Space Station Flying by the Moon
NASA – The International Space Station can be seen as a small object in upper left of this image of the moon in the early evening Jan. 4 in the skies over the Houston area flying at an altitude of 390.8 kilometers (242.8 miles). The space station can occasionally be seen in the night sky with the naked eye and a pair of field binoculars. Image credit: NASA/Lauren Harnett
By Noah Barkin – The euro zone crisis seemed to vanish from the headlines for a brief moment as 2011 ticked over into 2012, but it is about to return with a vengeance.
After years of frustration with the French president‘s shoot-from-the-hip style, government officials in Berlin say they are now worried about the end of “Merkozy,” the most important relationship in Europe, in the middle of the crisis.
“In the current market environment there is no room for using a Keynesian-type expansionary fiscal policy to boost demand in countries with low growth – the markets will simply not accept such a strategy,” Deutsche Bank said in a confidential note on the crisis prepared for the German government late last year. more> http://tinyurl.com/6rj64kz
Posted in Banking, Economic development, Economy
Tagged Berlin, Deutsche Bank, European Union, Eurozone, Financial crisis, Fiscal policy, Keynesian economics, Merkozy, President of France
By Heather Stewart – Away from Brussels, one element at least of the neoliberal canon – the idea that capital must be allowed to flow unchecked around the world – is coming under sustained attack.
The theory says that free capital flows allow savings to be directed – by the invisible hand of the financial markets – to wherever they will be most profitably employed. In this way, savers get a better return on their nest egg, while underdeveloped economies receive the financial leg-up they need. And as firms from one country take over those of another, they bring much-needed expertise as well as help new ideas to be adopted rapidly worldwide.
Except that isn’t what’s been happening: instead, for the past decade and more, savings have been pouring uphill from poor countries to rich. more> http://tinyurl.com/8yw5b3s
Posted in Banking, Economy
Tagged Banking reform, Brussels, Business, Capital (economics), Currency, Eurozone, Financial services, International Monetary Fund, Monetary policy, Spain
By T.W. Farnam – Two years after the Supreme Court decided the landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, it is becoming clear that the super PACs created under the new rules will act as a counterweight to a rise in online grass-roots fundraising.
The Citizens United decision created a cascade of lower-court rulings, allowing for the creation of super PACs that can accept huge donations from individuals and corporations. Several of the groups active in this year’s race have already accepted many donations over $1 million from one person.
The advantage is likely to grow as the candidates move to the next round of primaries and caucuses, where they will be competing in bigger states and relying more on television advertising to reach voters. more> http://tinyurl.com/7cpl36q
By Julie Cart – Millions of dollars in renewable energy projects intended to provide power to facilities in California’s national parks and forests are sitting idle because of a years-long squabble with Southern California Edison.
The apparent stumbling block involves contract restrictions imposed by federal law, but utilities elsewhere in California have signed similar agreements with the agencies with few problems or delays.
“It is disappointing to see this big investment sitting idle when we could easily flip the switch and produce benefits,” said park superintendent Woody Smeck. more> http://tinyurl.com/862o64z