Fatster’s Roundup

a morning wrassle

Hello!

International Developments

? US Vice-President Joe Biden rattled swords today, saying “President Barack Obama isn’t bluffing when he says he’ll use military action if ultimately necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”  He  assured AIPAC, “‘You’re going to be happy’ with new Secretary of State John Kerry.”

? “Nuclear watchdog agency says Iran not cooperating . . . making it difficult . . . to provide ‘credible assurance’ that the country doesn’t possess undeclared nuclear material”.

? “At least 40 Syrian soldiers and several Iraqis have been killed in western Iraq”.

? Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien: “I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.”

International Finance

? “Anger builds in Italy as old guard plots fresh technocrat take-over . . . to break the political log-jam and calm markets after key parties failed to reach an accord.”  However,  “Europe’s young have grown increasingly furious as the euro crisis has robbed them of a future. . . . They are talking about empowering Italians . . . and they want to know how their tax money is being spent.” Wow.

? Uh-oh:  “Greece, creditors to discuss public sector layoffs.”  More ominously, according to anonymous sources, “the creditors insist civil servant layoffs are needed . . . [and] would like to see progress in privatizations and tax collection.”

? “200 HSBC staff paid . . . £1m+ in 2012″ while profits fell to £13bn.

? “China becomes world’s top oil importer”.

Money Matters USA

? “The nation’s biggest banks wrongfully foreclosed on more than 700 military members during the housing crisis and seized homes from roughly two dozen other borrowers who were current on their mortgage payments.”  Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, etc.  Surely the feds will be right on top of this.

? Krugman:  how public programs such as Medicaid are really  ok so “long as the spending ends up lining the right pockets, and the undeserving beneficiaries of public largess are politically connected corporations” and insurance companies.

? When there’s a crash, we all crash together.  “But when the economy recovers, we don’t recover together. Corporations rack up historic profits”.  Here’s how “Corporate Profits Are Eating the Economy.”

? “In all, more than $65 billion [tax-exempt bonds] have been issued by state and local governments on behalf of corporations since 2003″ with Chevon being the “single biggest beneficiary of such securities.  Chevron 2012 profit = $26 billion.

? “A crackdown on businesses that treat some workers as independent contractors is causing a stir in industries from trucking to exotic dancing.”  Are they so classified “to avoid paying overtime and payroll taxes”? [cont’d.]

Photo by Andrew Pescod under Creative Commons license