Contributed by John Mauldin: The China effect has been fearsome, destroying jobs and shuttering factories around the world. But in China, subsidies have created enormous overcapacity, inefficiencies, a wall of debt, and other challenges.... Here are three eye-opening articles: Innovation Hurdle, China’s Ambitions in Excess, and Steelmakers Struggle to Shut Down Capacity. Plus John's excellent introduction.
Entries in Contributor (165)
Contributed by Chriss Street: Edward Snowden was one of thousands of contractors with top-secret security clearances and the ability to conduct surveillance against any foe of the US. Or as he so eloquently said: “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President.” Hence the ancient question: Who will guard the guardians?
Contributed by Chriss Street: Presidents Nixon and Clinton, embroiled in scandals, triangulated in favor of legislation considered vital by their opponents. President Obama, facing a blizzard of scandals, is likely to go down the same path and support conservative legislation that would reform corporate income tax and spur a renaissance in manufacturing.
Contributed by Don Quijones: Just when you thought the concept of universal justice was dead, a courageous Spanish judge, Elpidio José Silva, did what no other judge in the Western world, bar Iceland, dared to do: He refused to grant bail to a former top banker, sending him to prison before facing trial for his alleged role in Spain’s financial crisis.
Contributed by Michael Lombardi, MBA for Profit Confidential: While an economic slowdown is looming over the global economy, no one seems to care, as stock markets continue to reach new record-highs — giving investors false hopes of economic growth. But how long can this mirage actually last?
Contributed by Don Quijones: When the Prince and Princess of Asturias arrived at Barcelona’s opera house, they were treated to more drama than they’d bargained for. It wasn’t just about the Royals but about an aspiring nation’s frustrated dreams of independence – and the forces of action and reaction between Catalan and Spanish nationalism.
Contributed by Michael Lombardi, MBA for Profit Confidential: It’s almost as if the mainstream media is defining the U.S. housing market as being “hot,” while some economists are calling for robust growth ahead. But the reality is that we are far from a recovery in the housing market and more troubles could follow.
Contributed by Don Quijones: “In a newspaper like El País it is no longer possible to criticize the main Spanish banks. And you have to be very careful when talking about the Government, in case it gets angry: its benevolence is needed in order to avoid bankruptcy.”
Contributed by Don Quijones: As bank lending has dried up, Spain's government has barely lifted a finger to help struggling self-employed workers or small enterprises. Instead, it apparently made it its mission to make their working lives as difficult as possible by ramping up their tax burden to historic highs.
Contributed by Chriss Street: Premier Washington DC criminal attorney William W. Taylor III of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP announced that his new client Lois G. Lerner, the now infamous Director of the IRS Tax-Exempt Organization Division, will exercise her right against self-incrimination. She’ll pay him $2,000 per hour. Scandal, a bonanza for DC lawyers.
Contributed by Don Quijones: The eternal economic malaise affecting many European countries is sparking a resurgence of the long-dormant forces of nationalism. In the most perverse of ironies, the closer the old continent gets to fulfilling the Eurocrats’ vaunted dream of political union, the more divided and unruly its constituent parts become.
Contributed by Chriss Street: Now there is evidence that IRS agents may have “knowingly and willfully” retaliated against a conservative “Enemies List” during the 2010 Congressional election and continuing through the 2012 Presidential election.
Contributed by Valentin Mândrăşescu, Editor of Reality Check @ The Voice of Russia: The status of the US dollar as the world reserve currency gives the US tremendous advantages. Among them: it allows the Fed to export inflation, while the Federal Government can run a huge deficit with impunity. But now an angry Russia has had enough!
Contributed by Daniel J. Graeber of Oilprice.com. Growing security risks in the Middle East and North Africa are giving oil companies the jitters. But with seven of the 12 OPEC members experiencing some form of upheaval, the cost of doing business suggests members may need more than a little bit of luck to return to glory.
Contributed by Don Quijones: A daily ration of bread is now beyond the reach of roughly a billion people on planet Earth. What’s more, hunger is spreading like a pandemic, making incursions from its traditional strongholds in the global south to towns and cities across depression-hit Southern Europe. In Greece....
Contributed by Chriss Street: The Eagles got it right with Hotel California: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!” The San Jose City Council, facing huge budget deficits, tried to terminate life-time pension benefits for Council members. Turns out, ending wildly expensive benefits may be wildly more expensive than staying in the plan.
Contributed by Daniel Graeber of Oilprice.com: New US Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell went green when she announced her department would get hybrid vehicles to advance a federal low-carbon footprint. The next day, she announced plans for a lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico – in line with President Obama's "all-of-the-above" energy policy.
Contributed by Don Quijones: It is as if the youngest democracy in Western Europe has lost its youthful innocence. After the betrayal of so many hopes and promises, reality is dawning on the people that neither democracy nor EU membership quite are the panacea they were cracked up to be.
Contributed by Jen Alic of Oilprice.com. In Kiobel vs. Royal Dutch Petroleum, the US Supreme Court has ruled that Nigerian nationals do not have the right to sue the oil company for alleged rights abuses overseas, dashing the hopes of Esther Kiobel, who filed her lawsuit against Shell in 2002 shortly before she became a US citizen.