Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category
By Martin Banks, Henry Samuel and Alex Spillius
The leader of France’s far-Right party has vowed that the European Union would “collapse like the Soviet Union” as she conspired to form what would be the most radical faction yet seen in the European parliament.
Marine Le Pen, buoyed by a weekend by-election triumph in southern France, criticised the EU as a “global anomaly” and pledged to return the bloc to a “cooperation of sovereign states”.
She said Europe’s population had “no control” over their economy or currency, nor over the movement of people in their territory.
“I believe that the EU is like the Soviet Union now: it is not improvable,” she said. “The EU will collapse like the Soviet Union collapsed.”
Ms Le Pen, 45, will next month travel to Holland to chart a joint campaign with Geert Wilders, whose anti-Islamic Freedom Party (PVV) currently tops national opinion polls for May’s European elections.
Together they aim to establish a pan-European, far-Right parliamentary grouping that would run on an anti-immigrant, anti-integration platform. Once in office its overriding aim would be to be as disruptive as possible.
Even ardent European federalists now concede that as much as 30 per cent of the new parliament will comprise Euro-sceptics capitalising on economic misery and record levels of unemployment across Europe.
“If Eurosceptic parties are successful in 2014, this would create the most extreme European parliament ever,” Sarah Ludford, a Liberal Democrat MEP, said.
“I’m alarmed at not only their racist and discriminatory attitudes but also their protectionism and hostility to the European single market to which three million British jobs are linked.”
Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian PM, urged mainstream parties across Europe to stand firm against the forces of extremism that fuelled the Second World War.
“If we allow these forces to gain a foothold once again on our continent we will have wasted a century of building closer ties and condemned history to repeat itself,” he said.
President François Hollande of France warned this week that the prospect of a significant anti-EU grouping could lead to “regression and paralysis” in Europe, adding that it could threaten the continent’s ability to recover from the after-effects of the crisis in the Eurozone.
Ms Le Pen has already cultivated links with Austria’s far right Freedom Party, which gained 21 per cent of the vote in last month’s general election.
Mr Wilders, whose party was until last year a member of his country’s ruling coalition, has forged links with Vlaams Belang in Belgium, the Democratic Party in Sweden and the Northern League in Italy.
“We want to do whatever we can to turn the forthcoming European elections into a Europe-wide electoral landslide against Brussels,” said Mr Wilders.
The new anti-EU bloc would be to the Right of the existing Eurosceptic group in Brussels, Europe of Freedom and Democracy, which is dominated by the UK Independence Party.
Nigel Farage, Ukip’s leader, has ruled out any alliance with FN or PVV, saying their views on race and religion were too extreme.
It is predicted Ms Le Pen’s party could win 20 seats or more in May. Forming an official group in the European parliament requires 25 members from at least seven of the union’s 28 states.
Creating such an official faction brings major advantages such as guaranteed speaking time in debates and considerable subsidies.
Ludovic de Danne, Ms Le Pen’s international affairs adviser, said: “She is not wandering alone in the desert. If I were a federalist, I would be very, very frightened.”
In the past Mr Wilders refused to associate with FN because he disapproved of the anti-Semitic remarks of Ms Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Since she replaced her father in January 2011, Ms Le Pen has tried to improve the party’s image and move it into Left-wing territory on social policy and economic protectionism.
Previous attempts at cooperation by the far Right in Brussels have been defeated by national rivalry and policy disagreements.
In 2007, 23 far-right and nationalist MEPs formed a group called Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty. Within months, they had broken up after Alessandra Mussolini, an Italian MEP, insulted the Romanians.
The bill to implement the 2012 U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement quickly cleared the Senate by “unanimous consent,” avoiding a roll call vote.
The drilling pact – which backers say would provide legal certainty needed to enable development along the Gulf boundary – has bipartisan support. But the Senate legislation differs from a House-approved version of the implementing bill.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s top Republican, cheered the Senate bill’s passage.
“Today’s ratification of the transboundary agreement establishes important ground rules for developing the oil and gas reservoirs along our shared maritime border with Mexico. That in itself is an important step in improving our energy security,” Murkowski said in a statement Saturday.
“But in addition to opening up nearly 1.5 million acres of the outer continental shelf, it also ensures that any exploration along our maritime border adheres to the highest degree of safety and environmental standards. I consider that a win-win for both countries,” she said.
The House-approved bill gives companies operating under the U.S.-Mexico pact waivers from a Dodd-Frank law mandate to disclose payments to foreign governments, drawing White House criticism.
House leadership aides did not respond to an inquiry Saturday about whether they are prepared to accept the Senate plan.
But a powerful oil industry lobbying group said in early October that it backed passage of the Senate plan that lacks the Dodd-Frank carve-out.
The American Petroleum Institute has previously called for the Dodd-Frank exemption, but its support for advancement of the Senate plan could signal that advocates of the underlying drilling pact are willing to lay the House provision aside.
And the landscape has changed since the House approved its version of the bill last June.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is planning to re-write the Dodd-Frank regulation in question after a federal judge struck it down in July.
The underlying U.S.-Mexico pact would make 1.5 million acres available for development that had previously been off-limits, and more broadly make the entire transboundary area more attractive to companies by ending legal uncertainties, according the Interior Department.
In addition, enabling cooperation among U.S.-based companies and Mexican state oil giant PEMEX will “mitigate the safety and environmental risks that would result from unilateral exploration and development along the boundary,” a senior Interior official told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in early October.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/328235-senate-clears-bill-to-implement-us-mexico-offshore-drilling-pact#ixzz2hnU6PlM7
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Congressman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee says the economic plan being touted across the country by President Barack Obama is completely unworkable.
“The president obviously does not understand the economy,” Blackburn told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
“He continues to talk about we need government investment, but you notice he doesn’t talk about growth in the economy because he doesn’t understand what gives you that growth.”
In a speech at Knox College in Illinois on Thursday, Obama called on the nation “to make the investments necessary to promote long-term growth and shared prosperity.”
Blackburn said while the commander-in-chief continues to talk about investment and stimulus by the government, “it doesn’t work … We’re five years into this, we are at 7.6 percent unemployment.
“Instead of looking for another job you’ve got a lot of 60-year-olds that lost their job and now they’re just going ahead and they’re retiring.
“People … continue to look around them and say, where’d all the jobs go? What’s happened? Why aren’t the jobs coming back? What the president says and what’s happening in the country don’t match up.”
Blackburn said there is still time to dismantle the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — by defunding it, despite some Republicans who say they’ve abandoned plans to do so out of concern it may lead to a government shutdown.
“We do plan to do it and I have a bill that would delay for one full year the implementation of Obamacare,” she said.
“In order to defund it you have to first delay it. That’s because the continuing resolution we’re operating under predates Obamacare and what the administration is doing is reprogramming money that is in that continuing resolution to stand up Obamacare.”
Blackburn said her bill, HR-2809, would delay all Obamacare programs and all taxes that will be charged to pay for it for one full year.
“Then we can come back and we can defund or disallow the administration’s right to reprogram any of that money,” she said.
Blackburn said she believes the implementation of Obamacare is continuing to unravel on its own.
“The way this program continues to crash, even the president has said his employer mandate is not workable, and the Senate will end up taking that up,” she said.
“We have a solid footing to stand on to eliminate any reprograming of that money from being used for Obamacare … every right in the world to block that money.”
Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/blackburn-obama-economy/2013/07/25/id/517103?s=al&promo_code=144D9-1#ixzz2b6EdFtH5
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Supposedly one of the top ten reasons to become an academic economist is that it gives you a chance to talk about money without ever having to make any. Also, you get to say “trickle down” with a straight face.
The contrast between mainstream academic economics and “real world economics” has always been stark, but today the disconnect is so enormous that it seems the two have nothing at all in common. If you were to ask Paul Krugman and Doug Casey how to fix what ails our economy, you’d get two diametrically opposed answers.
Here are some educated guesses why that may be the case:
Mainstream economics relies heavily on mathematics, whereas real-world economics shuns it. In the hard sciences like physics or chemistry, fields based on immutable natural laws, focusing on math produces the best results. Economics, on the other hand, is a social science and attempts to explain human behavior—arguably the most fickle of actions, and no more mathematically quantifiable than the exact degree of mortification when throwing up on the dress of your 12th-grade crush at a high school reunion. Which, of course, has never happened to anyone we know.
In the hallowed halls of academia, you need not be correct to be useful. In the world of business, if you’re wrong more often than you’re right, you won’t stay in business for long. In contrast, academic economists can and have made very successful careers out of being apologists for the regime. No matter that they’ve been dead wrong in virtually every forecast they’ve ever made: as long as their forecasts align with their peers’, they can collectively claim, for example, that no one could have ever seen the financial crisis coming.
Most academics believe that their work is worth more than the free market gives them credit for. That’s not to say that academics’ work is not important—it is. But there’s a huge difference between thinking and doing, and those who are paid only to think rarely become wealthy. My guess is that academics are bitter about this fact, and believe that because the free market doesn’t adequately reward them, there must be something wrong with it. They correctly understand that oftentimes, the only way for them to obtain a lot of money is to steal it via the government; and because that principle applies to their line of work, it must apply to all others too.
The misguided belief that aggregate demand drives the economy creates a vicious cycle. Mainstream economists believe that aggregate demand—the total demand for goods and services in the economy at a given time and price level—is the wellspring from which all prosperity emerges, and so anything that increases aggregate demand must be positive, even otherwise wasteful government spending. Economists also use these as an excuse to make laughably rosy forecasts. After all, consumers spend more when they think the economy is growing like Jack’s beanstalk, so why not add some more beans while we’re at it? It’s all for the greater good. We initiates, of course, know what awaits us at the other end of that lofty stalk.
Contrast that with real-world economists who are loyal to their investors, clients, or subscribers. If our Chief Economist Bud Conrad constantly made incorrect forecasts in order to help the economy recover, we wouldn’t have any subscribers. That’s why Bud tells it like it is—as he will in the upcoming issue of The Casey Report, in which he evaluates whether tepid GDP growth or soaring stock prices more accurately describe what’s really happening in the economy.
I’m sure I’ve overlooked many other compelling reasons. But regardless of why economists differ, it’s important to understand on exactly which issues they differ, and which understanding is correct.
This week’s contributor is real-world economist Alasdair Macleod, head of research at GoldMoney. In a scathing article, Alasdair explains a few of the common errors mainstream economists make, the origins of those errors, and why they’re wrong.
I’ve been to Detroit and I won’t be hurrying back. I’ve never been surrounded by such appalling poverty in a Western country – rows and rows of public housing, every window broken, every door barred. I was advised to take a cab everywhere and to avoid the sidewalk at all costs. The gas station near my motel was a notorious hangout for crack dealers. The only way to get any food was to order it in, and the pizza guy refused to enter the motel itself. I had to come out to the freeway and nervously exchange money for food in the middle of the road. The strangest sight I ever saw was an abandoned toilet bowl in the middle of the highway. A metaphor for something.
What went wrong in Detroit, which has filed for bankruptcy? This piece by Kevin D Williamson pretty much nails it. The figures he gives are astonishing: in 1960 it had the highest per capita income in the US. Today it is the poorest city by far. Crime is rampant and services are poor; corruption is ubiquitous. Anyone with any money has left. The city’s population has fallen by two thirds. It’s a ghost town with a few poor souls still trapped there.
The reasons partly lie with bad policy. The unions helped to price local car workers out of the global market. It meant that those in the union lived well, but when the economy sank and the business was unable to compete, they lost their good salaries and their health insurance. Nowadays, car makers prefer to set up in states like Alabama where costs are much lower. Of course, union power was accentuated in Detroit by having a stagnant economy that refused to diversify. While other cities found new service sector jobs to replace the old ones, the business and political leaders of Detroit stuck to an outdated industrial model that simply did not suit the contemporary world. It didn’t help that regulation was too high and the city too kind to its public employees. Of the $11 billion that it owes in unsecured debt, $9 billion is down to pensions and health insurance plans.
Read more: http://MinutemenNews.com/2013/07/detroit-bankruptcy-this-is-what-happens-if-you-vote-democrat-for-51-years/#ixzz2Zg7lRw3y
Lord Monckton sees China prepping for final collapse of America
Obama has done it. He has brought America down. It only took him just over four years. The Republicans could have stopped him. They didn’t.
How did the nihilistic left succeed in destroying America? Simple. They learned just a little of the capitalism they hate, and they drove your nation into outright bankruptcy.
And here is what the GOP has to say about it: just about nothing.
The once-mighty United States is now the most indebted nation on Earth. In round numbers, here are just some of the vital statistics as the patient dies:
National debt: $17 trillion, or $50,000 per man, woman and child, or $150,000 per taxpayer. Annual federal deficit: $1 trillion. Medicare/Medicaid/Obama”care”: $1 trillion a year. Social Security: another $1 trillion a year. Defense: two-thirds of a trillion. Unemployment handouts: $2 billion per working day. Debt interest: $1 billion per working day. Federal pensions, ditto.
Now for the big numbers. Your government’s Social Security liability is as big as the national debt: $17 trillion. Its prescription drug liability is $22 trillion. Then there’s the Medicare liability of $86 trillion. Total unfunded liabilities of the U.S. government are $125 trillion.
Net assets for each U.S. citizen are $300,000. The net liability of the U.S. government, shared among its citizens, amounts to almost four times that: $1.1 million a head. And the government’s debt is growing at $1 million every 45 seconds. To cover its annual deficit, it is printing $1 trillion a year of currency that is not backed by any asset whatsoever.
Here is what will happen next. When the crash comes, don’t say you weren’t given fair and clear warning.
First, the dollar will cease – no, make that “is already ceasing” – to be the world’s reserve currency. China, as I have been warning you she would, has realized the dollar is finished. So she is quietly making startling progress with bilateral and multilateral deals to replace the dollar with the yuan as the world’s currency of choice.
Sterling, once the world’s reserve currency, went precisely the same way in 1967 under orders from Moscow, which then largely controlled the governing Socialist Labor party in Britain.
After the Second World War, the Socialist/Communist governments of Attlee and Wilson bankrupted Britain with health-care and welfare programs and nationalization of industries. Inflation rose to 27 percent.
Obama’s copycat policies are different in only one respect. Moscow is no longer calling the shots. International totalitarianism no longer needs direction. Its cruel, hate-filled, destructive mission now advances on autopilot.
Watch some of the straws in the wind. China and Korea have come to a little-noticed agreement that international trade between them will no longer be denominated in U.S. dollars, but in yuan, or Won.
Behind the closed mahogany doors of the world’s finance houses, elaborate and secret preparations are being made for the upheaval and international financial collapse that will follow the deliberate printing-out and consequent implosion of the dollar.
Your GOP representatives should be, but are not, asking the administration to reveal to them the ever-tougher terms on which the Chinese continue – with ever-greater reluctance –to lend money to keep their communist ally in the White House afloat.
Do not believe China cannot afford to let her biggest creditor fail. She can, she will, and she is making careful preparations to do just that.
If you thought the crash of 2008 was bad, think again. The crash that is coming –I cannot put a date on it, but it is not far away now – will be orders of magnitude worse.
So, what should you do to protect yourself and your family? First, get rid of every dollar you have. Dollars are now all but worthless. When the crash comes, they will have no value at all.
In hard times, most financial instruments – currencies, stocks, bonds – are not worth the paper they are printed on. Get rid of them now. Buy silver coins. They will quintuple in price once the crash sets in, and they are small enough to be fungible when the dollar dies.
Buy land, some of it well-wooded, some of it arable, some of it grassland. You will need the timber to power your steam tractor. Gasoline will be a costly rarity. And make sure you can defend yourselves. Starving mobs are no respecters of persons. Do what the Mormons do: Get three months’ supply of imperishable foodstuffs and hide them in the basement.
Absurd though this advice may now seem, there is a real danger that the crash will sudden. If so – perhaps for several months, and even for years – the fabric of civilization, including the food-supply chain, will fail.
It is not my custom to write in millenarian or apocalyptic terms. But the very best that can be said for your current administration is that it simply has no idea what damage it is doing. It is printing money in the vain hope of buying itself time. Yet every fake dollar that comes off the printing-presses makes the problem worse and the solution harder.
At worst, what is now happening to your nation may be deliberate. In that event, your current “president” will go down as history’s greatest villain. In any event, he will go down as history’s greatest incompetent.
Do not believe none of this can happen. Psychiatrists study what they call “normalcy bias.” People expect that everything will carry on and that America is too big to fail. She is not. She has failed. You will pay a heavy price for her failure, unless you act now to defend yourselves against what your government, with the culpable, silent acquiescence of the GOP, is doing to destroy your nation.
Finally, pray. God bless America. It has been nice knowing you. Only when you are gone will the world realize how much it misses you, and – paradoxically – how much it owes you.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/05/the-dollar-and-the-usa-is-toast/#MZjqFZzvdls1skvk.99