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Daily Digest 6/23 - The Austere Land, Low-Skill Jobs In Jeopardy, Why Crude Prices Are In Steep Retreat

Saturday, June 23, 2012, 10:13 AM
  • Prisons, Privatization, Patronage
  • West Floats Clemency Offer if Assad Goes Quietly
  • The Austere Land
  • The Battle For The Soul Of Occupy Wall Street
  • Up to 95 Million Low-Skill Workers in Danger of Being Left Behind
  • Leaders Vow to Defend Euro, but Hint at Rifts on How
  • Oil Trade: Why Crude Oil Prices Are In Steep Retreat
  • Agricultural Phosphorus Shortage Made Worse By Biofuels?

Economy

Prisons, Privatization, Patronage (VeganD)

You might be tempted to say that it reflects conservative belief in the magic of the marketplace, in the superiority of free-market competition over government planning. And that’s certainly the way right-wing politicians like to frame the issue.

West Floats Clemency Offer if Assad Goes Quietly (jdargis)

The initiative outlined on Thursday — which could end up being little more than a trial balloon — would focus on a conference to be held in Geneva on June 30 to which Syrian government officials, and possibly Mr. Assad himself, would be invited, along with opposition leaders, world powers and important regional players.

The Austere Land (jdargis)

The British are no more wedded to the idea of fiscal austerity than are the Americans. The Victorian aim of an annual budgetary surplus (in order to allow for the repayment of debt) has long since vanished. Both countries experienced only occasional surpluses in the postwar years associated with exceptional booms. The divergence of the two countries lies not in underlying attitudes but in political and institutional circumstances.

The Battle For The Soul Of Occupy Wall Street (jdargis)

"We wouldn't be here without anarchists," he says. "Purist idealists are very important in any transformative social movement. I was one! I understand it – they open the floodgates. But my job is different. It's about trying to create a mass movement. Or, at the very least, having mass outreach to the 99 percent."

Up to 95 Million Low-Skill Workers in Danger of Being Left Behind (jdargis)

The report also identifies a potential shortage of nearly 45 million “medium-skill” workers in developing countries, saying that although industrialization will increase demand for employees with a high-school education and vocational training, the low rates of secondary school enrollment in some of these countries could make it difficult to supply these workers.

Leaders Vow to Defend Euro, but Hint at Rifts on How (jdargis)

And so the impasse remains, even after a sharp public rebuke Thursday evening by the monetary fund’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, who urged European leaders to get on with fixing the euro zone’s economic problems. The Obama administration has likewise made clear its fears that the slow pace of rectifying the crisis is dragging down the global economy and hampering the American recovery, with the fallout including damage to Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign.

Oil Trade: Why Crude Oil Prices Are In Steep Retreat (David B.)

“The U.S. is flush with oil right now,” independent analyst and trader Stephen Schork told the AP. “And if you factor in the economic mess in Europe, slower economic growth in China, and probably overproduction from the Saudis in preparation for the Iranian oil embargo, the world has a comfortable supply of oil.”

So when will the black gold bounce back?

Agricultural Phosphorus Shortage Made Worse By Biofuels? (Dan N.)

There is the further issue of the demand on freshwater, of which agriculture already struggles to secure enough to meet its needs, and in a sustainable picture of the future, supplies of water appear uncertain against the countenance of climate change. It is in the light of these considerations that algae/algal fuels have begun to look very appealing3, especially given the claimed very high yields that can be obtained per hectare as compared say with rapeseed and biodiesel.

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6 Comments

Doug's picture
Doug
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saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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DBRS keeps Spain, Ireland sweating on rating cuts

DBRS keeps Spain, Ireland sweating on rating cuts

ECB Raises Bundesbank Ire by Widening Bank Collateral Rules

ECB eases lending to banks

"The ECB says its governing council has decided to reduce credit-rating thresholds and widen eligibility for asset-backed securities and mortgage-backed securities. Those are investments made from batches of auto loans, consumer credit, loans to companies and commercial and residential mortgages."

 

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 2689
Europe’s debt crisis mirrors collapse of 1930s

Europe’s debt crisis mirrors collapse of 1930s

Lnorris's picture
Lnorris
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2011
Posts: 102
The similarities are frightening.

When I read about The Great Depression and compare it to what is happening today it is frightening. I think many people have forgotten or were taught a very glossed over version of the 1930's in history. It feels like we're walking the same path and TPTB are making the same mistakes their predecessors made.

Unfortunately, too many people just don't see it coming.

KennethPollinger's picture
KennethPollinger
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 173
The Great Depression Booklist

Since I've never really read much about The Great Depression, can some of us

recommend the top three books on this subject??  Thanks,  Ken

MasterOfMyDomain's picture
MasterOfMyDomain
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Joined: Apr 20 2011
Posts: 14
Book Recommendation

An amazing compilation of first-hand accounts: "Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression" by Studs Terkel.

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