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Archive for May, 2015

Europe Has A Solution For The Unemployment Problem: Fake Jobs

by Tyler Durden of Zerohedg blog

The jobs gap that has of Zerohedg characterized the global economy since the crisis has cost some $1.2 trillion in lost wages and nearly $4 trillion in GDP. Employment growth worldwide has been just 1.4% since 2001, well below the 1.7% pace that prevailed prior to 2008. The result: there are 61 million fewer people employed globally than there would have been if pre-crisis trends had prevailed. 

In the eurozone, where unemployment stands at 11.3% and where some countries — Spain being a prime example — are struggling under unemployment rates that approximate what the US experienced during the Great Depression, the ECB has been forced to effectively abandon its “single mandate” of promoting price stability in favor of a stance that’s more in-line with the Fed’s dual mandate that encompasses both price stability and maximum employment.

Against this backdrop, many Europeans are struggling to find work, but have no fear, Europe has a solution: fake jobs. The New York Times has more:

At 9:30 a.m. on a sunny weekday, the phones at Candelia, a purveyor of sleek office furniture in Lille, France, rang steadily with orders from customers across the country and from Switzerland and Germany. A photocopier clacked rhythmically while more than a dozen workers processed sales, dealt with suppliers and arranged for desks and chairs to be shipped.

 

Sabine de Buyzer, working in the accounting department, leaned into her computer and scanned a row of numbers. Candelia was doing well. Its revenue that week was outpacing expenses, even counting taxes and salaries. “We have to be profitable,” Ms. de Buyzer said. “Everyone’s working all out to make sure we succeed.”

 

This was a sentiment any boss would like to hear, but in this case the entire business is fake. So are Candelia’s customers and suppliers, from the companies ordering the furniture to the trucking operators that make deliveries. Even the bank where Candelia gets its loans is not real.

Candelia is one of a number of so-called “Potemkin” companies operating in France. Everything about these entities is imaginary from the customers, to the supply chain, to the banks, to the “wages” employees receive and while the idea used to be that the creation of a “parallel economic universe” would help to train the jobless and prepare them for real employment sometime in the future, these “occupations” are now serving simply as way for the out-of-work to suspend reality for eight hours a day. Here’s The Times again:

These companies are all part of an elaborate training network that effectively operates as a parallel economic universe. For years, the aim was to train students and unemployed workers looking to make a transition to different industries. Now they are being used to combat the alarming rise in long-term unemployment, one of the most pressing problems to emerge from Europe’s long economic crisis.

 

Ms. de Buyzer did not care that Candelia was a phantom operation. She lost her job as a secretary two years ago and has been unable to find steady work. Since January, though, she had woken up early every weekday, put on makeup and gotten ready to go the office. By 9 a.m. she arrives at the small office in a low-income neighborhood of Lille, where joblessness is among the highest in the country.

 

While she doesn’t earn a paycheck, Ms. de Buyzer, 41, welcomes the regular routine. She hopes Candelia will lead to a real job, after countless searches and interviews that have gone nowhere.

 

“It’s been very difficult to find a job,” said Ms. de Buyzer, who like most of the trainees has been collecting unemployment benefits. “When you look for a long time and don’t find anything, it’s so hard. You can get depressed,” she said. “You question your abilities. After a while, you no longer see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

This comes as Europe’s long-term employment problem deepens and triggers what we have described as a sell-fulfilling prophecy wherein unemployment leads to lower aggregate wages which in turn spells lower consumer spending, crippling the economy and discouraging companies from hiring:

Yet long-term unemployment — the kind that Ms. de Buyzer and nearly 10 million others in the eurozone are experiencing — has become a defining reality.

 

Last year, a staggering 52.6 percent of unemployed people in the eurozone were without work for a year or more, the highest on record, according to Eurostat, and many of those have been jobless more than two years.

 

“If you have a significant part of the population that’s not integrated, they won’t increase their spending, which dampens a possible recovery,” said Paul de Grauwe, a professor of European political economy at the London School of Economics. When a large number of people go jobless for long stretches, “you also subdue optimism, which will weigh on an economic turnaround”…

 

“It’s worrisome because we’re talking about many people who have been out of work for a very long time,” said Stefano Scarpetta, the director of employment, labor and social affairs at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “Their skills can become obsolete. They get stigmatized. They risk being disconnected from the workplace and society, with negative implications for them, their families and the economy.”

Of course, in today’s global economy, it’s difficult to propser even if you’re a make-believe company which is why it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that “Animal Kingdom”, a fake pet store, is on the verge of fake bankruptcy:

She looked at a stack of invoices, including some orders from virtual companies that had not been paid. “If this keeps up we’ll go out of business,”Mrs. Banuelos said, handing the papers to two women with instructions to follow up. “What’s our strategy to improve profitability?” she asked the group.

But never fear Potemkin companies, because you are not alone. There are other entities out there who are going bankrupt on paper while making things up as they go along in a “parallel” universe — those entities are called “central banks.”

Comment:

They would be better of giving everybody a basic wage!

WHO IS PROTECTING WHO?

By Liam Deegan on Facebook

Now that the Denis O’Brien’s murky dealings with the IBRC are in the spotlight, it has come to threat time. O’Brien is pulling out all of the stops to ensure that no one other than the people protecting him (KPMG, Dukes and of course the government) are equally protected. What O’Brien is trying to do is to not only destroy the last vestiges of democracy and free speech but his threats against Catherine Murphy is not leaned against her personally but it is a threat against us all.

O’Brien signed away the right to have a say in anything that goes on in this country when he refused to pay his share of taxes and became a tax exile in order to avoid paying a red cent to the system that made him his billions and furthermore he signed away the right to be protected under the constitution when he made a very overt threat to the very constitution that he seeks to overturn.

This government has waited hand and foot on O’Brien and protected him at every turn hence no recall of the Dail to what is arguably the biggest threat to our constitution since the inception of the state.

So what is the next move for O’Brien? He has no recourse in the courts here as Catherine Murphy is covered by Dail privilege and no injunction can overturn that fact regardless of the threats and blustering coming from O’Brien. However he does have recourse to one area that he will be backed to the hilt (by the government) which is an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. O’Brien will claim that his human rights as a citizen have been breached and it is likely that he may win that case as the ECHR is planted with politically appointed judges and then it’s game over for democracy in Ireland.

Not only does O’Brien have a lot to lose if it doesn’t go his way but certain members of government also have a lot to lose because they are deeply embroiled in quagmire that was Anglo Irish Bank and subsequently the IBRC and that is why O’Brien cannot afford to lose this battle. The government’s job is to ensure that his “human rights” will be protected to the fullest extent and that your democratic and constitutional rights will be stamped into the ground.

Just ask any anti water meter protesters who were arrested and dragged into the back of a Garda van how democratic that action by the state was !

Democracy in Ireland is at T junction in which the O’Brien juggernaut is coming from one direction and the government’s juggernaut is coming from the other direction leaving democracy with little choice but sit there in fear for its future existence.

This scenario was foretold by people with vision who were laughed at and called conspiracy theorists, clowns and fools and now it is coming to pass and the laughing is about to stop when the result of this hits their freedom and rights only to find that none exist save what the state allows you to have.

This is more than Denis O’Brien’s rights to use and abuse a system that he refuses to pay for… This is game over for Ireland if he gets his way !

source:https://www.facebook.com/liam.deegan2

 

Activists mark 5 years since Israeli flotilla attack

(MaanImages)

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Activists in Gaza City on Sunday marked five years since Israel’s deadly attack on the first Freedom Flotilla in 2010, a day after the ship leading Freedom Flotilla III arrived in the port of Bueu in Spain en route to Gaza.Israeli naval forces killed nine activists On May 31, 2010 after they stormed six ships intending to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.The incident took place in international waters and sparked international outcry.Sunday’s commemoration ceremony was organized by Miles of Smiles, an international Gaza aid campaign, and was attended by dozens of activists.The participants held up photos of the victims of the first flotilla and chanted slogans demanding freedom for Gaza and Palestine.They then sailed a short distance off the coast and threw roses into the water in honor of the victims, also raising the flags of the countries participating in the current flotilla.In a press conference in Gaza port, a spokesperson for Miles of Smiles, Ali al-Nazli, said the commemoration was part of ongoing efforts to end the blockade of Gaza.”We are here to say to Marmara martyrs,” he said, referring to the Turkish ship aboard which the activists were killed, “we won’t forget you…and history won’t forget you.”He also applauded the president of Miles of Smiles, Issam Yousuf, “who has been touring the capitals of the world to recruit support for Gaza and Palestine.”A trawler leading the third Freedom Flotilla arrived in Spain on Saturday after setting sail from Sweden earlier this month.The ship, called the Marianne, will join other ships heading to Gaza in “a peaceful, nonviolent action to break the illegal and inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip,” according to the Freedom Flotilla Coalition.The Marianne is carrying a limited cargo of solar cell panels and medical equipment for the devastated Gaza Strip.It will carry a crew of five people as well as “up to eight delegates as passengers in each section of the route,” the FFC said, with these delegates to be announced along the way.European MEP Ana Maria Miranda Paz will be one of the passengers when the boat leaves Bueu for Portugal, with a range of other public figures expected to participate in the flotilla, including former Tunisian President and human rights activist Muncef al-Marzouk.Gaza has been under a crippling Israeli-administered military blockade since 2007.

source: http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765697

Big banks run everything: Austerity, the IMF and the real story about world economy that the media won’t tell you

By: 

Fascinating to watch the International Monetary Fund as it fronts for the U.S. Treasury and international lenders in the Greek and Ukrainian debt crises. In the former, the fund pins the Syriza government to the wall because it dares to represent its electorate. In the latter, it stands by the Poroshenko government because it has no intention of representing anybody other than banks, corporations and the global strategy set.

 “Fascinating” is one word for this and it holds. “Greed in action” is three but they do a better job.

Coincidentally enough, both the Greek and Ukrainian cases now near their respective denouements. Miss this and you miss a singularly plain display of power, the way it works and what it works for in the early 21st century.

Athens has debt payments of €1.6 billion ($1.76 billion) due in June and must make them if it is to receive a further tranche of European and I.M.F. funding. This is essential if Greece is to recover—not from the 2008 financial crash and its economic fallout, which was long ago absorbed, but from the recovery program the fund and the European Union imposed in 2012. That is textbook neoliberalism, naturally, and the results are before us. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras calls it “a humanitarian crisis,” and I have heard no one dare counter him on the point.

The Kiev government owes international bondholders $35 billion, and $23 billion of it is also due in June. Slightly different situation here: Ukraine, too, needs to shake loose I.M.F. and European funds to revive an economy even worse than Greece’s, but this is not about ameliorating any kind of social crisis. It is about inducing one, in effect, so the neoliberalization process can be completed and working people in Ukraine are made properly, structurally desperate.

It is highly unlikely you will read about these two crises in the same news report—this would be asking too much of media committed to conveying disembodied data without context so that readers and viewers cannot understand what they are (not) being told. Let us, then, treat Greece and Ukraine together. It is where the fascination comes in.

The Greek case. The story starts with the first bailout, in 2010, a €110 billion deal, and the second, two years later, worth €130 billion more. The Socialists negotiated the first bailout and it cost them power within a year. The second was agreed by New Democracy, the rightist party founded in 1974, shortly after the dictatorship of the colonels collapsed.

The New Democrats accepted the extensive austerity measures the I.M.F. and its European co-lenders insisted upon. These included budget targets requiring severe cuts in public service wages, pensions, nationalized health care provisions and all else Europe’s social democracies built over a long period of time. Labor law was to be eviscerated along with (and not coincidentally) regulations governing foreign investment. Privatizations of public-sector enterprises—rails, ports, airlines and airports, the profitable and potentially profitable first—were essential stipulations.

Under Carlos Menem—remember that clownish greedhead?—Argentinians took to call this brand of economic ideology “savage capitalism,” and the phrase has ever since proved its usefulness. Same thing in post-2012 Greece, the bailout years that matter most.

We have read of the consequences often enough: a 25 percent drop in GDP, wage cuts of equal size, unemployment hovering above 25 percent, people losing their homes and finding supper in dumpsters, shuttered schools, malnourished children, on and on. Among the technocrats in Brussels and at the I.M.F. and the bankers in Frankfurt and London, this is recovery. The macroeconomic targets are being approached if not met.

By tradition the I.M.F. tends to shape country programs with two features. It lends to stricken countries and conditions payments on multiple austerity measures. In effect, it writes checks to indebted governments, which then write checks to lenders. Bailouts are structured to rescue banks, not any given citizenry. The No. 1 casualty, apart from all those who suffer the effects of the fund’s conditionality, is the democratic process, since bankers and the fund assume, effectively via blackmail, the authority to dictate social policy.

full article at source: http://www.salon.com/2015/05/28/big_banks_run_everything_austerity_the_imf_and_the_real_story_about_world_economy_that_the_media_wont_tell_you/

Denis O’Brien is no stranger to allegations of corruption

Bill Clinton and Denis O'Brien in Haiti. (AP)

Bill Clinton and Denis O’Brien in Haiti. (AP)

Irish billionaire and Bill Clinton crony Denis O’Brien is under fire in his home country (although he technically resides in Malta for tax purposes) over an alleged sweetheart loan deal with the publicly-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

The controversy erupted after Catherine Murphy, an independent members of the Irish parliament, discussed some details of the loan arrangement, which involved a “verbal agreement” with former IBRC chief executive Mike Aynsley and an unusually low interest rate, in a speech to members on May 6.

Two weeks later, Ireland’s state-owned broadcaster, RTÉ, was preparing to publish a story outlining the terms of O’Briens loan agreement in greater detail, but were prevented from doing so after O’Brien won a court injunction, citing the need to protect confidential financial information.

For this reason, few Irish media outlets reported on remarks Murphy made on Friday in another speech to Parliament, outlining the loan agreement in more detail. Because IBRC is owned by the state, Murphy argued, the terms of the loan were a matter of public interest. O’Brien was reportedly paying an extraordinarily low rate of 1.25 percent, well short of the standard commercial lending rate of 7.5 percent.

A story posted on the RTÉ website Friday contained the following disclaimer: “RTÉ is legally restricted from reporting what [Murphy] said, because to do so would breach the injunction already granted against it.” O’Brien’s lawyers, meanwhile, have argued that the injunction pertains to all Irish media outlets, some of which happen to be owned by O’Brien (and have yet to cover the story).

In recent years, O’Brien has developed a close personal friendship—and profitable business relationship—with former President Bill Clinton. O’Brien has organized a number of speaking gigs for the former president, including a September 2010 event in Dublin after which O’Brien donated as much as $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. Several week later, Clinton received $225,000 for speech hosted by O’Brien’s telecom conglomerate, the Digital Group.

This was around the same time that Digicel was applying for lucrative State Department grants to provide mobile payment services in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Digicel would ultimately be awarded millions in U.S. taxpayer funds for its work in Haiti, which would help Digicel capture nearly 80 percent of the Haitian mobile phone market, making it the company’s most profitable network.

Most recently, O’Brien partnered with Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation to build a luxury Marriott hotel in Port-au-Prince. Reports suggest that workers involved in the hotel’s construction were paid significantly less than advertised. Just something to keep in mind whenever the Clintons’ defend their foundation by citing the “good work” they do in places like Haiti.

O’Brien is no stranger to allegations of corruption. In 2011, following a 14-year investigation into political corruption, an Irish judge accused O’Brien and former a communications minister of colluding in the mid-1990s to help O’Brien secure lucrative mobile phone contracts that would help him launch his communications empire.

The investigation found evidence that the communications minister, Michael Lowry, had provided O’Brien with privileged information, and had engaged in “irregular interactions with interested parties at [the] most sensitive stages” of the government’s deliberation. O’Brien, who was found to have funneled at least $170,000 to Lowry via “clandestine” transactions, denied any wronging and was never charged with a crime.

With friends like these…

source:http://freebeacon.com/blog/bill-clintons-irish-billionaire-buddy-under-fire-for-sweetheart-loan-deal/

Herded up like cattle and led away onto Indonesian army trucks to be tortured and then murdered

Free West Papua Campaign's photo.

Herded up like cattle and led away onto Indonesian army trucks to be tortured and then murdered.

This is the reality of life in occupied West Papua. A land where over 500,000 people have been murdered by the Indonesian army, and thousands more have ‘disappeared’, been raped, tortured and imprisoned.

Wake Up World and shout stop this genocide 

Something very strange going on!

Are the Irish public asleep???

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