Many observers don’t seem to get it, but this is all about the European authorities using coercion to accomplish political as well as economic goals. That’s why these people have not been content to just rely on their enormous bargaining power and the threat of economic dislocation that would ensue if Greece is forced out of the euro. Instead, they have been proactive: On Feb. 4 the ECB announced that it would no longer accept Greek government bonds as collateral. This was a deliberate effort to crash Greek financial markets and increase capital flight so as to force Syriza to capitulate as soon as possible.
Krieger complained that the framework portrays the Founding Fathers as “bigots” and suggests that Manifest Destiny was “built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority,” rather than “the belief that America had a mission to spread democracy and new technology across the continent,” as he put it. And instead of discussing the “the valor or heroism of American soldiers” during World War II, the course outline mentions U.S. internment camps and moral questions raised by the dropping of the atomic bomb.
Mr. Varoufakis’s letter, much of it written in legal language, indicated Greece was willing to abide by the general terms of the bailout loan agreement, but not necessarily an underlying memorandum of understanding that contained crucial conditions for the country to receive loan payments.
Many of those conditions, which include cuts in government spending, higher taxes and other economic changes agreed to by a previous government in 2012, became so politically unpopular that the leftist Syriza party was voted into power last month on an anti-austerity platform.
Italy Fears ISIS Invasion From Libya (jdargis)
Anti-immigration politicians have argued for months that it would take little for jihadi fighters to infiltrate a migrant boat and effectively end up taxied into Italy by rescue ships and the Italian navy. In a biting editorial in Il Giornale newspaper, owned by the Silvio Berlusconi family, Sergio Rame hypothesized that the recent influx was an attempt by terrorists to effectively “smoke out” the Italian navy into rescuing the migrants, in an attempt to lure the boats close to Libyan shores in order to launch an attack. The Italian government, which supports the rescue of migrants fleeing war, dismissed the theory.
Delinquency rates for mortgages and home equity lines of credit also fell in last year’s fourth quarter from the previous three months. About 3.1 percent of mortgages are delinquent, down from nearly 9 percent in early 2010. That’s still higher than the 1 percent to 1.5 percent that was typical before the recession.
Will Texas Survive The Downturn? (James S.)
Here are some staggering statistics: Texas alone produces about 20-percent of all oil and gas in the United States. The sum-total of Lone Star oil and gas produced in 2014 topped $100 Billion, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s up from about $40 Billion in 2007, and had a substantial economic impact statewide. Last year there were 12.5 million employed workers in the state, which added 458,000 new jobs in 2014 alone according to the Texas Workforce Commission. During the census period of 2000-2010, Texas swelled by 4.3 million residents. Collectively, the state’s output in 2014 topped $1.5 trillion, second only to California and for thirteen years in a row, Texas led the nation in net exports at $290 billion last year.
At least partly triggered by the oil price crash, gas markets have seen an Asian price premium over Europe drop from over $10 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) a year ago to a discount of over $1.50, making it unattractive to ship gas between the two regions and eroding tanker demand.
In Asia, LNG prices have fallen to around $6.90 per mmBtu from over $20/mmBtu a year ago. The benchmark British price, meanwhile, is around $8.50/mmBtu.
The move angered the Chinese government, which said the information could threaten social stability. But the step also helped pressure Chinese environmental officials to expand their monitoring of air pollution and begin publishing their own air-quality reports.
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