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Icelandic Anger Brings Debt Forgiveness in Best Recovery Story

Icelandic Anger Brings Debt Forgiveness in Best Recovery Story
Icelanders who pelted parliament with rocks in 2009 demanding their leaders and bankers answer for the country’s economic and financial collapse are reaping the benefits of their anger. Since the end of 2008, the island’s banks have forgiven loans equivalent to 13 percent of gross domestic product, easing the debt burdens of more than a quarter of the population, according to a report published this month by the Icelandic Financial Services Association. “You could safely say that Iceland holds the world record in household debt relief,” said Lars Christensen, chief emerging markets economist at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen. “Iceland followed the textbook example of what is required in a crisis. Any economist would agree with that.” The island’s steps to resurrect itself since 2008, when its banks defaulted on $85 billion, are proving effective. Crisis Lessons People Vs Markets Activists say the banks should go even further in their debt relief. Fresh Demands Legal Aftermath

Vincent Browne Vs Troika: Video And Transcript Troika (EU, ECB & IMF) representatives, and Barbara Nolan, head of the European Commission representation in Ireland, held a press conference on the latest bailout review this afternoon. Participants: Klaus Masuch, head of EU Countries Division at the European Central Bank Istvan Szekely, director of economic and financial affairs at the European Commission Craig Beaumont, mission chief for Ireland at the IMF. Early in the conference, Istvan Szekely said: “I’m impressed by the depth of the discussion in Ireland and the understanding of complex, economic financial-sector issues, which is revealed by looking into the Irish place, looking into the discussion. Barbara Nolan: “Well, well, well, can we take a couple together? Nolan: “Right, can I ask you then to pass the mic, and we’ll come back to you for the second question?” Masuch: “I have answered a very similar question of you – I think it was two reviews ago – and can…”

The Next American Revolution Won't Be Like the First - Wendy McElroy One of my friends believes that a second American revolution is imminent and will be sparked by the economic instability now rocking the continent. Frankly, I doubt it. Insurrections may occur, but I expect the US government to lumber along, dragging the world deeper into poverty and conflict for many years to come. Upon hearing my friend out, however, my first thought was, "if a revolution erupts, it will resemble the French one of 1789 more closely than the American one of 1776." One of the reasons for thinking that America might be "going French" is that current American society resembles descriptions I've read of pre-Revolution France more closely than America now resembles its young self. Consider the issue of a class structure. Sick unto death of being arrested for such sins as speaking their own language, the Irish fled to North America even though they risked a 50 percent chance of dying in transit or in the initial hardships of the New World.

Human corpses harvested in multimillion-dollar trade “Two ribs, two Achilles heels, two elbows, two eardrums, two teeth, and so on'' ... a relative holds a picture of Oleksandr Frolov, some of whose body parts were found during a raid by Ukrainian authorities. Photo: Konstantin Chernichkin/Kyiv Post Kate Willson, Vlad Lavrov, Martina Keller, Thomas Maier and Gerard Ryle On February 24, Ukrainian authorities made an alarming discovery: bones and other human tissues crammed into coolers in a grimy white minibus. From day one, everything was forged; everything, because we could. Investigators grew even more intrigued when they found, amid the body parts, envelopes stuffed with cash and autopsy results written in English. Bottles of human tissue labelled ''Made in Germany, Tutogen" that were were seized by Ukrainian authorities. What the security service had disrupted was not the work of a serial killer but part of an international pipeline of ingredients for medical and dental products that are routinely implanted into people around the world.

The politics of pensions | UC Steve Cushion Crisis? What crisis? Prophets of doom in the government and their supporters in the press are currently issuing dire warnings that there is a crisis in the provision of pensions because we are all living longer. This, we are told, can only be resolved if pensionable age is raised, benefit levels curbed and contributions from employees are increased. The recently published Green Paper states that life expectancy is 89 for men and 90 for women. There is considerable evidence, however, which links life expectancy to income. State Pension The existing basic state pension was set up in 1948 as part of the post war welfare reforms. Right-wing ideologues associated with the banks and insurance companies mounted a campaign against any attempt to use the surplus in the National Insurance Fund for economic intervention in housing or job creation, condemning this possibility as ‘state socialism’ – if only. Occupational pensions Private pension schemes Green Paper Teachers’ Pensions

ICIJ: Body Brokers Leave Trail Of Questions, Corruption By Kate Willson, Vlad Lavrov, Martina Keller and Michael HudsonThis is the second installment in an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists series. In April 2003, Robert Ambrosino murdered his ex-fiancée -- a 22-year-old aspiring actress -- by shooting her in the face with a .45-caliber pistol. Then Ambrosino turned the gun around and killed himself. Soon after, Ambrosino's corpse entered the United States' vast tissue-donation system, his skin, bones and other body parts destined for use in the manufacture of cutting-edge medical products. But before they entered the system, Michael Mastromarino, owner of a New Jersey-based tissue recovery firm, needed to solve a couple of problems. He didn't want to have to report that Ambrosino had perished in a murder-suicide. Mastromarino solved both problems the same way: He lied. He claimed Ambrosino died in a car accident. A Fantastic Product "This is an industry. But Mastromarino's personal life was falling apart. Reasonable Fees

Coalition of Resistance Against Cuts & Privatisation | A coalition of groups fighting cuts and privatisation ICIJ: Human Corpses Are Prize In Global Drive For Profits By Kate Willson, Vlad Lavrov, Martina Keller, Thomas Maier and Gerard RyleThis is the first installment in an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists series. On Feb. 24, Ukrainian authorities made an alarming discovery: bones and other human tissues crammed into coolers in a grimy white minibus. Investigators grew even more intrigued when they found, amid the body parts, envelopes stuffed with cash and autopsy results written in English. What the security service had disrupted was not the work of a serial killer but part of an international pipeline of ingredients for medical and dental products that are routinely implanted into people around the world. The seized documents suggested that the remains of dead Ukrainians were destined for a factory in Germany belonging to the subsidiary of a U.S. medical products company, Florida-based RTI Biologics. Industry officials argue that such alleged abuses are rare, and that the industry operates safely and responsibly. Awkward Silence

8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance The ruling elite has created social institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance.Bruce E. LevineAlterNet Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination. Young Americans—even more so than older Americans—appear to have acquiesced to the idea that the corporatocracy can completely screw them and that they are helpless to do anything about it. How exactly has American society subdued young Americans? 1. There was no tuition at the City University of New York when I attended one of its colleges in the 1970s, a time when tuition at many U.S. public universities was so affordable that it was easy to get a B.A. and even a graduate degree without accruing any student-loan debt. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The fear of being surveilled makes a population easier to control. 7. 8.

Bill Moyers and Chris Hedges: How Whole Regions of America Have Been Destroyed in the Name of Quarterly Profits July 21, 2012 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. You can watch the video of Moyers' interview with Hedges at the bottom of this transcript. BILL MOYERS: Here we are, barely halfway through the summer, and Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have stepped up their cage match, each attacking the other, throwing insults and accusations back and forth like folding chairs hurled across the wrestling ring. Governor Romney pummels away at the economy; President Obama pummels away at Mr. CHRIS HEDGES: All of the true correctives to American democracy came through movements that never achieved formal political power. BILL MOYERS: This is just the latest battle cry from Hedges, who, angry at what he sees in the world, expresses his outrage in thoughtful prose that never fails to inform and provoke. Tell me about Joe Sacco. CHRIS HEDGES: I've known Joe since the war in Bosnia. BILL MOYERS: This is a tough book.

The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz – review | Books | The Observer An Occupy London protester outside the Bank of England. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA The ancient Greeks had a word for it – pleonexia – which means an overreaching desire for more than one's share. As Melissa Lane explained in last year's Eco-Republic: Ancient Thinking for a Green Age, this vice was often paired with hubris, a form of arrogance directed especially against the gods and therefore doomed to fail. The Greeks saw tyrants as fundamentally pleonetic in their motivation. The Price of Inequality: The Avoidable Causes and Invisible Costs of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz In The Price of Inequality, Joseph E Stiglitz passionately describes how unrestrained power and rampant greed are writing an epitaph for the American dream. In 2001, Stiglitz, a former chief economist at the World Bank, and arch critic of the IMF, won the Nobel prize for economics for his theory of "asymmetric information". For roughly 30 years after the second world war, the 1% had a steady share of the US cake.

The Real Libor Scandal According to news reports, UK banks fixed the London interbank borrowing rate (Libor) with the complicity of the Bank of England (UK central bank) at a low rate in order to obtain a cheap borrowing cost. The way this scandal is playing out is that the banks benefitted from borrowing at these low rates. Whereas this is true, it also strikes us as simplistic and as a diversion from the deeper, darker scandal.Banks are not the only beneficiaries of lower Libor rates. Indicative of greater deceit and a larger scandal than simply borrowing from one another at lower rates, banks gained far more from the rise in the prices, or higher evaluations of floating rate financial instruments (such as CDOs), that resulted from lower Libor rates. On the losing side of the scandal are purchasers of interest rate swaps, savers who receive less interest on their accounts, and ultimately all bond holders when the bond bubble pops and prices collapse. Why isn’t this happening? The answer is even clearer now.

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