Daily Digest 5/2 - New Economic Reality In The Netherlands, More Austerity For Ireland, 50M Fewer Jobs Since 2008
- Recession means new reality for Netherlands, stalwart economy of euro zone
- Venizelos Says Greece May Be Pushed Out of Eurozone
- ECB Loans Plant Seeds of European Disintegration
- Australia Cuts Rates to Arrest Slump
- Ireland: more austerity if EU treaty rejected
- Long Beach Unified board to vote on ending Head Start
- Atlanta Public Schools Plans To Shed 350 Positions
- One million homeowners hit by £660 a year mortgage rate rise today... and there's more pain on the way
- U.S. Food-Stamp Use Fell to 46.3 Million in February, USDA Says
- NKU tuition to increase $384 per year
- UNC system student health insurance costs to rise
- Fed's Williams-may need QE3 if jobless rate gets stuck
- Town hall focuses on bankruptcy
- San Jose Retirement at 50 Threatens Solvency: Muni Credit
- UN: 50M fewer jobs worldwide since '08
- California added 885K to jobless rolls in a decade
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An organization that runs more than a dozen food banks in and around Amsterdam said the number of households it serves grew more than 30 percent in the first quarter of this year.
“We see that there is the crisis, and we see its effects,” said Piet van Diepen, who’s on the board of the food bank. “We’re afraid the number of our customers will grow in the coming months and years.”
After two years of pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions, a reduced minimum wage and the slated firing of 150,000 public workers imposed during his watch as Finance Minister, new PASOK Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos has now admitted that it could all fail and Greece could still be pushed out of the Eurozone of countries using the euro as a currency.
European Central Bank measures to stem the region’s debt crisis threaten instead to undermine the euro.
ECB loans worth more than $1.3 trillion have been recycled into government bonds, capping borrowing costs. As Italy’s reliance on its local institutions increases and Spanish banks accelerate purchases of domestic government securities, however, the economic ties that bind the fate of euro members to each other loosen, weakening the incentives for cross-border support to defend the currency union.
Australia's slowing economy was given a shot in the arm Tuesday when the central bank cut a hefty half-percentage point from official interest rates, signaling a shift in its focus away from fighting inflation and toward safeguarding growth amid an uncertain global outlook.
Ireland's government is warning voters they will suffer worse austerity measures if they reject Europe's fiscal treaty this month. Finance Minister Michael Noonan says the government would be forced to impose a 2013 budget containing higher taxes and sharper spending cuts if voters reject the treaty in a May 31 referendum.
Eurozone members that reject the treaty will be blocked from tapping new EU rescue loans. Ireland is the only eurozone member subjecting the pact to a public vote.
In a final round of budget cuts, the Long Beach Unified Board of Education Tuesday will consider eliminating its Head Start preschool program beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.
The elimination of Head Start, a preschool program for low-income families, is expected to save the district $225,000 a year.
Atlanta Public Schools plans to shed 350 positions next year and order two employee furlough days as it attempts to cut about $47 million from its budget.
Homeowners will be hit by rises of up to £660 a year today as Britain's biggest mortgage lender blamed the European financial crisis for a hike in rates. Halifax is raising its rate of borrowing by 0.49 of a per cent, meaning 850,000 borrowers will have to find up to an additional £55 a month on a typical £200,000 property. Three other lenders, Co-operative, Clydesdale/Yorkshire and One Account will also raise interest rates today by between 0.25 and 0.5 of a per cent which will hit a further 184,000 borrowers in the pocket.
The Bank of Ireland is due to increase its rate by 1.5 per cent in the coming months.
U.S. food-stamp use, which Republicans have cited as evidence of a failing economy, dropped 0.3 percent in February from the previous month, the government said. About 46.326 million Americans received aid, down from 46.45 million in January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in an e-mail. Participation was 4.8 percent higher than a year earlier.
Kentucky undergraduates will pay annual tuition of $7,872 at Northern Kentucky University starting this fall, $384 more than they are paying this year. Full-time students from nearby southwest Ohio counties will pay $12,552 per year, up the same $384. NKU’s governing regents are expected to approve the increase Wednesday.
Students who buy health insurance offered by University of North Carolina schools are facing sharp cost increases for the coming academic year on top of rising tuition and fees. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports most students will pay about $500 to $700 per year depending on the campus. The highest cost next year will be $1,470.
The U.S. Federal Reserve may need to unleash another round of quantitative easing if the jobless rate gets "stuck" at around 8 percent or inflation drops well below the Fed's 2 percent target, a top Federal Reserve official said on Tuesday.
Bankruptcy doesn't miraculously give a city a fresh start, Councilman Dale Fritchen told a crowd gathered Monday for his first town hall meeting held to make his case against Stockton's option for Chapter 9. Police and fire protection would likely be cut by half, and a judge doesn't have the power to wipe away debt, he said.
"I have heard a lot of people say, 'You go into bankruptcy and you get a fresh start,' " Fritchen told a crowd of about 50 people. "They don't realize that's not the way it works."
The predicament of the 10th-biggest U.S. city reflects the painful choices that rising public-worker pension and health costs are inflicting on municipalities. In San Jose, the burden has become a $2.7 billion unfunded liability, costing the city its AAA bond rating. Next month, voters will decide on a measure that would trim the city’s payments for its two pensions.
The bleak worldwide employment picture is worsening and is, in some ways, irreversible, according to a United Nations agency report of global unemployment. "This is not a normal employment slowdown," said the World of Work Report 2012, an annual survey of the global job market. "Four years into the global crisis, labour market imbalances are becoming more structural, and therefore more difficult to eradicate. Certain groups, such as the long-term unemployed, are at risk of exclusion from the labour market. This means that they would be unable to obtain new employment even if there were a strong recovery."
The report, released Monday by the International Labor Organization, based in Geneva, said there are 50 million fewer jobs worldwide than at the start of the economic meltdown in 2008.
California has seen a far greater rise in unemployment than any other state over the last decade, according to an analysis of figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
With more than 2 million people looking for work in March, California saw the unemployment rolls grow by nearly 885,000 since the same month in 2002.
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