Jul 122012



By ghostofzigz, youtube

VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVH9wNUSUAQ



Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYXdoXJcGUk&amp



Source:  RT

Thousands of Spanish miners and their supporters flooded the streets of Madrid in a second day of mass protests, just hours after the country’s leader announced a nationwide tax hike.

Workers marched up the city’s main avenue, wearing hardhats and carrying walking sticks, to protest outside the Industry Ministry.

Many walked for nearly three weeks in the blazing sun before finally reaching Madrid.

The crowd chanted, “Miners, stick it out, Spain is rising up!” as they made their way toward Madrid’s central square on Tuesday.

“We didn’t expect such a big welcome. The fact that people are coming into the street and mobilizing is a good sign,” Roberto Quintas, a miner of 22 years, told AFP. […]

READ / PHOTOS / VIDEO @ http://www.rt.com/news/spanish-madrid-coal-workers-918/



By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism

[…] The logical path, and the one the Troika is pushing, would be to wipe out equity and haircut sub debt and if need be, the next senior layer of bondholders. But depositors were pressured into buying preference shares and subordinated debt. Reuters reported that62% of bank subordinated debt investors are depositors at the same institution. Hurting small savers will not only be a political disaster, it will generate lawsuits against the banks and will further crimp the economy.

Spain is looking more like its contraction is accelerating, along with its social stresses. How close is it to a Greek style death spiral?

Delusional Economics is worrying along the same lines, with his argument amplified by charts accompanying his current post. As he notes:

Along the way I have warned that Spain suffered from significant macroeconomic challenges that, at the time, appeared unrecognised by the markets. I also provided some analysis that the country’s problems were far greater in magnitude than something than could be fixed by simply lowering government sector deficits:

The private sector accumulated large debts on the back foreign capital inflows leading to a housing bubble. This bubble has since collapsed leaving the private sector in a position of significant wealth loss and indebtedness, the banking system holding significant and growing levels of bad debts and the economy structured around the delivery of a failed industry. […]

READ @ http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/is-spain-going-the-way-of-greece.html



Source: youtube

Several hundred European dairy farmers on Monday staged a protest in Brussels calling for fair milk prices as European agriculture ministers were meeting. About a dozen tractors with farmers mostly from Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands made their way to the Schuman roundabout in the heart of the European quarter.

According to a background note on the ministerial meeting, farm ministers were due to discuss a report produced by the EU’s ‘High Level Group on Milk. The meeting was due to finish after lunch.

The.EU expert group last month drummed up seven recommendations to stabilize the dairy market and ensure a fair income for producers.

The experts last month called on the Commission to draft either guidelines or a legislative proposal covering contractual relations between milk producers and milk processors.

Formal written contracts regarding the price, volume and timing of deliveries of raw milk and the duration of contracts must be further developed, they say.

Member states could make use of these contracts compulsory, the group stresses.
Such ‘contractualisation’ at EU level between producers of agricultural commodities and industry is not currently possible.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsE_SpKtPH8



By Martin de Sa’Pinto and Emma Farge, Swiss Info

Browsing glossy brochures in search of an exotic and relaxing summer holiday is the norm for Swiss private bankers at this time of year.

But many will be going no further than the Alps, fretting that Switzerland’s tax disputes with the United States and other nations could leave them open to arrest and extradition if they leave the country and are suspected of aiding tax cheats.

Even secretaries working on U.S. accounts at the banks are reckoned to be at risk, while one banker rang an advice hotline because he was worried about nipping over the French border to buy groceries.

All this comes as Switzerland negotiates to get U.S. probes against 11 banks dropped in return for payment of fines and the transfer of names of thousands of U.S. clients. It also wants a deal to shield the rest of its 300 or so banks from prosecution. […]

READ @ http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/Swiss_bankers_drop_holiday_plans_on_fear_of_arrest.html?cid=32907178



By Edmundo Braverman, Wall Street Oasis

I’m really getting tired of writing about this stuff. I’m serious. It’s really starting to wear on me. Fraud and criminal wrongdoing has become so prevalent on Wall Street over the past decade that no one even bats an eye at it anymore. In fact, 24% of Wall Street execs surveyed by Labaton Sucharow admitted that fraud is now a necessary component of success on the Street. If that statistic doesn’t at least give you pause then you’re probably one of the bad guys.

24 percent. That’s just incredible to me. 70% of those surveyed said that regulators were so incompetent that they provide no deterrent to fraud whatsoever. In other words, there’s a lot of reasons not to commit fraud but a fear of getting caught isn’t one of them. It’s a total free-for-all these days, and every bank on the street seems to be involved at the highest levels – be it the LIBOR scandal, MF Global, yesterday’s news about PFGBest, or any of dozens of other blatant cases of fraud that have gone unpunished over the past five years.

“When misconduct is common and accepted by financial services professionals, the integrity of our entire financial system is at risk,” Jordan Thomas, partner and chairman of Labaton Sucharow’s whistleblower representation practice, said. […]

READ @ http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/is-fraud-the-key-to-wall-street-success-today



By Hemant Mehta, Patheos

We know churches get tax exemptions, but how much money does that actually come out to?

University of Tampa professor Ryan T. Cragun along with students Stephanie Yeager and Desmond Vega ran some calculations and figured out a number:

While some people may be bothered by the fact that there are pastors who live in multimillion dollar homes, this is old news to most. But here is what should bother you about these expensive homes: You are helping to pay for them! You pay for them indirectly, the same way local, state, and federal governments in the United States subsidize religion — to the tune of about $71 billion every year.

So… chump change.

Their article (with a defense of how they calculated the amount) appears in the June/July 2012 issue of Free Inquiry.

“The issue of religious tax preferment is especially relevant now because the number of Americans living outside any religious tradition continues to grow,” said Tom Flynn, Free Inquiry’s editor. “That underscores the unfairness of taxing all Americans to subsidize religious institutions that only some Americans utilize.”[…]

READ @ http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/06/16/the-yearly-cost-of-religious-tax-exemptions-71000000000/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

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