All the bluster, the referendum, all for, er, well, nothing
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras surrendered to European demands for immediate action to qualify for up to 86 billion euros ($95 billion) of aid Greece needs to stay in the euro.
After a six-month offensive against German-inspired austerity succeeded only in deepening his country’s economic mess and antagonizing his European counterparts, there was no face-saving compromise on offer for Tsipras at a rancorous summit that ran for more than 17 hours.
What was the point of all the drachma drama if he was just going to kick the can down the road anyway?
I mean, does anyone really think that the Greek economy will suddenly start producing surpluses?
All he’s managed to do with this emotional Mediterranean chest pounding, whipping up the populace with all his “humiliation” talk, is reserve himself a spot on a lamp post it seems to me.
Malaysian maker of edible bird nest products plans $30 mln Nasdaq IPO
Malaysia’s Swiftlet Eco Park Holdings Sdn Bhd, one of the country’s largest makers of products developed from edible bird nests, said on Monday that it plans to list on the Nasdaq stock market.
The company aims to raise $30 million through the offering of a 30 percent stake and the listing is expected within 18 to 24 months, Chief Executive CH Tan told reporters after signing an agreement with New York’s QMIS Finance Securities Corp , its consulting partner for the IPO.
Swiftlet Eco makes coffee, skin care products, puddings and candies with nests made from swiftlets’ saliva, a delicacy that has been popular in China for its alleged health benefits for hundreds of years.
Union cancels Boeing vote, claiming gun-toting workers told it to take off
The union looking to organize workers at Boeing’s South Carolina plant has put its plans in a holding pattern, claiming workers are so opposed to signing up that they chased labor leaders off their porches at gunpoint.
In Florida we mighta coulda have shot them. Castle Doctrine and all.
US Producer Price Index down 0.5% in Feb vs. up 0.3% expected
U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in February on weak trade margins, pointing to muted inflation pressures that could argue against an anticipated June interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve.
The Labor Department said on Friday its producer price index for final demand fell 0.5 percent after dropping 0.8 percent in January. It was the fourth straight monthly decline in the PPI.
“Creating consistently relevant and satisfying customer experiences have been hallmarks of McDonald’s business and historic success,” the company said in a statement.
“However, consumer needs and preferences have changed, and McDonald’s current performance reflects the urgent need to evolve with today’s consumers, reset strategic priorities and restore business momentum. The goal going forward is to be a true destination of choice around the world and reassert McDonald’s as a modern, progressive burger company.”
Perhaps if they went back to BURGERS as their focus, life wouldn’t be treating them so harshly?
Russia risks Soviet-style collapse as rouble defence fails
Russia has lost control of its economy and may be forced to impose Soviet-style exchange controls after “shock and awe” action by the central bank failed to stem the collapse of the rouble.
“The situation is critical,” said the central bank’s vice-chairman, Sergei Shvetsov. “What is happening is a nightmare that we could not even have imagined a year ago.”
…Michal Dybula, from BNP Paribas, said the rouble’s plunge risks setting off a systemic bank run. “A large-scale run on deposits, once under way, would make capital controls pretty much unavoidable,” he said, adding that the authorities may start by forcing state-controlled companies to sell foreign assets and repatriate funds.
In Washington, the White House said it had no intention of easing pressure on Russia to halt the freefall. “It is president Vladimir Putin’s decision to make. The aim is to sharpen the choice that he faces,” it said.
President Barack Obama will not veto a law passed by Congress imposing a raft of new sanctions against Russia, even though he warned previously that it goes too far for European leaders and risks splitting the trans-Atlantic front. The measures include $350m of military assistance to Ukraine, and authorize Mr Obama to impose curbs on energy companies investing in Russia, as well as to prohibit credit to Gazprom.
…After years of bluster and suggestions by Mr Putin that the US is a paper tiger, the Kremlin is now coming face to face with the cataclysmic consequences of what it has done by invading Ukraine and changing Europe’s borders by force. By the same token, Washington needs to move with care since it would be a geostrategic miscalculation of the first order to push a nuclear-armed Russia too far into a corner, or to perpetuatue a cycle of grievance.
Anthony Peters, from SwissInvest, said Russia’s leaders had misled their own people and have until now been in denial about the crisis engulfing them. “Not since Soviet times have we seen such steadfast refusal by the Kremlin to acknowledge the presence of severe political and economic problems while sacrificing the people in the name of orthodoxy. The Russian people are legendarily stoic in the face of hardships but beware if, and when, their patience runs out,” he said.
The rouble crash has doubled the cost of servicing nearly $700bn of external debt owed by Russian banks, companies and state bodies, mostly in dollars. They must repay $30bn this month and a further $100bn next year. Oil giant Rosneft has requested $49bn of state aid to weather the crisis.
I have complete confidence that our Super Geniuses in DC will manage to engender the worst possible outcome.
That’s the Gift they have.
These are dangerous times, and we are ruled by petulant children.
The governor of Norway’s central bank says western Europe’s biggest oil producer is facing a major economic slowdown as crude prices continue to plunge.
“Our job now is that we need to prevent a severe downturn in the economy,” Oeystein Olsen said today in an interview after a press conference in Oslo. “Overall, that is presently the major concern of the board. That explains why we have reduced the rate.”
…Oil prices have plunged 44 percent from a June high, the worst decline since the financial crisis erupted in 2008. Norges Bank estimates oil investments will decline by 15 percent next year, with the risk of “spillover” effects on the rest of the economy and rising unemployment.
Norway depends on the oil industry for almost a quarter of its economic output and has built an $860 billion wealth fund from its offshore revenue.
Obamacare offers firms $3,000 incentive to hire illegals over native-born workers
Under the president’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare.
President Obama’s temporary amnesty, which lasts three years, declares up to 5 million illegal immigrants to be lawfully in the country and eligible for work permits, but it still deems them ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on Obamacare’s health exchanges.
Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover.
If you can get to work through the “understandably angry and resentful” sweet Michael Brown protesters blocking every traffic orifice in the name of that martyred man-child in YOUR city, check it out.
I can’t WAIT to see what the Poison Pen President does next to his chattel milling about in the amber waves of grain.
400 out of work as Hostess shutters Schiller Park plant again
Workers at Hostess Brands’ Schiller Park bakery were blindsided by news Wednesday that the company plans to close the plant where the iconic Twinkie snack cake was invented more than 84 years ago.
“When we heard the news, it was shocking to us as well as our membership there,” said Donald Woods, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 1. “They were working like 12 hours, six days a week, and they were looking for this plant to be a part of their future.”
Hostess said Wednesday it expects to close the plant in October “to enhance its production and distribution capabilities and efficiencies.”
About 400 employees will be affected by the closing. Roughly 85 workers are employed on a contingent basis at the plant, which also makes Sno Balls and Ho Hos.
“The employees feel devastated because in May of this year the workers there voted to rejoin the [union],” Woods said. ”We were in the process of negotiating a contract with the group.”
Twinkies and other Hostess snack cakes returned to store shelves in July 2013 after the former Hostess company filed bankruptcy during a battle with its union workers.
…The Schiller Park bakery is the company’s last remaining bakery in Illinois. Two other bakeries operated in the state closed in 2012…
To steal a phrase, “Do you see what I see?”
Sounds more like unions and the well-known business friendliness of Illinois causing them to LEAVE to enhance to company’s “efficiencies”.
The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter by the most since the depths of the last recession as consumer spending cooled.
Gross domestic product fell at a 2.9 percent annualized rate, more than forecast and the worst reading since the same three months in 2009, after a previously reported 1 percent drop, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. It marked the biggest downward revision from the agency’s second GDP estimate since records began in 1976, owed primarily to a slowdown in health care spending.
Total suckage on everything he touches.
The revision reflected a drop in spending tied to health care services. The Bureau of Economic Analysis had estimated that major provisions of President Obama’s signature health care law would boost outlays. A quarterly services survey released this month showed the assumptions were too optimistic. Outlays for health spending actually dropped in the first quarter, subtracting 0.16 percentage point from GDP. The Commerce Department previously estimated those outlays added 1 percentage point to GDP.
I would suggest to the editors that when you predict a policy will increase spending and it actually causes it to drop you are not “too optimistic” but in fact what we in the real world call “dead wrong.”
Two smartly-dressed men armed with forged bond certificates worth trillions of euros have been caught while trying to talk their way into the Vatican’s bank, in a spectacularly bungled fraud scheme.
The middle aged men, an American and a Dutch citizen of Malaysian origin, arrived at the main gate of the Vatican on the morning of March 11, telling Swiss guards they had an appointment at the bank, which has been dogged by scandals over the years.
When bank staff said they had no record of an appointment, the two men said cardinals were expecting them – arousing the suspicions of Vatican police, who called in colleagues from Italy’s tax police.
“When we arrived, the Vatican police had opened the men’s briefcase to find bond certificates valued in US and Hong Kong dollars, as well as euros, worth €3 trillion,” said Lt Col Davide Cardia, a tax police official.
… “We noticed the grammar of the English used on the certificates was full of mistakes – it looked like they had been written using Google Translate,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “Searching their hotel room we found the seals used to forge the bond certificates.”
Since the men were stopped before carrying out a fraud, they were released under Italian law and have now likely left Italy, said Lt. Col. Cardia.
I guess the Italians consider forged bonds worth trillions to be mere literature until one actually deposits them.
And then they’ll shout “squirrel!” and try Amanda Knox again.
Warren Buffett: Supposed Increase in Extreme Weather ‘Hasn’t Been True So Far’
Any climate alarmist will tell you that climate change is increasing extreme weather events, but liberal billionaire Warren Buffett easily destroyed that argument.
…Buffett said the supposed increase in extreme weather “hasn’t been true so far, Joe. We always think it’s cold. We always think it’s cold in Omaha. But, it was cold in Omaha 50 years ago.”
…Specifically, Buffett rejected claims that hurricanes have increased due to climate change, citing his experience in hurricane insurance. He said “we’ve been remarkably free of hurricanes in the United States in the last five years.”
He added “If you are writing hurricane insurance, it has been all profit.“
…In that same interview, Buffett rejected two other liberal talking points. He expressed concern over an increased minimum wage, agreeing with the Congressional Budget Office that wage hikes would kill jobs. He also expressed support for the Keystone XL pipeline, calling it “useful.”
IN 1960, THE REVOLUTIONARY REGIME IN CUBA ILLEGALLY CONFISCATED ALL THE BACARDI COMPANY’S CUBAN ASSETS WITHOUT COMPENSATION AND FORCED THEM OUT OF THE COUNTRY. THE BACARDIS LOST THEIR BUSINESS AND THEIR HOME, BUT AS HISTORY HAS PROVEN, NOT THEIR SPIRIT. THEY SIMPLY STARTED OVER SOMEWHERE ELSE.
So I call Comcast yesterday because our modem is rather antiquated and can’t provide the bandwidth that Comcast is charging me for. Their website gives a list of recommended modems and a very convenient link to order one directly from Amazon. Very smart and efficient.
Anywho, I picked out one and before I clicked “order” I called the 800 number for Comcast to double check that it would work and the installation woul be seamless. There was the usual delay as I was routed to the call center in Bangalore and then that little extra delay that tells you that you are now talking to someone wearing a headset sitting in a room with three hundred other such folks, and then this nice fellow says, in accented English that checks off every box on the Official Stereotype Indian English Form, “Hello, thank you for calling Comcast. My name is Larry, how can I help you?”
So now companies are giving these folks fake Gringo names.
My goodness, there will be no love for the Associated Press when the Administration goes through this story
The secret, dirty cost of Obama’s green power push
November 12, 2013 7:18 AM ET
By By DINA CAPPIELLO and MATT APUZZO
CORYDON, Iowa (AP) – The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America’s push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply.
Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
With the Iowa political caucuses on the horizon in 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama made homegrown corn a centerpiece of his plan to slow global warming. And when President George W. Bush signed a law that year requiring oil companies to add billions of gallons of ethanol to their gasoline each year, Bush predicted it would make the country “stronger, cleaner and more secure.”
But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.
As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.
Five million acres of land set aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined — have vanished on Obama’s watch.
Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.
All of these subsidies and mandates (and a hell of a lot else, frankly) need to be eliminated and stripped out of that ungodly abomination that the the Farm Bill.
The corrupt alliance between the hyper-regulatory state and agribusiness must be pared back.