Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I started out with nothing...


Eurozone crisis: Spanish debt fears cut short markets' Greek relief

Traders look at computer boards at the stock exchange in Madrid
Traders study charts at the stock exchange in Madrid. Photograph: Andrea Comas/Reuters
A rally in financial markets at the result of Greece's election lasted barely an hour amid growing fears that Europe's worsening debt crisis was about to engulf Spain.
Interest rates on Spain's debt rose sharply to hit 7.26% at one point as relief at the possibility of a pro-austerity government being formed in Athens quickly faded.
Dealers quickly had second thoughts about the impact of the second Greek poll in two months, selling shares and driving up bond yields in anticipation that Spain will become the fourth eurozone country to require a full-scale bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Share prices in Spain and Italy – the two countries seen as most vulnerable to contagion from Greece – fell 3%, while an early rise in the City fizzled out to leave the FTSE 100 just 12 points higher at 5491. Interest rates on Spain's borrowing are at levels that forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek outside financial assistance, and in a day of nervous trading, risk-averse investors sought out the traditional safe havens of the Swiss franc and German bonds.
Stephen Lewis, of Monument Securities, said: "The Greek election result averts the most immediately alarming scenarios for the eurozone but makes no fundamental change in the medium term outlook."
Markets have become increasingly concerned in recent weeks that the austerity programmes in the eurozone are causing a vicious circle of recession and higher levels of debt. One analyst said Greece's problems were so intractable that a new pro-austerity government was unlikely to remain in office until the end of the year.
Graham Turner, of GFC Economics, said: "By common consent, there will be another election within six months, when Syriza is widely expected to take control. However, whoever governs Greece will be faced with a similar compelling logic. A second debt restructuring will be required to keep Greece within the single currency."
The Greek election provided a sombre backdrop to the gathering of developed and developing nations at the G20 summit in Mexico but the inability of previous summits to resolve the debt crisis meant markets were sceptical about the outcome. Instead, the immediate focus was on whether Madrid would be able to sell up to €5bn (£4bn) of bonds in two debt auctions this week, starting with one on Tuesday.
Markets were left confused by the mixed messages from European capitals, with Berlin first seeming to be willing to grant Greece more time to put its public finances in order then pouring cold water on the idea. Discussions between Athens and its European creditors will begin as soon as a new national unity government is formed.
Ben May, European economist at Capital Economics, said the result in Greece, which left the centre-right New Democracy party with most seats in the new parliament, was the best realistic outcome from an election in which markets had predicted immediate mayhem had victory gone to the anti-austerity Syriza coalition. He added, however, that Greece could still be forced out of the single currency by the end of the year.
"What's more, policymakers will need to take much greater action, perhaps including significant steps towards full fiscal and banking union, to prevent a bigger, more damaging form of break-up."
Neil MacKinnon, a VTB Capital analyst, noted that Greece "remains in a debt trap and the economy is still stuck in a depression." He concluded "ultimately, the scenario of a Greek exit from monetary union remains in place."
Reports from Dublin said that the Irish government, praised by European policymakers for its willingness to adopt tough austerity measures, will get more time to pay back the €85bn it has borrowed from Europe and the IMF. Under the terms of its bailout, Dublin is supposed to clear its debt within 15 years but the likelihood that much of the 17-nation eurozone will soon be back in recession has prompted a rethink that may see Ireland's loan repayment period extended to 30 years.
Oil prices fell sharply on expectation that the eurozone crisis will lead to weaker global demand. A barrel of Brent crude was trading at just over $96 a barrel, more than $30 down on its recent peak in March. Germany's DAX closed 0.3% higher at 6,248.20, France's CAC-40 fell 0.7% to 3,066.19, while the Dow Jones industrial average in New York was down 14 points in afternoon trading. Interest rates on Italy's 10-year bonds rose to just over 6%, prompting a call from the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, that urgent action was needed to prevent a domino effect across Europe.
Writing in the London Evening Standard, Balls said: "The eurozone must admit that muddling through, patching up bank vulnerabilities, country by country, while sticking to the ideology of austerity has failed and is now building to a catastrophe." Balls said there needed to be a recapitalisation of troubled banks and a role for the European Central Bank as a lender of last resort in order to restore confidence in the financial markets.
"That deep uncertainty is why last week's bailout of Spanish banks has not restored confidence. And it is why, without a proper firewall to stop contagion spreading to other troubled economies such as Spain and Italy, a disorderly Greek exit would be catastrophic not only for Greece but for the rest of Europe and the world economy."

$4 Trillion In Secret Bailouts Given To Fed Members Own Banks!!!! We Now Have Names!!

'How would a Jewish person feel if you put a swastika on a shoe?' Adidas under fire for unveiling new trainer with orange 'shackles' like those worn by black slaves

  • JS Roundhouse Mids have bright 'shackles' that fit around wearer's ankles
  • Many have compared devices to those worn by black slaves in America
  • 2,000 label design 'offensive, ignorant' and say Adidas 'sunk to new lows'

Adidas has come under fire for creating a pair of trainers with ‘shackles’.
Critics have compared the ‘JS Roundhouse Mids’, to be released in August, to the chains worn by black slaves in the 19th century.
The firm unveiled the trainers on its Facebook page. They feature plastic orange ‘shackles’ attached to the ankles by chains in the same colour.
The shoes have sparked an angry debate online. More than 2,000 Facebook users have commented, with many calling the design ‘offensive’ and ‘ignorant’, saying the firm has ‘sunk to new lows’ with its ‘slavewear’ product.
Outrage: Adidas has sparked anger and been accused of 'promoting slavery' by creating a new pair of trainers which have bright orange 'shackles' that fit around the wearer's ankles
Outrage: Adidas has sparked anger and been accused of 'promoting slavery' by creating a new pair of trainers which have bright orange 'shackles' that fit around the wearer's ankles

BBY48R Captives being brought on board a slave ship on the West Coast of Africa (Slave Coast). Wood engraving c1880
Controversial: Many have said the shoes have connotations of the slave trade (left) and prisoners (right)
One, ‘Kay Tee’, said: ‘It’s offensive and inappropriate in many ways… How would a Jewish person feel if they decided to have a shoe with a swastika on it and tried to claim it was OK in the name of fashion?’
Dr Boyce Watkins, writing for Your Black World,  said: 'Shackles. The stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable.

'Most of which were never documented in the history books and kept away from you in the educational system, all so you'd be willing to put shackles on your ankles today and not be so sensitive about it.'
The Professor at Syracuse University said he accepted some people would accuse him of overreacting.
But he added: 'There is always a group of negroes who are more than happy to resubmit themselves to slavery.
Anger: More than 2,000 people have labelled the design 'offensive' and 'ignorant' and say the firm has 'sunk to new lows' in its 'slavewear' product
Anger: More than 2,000 people have labelled the design 'offensive' and 'ignorant' and say the firm has 'sunk to new lows' in its 'slavewear' product

'I'm offended by these shoes as there is nothing funny about the prison industrial complex, which is the most genocidal thing to happen to the black family since slavery itself.'
Others have likened the shoes' orange 'bracelets' to the shackles worn by prisoners across the America, or said the firm is 'promoting slavery'.
Kay Tee added: 'Regardless if the company was saying the shoes are so hot you have to chain them to you, or they were capitalising on the whole prison style popularity.
'But corporate business has a social responsibility above all to consider these perceptions before releasing a product like this.
Adidas has not yet commented.
It seems Adidas did not want to be outdone by fierce competitor Nike in the controversial shoe design stakes.
Controversial: Nike has provoked outrage by launching a new Black and Tan line of trainers for St Patrick's Day
Controversial: Nike has provoked outrage by launching a new Black and Tan line of trainers for St Patrick's Day
In March, Nike was accused of 'huge insensitivity' for launching a £70 'beer-themed' trainer called 'The Black and Tan' in time for St Patrick's Day.
The firm apologised, saying it was an innocent name designed to chime with the often boozy celebrations for Ireland's patron saint.
To others, however, it was a historical affront reviving bitter memories of a British unit sent to Ireland to suppress revolt in the 1920s.
That is because the Black and Tans was the nickname given to the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, which became notorious for a brutal crackdown during the independence war.
One outraged Irish American claimed it was the equivalent of calling a shoe ‘the Al Qaeda’.
The trainer is officially called the Nike SB Dunk Low, but has been nicknamed The Black and Tan for its colourings. An advertisement for the shoe says: ‘Tis the season for Irish beer and why not celebrate with Nike.
Crackdown: British police, known as Black and Tans for their mix-and-match military outfits of dark wool and khaki, hold a suspected Sinn Fein member at gunpoint and search him for weapons
Crackdown: British police, known as Black and Tans for their mix-and-match military outfits of dark wool and khaki, hold a suspected Sinn Fein member at gunpoint and search him for weapons
‘The Black and Tan sneaker takes inspiration for the fine balancing act of a stout on top a pale ale in a pint glass.’
Others Irish Americans criticised Nike for being ‘oblivious’ to the historical connotation.
Six years ago ice cream firm Ben & Jerry’s caused a furore when it launched a Black and Tan flavour. The product was quickly withdrawn.
Athough only deployed from 1920 to 1922, nationalist Ireland still associates the Black and Tans with murder, brutality, massacre and indiscipline in the years leading to southern Ireland's independence
Historians say there is no dispute that 'the Tans' killed and destroyed on a large scale, and recorded that when a Tan was killed in Cork, they burnt down more than 300 buildings.
The Catholic cardinal of the day called them 'a horde of savages, some of them simply brigands, burglars and thieves'.

Bankers steal Greek Elections - More bailouts and austerity coming

Gore’s eco-friendly firm lands $16M contract to manage NYC pension funds

Here’s an inconvenient truth: New York is greening the wallet of Al Gore.
Embattled city Comptroller John Liu has delivered a $16.56 million contract to the former vice president’s environmentally friendly investment firm, Generation Investment Management, to help manage hundreds of millions of dollars in city pension funds, The Post has learned.
The Comptroller’s Office had previously awarded Gore’s firm $12.8 million in pension-fund business under Liu’s predecessor, Bill Thompson.
Since 2009, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has approved $6 million in contracts to the firm, co-founded and chaired by Gore. Generation now manages nearly a half-billion dollars of state pension-fund investments, records show.
GETTING GREEN: A financial firm chaired by Al Gore, here in his film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” has been tapped to manage city pension funds.
JOHN LIU Grants contract.
In total, that’s more than $35 million in greenbacks to Gore’s firm.
Liu’s office proposes investment-management contracts to the board of trustees of the city’s five major pension funds. Generation is an investment manager for two of them: the New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS) and the Police Pension Fund.
But the Gore connection has been a closely held secret.
One NYCERS trustee said he didn’t even know Gore’s firm was a city investment manager.

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