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13 - 19 June 2016

by Bjinse Mon Jun 13th, 2016 at 05:19:08 PM EST

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by Bjinse on Mon Jun 13th, 2016 at 05:20:02 PM EST
Why Bookies Are Still Pretty Sure Brexit Isn't Going to Happen  Bloomberg
Most of the biggest betting firms and exchanges in the U.K., Ireland and beyond place a 60 percent or better chance on David Cameron averting a so-called Brexit. That's even after five polls published this week showed the "Leave" side ahead, with the latest survey giving it as much as a 7 percentage-point lead over "Remain."

"Pollsters ask people what they feel on a particular day; we are predicting what they will actually do on June 23," said Jamie McKittrick, head of sports trading at Ladbrokes Plc. "Historically, we have seen a late swing to the status quo, especially among the undecideds."

....

The key reason for bookies' confidence is a tendency for undecided voters to swing back to the incumbent as voting day approaches. In the final weeks of the 1995 campaign on Quebec's independence, polls showed separatists gaining the lead, before a last-minute shift saw them defeated. Similarly, late polls in Scotland in 2014 put independence campaigners ahead, before voters ultimately opted to remain with the U.K. "This time, we expect a significant majority of the 12-15 percent who still haven't made their minds up to break for the Remain side," said McKittrick.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 01:26:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bookies aren't predicting what will happen, their odds are stacked to ensure they don't lose money.

So, what they're saying is that a large number of punters are skeptical that anything will change. It doesn't mean they know anything special we don't.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 01:39:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 1980's notion of Financial Markets being a superior form of prediction is total nonsense.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 01:49:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps there is something to be said for simply being most interested in not losing money. But, then, if one is interested in making money that too can cloud judgement. The most basic thing that affects outcomes is likely to be information - usually inside information. But how that information is used and is disclosed or disguised is also important. The second most important thing is probably depth of understanding of the process involved in what one is predicting - both in the event and in the prediction.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 15th, 2016 at 09:21:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Virginia Raggi (M5*) sweeps Rome mayoral election, woot.
Ditto Chiara Appendino in Turin.
Virginia with a 30% margin mandate, first lady mayor of the Capital.
Over the moon!
The people have spoken, time for revolution.
First Italy, then Europe... :)
So proud of these folks, the first party in my life that speaks to and for the people, not the elite.
Now watch, doubters, we're up and running!
Yesssss


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 08:19:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rome has to be the best possible place to have a reform mayor in Italy. Is there a city council and was it also up for reelection?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 10:34:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rome is the seat of the Italian government, but the country's economic powerhouses, Milan and Bologne, have remained in Renzi's party. Still: this is a landslide for 5*.
by Bernard on Mon Jun 20th, 2016 at 02:43:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Far as I can understand from the Italian ministry of the interior, yes there is.

Here is the results from last time (2013):

::: Ministero dell'Interno ::: Archivio Storico delle Elezioni - Comunali del 26 Maggio 2013

(I can't find the official results from yesterday.)

And the only way I can make sense of the votes/seats numbers is if the election for mayor also choses the council seats, and if the mayors list gets extra seats.

So if I understand things correctly M5* gets a majority of the seats on the council.

by fjallstrom on Mon Jun 20th, 2016 at 06:18:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another good thing about M5* is how they have taken the wind out of Salvini's sails. (The right wing Le Pen-type). Without them to vote for it is probable La Lega would have much more support.)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 20th, 2016 at 01:08:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great if that is true. This could provide an opportunity for significant change in Italy. We need a diary on recent events and prospects in Italy. I am hardly competent to compose such a diary.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 20th, 2016 at 01:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jun 13th, 2016 at 05:20:05 PM EST
Supreme Court rules against Puerto Rico in debt case AP via ABC News.  

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Puerto Rico can't restructure more than $20 billion in public debt as it tries to overcome a decade-long economic crisis.

The 5-2 ruling said that federal bankruptcy law bars Puerto Rico from enacting its own law to restructure the debt of its financially ailing public utilities. The decision means the U.S. territory must wait for Congress to pass debt-relief legislation that would address its fiscal woes.

Puerto Rico lawmakers passed the law in 2014 to help cash-strapped utilities meet obligations to bondholders and creditors. Puerto Rico argued that it could enact its own measures since the island is precluded from using bankruptcy law. But the Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings that struck down the law.


Gotta maintain market discipline, no matter the cost.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 12:54:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ow Luxembourg, Switzerland Are Working to Bolster Tax Haven USAN  naked capitalism  from Tax Justice Network
This is about the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), the OECD's system for multilateral automatic information exchange of banking information, which will start operation for some countries next year, with more to follow in 2018....Now one thing that we have repeatedly stressed is that the United States is not a `participating jurisdiction' in the CRS. Basically, the bilateral Intergovernmental Agreements or IGAs with which the U.S. is supposed in theory to be hooking up with the CRS, are vague promises but not firm commitments to exchange information, and even then it rests on appallingly lax requirements, as our Loophole USA blog explains.)

But in March, Luxembourg published a "Règlement grand-ducal" (or regulation) in which it classified the United States as a participating jurisdiction (and if you want to get really detailed, this helps explain some terms like "NCD" in the Luxembourg text.)  Not to be outdone, as reported on the Best of Both Worlds site, Switzerland followed suit, also recognising the United States as a participating jurisdiction.

....

Well, under the CRS, it is not just banks and insurance companies that have to report the relevant banking information; it is also "Investment Entities" - which means trusts, foundations, and certain kinds of companies. Let's take the example of a U.S.-based investment entity, beneficially owned by a wealthy Spanish taxpayer, which maintains accounts with a Luxembourg insurance company or a Swiss bank.

The CRS rules state that if the investment entity is in a non-participating jurisdiction (that is, not participating in the CRS), then the Swiss or Luxembourg financial institution is required to `look through' the entity and identify its true beneficial owner(s). That Spanish taxpayer will have those accounts reported to the Spanish tax authorities under automatic exchange of information.

But if now, by the stroke of a pen, Luxembourg and Switzerland have decreed (however erroneously)  that the United States is a participating jurisdiction, then that requirement to "look through" the US-based investment entity to its controlling person is waived. So those Spanish assets will remain secret to the Spanish tax authorities.

The only way these sorts of shenanigans will be stopped is to have a POTUS that is deeply committed to reforming the US financial system and how it operates. Neither Clinton nor Trump fit that description.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 02:14:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of links are at the NC post.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 02:15:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU's greatest achievement

"The EU's greatest achievement is the Euro", said Michael Portillo on the BBC's This Week programme last Thursday.

No, Michael, it isn't. It is the EU's worst mistake.

As Yanis Varoufakis entertainingly explains in an interesting lecture published in the Australian Journal of Political Economy, the creation of the Euro led inexorably to the buildup of unsustainable debt - both private and public - in the Eurozone periphery countries:

   The problem is that creating a monetary union is a little bit like invading Russia. At first, there is rapid progress, as the French troops, Napoleon or the Wehrmacht found when they stormed the country, taking large tracts of land without much resistance. Then slowly, as the heavy winter sets in, the Cossacks and the Russian partisans start blowing up your convoys. Eventually you end up with blood on the snow and a hasty retreat. Recall the 1920s - after the Great War the Gold standard had created `the Roaring 20s'. Similarly, when Mexico and Argentina pegged their currency one to one on the US dollar, there was a flood of capital coming from the major surplus country - the United States - into Mexico and Argentina, creating the feeling of triumph, growth and investment. It was exactly the same in the Eurozone.

Every one of the examples Varoufakis gives ended in disaster. Blood on the snow, and a hasty retreat. A debt deflationary collapse, and a protracted depression. A sudden stop, followed by debt default and painful restructuring. The European dimension of the 2007-8 financial crisis and the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis (which are the same crisis, really), followed by the Great European Depression.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 09:36:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem isn't having a currency union per se.  The problem is the members set up a pseudosovereign with authority to issue a pseudosovereign currency the members (with a notable exception) have to treat as a sovereign currency even though the tools aren't there to make it act like one, let alone be one.
by rifek on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 08:45:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jun 13th, 2016 at 05:20:08 PM EST
Zika, cancer focus of new U.S., Cuba accord on public health  McClatchy
WASHINGTON

Cuba and the United States signed a public health agreement Monday promising to work together in the fight against Zika and cancer. Cuban Health Minister Roberto Tomas Morales Ojeda signed the agreement at the start of a three-day visit to the United States.

Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the memorandum of understanding allows the United States to tap into Cuba's critical expertise combating tropical viruses spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito.

"There is an epidemiological value in communicating with Cuba," Kolker said. "Zika has focused people's minds on the close relationship we have because of geographic proximity and the possible impact of climate change in which some diseases that were just known in tropical areas are spreading to the continental United States."



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 01:02:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unbeknownst to Clinton, IT firm had emails stored on cloud; now in FBI's hands  McClatchy
WASHINGTON  A Connecticut company, which backed up Hillary Clinton`s emails at the request of a Colorado firm, apparently surprised her aides by storing the emails on a "cloud" storage system designed to optimize data recovery. The firm, Datto Inc., said Wednesday that it turned over the contents of its storage to the FBI on Tuesday.

A Republican Senate committee chairman, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, also has asked the firm to provide the committee copies of any data from Clinton's account still in its possession.

There were conflicting accounts as to whether the developments could lead to retrieval of any of Clinton's more than 31,000 personal emails, which she said she deleted from her private server upon turning over her work-related emails to the State Department, at its request, in December 2014.


That pesky cloud! As they say 'The Internet is forever.' We may soon know about those deleted e-mails.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 01:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt they'll find anything. But as the republicans haven't shut up about Vince foster, despite numerous inquiries and lack of evidence, it's not like they're gonna shut up about Benghazi now.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 01:37:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Email providers backing-up their private email accounts has been standard practice for over 30 years.  However, I'm not surprised this was "unbeknowst" to Hillary.  Both Clintons fail the Dunning-Kruger Test when it comes to technology.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 01:53:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How China Won the Keys to Disney's Magic Kingdom  NYT
SHANGHAI -- Disney had pushed China too hard, putting the company's plans for a new theme park here in limbo. Now, Robert A. Iger wanted to kick the yearslong negotiations into high gear. Mr. Iger, Disney's chief executive, took a corporate jet to Shanghai in February 2008 to meet with the city's new Communist Party boss, Yu Zhengsheng. Over dinner at a state guesthouse, Mr. Iger offered a more conciliatory approach, setting the tone for the next phase of talks.

After that, Disney substantially dialed back its demands. In addition to handing over a large piece of the profit, the control-obsessed company would give the government a role in running the park. Disney was also prepared to drop its longstanding insistence on a television channel. For Disney, such moves were once unthinkable. Giving up on the Disney Channel meant abandoning the company's proven brand-building strategy. "We're kidding ourselves if we think we're going to get everything we want," Mr. Iger recalled saying at the time.

Mr. Iger's trip and the new attitude in the talks that followed appeased Chinese officials. Before long, they had struck a landmark deal to build the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disney Resort, opening China to a singularly American brand and setting the pace for multinational companies to do business in the country.


Disney wanted the park a lot more than did the Chinese.


As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 01:43:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The brutal numbers behind a very bad month for Donald Trump - The Washington Post

We looked at Trump's sliding poll numbers on Friday, but it's worth adding a bit more context.

"[T]here's no way to look at Trump's national polling that avoids the grim reality that he is at a lower ebb than any general election candidate has hit in the last three elections," the National Review's Dan McLaughlin wrote last week.

Not only are Trump's poll numbers slipping, they are at a low that no one, Republican or Democrat, has seen in the past three election cycles. Looking at the window of time between 200 and 100 days before each of those elections, you can see that Trump has consistently polled worse than George W. Bush in 2004, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. He caught up briefly after clinching the GOP nomination -- and then sank again.

by Bernard on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 03:25:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully, Trump will not be able to see these poll numbers for what they are and that he continues his doomed campaign until the bitter end. Destroying the republican party in the process.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 05:20:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
😁 For those wondering what the next 4 months of political campaigning will look like, I give you ...

 


ALL grovel before the GREATNESS of EMPEROR TRUMP! 😝

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jun 20th, 2016 at 07:01:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jun 13th, 2016 at 05:30:29 PM EST
by Bjinse on Mon Jun 13th, 2016 at 05:30:50 PM EST
This bastardised libertarianism makes 'freedom' an instrument of oppression | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

Last week, on an internet radio channel called The Fifth Column, I debated climate change with Claire Fox of the Institute of Ideas, one of the rightwing libertarian groups that rose from the ashes of the Revolutionary Communist party. Fox is a feared interrogator on the BBC show The Moral Maze. Yet when I asked her a simple question - "do you accept that some people's freedoms intrude upon other people's freedoms?" - I saw an ideology shatter like a windscreen. I used the example of a Romanian lead-smelting plant I had visited in 2000, whose freedom to pollute is shortening the lives of its neighbours. Surely the plant should be regulated in order to enhance the negative freedoms - freedom from pollution, freedom from poisoning - of its neighbours? She tried several times to answer it, but nothing coherent emerged which would not send her crashing through the mirror of her philosophy.

Modern libertarianism is the disguise adopted by those who wish to exploit without restraint. It pretends that only the state intrudes on our liberties. It ignores the role of banks, corporations and the rich in making us less free. It denies the need for the state to curb them in order to protect the freedoms of weaker people. This bastardised, one-eyed philosophy is a con trick, whose promoters attempt to wrongfoot justice by pitching it against liberty. By this means they have turned "freedom" into an instrument of oppression.

by Bjinse on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 07:01:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Court upholds net neutrality rules for Internet access  LAT

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld tough new regulations for online traffic in a major victory for President Obama and a blow to telecommunications companies, which challenged the net neutrality rules. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission last year.

The judges dismissed arguments by AT&T, other telecom companies and industry trade groups that the FCC overstepped its authority in changing the legal classification of high-speed Internet service to allow for stricter oversight. But one of the judges, Stephen F. Williams, dissented in part of the decision, which could give net neutrality opponents an opening for a further appeal.

....

Two previous attempts by the FCC to put in place net neutrality regulations were thrown out by federal judges. The regulations were proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat strongly backed by Obama, who took the controversial step of publicly interjecting himself into an independent agency's deliberations. The FCC's Democratic majority approved the rules on a 3-2 vote last year, with both Republican commissioners voting against them.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 12:37:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jun 13th, 2016 at 05:31:24 PM EST
This is an article on the first Russian presidential election of 1996.  It has links to original TV ads - some good, some hilarious.

Best and Worst 1996 Russian presidential election ads

Do you remember Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky, Lebed, Yavlinskii, and of course Yeltsin?  Zhirinovsky back then was a lot like Trump is now.  

by corncam on Fri Jun 17th, 2016 at 10:08:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jun 13th, 2016 at 05:31:36 PM EST
by Bjinse on Wed Jun 15th, 2016 at 03:21:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Although it probably needs a Trump tower to make it perfect

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 15th, 2016 at 05:01:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anton Yelchin, Star Trek actor, dies in car accident at age 27 | Film | The Guardian

Anton Yelchin, a charismatic rising star best known for playing Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek films, has died at the age of 27. He was killed in a fatal traffic accident early on Sunday morning, his publicist, Jennifer Allen, confirmed.

According to reports, Yelchin's friends alerted police when he failed to turn up to a rehearsal scheduled to start on Saturday evening. They then discovered the actor in his driveway at around 1am. No other vehicles are thought to have been involved and the cause of death is being reported as accidental.

by Bernard on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 03:19:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ohio gun store owner accidentally killed by student during firearm-safety class - The Washington Post

As the owner of a popular gun store in Amelia, Ohio, James Baker was known for preaching safety first.

In the end, a gun-safety class cost the 64-year-old his life.

On Saturday, Baker was fatally shot when a student in a concealed-carry class at KayJay Gun Shop accidentally discharged a weapon while practicing malfunction drills, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The bullet traveled through a wall and into an adjacent room, where Baker was struck in the neck, the paper reported.

Baker was pronounced dead at the scene, according to ABC affiliate WCPO. Clermont County officials told the Enquirer that the death was accidental.

by Bernard on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 03:24:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If a terrorist bomb maker blew himself up, we'd probably think "good", so how do we feel about a terrorist enabler such as a gun seller in the US being killed in the act of training a potential terrorist how to conceal a gun ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 20th, 2016 at 02:21:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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