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Business/Economy (News/Activism)

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  • French and Greek elections 'have overthrown Angela Merkel as dominant force'

    05/07/2012 4:58:49 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 32 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 3:53PM BST 07 May 2012 | Our Foreign Staff
    French and Greek elections have overthrown Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, as the dominant force in European politics, newspapers in Germany have concluded. "The hour of the extremists," warned Handelsblatt, Germany's financial newspaper, predicting that the defeat of pro-EU austerity parties in Greek elections will bring "an unparalleled political upheaval". … In an editorial, the newspaper warned that Greece could bring "political chaos" to Europe. … Writing about their French neighbors, Süddeutsche Zeitung says: "Goodbye election campaign—bonjour reality." … Die Welt sees the French and Greek vote as interlinked, spelling "the rejection of Merkel's system in Europe". In an editorial,...
  • Germany says renegotiating EU pact “not possible”

    05/07/2012 4:35:06 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 20 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 05/07/2012 | (AFP)
    The German government on Monday ruled out reworking the European Union's fiscal pact despite calls to do so by French president-elect François Hollande. "It is not possible to renegotiate the fiscal pact," government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference. He noted that 25 of the 27 EU member states had already signed the accord imposing strict budgetary discipline in March after major wrangling. Hollande has called for a shift in strategy toward more growth-oriented measures including more public spending. But Seibert said Merkel would not accept "deficit spending" to feed economic expansion, and believed in "growth through structural...
  • Letter: New Storm Legislation Brings a Warning

    05/07/2012 4:13:59 PM PDT · by matt04 · 9 replies
    The Daily Wilton ^ | Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-Wilton CT)
    Last fall’s monumental storms affected almost everyone in Connecticut. People were inconvenienced, impatient, and angry. The ill, elderly, and disabled were exposed to significant risks. We were shocked at how long it took to restore service, and how hard it was to get answers. First responders and town organizations rose to the occasion, but they were stretched to their limits. Schools were closed for days on end. The situation got old very fast. No one wanted to go through the same thing again, ever. Not surprisingly, there was an initial clamor for action. Several of us called for public hearings,...
  • Athens (Greece) tops office space availability chart

    05/07/2012 3:37:36 PM PDT · by dynachrome · 9 replies
    Ekathimerini ^ | 5-7-12 | Nikos Roussanoglou
    Athens has the highest rate of empty office space in Europe, according to data for the year’s first quarter presented by BNP Paribas Real Estate. Its report on the course of the European office market showed that the availability rate in the Greek capital soared to 20 percent in the January-March period from 15.5 percent in the same period last year.
  • College: 'Best Investment' or Big Risk? (The financial return for a 4-year degree may surprise you)

    05/07/2012 2:35:03 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 59 replies
    Smart Money ^ | 05/07/2012 | Jack Hough
    By College is the best investment you can make, President Obama told students last month at the University of Colorado. As a metaphor for the benefits of education, that statement is fine. But taken as a claim about the financial returns of a college degree, it poses two problems. The first is that students and their families still lack sufficient data to estimate long-term returns for specific college degrees the way investors do with stocks and bonds. The second problem is one of investment risk. Stock investors can manage risk by buying a diverse basket of shares, but a...
  • Show Me the ‘Savage’ Spending Cuts in Europe, Please (Austerity? what austerity?)

    05/07/2012 2:26:10 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 12 replies
    National Review ^ | 05/07/2012 | By Veronique de Rugy
    Austerity is destroying Europe, we are told. In fact, this “anti-austerity” slogan was a big reason for the victory of newly elected socialist François Hollande to the presidency of France. Interviewed in The Economist a few weeks ago, Hollande’s campaign director said “We are not disciples of savage spending cuts.”But then, I look at the data and I am asking: What “savage” spending cuts?Look at this chart. It is based on Eurostat data which you can find here. Following years of large spending increases, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and Greece — countries widely cited for adopting austerity measures...
  • Investigating the IRS: Why it gives billions to illegal immigrants (Tax loophole cost billions)

    05/07/2012 2:02:08 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 11 replies
    wthr.com ^ | April 26, 2012 | wthr.com
    Investigating the IRS: Why it gives billions to illegal immigrants INDIANAPOLIS - Why are many illegal immigrants getting a bigger tax refund than you? Blame it on the IRS and a massive tax loophole that's now being exposed by Eyewitness News. 13 Investigates has found the IRS is giving away your tax dollars to illegal workers and people who don't even live in the United States - and the problem is costing billions! We want you to see exactly where your money is going and why the IRS is allowing it to happen. From the homes of illegal workers in...
  • EU: German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a fight for the eurozone's future

    05/07/2012 1:27:30 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 15 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 5/7/2012 | Roland Gribben
    Angela Merkel could be forgiven if she had taken to her bunker on Monday. It was, after all, the 67th anniversary of the German surrender to end the Second World War in Europe. Activists wearing masks of Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande perform a fake marriage in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin There is little prospect of the German chancellor putting her hands up and losing the economic war she has been waging with her eurozone partners for two years now. Austerity Rules OK might be the graffiti shorthand for the debt and public spending reduction programmes that...
  • New York Times Confirms Non-Newsroom Layoffs (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)

    05/07/2012 1:22:37 PM PDT · by abb · 30 replies
    JimRomenesko.com ^ | May 4, 2012 | Jim Romenesko
    I received multiple tips late Thursday about layoffs at the New York Times, including this report: More than 50 people were laid off on the corporate side. The layoffs include George Freeman, one of their well-known in-house lawyers. The worry is this is just the begginning of cuts — and that the company is putting pressure on the unions. Several of the people who were laid off were minorities, including African Americans and Hispanics. Another tipster says of Freeman: He was “one of the two go-to guys on news-department legal matters, from story vetting to fighting First Amendment cases. The...
  • Treasury Would Support Bankruptcy Of (Gubment-Owned GMAC/)Ally's ResCap Unit-Official

    05/07/2012 1:18:07 PM PDT · by tcrlaf · 3 replies
    NASDAQ ^ | 5-7-12 | Alan Zibel and Andrew R. Johnson
    The U.S. Treasury Department has agreed to support a bankruptcy filing for the struggling home-loan unit of government-owned lender Ally Financial Inc., if the company chooses to take that route, an official said Monday. A bankruptcy filing for Ally's subsidiary, Residential Capital, has been widely expected in the coming weeks, when the unit faces more than $300 million of bond-related payments. It recently missed a $20 million bond-interest payment, which has a grace period until May 17. ResCap, once one of the largest subprime-mortgage lenders in the country, has been a drag on Ally, which halted plans for an initial...
  • Pills filled with powdered human baby flesh found by customs officials

    05/07/2012 12:51:05 PM PDT · by mojito · 50 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | May 7, 2012 | Unattributed
    South Korea has seized thousands of smuggled drug capsules filled with powdered flesh from dead babies, which some people believe can cure disease. The capsules were made in northeastern China from babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korea Customs Service said. Customs officials refused to say where the dead babies came from or who made the capsules, citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing. Chinese officials ordered an investigation into the production of drugs made from dead fetuses or newborns last year.
  • ISM Report: Pace Of Manufacturing Growth Is Quickening

    05/07/2012 12:47:10 PM PDT · by robowombat · 9 replies
    Manufacturing Net ^ | Fri, 05/04/2012 - 1:07pm | Bradley J. Holcomb,
    ISM Report: Pace Of Manufacturing Growth Is Quickening Activity in the manufacturing sector and the overall economy has been growing for some time, and now it appears that the pace of growth is quickening. Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPS "It’s just a reflection of what I think is a stable economic environment, despite the global concerns about Europe and so on,” says Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Manufacturing is a reflection of that stability.” According to the April Manufacturing ISM Report On Business, economic activity in the manufacturing sector...
  • Thousands March As Japan Shuts Off Nuclear Power (stupidity alert)

    05/07/2012 12:36:44 PM PDT · by robowombat · 20 replies
    AP ^ | Mon, 05/07/2012 - 9:32am | Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer
    TOKYO (AP) — Thousands of Japanese marched to celebrate the switching off of the last of their nation's 50nuclear reactors Saturday, waving banners shaped as giant fish that have become a potent anti-nuclear symbol. Japan was without electricity from nuclear power for the first time in four decades when the reactor at Tomarinuclear plant on the northern island of Hokkaido went offline for mandatory routine maintenance. After last year's March 11 quake and tsunami set off meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, no reactor halted for checkups has been restarted amid public worries about the safety of nuclear technology. "Today...
  • First Solar Restructuring Leads To Loss Of $449M

    05/07/2012 12:30:25 PM PDT · by robowombat · 8 replies
    AP ^ | Fri, 05/04/2012 - 2:36pm | Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer
    NEW YORK (AP) — A shakeout that is rattling the solar panel industry has sent First Solar, once among the industry's biggest and strongest companies, to a big quarterly loss. First Solar Inc. said Thursday that it lost $449 million in the first quarter, The company also announced that its Chief Commercial Officer, James Hughes, would become CEO, replacing interim chief and company founder Mike Ahearn. First Solar said the loss amounted to $5.20 per share..... In the year-ago quarter, the company earned $115 million, or $1.33 per share, on revenue of $567 million. First Solar, along with other makers...
  • Union Workers Strike At Illinois Caterpillar Plant (Joliet, Il)

    05/07/2012 12:24:07 PM PDT · by robowombat · 103 replies
    AP ^ | Tue, 05/01/2012 - 9:46am
    <p>JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — About 800 union workers who rejected Caterpillar Inc.'s latest contract offer walked off the job Tuesday at a plant in Joliet.</p> <p>Workers with picket signs lined up outside the plant early Tuesday, just hours after their contract expired. The employees, part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, are asking for better wages and health care. They voted Sunday to reject the Peoria-based company's latest contract offer.</p>
  • Explosions, Fire At Thai Petrochemical Plant Kill 12

    05/07/2012 12:19:11 PM PDT · by robowombat · 4 replies
    AP ^ | Mon, 05/07/2012 - 9:05am
    BANGKOK (AP) -- Officials say explosions and a fire at one of the world's largest petrochemical industrial estates have killed 12 people and injured more than 100 others in eastern Thailand. The blasts Saturday forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 people living near Map Ta Phut industrial estate, Thailand's largest industrial park. The park is in Rayong province, 180 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of Bangkok. Rayong Gov. Seni Jittakasem says authorities are investigating the cause of the explosions, which occurred when workers were cleaning a chemical tank at a Bangkok Synthetics plant, a synthetic rubber manufacturer. He said Sunday...
  • Debunking the latest from the New York Times on “smaller” government spending

    05/07/2012 11:57:26 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 3 replies
    Hotair ^ | 05/07/2012 | MORGEN RICHMOND
    The government is getting smaller under President Obama, proclaimed an astonishing headline in the New York Times last Friday. Really? For the first time in 40 years, the government sector of the American economy has shrunk during the first three years of a presidential administration.Spending by the federal government, adjusted for inflation, has risen at a slow rate under President Obama. But that increase has been more than offset by a fall in spending by state and local governments, which have been squeezed by weak tax receipts.In the first quarter of this year, the real gross domestic product for the...
  • Highway Limitations During the NATO Summit

    05/07/2012 10:24:59 AM PDT · by deang · 7 replies
    Trucking Port ^ | 7-5-12 | Deang
    The NATO Summit will be held on May 20th -21st in Chicago and the Illinois DOT is requesting everybody to avert the city areas and mainly the downtown and the South Loop during the Summit week. Some limitations are also going to be placed on excessive and overweight shipments. From May 18th -22nd excessive and overweight shipment would not be allowed on the expressway and ramps. [Read More....]
  • A Contradiction in Keynesian Fiscal Policy

    05/07/2012 10:22:04 AM PDT · by LucianOfSamasota · 4 replies
    CATO Institute ^ | May 7th, 2012 | Chris Edwards
    There’s an internal contradiction in the way that Keynesian-oriented economists and policymakers address the federal budget situation. I’ve noticed it over and over. A passage in a Washington Post op-ed today by Mohamed El-Erian of Pimco captures it perfectly: [T]he U.S. fiscal situation requires a carefully designed and well-timed overhaul to make government finances more efficient and fairer—among other things, combining immediate stimulus with a credible set of medium-term tax and entitlement reforms and a sustainable effort to reduce the deficit over time. El-Erian seems to want more deficit-fueled “stimulus” now, combined with a “credible” plan that would reduce the...
  • Smartphone Shipments to Reach 1.7 billion in 2017 and Android to Dominate as OS

    05/07/2012 9:44:26 AM PDT · by bigbob · 18 replies
    Wireless Design and Development ^ | 5/3/2012 | anine E. Mooney
    Smartphones will outperform the overall market for mobile phones, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.9% for the period 2011–17 to reach 1.7 billion units, according to Ovum. Predictions show Android as the dominant operating system over the next five years as handset vendors rush to make it their primary smartphone platform. In its latest forecast*, the leading telecoms analyst house reveals global annual mobile phone shipments will grow at a CAGR of 6.3% between 2011 and 2017, driven primarily by demand from emerging markets where connection growth will continue to fuel handset shipments. New shipments in...