Archive for the month “Σεπτεμβρίου, 2012”

Europe’s Austerity Madness

In a column for the New York Times, Paul Krugman called Europe’s Austerity Madness. He argues: Much commentary suggests that the citizens of Spain and Greece are just delaying the inevitable, protesting against sacrifices that must, in fact, be made. But the truth is that the protesters are right. More austerity serves no useful purpose; the truly irrational players here are the allegedly serious politicians and officials demanding ever more pain.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/art/977836/28?sub=Columnist

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Austerity not the best way out

The Guardian has a fascinating analysis by Trevor Greetham, director of Asset Allocation at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, who remains convinced that fiscal austerity is the wrong path to solve Europe’s debt problems.
Comparing Spain to the UK and US, Greetham makes the case that the US has been the clear winner so far with its anti-austerity, loose money path – a path only open to Spain if stronger euro nations are willing to make substantial commitments to preserve the euro.
He says, «I’ve always opposed austerity as the solution to the global debt crisis and the strictures of the common currency make it particularly ill-suited to the euro periphery. Efforts to deflate Spain into competitiveness raise the prospect of many years of wage cuts and property price falls that will necessitate ever larger fiscal transfers from the stronger countries, either directly or via pan-euro institutions like the central bank.Five years into the worst financial crisis in generations we are starting to see how effective various policies have been. Spain, the UK and the US offer three interesting test cases, each dealing with the after effects of a real estate bust in different ways:·
Spain = austerity with tight money (austerity, no devaluation, no quantitative easing, market interest rates too high)
UK = austerity but with loose money (austerity, currency devaluation, quantitative easing)
US = no austerity with loose money (no austerity, stable currency, quantitative easing)
Activity in both the UK and Spain remains well below its pre-crisis level – suggesting the benefits of the UK printing its own currency may not be as great as might be supposed. It appears to be the lack of austerity in the US that is the distinguishing aspect of a successful policy mix.
«In my view the least painful approach to reducing the burden of private sector debt is a period of higher than usual inflation – one underpinned by rising wage levels rather than tax and energy price increases. An effective quantitative monetary policy plays a key role in raising inflation expectations. Back-end loaded fiscal reforms to reduce state spending are important but they can come into place once a sustainable recovery in growth is under way. The so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ is the first serious test of the US desire to maintain what I see as a winning policy. Most likely the political parties will see sense and spread tax rises and spending cuts over a period of years.
«As for Spain, a future in the euro will rely on the willingness for partners to finance budget deficits that should be allowed to remain in place for a period of years and the willingness for core countries to accept higher levels of inflation so Spain can regain competitiveness without nominal wage and price cuts that endanger its ability to repay its debts.»

When it comes to followers it’s quality not quantity says co-founder of Twitter – News – Gadgets & Tech – The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/when-it-comes-to-followers-its-quality-not-quantity-says-cofounder-of-twitter-8180699.html

«Western glasses for the Islamic world»

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-BBC

Al-Watan, a secular Egyptian newspaper, published 13 cartoons on Monday under the slogan «Fight cartoons with cartoons». One shows a pair of glasses through which the burning World Trade Center is seen, with the caption: «Western glasses for the Islamic world».
The paper launched the campaign as an answer to the obscene cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

Prince Baffles With Lackluster Set in Chicago «You go to see Prince to hear him sing Purple Rain, not hear the drunk chicks from Berwyn seated behind you scream it.»

http://m.rollingstone.com/?redirurl=/music/news/prince-baffles-with-lackluster-set-in-chicago-20120925

Be Very Careful, Beloved Spain – Telegraph Blogs

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100020330/be-very-careful-beloved-spain/

The TYO debate: do you agree or disagree with fired coach who wrote racy sex book and claims his  First Amendment rights were violated?

Download the September 23 Ta Yp’ Opsin podcast

The September 23 Ta Yp’ Opsin (Consider These) news roundup podcast (in Greek) available for download:

First Hour:
-Who are Mitt Romney’s 47 percent?

-Charlie Hebdo, a serial offender and proud of it

-Tense exchanges in Greece for the incomplete package of cuts

Plus, in the Second Hour:

-What if Jesus had a wife?

-“Ecce Homo” a moneymaker as “Ecce Mono”        

-A vandal with a spelling problem

-Honoring the ponytail physics

-Absurdist art projects and dental floss lawsuits

Download here:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1KU27prGcwUbV90MVVGbXRlSmM/edit

Ta Yp’Opsin (Consider These) weekly podcast with Greek Chicago journalists Elena Spilioti and George Zorbas. Discussion, analysis and great music!

Ta Yp’ Opsin news roundup podcast

Listen to the news roundup podcast Ta Yp’ Opsin (Consider These) this Sunday, September 23, from 10:00 p.m. to midnight (CST) at http://www.chicagogreekradio.com.
In the First Hour:
-Who are Mitt Romney’s 47 percent?
-Charlie Hebdo, a serial offender and proud of it
-Tense exchanges in Greece for the incomplete package of cuts
-Familiar names at the top

Plus, in the Second Hour:
-What if Jesus had a wife?
-“Ecce Homo” a moneymaker as “Ecce Mono”
-A vandal with a spelling problem
-Honoring the ponytail physics
-Absurdist art projects and dental floss lawsuits

If you miss the radio broadcast, look in these pages on Monday for the link to download the entire podcast for your listening pleasure, at any time.

Ta Yp’Opsin (Consider These) weekly podcast (in Greek) with Greek Chicago journalists Elena Spilioti and George Zorbas. Discussion, analysis and great music

Four is the limit

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A goat drinks a bottle of beer as visitors watch in Laoshan, Shandong province, China September 20, 2012. The goat can drink up to four bottles of beer at a time, local media reported. 
Credit: REUTERS/China Daily

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