The great neoliberal revolution continues, with ruthless privatizations and looting the order of the day.
We start in the U.S. with Al Jazeera America:
Homeless in Detroit allege they are being driven out of downtown
Some homeless make accusations that police pick them up and drive them out of town, away from new development
From the New York Times, another blow to the poor:
Lack of Doctors May Worsen as Millions Join Medicaid Rolls
In California, with the nation’s largest Medicaid population, many doctors say they are already overwhelmed and unable to take on more low-income patients. Dr. Hector Flores, a primary care doctor in East Los Angeles whose practice has 26,000 patients, more than a third of whom are on Medicaid, said he could accommodate an additional 1,000 Medicaid patients at most.
“There could easily be 10,000 patients looking for us and we’re just not going to be able to serve them,” said Dr. Flores, who is also chairman of the family medicine department at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles.
From USA TODAY, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, suing JPMorgan for damages in bad mortgage securities, wants to see Uncle Sam’s hole card:
JPMorgan foe seeks Justice’s unfiled complaint
Legal fight focuses on court complaint federal prosecutors prepared before finalizing a record $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan.
JPMorgan Chase is being pressed to disclose a secret legal document that could provide new details of how the nation’s largest bank handled and sold billions of dollars in now-toxic mortgage securities.
. . .in other words, they want to see the stick the administration used to sell the settlement, including all potential criminal charges. That’s a document every America deserves a chance to peruse.
From CNBC, unsunny disposition:
US recession is nigh…and the Fed can’t stop it: SocGen’s Edwards
The United States might be posting some promising growth data amid government shutdowns and debt ceiling debates, but Albert Edwards, Societe Generale’s uber-bearish strategist, has predicted a recession is coming for the world’s biggest economy.
From the World Socialist Web Site, a compromising position in the sell-off of the commons:
Detroit union joins legal action to force sell-off of DIA art
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has joined a legal action to demand that Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr sell the cultural treasures of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) to pay off the city’s creditors.
AFSCME Council 25 filed the motion jointly with several bond insurance companies and banks, including Financial Guarantee Insurance Company, Syncora Capital Assurance, Ambac Assurance, Hypothekenbank Frankfurt AG, and Wilmington Trust Company.
Boing Boing offers a Fordian allusion:
Florida sheriff arrests mayor on drug charges: “This isn’t Toronto”
Barry Layne Moore, erstwhile mayor of Hampton, Florida, has been arrested for possessing and selling Oxycodone.
Off to Europe, starting with financial news from EUbusiness:
European banks face EUR 280 bn capital shortfall: PwC
European banks will require 280 billion euros ($380 billion) of extra capital in 2014 to meet reforms aimed at avoiding a repeat of the global financial crisis, according to a report published Thursday.
The report by auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers said that banks would be forced to turn to the market to raise 180 billion euros of the required capital, as other methods of securing the funds — including the sale of assets — would fall short of closing the gap.
From Reuters, more Eurobankster anxiety:
Euro zone loans contraction increases pressure on ECB
A contraction in loans to households and companies in the euro zone quickened in October, piling pressure on the European Central Bank to do more to buoy the euro zone’s weak recovery.
The ECB cut its main refinancing rate earlier this month to 0.25 percent, but the euro zone central bank’s record low interest rates are not feeding through evenly to the real economy in all corners of the currency bloc.
Still more from the London Telegraph:
Eurozone M3 money plunge flashes deflation alert for 2014
Eurozone in danger of Japanese-style deflation, crippling Club Med nations, as money supply drops to record low levels, ECB monetary data shows
Europe Online covers a contrary trend:
Eurozone economic confidence rises to more than two-year high
The economic mood in the eurozone brightened in November with a key sentiment survey released Thursday rising to its highest level in more than two years.
Economic sentiment in the 17-member currency bloc rose for the eighth-consecutive month to 98.5 from 97.7 in October, the European Commission’s closely watched Economic Sentiment Indicator showed.
More euroanxiety from EUbusiness:
Ukraine under pressure at EU-Russia tug-of-war summit
Ukraine was pressed to choose sides Thursday as an EU summit designed to draw six ex-Soviet states into the Western fold opened Thursday amid a tough East-West tussle over influence.
Diplomats told AFP that pre-summit talks in the frosty Lithuanian capital between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and EU leaders Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso — respectively presidents of the EU Council and European Commission — had not produced significant results.
And from ANA-MPA, concerns over European scapegoats:
EU Roma Summit on April 4, local agency official says
An EU Roma Summit will take place on April 4, 2014, the president of the National Centre for Social Solidarity (NCSS) Panagiota Iakovidou told ANA-MPA on Thursday.
Referring to the situation in Greece, she said that the Roma belong to the most vulnerable groups of the population and should be supported.
Britain’s Channel 4 News takes us to the U.K. and a look at the hysteria surrounding the Roma:
Roma in the UK
Former home secretary, David Blunkett, has added to concerns over Roma in the UK by warning that some cities could face “race riots”.
From The Independent, another British anxiety:
Homebuilders under pressure after Bank of England announces plans to cool down house market
The Bank of England’s stunning move to clamp down on rising house prices sent shockwaves through the City’s listed housebuilders today, wiping more than one billion pounds off the sector as panicking investors dumped the shares.
British finance ministry and BOE jointly launched the FLS scheme to provide up to 80 billion pounds (130 billion U.S. dollars) to banks and building societies to help increase lending to home-buyers and businesses in a bid to stimulate economic growth.
The Guardian covers still another anxiety:
Norfolk police warn of alarming clown epidemic
Public told not to approach anyone wearing ‘Halloween-type’ clown masks after spate of reports of terrifying sightings
While the Economic Times notices a shift:
China overtakes India in UK migration figures
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) here today showed that 40,000 people came to Britain last year from China, compared to 37,000 from India – which had previously ranked No 1 for three consecutive years since 2009.
From Business Insider, Bloviatin’ Boris Johnson does it again:
Mayor Of London Says Economic Inequality Can Be Good, And Some People Are Just Too Dumb To Succeed
Iceland next, and a familiar pattern — massive layoffs at a public broadcaster, done in the name of austerity. From the Reykjavík Grapevine:
Four Hundred Strong Protest Layoffs At RÚV
Over four hundred people showed up at noon today in protest of the 39 immediate layoffs of lower- and middle-tier RÚV staff members. Protesters chanted “Our RÚV, Let’s Save RÚV,” surrounding the building with locked hands, symbolically forming a shield wall around it.
“We were outraged by the layoffs and decided to do something,” said Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir, who organised the event with Arngunnur Árnadóttir. “We felt we had a personal stake in the affair as RÚV belongs to everyone, and it has reliably provided excellent in-depth journalism as well as upheld important cultural values.”
Holland next, and medical malpractice from DutchNews.nl:
Doctors, hospitals don’t warn patients their treatment may cost money
Doctors and hospitals do not warn patients they may have to pay for part of their treatment at some hospitals because they have a budget health insurance policy, according to RTL news.
Nor do doctors check if treatment at the hospital they send patients to is covered by the patient’s health insurance. This could leave patients facing bills of thousands of euros, the broadcaster said.
France next, first with a rollback from TheLocal.fr:
French CEO gives up €21m pension amid fury
The CEO of French car giant PSA Peugeot Citroen announced he was giving up his €21 million pension plan, just hours after news of the eye-watering golden parachute had caused uproar among unions on Wednesday. The French president said it was a “wise” decision.
Xinhua covers ongoing failure:
Hollande says curbing job claims to take “necessary time”
Struggling to reverse rampant unemployment rate by year-end, French President Francois Hollande on Thursday said bringing down job claims will take the “necessary time.”
More from RFI:
Hollande hints at failure to hit unemployment goal by year end
French president François Hollande hinted on Thursday that he would fail to achieve his goal of reversing the rise in French unemployment by the end of the year, a target he has frequently touted as a key priority.
From BBC News, blue mood on the Seine:
France ‘more pessimistic’ on economy as confidence dips
France is “more pessimistic” about the state of its economy than fellow eurozone countries, a European Commission survey has found.
French consumer confidence declined sharply in November, reflecting “worsening expectations about the future general economic situation, unemployment expectations and savings over the next 12 months”, it said.
FRANCE 24 covers resurrection dreams:
Ex-president Sarkozy ‘could launch comeback in 2014′
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy could take advantage of next year’s local and European elections to launch a comeback, a former government minister and close aide told the popular Europe 1 radio station Thursday.
Germany next with Deutsche Welle and a marriage of convenience:
Economists criticize tame coalition deal
Two months after the elections, the Christian Democrats, its sister party and the Social Democrats have reached a coalition agreement. The minimum wage was one of the most discussed issues during the coalition talks.
Bloomberg entertains notions of tapering:
German Inflation Gauge Rises After CPI Data; Spanish Notes Fall
Germany’s inflation expectations rose from an 18-month low as a report showed consumer prices increased more in November than economists forecast, damping the case for further European Central Bank stimulus.
From Deutsche Welle, maintaining:
German jobs market treads water, unemployment edging up in November
Unemployment in Germany rose slightly in November but stays below the symbolic 3-million mark. The Labor Agency says job creation is in line with economic growth and will accelerate on bigger expansion due next year.
Deutsche Welle covers historic resolution in Baden-Württemberg:
German state signs historic treaty with Sinti and Roma
They are Germans and have been living in Germany for centuries. But Sinti and Roma have been persecuted since the Nazi era and are still discriminated against. A new treaty aims to strengthen the minorities’ rights.
On to Spain and a declaration from TheLocal.es:
Spain declares two-year recession officially over
Spain said on Thursday it has technically escaped a two-year recession by posting feeble growth in the third quarter, but with an unemployment rate still towering at 26 percent.
ANSAmed notes numbers rising:
Spanish exports hit record 34% of GDP
- Highest in Europe after Germany
- Spanish exports of goods and services will total EUR 350 billion at the end of the year.
Across the peninsula with the Portugal News:
Tax workers strike on last days of fiscal pardon
The Portuguese tax workers’ union (STI) has called a strike for 19,20 and 23 December, dates that coincide with the end of a government tax pardon for individuals and companies with overdue taxes.
The government approved the pardon on 3 October for tax payers who owe money to the tax office or social security which should have been paid up until 31 August, exempting them from paying any interest and administrative costs and charging lower fines if they resolve the situation.
And on to Italy with the latest in Bunga Bunga from euronews:
Berlusconi ready to bounce back after political expulsion
The Italian Senate may have killed Silvio Berlusconi’s political career by expelling him on Wednesday, but the political animal is very much alive, and retains a nasty bite.
The disgraced former prime minister promises this is not the end, and he remains at liberty to lead an opposition movement. He has promised revenge by the ballot box for what he calls a “coup”.
More from Bloomberg Businessweek:
Even Political Expulsion Can’t Take Berlusconi out of Politics
In spite of his political setback, most polls put his Forza Italia party and its likely allies ahead of Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s center-left coalition, with over 30 percent of the vote. And while he will not be able to stand for election or take public office, there’s nothing stopping him from leading his party from the outside.
After the jump, Grecocrisis, Latin American conflict, Southeast Asian crisis, Chinese policy, Japanese economic woes, and the latest edition of Fukushuimapocalypse Now!. . . Continue reading