Seite 1 von 6
neuester Beitrag: 04.10.15 20:49
|eröffnet am:||06.03.11 15:16 von:||RobinW||Anzahl Beiträge:||136|
|neuester Beitrag:||04.10.15 20:49 von:||RobinW||Leser gesamt:||47335|
|bewertet mit 0 Sternen
RobinW : Must read
2/7/2011 4:00 PM - PR Newswire
NEW YORK, Feb. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ --
IR Global Rankings ("IRGR"), the most comprehensive technical ranking system for investor relations websites, corporate governance practices and financial disclosure procedures, jointly with its coordination group and supporting entities, Arnold & Porter, MZ, KPMG and Sodali, announced today at The IR Summit, an IR conference produced in association with Institutional Investor, the 2011 Best Ranked Companies in North America, as follows:
Best Ranked IR Websites in North America: Life Technologies, PotashCorp, Intel, Cameco and Microsoft.
Best Ranked Online Annual Report in North America: Nexen.
Best Ranked Financial Disclosure Procedures in North America: URS Corporation, Fedex Corp., Ryder System, Cameco and BMO Financial Group.
Best Ranked Corporate Governance Practices in North America: Nexen.
We congratulate all the investor relations teams of the best ranked companies for their achievements and efforts. The Top 30 global results, as well as the industry results, will be available on our website www.irglobalrankings.com in December 2011.
To learn more about the 2011 IRGR or download the 2010 IRGR magazine, with the winners and best practices, please go to: www.irglobalrankings.com.
RobinW : September Roadmap for the Euro Crisis
September Roadmap for the Euro Crisis
By Eva Szalay
The euro-zone debt crisis rumbles on deeper into September and is still showing signs of escalating rather than ebbing, even as the European Central Bank buys Spanish and Italian bonds to contain the contagion and some emergency budgetary programs ? such as Ireland?s ? begin to bear fruit.
The main problem remains Greece, which has sunk deeper into economic recession in the second quarter. Bailout talks between Greece and the European Union, International Monetary Fund and ECB were suspended last Friday after it became clear that Greece was set to overshoot its budgetary targets for this year. Talks with the troika of international experts are expected to resume Sept. 14.
So far this week:
The Finnish and Dutch parliaments have reconvened but not yet set a date to vote on the proposed changes to the European Financial Stability Facility and European Stability Mechanism. The Dutch finance ministry indicated that the earliest date for a vote would be in October. The EFSF is a temporary vehicle created by the 27 E.U. member states, aimed at preserving fiscal stability in Europe by providing financial assistance to member states in economic difficulty. The ESM is a permanent rescue fund that is intended to replace the EFSF.
The German Constitutional Court ruled that the euro zone?s 2010 Greek bailout and the subsequent aid granted to the country were legal, but added that future bailout decisions will have to be approved by a parliamentary budget committee.
Friday, Sept. 9
G-7 finance ministers meet in Marseilles. The agenda includes discussions on supporting weak global economic growth and could center around suggestions to rein in the euro-zone debt crisis.
It is also the deadline for non-binding commitments from private-sector creditors to participate in Greece?s proposed bond-exchange program, although a formal bond exchange isn?t due to take place until some time in October, assuming EFSF changes are ratified by euro-zone members.
Saturday, Sept. 10
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou delivers his annual economic policy speech.
Monday, Sept. 12
Italy sets a date for a final vote on the country?s austerity package. The vote is crucial to restoring investor confidence in the country, which has so far escaped serious attacks from speculative investors.
France auctions bons du Tresor a taux fixe et a interet precompte, or BTFs, Treasury bills with initial maturities of one year or less.
Tuesday, Sept. 13
Finnish Prime Minister Jyki Kataninen will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Finland?s demand for collateral in the second Greek bailout.
Italy auctions Buoni del Tesoro Poliennali, or BTPs, multi-year Treasury bonds with maturities, ranging between five and nine years.
Wednesday, Sept. 14
Greece expected to resume talks with European Commission, IMF and ECB officials on fiscal, economic reforms
Thursday, Sept. 15
Spanish government auctions bonds.
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 16-17
Informal meeting of the EU Economic & Financial Affairs council.
Saturday, Sept. 17
Three months since Moody?s Investors Service put its Aa2 sovereign rating on Italy on review for possible downgrade. Reviews are typically completed after two to three months.
Sunday, Sept. 18
German state elections in Berlin. Chancellor Angela Merkel?s Christian Democratic Union has suffered losses in recent elections, undermining her political support base and the bailout process.
Tuesday, Sept. 20
Greece auctions three-month Treasury bills to replace a previous issue maturing Sept. 23.
Greece?s Papandreou expected to meet IMF chief Christine Lagarde in Washington.
Wednesday, Sept. 21
The Austrian parliament reconvenes, although no date has been set for an EFSF vote. The country has been a vocal opponent of lending money to Greece unless it meets previously agreed conditions.
Friday, Sept. 23
Merkel?s government due to put proposals to change the EFSF bailout mechanism to a vote in the Bundestag. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Thursday that Merkel will receive the full support of her own party in the vote, but internal dissent is growing.
This is also the last day of parliament in Spain ahead of general elections on Nov. 20.
Tuesday, Sept. 27
Italian treasury auctions CTZs, or zero-coupon bonds with maturities of 24 months.
Papandreou expected to meet Merkel in Berlin.
Wednesday, Sept. 28
Italian treasury auctions BTPs.
Thursday-Friday, Sept. 29-30
The upper house of German parliament is expected to vote on changes to the EFSF.
? Mark Brown and William Kemble-Diaz in London and Alkman Granitsas in Athens contributed to this article.
RobinW : Germany Tries to Save Prestigious Title of Doctor
By CHRISTOPHER F. SCHUETZE
Published: September 11, 2011
The plagiarism scandals that rocked the political world in Germany this year have led to a period of soul-searching among academics and researchers around the country. They have also prompted calls for stricter controls at German universities.
At issue is the prestigious title of doctor, which is widely used in Germany, even outside academics circles. Many politicians campaign with the title prominently displayed as part of their name. After several cases in which doctoral theses were described as using unattributed material from earlier works ? the most prominent of which pushed Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to resign as defense minister ? German universities have questioned the way doctoral candidates are tested.
Some academics insist that the system is generally sound, pointing out that in the half-dozen high-profile cases where plagiarism was found, the doctoral degree was ultimately retracted.
Still, some politicians are calling for stricter guidelines and even for a nationwide system to screen submitted theses.
Ulla Burchardt, a member of Parliament from the opposition Social Democratic Party and chairwoman of the parliamentary committee for education, research and technological assessment, has called for nationwide screening of doctoral theses.
According to Ms. Burchardt, the high-level politicians found to have plagiarized form just the tip of the iceberg. She argues that random testing of theses across universities and disciplines would give a clearer understanding of the scope of the problem and the faulty mechanisms leading to the phenomenon.
?I think in general we need to have a more thorough debate,? she said in a telephone interview, ?and it should be open to the public.?
Universities in Germany are self-governing and generally autonomous from the state. Within the university structure, faculties regulate guidelines for doctoral students, leading to a profusion of rules and regulations, even within the same institution. Even if a form of Ms. Burchardt?s suggestion were ultimately adopted, nationwide sampling would most likely take place independently of any university examination of doctoral work.
While the idea of general screening is not popular among many academic leaders, other suggestions made by Ms. Burchardt find wide acceptance and are being discussed in many of the country?s faculties, and some are already in place.
Wolfgang Löwer, an ombudsman for the German Research Foundation, is one of the many German academics calling for a course on rules and procedures of academic scholarship.
University administrators say the course, which would be mandatory for incoming students, could become an important element in the effort to prevent fraud.
According to Andreas Archut, spokesman for the University of Bonn, which in July retracted the doctoral title of Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, a member of the European Parliament, the university will publish extensive and explicit guidelines so that doctoral students know exactly what is expected.
Before a committee at the University of Bonn found problems with his work and recommended the retraction of his academic title, Mr. Chatzimarkakis publicly stated that he had simply used a different system of citation, one he learned while briefly studying at Oxford.
?The faculty,? Mr. Archut said, ?does not want to leave wiggle room.?
Heidelberg University, which in June formally retracted the doctorate of Silvana Koch-Mehrin, a member of the European Parliament, announced in August that it would begin demanding that doctoral students sign a legally binding affidavit, attesting original authorship. Signing a false statement on such an affidavit can prompt legal action in the local courts, which can lead to a fine and even to a prison sentence of up to three years under the German penal code.
Professor Thomas Pfeiffer, speaking for the university, said the threat of possible legal action, in addition to the embarrassment of a retracted doctorate, would act as a further deterrent.
Faculties at the University of Bonn, Heidelberg University and the University of Bayreuth have all retracted doctorates after internal commissions determined that students-turned-politicians had plagiarized. They are demanding that all doctoral theses be submitted as an electronic copy, to help spot-checking with plagiarism-detection software, a step considered just as important as a deterrent for would-be plagiarists as it is a detection mechanism.
?Just as the immune system learns from past infections,? Mr. Archut said, ?we must do the same with the incidents of plagiarism.?
Academics say, however, that they still have faith in large parts of the doctoral-testing system, through which universities acted decisively in retracting doctoral titles once instances of plagiarism were discovered.
Mr. Löwer, the ombudsman, said he thought that the recent high-profile cases would lead those who would submit academically dishonest work to think twice and those checking to be extra vigilant.
Mr. Pfeiffer, who is also the vice rector of international relations at Heidelberg University, pointed to the benefits of binding contracts and electronic submissions, but also warned of a general culture of suspicion.
?When one puts too much energy in preventing fraud,? he said, ?one ends up putting too little into the actual work.?
A version of this article appeared in print on September 12, 2011, in The International Herald Tribune with the headline: Germany Tries to Save Prestigious Title of Doctor.
Connect with The New York Times on Facebook.
Tragicomedie ? Für mich ja.
RobinW : The Crisis in Europe Flares Up Again
By LIZ ALDERMAN and NELSON D. SCHWARTZ
Published: September 11, 2011
Fears about Europe?s deteriorating finances intensified on Sunday as new doubts about the health of French banks, as well as Germany?s willingness to help Greece avert default, left investors bracing for another global stock market downturn this week.
Group of 8 leaders met on Friday in Marseille, including the French finance minister, Francois Baroin, center.
Fresh Worries About Europe Shake Global Stock Markets (September 13, 2011)
Market Swings Are Becoming New Standard (September 12, 2011)
In Greece, the epicenter of the Continent?s financial disarray, government officials announced new austerity measures on Sunday, even as the country?s finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, warned that the Greek economy was expected to shrink much more sharply this year than previously anticipated. In a revision, a contraction of 5.3 percent in 2011 was predicted, rather than the 3.8 percent forecast in May.
Slower growth could make it harder for Greece to pay its debts, even as it tries to reduce them by cutting government spending and raising taxes.
While the Greek drama has been running for more than a year, only recently has it threatened French and German banks, unnerving investors around the world and sending stocks tumbling in Europe and the United States.
More than anything else, political and business leaders want to avoid the phenomenon of contagion, in which fears in one country spread to others, causing severe stress throughout the financial system, as happened in the fall of 2008. To be sure, Europe could still draw away from the precipice. That is especially true if policy makers come up with a plan to keep Greece afloat while also preventing anxiety from infecting other countries like Spain and Italy, whose huge debts and weak economies have fed worries that their borrowing has become unsustainable.
On Sunday, French government officials braced for possible ratings downgrades by Moody?s Investors Service of France?s three largest banks, BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Crédit Agricole, whose shares were among the biggest losers last week. The biggest banks in Europe, especially in France, hold billions of euros? worth of Greek bonds, and investors fear even a partial default by Greece would sharply diminish the value of those assets, eroding already weak capital positions.
American financial institutions, typically heavy lenders to their French counterparts, have begun to pull back on these loans, but United States banks? exposure to France remains substantial.
Still, if the French banks are indeed downgraded, it would underscore how European officials have been unable to contain the effect of the financial crisis in Greece, despite two bailout packages totaling more than 200 billion euros ($272 billion).
Frustration elsewhere in Europe has been mounting over whether Greece is sticking with the austerity goals it agreed to follow in order to qualify for the aid, and German voters in particular are wary of more handouts.
Despite repeated pledges by Chancellor Angela Merkel to keep Europe together, the cacophony of dissent within Germany has been rising. That is creating fresh doubt ? justified or not ? about the nation?s commitment to the euro.
?The German electorate is not in the mind-set to undertake actions it sees as subsidizing less worthy nations,? said Carl B. Weinberg, chief economist of High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, N.Y. ?As a result, the government is moving in a very isolationist way to try to establish a fortress Germany that?s economically secure despite the risks in its European Union partners.?
On Friday, a stalwart German member of the European Central Bank, Jürgen Stark, abruptly resigned ? news that would have barely merited more than a few lines in the financial pages just a few years ago. Today, it is considered a sign of frustration within Germany about the extraordinary measures being pursued to maintain stability in the euro zone, adding to the volatility in global financial markets.
?Mr. Stark?s departure could be seen by financial markets as another indication of growing disenchantment in Germany towards the euro,? Julian Callow, chief European economist at Barclays, wrote in a note to clients.
Last week, Mrs. Merkel?s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, warned that Greece?s European Union partners would withhold new financial aid that is needed to help Athens pay its bills through Christmas unless the Greek government fulfilled the conditions of its first bailout.
All this has generated severe discomfort in Washington, which has watched the fallout from the European debt crisis with growing alarm.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has been in regular contact with his European counterparts, repeatedly advising them to speak with a single voice to help reduce confusion in financial markets. After a series of discussions on Friday at a meeting of the Group of 8 finance ministers in Marseille, he declared that ?European officials fully understand the gravity of the situation there.?
Athens is expecting to receive the next allotment of 8 billion euros of aid from the 110 billion euro rescue package that Greece was awarded last year. That aid is to be supplemented by a second bailout of 109 billion euros that European leaders agreed to in July. But the second package is threatened by demands from a handful of euro zone countries, including Finland and the Netherlands, that Greece provide collateral to secure further loans.
Mr. Venizelos said the government would do everything needed to close the budget shortfall. ?If we can prove wrong those who are betting on Greece to fail, we will see the crisis recede,? he said.
Among the measures Mr. Venizelos announced on Sunday was a temporary property tax, ranging from 50 cents to 10 euros a square meter, depending on the value of the property, which would be collected for two years. The levy will be added to electricity bills to thwart tax evasion.
Mr. Venizelos also warned that the government would make further cuts to public spending. In a largely symbolic move, the government said it would withhold a month?s pay from all elected officials.
?This is a battle for the country?s survival,? Prime Minister George A. Papandreou told a news conference in the northern port city of Salonika on Sunday. ?These measures are the supplies we need to fight.?
Niki Kitsantonis and Ben Protess contributed reporting.
A version of this news analysis appeared in print on September 12, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Investors Brace As Europe Crisis Flares Up Again.
RobinW : E.U. Divided by 'Palestine' Bid at U.N.
By JUDY DEMPSEY
Published: September 12, 2011
BERLIN ? It is a rare moment of truth.
After years of advocating a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Europeans will have to decide whether to support the Palestinian bid to become a member of the United Nations.
Over the coming days, the Palestinian Authority will finalize the text of the resolution it will present this month to the United Nations. The Palestinians want their status upgraded from ?observer? to full membership but might have to settle in the end for ?nonmember state,? similar to the Vatican.
Full membership as an independent state would require the support of the U.N. Security Council. But the United States has said it would veto such a Palestinian resolution.
But the Palestinian Authority seems determined to go to the U.N. General Assembly to garner a maximum of votes in acceptance, even if it falls short of full membership. In this showdown, Europe is becoming a diplomatic battlefield, with the Americans, Israelis and Palestinians trying to sway opinion among the 27 member states over the resolution.
The Europeans are bitterly divided. Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic, among others, are prepared to abstain or vote against the resolution. France, Spain and even Britain might vote in favor.
Analysts say that if the Europeans fail to speak with one voice in voting for the Palestinian request and recognizing Israeli concerns at the same time, their credibility across the Middle East will be tainted.
?European governments, including Berlin, that currently oppose recognition of a Palestinian state should instead work to pursue the European line of consistently supporting a two-state settlement, recognizing the Palestinian state and supporting its full membership in the United Nations,? said Muriel Asseburg, Middle East specialist at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin.
Ever since its Venice Declaration of 1980, the Union has supported a two-state settlement. Especially in the wake of the Arab Spring, more and more Europeans see the recognition of the Palestinian state as a reflection of the their own commitment to the values of self-determination and freedom.
In practical terms, the Union is the biggest political and financial supporter of the Palestinians, providing up to ?1 billion, or $1.36 billion, a year, thus giving it considerable leverage. And over the past two years, the institutions in the West Bank have been greatly strengthened as a result of a more rigorous approach by the Union, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Indeed, the international donor group in support of the Palestinians concluded last April that the Palestinian Authority?s delivery of public services and implementation of changes compared favorably with those of many middle-income countries. Missing, said donors, was a political settlement to complement the state building efforts.
Some analysts also say it is in Europe?s interests not to bow to U.S. or Israeli pressure over the U.N. issue.
?It is time that the Europeans recognized their interests in the Middle East,? said Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University in New York. ?They include energy and immigration. The Middle East is too important to be left to the United States.?
Yet despite what is at stake, neither those European countries that support nor those that oppose the Palestinian resolution have a Plan B for the ?day after? the resolution.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor who is a staunch defender of Israel, said last week that she was concerned about the ?day after,? asking what might happen on the ground if the Palestinians unilaterally went to the U.N. General Assembly.
?The big question is the day after,? said Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, an international relations specialist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. ?The settlements will still be there. The Israeli Army will still be there.?
The situation might quickly deteriorate if the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stops, as he has threatened, the transfer of customs revenues owed to the Palestinians. The Obama administration, too, might cut aid to the Palestinians and even downgrade its ties.
There is a danger, too, that riots among the Palestinians could ignite the anger of Israel?s other Arab neighbors.
All of this, analysts say, would make it imperative for the Europeans to think hard about how they could help the situation on the ?day after.?
Such a Plan B would require at least three elements: It would have to give hope to the Palestinians that renewing the negotiations with Israel could lead to a speedy settlement. It would also need to spell out how Israeli security might be safeguarded, and it would have to point to a way to get the United States back on board.
Daniel Levy and Nick Witney, Middle East specialists at the European Council on Foreign Relations, a research organization in London, say they believe the Europeans could develop a strategy.
?The Europeans could help draft a U.N. resolution that could include in the text Israel?s concerns about its security and an acknowledgment of its right to exist,? they said.
Even then, the Netanyahu government could accuse the Europeans of being anti-Israeli. But analysts believe a united European response would be welcomed by large sections of the Israeli public and the security establishment.
But the truth is that the Europeans have no Plan B. ?It?s because we have not seen the text of the resolution,? said an E.U. diplomat. But when they do, chances are it will be too late.
A version of this article appeared in print on September 13, 2011, in The International Herald Tribune with the headline: E.U. Divided by 'Palestine' Bid at U.N..
RobinW : European Sovereign Credit Ratings
European Sovereign Credit Ratings
A look at the long-term, foreign currency credit ratings assigned to European sovereign borrowers by the three major ratings agencies. The table is sortable by country or agency, and ratings are color-coded from the highest triple-A rating (dark green) to subinvestment grade (orange.) Use the map to see ratings for a specific country.
see there http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/...LRD_20110610.html
RobinW : EU Ends Talks
EU Ends Talks With Little Progress in Overcoming Divisions
By MATTHEW DALTON, BERND RADOWITZ and WILLIAM HOROBIN
WROCLAW, Poland?European Union finance ministers wrestled Saturday with ways to strengthen the region's banks even as they continued to push ideas to have them pay for the fallout of the crisis.
At the end of two days of informal talks here, the finance ministers made little progress in overcoming divisions that have marred efforts to resolve an escalating sovereign debt crisis and have caused market tensions amid growing fears that Greece will default on its debt.
Instead, they continued to spar over a range of issues, including whether to impose a financial transactions tax, boost the euro zone's rescue fund and how to address Finland's demands for collateral in return for its contribution to Greece's bailout.
In a sign that the EU is moving to recognize a sovereign default as a more probable scenario than before, the 27-member bloc is now examining the option of including tougher scrutiny of banks' sovereign debt holdings as part of efforts to make bank stress tests more credible, according to an EU official.
European banking authorities had resisted including a sovereign default as a possible scenario in previous stress tests.
European governments are under pressure to shore up the banking sector in the face of growing worries about the industry's capital levels, access to funding and earning power in a slowing global economy.
The issue was discussed among EU finance ministers at their meeting Saturday, which took place to the backdrop of a protest, which thousands of people attended.
Bank stress tests in July found that European banks are largely well-capitalized but failed to ease market concerns about the industry's health.
Michel Barnier, the EU's commissioner for financial regulation, said that while the 2011 tests were an improvement over last year's, "we must also acknowledge that the tests did not restore the credibility in banks strength in the way we would have hoped."
The tests should be strengthened, he said. "In particular, I think we need to reconsider how we treat sovereign exposure and liquidity, and further improve coordination between supervisors," Mr. Barnier said.
The July tests didn't take full account of what would happen to bank capital if a euro-zone government goes through a major default. That has become a more pressing concern as Greece's budget reforms haven't worked as expected; meanwhile, yields on Italian and Spanish debt spiked in August to their highest levels since the introduction of the euro.
After Saturday's meeting Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado told reporters that ministers recognized the need to make the tests "more uniform and ? more rigorous."
Among the options, governments are considering whether the consequences of a sovereign default should be modeled more explicitly, said the official who has direct knowledge of the discussions. That could be achieved either by modeling bigger losses on sovereign debt held in the banks' trading books or by including debt that is in the banking book?or "held to maturity" ?in the tests.
The issue has gained urgency as fears have spiked in recent weeks that Greece could default and be expelled from the euro zone after failing to meet budget targets as part of an initial bailout plan agreed last year.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece itself knows that currently it isn't fulfilling the austerity targets.
He said Greek efforts to bring down the deficit through a new property tax deserve respect, but raised doubts whether the tax really can kick in this year.
"The Greeks have decided to collect the tax already this year. We will see in coming weeks, whether that in fact happens," he said.
Mr. Schaeuble was cautious about a U.S. proposal to leverage the euro zone's current rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, in order to give it more fire power to also help larger economies such as Italy if needed.
"If you talk of leveraging, it depends what you mean by it," Mr. Schaeuble said. "We don't believe that you can resolve real economic problems trough monetary policy," he said.
On Friday, euro-zone finance ministers and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who joined the talks for the first time, debated over the need to expand the region's rescue fund as well as introduce stimulus measures.
In a stark message delivered on the sidelines of a meeting of euro-zone finance ministers, the U.S. official pledged his country will do all it can to help Europe overcome its challenges but urged his European peers to overcome damaging divisions and remove "catastrophic risk" from markets.
"What's very damaging is not just seeing the divisiveness in the debate over strategy in Europe but the ongoing conflict between countries and the central bank," he said.
Friday's meeting was the first top level euro-zone meeting since a July 21 accord by heads of government to expand the 17-member bloc's bailout fund and extend a second round of lending to Greece.
Implementation of the deal has been held up by sparring national interests, not least the collateral problem.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the Eurogroup of euro-zone finance ministers, said governments are committed to the deal and to responding to the market turmoil. But he said the euro zone can't pass another economic stimulus package despite the sharp slowdown in growth that is expected to persist in the months ahead.
Meanwhile, negotiations over a plan to introduce a financial transactions tax are proving difficult, meeting resistance from the U.K. and Sweden after the U.S. signalled it won't back the plan.
The European Commission is set on proposing a tax on trading shares and bonds, foreign exchange and derivatives in the coming weeks, for all 27 EU member countries, after France and Germany, the region's two largest economies, backed the idea. The EU also plans to press the case at a summit of the Group of 20 leading economies in November.
But Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski, who chaired the meeting Saturday, said EU leaders are "very much divided on this" and the tax isn't expected to be a crucial element in strategies to stabilize the economic crisis.
Mr. Geithner told his European peers on Friday that the U.S. wouldn't back a financial transactions tax.
The U.K. has long said it would only agree to such a tax if it was global.
The U.K. is Europe's biggest financial center and says it would only support such a tax if it is implemented around the world for fear that it could lose businesses key to its economy.
"I must confess it's not so evident we'll meet agreement in Europe about that," Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders said. "If it's not possible, we will maybe discuss on the euro zone."
?Laurence Norman, Riva Froymovich and Marynia Kruk contributed to this article.
Write to Riva Froymovich at email@example.com
RobinW : because next week will be particularly crucial
Greek PM Postpones U.S. Trip
By STELIOS BOURAS
ATHENS -- Prime Minister George Papandreou has postponed next week's trip to the U.S. as the Greek government appears to be gearing up for more steps to help secure its debt viability amid growing doubts about its action plan so far.
A statement issued Saturday by Mr. Papandreou's office said the prime minister called off the trip "because next week will be particularly crucial for the implementation of the July 21 decisions in the euro zone and for initiatives that the country must take."
The postponement of the trip, which was to have included a meeting with IMF chief Christine Lagarde, doesn't mean the country is facing any unexpected financial strife, said Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
"His stay in Athens is not due to the fact that there is an economic risk or an unexpected financial development, but due to the fact that it is now the time to take all necessary political, legislative, organizational and administrative initiatives," he said in a statement.
Doubts are growing over Greece's ability to push through tough reforms in the face of stiff public opposition.
After a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Wroclaw, Poland, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece itself knows it currently isn't fulfilling the austerity targets under its current bailout program.
He said Greece's efforts to lower its deficit through a new property tax deserve respect, but he raised doubts on the tax's implementation this year.
"The Greeks have decided to collect the tax already this year. We will see in coming weeks, whether that in fact happens," he said.
Pressure has been turned up on Athens after talks with visiting international inspectors were abruptly suspended earlier this month with the discovery that the country would overshoot the limit set on its budget deficit for this year. Inspectors demanded that Athens cover the gap before they approve the release of the next EUR8 billion installment of its bailout program organized last year.
Greece has enough money to last until mid-October, according to Greek government officials.
In May 2010, Greece narrowly avoided default with the help of an EUR110 billion bailout from its fellow euro-zone members and the IMF in exchange for measures to cut its deficit and other economic reforms. Since then, European leaders have pledged EUR109 billion in fresh financing.
Despite the recently announced property tax, aimed at collecting some EUR2 billion, Greece's creditors, particularly some of its EU peers, are pushing for more sustainable measures that include immediate cuts in the number of public-sector employees and faster steps on its privatization plan, according to a source.
Meanwhile, Greece's public servants are preparing for a showdown with the government. They announced Friday a 24-hour strike on Oct. 6 to protest planned cuts in special benefits and entitlements to supplement the basic salaries of the country's 750,000 civil servants.
Earlier Saturday, Venizelos warned of "catastrophic" consequences for Greece if economic governance doesn't improve, adding that meeting budgetary targets and securing the viability of public debt isn't enough to get the country through the crisis.
?Bernd Radowitz in Wroclaw, Poland, and Costas Paris in London contributed to this article
RobinW : Ms. Merkel is not alone in b. misreading situation
By KATIE MARTIN
Heavy-hitting euro-zone politicians either really don't understand currencies, or they are quietly accepting that the debt crisis is going to get a lot worse.
Some of the most senior politicians given the task of sorting out the festering Greek debt nightmare have seized the opportunity to prove this several times of late.
Last week, during a rousing speech about the grand sweep of history binding the euro together, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said neighboring Switzerland had "de facto pegged its currency to the euro."
Big, international currencies are inherently superior and more stable than wobbly go-it-alone currencies, she suggested.
"The strength of Switzerland becomes its own weakness if it doesn't fit into the whole global structure. That's the lesson. And because of that the euro is right," she said.
This is, to say the least, an unusual take on the situation.
Switzerland hasn't pegged the franc to the euro. Pegs, such as the Saudi riyal's to the dollar, mean the two currencies rise together and fall together. The central bank of the smaller currency trims and raises its interest rates in line with the other central bank to keep the peg in place.
Switzerland hasn't done that at all. Spooked by a dive in the euro almost to parity against the franc, the Swiss National Bank fixed a limit on how far it will allow the euro to fall against its home currency. As of Sept. 6, it will use whatever foreign-currency-buying firepower it needs to make sure the euro doesn't fall under 1.20 Swiss francs?a move that could end up with it buying a cool $1 trillion-worth of foreign exchange, according to some estimates.
It has imposed a floor on the euro, not a peg on the franc. Note that it didn't set a lower limit for the franc, nor a line in the sand for the franc's value against any other currencies.
Crucially, the SNB did this not because it feared being isolated from the euro, not because it thought the franc would be steadier if it somehow tied it to the common currency, and not because, in Ms. Merkel's words, it "doesn't fit into the global structure." It's not even a vote for world peace; The famously non-bellicose nation doesn't appear to be answering the chancellor's rallying call that countries that share a currency never wage war on each other. By that logic, given the sparkling success of the euro, maybe all countries everywhere should band together into one global currency. Wouldn't that be fun?
Instead, Switzerland was trying to stop the vicious decline in the euro from destroying its economy.
Since the Greek crisis erupted in 2009, the euro has plunged by some 33% against the franc. That's not because of some kind of economic miracle in Switzerland. It's because investors are desperate to flee euros and hide somewhere safer.
The euro is the problem for Switzerland, not the solution. It's a small country, which makes it easy for its inhabitants to pop over the border to do their shopping on the cheap with their super-strong francs, and that's what they were starting to do, to the detriment of local retailers. Its exporters, despite being buoyed up by demand from Asia, feared a nasty rout as they reeled from this euro-shaped stink bomb.
Norway faces similar problems, particularly now the Swiss have slammed the door on inflows. It could cut interest rates if the krone climbs too far, it warned. The euro has also collapsed to a 10-year low against the yen, raising suspicions the Japanese authorities may intervene to stop the rot.
As a politician involved in discussing currency policy matters in forums such as the G-7, Ms. Merkel must surely know that if one currency falls, another has to rise. It simply isn't possible for a currency to fall or rise in isolation. She must, or should, be aware of the hideous mess the euro crisis is spreading around the world.
But Ms. Merkel is not alone in badly misreading this situation. In August, her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, said roughly the same thing. In an interview with a German radio station during the height of speculation that the SNB might enforce a peg, he said the possibility of such a move proves that the euro is a stable currency. Ah, right.
Joining the chorus, European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding said last week that the euro bloc was implementing strong anti-crisis measures, adding that the franc's new peg to the euro (sic) was evidence of the single currency's strength. Ms. Reding's comments were written in close coordination with Olli Rehn, commissioner for economic and monetary affairs. Worrying stuff.
Being very generous to the politicians here, you could just about squint and see this euro floor as a peg, but only if you take it as an admission by the Eurocrats that the currency bloc's debt mess is inexorably worsening and destined never to ease. That way, the franc would never fall, so 1.20 to the euro would indeed be a quasi-peg.
Given that Switzerland paid a yield under 1.6% for debt due in 2049 Wednesday, while Italy has to fork out 5.6% for five-year paper, and given that the Greek debt crisis seems to worsen by the day, that may be a safe assumption. But it is a very weird one for the Eurocrats to utter in public.
Within all this fatuity lies one important kernel of truth that is probably being undersold to German taxpayers. That is that while it is monumentally expensive to keep on bailing out Greece, and that it may not be able to prevent a banking crisis, it is arguably cheaper for Germany to chuck money at its errant euro cousins than it is for it to go it alone.
If the euro were to break up?not too outlandish a concept these days?Germany would suddenly find itself with the strongest currency on the planet. After all, one reason why investors want to buy francs is that they are similar to dear old German marks.
Free Germany from the shackles of euro membership, and it would be lumped with a currency strong enough to whack its crucial exports hard. By some estimates, it would end up with a currency trading at the euro equivalent of $1.80 against the dollar, from $1.36 now. Doubtless it would be tempted to fix a limit on how far the mark could climb. Or is that a peg?
Write to Katie Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
RobinW : Direkte Demokratie ? - ohne Deutschland
Partnerschaft für "Open Government" gestartet - ohne Deutschland
Die Regierungen von 46 Ländern haben sich am Dienstag in New York auf Initiative der USA und Brasiliens offiziell zur Open Government Partnership (OGP) zusammengeschlossen. Ziel der Vereinigung ist es, die Schlagworte Offenheit, Transparenz, Zusammenarbeit mit der Zivilgesellschaft sowie der Wirtschaft mit Leben zu erfüllen. Außerdem wollen sie das Handeln der Exekutive überprüfbar machen. "Wir wollen das große Ideal der Demokratie voranbringen", erklärte der brasilianische Staatsminister und Haushaltskontrolleur Jorge Hage beim Start des Bündnisses am Rande der UN-Generalversammlung im Google-Büro in Manhattan. Dabei sei es möglich, dank dem technologischen Fortschritt mehr Elemente der direkten Demokratie einzusetzen.
Den Staaten, die sich im Rahmen des "arabischen Frühlings" für mehr Offenheit entschieden haben, müssen die "Open Government"-Partner laut Hage zeigen, "dass die Volksherrschaft erfolgreich ist". Es gehe um den Anstoß eines permanenten Prozesses, der Mechanismen zur Kontrolle und zur Überprüfung der eigenen Maßstäbe enthalte und jedes Jahr fortentwickelt werden solle.
Neben Brasilien haben unter anderem die USA bereits einen nationalen Handlungsplan zur Umsetzung der Vorgaben für einen offeneren Regierungsstil vorgelegt. Demnach will US-Präsident Barack Obama, der bereits kurz nach seinem Amtsantritt eine Richtlinie für "Open Government" veröffentlichte, eine Online-Petitionsplattform einrichten, den Schutz von Whistleblowern verbessern und einer Initiative zur Veröffentlichung der Einnahmen von natürlichen Ressourcen wie der Öl- oder Gasförderung sowie dem Bergbau beitreten. Die Bemühungen des Weißen Hauses für mehr Offenheit haben aber auch bereits Rückschläge erlitten. So wurde das Budget für das Open-Data-Portal Data.gov deutlich gekürzt. Zudem gibt sich die Obama-Regierung in Überwachungsfragen genauso zugeknöpft wie die vorangegangene Bush-Administration.
Zu den Gründungsmitgliedern der Partnerschaft gehören neben den beiden Initiatoren Indonesien, Mexiko, Norwegen, die Philippinen, Südafrika und Großbritannien. Deutschland fehlt auf der Liste der Nationen, die sich der Allianz anschließen wollen. Die Entscheidung über einen möglichen Beitritt und eine Teilnahme am ersten OGP-Gipfel im März in Brasilien könne erst nach Vorliegen der Partnerschaftserklärung und nationaler Implementierungspläne fallen, hieß es im Bundesinnenministerium. Experten aus der Zivilgesellschaft drängen auf eine rasche Entscheidung, um dem Thema Open Government hierzulande neuen Schwung zu verleihen.
Bitange Ndemo, Staatssekretär im Kommunikationsministerium Kenias verwies auf den Aufbau eines nationalen Open-Data-Portals. Dieses werde von den Bürgern sehr gut angenommen. Künftig sei geplant, Verwaltungsdienste auch über mobile Plattformen anzubieten. Die kenianische Regierung habe zudem ein Recht auf Informationsfreiheit in der Verfassung festgeschrieben. Mo Ibrahim, der eine eigene Stiftung zur Förderung der Transparenz in Afrika gegründet hat und einen jährlichen Anti-Korruptions-Index veröffentlicht, monierte, dass US-Konzerne wie Google oder Microsoft bislang kein Interesse hätten, Breitband-Netze und -Dienste in Afrika aufzubauen.
Der Gründer der World Wide Web Foundation, Tim Berners-Lee, unterstrich, dass offene Daten an sich wertvoll seien und eine noch zu hebende Goldmine darstellten. Auch das Regieren selbst funktioniere besser, da Ministerien bislang häufig "blind" seien gegenüber den Tätigkeiten anderer Ressorts. Die OGP könne dank der Vernetzung von Initiativen und dank der Maschinenlesbarkeit von Datenformaten nun dafür sorgen, "dass wir alle eine bessere Sicht auf die ganze Welt bekommen". Wichtig sei es, mit der Veröffentlichung von Informationen in staatlicher Hand zunächst anzufangen. Standards zur weitergehenden Erschließung und Verknüpfung der Daten könnten nachträglich entwickelt werden. (Stefan Krempl) / (jk)
RobinW : Jamie Dimon
Jamie Dimon is the Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase since December 31st 2005. He also became chairman of the board on December 31st 2006.
Dimon had been Chief Executive Officer of Bank One Corporation, the sixth-largest U.S. bank at the time, since March 2000. After its merge with JPMorgan Chase in July 2004, he became President and Chief Operating Officer.
Before joining Bank One, he held different senior executive positions at Citibank. He is a graduate of Tufts University and of Harvard Business School.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/blackboard/jamie-dimon#ixzz1Z8943YYm
RobinW : JD Says Anti-USA Regulations Will Kill Recovery
Courtney Comstock | Sep. 26, 2011, 10:24 AM
Jamie Dimon reportedly exploded in a meeting at the IMF conference when the governor of the Bank of Canada argued in favor of tighter bank regulations.
The governor, Mark Carney, who many believe is the future head of the Financial Stability Forum, supported what bankers call "growth-killing" capital requirements.
According to the Financial Times, Carney and Dimon were at a private meeting of the Financial Stability Forum in Washington DC at the IMF conference.
Arguing against the regulations, which he believes will kill jobs, growth, and the recovery, Dimon "launched a tirade" against Carney in a "closed-door meeting in front of more than two dozen bankers and finance officials," the FT says.
According to the FT, Dimon said:
Many of [Basel III's] rules discriminate against US banks, and I'm going to continue to use the phrase ?anti-American? [which he first used in a Financial Times interview this month] because it seemed to resonate with people who might be able to modify the reforms.
The confrontation reportedly got so bad that the CEO of Goldman Sachs (who is head of the Financial Services Forum bankers? group which arranged the session) had to step in. Lloyd Blankfein emailed Carney, currently the Bank of Canada Governor, to try to smooth relations, says the FT.
Besides what we quoted above from the FT, what Dimon said exactly is not known. However because Dimon has been outspoken about the issue before, at a June speech by Ben Bernanke, we can surmise that it was similar. Back then, he said -
Banks passed 2 stress tests with "flying colors"
Many successful improvements that have been made since the financial crisis
And now there are going to be even higher capital requirements, and we know there are 300 rules coming.
Has anyone bothered to study the cumulative effect of the regulations authorities are about to impose?
Dimon predicts they will be the reason that it will take so long our banks, our credit, our businesses, and most importantly, our job creation, to start going again
Basically: regulations kill growth. Imposing them during a crisis might curtail a recovery.
Dimon confronted Carney during a small meeting at this weekend's IMF conference in D.C., in front of around 30 bank officers.
Now the fight is ON. Two days later, Carney hinted publicly that Dimon's speech had no effect on his opinion.
From the FT:
"Carney delivered a speech to global bankers at the Institute of International Finance, warning them ?it is hard to see how backsliding [on implementing new capital rules] would help? the global economy.
?If some institutions feel pressure today, it is because they have done too little for too long, rather than because they are being asked to do too much, too soon."
?Authorities are increasingly hearing concerns about the pitch of the playing field for Basel III implementation. Everyone is claiming to be a boy scout while accusing others of juvenile delinquency.?
?However, neither merit badges nor detentions will be self-selected but, rather, determined by impartial peer review and mutual oversight.?
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/...l-requirements-2011-9#ixzz1Z8AjThjd
was für eine Affen-Theater
RobinW : Lloyds Blankfein - I am doing God's work
Lloyd Craig Blankfein is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the investment bank Goldman Sachs. He took the position after the May 31, 2006 nomination of former CEO Hank Paulson as Secretary of the Treasury under George W. Bush.
Life and career
Blankfein was born in the Bronx borough of New York City, raised Jewish and reared in Brooklyn's Linden Houses, part of the New York City Housing Authority. His father was a clerk with the U.S. Postal Service branch in the Manhattan borough of New York City and his mother, a receptionist. As a boy, he worked as a concession vendor at Yankee Stadium. He received primary and secondary education in the public schools of the New York City Department of Education, and was the valedictorian at Thomas Jefferson High School in 1971. He attended Harvard, where he lived in Winthrop House, and earned his B.A. degree in 1975. In 1978, Blankfein received a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.
Blankfein worked as a corporate tax lawyer for the law firm Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine. In 1981, he joined Goldman's commodities trading arm, J. Aron & Co., as a precious metals salesman in its London office.
He is the Gala Chairman of the Rockefeller family's Asia Society in New York. He serves on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a charitable organization seeking to alleviate poverty in New York, as well as on the Board of Overseers of Weill Cornell Medical College.
Blankfein earned a total of $54.4 million in 2006 as one of the highest paid executives on Wall Street. His bonus reflected the performance of Goldman Sachs, which reported record net earnings of $9.5 billion. The compensation included a cash bonus of $27.3 million, with the rest paid in stock and options. While CEO of Goldman Sachs Group in 2007, Blankfein earned a total compensation of $53,965,418, which included a base salary of $600,000, a cash bonus of $26,985,474, stocks granted of $15,542,756 and options granted of $10,453,031.
Blankfein was named as one of "The Most Outrageous CEOs of 2009" by Forbes magazine. Taking a different position, Financial Times, which named Blankfein as its "2009 Person of the Year," stated: "His bank has stuck to its strengths, unashamedly taken advantage of the low interest rates and diminished competition resulting from the crisis to make big trading profits." Critics of Goldman Sachs and Wall Street have taken issue with those practices.
On January 13, 2010, Blankfein testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, that he considered Goldman Sachs's role as primarily a market maker, not a creator of the product (i.e., subprime mortgage-related securities). Goldman Sachs was sued on April 16, 2010 by the SEC for the fraudulent selling of a collateralized debt obligation tied to subprime mortgages, a product which Goldman Sachs had created.
With Blankfein at the helm Goldman has also been criticized "by lawmakers and pundits for issues from its pay practices to its role in helping Greece mask the size of its debts." Blankfein testified before Congress in April 2010 at a hearing of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He said that Goldman Sachs had no moral or legal obligation to inform its clients it was betting against the products which they were buying from Goldman Sachs because it was not acting in a fiduciary role.
Blankfein is a contributor to mostly Democratic party candidates and donated $4,600 to Democratic Party candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2007. Goldman employees and their relatives contributed almost a million dollars to Barack Obama's presidential campaign, the second most from any one employer, and Blankfein has visited the White House at least four times. Former Goldman executives who hold senior positions in the Obama administration include Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Mark Patterson, a former Goldman lobbyist who is chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; and Robert Hormats, the undersecretary of state for economic, energy and agricultural affairs.
On April 7, 2009, Blankfein recommended guidelines to overhaul executive compensation. According to The New York Times, he said that lessons from the global financial crisis included the need to "apply basic standards to how we compensate people in our industry."
In November, 2009, he declared in an interview, as a banker: "I'm doing God's work." Several days later he indicated that he regretted that remark and said he had intended it as a joke. He also apologized on behalf of Goldman Sachs to the public for unspecified "things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret" and which contributed to the financial and economic crisis. The firm announced a 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, committing $500 million to aid American small businesses.
This page has been adapted from the Wikipedia entry of January 19, 2011.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/blackboard/...-blankfein#ixzz1Z8Cmgpsz
Der da ist der Stripenzieher
RobinW : Euro Wont Survive Debt Crisis In Italy
Euro Won?t Survive Debt Crisis In Italy, Poland Says
The euro won?t survive if the sovereign debt crisis engulfs Italy, Polish Finance Minister Jan Vincent-Rostowski said at an economic forum in southern Poland, and urged European leaders to institutionalize economic management of the European Union. Poland holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in this half of the year.
Here?s what Mr. Rostowski had to say on a discussion panel:
Of course there is a sovereign debt problem in particular euro-zone countries, but if we take ? the consolidated debt of all the euro-zone countries and relate that to the GDP of the euro zone, we?ll find it?s quite a bit less than in the U.S. and very much less than in Japan, and yet it?s the euro zone that has a sovereign debt crisis. It?s because there are weak links in the chain. We created a system that is like a chain of links. When the crisis comes, it hits at the weakest point.
What has happened over the past two and a half years since the crisis started was that we?ve been constantly behind the curve in reacting to the crisis. If we?d created EUR450 billion of real disbursable money instead of EUR250 billion, we?d never have got to the situation we?re in today. Fundamentally, it?s a political problem. ?
We?re constantly behind the curve, and if you don?t like the word solidarity, then on the security front in terms of protecting the European system. The reason we have this problem we?re all democracies, we all have electorates. That puts the burden of explaining the stark choices on politicians. ?
We?ve been saying as the EU presidency this crisis requires more solidarity from the stronger countries, the surplus countries, and of course it requires more responsibility from the weaker countries.
If the stronger countries are not willing to exhibit that solidarity, then they have to realize the sovereign debt crisis that started in a small and non-essential country like Greece could spread to Italy and Spain, and there is no way?there is no way?the euro zone can survive a crisis in Italy. ?
The ECB is only providing temporary support to give us some time, correctly, but institutions need to be built. We need to face the fact this is a major political crisis for Europe affecting severely the growing countries mostly in the north and deficit countries most in the south.
Do the surplus countries of the north really want to create their own currency and find it appreciating like the Swiss franc? You can ask the Swiss what the consequences would be.
Structural reform is essential. We were the first in 2010 to say Greece needs not only austerity, but a structural reform. That was based on our experience 20 years ago that the only way you can get out of those problems is through structural reform. Reform is not just for emerging markets, it?s also for Europe, even above all for Europe.
RobinW : A German YES vote may still not avert the worst
A German ‘yes’ vote may still not avert the worst
By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch Sept. 28, 2011, 2:34 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Germans know a thing or too about kicking, whether it’s the seven times they’ve been to the World Cup soccer finals or the umpteen times they’ve kicked the can down the road on resolving the Greek debt crisis.
Athens has said it will run out of cash in the middle of October if it doesn’t get the next ?8 billion in loan funds from the EU and the IMF — even as it admits it’s struggling to meet the imposed austerity demands.
So on Thursday, the German parliament may again take cleats to the Greek problem by voting in favor of changes to the European Financial Stability Facility rescue fund. “In fact,” said Jennifer McKeown, senior European economist at Capital Economics, “it almost certainly will.”
But what if the German parliament didn’t? After all, this is the country where the Pirate Party recently scored well in an election. It’s where aid to Greece makes the front pages of the tabloids in a why-don’t-we-seize-some-islands kind of way. It’s where Greeks, not to mention the populaces of other Mediterranean nations, are characterized in the crudest stereotypes.
So, if Germany says nein ?
“It would be a bit of a disaster,” McKeown said. “When Slovakia didn’t agree to previous changes in the EFSF, they just didn’t contribute, but that’s not an option for Germany. There would have to be talks about how to readjust the EFSF so that it would suit [Germany].”
Of course, expanding the EFSF to a size of 440 billion euros is just one small step in winding down the euro-zone debt crisis. Greece, Ireland and Portugal at the moment rely on aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to fund their governments.
“If all those guys blew up, you can pay back bank bondholders and things of that nature [with the EFSF], but that’s fighting last year’s war,” said Jay Bryson, global economist for Wells Fargo. The new concerns are contagion to Spain and Italy, both highly indebted countries with paltry growth rates where bond yields have surged.
The facility is nowhere near enough to handle Spain, let alone the roughly ?2 trillion of obligations Italy faces.
Which means Europe’s policy makers may stick to their muddle-along approach.
“That’s the irony — out of fear of contagion, the leaders in Brussels and Frankfurt have continuously tried to minimize and sweep it under the rug,” said Jeffrey Frankel, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Now, in Frankel’s view, the authorities have lost credibility along with all or most of their ammunition.
In Greece, which even on its own is a problem, the government says it will run out of cash in the middle of October if it doesn’t get the next ?8 billion in loan funds from the European Union and the IMF. But Athens admits it’s struggling to meet austerity demands.
“The Greeks are running out of cash, and there is no money in sight,” said Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics. “The Germans are not prepared to look the other way — that’s the deal breaker — and, as far as the IMF looking the other way, [that’s] impossible,” he said, alluding to the institution’s technical requirements.
If Greece stops paying, all sorts of problems start cropping up, for Germany in particular.
The European Central Bank would need more capital because of the roughly ?100 billion in collateral in Greek paper it holds, not to mention the roughly ?30 billion it’s purchased on the secondary market. The EFSF would start to call member countries to make good on the guarantees they have already made for the facility. In both cases, Germany foots 27% of the bill.
Plus, private-sector banks would be exposed in two ways: one, if they own Greek government debt directly, but also if they’ve underwritten protection on credit-default swaps. And even if an institution bought protection on Greek bonds, there’s the question of whether the counterparty could afford to pay out. Compounding the exposure issue would be the presence on the wrong side of a CDS or Greek bond trade of a bank’s hedge-fund clients.
“Suddenly the public-sector finances of Germany won’t look so hot,” said Weinberg. “And this will be repeated in varying degrees around Europe.”
And that has implications for U.S. lenders. Already, the three-month Libor interbank lending rate has creeped up by more than 10 basis points, or 0.1 percentage point, since the summer.
That doesn’t sound like much, certainly not in comparison to the roughly 200-basis-point spike when Lehman Brothers collapsed.
‘Everybody knows the cost to be paid, and [Germany has] the money.’
Mitchell Orenstein, Johns Hopkins University
“But that’s when the Fed is saying we’re going to be on hold basically forever,” said Bryson of Wells Fargo. “If Greece blows up, I don’t know if it would go up by [as much as the Lehman collapse], but I don’t know if I want to find out, either.”
And that’s why some expect Germany to get over its reluctance to assist Greece — not because of any grandiose pan-European sentiment but because of its own singular interest.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in a no-win situation, according to Mitchell Orenstein, a professor at Johns Hopkins’s School of Advanced International Studies.
“To get re-elected she has to not be the one holding the bag. But if she doesn’t hold the bag, then she will go down in history as the worst European leader of all time and lose anyway,” he said. “Her strategy, intelligently, is to wait and push off as long as possible. I think that’s what markets don’t get.
“I just think, at end of day, when it comes close, everybody in Germany will vote for this,” he added. “Everybody knows the cost to be paid, and [Germany has] the money.”
Yet even if Germany does foot the bill, there’s the question of whether the struggling euro-zone states are willing to play along.
“The solution in the long term for these countries is to leave the euro zone and devalue,” McKeown said.
That’s easier said than done. European Union rules don’t have a mechanism to kick out a euro-zone member, much less to accommodate a voluntarily exit, leaving some to dub the currency bloc a “Hotel California” — e.g., you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. So the only way to quit might actually be to exit the EU altogether, going far beyond the status of such countries as Britain, Norway and Sweden that are members of the 27-nation grouping but don’t use the euro as their currencies.
Beyond forfeiting some of the trade and other benefits EU membership entails, the far more serious impact would be that the debt would still be present, just denominated in a foreign currency.
“The consequences could be catastrophic: The national deficit would double, banks would collapse, and the country would enter a recession period comparable to the one of a country in war,” said ex–Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, back when he had the job.
The flip side, of course, is if you’re going to pay down your debt at a severely reduced rate, it hardly matters what currency it’s denominated in.
Still, the risk would be that citizens and companies would flock to non-euro-zone banks to keep the value of their savings. Capital controls would have to be in place,” McKeown said. It wouldn’t be too much of a leap to imagine martial law being imposed.
But what’s the alternative? “It’s either that or decades of austerity and falling real wages to improve their position,” McKeown said. “How ever you look at it, it’s quite possible it would be the lesser of two evils.”
Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's Washington bureau chief.
RobinW : German OK only small step in averting Greek crisis
German OK only small step in averting Greek crisis
Commentary: Getting the EFSF up and running is no small task
By David Marsh, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) — Europe collectively breathed a sigh of relief as the German parliament voted by a large margin for an expansion of the powers and scope of the ?440 billion euro rescue fund intended to shore up the most vulnerable members of economic and monetary union (EMU). The next staging post of a roller-coaster ride of hope and fear.
But the Berlin decision does nothing more than bring the Germans up to the point everyone thought they’d already reached on July 21 when European leaders agreed to broaden the scope and powers of the European Financial Stabilization Facility. So the politicians are still about two months behind the markets.
It’s as if we have two sets of alternative cinematographic technologies competing with each other. While the politicians are still dealing in genteel, stumbling back-and-white, the financial markets are lurching onwards in glorious, gory technicolor. Unfortunately, the screens are likely to turn red — the color of blood.
While politicians in the last two months have indulged in that essential and immortal characteristic of Europe — long holidays — the markets have moved dramatically further toward pricing in a Greek default. And, predictably, Greece has shunted several steps backwards. Deficit targets are ever less likely to be achieved — the result of a self-fueling downward spiral.
Many contentious issues regarding the euro rescue mechanism have not yet been resolved. One of the most difficult is “leveraging” the EFSF to increase many times over the ?440 billion that so far is the limit of its potential. Such a scheme is controversial — especially in Germany — but is probably inevitable, given the spreading of the euro malaise to Italy and Spain.
Overshadowing everything is Germany’s opposition to European Central Bank action over the past 16 months to purchase the bonds of weaker euro members on the secondary market, starting with Greece, Portugal and Ireland in May 2010 and extended in August 2011 to Italy and Spain.
Assuming that parliamentary ratification is completed among other EMU member states, the rescue fund will now be given new powers to extend borrowing on financial markets, buy bonds and recapitalize weak banks.
Assuming parliamentary procedures go through in the other relatively skeptical countries that have still to vote, the Netherlands and Slovakia, ECB bond purchases should end at the latest in mid-October as the onus for action on fiscal support is transferred to the EFSF.
A growing body of opinion on the ECB’s 23-member decision-making governing council has been arguing that the central bank’s stature has been underlined by the bond purchasing moves, totalling ?157 billion since May 2010.
Opposition has been led by German representatives on the council, along with more nuanced resistance from the Dutch and the Luxembourgers — all countries with large creditor positions.
The moves to broaden the EFSF’s size and scope come in the nick of time. The first tests of its new powers will probably come in the next few weeks. Speculation about a possible Greek debt default is intensifying, as the troika from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the ECB reopen talks in Athens on Greece’s steps to accomplish budget targets for its next ?8 billion portion from the country’s existing ?110 billion rescue program.
If Greece defaults, euro governments know they must have the EFSF fully operational to cope with the danger of contagion. However, the EFSF headquarters in Luxembourg is still relatively under-staffed and has nothing like the full technical capacity to carry out the additional onerous duties that are being suddenly thrust upon it. There is awareness, too, that, even with a borrowing capacity up to the full ?440 billion, the EFSF will be neither large nor flexible enough to counter a new bout of market speculation that could hit Italy or Spain.
This is why, in addition to intervening in the secondary markets to buy the bonds of hard-hit countries, the EFSF is expected to borrow from financial markets (against the collateral of the euro members’ bonds in its portfolio) to increase further its ammunition.
The ECB will not lend directly to the EFSF, as some analysts have suggested, because this would fall foul of German objections about monetizing problem countries’ debts. However the ECB does stand ready to provide liquidity to banks that lend to the EFSF — an indirect form of support.
Such leveraging will be subject to clear market discipline. Sovereign funds and other pools of capital in Asia — which have made clear their appetite for EFSF bonds in recent months — will only put up more money if they are convinced that the EFSF’s actions in supporting euro members in difficulties are economically sustainable. Otherwise, they would demand punitively high interest rates for their lending to the EFSF, seriously countering the underlying logic.
In addition, action by the EFSF in buying bonds from, and otherwise supporting, trouble-torn euro-member states will have to be decided on the basis of unanimity by EMU states — meaning that hard-line creditor countries such as Germany and the Netherlands will have much greater control over its lending behavior than they currently have over the ECB, where decisions are based on the principle of majority voting rather than unanimity. So there is a long road still to travel — and plenty of opportunity for potentially disastrous alarms and setbacks.
David Marsh is co-chairman of think-tank OMFIF and author of The Euro – The Battle for the New Global Currency (Yale University Press).
RobinW : Alles klar ?
"Greece won't meet 2011-2012 deficit targets imposed by international lenders as part of the country's bailout, the Finance Ministry said Sunday. "
"The announcement reflects the government's frustration with tax collection, which they blame on tax inspectors' lax performance, and its fear that citizens, angry at seeing their wages shrink and, at the same time, having to pay an increasing amount of one-off taxes, would refuse to pay. "
RobinW : Discord Riddles Libyan Factions
Discord Riddles Libyan Factions
By CHARLES LEVINSON
TRIPOLI, Libya—Six weeks after the fall of Tripoli, the palmy days of rebel unity have begun to disintegrate into a spiral of infighting, political jockeying and even the occasional violent flare-up threatening to derail Libya's post-Gadhafi transition.
Regional rivalries between fighters from the western mountains and Tripoli have in recent days come perilously close to exploding into open warfare in the capital. In some neighborhoods, multiple leaders claim sovereignty for their groups amid a deepening battle over the makeup of a citywide military council.
The brewing tensions could be the beginning of a healthy and robust political contest between Libya's competing regional, tribal and ideological interests. But there are also fears that the vacuum created by a transitional period which has dragged on without a new interim government could cause these tensions to explode into destabilizing internecine bloodshed around the country.
The rivalry between fighters from Tripoli and the western mountain town of Zintan encapsulates many of the broader rifts that are tugging at the threads of the former allies' unraveling unity, pitting rural against urban, ex-military officers versus irregular militias and Islamist against those with a more secular vision for Libya.
The more-secular leaders in Tripoli voice concerns over the Islamist leanings of many of the commanders who now hold sway as they clash over seats on the city's military council. Similar divisions are also present within the country's Islamist leadership, where regional loyalties add to the confrontations over ideology.
Mehdi Herrati, the commander of the Tripoli Brigade, has threatened to resign his leadership twice in recent days during confrontational meetings with neighborhood militia leaders who feel excluded from decision making in the capital, according to Hashem Bishr, Mr. Herrati's deputy.
Mr Bishr, a longtime Islamist, is critical of the city's top military commander, the controversial Islamist Abdel Hakim Belhaj, who is facing a growing chorus of discontent, including from fellow senior Islamist commanders within his own ranks.
Mr. Belhaj fought the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s and later became a leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a militant group dedicated to overthrowing Col. Gadhafi. He was captured by the Central Intelligence Agency in Malaysia after the Sept. 11 attacks and eventually handed over to Col. Gadhafi's regime after being interrogated in Thailand and Hong Kong.
Critics are uncomfortable with Mr. Belhaj's television appearances and his exaggerated claims about his role in ousting Col. Gadhafi. which they fear smacks of political ambition. Others worry about his Islamist militant background.
Mr. Bishr says Mr. Belhaj hasn't given leaders from his home neighborhood of Suq al-Jumaa sufficient say in decision making.
The prominent Islamist leader from eastern Libya, Ismail Sallabi, said he too is skeptical of Mr. Belhaj because he seems to be pushing Eastern Libyan leaders aside.
Libyans attend Friday prayers at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli. Frictions among the different factions in the alliance against Col. Moammar Gadhafi are threatening hopes to establish a unity government in Libya.
As criticisms of Mr. Belhaj have mounted in recent days, he has largely disappeared from public view. Neither he nor his aides responded to numerous requests for comment. A senior Tripoli commander close to Mr. Belhaj said he is working to address the concerns of local neighborhood militia leaders and hopes to announce the makeup of an expanded and more inclusive city military council within coming days.
Zintan's leadership is composed mostly of defected ex-military officers, whereas the Tripoli leadership is mainly newly minted militia leaders, many of whom have strong Islamist backgrounds.
Mistrust and tension has plagued the relationship between the two groups of fighters throughout the conflict and throughout Libya.
Tensions between the groups fighting against Col. Gadhafi became evident during the earlier days of the conflict. The assassination in July of General Abdel Fatah Younis, a top military commander killed hours after he was detained on orders from a rebel minister and a panel of judges, exposed rifts within the factions.
Libya's rebels disbanded the group's de facto cabinet soon after Mr Younis's death, but with the exception of a few isolated incidents, the leadership managed to quell anger and maintain order within the ranks until now.
With the alliance in command of most of Libya and the National Transitional Council in charge, frictions are flaring up again.
"Everybody is getting their knives out," said Mohammed Benrasali, a leader from Misrata and head of Tripoli's civilian stabilization team.
Most Zintan's leaders back Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jabril, who is deeply unpopular in the capital, and other parts of Libya, and is especially mistrusted by many of the country's Islamist leaders.
"The problems with the Zintanis is they are all uneducated, they drink, they drive around at night in muddy pickup trucks with guns, and they won't leave," said a commander in Tripoli.
A Western official in Libya said he believes the rivalry also has regional dimensions, with Qatar, the tiny Gulf emirate, throwing its weight by Tripoli's leadership, particularly Mr. Belhaj, while Qatar's Gulf rival, the United Arab Emirates, has backed the Zintan leadership.
The top commander of Zintan's forces in the capital, defected army colonel Mukhtar al-Akhdar, slammed his fist down on the table of his office at the city's international airport that remains closed, while the Tripoli-controlled military airport is running a full schedule of military and civilian flights.
"Tripoli is for whom?" he asked. "It's for all Libyans. It's our capital too. This is the essence of the matter."
Zintan's fighters played a storied role in the six-month conflict, fighting off a blistering weeks-long siege by pro-Gadhafi forces, and then driving those forces out of Western Libya and eventually opening the path into the capital.
Tripoli's fighters, by comparison, had it easy, in the eyes of Zintanis and many other Libyans, since the capital fell within just a few days amid light resistance.
Write to Charles Levinson at email@example.com
RobinW : ich bin wieder hier, wiel ich erschütert bin
Sind wir nur die Marioneten in einem verrückten Planspiel?
Lese selbst ;
"Einige der wichtigsten Nazis waren führende Persönlichkeiten in der Entwicklung der EU. Hermann Abs in den Vorständen der Deutschen Bank und 40 anderen NS-Firmen, darunter Rockefellers IG Farben mit einer Niederlassung in Auschwitz, war der Mann, der ein leistungsfähiges Business-Imperium nach dem Krieg schuf, das die Grundlage der EU erstellte. Er verteilte die Marshall-Hilfe unter den deutschen Firmen, und er war der wichtigste Berater Konrad Adenauers. Zur gleichen Zeit blühte Ludwig Erhard, Schützling von Ohlendorf, dem gehängten Kriegsverbrecher. Er erkannte, dass das Finanz-Imperium unter dem übernationalen Mantra gebaut werden würde. Dadurch würde das Wirtschaftswunder in der Lage sein, sich richtig zu entfalten. Deshalb war er auch hinter der Kohle und Stahl Union der europäischen Gemeinschaft — dem Beginn der EU.
So ist das 4. Reich der Nazis Wirklichkeit geworden? Ja, leider – und es wird die Europäische Union genannt – mit Nazi-Geldern aufgebaut.
Die EU ist mit den großen Konzernen eng verknüpft, zB durch den Europäischen Runden Tisch der Industriellen und hier – ebenso wie durch den Bilderberg Club. Diese Art der Regierung wurde von Mussolini als “Faschismus” bezeichnet. Die EU-Kommission ist nun eine flügge, ungewählte Dauerregierung eines EU Unions-Staats" ....
und dort http://euro-med.dk/?p=12013
Das ist meine letzte Eintragung. Ich habe einfach Angst und bin unendlich verzweifelt.
RobinW : Doctoral degrees The disposable academic
The disposable academic
Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time
ON THE evening before All Saints' Day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg. In those days a thesis was simply a position one wanted to argue. Luther, an Augustinian friar, asserted that Christians could not buy their way to heaven. Today a doctoral thesis is both an idea and an account of a period of original research. Writing one is the aim of the hundreds of thousands of students who embark on a doctorate of philosophy (PhD) every year.
In most countries a PhD is a basic requirement for a career in academia. It is an introduction to the world of independent research?a kind of intellectual masterpiece, created by an apprentice in close collaboration with a supervisor. The requirements to complete one vary enormously between countries, universities and even subjects. Some students will first have to spend two years working on a master's degree or diploma. Some will receive a stipend; others will pay their own way. Some PhDs involve only research, some require classes and examinations and some require the student to teach undergraduates. A thesis can be dozens of pages in mathematics, or many hundreds in history. As a result, newly minted PhDs can be as young as their early 20s or world-weary forty-somethings.
One thing many PhD students have in common is dissatisfaction. Some describe their work as ?slave labour?. Seven-day weeks, ten-hour days, low pay and uncertain prospects are widespread. You know you are a graduate student, goes one quip, when your office is better decorated than your home and you have a favourite flavour of instant noodle. ?It isn't graduate school itself that is discouraging,? says one student, who confesses to rather enjoying the hunt for free pizza. ?What's discouraging is realising the end point has been yanked out of reach.?
Whining PhD students are nothing new, but there seem to be genuine problems with the system that produces research doctorates (the practical ?professional doctorates? in fields such as law, business and medicine have a more obvious value). There is an oversupply of PhDs. Although a doctorate is designed as training for a job in academia, the number of PhD positions is unrelated to the number of job openings. Meanwhile, business leaders complain about shortages of high-level skills, suggesting PhDs are not teaching the right things. The fiercest critics compare research doctorates to Ponzi or pyramid schemes.
For most of history even a first degree at a university was the privilege of a rich few, and many academic staff did not hold doctorates. But as higher education expanded after the second world war, so did the expectation that lecturers would hold advanced degrees. American universities geared up first: by 1970 America was producing just under a third of the world's university students and half of its science and technology PhDs (at that time it had only 6% of the global population). Since then America's annual output of PhDs has doubled, to 64,000.
Other countries are catching up. Between 1998 and 2006 the number of doctorates handed out in all OECD countries grew by 40%, compared with 22% for America. PhD production sped up most dramatically in Mexico, Portugal, Italy and Slovakia. Even Japan, where the number of young people is shrinking, churned out about 46% more PhDs. Part of that growth reflects the expansion of university education outside America. Richard Freeman, a labour economist at Harvard University, says that by 2006 America was enrolling just 12% of the world's students.
But universities have discovered that PhD students are cheap, highly motivated and disposable labour. With more
PhD students they can do more research, and in some countries more teaching, with less money. A graduate assistant at Yale might earn $20,000 a year for nine months of teaching. The average pay of full professors in America was $109,000 in 2009?higher than the average for judges and magistrates.
Indeed, the production of PhDs has far outstripped demand for university lecturers. In a recent book, Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus, an academic and a journalist, report that America produced more than 100,000 doctoral degrees between 2005 and 2009. In the same period there were just 16,000 new professorships. Using PhD students to do much of the undergraduate teaching cuts the number of full-time jobs. Even in Canada, where the output of PhD graduates has grown relatively modestly, universities conferred 4,800 doctorate degrees in 2007 but hired just 2,616 new full-time professors. Only a few fast-developing countries, such as Brazil and China, now seem short of PhDs.
A short course in supply and demand
In research the story is similar. PhD students and contract staff known as ?postdocs?, described by one student as ?the ugly underbelly of academia?, do much of the research these days. There is a glut of postdocs too. Dr Freeman concluded from pre-2000 data that if American faculty jobs in the life sciences were increasing at 5% a year, just 20% of students would land one. In Canada 80% of postdocs earn $38,600 or less per year before tax?the average salary of a construction worker. The rise of the postdoc has created another obstacle on the way to an academic post. In some areas five years as a postdoc is now a prerequisite for landing a secure full-time job.
These armies of low-paid PhD researchers and postdocs boost universities', and therefore countries', research capacity. Yet that is not always a good thing. Brilliant, well-trained minds can go to waste when fashions change. The post-Sputnik era drove the rapid growth in PhD physicists that came to an abrupt halt as the Vietnam war drained the science budget. Brian Schwartz, a professor of physics at the City University of New York, says that in the 1970s as many as 5,000 physicists had to find jobs in other areas.
In America the rise of PhD teachers' unions reflects the breakdown of an implicit contract between universities and PhD students: crummy pay now for a good academic job later. Student teachers in public universities such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison formed unions as early as the 1960s, but the pace of unionisation has increased recently. Unions are now spreading to private universities; though Yale and Cornell, where university administrators and some faculty argue that PhD students who teach are not workers but apprentices, have resisted union drives. In 2002 New York University was the first private university to recognise a PhD teachers' union, but stopped negotiating with it three years later.
In some countries, such as Britain and America, poor pay and job prospects are reflected in the number of foreign-born PhD students. Dr Freeman estimates that in 1966 only 23% of science and engineering PhDs in America were awarded to students born outside the country. By 2006 that proportion had increased to 48%. Foreign students tend to tolerate poorer working conditions, and the supply of cheap, brilliant, foreign labour also keeps wages down.
A PhD may offer no financial benefit over a master's degree. It can even reduce earnings
Proponents of the PhD argue that it is worthwhile even if it does not lead to permanent academic employment. Not every student embarks on a PhD wanting a university career and many move successfully into private-sector jobs in, for instance, industrial research. That is true; but drop-out rates suggest that many students become dispirited. In America only 57% of doctoral students will have a PhD ten years after their first date of enrolment. In the humanities, where most students pay for their own PhDs, the figure is 49%. Worse still, whereas in other subject areas students tend to jump ship in the early years, in the humanities they cling like limpets before eventually falling off. And these students started out as the academic cream of the nation. Research at one American university found that those who finish are no cleverer than those who do not. Poor supervision, bad job prospects or lack of money cause them to run out of steam.
Even graduates who find work outside universities may not fare all that well. PhD courses are so specialised that university careers offices struggle to assist graduates looking for jobs, and supervisors tend to have little interest in students who are leaving academia. One OECD study shows that five years after receiving their degrees, more than 60% of PhDs in Slovakia and more than 45% in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany and Spain were still on temporary contracts. Many were postdocs. About one-third of Austria's PhD graduates take jobs unrelated to their degrees. In Germany 13% of all PhD graduates end up in lowly occupations. In the Netherlands the proportion is 21%.
A very slim premium
PhD graduates do at least earn more than those with a bachelor's degree. A study in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management by Bernard Casey shows that British men with a bachelor's degree earn 14% more than those who could have gone to university but chose not to. The earnings premium for a PhD is 26%. But the premium for a master's degree, which can be accomplished in as little as one year, is almost as high, at 23%. In some subjects the premium for a PhD vanishes entirely. PhDs in maths and computing, social sciences and languages earn no more than those with master's degrees. The premium for a PhD is actually smaller than for a master's degree in engineering and technology, architecture and education. Only in medicine, other sciences, and business and financial studies is it high enough to be worthwhile. Over all subjects, a PhD commands only a 3% premium over a master's degree.
Dr Schwartz, the New York physicist, says the skills learned in the course of a PhD can be readily acquired through much shorter courses. Thirty years ago, he says, Wall Street firms realised that some physicists could work out differential equations and recruited them to become ?quants?, analysts and traders. Today several short courses offer the advanced maths useful for finance. ?A PhD physicist with one course on differential equations is not competitive,? says Dr Schwartz.
Many students say they are pursuing their subject out of love, and that education is an end in itself. Some give little thought to where the qualification might lead. In one study of British PhD graduates, about a third admitted that they were doing their doctorate partly to go on being a student, or put off job hunting. Nearly half of engineering students admitted to this. Scientists can easily get stipends, and therefore drift into doing a PhD. But there are penalties, as well as benefits, to staying at university. Workers with ?surplus schooling??more education than a job requires?are likely to be less satisfied, less productive and more likely to say they are going to leave their jobs.
The interests of universities and tenured academics are misaligned with those of PhD students
Academics tend to regard asking whether a PhD is worthwhile as analogous to wondering whether there is too much art or culture in the world. They believe that knowledge spills from universities into society, making it more productive and healthier. That may well be true; but doing a PhD may still be a bad choice for an individual.
The interests of academics and universities on the one hand and PhD students on the other are not well aligned. The more bright students stay at universities, the better it is for academics. Postgraduate students bring in grants and beef up their supervisors' publication records. Academics pick bright undergraduate students and groom them as potential graduate students. It isn't in their interests to turn the smart kids away, at least at the beginning. One female student spoke of being told of glowing opportunities at the outset, but after seven years of hard slog she was fobbed off with a joke about finding a rich husband.
Monica Harris, a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, is a rare exception. She believes that too many PhDs are being produced, and has stopped admitting them. But such unilateral academic birth control is rare. One Ivy-League president, asked recently about PhD oversupply, said that if the top universities cut back others will step in to offer them instead.
Many of the drawbacks of doing a PhD are well known. Your correspondent was aware of them over a decade ago while she slogged through a largely pointless PhD in theoretical ecology. As Europeans try to harmonise higher education, some institutions are pushing the more structured learning that comes with an American PhD.
The organisations that pay for research have realised that many PhDs find it tough to transfer their skills into the job market. Writing lab reports, giving academic presentations and conducting six-month literature reviews can be surprisingly unhelpful in a world where technical knowledge has to be assimilated quickly and presented simply to a wide audience. Some universities are now offering their PhD students training in soft skills such as communication and teamwork that may be useful in the labour market. In Britain a four-year NewRoutePhD claims to develop just such skills in graduates.
Measurements and incentives might be changed, too. Some university departments and academics regard numbers of PhD graduates as an indicator of success and compete to produce more. For the students, a measure of how quickly those students get a permanent job, and what they earn, would be more useful. Where penalties are levied on academics who allow PhDs to overrun, the number of students who complete rises abruptly, suggesting that students were previously allowed to fester.
Many of those who embark on a PhD are the smartest in their class and will have been the best at everything they have done. They will have amassed awards and prizes. As this year's new crop of graduate students bounce into their research, few will be willing to accept that the system they are entering could be designed for the benefit of others, that even hard work and brilliance may well not be enough to succeed, and that they would be better off doing something else. They might use their research skills to look harder at the lot of the disposable academic. Someone should write a thesis about that.
RobinW : 217A (III).Allgemeine Erklärung der Menschenrechte
10. Dezember 1948
Resolution der Generalversammlung
217 A (III). Allgemeine Erklärung der Menschenrechte
Da die Anerkennung der angeborenen Würde und der gleichen und unveräußerlichen
Rechte aller Mitglieder der Gemeinschaft der Menschen die Grundlage von Freiheit,
Gerechtigkeit und Frieden in der Welt bildet,
da die Nichtanerkennung und Verachtung der Menschenrechte zu Akten der Barbarei
geführt haben, die das Gewissen der Menschheit mit Empörung erfüllen, und da verkündet
worden ist, daß einer Welt, in der die Menschen Rede- und Glaubensfreiheit und Freiheit
von Furcht und Not genießen, das höchste Streben des Menschen gilt,
da es notwendig ist, die Menschenrechte durch die Herrschaft des Rechtes zu schützen,
damit der Mensch nicht gezwungen wird, als letztes Mittel zum Aufstand gegen Tyrannei
und Unterdrückung zu greifen,
da es notwendig ist, die Entwicklung freundschaftlicher Beziehungen zwischen den
Nationen zu fördern,
da die Völker der Vereinten Nationen in der Charta ihren Glauben an die
grundlegenden Menschenrechte, an die Würde und den Wert der menschlichen Person und
an die Gleichberechtigung von Mann und Frau erneut bekräftigt und beschlossen haben,
den sozialen Fortschritt und bessere Lebensbedingungen in größerer Freiheit zu fördern,
da die Mitgliedstaaten sich verpflichtet haben, in Zusammenarbeit mit den Vereinten
Nationen auf die allgemeine Achtung und Einhaltung der Menschenrechte und
da ein gemeinsames Verständnis dieser Rechte und Freiheiten von größter
Wichtigkeit für die volle Erfüllung dieser Verpflichtung ist,
verkündet die Generalversammlung
diese Allgemeine Erklärung der Menschenrechte als das von allen Völkern und
Nationen zu erreichende gemeinsame Ideal, damit jeder einzelne und alle Organe der
Gesellschaft sich diese Erklärung stets gegenwärtig halten und sich bemühen, durch
Unterricht und Erziehung die Achtung vor diesen Rechten und Freiheiten zu fördern und
durch fortschreitende nationale und internationale Maßnahmen ihre allgemeine und
tatsächliche Anerkennung und Einhaltung durch die Bevölkerung der Mitgliedstaaten selbst
A/RES/217 A (III)
wie auch durch die Bevölkerung der ihrer Hoheitsgewalt unterstehenden Gebiete zu
Alle Menschen sind frei und gleich an Würde und Rechten geboren. Sie sind mit Vernunft
und Gewissen begabt und sollen einander im Geiste der Brüderlichkeit begegnen.
Jeder hat Anspruch auf alle in dieser Erklärung verkündeten Rechte und Freiheiten, ohne
irgendeinen Unterschied, etwa nach Rasse, Hautfarbe, Geschlecht, Sprache, Religion,
politischer oder sonstiger Anschauung, nationaler oder sozialer Herkunft, Vermögen,
Geburt oder sonstigem Stand.
Des weiteren darf kein Unterschied gemacht werden auf Grund der politischen, rechtlichen
oder internationalen Stellung des Landes oder Gebietes, dem eine Person angehört,
gleichgültig ob dieses unabhängig ist, unter Treuhandschaft steht, keine Selbstregierung
besitzt oder sonst in seiner Souveränität eingeschränkt ist.
Jeder hat das Recht auf Leben, Freiheit und Sicherheit der Person.
Niemand darf in Sklaverei oder Leibeigenschaft gehalten werden; Sklaverei und
Sklavenhandel in allen ihren Formen sind verboten.
Niemand darf der Folter oder grausamer, unmenschlicher oder erniedrigender Behandlung
oder Strafe unterworfen werden.
Jeder hat das Recht, überall als rechtsfähig anerkannt zu werden.
Alle Menschen sind vor dem Gesetz gleich und haben ohne Unterschied Anspruch auf
gleichen Schutz durch das Gesetz. Alle haben Anspruch auf gleichen Schutz gegen jede
Diskriminierung, die gegen diese Erklärung verstößt, und gegen jede Aufhetzung zu einer
Jeder hat Anspruch auf einen wirksamen Rechtsbehelf bei den zuständigen innerstaatlichen
Gerichten gegen Handlungen, durch die seine ihm nach der Verfassung oder nach dem
Gesetz zustehenden Grundrechte verletzt werden.
A/RES/217 A (III)
Niemand darf willkürlich festgenommen, in Haft gehalten oder des Landes verwiesen
Jeder hat bei der Feststellung seiner Rechte und Pflichten sowie bei einer gegen ihn
erhobenen strafrechtlichen Beschuldigung in voller Gleichheit Anspruch auf ein gerechtes
und öffentliches Verfahren vor einem unabhängigen und unparteiischen Gericht.
1. Jeder, der einer strafbaren Handlung beschuldigt wird, hat das Recht, als unschuldig zu
gelten, solange seine Schuld nicht in einem öffentlichen Verfahren, in dem er alle für seine
Verteidigung notwendigen Garantien gehabt hat, gemäß dem Gesetz nachgewiesen ist.
2. Niemand darf wegen einer Handlung oder Unterlassung verurteilt werden, die zur Zeit
ihrer Begehung nach innerstaatlichem oder internationalem Recht nicht strafbar war.
Ebenso darf keine schwerere Strafe als die zum Zeitpunkt der Begehung der strafbaren
Handlung angedrohte Strafe verhängt werden.
Niemand darf willkürlichen Eingriffen in sein Privatleben, seine Familie, seine Wohnung
und seinen Schriftverkehr oder Beeinträchtigungen seiner Ehre und seines Rufes ausgesetzt
werden. Jeder hat Anspruch auf rechtlichen Schutz gegen solche Eingriffe oder
1. Jeder hat das Recht, sich innerhalb eines Staates frei zu bewegen und seinen
Aufenthaltsort frei zu wählen.
2. Jeder hat das Recht, jedes Land, einschließlich seines eigenen, zu verlassen und in sein
1. Jeder hat das Recht, in anderen Ländern vor Verfolgung Asyl zu suchen und zu genießen.
2. Dieses Recht kann nicht in Anspruch genommen werden im Falle einer Strafverfolgung,
die tatsächlich auf Grund von Verbrechen nichtpolitischer Art oder auf Grund von
Handlungen erfolgt, die gegen die Ziele und Grundsätze der Vereinten Nationen verstoßen.
1. Jeder hat das Recht auf eine Staatsangehörigkeit.
2. Niemandem darf seine Staatsangehörigkeit willkürlich entzogen noch das Recht versagt
werden, seine Staatsangehörigkeit zu wechseln.
A/RES/217 A (III)
1. Heiratsfähige Männer und Frauen haben ohne jede Beschränkung auf Grund der Rasse,
der Staatsangehörigkeit oder der Religion das Recht, zu heiraten und eine Familie zu
gründen. Sie haben bei der Eheschließung, während der Ehe und bei deren Auflösung
2. Eine Ehe darf nur bei freier und uneingeschränkter Willenseinigung der künftigen
Ehegatten geschlossen werden.
3. Die Familie ist die natürliche Grundeinheit der Gesellschaft und hat Anspruch auf Schutz
durch Gesellschaft und Staat.
1. Jeder hat das Recht, sowohl allein als auch in Gemeinschaft mit anderen Eigentum
2. Niemand darf willkürlich seines Eigentums beraubt werden.
Jeder hat das Recht auf Gedanken-, Gewissens- und Religionsfreiheit; dieses Recht schließt
die Freiheit ein, seine Religion oder seine Weltanschauung zu wechseln, sowie die Freiheit,
seine Religion oder seine Weltanschauung allein oder in Gemeinschaft mit anderen,
öffentlich oder privat durch Lehre, Ausübung, Gottesdienst und Kulthandlungen zu
Jeder hat das Recht auf Meinungsfreiheit und freie Meinungsäußerung; dieses Recht
schließt die Freiheit ein, Meinungen ungehindert anzuhängen sowie über Medien jeder Art
und ohne Rücksicht auf Grenzen Informationen und Gedankengut zu suchen, zu empfangen
und zu verbreiten.
1. Alle Menschen haben das Recht, sich friedlich zu versammeln und zu Vereinigungen
2. Niemand darf gezwungen werden, einer Vereinigung anzugehören.
1. Jeder hat das Recht, an der Gestaltung der öffentlichen Angelegenheiten seines Landes
unmittelbar oder durch frei gewählte Vertreter mitzuwirken.
2. Jeder hat das Recht auf gleichen Zugang zu öffentlichen Ämtern in seinem Lande.
3. Der Wille des Volkes bildet die Grundlage für die Autorität der öffentlichen Gewalt;
dieser Wille muß durch regelmäßige, unverfälschte, allgemeine und gleiche Wahlen mit
geheimer Stimmabgabe oder einem gleichwertigen freien Wahlverfahren zum Ausdruck
A/RES/217 A (III)
Jeder hat als Mitglied der Gesellschaft das Recht auf soziale Sicherheit und Anspruch
darauf, durch innerstaatliche Maßnahmen und internationale Zusammenarbeit sowie unter
Berücksichtigung der Organisation und der Mittel jedes Staates in den Genuß der
wirtschaftlichen, sozialen und kulturellen Rechte zu gelangen, die für seine Würde und die
freie Entwicklung seiner Persönlichkeit unentbehrlich sind.
1. Jeder hat das Recht auf Arbeit, auf freie Berufswahl, auf gerechte und befriedigende
Arbeitsbedingungen sowie auf Schutz vor Arbeitslosigkeit.
2. Jeder, ohne Unterschied, hat das Recht auf gleichen Lohn für gleiche Arbeit.
3. Jeder, der arbeitet, hat das Recht auf gerechte und befriedigende Entlohnung, die ihm und
seiner Familie eine der menschlichen Würde entsprechende Existenz sichert, gegebenenfalls
ergänzt durch andere soziale Schutzmaßnahmen.
4. Jeder hat das Recht, zum Schutze seiner Interessen Gewerkschaften zu bilden und
Jeder hat das Recht auf Erholung und Freizeit und insbesondere auf eine vernünftige
Begrenzung der Arbeitszeit und regelmäßigen bezahlten Urlaub.
1. Jeder hat das Recht auf einen Lebensstandard, der seine und seiner Familie Gesundheit
und Wohl gewährleistet, einschließlich Nahrung, Kleidung, Wohnung, ärztliche Versorgung
und notwendige soziale Leistungen, sowie das Recht auf Sicherheit im Falle von
Arbeitslosigkeit, Krankheit, Invalidität oder Verwitwung, im Alter sowie bei anderweitigem
Verlust seiner Unterhaltsmittel durch unverschuldete Umstände.
2. Mütter und Kinder haben Anspruch auf besondere Fürsorge und Unterstützung. Alle
Kinder, eheliche wie außereheliche, genießen den gleichen sozialen Schutz.
1. Jeder hat das Recht auf Bildung. Die Bildung ist unentgeltlich, zum mindesten der
Grundschulunterricht und die grundlegende Bildung. Der Grundschulunterricht ist
obligatorisch. Fach- und Berufsschulunterricht müssen allgemein verfügbar gemacht
werden, und der Hochschulunterricht muß allen gleichermaßen entsprechend ihren
2. Die Bildung muß auf die volle Entfaltung der menschlichen Persönlichkeit und auf die
Stärkung der Achtung vor den Menschenrechten und Grundfreiheiten gerichtet sein. Sie
muß zu Verständnis, Toleranz und Freundschaft zwischen allen Nationen und allen
rassischen oder religiösen Gruppen beitragen und der Tätigkeit der Vereinten Nationen für
die Wahrung des Friedens förderlich sein.
A/RES/217 A (III)
3. Die Eltern haben ein vorrangiges Recht, die Art der Bildung zu wählen, die ihren Kindern
zuteil werden soll.
1. Jeder hat das Recht, am kulturellen Leben der Gemeinschaft frei teilzunehmen, sich an
den Künsten zu erfreuen und am wissenschaftlichen Fortschritt und dessen
2. Jeder hat das Recht auf Schutz der geistigen und materiellen Interessen, die ihm als
Urheber von Werken der Wissenschaft, Literatur oder Kunst erwachsen.
Jeder hat Anspruch auf eine soziale und internationale Ordnung, in der die in dieser
Erklärung verkündeten Rechte und Freiheiten voll verwirklicht werden können.
1. Jeder hat Pflichten gegenüber der Gemeinschaft, in der allein die freie und volle
Entfaltung seiner Persönlichkeit möglich ist.
2. Jeder ist bei der Ausübung seiner Rechte und Freiheiten nur den Beschränkungen
unterworfen, die das Gesetz ausschließlich zu dem Zweck vorsieht, die Anerkennung und
Achtung der Rechte und Freiheiten anderer zu sichern und den gerechten Anforderungen
der Moral, der öffentlichen Ordnung und des allgemeinen Wohles in einer demokratischen
Gesellschaft zu genügen.
3. Diese Rechte und Freiheiten dürfen in keinem Fall im Widerspruch zu den Zielen und
Grundsätzen der Vereinten Nationen ausgeübt werden.
Keine Bestimmung dieser Erklärung darf dahin ausgelegt werden, daß sie für einen Staat,
eine Gruppe oder eine Person irgendein Recht begründet, eine Tätigkeit auszuüben oder
eine Handlung zu begehen, welche die Beseitigung der in dieser Erklärung verkündeten
Rechte und Freiheiten zum Ziel hat.
10. Dezember 1948
RobinW : US Economy in Deflation and Slump
On February 4, office supply retailer Staples announced plans to buy its rival Office Depot, which would result in the closure of up to a thousand stores and tens of thousands of layoffs. The next day, electronics retailer RadioShack filed for bankruptcy, saying it plans to close up to 3,500 stores.
Mass layoffs have also been announced at online marketplace eBay, credit card company American Express, the oilfield services companies Schlumberger and Baker Hughes, as well as the retailers J.C. Penney and Macy?s.
Short the DOW !
Tischtennisplattensp : Es folgt...
RobinW : Doch ein nuclear III WW ?
By Niles Williamson
Global Research, June 05, 2015
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is meeting today at the headquarters of the US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany with two dozen US military commanders and European diplomats to discuss how to escalate their economic and military campaign against Russia. They will assess the impact of current economic sanctions, as well as NATO?s strategy of exploiting the crisis in eastern Ukraine to deploy ever-greater numbers of troops and military equipment to Eastern Europe, threatening Russia with war.
A US defense official told Reuters that the main purpose of the meeting was to ?assess and strategize on how the United States and key allies should think about heightened tensions with Russia over the past year.? The official also said Carter was open to providing the Ukrainian regime with lethal weapons, a proposal which had been put forward earlier in the year.
Most provocatively, a report published by the Associated Press yesterday reports that the Pentagon has been actively considering the use of nuclear missiles against military targets inside Russia, in response to what it alleges are violations of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Russia denies US claims that it has violated the INF by flight-testing ground-launched cruise missiles with a prohibited range.
Three options being considered by the Pentagon are the placement of anti-missile defenses in Europe aimed at shooting Russian missiles out of the sky; a ?counterforce? option that would involve pre-emptive non-nuclear strikes on Russia military sites; and finally, ?countervailing strike capabilities,? involving the pre-emptive deployment of nuclear missiles against targets inside Russia.
The AP states: ?The options go so far as one implied?but not stated explicitly?that would improve the ability of US nuclear weapons to destroy military targets on Russian territory.? In other words, the US is actively preparing nuclear war against Russia.
Robert Scher, one of Carter?s nuclear policy aides, told Congress in April that the deployment of ?counterforce? measures would mean ?we could go about and actually attack that missile where it is in Russia.?
According to other Pentagon officials, this option would entail the deployment of ground-launched cruise missiles throughout Europe.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Joe Skewers told AP, ?All the options under consideration are designed to ensure that Russia gains no significant military advantage from their violation.?
The criminality and recklessness of the foreign policy of Washington and its NATO allies is staggering. A pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russian forces, many of them near populated areas, could claim millions of lives in seconds and lead to a nuclear war that would obliterate humanity. Even assuming that the US officials threatening Russia do not actually want such an outcome, however, and that they are only trying to intimidate Moscow, there is a sinister objective logic to such threats.
Nuclear warmongering by US officials immensely heightens the danger of all-out war erupting accidentally, amid escalating military tensions and strategic uncertainty. NATO forces are deploying for military exercises all around Russia, from the Arctic and Baltic Seas to Eastern Europe and the Black and Mediterranean Seas. Regional militaries are all on hair-trigger alerts.
US officials threatening Russia cannot know how the Kremlin will react to such threats. With Moscow concerned about the danger of a sudden NATO strike, Russia is ever more likely to respond to perceived signs of NATO military action by launching its missiles, fearing that otherwise the missiles will be destroyed on the ground. The danger of miscalculations and miscommunications leading to all-out war is immensely heightened.
The statements of Scher and Carter confirm warnings made last year by the WSWS, that NATO?s decision to back a fascist-led putsch in Kiev in February, and to blame Russia without any evidence for shooting down flight MH17, posed the risk of war. ?Are you ready for war?including possibly nuclear war?between the United States, Europe, and Russia? That is the question that everyone should be asking him- or herself in light of the developments since the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17,? the WSWS wrote .
In March, Putin stated that he had placed Russian forces, including its nuclear forces, on alert in the aftermath of the Kiev putsch, fearing a NATO attack on Russia. Now the threat of war arising from US policy has been confirmed directly by statements of the US military.
These threats have developed largely behind the backs of the world working class. Workers in the United States, Europe and worldwide have time and again shown their hostility to US wars in Iraq or in Afghanistan. Yet nearly 15 years after these wars began, the world stands on the brink of an even bloodier and more devastating conflict, and the media and ruling elites the world over are hiding the risk of nuclear war.
US President Barack Obama is expected to escalate pressure on Russia at the G7 summit this weekend, pressing European leaders to maintain economic sanctions put in place in response to Russia?s annexation of Crimea last year. The latest outbreak in violence in Ukraine this week, which the US blames on Russia, is to serve as a pretext for continuing the sanctions.
Speaking to Parliament on Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned of a ?colossal threat of the resumption of large-scale hostilities by Russian and terrorist forces.? He claimed without proof that 9,000 Russian soldiers are deployed in rebel-held areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine.
?Ukraine?s military should be ready for a new offensive by the enemy, as well as a full-scale invasion along the entire border with the Russian Federation,? Poroshenko said. ?We must be really prepared for this.? He said the Ukrainian army had at least 50,000 soldiers stationed in the east, prepared to defend the country.
Poroshenko?s remarks came a day after renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and Russian-backed separatists resulted in dozens of casualties. This week?s fighting marked the largest breach to date of the cease-fire signed in February.
Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that Russia believed the previous day?s hostilities had been provoked by Kiev to influence upcoming discussions at the G7 summit this weekend and the EU summit in Brussels at the end of the month. ?These provocative actions are organized by Ukraine?s military forces, and we are concerned with that,? he stated.
Each side blamed the other for initiating fighting in Marinka, approximately nine miles west of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk. Yuriy Biryukov, an adviser to Poroshenko, reported on Thursday that five Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in the fighting, and another 39 wounded. Eduard Basurin, deputy defense minister and spokesman for the Donetsk People?s Republic (DPR), told Interfax that 16 rebel fighters and five civilians had been killed.
Ukrainian forces also fired artillery at the rebel-held city of Donetsk on Wednesday. Shells landed in the southwest districts of Kirovsky and Petrovsky, killing 6 people and wounding at least 90 others. The city?s Sokol market was severely damaged, with several rows of shops burned to the ground.
Responding to Wednesday?s developments, members of the fascistic Right Sector militia have been called to mobilize for battle. Andrey Stempitsky, commander of the militia?s paramilitary battalion, posted a message on Facebook calling on those who went home during the cease-fire to ?return to their combat units.? He warned that the Right Sector would ?wage war, ignoring the truce devotees.?
RobinW : DAX Prognose 2015 - 2016
By Michael Snyder
Global Research, October 03, 2015
The Economic Collapse 17 July 2015
Theme: Global Economy
There has been so much attention on Greece in recent weeks, but the truth is that Greece represents only a very tiny fraction of an unprecedented global debt bomb which threatens to explode at any moment. As you are about to see, there are 24 nations that are currently facing a full-blown debt crisis, and there are 14 more that are rapidly heading toward one. Right now, the debt to GDP ratio for the entire planet is up to an all-time record high of 286 percent, and globally there is approximately 200 TRILLION dollars of debt on the books. That breaks down to about $28,000 of debt for every man, woman and child on the entire planet. And since close to half of the population of the world lives on less than 10 dollars a day, there is no way that all of this debt can ever be repaid. The only ?solution? under our current system is to kick the can down the road for as long as we can until this colossal debt pyramid finally collapses in upon itself.
As we are seeing in Greece, you can eventually accumulate so much debt that there is literally no way out. The other European nations are attempting to find a way to give Greece a third bailout, but that is like paying one credit card with another credit card because virtually everyone in Europe is absolutely drowning in debt.
Even if some ?permanent solution? could be crafted for Greece, that would only solve a very small fraction of the overall problem that we are facing. The nations of the world have never been in this much debt before, and it gets worse with each passing day.
According to a new report from the Jubilee Debt Campaign, there are currently 24 countries in the world that are facing a full-blown debt crisis?
? Costa Rica
? Dominican Republic
? El Salvador
? The Gambia
? Marshall Islands
? Sri Lanka
? St Vincent and the Grenadines
And there are another 14 nations that are right on the verge of one?
? Cape Verde
? Sao Tome e Principe
So what should be done about this?
Should we have the ?wealthy? countries bail all of them out?
Well, the truth is that the ?wealthy? countries are some of the biggest debt offenders of all. Just consider the United States. Our national debt has more than doubled since 2007, and at this point it has gotten so large that it is mathematically impossible to pay it off.
Europe is in similar shape. Members of the eurozone are trying to cobble together a ?bailout package? for Greece, but the truth is that most of them will soon need bailouts too?
All of those countries will come knocking asking for help at some point. The fact is that their Debt to GDP levels have soared since the EU nearly collapsed in 2012.
Spain?s Debt to GDP has risen from 69% to 98%. Italy?s Debt to GDP has risen from 116% to 132%. France?s has risen from 85% to 95%.
In addition to Spain, Italy and France, let us not forget Belgium (106 percent debt to GDP), Ireland (109 debt to GDP) and Portugal (130 debt to GDP).
Once all of these dominoes start falling, the consequences for our massively overleveraged global financial system will be absolutely catastrophic?
Spain has over $1.0 trillion in debt outstanding? and Italy has ?2.6 trillion. These bonds are backstopping tens of trillions of Euros? worth of derivatives trades. A haircut or debt forgiveness for them would trigger systemic failure in Europe.
EU banks as a whole are leveraged at 26-to-1. At these leverage levels, even a 4% drop in asset prices wipes out ALL of your capital. And any haircut of Greek, Spanish, Italian and French debt would be a lot more than 4%.
Things in Asia look quite ominous as well.
According to Bloomberg, debt levels in China have risen to levels never recorded before?
While China?s economic expansion beat analysts? forecasts in the second quarter, the country?s debt levels increased at an even faster pace.
Outstanding loans for companies and households stood at a record207 percent of gross domestic product at the end of June, up from125 percent in 2008, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
And remember, that doesn?t even include government debt. When you throw all forms of debt into the mix, the overall debt to GDP number for China is rapidly approaching 300 percent.
In Japan, things are even worse. The government debt to GDP ratio in Japan is now up to an astounding 230 percent. That number has gotten so high that it is hard to believe that it could possibly be true. At some point an implosion is coming in Japan which is going to shock the world.
Of course the same thing could be said about the entire planet. Yes, national governments and central banks have been attempting to kick the can down the road for as long as possible, but everyone knows that this is not going to end well.
And when things do really start falling apart, it will be unlike anything that we have ever seen before. Just consider what Egon von Greyerz recently told King World News?
Eric, there are now more problem areas in the world, rather than stable situations. No major nation in the West can repay its debts. The same is true for Japan and most of the emerging markets. Europe is a failed experiment for socialism and deficit spending. China is a massive bubble, in terms of its stock markets, property markets and shadow banking system. Japan is also a basket case and the U.S. is the most indebted country in the world and has lived above its means for over 50 years.
So we will see twin $200 trillion debt and $1.5 quadrillion derivatives implosions. That will lead to the most historic wealth destruction ever in global stock, with bond and property markets declining at least 75 ? 95 percent. World trade will also contract dramatically and we will see massive hardship across the globe.
So what do you think is coming, and how bad will things ultimately get once this global debt crisis finally spins totally out of control?
Copyright © Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse, 2015