Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our stagnating economy: Dismal figures show UK has seen NO growth in six months

  • Biggest drop in household spending since 2009

  • Investment in business declined 7 per cent

  • Economists downgrade growth predictions for second time this year

The economy failed to show significant growth over the past two quarters as household spending in the UK worsened.

Gross domestic product grew by 0.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics.

However this growth simply cancelled out a 0.5 per cent decline in GDP in the final quarter of 2010, which was disrupted by heavy snowfall.

Stalled: The Office of National Statistics showed a dip of 0.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2010 which was cancelled out by the 0.5 per cent increase so far this year - meaning no growth in GDP

Stalled: The Office of National Statistics showed a dip of 0.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2010 which was cancelled out by the 0.5 per cent increase so far this year - meaning no growth in GDP

The figures revealed that household spending declined by 0.6 per cent, its biggest drop since the second quarter of 2009 after consumers were squeezed by the failure of wages to keep pace with inflation.

The sluggish pace of growth will prompt fresh criticism that the Government's austerity measures were damaging the economic recovery.

Business investment also declined 7.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter - its biggest fall for two years.

However there was some positive news as it appeared that the economy had become less reliant on imports.

The deficit for net trade dropped to £5.7 billion in the quarter, from £11.5 billion the previous year, as exports increased and imports decreased.

This was its biggest export contribution to trade since records began in 1955.

Stress: A drop in household spending in the UK has stalled economic growth

Stress: A drop in household spending in the UK has stalled economic growth

James Knightley, an economist at ING, said: 'The only positive story in the report is the 3.7 per cent jump in exports and the 2.3 per cent fall in imports.

'Hopefully, this reflects improved UK export competitiveness from sterling's decline, while the plunge in imports is indicative of the weakness in domestic demand.'

Today's figures confirmed the construction sector declined 4 per cent in the quarter, compared with a fall of 2.3 per cent in the previous quarter.

This was upgraded from initial estimates of a fall of 4.7 per cent.

It was suffering because of the poor performance of the housing market and a general lack of confidence to invest in new projects.

Industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, increased by 0.2 per cent, in a slowdown on the rise of 0.8 per cent in the previous quarter.

The services sector, which makes up some three-quarters of the economy, grew by 0.9 per cent, compared with a decline of 0.6 per cent in the previous quarter.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: 'The consumer remains the weakest link - confirming the rather dismal picture of household morale portrayed by recent surveys.

'The ongoing downbeat mood among households in the second quarter, added to the slower growth of demand in export markets, suggests that economic growth will remain subdued at best.'

Stagnation in the city: Predictions from the City are bleak after economic growth failed to significantly improve in the first quarters

Stagnation in the city: Predictions from the City are bleak after economic growth failed to significantly improve in the first quarters

An influential think-tank cut its growth forecast today for the second time this year on the prediction that interest rates will increase in the coming months.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicted GDP will grow at 1.4 per cent in 2011, downgraded from the 1.5 per cent it forecast in March and the 1.7 per cent it had previously estimated.

It added that the UK economy will grow by 1.8 per cent next year, instead of 2 per cent.

Interest rates have been at a record low of 0.5 per cent for more than two years but are expected to rise this year in order to to stave off high inflation.

The latest OECD forecasts are significantly lower than those of Government financial watchdog the Office for Budget Responsibility which predicts growth of 1.7 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent for 2012.

According to the OECD, UK growth will remain weak throughout 2011 despite rising exports and business investment, as household spending is squeezed by higher prices and rising unemployment.

Inflation, currently at 4.5 per cent, will remain above the Bank of England's 2 per cent target this year and for most of 2012 but will fall when the impact of tax rises and higher import prices wane.

The think-tank said the Government's austerity measures were 'needed' but suggested that further measures aimed at increasing both public sector efficiency and the retirement age would help ease some of the UK's fiscal pressures.

The OECD said global recovery is strengthening, led by emerging economies. It called on governments around the world to do more to tackle high unemployment, trade imbalances and inflationary pressures.

Greeks Occupy all Central Squares Arab Style to get IMF Out

Maria Damanaki ex-KKE but PASOK for the last two decades and a Euro
stated in the EU today that 'either the Greeks adopt the 2nd round of
cuts and privatisations' with a unity across the two major parties, or
Greece will return to the Drachma.

Taking into account her current postion as an EU Fisheries Minister,
she cant be saying things without high level agreement with
Papandreou. It is being used to threaten and cajole the Opposition
Parties (var the KKE) to allow PASOK to get through its legislative
programme of more cuts by forcing the 180 votes required in Parliament
this time (2/3 of total) otherwise the government will fall. New
Demccracy traidtionally the pro-American party may be seeking a Euro
exit for Greece.

The government doesn't seek elections as it would lose so it is now
pushing for a Plebiscite for the new round of measures sought by the

At the same time over the last few days, influenced by the Spanish
events 300 Greeks have occupied Sindagma Square (most of them are ex-
Spitha members) and today they called a facebook protest on the square
and 150,000 have signed up on Facebook which has collapsed in Greece.

We Have Woken Up- in Both Greek and Spanish

Atens Madrid Lisbon All of Europe on the Path of Struglle are two of
the banners and slogans shouted.

Tell the Government we wont sell our Country, tell the Politicians to
Leave said one demostrator on live streaming streaming

Timothy Geithner asked about "Debt Catastrophe and Contingency Plan"

Nigel Farage - No More Euro Bailouts (24-May-11)

Mitch Daniels' Pot Luck: Governor's Escape From Prison Taught Him The Importance Of Being Tough On Drug Users

Source - Reason

Height of hypocrisy follows:

Last week Mitch Daniels, Indiana's governor, told The Daily Princetonian that "justice was served" when he was arrested for marijuana possession during his junior year at Princeton. But like many pot smokers who became politicians, Daniels, a potential contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, seems to have two standards of justice: one for him and one for anyone else who does what he did.

Although Daniels was caught with enough marijuana to trigger a prison sentence, he got off with a $350 fine. Yet he has advocated "jail time" for "casual users"—a stark illustration of the schizophrenic attitudes that help perpetuate drug policies widely recognized as unjust.

According to the Princetonian, "officers found enough marijuana in [Daniels'] room to fill two size 12 shoe boxes." Under current New Jersey law, possessing more than 50 grams (about 1.8 ounces) of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison. Given the amount of pot Daniels had, he easily could have been charged with intent to distribute, which under current law triggers a penalty of three to five years.

At the time of Daniels' arrest in May 1970, New Jersey's marijuana penalties were even more severe. Six months after his arrest, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided a case involving an 18-year-old who received a sentence of two to three years in prison after police found a pot pipe and part of a joint in his house.

Continue reading...


Source - Daily Princetonian

After Mitch Daniels ’71 was arrested, indicted and convicted on charges of drug use as an undergraduate in May 1970, he said that he thought his aspiring political career was doomed. “Any goal I might have had for competing for public office were shot,” he told The Daily Princetonian in September 1988.

More than 20 years later, Daniels, now the governor of Indiana, has proved his own nay-saying wrong, emerging as a national political figure that many speculate will make a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. His four years at Princeton, most prominently marked by the legal problems of his junior year, reveal a complicated man that bridged seeming contradictions in both his academic and extracurricular lives.

Perhaps the most pivotal day of Daniels’ four years at Princeton was May 14, 1970 — the day of the drug arrest that Daniels thought would sully his political future. Officers found enough marijuana in his room to fill two size 12 shoe boxes, reports of the incident say. He and the other inhabitants of the room were also charged with possession of LSD and prescription drugs without a prescription. Daniels and his two roommates in 111 Cuyler Hall, Marc Stuart ’71 and Richard Stockton ’71, were arrested and, after plea bargaining, Daniels eventually escaped with a $350 fine for “maintaining a common nuisance.” The charges against Stockton were eventually dropped.

Continue reading...

Mark Haines Covers WTC 9/11 Attacks LIVE (Watch For Fed And PPT Manipulation Of Stock Market Futures)

Start watching at 4:20.

If you've ever wanted proof of the Fed and the PPT influencing stock futures watch what happens in this clip. Futures are negative UNTIL the attack on the first tower, then miraculously, futures turn strongly positive and stay in the green for several minutes while the WTC burns.

We happened to be trading heavily pre-market this particular morning, and remember the manipulation. Futures stayed green but individual stocks were smashing bids.

Coverage continues...

The rest of the clips are here...

Bulletin: CNBC Anchor Mark Haines Dead At 65 (Greatest Hits Video Collection)

Mark Haines and Barney Frank battle...

(MarketWatch) — CNBC anchor Mark Haines, a constant presence on business television for more than 20 years, died suddenly Tuesday evening, the business network said on its website Wednesday morning.

He was 65 years old.

Haines died at his home, CNBC said. He helped to create the cable channel’s morning program, “Squawk Box,” and served as its founding anchor.

“He was very important to CNBC because the great danger they face is that they’ll be perceived as a cheerleader for the markets,” said Andrew Tyndall, an analyst of news broadcasts.

“The fact that he was in that prestige spot, before the market opened, to say, ‘Let’s cut through all the rah-rah stuff and find out what’s really going on,’ was very valuable to that network,” he added. “And now, without him, there’s one less person to steer CNBC away from that cheerleading tone.”

Before joining CNBC in 1989, Haines held news anchor jobs at KYW-TV in Philadelphia, WABC-TV in New York and WPRI-TV in Providence, R.I.


Haines calls Huffington 'clueless.'


Haines goes after Dick Cheney


Video: Inside Job An Award Winning Documentary Full Movie

Mike Rivero on Tuesday’s show highly recommended that we all watch this documentary. I have posted it all here in one place from Youtube.

From filmmaker Charles Ferguson comes this sobering, Oscar-winning documentary that presents in comprehensive yet cogent detail the pervasive and deep-rooted corruption that led to the global economic meltdown of 2008. Through unflinching interviews with key financial insiders, politicos, journalists and academics, Ferguson paints a galling portrait of an unfettered financial system run amok — without accountability. Actor Matt Damon narrates.

bank runs, empty shelves follow Belarus' currency devaluation

ORIGINAL CAPTION: Belarusian drivers wait in a queue to fill their tanks with fuel a petrol station before a price hike in Minsk, Monday, May 23, 2011. Prices of fuel will rise up to 20 percent by Tuesday, according to local media reports. (Sergei Grits / AP)

Belarusian drivers wait in a queue to fill their tanks with fuel a petrol station before a price hike in Minsk, Monday, May 23, 2011. Prices of fuel will rise up to 20 percent by Tuesday, according to local media reports. (Tatyana Zenkovich / EPA)

People queue up to buy foreign currency outside an exchange office of Belarusbank in Minsk May 23, 2011. The Belarussian rouble strengthened on the interbank market on Monday, bankers said, extending gains made last week after the government announced asset sale plans and Russia said Minsk could get a loan in June. (Vladimir Nikolsky / Reuters)

What is Bitcoin?

AIG, Treasury Stock Offering Prices At $29

Remember as you analyze the chart that AIG underwent a 50:1 reverse split in 2010. So today's closing price of $30 equates to approximately 60 cents per share pre split. The stock has done nothing since the Fall of '08 when Geithner, Jester and Paulson schemed to save Goldman Sachs by bailing out AIG.


AIG is selling 100 million shares and the Treasury Department is selling 200 million shares. The offering is set to raise $8.7 billion. That excludes the so-called greenshoe of 45 million shares. If the underwriters take up their option to purchase all this extra stock, that would raise another $1.3 billion for the government. AIG is using the money it raises to settle litigation from the previous decade. Treasury is using the offering to reduce its stake in AIG from over 92%.

What happens when Greece defaults

" released last week in Greece revealed a jump to yet another new high in the Unemployment Rate... The Unemployment Rate jumped to 15.9% in February (data lagged by one-month), up from 15.1% in January, and up from 12.1% in Feb-2010. Worse yet, the Number of Unemployed has now spiked higher by +30.1% versus last February, and is up by a mind-numbing +99.9% versus February of 2008." - Greg Weldon.

What happens when Greece defaults

By Andrew Lilico Economics Last updated: May 20th, 2011

It is when, not if.

Financial markets merely aren’t sure whether it’ll be tomorrow, a month’s time, a year’s time, or two years’ time (it won’t be longer than that). Given that the ECB has played the “final card” it employed to force a bailout upon the Irish – threatening to bankrupt the country’s banking sector – presumably we will now see either another Greek bailout or default within days.

What happens when Greece defaults. Here are a few things:

- Every bank in Greece will instantly go insolvent.

- The Greek government will nationalise every bank in Greece.

- The Greek government will forbid withdrawals from Greek banks.

- To prevent Greek depositors from rioting on the streets, Argentina-2002-style (when the Argentinian president had to flee by helicopter from the roof of the presidential palace to evade a mob of such depositors), the Greek government will declare a curfew, perhaps even general martial law.