Much before the jump, with Greece, the Ukraine, Russia, Latin America, Pakistan, India, China, Japan, and Fukushimapocalypse Now!, and the latest environmental alarms , all after the jump.
We begin with global stories, first from MercoPress:
Pope Francis condemns unfettered capitalism as a “new tyranny’ and calls for renewed Church
Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.
No sooner had the Vatican pronounced than research confirmed. From the Financial Express:
Ethics may destroy career growth in financial services: Economist Intelligence Unit
Financial services industry recognises the importance of ethics at work but a majority of the executives feel that strict adherence to ethical standards hampers their career progression, claims a global survey.
From Channel NewsAsia Singapore, a setback for the capitalist regime the Pope ponders:
Trade diplomats fail to reach pre-summit deal: WTO chief
Negotiators holding marathon talks in Geneva have failed to produce a deal to put on the table at a crunch summit next week, World Trade Organization chief Roberto Azevedo said on Tuesday.
More from the London Telegraph, with the usual spin:
Global free trade talks collapse
A global free trade deal fell through after more than a decade of talks that could have given the world economy a $1 trillion boost
From NHK WORLD, another pact on the fast track:
TPP closure by year-end up to ministers
Chief negotiators involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks have made much progress, but differences remain in key areas. The decision on whether to conclude the pact by year-end has been postponed till a ministerial meeting in December.
Chief delegates from the 12 nations finished their 6-day talks on Sunday. They confirmed their understanding in some categories, such as government procurement.
More from Techdirt:
US TPP Negotiators Accused Of Bullying; Refusing To Budge On Ridiculous IP And Corporate Sovereignty Demands
from the i’m-sorry-for-my-country’s-insane-negotiators dept
EurActiv covers another pact:
Leaked document shows EU fear of inferiority in US trade talks
The European Commission fears Europe’s relative economic weakness and division caused by the upcoming European Parliament elections could spark an ACTA-style popular rejection of a trade agreement with the US, according to a leaked internal EU document.
The document obtained by the EU-critical Danish publication Notat reveals that the Commission held a secret meeting on Friday (22 November) with representatives of the 28 EU member states.
During the meeting, the Commission said that the EU needed a “radically different” communication strategy on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) compared to what has been done for past trade initiatives.
And on to the U.S., via Channel NewsAsia Singapore:
US consumer confidence grows gloomier in November
US consumer confidence, which plummeted in October amid the partial government shutdown, continued to slide in November, a closely watched report said on Tuesday.
From My Budget 360, Fed-up?:
The frightening lack of accounting transparency in the student loan market: New York Fed has student loan debt at $1.027 trillion while Fed Board of Governors in Washington has it at $1.214 trillion.
Channel NewsAsia Singapore covers a change in meds:
Research slows on mental health drugs as investment shrinks
Research into medications to treat mental health disorders, which affect almost a quarter of the US population, has slowed as major pharmaceutical companies cut back investment in this area, psychiatrists say.
Romenesko brings us the austerian face of the Brave New Journalism:
Oregon newspaper chain will no longer provide health insurance to employees
Bend (OR) Bulletin parent Western Communications told employees Monday that it can no longer afford to provide health benefits and that the company-sponsored insurance plan will end on January 1. (Western owns six papers in Oregon and two in California. The 28,000-circulation Bulletin is its flagship paper.)
China Daily covers an Asian arrival:
Furniture maker chooses Virginia for first US plant
Virginia’s furniture-making history helped it entice a Chinese furniture maker to open its first US factory in the state, fending off challenges from three other states, an official with the state’s economic development group said.
The London Telegraph weighs in with an uptick:
US house prices rise at fastest rate since 2006
A closely watched index of US house prices posts its biggest year-on-year rise since February 2006
On to Europe, starting with anxieties from EUobserver:
Brussels on guard over UK’s Romania, Bulgaria plan
Reported UK plans to curb the future rights of Romanians and Bulgarians has put the European Commission on guard.
Restrictions imposed on citizens from Bulgaria and Romania in eight EU member states – including the UK, France and Germany – come to an end on 1 January 2014.
New Europe covers a countercurrent:
In 2012, most of the EU citizens moved in another EU country for work-related reasons
Commission upholds free movement of people
The European Commission adopted a policy paper to support the free movement of people within the EU
From CNNMoney, fee movement replacing free movement:
Europe’s golden visas lure rich Chinese
A growing number of wealthy foreigners are buying their way into Europe as hard-pressed countries trade their passports for cash.
Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus, which have suffered the most from the region’s prolonged recession, are offering visas to foreigners who buy real estate. The goal is to lure investment and strengthen battered European economies.
Financial Sense looks at the likely winners:
Take the Money and Run: China’s Ill-Gotten Wealth Flees Overseas
The front door is covered with official pronouncements of “the China Dream” and blustery demands of hegemony, but the back door is choked with members of the financial/political Elite fleeing China and taking their wealth with them
On to Britain with an austerian body count from The Independent:
Winter freeze led to 31,000 extra deaths last year – against a backdrop of soaring energy prices
The Big Six energy firms and the Government came under fresh criticism today as new figures showed that more than 31,000 people died needlessly during last winter’s freezing weather.
About 10,000 of the deaths are estimated to be the result of cold houses, as people struggled to heat their homes in the coldest winter for nearly 50 years, against a backdrop of soaring energy prices.
From EUbusiness, fear of the Roma in London:
Britain to crackdown on benefit tourism
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday announced a tightening of migrant benefit rules due to concerns over migration levels from Bulgaria and Romania when restrictions are lifted on January 1.
The Independent covers crony capitalism:
Revealed: Goldman Sachs clients’ £12m Royal Mail coup
Goldman Sachs may have provided the Government with a “knockdown” valuation of the Royal Mail – losing the taxpayer more than £1bn when it was privatised last month, according to critics.
Yet the giant US investment bank has proved remarkable adept at deciding when to cash in shares in the historic institution on behalf of its clients.
Ireland next, with more austerian reality from the Irish Times:
Growing Up in Ireland survey says financial difficulties are ‘pervasive and persistent’
Two-thirds of families with children feel ‘significant effect’ from downturn, study finds
To Holland and a wing-trimming proposed via DutchNews.nl:
Coalition takes on bankers’ bonuses, limits them to 20% of salary
Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Tuesday presented his plans for financial sector pay to parliament, including a 20% ceiling on bankers’ bonuses in the Netherlands.
The minister aims to bring to an end the ‘perverse stimuli’ of enormous bonuses, Dijsselbloem said in an interview with tv broadcaster RTL Z.
DutchNews.nl again, with a Dutch treat:
Dutch pensioners are best off, and just 1.4% live in poverty: OECD
Dutch pensioners enjoy a proportionately higher pension than the over 65s in any other developed country, according to new research from the OECD.
On average, Dutch pensioners have an income of 91.4% of their average salary, the Paris-based body said in a new report. The OECD average is 58%, while within the European Union the figure is slightly higher at 60%.
In Germany, a different picture via Deutsche Welle:
OECD report highlights danger of German poverty in old age
Despite Germany’s reputation as an economic hub, low-income workers in the country face a significant danger of poverty in old age. A survey showed German retirees face a sharp drop in earnings upon retirement.
More from TheLocal.de:
Poverty rises despite more people in work
As figures show an increase in poverty despite record employment rates, and the potential new government argues about a universal minimum wage, German job centres are suing employers for paying less than €2 an hour.
A French error next, with the London Telegraph:
IMF says French downgrade was wrong
Olivier Blanchard, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist, denies there is an increased risk that France will be unable to pay debt
A crackdown in the making from the Associated Press:
Prostitution: France wants to punish clients
France’s government is pushing one of Europe’s toughest laws against prostitution and sex trafficking, and other countries are watching closely. Advocates hope that a draft French law going to parliament Wednesday will help change long-held attitudes toward the world’s oldest profession _ by punishing the customer and protecting the prostitute.
While Pierre Moscovici commences wooing, via TheLocal.fr:
Paris ‘can rival London’ as Chinese business hub
Paris could challenge London as a Chinese business hub, France’s finance minister said on Tuesday, adding that upcoming deals would increase Chinese currency use in the French capital.
Switzerland next, an a loss contemplated by TheLocal.ch:
Valais glaciers to largely vanish: cantonal report
In less than a century the mountain canton of Valais is expected to lose virtually all of its glaciers, according to a report released on Tuesday.
The swaths of “eternal snow” — including one known internationally for its year-round skiing near Zermatt — currently cover 15 percent of the area of the canton straddling a section of the Swiss Alps.
On to Portugal with an austerian victory from El País:
Portugal’s top court approves extension of civil servants’ working week
- Ruling coincides with approval of 2014 state budget
- Labor leader “stupefied” at decicion which justifies increased workload as being in the public interest
From Europe Online, a bitter prescription:
Portugal to approve toughest austerity budget in decades
The Portuguese parliament was Tuesday due to approve the country’s toughest austerity budget in decades, amid concerns that legal challenges could endanger the country’s economic recovery.
The 2014 budget foresees savings worth 3.9 billion euros (5.3 billion dollars) – or 2.3 per cent of Portugal’s gross domestic product (GDP). The measures include salary cuts of up to 12 per cent for government employees earning more than 675 euros a month.
The Portugal News covers an austerian agenda:
Praise for Government structural reform plan
Proposed plans for the reform of the Portuguese state structures are “well designed” with the only drawback being the slow progress of implementation, said António Saraiva, President of CIP, the Portuguese Industrial Confederation on Monday following a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas.
The Portugal News again, with one response:
Unions occupy ministries
Unions leaders from the Communist-backed CGTP trade union confederation have occupied the Portuguese ministries of economy, health, environment and finances, union spokeswoman Célia Silva, told Lusa News Agency on Tuesday.
More from euronews:
Thousands protest in Portugal against austerity budget for 2014
It is a day of “national outrage, protest and struggle” in Portugal. That’s how the country’s biggest union referred to the rallies and demos which have been organised across the country in response to the 2014 budget which was passed on Tuesday.
Italy next, and austerity reality from ANSAmed:
Italy’s ‘precarious’ workers risk poverty in old age, OECD
Short-term contracts, joblessness reduces retirement savings
Europe Online covers a vote to come:
Italian Senate to vote on Berlusconi’s expulsion Wednesday night
Italy’s Senate is planning an evening vote Wednesday on the expulsion of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, said the speaker of the upper chamber, Pietro Grasso.
Discussions are to start at 7 pm, Grasso said Tuesday. Berlusconi’s allies were expected to repeat attempts to have the final decision postponed, but rival parties were unlikely to agree.
Reuters has the pre-emptive move:
Berlusconi breaks with government ahead of Italy Senate showdown
Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right party declared on Tuesday it would vote against Italy’s 2014 budget, confirming its break with the ruling coalition a day before the Senate moves to expel the media tycoon over a tax fraud conviction.
From TheLocal.it, more austerian reality:
Italy’s ‘temp’ workers risk poverty in old age
Millions of Italians in short-term jobs or those with sporadic contracts that offer few benefits could end up in poverty in old age, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report on Tuesday.
While Spiegel covers an urban fall:
The Great Sell-Off: Milan Mired in Crisis of Money and Spirit
The days when Milan could call itself a bastion of growth and progress in Italy seem to be gone. As the crisis swells the ranks of the poor, members of the city’s business elite are jockeying for foreign investors while squabbling with courts over various legal entanglements.
And EUbusiness covers help from outside:
Italy, Russia unveil billion-euro fund at summit
Italy and Russia unveiled a 1-billion-euro joint investment fund on Tuesday as President Vladimir Putin met with Prime Minister Enrico Letta in Italy to discuss boosting business ties.
Channel NewsAsia Singapore covers another outside move:
China, Eastern Europe pledge to boost ties, heed EU rules
China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries pledged on Tuesday to boost two-way investment and trade, insisting that EU regulations will be met.
And The Guardian reports discontent:
Bulgarian students lead wave of protest
Young people occupying institutions all over the country amid growing anger over corruption and unemployment
After the jump, Greek meltdown continues, Ukrainian discontent, Russian woes, Latin American developments, the latest from India and Pakistan, Chinese Reaganomics, and the latest Fukushimapocalypse Now!. . . Continue reading