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03 февраля, 09:41

More private capital for infrastructure investment in Asia?

Georg Inderst, Independent Adviser, Inderst Advisory Since the financial crisis, infrastructure investment has moved up the political agenda in most countries – now also including the USA. Asia is often seen as the world’s infrastructure laboratory, with massive construction of transport and energy projects. Japan and China have spent 5% and over 8% of GDP, […]

02 февраля, 15:24

From Resisting Trump To What?

Resistance is breaking out all over: the women’s marches, the immigration airport protests and the defiant Sally Yates, the State Department mass dissents, the battle for the Supreme Court, with much more to come. But where are we going? Are we simply calling for a return to the pre-Trump status quo of runaway inequality, the largest prison population in the world, inadequate and costly health care, unjust immigration policies and accelerating climate change? Or do we have a new vision for America? If so, what is it and how do we fight for it? Resisting Trump is protest by spontaneous combustion triggered by Tweets and Facebook posts. Too often, however, such uprisings lack staying power. Occupy Wall Street grew to 900 encampments around the world and changed the conversation in America from austerity to inequality. But it evaporated within six months. The spirited Arab Spring in Egypt took down the government, but paved the way for the highly organized Muslim Brotherhood and then a military dictatorship. We should know by now that without organizational infrastructure such wondrous uprisings are fragile at best. They require leadership, dues paying members, legislative agendas, and ways for participants to engage in decision making. Such constructions are very hard work that social media can assist but not replace. Where’s the glue? Some hope that the Democratic Party will provide the infrastructure for an alternative vision and movement. Not likely. Too many party leaders are still deeply committed to Wall Street. Too many Democratic officials refuse to interfere with corporations that shift jobs abroad simply to secure lower paid labor and weaker environmental regulations. And, far too party leaders have an eye towards securing lucrative positions among America’s financial elites. Could labor unions form the organizational core? In the 1930s the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) played this role by organizing unskilled workers and pushing for an aggressive worker agenda that helped to secure Social Security, a minimum wage, the 40-hour work week, and much more. But today labor is torn. The Building Trades are applauding Trump for restarting the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. Manufacturing unions are taking a wait and see attitude given Trump’s interventions to stop the off-shoring of jobs, his withdrawal from the anti-worker trade agreement (TPP), and his upcoming plans for massive infrastructure investments. Meanwhile, public and service sector unions, who after going all in for Hillary against Bernie, have yet to respond vociferously to Trump. Can the remnants of the Sanders campaign fill this vacuum? The jury is out. Electoral campaigns tend to unravel unless the candidate decides to run again. Campaign operatives go back to their day jobs and young volunteers return to school. Our Revolution, the political extension of the Sanders campaign, has possibilities but so far it has not attracted a mass following. But all those young Bernie supporters are still interested in the broad social democratic agenda he so effectively popularized. How do they express their support? A new formation? There are many significant institutions with dues-paying members that could play a vital role. For starters there are the unions that supported Sanders, including the National Nurses United, the Communications Workers of America, the Amalgamated Transit Union and the American Postal Workers Unions. With a combined membership in the millions, they have enough funds and troops to launch a new national organization. Ideally, they could be joined by the more progressive service sector unions like the Service Employees International Union as well as church, community and environmental organizations that represent millions of immigrants, lower income residents and environmentalists. Together they could form a new national political organization that we all could join. The goal would be to popularize a Sanders-like agenda, organize protests to resist Trump while also building an alternative politics for the next round of elections. Another key goal would be to bring back the working class Trump voters who previously voted for Obama and Sanders. There are millions of them. Unions that represent workers in manufacturing have found that up to 50 percent of their members (who voted) voted for Trump, largely because of Clinton’s record on anti-worker trade deals like NAFTA and TPP. The goal of any new formation should be to win back those working class Sanders supporters. Dream on? Of course, it’s a long shot. After all, the unions involved do not have a stellar history of working together. The community groups also have their own issue silos and funding imperatives that lead them to travel down separate paths. Environmentalists and manufacturing unions are likely to clash over jobs. Also, the questions of race, class and identity politics are certain to create tensions within any progressive formation. But Trump could do wonders to help us overcome these difficulties. While we were in our silos, pushing our particular issues, the hard right took control of the country ― not just ideologically, but over the real levers of power. Since 2009, when Obama took office, the Democrats have lost 919 state legislative seats. The Republicans now control 68 percent of all state legislative chambers, and control both state chambers and the governorship in 24 states while the Democrats have such tri-partite control in only 6 states. We can’t blame this on Comey or Putin, or Stein or Bernie. No, we also have to look in the mirror and face up to the fact that as a progressive movement, we’ve been losing overall even as we’ve made some significant gains on human rights for the LBGT communities. The rise of the hard right to some degree is the result of our lackluster movement building efforts over the past three decades ― our failure to get out of our silos and link together. Current organization models and theories are failing against the challenges from the hard right. The American Populist Movement We could learn a great deal about organizing from the American Populist movement of the late 19th century. That movement, the first to challenge the power of Wall Street, called for the public ownership of railroads, public banks, a progressive income tax and grain/livestock cooperatives. The Populists put 6,000 educators into the field to spread the word and build local chapters mostly among black and white small farmers in the Midwest and South. Although they were eventually defeated, the Populists set the agenda for American progressivism, the New Deal and even the Sanders campaign. (For chapter and verse see The Populist Moment by Lawrence Goodwyn). Before we can make sense of such organizational structures, we need an attitude adjustment. We need to broaden our identities to see ourselves as movement builders ― as activists who strive to put all the pieces together no matter which silo we inhabit. I may be a climate change activist but I also need to be a movement builder who is challenging the power of Wall Street. I may be fighting for criminal justice reform but I also need to be a movement builder uniting with others for Medicare for All and a $15 per hour minimum wage. It’s all one fight. We are tied together by runaway inequality ― a system designed to enrich the few at the expense of the many. Will resist turn into something more? Due to Trump’s divisive politics, the protests will continue. At some point, one would hope that those involved will begin building real structures to sustain these efforts and initiate more. Sooner or later, we should go beyond resistance and advocate a vision for the future ― a common agenda that includes a Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street, free higher education, criminal justice reform, humane immigration policies, Medicare for All, an end to outsourcing, fair trade and a guaranteed job at a living wage for all those willing and able. Perhaps a little more time spent with the craziness of Trump will wake us up from our organizational stupor. (This piece was originally written for Alternet.org) Les Leopold, the director of the Labor Institute, is currently working with unions and community organizations to build the educational infrastructure of a new anti-Wall Street movement. His new book Runaway Inequality: An Activist Guide to Economic Justice serves as a text for this campaign. All proceeds go to support these educational efforts. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

25 января, 17:27

To Defeat Nationalism, Europe Needs A 'New Deal'

LONDON (Project Syndicate) ― “I don’t care about what it will cost. We took our country back!” This is the proud message heard throughout England since the Brexit referendum last June. And it is a demand that is resonating across the continent. Until recently, any proposal to “save” Europe was regarded sympathetically, albeit with skepticism about its feasibility. Today, the skepticism is about whether Europe is worth saving. The European idea is being driven into retreat by the combined force of a denial, an insurgency and a fallacy. The European Union establishment’s denial that the EU’s economic architecture was never designed to sustain the banking crisis of 2008 has resulted in deflationary forces that delegitimize the European project. The predictable reaction to deflation has been the insurgency of anti-European parties across the continent. And, most worrying of all, the establishment has responded with the fallacy that “federation-lite” can stem the nationalist tide. It can’t. In the wake of the euro crisis, Europeans shudder at the thought of giving the EU more power over their lives and communities. A eurozone political union, with a small federal budget and some sharing of gains, losses and debt would have been useful in 1999, when the common currency was born. But now, under the weight of massive banking losses and legacy debts caused by the euro’s faulty architecture, federation-lite (as proposed by French presidential-hopeful Emmanuel Macron) is too little too late. It would become the permanent Austerity Union that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has sought for years. There could be no better gift to today’s coalition of European right-wing parties called the “Nationalist International.” Europeans shudder at the thought of giving the EU more power over their lives and communities. Simply put, progressives need to ask a straightforward question: Why is the European idea dying? The answers are clear: involuntary unemployment and involuntary intra-EU migration. Involuntary unemployment is the price of inadequate investment across Europe, owing to austerity and the oligopolistic forces that have concentrated jobs in Europe’s surplus economies during the resulting deflationary era. Involuntary migration is the price of economic necessity in Europe’s periphery. The vast majority of Greeks, Bulgarians and Spaniards do not move to Britain or Germany for the climate; they move because they must. Life for Britons and Germans will improve not by building electrified border fences and withdrawing into the bosom of the nation-state but by creating decent conditions in every European country. And that is precisely what is needed to revive the idea of a democratic, open Europe. No European nation can prosper sustainably if other Europeans are in the grip of depression. That is why Europe needs a New Deal well before it begins to think of a federation. In February, the DiEM25 movement will unveil such a European New Deal, which it will launch the next month, on the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. That New Deal will be based on a simple guiding principle: All Europeans should enjoy, in their home country, the right to a job paying a living wage, decent housing, high-quality health care and education and a clean environment. Unlike Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s original New Deal in the 1930s, a European New Deal must be realized without the tools of a functioning federation, relying instead on the EU’s existing institutions. Otherwise, Europe’s disintegration will accelerate, leaving nothing in its wake to federate. The European New Deal should include five precise goals and the means to achieve them under existing EU treaties, without any centralization of power in Brussels or further loss of sovereignty: 1. Large-scale green investment will be funded by a partnership between Europe’s public investment banks (the European Investment Bank, KfW and others) and central banks (on the basis of directing quantitative easing to investment project bonds) to channel up to 5 percent of European total income into investments in green energy and sustainable technologies. 2. An employment guarantee scheme to provide living-wage jobs in the public and nonprofit sectors for every European in their home country, available on demand for all who want them. On condition that the scheme does not replace civil-service jobs, carry tenure or replace existing benefits, it would establish an alternative to choosing between misery and emigration. 3. An anti-poverty fund that provides for basic needs across Europe, which would also serve as the foundation of an eventual benefits union. 4. A universal basic dividend to socialize a greater share of growing returns to capital. 5. Immediate anti-eviction protection, in the form of a right-to-rent rule that permits homeowners facing foreclosure to remain in their homes at a fair rent set by local community boards. In the longer term, Europe must fund and guarantee decent housing for every European in their home country, restoring the model of social housing that has been dismantled across the continent. Europe can survive neither as a free-for-all nor as an Austerity Union in which some countries are condemned to permanent depression. Both the employment scheme and the anti-poverty program should be based on a modern version of an old practice: public banking for public purpose, funded by a pragmatic but radical currency reform within the eurozone and the EU as well as in non-EU European countries. Specifically, all seigniorage profits of central banks would be used for these purposes. In addition, an electronic public clearing mechanism for deposits and payments (outside the banking system) would be established in each country. Tax accounts would serve to accept deposits, receive payments and facilitate transfers through web banking, payment apps and publicly issued debit cards. The working balances could then be lent to the fund supporting the employment and anti-poverty programs and would be insured by a European deposit insurance scheme and deficits covered by central bank bonds, serviced at low rates by national governments. Only such a European New Deal can stem the EU’s disintegration. Each and every European country must be stabilized and made to prosper. Europe can survive neither as a free-for-all nor as an Austerity Union in which some countries, behind a fig leaf of federalism, are condemned to permanent depression and debtors are denied democratic rights. To “take back our country,” we need to reclaim common decency and restore common sense across Europe. © Project Syndicate 2017 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

05 декабря 2016, 19:43

The Tide Is Turning Against the Oligarchs — Paul Craig Roberts

The Tide Is Turning Against the Oligarchs “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell Dear Friends, This is my quarterly request for donations. As you know, this is your site. It will stay up as long as you support it. The ruling oligarchy… The post The Tide Is Turning Against the Oligarchs — Paul Craig Roberts appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.

23 ноября 2016, 17:26

To Lead On Infrastructure, Trump Should Look To Public-Private Investment

"Our infrastructure is crumbling:" It is an expression we hear often in Washington--but what we do not hear as often are concrete plans to address our nation's failing infrastructure. Both of this year's presidential candidates agreed that we need to make substantial investments in rebuilding and expanding our infrastructure. In his acceptance speech, President-Elect Trump said: "We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it." On this point, I agree with our president-elect. It is clear that there is dire need to repair the bridges we drive on, the water systems we use, and the rails we ride. This is an issue that affects the health and safety of every American. The cost of improving our nation's infrastructure is staggering, and it increases every year. The question is no longer whether to act, but how to approach the problem -- and how to pay for it. President-Elect Trump is already pushing a $1 trillion dollar proposal -- but unfortunately, his plan lacks clarity. We must make long-term, pro-growth investments now -- not when infrastructure breaks down and rises to the top of our national attention. We need to disrupt this cycle, and this new administration has an opportunity to do so in a bipartisan manner. While we do not know much about the specifics of President-Elect Trump's infrastructure proposal, without public funding, his plan will not get us where we need to go. In fact, from the looks of it, his proposal could empower the very corporate interests he promised to oppose on the campaign trail. As with many things in his campaign and transition, it is difficult to know what President-Elect Trump really wants to pursue when it comes to infrastructure. On his official website, President-Elect Trump provides no concrete details as to how he will achieve deficit-neutral infrastructure investments. However, his advisors have advocated for privatization, and for a one-time holiday on corporate revenues repatriated from overseas to pay for his infrastructure plan. Rather than rewarding multinational corporations for moving overseas with a corporate tax give-away, we should close tax loopholes and end overseas tax dodging. This is the wrong path forward for infrastructure -- we cannot succeed without public investment. According to a report from the Congressional Budget Office, in the last 25 years, there have been 36 privately financed road projects; of the 14 that have been completed, three declared bankruptcy and one needed a public buyout. This is not a track record that inspires confidence. Privatization will let down the millions of Americans who depend on our infrastructure each and every day. As someone who has been fighting for increased infrastructure investment for decades, I know how complex this problem can be -- and why public funding is so critical. If we are serious about growing good paying jobs that cannot be outsourced or exported, we need to pursue clear, comprehensive infrastructure policy that faces the reality of the problem. We could do that by establishing a National Infrastructure Bank. The National Infrastructure Development Bank, modeled after the European Investment Bank and other development banks around the world, would leverage private dollars from institutional investors, such as pension funds, to supplement current funding. It would provide loans and loan guarantees to projects, and issue Public Benefit Bonds with proceeds to fund projects. Many organizations -- from labor unions to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- have endorsed some form of an infrastructure bank. If we continue to ignore our crumbling infrastructure -- or go down the wrong path and depend on shaky private funding and tax credits -- it will not be long before we see another failure like a train derailment, or a complete breakdown of a water supply system like we saw in Flint, Michigan. With a robust infrastructure proposal, President-Elect Trump has an opportunity to lead on an issue that touches each and every American. But if he ignores the necessity of public investment, this plan may be all talk and no action. The president-elect has the opportunity to forge a bipartisan approach that could bring both sides to the table -- that is an opportunity he should take. DeLauro has introduced the National Infrastructure Development Act in every Congress since 1994. The legislation would create and fund a public bank to leverage private dollars from institutional investors, such as pension funds, to supplement current funding for meritorious infrastructure projects of national or regional significance. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 ноября 2016, 17:26

To Lead On Infrastructure, Trump Should Look To Public-Private Investment

"Our infrastructure is crumbling:" It is an expression we hear often in Washington--but what we do not hear as often are concrete plans to address our nation's failing infrastructure. Both of this year's presidential candidates agreed that we need to make substantial investments in rebuilding and expanding our infrastructure. In his acceptance speech, President-Elect Trump said: "We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it." On this point, I agree with our president-elect. It is clear that there is dire need to repair the bridges we drive on, the water systems we use, and the rails we ride. This is an issue that affects the health and safety of every American. The cost of improving our nation's infrastructure is staggering, and it increases every year. The question is no longer whether to act, but how to approach the problem -- and how to pay for it. President-Elect Trump is already pushing a $1 trillion dollar proposal -- but unfortunately, his plan lacks clarity. We must make long-term, pro-growth investments now -- not when infrastructure breaks down and rises to the top of our national attention. We need to disrupt this cycle, and this new administration has an opportunity to do so in a bipartisan manner. While we do not know much about the specifics of President-Elect Trump's infrastructure proposal, without public funding, his plan will not get us where we need to go. In fact, from the looks of it, his proposal could empower the very corporate interests he promised to oppose on the campaign trail. As with many things in his campaign and transition, it is difficult to know what President-Elect Trump really wants to pursue when it comes to infrastructure. On his official website, President-Elect Trump provides no concrete details as to how he will achieve deficit-neutral infrastructure investments. However, his advisors have advocated for privatization, and for a one-time holiday on corporate revenues repatriated from overseas to pay for his infrastructure plan. Rather than rewarding multinational corporations for moving overseas with a corporate tax give-away, we should close tax loopholes and end overseas tax dodging. This is the wrong path forward for infrastructure -- we cannot succeed without public investment. According to a report from the Congressional Budget Office, in the last 25 years, there have been 36 privately financed road projects; of the 14 that have been completed, three declared bankruptcy and one needed a public buyout. This is not a track record that inspires confidence. Privatization will let down the millions of Americans who depend on our infrastructure each and every day. As someone who has been fighting for increased infrastructure investment for decades, I know how complex this problem can be -- and why public funding is so critical. If we are serious about growing good paying jobs that cannot be outsourced or exported, we need to pursue clear, comprehensive infrastructure policy that faces the reality of the problem. We could do that by establishing a National Infrastructure Bank. The National Infrastructure Development Bank, modeled after the European Investment Bank and other development banks around the world, would leverage private dollars from institutional investors, such as pension funds, to supplement current funding. It would provide loans and loan guarantees to projects, and issue Public Benefit Bonds with proceeds to fund projects. Many organizations -- from labor unions to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- have endorsed some form of an infrastructure bank. If we continue to ignore our crumbling infrastructure -- or go down the wrong path and depend on shaky private funding and tax credits -- it will not be long before we see another failure like a train derailment, or a complete breakdown of a water supply system like we saw in Flint, Michigan. With a robust infrastructure proposal, President-Elect Trump has an opportunity to lead on an issue that touches each and every American. But if he ignores the necessity of public investment, this plan may be all talk and no action. The president-elect has the opportunity to forge a bipartisan approach that could bring both sides to the table -- that is an opportunity he should take. DeLauro has introduced the National Infrastructure Development Act in every Congress since 1994. The legislation would create and fund a public bank to leverage private dollars from institutional investors, such as pension funds, to supplement current funding for meritorious infrastructure projects of national or regional significance. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Выбор редакции
14 октября 2016, 11:44

British banks keep cyber attacks under wraps to protect image

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's banks are not reporting the full extent of cyber attacks to regulators for fear of punishment or bad publicity, bank executives and providers of security systems say.

Выбор редакции
14 октября 2016, 11:35

British banks keep cyber attacks under wraps to protect image

LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Britain's banks are not reporting the full extent of cyber attacks to regulators for fear of punishment or bad publicity, bank executives and providers of security systems say.

Выбор редакции
10 октября 2016, 16:15

The Stock Market and Bank Risk-Taking -- by Antonio Falato, David Scharfstein

We present evidence that pressure to maximize short-term stock prices and earnings leads banks to increase risk. We start by showing that banks increase risk when they transition from private to public ownership through a public listing or an acquisition. The increase in risk is greater than for a control group of banks that intended but failed to transition from private to public ownership, a result that is robust to using a plausibly exogenous instrument for failed transitions. The increase in risk is also greater than for a control group of banks that were acquired but did not change their listing status. We establish that pressure to maximize short-term stock prices helps to explain these findings by showing that the increase in risk is larger for newly public banks that are more focused on short-term stock prices and performance.

02 сентября 2016, 19:10

No, Ben Bernanke, He Wasn't, by David Henderson

Hamilton was without doubt the best and most foresighted economic policymaker in U.S. history. So writes former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. Monetary economist and fellow UCLA grad Lawrence H. White disagrees. Larry writes: Now that the controversy has cooled we can take a more informed perspective. There is no denying Hamilton's importance and influence, or that his life story is compelling, as evidenced by the sold-out hip-hop musical Hamilton currently running on Broadway. But the wisdom of his policy advice, and the merits of the First Bank of the United States (BUS), are another matter. To describe Hamilton's Bank accurately, one should note that Congress owned one fifth of its shares, and chartered it exclusively, that is, made it the only bank allowed by law to branch nationwide. (State governments chartered banks, but each state denied entry to banks with charters from other states.) The BUS monopoly franchise was among the chief of the objections of Jefferson and Madison, and deservedly so. One nationwide bank is better than none, but many is better than one. Creating a legal monopoly where open competition could and should prevail is hardly a mark of good or foresighted economic policy. Larry continues: Many modern-day historians miss this point, and laud Hamilton as a man of unerring financial genius. Robert E. Wright and David J. Cowen, in their 2006 book Financial Founding Fathers: The Men Who Made America Rich, write of Hamilton's "creative genius, as he became the architect and chief advocate of a powerful national bank." They claim that "Hamilton's thought was often far in advance of that of most of his contemporaries," as when he was early to advocate a national bank. They quote Hamilton's 1781 statement that "in a National Bank alone we can find the ingredients to constitute a wholesome, solid and beneficial paper credit," and add: "He was correct." They call Hamilton's 1790 Report on the Bank "a masterpiece that cogently explained the importance of banks in a capitalist economy." They credit Hamilton with the following argument, as though it made good sense: "Next, he stressed that all the great powers of Europe possessed public banks and were indebted to them for successful trade and commerce. The implications of the comparison were clear: if young America wanted to join the ranks of the elite powers, it too would have to create a banking infrastructure." In much the same way, Hamilton would elsewhere argue that if the leading European nations have protective tariffs, we should have them too. The error should be plain. Wright's and Cohen's last sentence above, which Larry responds to with his tariff analogy, reminds me of what I call "the best question your mother ever asked you." Namely, "if your friends want to jump off a cliff, is it a good ides for you to jump off a cliff too?" The great tragedy of U.S. monetary policy in the 19th century was that the United States was saddled with regulations that caused us to have a fairly primitive banking system, a system that led to panics. The solution was not a banking monopoly. By the way, Jeff Hummel has an excellent comment on Larry's article laying out one interesting aspect of one of Hamilton's policy proposals. You might wonder why I'm blogging about this a year after the earlier discussion. Answer: I didn't then, it's still relevant, and it's an important issue. (11 COMMENTS)

09 августа 2016, 22:19

The 2016 Nolympics

Yeah, I'm not watching. And sure it will be hard to miss the sparkling, tweetybirds over his head repartee of Michael Phelps. But for me there is something deeper going on. Rio right now seems to embody all the tensions in the world in one single bikini laded place. Externally there's the Zika-virus-carrying mosquitoes who seem to have overpacked their baby toxic luggage just for this event. Then there is raw offshore sewage of Guanabara Bay (which, when they won the bid to host the Olympics back in 2009, it promised to clean up the city's pollution problems in time for the games). Thousands of heavily armed military are policing the dangerous city as a visible reminder that despite the pasted on glee, this is not a small world after all. Dozens of people on Olympic Village Twitter have already posted images with several hashtags exposing the lackluster conditions of their accommodations. Nasty extraterrestrial sludge is pouring out of faucets. In a recent Reuters survey, 60% of Brazilians believe the games, which cost an estimated $12.2 billion dollars, "will do more harm than good." Let's not forget, as reported by the New York Times last month, the favelas and their weaponized gangs, the incumbent governor, who is on sick leave, declared a "health system emergency" as hospitals closed units and money ran out for equipment, supplies and salaries. Months later the state started delaying civil servants salaries and pension checks. Teachers have gone out on strike. The state owes 21 billion to Brazil's federal government and 10 billion to public banks and international lenders. One more image: homeless people are being forced off sidewalks and police are dragging them to filthy shelters to start "cleaning up" the streets. 80% of the returns will go directly to the wealthy of Barra da Tijuca, which is Rio's South Beach. The rest of will be guzzled up by contractors and landowners. I don't know about you, but having to deal with the psychopathic Trump Games has simply worn me down. His new reality show, "The Appresident", stars an illiterate, completely out of touch idiot with a pathologically distorted, Game of Thrones-like sense of entitlement and privilege (his cologne is Hubris by "Me") who is distracting and mesmerizing the equally illiterate, completely out of touch idiots of this country (whose fun house mirrored reflections show little more than bad dentistry, with moss piglet brains, who come fully loaded with a visceral hate for smart women and anyone who is not as white as the inside of their copiously consumed Oreos). That, my friends, is our Olympics. Billions of dollars are being spent on our games too. And for what? I've long thought that the person who wins the presidency should not be the one who will do anything to be seated on the throne but rather the one who spends his money the most creatively on our own poor and neglected. Let's see what you really got, butches. Or just give your goddamn SuperPac money to Jimmy "Habitat" Carter and let's see what he would do with it. No. Instead we get our brand of Rio which comes every four years too. The truth is there is no reality on NBC this week. The only really games are the "hunger" ones that are really being played out on the streets of Rio. For this American viewer, I am sick of all the pretending and posing, the fake endorsements, the irresponsible lying that gives free license to the clueless lemmings of this country to say or shoot whatever they want, when they want. I'm sick of our games and I'm sick of the games there. Maybe we should take a page out of what the New York Back To Basics Yankees are finally doing. After all these years of lavishing ten year multi-million deals on young stars -- who when they became old stars are as athletic as Tony Bennett -- are now releasing all their veterans into the atmosphere like the deflated balloons that they are and are declaring themselves in-house farm system farmers who are ready to patiently nurture their hot little minor-aged Baby Ruths. They are now The New York Youngkees. And no, I'm not saying that the young or the meek should inherit the earth, especially when it comes to our leaders. All I'm saying is that after decades of decadent and bloated overspending to the point where money has become parade confetti, somebody finally woke up and said: it's time for a change. This system does not work. Let's fix it from the ground up. Now that is a game I would watch anytime, anywhere. But this week it will be anything but NBC. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

08 июля 2016, 02:29

The Banking Fight We Can Win Right Now

Bernie Sanders' campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination energized millions of people with his straight talk about the need to take on the big banks, get corporate money out of politics and pass a financial transaction tax. Although not as strong as many of us would like, a good bit of the Sanders agenda made it into the current draft of the Democratic Party platform. This is a testament to a growing and organized base of true progressives and the power of Sanders' campaign and agenda. Work to advance these critical reforms has been happening for years, but it has fresh momentum and power in this political moment. Now, as part of a longer-term strategy to move big progressive goals, Sanders and his supporters will continue the push for a stronger platform and commitment to that platform into and beyond the Democratic National Convention. In the meantime, there's a big banking fight in front of us right now. It's a fight that could result in a huge win for families and a death knell for the predatory practices of an entire industry -- payday lending. It's time to rein in an industry that thrives by stripping wealth from people who don't have much to begin with -- like Candice Byrd. Byrd was in her early 20s and working a sales job when she took out a $500 payday loan to cover a car payment. As the payoff date approached, the lenders called and convinced her to roll it over into a new loan to give herself a little cushion. The debt trap snapped shut. Unable to keep up with the devastating loan payments, Byrd lost her car and then her apartment. Her credit was ruined. She wasn't even 25 years old yet. "These places want you to keep borrowing," Byrd told The New York Times. "They don't want you to climb out of the hole." Payday lenders, who on average charge interest rates nearing 400 percent, are the ultimate bottom feeders of a financial sector that is chock-full of corporations worthy of the term. More than half of payday borrowers end up paying far more in fees and interest than they originally borrowed. In addition, one in five car title borrowers lose their car -- often even after paying back more money than they originally owed. What these statistics don't show are the sleepless nights, the missed meals and the desperation of families trying to keep up with unaffordable, unsustainable payments. Fortunately, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency championed into existence by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with organizing groups around the country, has proposed a rule that could keep billions of dollars in families' pockets annually. While the rule isn't perfect, it's a real opportunity to start ending this form of predatory lending. The payday industry knows this. That's why they've dumped $13 million to hamstring the consumer agency and water down the proposed new rules. Besides the huge infusion of money, the payday industry campaign to defeat this rule includes the creation of a mass-comment generating machine, and a media strategy to paint themselves as the victims. That is why we need to fight fire with fire and generate tens of thousands of comments from our side making it abundantly clear to the CFPB that there is widespread support for a strong rule and real regulation of debt-trap lenders. The deadline for comments is September 14, so the clock is ticking. Winning this campaign means an end to the debt trap nightmare for families and communities. It also means opening up space for alternatives like Postal Banking and public banking. Everyone energized by the Sanders campaign's call to break up the big banks can help put an end to a business model that depends on trapping people in a cycle of debt. Start right now by spending two minutes adding your voice by making a comment that will strengthen the proposed rule and push it across the finish line. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

08 июля 2016, 02:29

The Banking Fight We Can Win Right Now

Bernie Sanders' campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination energized millions of people with his straight talk about the need to take on the big banks, get corporate money out of politics and pass a financial transaction tax. Although not as strong as many of us would like, a good bit of the Sanders agenda made it into the current draft of the Democratic Party platform. This is a testament to a growing and organized base of true progressives and the power of Sanders' campaign and agenda. Work to advance these critical reforms has been happening for years, but it has fresh momentum and power in this political moment. Now, as part of a longer-term strategy to move big progressive goals, Sanders and his supporters will continue the push for a stronger platform and commitment to that platform into and beyond the Democratic National Convention. In the meantime, there's a big banking fight in front of us right now. It's a fight that could result in a huge win for families and a death knell for the predatory practices of an entire industry -- payday lending. It's time to rein in an industry that thrives by stripping wealth from people who don't have much to begin with -- like Candice Byrd. Byrd was in her early 20s and working a sales job when she took out a $500 payday loan to cover a car payment. As the payoff date approached, the lenders called and convinced her to roll it over into a new loan to give herself a little cushion. The debt trap snapped shut. Unable to keep up with the devastating loan payments, Byrd lost her car and then her apartment. Her credit was ruined. She wasn't even 25 years old yet. "These places want you to keep borrowing," Byrd told The New York Times. "They don't want you to climb out of the hole." Payday lenders, who on average charge interest rates nearing 400 percent, are the ultimate bottom feeders of a financial sector that is chock-full of corporations worthy of the term. More than half of payday borrowers end up paying far more in fees and interest than they originally borrowed. In addition, one in five car title borrowers lose their car -- often even after paying back more money than they originally owed. What these statistics don't show are the sleepless nights, the missed meals and the desperation of families trying to keep up with unaffordable, unsustainable payments. Fortunately, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency championed into existence by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with organizing groups around the country, has proposed a rule that could keep billions of dollars in families' pockets annually. While the rule isn't perfect, it's a real opportunity to start ending this form of predatory lending. The payday industry knows this. That's why they've dumped $13 million to hamstring the consumer agency and water down the proposed new rules. Besides the huge infusion of money, the payday industry campaign to defeat this rule includes the creation of a mass-comment generating machine, and a media strategy to paint themselves as the victims. That is why we need to fight fire with fire and generate tens of thousands of comments from our side making it abundantly clear to the CFPB that there is widespread support for a strong rule and real regulation of debt-trap lenders. The deadline for comments is September 14, so the clock is ticking. Winning this campaign means an end to the debt trap nightmare for families and communities. It also means opening up space for alternatives like Postal Banking and public banking. Everyone energized by the Sanders campaign's call to break up the big banks can help put an end to a business model that depends on trapping people in a cycle of debt. Start right now by spending two minutes adding your voice by making a comment that will strengthen the proposed rule and push it across the finish line. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Выбор редакции
30 июня 2016, 19:41

Iran sacks bank chiefs amid uproar over high salaries

The chief executives of four public banks in Iran have been sacked amid widespread criticism of their salaries, the state-run Irna news agency reports.

Выбор редакции
22 июня 2016, 08:22

Banking for a Baltimore Undivided

Joshua Harris, Baltimore mayoral hopeful, explains that he is running on the Green Party ticket because Baltimore is ready for fresh ideas, like his public banking proposal

20 июня 2016, 05:43

Everything You Need To Know About The Outragious Impeachment Of Brazil's First Female President

Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's first female president, is being impeached and faces permanent removal from office. She and her predecessor belong to the Workers Party. During their combined administrations, 29 million Brazilians were lifted out of poverty. Here are some numbers of a different kind. According to the corruption monitoring group, Transparency Brazil, 60% of the 594 members of Brazil's National Congress face serious criminal charges, mostly involving graft, bribery, and electoral fraud, but also illegal deforestation, kidnapping, and murder. As president, Rousseff did nothing to stop the now numerous investigations into these politicians. She herself has never been accused of corruption and is not charged with it now. The impeachment charges leveled against her are that she used money from public banks to temporarily cover budget gaps. The practice is widely used at all levels of Brazilian government, including by her two predecessors. No specific, well-defined law against it exits either in the constitution or the penal code. If congress wanted a tenable law against it, it could have created one. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted to approve impeachment. In the House, the atmosphere was raucous, sexist, and tinged with homophobia. Most of the pro-impeachment congressmen cited "Family, God, and Country" as their motivation for impeaching their president. One spoke approvingly of the man who tortured Rousseff during the dictatorship she fought, and indeed the dictatorship itself. (The 22 year-old Rousseff was imprisoned for three years, endured extreme torture, but gave up no names. ) The Senate process was more dignified, though it included a brief pro-impeachment speech from ex-president Fernando Collor de Mello, who resigned in 1992 after being impeached for personal corruption, and is now facing new corruption charges. Almost none of the pro-impeachment politicians spoke of the actual charge. The Senate now assumes a judicial function. But this is not a legal process in any normal sense, but a political one. There is little time for the accused to prepare. There is no presumption of innocence. There is no impartial jury. A two thirds majority vote by a Senate riddled with corruption can end Dilma Rousseff's presidency. Since she has been suspended from office, the character and intentions of those who impeached her have become clearer by the day. This is indeed a "white coup" in all senses of the word. As soon as Vice President Michel Temer, a principal architect of the impeachment, became Interim President, he replaced a progressive administration representative of a diverse nation with one that contained only white males. No Afro-Brazilians, no women. He tried to close the Ministry of Culture and seeks to dismantle vital social programs. He tried to appoint an evangelical pastor who does not believe in evolution to head the Ministry of Science and Technology, then merged it into, and made it subordinate to, the Ministry of Communications. He appointed as minister of agriculture a man who advocates opening up vast stretches of the Amazon to farming. According to Folha de Sao Paulo, one of the leading newspapers in Brazil, he intends to close TV Brasil, the Brazilian equivalent of PBS. A number of covertly recorded phone conversations have been anonymously leaked. In them, several of the chief instigators openly talked about impeaching the president as a means to stop or at least impede corruption investigations. After a recording surfaced in which mention was made of speaking to the military and the Supreme Court to get their approval for impeachment and how there was a need to "slow down" the investigations, the Minister of Planning was forced to resign. On a similar recording, the new Minister of Transparency, (the anti-corruption czar!) was heard giving advice to the president of the Senate on how to dodge corruption investigators. He resigned. In total three ministers have been fired or resigned, some within days of being appointed, all in connection with corruption. The man who began the impeachment process, Speaker of the lower house, Eduardo Cunha, was found to have millions of dollars in secret Swiss bank accounts and has been removed from office by the Supreme Court. Cunha, an evangelical radio host believed to have laundered money through a megachurch, faces many corruption charges and could end up doing serious time. Michel Temer, the new president, has already been found guilty of campaign finance violations. Once he leaves office, he is banned from running for any political office, including the one he now holds, for 8 years. Other more serious allegations are being investigated. In conclusion, though the impeachment may have the appearance of legitimacy, it lacks both the spirit and substance of law. It is motivated by corrupt politicians trying to protect themselves from prosecution. It will result in the implementation of policies not sanctioned by the electorate when they voted for Dilma. It will lead to the weakening of human rights and environmental laws. While it is true that the economy has recently taken a serious turn for the worse and that Dilma doubtless made mistakes, her impeachment is unjustified, is in itself corrupt, and is a serious precedent-setting attack on a democratically elected leader of a young and fragile democracy. The takeover has been so inept, and has inadvertently revealed so much of its own corruption, that popular opinion is turning against what is now widely described as a coup d'etat. Several senators have indicated they might change their minds and vote against ousting the president. To avoid clashing with the Olympics, however, the process is speeding up alarmingly. A recently formed group in New York, Shout For Democracy, is planning a concert at the Apollo Theater on July 21st. Artists who have committed so far are Bebel Gilberto, Mauro Refosco and Forró in the Dark, Miho Hatori and Cibo Matto, Jesse Harris, and Wagner Moura. The aim of the event, according to organizers, is to publicize events in Brazil and protest a cynical attack on democracy. Perhaps it will also remind senators, as they prepare to vote for or against impeachment, that people from all over the world have still not decided whether to attend the games, and news of a racist, sexist right-wing takeover might be even more abhorrent to them than the Zika virus. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

09 июня 2016, 20:32

My Message to the DNC's Platform Drafting Committee

The goal for all working families remains a secure, sustainable job and a real improvement in our standard of living. Here's how we get there. Number 1: Restore real bargaining rights. CEOs today earn 300, 400 or even 1,000 times as much as frontline workers, most of whom haven't had a real wage increase for more than three decades. The 1 percent is doing better than ever, but working families really haven't recovered from the Great Recession. One major reason for this is the continued attack on public and private sector workers who want to stand together and create a better workplace for themselves and their co-workers. Union members have a voice on the job. They have bargaining rights. However, fewer working people than ever have the chance to join a union because they face harassment by companies who use fear and intimidation to stop them. The National Labor Relations Act declares that collective bargaining is the policy of the United States. On paper, maybe. In practice, not at all. Thousands of workers have been fired, and tens of thousands more intimidated by managers whose goal is to block workers' legal right to a union voice and bargaining rights. But when working people can make a fair choice, when management agrees to remain neutral in organizing campaigns, when legislation like the Workplace Democracy Act, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Mark Pocan and supported by leading Democrats is in force, the promise of bargaining rights becomes a reality. The Workplace Democracy Act would make majority signup, or card check, an option for workers to choose a union. The legislation also would prohibit companies from refusing to seriously bargain a first contract, with provisions for binding arbitration. CWA knows firsthand that when working people can choose union representation without a management attack campaign, they do so. At AT&T Mobility, where the company has agreed to remain neutral in union organizing, 55,000 workers - just about 100 percent of all eligible workers - have joined CWA. The first place that workers signed up at AT&T Mobility was in Jackson, Mississippi. Number 2: Stop the economic handout to the 1 percent. Big money in politics, pushed by 1 percent, is corrupting our democracy. We need real limits on political contributions and we need to expand small-dollar public financing for campaigns. I come from New York where there is a publicly financed six-for-one match for donations in New York City elections. It works. That's how candidates become more responsive to voters. That's how we get "money out, voters in." Our economy is rigged against working people who play by the rules, and working people know it. Established companies are sold, jobs are slashed and sent offshore, communities face a tremendous loss of tax revenue yet the hedge fund managers and dealmakers just get richer. Members of my union just ended a seven-week strike at Verizon. They were forced to strike because this $100 billion company kept insisting on cuts in jobs and compensation, all because the company valued Wall Street over the frontline technicians and customer service representatives who are the source of the company's productivity and profits. Because these workers have bargaining rights, we were able to secure good jobs and improve their standard of living. We must enact policies that end taxpayer subsidization of runaway Wall Street greed and make Wall Street pay its fair share of taxes. We need to break up the big banks and enact a 21st Century Glass-Steagall to create a more robust banking system. We must close the carried interest loophole, which allows hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than working people, and end the taxpayer subsidies for outrageous corporate executive pay by closing the performance pay loophole. We must join the rest of the advanced financial economies of the world by passing a robust Financial Transaction Tax that deters risky high speed trading and provides adequate revenues. Half steps are not enough. And we should establish public banking through the U.S. Postal Service. Number 3: Adopt a new model for trade policy. Working people have seen more than 20 years of trade deals bargained by and for multinational corporations. Despite countless promises, each successive deal was worse than the last, resulting in millions of lost jobs in the United States. The Trans-Pacific Partnership extends the worst components of deals like NAFTA. CWA supports a fair trade model that includes enforceable rules against currency manipulation and requires countries to adopt and enforce strong labor and environmental protections before we enter into trade agreements. And that ensures that workers, consumers and environmentalists can enforce provisions of our trade agreements using the same mechanisms being made available to investors in the current TPP. A fair trade policy can't only be about investment rights. It needs to be about workers' rights too. The TPP is not fair trade policy. The DNC must reject it. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

24 мая 2016, 16:39

Keiser Report: Bill Clinton's 'Economic Miracle' (E918)

Every week Max Keiser looks at all the scandal behind the financial news headlines. In this episode of the Keiser Report Max and Stacy discuss the role that Alan Greenspan played in the so-called miracle economy of Bill Clinton’s reign. In the second half Max interviews author, Nomi Prins, a former Goldman Sachs banker, about what she saw during her recent visit to Brazil. They discuss the role of private versus public banks and US versus Chinese banks. RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com Follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rt Follow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RT Listen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttv RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

16 мая 2016, 00:46

The Path Forward For Brazil

BY DIOGO COSTA AND MAGNO KARL - Stakes are high for Brazil's new government. Dilma Rousseff is being impeached for illegally borrowing from public banks and cooking the budget. Interim President Michel Temer now has two main challenges ahead of him: to restore economic growth and to demonstrate a commitment to fight corruption.

03 мая 2016, 09:28

Война со сбережениями: "Панамские документы", изъятие вкладов граждан для спасения банков и запрет наличных денег

Автор книги "Web of Debt, Public Bank Solution"; президент Института государственного банковского дела Разоблачение налоговых неплательщиков является благородным делом, но "ограниченное раскрытие всей правды" посредством "Панамских документов", возможно, имеет менее благородные цели, удачно совпадая с войной против наличных денег и непосредственной угрозой массового изъятия средств вкладчиков для спасения банков.