The financial turmoil of 2007-?: a preliminary assessment and some policy considerations
(pdf) "All episodes of financial distress of a systemic nature, with potentially significant implications for the real economy, arguably have at their root an overextension in risk-taking and in balance sheets in good times, masked by the veneer of a vibrant economy. This overextension generates financial vulnerabilities that are clearly revealed only once the economic environment becomes less benign, in turn contributing to its further deterioration."
A scholarly, sane, relatively brief, accessible-to-the-layperson, and mostly apolitical look at the current turmoil.
posted by Kwantsar
on Apr 23, 2008 -
A very special 'This American Life
' about an administration with the endemic belief that laws only apply to the little people, and a limitless refusal to concede on even petty issues, no matter the costs. The highlight is about immigrant widows of US citizens (30:50). The program also discusses the constitutional beliefs of the presidential candidates. [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94
on Apr 2, 2008 -
The Upside of the Downside
"I never imagined I’d find myself in the curious position of having so much more than my parents ever had, of having more, frankly, than I ever thought I would have—and yet simultaneously feeling like I’m falling behind, that I need to earn more, save more, invest more, acquire more. When did I begin to feel this anxiety of acquisition? How did I become such a jackass?"
posted by ThePinkSuperhero
on Feb 5, 2008 -
The Top Ten Things Environmentalists Need to Learn
Unfortunately, many of those who claim to be working for environmental improvements lack an understanding of a few basic concepts which are absolutely critical to accomplishing anything. The idea that it is nessisary or honorable to make sacrifices to save this planet are overly simplistic and lack a true understanding of the forces at work. To use a phrase I have come to like, they are “Not even wrong.”
posted by DV8 2XL
on Feb 2, 2008 -
- a network of online data libraries on topics including census data, economic data, health data, income and unemployment data, population data, labor data, cancer data, crime and transportation data, family dynamics, vital statistics data
posted by Gyan
on Dec 26, 2007 -
Cuba: The Accidental Revolution
. Hasta la revolucion ? Maybe, but some revolution is dictated more by need than by politics. In this
, we are shown how Cuba is converting from oil-subsidized agricolture to organic agricolture with remarkable results. The presence of a police state isn't conveniently forgotten, as much as the facts that public education, public healthcare and limited, regulated free enterprise markets are helping Cubans in the transition from the illusion of freedom in a subsidized economy to a far less comfortable and rich, but more sustainable and independant economy.
posted by elpapacito
on Oct 26, 2007 -
"The model of economic development that we are currently pursuing is unsustainable. Our energy consumption per unit of GDP is seven times that of Japan, six times that of America, and even 2.8 times that of India. China’s labour productivity is less than 10 per cent of the world total, and yet our emissions are over 10 times higher than the global average.
" ~ Pan Yue - deputy director of China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). Part of a new generation of outspoken Chinese senior officials, Pan has given rise to a tide of environmental debate, attracting enormous attention and controversy.
Read his articles here : -
China: economic powerhouse, environmentally unsustainable
- part one
and part two
posted by infini
on Jul 29, 2007 -
A Concrete Solution to Pollution
With concerns over global warming and pollution control reaching an all-time high, an Italian company has developed an interesting solution. It is called TX Active: a concrete that literally breaks down pollutants in the air. The effects are significant: 'In large cities with persistent pollution problems caused by car emissions, smoke from heating systems, and industrial activities, both the company and outside experts estimate that covering 15% of all visible urban surfaces (painting the walls, repaving the roads) with products containing TX Active could abate pollution by up to 50%.' Even more significant is that the cost is only 30% over that of normal concrete. Remarkable.
posted by PreacherTom
on Nov 10, 2006 -
Prudhoe Bay oil production shut down.
A large percentage of the largest major oil field in the US will be shut down, possibly for months, on news that the transfer pipelines which move the oil to the main Trans-Alaska Pipeline are badly corroded. [more inside...]
posted by zoogleplex
on Aug 7, 2006 -
Is the U.S. Bankrupt?
[332Kb PDF] Laurence Kotlikoff, writing in this month's Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review
, says "yes" - to the tune of $66 trillion! [more inside]
posted by ikkyu2
on Jul 16, 2006 -
"Real unemployment right now -- figured the way that the average person thinks of unemployment, meaning figured the way it was estimated back during the Great Depression -- is running about 12%. Real CPI right now is running at about 8%. And the real GDP probably is in contraction." Bill Fleckenstein, writing at MSN Money, provides a summary
of an interview with economist John Williams on government number crunching. The full interview, with Kate Welling can be found here (PDF link)
. More from John Williams at Shadow Stats
posted by Zinger
on Mar 8, 2006 -
Corporate Interest Plot to Overthrow US Government.
Approximately 72-years ago
, the predecessor to the House Un-American Affairs Committee
, known as the McCormack-Dickstein Committee
, investigated claims made by Marine Corps General Smedley Butler
that a vast right-wing conspiracy funded by the American Liberty League
) (funded by US Steel, Goodyear, DuPont, Morgan-Stanley, Chase-Manhattan, Remington Arms, and others) with backing from some of America's wealthiest citizens
(such as Al Smith and Irene DuPont) and various Wall Street interests (1930s American Business seemed to be pro-fascism
as a hedge against communists and socialists to protect their own wealth in the face of the Great Depression). Their goal was to overthrow Franklin Delano Roosevelt and install a military dictatorship in order to stop FDR's New Deal and its "redistribution of wealth" and to enact fascist policies to protect the economy and their investments. [more inside]
posted by rzklkng
on Jan 18, 2006 -
Collapse of civilization: Not necessarily a bad thing
Many will no doubt find the foregoing discussion of collapse depressing or pessimistic. In “How Civilizations Fall: A Theory of Catabolic Collapse”, John Michael Greer hints at why this is, writing, “Even within the social sciences, the process by which complex societies give way to smaller and simpler ones has often been presented in language drawn from literary tragedy, as though the loss of sociocultural complexity necessarily warranted a negative value judgment. This is understandable, since the collapse of civilizations often involves catastrophic human mortality and the loss of priceless cultural treasures, but like any value judgment it can obscure important features of the matter at hand.” Greer goes on to characterize collapse in terms of ecological succession.
…Collapse happens precisely because it improves our lives—and it happens when the alternative is no longer tolerable.
posted by halekon
on Dec 27, 2005 -
Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government
We have a larger govt now (people working for the govt) than we have ever had. We have now the Patriot Act, overseeing much of our activities. We have intelligence agencies doing lord knows what domestically, and security checks etc. Now we learn that Big govt is back? Where had it been before the storm?
posted by Postroad
on Sep 15, 2005 -