Open mike 14/11/09

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 14th, 2009 - 7 comments
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Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Over to you…

7 comments on “Open mike 14/11/09”

  1. prism 1

    Good interview on Kim Hill 14/11 with USA Nomi Prins. She is experienced in USA financial markets and has interesting explanations for those who can’t understand their devious ways. The interview can be downloaded. Her new book is It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street (John Wiley & Sons, ISBN: 978-0-470-52959-1).

    If I remember correctly she says that much has been made of the finance houses repaying millions of government help received, but the total help provided in various types of aid from the USA government is about $14 trillion dollars. The common blameworthy cause is the Sub-prime mortgages but they would have amounted to just a total of $1.4 trillion if they had all fallen over. The reason for the financial collapse is the fraudulent financial packaging of shonky investments then traded as if they were quality. And because everyone was paid on quantity not quality, shoving shonky investments in with some padding to mask the true state was accepted practice. And the financials haven’t changed this now either!

    One point she made was that the top salary earners are divorced from the general mass of people below. That is why one newly appointed exec could spend $1 million on his office appointments, after 3000 staff were sacked. This divorce of large capital interests from the ordinary person’s life and needs, I think also applies to space exploration where billions can be spent on enquiry and curiosity with rich people as tourists. A war can be started with wealthy corporations using it as a profit centre. The people have to go and fight it and sometimes shoot each other under the stress of compulsion. Hurricane Katrina comes and people receive some help while the TV cameras play, and there is the continual struggling on low wages or needing welfare or medical care. The money is so limited for that. From the top people are as insignificant as scurrying ants. Mind you some ants have attitude and bite!

  2. Quoth the Raven 2

    As people argue over stimulus to save jobs here I think it could be instructive to look at some examples from the US:

    In a required state report to the federal government, the university system said the $268.5 million it received in stimulus funding through October allowed it to retain 26,156 employees.

    That total represents more than half of CSU’s statewide work force. However, university officials confirmed Thursday that half their workers were not going to be laid off without the stimulus dollars.

    “This is not really a real number of people,’ CSU spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow said. “It’s like a budget number.’

    and

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s economic recovery program saved 935 jobs at the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council, an impressive success story for the stimulus plan. Trouble is, only 508 people work there.

    The Georgia nonprofit’s inflated job count is among persisting errors in the government’s latest effort to measure the effect of the $787 billion stimulus plan despite White House promises last week that the new data would undergo an “extensive review” to root out errors discovered in an earlier report.

    About two-thirds of the 14,506 jobs claimed to be saved under one federal office, the Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services, actually weren’t saved at all, according to a review of the latest data by The Associated Press. Instead, that figure includes more than 9,300 existing employees in hundreds of local agencies who received pay raises and benefits and whose jobs weren’t saved.

  3. BLiP 3

    In its letter to Bahrain’s Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Amnesty International called for an urgent and independent investigation into allegations that the 13 people detained in December were tortured with electric shocks, beatings and by being suspended by the wrists for long periods soon after their arrest and while they were being held incommunicado in the headquarters of the National Security Apparatus in Manama. The organization called for any officials found responsible for torture or other serious abuses to be brought to justice. The detainees are reported to have been transferred to the Dry Dock Prison only after they had made “confessions”.

    Enjoy your soccer.

  4. BLiP 4

    Heh! We’re now in the “age of beige” – classic!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      ZOMG, she actually said something worthwhile.

      As for the “age of beige” – that went out in the 1980s with the pert phone but what can we really expect from a conservative government who’s sole purpose in life is to take us Back to the Future?

  5. prism 5

    Good Quote from Mark Twain –
    “Old habits cannot be thrown out of the upstairs window. They have to be coaxed downstairs one step at a time.”

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