss. Via New Europe:
The German Chancellor promised to continue the same bailout loan policy
Merkel promises to reject joint Euro debt
Some Merkelian motivation from Europe Online:
German opinion poll shows eurosceptic surge ahead of election
The Fiscal Times highlights one of Angela Merkel’s most notable failures:
Germany’s Drone Program Crashes and Burns
From SINA English, another class division:
Amazon workers go on strike in Germany
The consequences of those low German wages draw attention from a neighbor, via the BBC:
French minister attacks German wage policy
Days before Germany goes to the polls, a French economy minister has called for German wages to be raised in order to ensure fairer competition.
Indeed, Germany has no minimum wage, while France does. This headline from RFI is a response to a problem caused, in part, by those low German wages:
France to fine bosses over factory closures
France’s government wants companies planning to close factories employing more than 1,000 in France to look for a buyer or face a fine.
Dutch neoliberalism, Tea Party style, spotted by Policy Network:
The Dutch social laboratory: From progressivism to populism?
The Netherlands reputation as a ‘progressive guide land’ is being turned on its head as the pillars of the post-war order – party democracy, the welfare state and European integration – shake from their foundations
On to the Iberian Peninsula, starting with this headline from El País:
Senior holds up bank to get prison bed in crisis-hit Lisbon
More Portuguese inmates remaining in jail due to harsh economic conditions on the outside
Lots more from SOuthern EUrope, Asia, Latin America, and the latest edition of Fukshimapoclypse Now! [with added Hitler] after the jump. . . Continue reading