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    United States Avalon Retired Member
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    Default Welcome to the financial pages!

    Welcome to the new financial section, on the forum.

    There are posts all over the forum on this subject, and slowly but surely we'll try to get them moved here.

    Nothing raises a stink like money, and hopefully wheat can be separated from chaff here.

    Fred

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    Avalon Member observer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    Perhaps to get things started, this Thread needs a 'theme song':


    CAUTION: Our ideologies may appear larger than they actually are....

    PLEASE, DON'T FEED THE REPTOIDS

    Wishing everyone Love.... for eternity....

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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!


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    United States Avalon Member Beth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    Okay, just got done going through the forums and moving financial post to this new forum. And on that note, enjoy this:


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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!


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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!


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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    So here are things to ponder if I post in the right thread

    Quote Practical details about GEAB...

    Who are the readers of the GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin? GEAB is an affordable and regular decision and analysis support instrument intended for all those whose work involves some understanding of ongoing and future global trends seen from a European point of view: advisors, consultants, researchers, experts,...

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    The GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin is the confidential letter of think-tank LEAP/Europe 2020, published in partnership with the Dutch foundation GEFIRA. As such, our aim is to provide our readers with state-of-the-art analyses of geo-political anticipation centered around the study and follow-up of the global systemic...
    .
    http://www.leap2020.eu/Everything-yo...-GEAB_r28.html


    Quote GEAB N°48 - Contents
    - Published on October 16, 2010 -
    Russia and Euroland: Two key players in the centre of the global stage 2011-2014
    Russia is, in fact, the first global player to have completed the transformation from a world power constituted after 1945, which it was, to a power in the world after the global systemic crisis that we are currently experiencing; as for Euroland, it’s an effective player, directly rooted in the desire to exit the world order created after 1945, which is in the course of asserting itself before our eyes on the basis of its monetary identity and which, de facto, increasingly guides decisions throughout the EU. Therefore, both, Russia and Euroland are part of what we might call the first global players "renewed" by the crisis… (page 2)
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    Global systemic crisis - LEAP/E2020’s analysis of 39 countries’ risks 2010-2014 (USA, Euroland, China, Japan, UK, Brazil, Germany, India, Russia, Australia, Argentina, Sweden, Egypt, Switzerland, Philippines, Spain, Italy , Mexico, Norway, South Korea, Morocco, Israel, Poland, ...): A collective but contrasting dive into the phase of world geopolitical dislocation
    In this issue, our team introduces the annual "country risk" update in the light of the crisis. Based on an analysis incorporating eleven criteria this year, this decision-making tool has already demonstrated its relevance in faithfully anticipating developments over these past twelve months (these country- risk analyses may be particularly useful for those planning an investment in a given country, intending to settle there or wishing to make an investment in assets linked to that country)... (page 9)
    Read public announcement

    The inability of the G20 to change the international balance of power in 2009 leads to inevitable global geopolitical dislocation (An extract from Franck Biancheri’s book called « World crisis: The path to the world after - France, Europe, the World in the 2010-2020 decade)
    The inability of the G20 summits in late 2008 and 2009 to address the central issue of current global governance (i.e. the role of the US Dollar as the international reserve currency) has initiated a process of global geopolitical dislocation which will be the dominant trend of the 2010-2020 decade… (page 19)
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    The GlobalEurometre - Results & Analyses
    At 96%, there is no change in the vast majority of Europeans who continue to favour the Euro to the US Dollar, Japanese Yen and British Pound and would not exchange their Euros for these currencies. This confidence in the Euro is also marked in relation to gold… (page 24)
    http://www.leap2020.eu/Everything-yo...-GEAB_r28.html
    The economy is to serve the people, not the people to serve the economy -- Manfred Max-Neef

    An Old Spanish proverb that says “civilization and anarchy are only seven meals apart''.

    Un Vieux proverbe Espagnol qui dit ''la civilisation et l'anarchie ne sont qu'à 7 repas d'écart''.

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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    > Welcome to the financial pages!

    If I have read the way of things with any accuracy, this section of the forum will be somewhat short-lived
    Every majestic oak tree was once a nut who stood his ground.

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    Victoria Tintagel (7th December 2010)

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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    John! so nice of you to share your sense of humour

    lol

    That is very funny,,,
    [CENTER]Together we awaken, Together we rise, Together we change.

    [I][B]The key, signifies the power and act of opening the way to the soul's progress in both the higher and lower nature[/B][/I][/CENTER]

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    Netherlands Avalon Retired Member Victoria Tintagel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    Hey Avaloneans, here's a summary of www.foreignaffairs.com with an article on the future of the Euro. I am curious about the future of the Amero, if there's still talked about.
    I received this in my mailbox today, I see it's dated August 10, still it might be of interest to some of you Blessed be, Dutchess Tint.

    The Future of the Euro
    Why the Greek Crisis Will Not Ruin Europe’s Monetary Union
    Lorenzo Bini Smaghi
    August 10, 2010

    Summary:

    Many observers think the entire European construct -- its institutions and currency -- has been so damaged by the Greek financial crisis that it might not survive.
    But is forecasting the euro’s demise premature?

    LORENZO BINI SMAGHI is a Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank.
    Sign-up for free weekly updates from ForeignAffairs.com.

    When the euro was conceived two decades ago, few people expected it to have to weather a storm as great as the recent global economic and financial crisis. And many observers now think the entire European construct -- its institutions and currency -- has been so damaged by the crisis that it might not survive. A careful analysis of the problems within individual eurozone economies, particularly Greece’s, and in the architecture of the monetary union among them reveals what went wrong, how the EU has responded, and what the prospects of the euro really are.

    Between 2008 and 2010, several things went wrong in Europe, the biggest of which was Greece’s financial crisis. For years, Greek fiscal policy had been unsound. Although private debt had been rising, the country’s overall debt-to-GDP ratio had not ballooned, because the Greek economy was growing. But that growth turned out to be unsustainable. When the global economic crisis hit, Greece’s deficit more than doubled. The problem was compounded by revelations that the government had grossly falsified and padded its budget in the run up to the 2009 parliamentary elections.

    Unlike countries with national currencies, Greece could not address its problems through monetary policy. It can neither print money to inflate its debt away nor depreciate its currency to recover the international competitiveness of Greek goods and grow the economy out of debt. And unlike a subnational federal region in trouble, Greece, as a sovereign unit itself, could not have its falling revenues and rising social expenditures offset through simple fiscal transfers from the rest of Europe. Its labor force, moreover, is not mobile enough for excess to be exported elsewhere in the eurozone.

    As far as the euro’s architects were concerned, this kind of problem should never have arisen. European financial markets should have put pressure on countries with excessive debt-to-GDP ratios, such as Greece, by charging them higher interest rates for loans. The European Central Bank (ECB) prohibits loaning money to service national debts, and its no-bail-out clause should similarly have discouraged overspending. Additionally, the eurozone’s Stability and Growth Pact, which was meant to enforce fiscal discipline in member countries through rules against running high deficits and debts, should have constrained Greek politicians. Finally, the Lisbon process, a 2000 development plan for the eurozone, should have increased Greece’s economic competitiveness and spurred real growth.
    Between 2008 and 2010, several things went wrong in Europe, the biggest of which was Greece’s financial crisis.

    Unexpectedly, however, European financial markets accommodated Greece’s public and private spending with relatively low interest rates. It was only when the global financial crisis gained momentum that the markets reacted and capital flows suddenly stopped. The Stability and Growth Pact was ineffective as well; member states proved unwilling to enforce restrictions against others for fear of being subject to restrictions themselves. Finally, the Lisbon process underestimated the true differences in the member countries’ economies and failed to adequately address them.

    Once the Greek financial crisis was under way, there were two options for tackling it. The first was for Greece to implement fiscal and structural reform that would bring its debt and deficit under control. Greece, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission (EC), and the ECB negotiated just such a plan in June, with the goal of turning Greece’s primary deficit of nine percent of GDP into a surplus of six percent by 2015. It rests on fairly standard IMF reforms: substantial expenditure cuts, increases in revenue creation, and improvements in tax collection. It also includes important structural reforms, such as pension reform and privatization, which are aimed at improving long-run debt sustainability and the performance of Greece’s labor and manufacturing sectors.

    The plan was accompanied by financing from the IMF and loans from the rest of the eurozone worth €110 billion -- or 46 percent of Greece’s 2010 GDP. Because the Greek crisis spread to other countries -- Portugal and Spain, in particular -- member states agreed to create a special European Financial Stability Fund to support any eurozone country that decides to undertake economic reform.

    Yet there is already widespread skepticism about the IMF plan among some academics, investors, and speculators. Many fear that it is too harsh, imposes too many restrictions, and would ultimately be politically unsustainable. Their alternatives, however, are no better. Some have called for Greece to undertake an “orderly” debt restructuring, including devaluing bonds to alleviate the country’s debt burden. In its extreme form, this proposal also calls for the reinstatement of the drachma, because moving to the less valuable currency could restore Greece’s economic competitiveness.

    In truth, however, these measures would not work and would be much harsher for the people of Greece than the IMF plan. Debt restructuring is never orderly. Undertaken now, it would hammer Greece’s domestic financial system and have serious repercussions for the rest of its economy. Greek access to eurozone capital markets would be impaired for years, stalling the public and private sectors. And if Greece did not fully repay the loans from other eurozone countries, it would suffer a major loss of political credibility.

    For all the success of German reunification, it left behind fateful seeds that sprouted into the current eurozone crisis. To overcome the current downturn, Europe should finish the job started two decades ago and retrofit the European Union with stronger political institutions. In such an economically integrated area as the eurozone, leaving the currency union would not solve Greece’s economic problems either. After Italy left the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) and devalued its currency in 1992, for example, it suffered from volatile swings in interest rates due to a lack of investor confidence. Inflation rapidly reappeared, and Italy had to tighten its monetary policy further than would have been necessary if it had stayed in the ERM.

    The return to a national currency would also involve renegotiating business contracts, both within Greece and between Greeks and others. In the event of legal disputes, EU courts would likely be inclined to rule against Greece, the country that changed its currency. Greek citizens would probably try to maintain the euro as a unit of account and means of exchange, leading to parallel circulation of the drachma and the euro. And, having accepted billions in euro-denominated loans, the Greek debt burden would immediately increase if Greece reinstated the less valuable drachma.

    The costs of restructuring debt or abandoning the euro would be too high for Greece to bear. The IMF plan is therefore Greece’s best option. That said, it is ultimately quite tough and carries with it two types of risk. The first is if the reforms are not economically sustainable, they might create a debt spiral. The second is that if they are not politically sustainable, the government may adopt the other plan anyway.

    A restrictive fiscal policy might well have a negative impact on Greece’s growth in the short term, but many of the arguments about its recessionary effects are flawed. They use a baseline model that assumes a given growth rate and an unsustainable fiscal policy. When a restrictive budget is added, growth does indeed decrease at first, due to standard Keynesian principles. But financial markets are completely excluded from this model. It does not account for the fact that unsustainable fiscal policies inevitably provoke financial markets, which tend to react abruptly and generate terrible economic crises. At that point, much harsher measures are required to restore debt sustainability. A well-designed baseline model should include these effects and would show that over the long run uncontrolled fiscal policy is much more recessionary than timely budgetary adjustments.

    Greece is a case in point. Due to fears about hindering future economic growth, for many months the Greek government refused to regain control of its budget. Now, even after emergency bailouts last spring, Greece is projected to lose four percent of its GDP in 2010. Had it taken action earlier and avoided the financial crisis, its economy probably would have shrunk more than what was projected before the crisis (in the fall of 2009, the EC projected a 0.3 percent loss for 2010), but it certainly would have fared better than it has now. The fiscal adjustment needed would have been milder, and the loss of political credibility would have been less devastating. Even now, a plan that does not include fiscal retrenchment will be much worse for long-term economic growth. There is already widespread skepticism about the IMF rescue plan among some academics, investors, and speculators. Many fear that it is too harsh, imposes too many restrictions, and would ultimately be politically unsustainable.

    Beyond economic sustainability, critics cast doubt on the IMF plan’s political feasibility, arguing that it is impossible for Greece to retrench if it means that the country must do away with entitlements that the population has come to view as fundamental rights, such as generous unemployment and retirement pensions. Such retrenchment would stir public unrest, they say, and leaders would have no option but to default to devaluation.

    It is true that, as is often noted, there is no constituency for budget discipline. And Greece’s ruling political class may not have had the ability, or will, to convince Greek citizens of the need for restrictive fiscal measures in advance of the crisis. The current economic situation has shown, however, that politicians can build consensus for unpleasant fiscal action during a crisis. Governments in the eurozone used the threat that the Greek problem could spread to build support for an expensive rescue package, for example. And the governments of Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and others used the dire state of European financial markets to justify budgetary restraint and major reforms to labor and financial markets.

    Citizens do not take fiscal reform lightly, but they are more easily convinced of its necessity if persuaded that something even worse looms as the alternative. This is why public support should coalesce around IMF-style economic reform, not debt restructuring or devaluation. Citizens of countries where those occurred remember their devastating effects. In countries where there is no recent memory of financial crisis, some may harbor the illusion that the current one will pass easily. But in today’s world of densely networked economic systems, that is indeed an illusion.

    Just as the economic crisis exposed problems in the Greek economy, it also exposed weaknesses in the euro’s institutional framework. Restoring confidence will require strengthening that framework. A task force headed by EU President Herman Van Rompuy is scheduled to offer concrete proposals to do so by the end of this year. And in June, the ECB released its own recommendations: stronger independent surveillance of the budgetary policies of the member states with more automatic implementation of sanctions; improved surveillance of country competitiveness to ensure that member states continue to converge economically; and a crisis management structure with strong conditionality to support countries that implement adjustment programs. We acknowledge that it will not be possible to expel member states that fail to comply with EU budgetary guidelines, so such a threat would ultimately not be credible.

    The EC and the European Parliament have also called for the creation of three financial supervisory authorities (the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, and the European Securities and Markets Authority) and a regulatory authority (the European Systemic Risk Board). Because the economies of the eurozone are so interconnected, eurozone-wide supervisory and regulatory authorities are necessary. They would have the discretion to press national governments to remedy problems and would be independent enough to act preemptively, without having to wait for a crisis to galvanize politicians to action. Some may dislike the idea of giving international bodies the power to constrain national economic policy. But financial contagion spreads too quickly, and European taxpayers have had to pay for the failures of other countries too often, for the current system to remain.

    Forecasting the euro’s demise was premature. The EU and eurozone countries were able to respond to the financial crisis with appropriate corrective measures: many countries adopted strong fiscal adjustment packages; eurozone countries have announced, and in some cases already implemented, unprecedented structural reforms, not least of which was their joint decision to coordinate and publish the results of their bank stress tests; the new European Financial Stability Fund has been established and can be used to support other eurozone countries in distress, and a task force on reform will offer and approve concrete proposals to strengthen eurozone governance by the end of the year.

    One might criticize these measures for having been taken only after a crisis was eminent, but this is ultimately how democracies work in the face of difficulties. Problems in the economies of eurozone countries and in the framework of the monetary union will need to be addressed, but all the constituent countries will emerge stronger if they continue to pursue the right adjustment policies. Europe will need to find the right mix of cooperation, in defending its common interests at the global level, and competition in incentivizing growth. It will need to rely both on the center, which must ensure strong fiscal policy, and on the member states, which control much of the rest of economic policy. But one should take inspiration from the EU’s history. Finding these balances has historically been one of Europe’s key strengths.

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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    Hey Avaloneons, here's another update with a video and an article. Blessed be Dutchess Tint.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/1...tent=FullStory

    Obama Slams Bush Tax Cuts For 'Millionaires And Billionaires' (VIDEO)
    ]First Posted: 12- 7-10 12:23 PM | Updated: 12- 7-10 01:49 PM
    NEW YORK -- Over the past three months, Obama described the Bush-era program that he's now adopting as his own as "tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires" no fewer than 50 times, according to a review of his stump speeches, weekly addresses, and comments to campaign donors and members of the news media.

    The rhetoric was deliberate: Obama was trying to cast Republicans as the party of the wealthy while his fellow Democrats represented the middle class.

    He used that rhetoric at campaign events across the country, from Los Angeles and Las Vegas to Des Moines, Iowa, and Richmond, Virginia.

    During at least three pre-election rallies, Obama, playing to crowds filled with die-hard supporters, railed against the tax cuts for the wealthy, eliciting rounds of boos from the audience, according to White House transcripts.
    Video produced by HuffPost's Ben Craw

    Obama repeated the "millionaires and billionaires" line once again on Monday in announcing the deal, but with a slight twist: Rather than rejecting Republicans' call for a full extension of the tax cuts, he simply expressed opposition to their demand of making it permanent.

    Obama didn't make that distinction on the campaign trail.

    But in addition to the class-warfare rhetoric, Obama described the tax cuts as unaffordable and ultimately ineffective.
    Story continues below

    On Sept. 25, during his weekly radio address Obama referred to the initiative as "tax breaks we cannot afford."

    A few days later, during an event the White House billed as a "backyard discussion" at the home of a family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Obama said the nation would "have to borrow the $700 billion" -- the estimated cost of the cuts over 10 years -- "from China or the Saudis or whoever is buying our debt, and then we'd pass off on average [a] $100,000 check to people who are making a million dollars, up to more than a billion dollars."

    Obama wanted to make sure that his audience understood that either the U.S.'s main rival for decades to come would be financing the tax cut, or the nation that sells the U.S. most of its oil. He used the reference to China and Saudi Arabia a few times.

    And while Republicans and some Democrats have claimed that no one -- even the wealthy -- should have their taxes raised during a recession because that could stunt the recovery, Obama cast aside those fears, arguing on Sept. 29 that "98 percent of Americans wouldn't see any benefit from it."

    On Monday, the White House tone towards the tax cuts changed from hostility to acceptance. On a conference call with reporters, senior administration officials declined to explain why.

    If passed by Congress, the tax initiative would expire in two years. The Federal Reserve forecasts the unemployment rate to hover around 8 percent at the end of 2012. Prior to the current recession, unemployment hadn't reached the 8 percent level since January 1984. There have been two recessions since then: 1990-91 and 2001.

    It's unclear how the White House will be able to let the tax cuts lapse with 8 percent unemployment. Senior administration officials declined to comment when asked.
    Last edited by Victoria Tintagel; 7th December 2010 at 20:32. Reason: Trying to post the video

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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/1..._content=Title

    Plunging home prices hammered household finances in the third quarter, eroding homeowners' wealth and making them more vulnerable to foreclosure. As prices are expected to continue falling, the economic recovery could face a major stall.

    Millions of homeowners saw their most valuable asset decay between July and September, according to recently released data from the Federal Reserve, as they lost a portion of the stake they can claim in their homes. A series of new reports reflects home prices are continuing to decline, increasing the pressure on America's tepid housing market. Until the market finds a bottom, the foreclosure epidemic will feed upon itself, analysts say, as foreclosed properties drive home values down. With the unemployment rate hovering near 10 percent, and with companies showing historic reluctance to hire, the housing drag poses a significant impediment to an economic recovery.

    By the end of this year home prices will have dropped $1.7 trillion, or about 7 percent, according to Zillow.com, a real estate data provider. This decline has accelerated: Since August, home prices have fallen 7.9 percent, data from Clear Capital, a Truckee, Calif.-based real estate research firm, show. It is the steepest decline in home values since the height of the financial crisis in 2008, said Clear Capital senior statistician Alex Villacorta.

    Worse, home prices are forecast to drop an additional 10 percent next year, according to a recent report from Fitch Ratings, a major credit ratings agency.

    Americans' grasp on their homes is weakening.

    Homeowners' equity, or the stake they can claim in their homes, dropped two percentage points to 38.8 percent in the third quarter, according to the new Fed data. The drop ended five quarters of steady growth since the figure hit its all-time low of 36.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

    "There continues, of course, to be a backlog of foreclosed properties, or properties on their way to foreclosure," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Washington research group. "We're not about to see the end of foreclosures anytime soon."

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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    Quote Posted by tintagelcave (here)
    Plunging home prices hammered household finances in the third quarter, eroding homeowners' wealth and making them more vulnerable to foreclosure. As prices are expected to continue falling, the economic recovery could face a major stall.
    Funny, seems huffpost still believe in "recovery" fairytale
    Stocks are NOT economy, no matter what Bernie&Tim think they do.

    Still it seems, fairytales are hip thing to believe in this season. .. kick the can, kick the can .. smile and wave

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    Avalon Member slipknotted's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    i live in vegas im a out of work construction superintendent house price's have dropped so much it scary about 60% in the last year alone i cant even get a job here unemployment is really 28 % im scrambling to sell stuff i cherish which is not alot i dont know what to do here my son is 8 and ive ran out of options i borrowed money from family im just lost unbelieveable maybe i should stand on a corner with a sign, terrible times .........

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    Avalon Member meeradas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welcome to the financial pages!

    Hi folks,

    just got this here via email:
    (Anyone know how to sidestep the "auto size reduction" of uploaded pics here? Hints welcome)

    Hope it's still readable - please spread far and wide - and NOW.



    Here's the link to the pic:
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/atta...5&d=1299772604

    Cheers (to you, not the guys in the pic) !

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