In response to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s insistence that Occupy Denver choose leadership to deal with City and State officials, and drawing inspiration from the notion that corporations are people, Occupy Denver’s General Assembly has elected a leader: Shelby, a three year old Border Collie. “Shelby is closer to a person than any corporation: She can bleed, she can breed, and she can show emotion. Either Shelby is a person, or corporations aren’t people,” said a Shelby supporter at the time of her election.
Occupy Denver reserves the right to alter leadership status, but for now, Shelby exhibits heart, warmth, and an appreciation for the group over personal ambition that Occupy Denver members feel are sorely lacking in the leaders some of them have voted for on national, state, and local levels. Accordingly, Occupy Denver looks forward to communication with Mayor Hancock and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper sometime this week to introduce their leadership.
A French court has fined energy giant EDF 1.5 million euros (£1.3 million) and sent two of its staff to jail for spying on Greenpeace campaigners.
The Tribunal Correctionel de Nanterre heard that Kargus Consultants, then run by a former member of the French foreign secret service, had compiled a dossier on Greenpeace via means that included hacking into a computer belonging to former campaigns head Yannick Jadot.
EDF maintained that it had just asked Kargus to monitor the activists, and that the consultants had exceeded their remit.
But justice Isabelle Prevost-Desprez disagreed, handing three-year sentences to Pascal Durieux and Pierre-Paul Francois, head and deputy head of EDF’s nuclear security operation.
Could we actually do something that would work? Sure we could.
We could just make new money. The European Central Bank (ECB) can do that, just like the Fed in the US and the BoE in the UK. This is very much what quantitative easing (QE) is. Print new money, buy government debt with it, prices of govt debt rise, yields on govt debt fall. Exactly what we want to happen. ECB prints up a trillion euro (creates it on a computer actually but…) buys Italian bonds and we’re done.
Sure, we get a bit of inflation out of this: but that’s actually good at this point. It makes all the other adjustments much easier, like grease on an axle. We’re not in fact doing this though: this simple and obvious thing that could and should be done. The reason we’re not is because it’s illegal. This would be the ECB acting as a “lender of last resort” and the ECB isn’t allowed to act as a lender of last resort. This is, believe me, from an economic point of view, really a quite remarkable fuck up.
It isn’t just that cramming 17 wildly disparate countries into one currency for entirely political reasons was a bad idea (the “optimal currency area” argument) it’s that when they did it, they set it up so that the central bank couldn’t perform the most important task of a central bank: be the lender of last resort. The ECB just isn’t allowed to print money and bail Italy (or whoever) out.
Sadly, this means that there isn’t actually any solution to what is going on. Waffling about on the subject of austerity, of working back into competitiveness, this doesn’t work because it won’t work quickly enough. Faffing around about treaty changes and more Europe and joint economic monitoring won’t work because it won’t work fast enough. The EFSF won’t work because no one will lend it the money to make it work. And finally, the one thing that would work and would work fast (within a week if it was actually done), the ECB printing money and buying bonds, is illegal.
I’m afraid we’re all stuffed.
Last-ditch efforts by the governor of Alabama to prevent a record-breaking municipal bankruptcy in his state broke down on Wednesday, as the Jefferson County Commission voted 4 to 1 to declare bankruptcy on roughly $4 billion of debt.
It got 4bln in debt because large lenders bent every law and flouted every tenet of responsible lending to put them there. There was no thought given to how the county could ever hope to repay the bill, except that accounting gimmicks would perpetually stave off bankruptcy, while piling ever more debt on.
Bonuses are quarterly, that’s why.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has established a compound in Virginia that focuses on one very important aspect of international espionage: social network spying.
According to the Associated Press, which was provided some insight into the CIA’s operations, the Open Source Center, a team also known as the “vengeful librarians,” analyzes up to 5 million tweets a day to gauge public opinion around the world. The group also examines messages shared via Facebook and comments made in Internet chat rooms, in addition to listening in on more traditional forms of information dissemination, such as TV news channels and local radio stations.
In a Monday court filing, Warner Brothers admitted that it has issued takedown notices for files without looking at them first. The studio also acknowledged that it issued takedown notices for a number of URLs that its adversary, the locker site Hotfile, says were obviously not Warner Brothers’ content.
650,000 customers moved $4.5 billion dollars out of the big banks and into smaller banks and credit unions in the last month.
But there is a myth making the rounds that the big banks don’t really care if we move our money. For example, one line of reasoning is that no matter how many people move their money, the Fed and Treasury will just bail out the giants again.
But many anecdotes show that the too big to fails do, in fact, care.
Reports emerging from Brussels said that Germany and France had begun preliminary talks on a break-up of the eurozone, amid fears that Italy would be too big to rescue.