Armed pro-Russian separatists barricaded in official buildings in eastern Ukraine exhorted Uncle Putin to come to their aid. But sudden breath of fresh air: a poll found that an overwhelming majority of the people in that region want to remain part of Ukraine.
Entries in Democracy (127)
By Don Quijones: It was the first nationally coordinated grassroots response to repressive social and economic policies and widespread corruption of Spain’s ruling political caste. But it descended into violence – as the government is playing a dangerous game.
By Don Quijones: “You’re making a grave mistake,” the CEO of Catalonia’s megabank La Caixa allegedly told Catalonian President Artur Mas. Like many big shots, he’s fretting over the prospect of independence from Spain - an existential threat to the region’s banks.
By Mariana Belisario-Blaksley, The Bubble: Government policies have destroyed the economy, sovereignty, and security of our once rich nation. They led to preposterous exchange controls, persecution, expropriation in the private sector, and impunity regarding corruption. Reading the media has turned into masochism....
By Don Quijones: Europe’s elite seeks to completely redraw the continent’s political and economic map – with or without the consent of the people – taking the countries of Europe towards an arranged political marriage of convenience. Of the elite’s convenience.
By Maira Sutton, Electronic Frontier Foundation: Under pressure from multinational corporations, the White House wants authority from Congress to run over Congress' constitutional powers. The zany, secretive power play of trade deals.
The ECB’s money-printing and bond-buying promise, lovingly dubbed Outright Monetary Transactions, became the bailing wire and duct tape that has kept the Eurozone together to this day. Turns out, it’s illegal under the EU treaties and unconstitutional in Germany.
The steep rise in income inequality is a consequence of a spectacular reallocation of income from labor to capital. It repressed wages and created the biggest profit bubble ever. But pressures are rising. The bubble will get pricked. There will be consequences.
By Don Quijones: Normally these two worlds co-exist relatively peaceably, barely cognizant of the other’s existence. Every now and then, their paths may intersect, only to quickly decouple. But this week they suffered a head-on clash.
By Adrian Bono, Argentina, The Bubble: The last time President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was seen in public was December 10th – dancing at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the return of democracy, while a wave of looting tore through many provinces that left ten people dead and frayed the very fabric of society.
By Don Quijones: The EU is riddled with fatal flaws and defects, including the single currency. However, by far the greatest — and certainly most dangerous — structural flaw is its gaping democratic deficit.
By Don Quijones: While many Spaniards may spit bile and venom at the merest suggestion of Catalonian autonomy, they would do well to ask themselves what happened to their own national sovereignty. How is it, for example, that Spain is taking orders on virtually all economic matters from men in black dispatched from Brussels and Frankfurt?
By Chriss Street: Away from the cameras and the media scrum, the first political casualty of the President’s disastrous launch of Obamacare is a bipartisan Congressional revolt against crony capitalists’ effort to pass the clandestine Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty.
The huddled masses yearning to breathe free in the EU drown by the boatload in the Mediterranean. They languish in detention centers in Greece and elsewhere. They’re maligned, hounded, sometimes killed. But it’s getting cheaper and easier for the rich.
By Bianca Fernet, Argentina, The Bubble: In many circles, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is pinned up as the cause of Argentina’s cyclical and seemingly inescapable economic demise. But she is nothing more than the current face of Peronism, a political and economic model that limits her alternatives.
Now “trade agreements” are negotiated behind sealed doors, without public oversight, beyond the reach of Congress. The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is secret, but some sections were leaked. It deals with trade only on the margins. Corporate interests dominate. It mocks democracy, establishes kangaroo courts, and taxpayers are on the hook.
By Don Quijones: 58% of the world’s biggest 150 economic entities aren’t countries but corporations. Royal Dutch Shell's revenues exceed the GDPs of 171 countries, making it the 26th largest economic entity in the world. And the balance of power is shifting rapidly.
Most powerful person in the world? Putin! Sez Forbes. At least, it wasn’t Merkel, who has been throwing her weight around when she found out that her Handy had been bugged by the NSA, just like our cellphones. We have to take it; she gets to make a big stink and gripe to Obama on the (bugged) phone.
The fight over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling, carried out in the media with maximum intensity, barrages of sound bites, folksy sounding talking heads, and a good portion of twisted logic, has cost both parties dearly. But it has hammered the GOP. A chart with an ugly plunge.
It is starting to show up in the numbers: the debt-ceiling and government-shutdown debacles are worming their way into the economy. Americans blame the already single most disparaged institution, Congress, for it and have started to react economically. Clicks of seatbelts being fastened can be heard around the world.