Lots happening, including more disaster in Greece and at Fukushima after the jump. . .
We open with an item from our Department of That Explains a lot by way of the American Psychological Association:
Dishonest Deeds Lead to ‘Cheater’s High,’ as Long as No One Gets Hurt
Behaving unethically may lead to feeling better than being guilt-free, research discovers
And our Upbeat Story of the Day, from the Los Angeles Times:
Big U.S. banks keeping door open to another financial crisis
Big banks have watered down rules aimed at keeping them from fobbing bad loans off on investors and ensured loopholes in transparency rules. ‘Fundamentally not that much has changed,’ an analyst says.
Ditto, from My Budget 360:
Pension disaster looms over the horizon: In 1980 60 percent of Americas participated in a pension program. Today it is less than 10 percent and the amount saved for retirement is startling.
Ditto again, from Bloomberg:
Factory Rebirth Fizzles in U.S. as Work Shipped Overseas
And there’s this, by way of Testosterone Pit:
“A difficult second half”: Fabulous Excuses By Clothing Retailers As Sales Fall Apart
And a Golden State due bill bill by way of the Environment News Service:
Rim Fire Suppression Costs Exceed $100 million
From InfoWorld, a sign of things to come:
Verizon’s diabolical plan to turn the Web into pay-per-view
The carrier wants to charge websites for carrying their packets, but if they win it’d be the end of the Internet as we know it
Ditto, from Slashdot:
45% of U.S. Jobs Vulnerable To Automation
And more grim from The Nation:
Poverty in 2013: When Even Diapers Are a Luxury
Being a poor mother in the United States today means re-using diapers and struggling to afford food. But House Republicans think they have it too easy.
And from the Washington Post, greed at its worst:
This man owed $134 in property taxes. The District sold the lien to an investor who foreclosed on his $197,000 house and sold it. He and many other homeowners like him were
Left with nothing.
Upbeat compared to the foregoing, via Al Jazeera America:
Mixed economic data raises concerns
Economists are worried the eventual end of a federal stimulus program will quell economic growth
On bright spot, via the Los Angeles Times:
California Legislature approves raising minimum wage to $10
The bill would boost the state’s minimum wage of $8 an hour to $10 by 2016. Gov. Jerry Brown said he would sign it.
From the Department of The Revolving Door, via The Atlantic Wire:
Rick Stengel Is at Least the 21st Journalist to Work for the Obama Administration
And from AlterNet, the best Boardroom Barry headline yet:
Shocking New Research Reveals Obama’s Legacy Could Be an America of Aristocrats and Peons
Inequality experts Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez reveal the biggest gap between rich and poor ever recorded by economists.
China Daily addresses a bifurcation:
US tapering to split markets
The United States plan to taper its quantitative easing policy will “split” emerging economies, with some — including China — better-placed to withstand the change while others will face currency depreciation and capital flight.
And no reassurance from the London Telegraph:
The idea that the eurozone storm is over is delusional. It’s merely resting
It is either one extreme or the other with financial markets, and for the time being we are very much in what City old hands call the “risk-off mode”.
The Independent spotlights another consequence of corporate greed in Old Blighty:
Revealed: Private equity firms are making millions out of failing children’s care homes – yet care for vulnerable is ‘unacceptable’
Review launched after Rochdale child-grooming scandal discovers that 63 privately owned homes did not meet the Government’s minimum standards
And the BBC reports on an anti-austerian action:
Strike action by firefighters in a row over pensions appears “unavoidable”, the Fire Brigades Union has warned.
Firefighters strike looks ‘unavoidable’, says union
On to Ireland, where The Irish Times reports on another ongoing corporate move, the destruction of the neighborhood-owned pub:
British chain Wetherspoon set to open up to 30 pubs in Ireland
And a German move, by way of the London Telegraph:
Germany ‘plans banking union without treaty change’
German officials have drawn up controversial plans to force through a eurozone banking union without requiring new laws, according to reports.
On to France, starting with this from the London Telegraph:
IMF warns France on austerity overkill
France’s socialist government has pushed austerity too far and risks inflicting needless damage on the economy, the International Monetary Fund has warned.
And from the Department of Sure, That’ll Work, via Reuters:
Hollande turns to robots to revive industry
Francois Hollande laid out a 10-year roadmap to revive French industry by promoting new technologies to drive job creation, but which offered little public money from stretched state coffers.
Bloomberg Businessweek looked it over and came to a quick verdict:
France Has a Plan to Restore Its Industrial Glory. It Won’t Work
From the Department of Oh, Crap via EUbusiness:
Le Pen wants to campaign with Dutch far-right: report
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen wants to campaign with Dutch anti-Islamic party leader Geert Wilders in next year’s European parliamentary elections, she said in an interview Saturday.
And from the Department of The Horror, The Horrow, via The Independent:
Disneyland Paris feels fury of disenchanted customers as more than 5,000 visitors sign petition demanding higher standards
Theme park enthusiast starts petition after being shocked by closed attractions and ‘re-heated food in one of the most expensive restaurants’
And from the Department of Strange Bedfellows by way of FRANCE 24:
McCain: US inaction put Hollande in ‘unfair position’
In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 on Friday, US Senator John McCain acknowledged François Hollande’s support on Syria and noted that US inaction had put the French president in an “unfair political position”.
On to Italy, with this from Xinhua:
Italy’s PM pledges to keep deficit-GDP ratio within 3 percent
More after the jump, include Greece and Fukushimapocalypse now!
And to Greece, for coverage of the unending disaster, starting with a headline from the BBC:
Greek civil servants lose holiday perks for computer use
The Greek authorities have scrapped six days of extra holiday awarded to civil servants for using computers, as part of its austerity drive.
Cuts-a-comin’, from ANA-MPA:
Government in final stretch for shedding permanent public-sector jobs
The government entered the final stretch for the sheddling of some 2,000 public-sector jobs after the end of a cabinet council on administrative reform chaired by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, which convened for about three hours on Friday.
From Greek Reporter, one group of austerian beneficiaries:
Home Arrest Planned For Greek Convicts
And some who are not, from Kathimerini English:
Inspectors start sweep of country for uninsured workers
Over 1,000 Labor Ministry and Financial Police inspectors were to hit the streets of Greece on Sunday in a bid to crack down on uninsured labor amid concerns about reserves at the country’s social security funds.
Hints of another bailout to come, from ANA-MPA:
Additional help without new terms, if we meet targets, PM says
Provided Greece meets its targets, any additional help needed to cover bonds that mature in the near future will be given without additional terms, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in an interview with the newspaper “Typos tis Kyriakis” that is due to appear on the stands on Sunday.
And bad news from Greek Reporter:
IKA Broke, Borrows To Pay Pensions
Already more than 8 billion euros ($10.63 billion) in debt, Greece’s main social security fund, IKA, can’t cover pensions for October and will have to borrow 150 million euros ($199.43 million) to pay benefits.
On to Latin America, with this from the Buenos Aires Herald:
Riot police battle protesters in Mexico City
Riot police swept thousands of striking teachers out of the heart of Mexico City yesterday, driving protesters through the streets with tear gas, flash grenades and water cannons in a swift end to the weeks-long occupation of the Zócalo plaza over reforms to the dysfunctional national education system.
And Argentine anxieties, from MercoPress:
Energy deficit is Argentina has become dramatic, admits YPF CEO Galuccio
Argentina’s oil and gas corporation YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio admitted that the ‘energy deficit’ of Argentina has become a serious challenge since the country has started to face a serious shortage of light oil for refining.
To India, starting with bad news for the marginal from the Financial Express:
Pink slips: Calls for social security measures in contract employment get louder
Pink slips have triggered panic across all industry verticals in the country.
New Kerala reports a promise:
Concerned over slow growth, but crisis will be overcome: President
President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday expressed concern over the slow growth of the Indian economy, but exuded confidence that the crisis would be overcome through appropriate policy measures and cooperation of all stakeholders.
And hence to China, with this from the London Telegraph:
IMF fears China is courting fate as credit soars again
The International Monetary Fund has warned that China is taking ever greater risks as surging credit endangers the financial system, and called for far-reaching reforms to wean the economy off excess investment.
And from China Daily, a very uncommunist announcement:
Iron ore futures get CSRC go-ahead
China’s top securities regulator said on Friday that it has approved iron ore futures trading on the Dalian Commodity Exchange.
Likewise, from International Business Times:
Shanghai Free Trade Zone Generates Cautious Excitement Ahead Of Launch
And a Sino-British pronouncement by way of Xinhua:
China’s commitment to growth will drive global economy: Gordon Brown
More unMaoism from China Daily:
Real estate PEs need clear rules
As China urbanizes, more domestic private equity real estate funds have emerged, but the absence of strong institutional investors and the lack of a regulatory framework pose challenges to their development, the Zero2IPO Group and China Minsheng Banking Co said in a report on Friday.
And on to China, first with an Diktat by way of Jiji Press:
IMF Seeks Continued Fiscal, Structural Reform in Japan
And on to Fukushimapocalypse Now!, first from the South China Morning Post:
Fukushima clean-up ‘more difficult than Three Mile Island’
A former US nuclear regulator says cleaning up Japan’s wrecked Fukushima plant is a bigger challenge than the work he led in the US after the partial nuclear meltdown at the Three Mile Island
The Asahi Shimbun, reporting on a fast song and dance:
Government denies TEPCO adviser contradicted Abe’s radioactive water remark
The government downplayed a potentially damaging remark that contradicted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assurance to an international audience that the radioactive water problem at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is under control.
And the Japan Daily Press reports on soaring numbers:
Tritium levels of groundwater in Fukushima now at their highest
And ENENews offers a prognostication from close to home:
UC Berkeley Nuclear Professor: Work to go on for thousands of years at Fukushima site if they can’t retrieve melted fuel
And we conclude with two environmental items closer to home, first from Boing Boing:
Molasses spill in Hawaii destroys ocean habitats, draws sharks to area where humans surf and swim
And then the New York Post:
Herpes-infected monkeys terrorize Florida