Financial crisis? Rich get richer
“The rich grew richer last year, even as the world endured the worst recession in decades.
“A stock market rebound helped the world's ranks of millionaires climb 17 percent to 10 million, while their collective wealth surged 19 percent to $US 39 trillion, nearly recouping losses from the financial crisis, according to the latest Merrill Lynch-Capgemini world wealth report.
“In North America, the ranks of the rich rose 17 percent and their wealth grew 18 percent to $US 10.7 trillion.”
— June 23 Reuters article.
United States: Home foreclosures at record levels
“U.S. home foreclosures reached a record for the second consecutive month in May, with increases in every state, as lenders stepped up property seizures, according to RealtyTrac Inc.
“Bank repossessions climbed 44 percent from May 2009 to 93,777, the Irvine, California-based data company said today in a statement. Foreclosure filings, including default and auction notices, rose about 1 percent to 322,920. One out of every 400 U.S. households received a filing ...
“‘The second quarter won’t be the peak,” said [Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s senior vice president for marketing]. “I’m not even sure 2010 will be.”
“Last month was the first in which every state had an increase in repossessions from a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac.”
— June 10 Bloomberg article.
United States: Support for socialism grows
“According to the conventional wisdom, the US is a center-right country. But a new poll by Pew casts doubt on that idea. It shows widespread skepticism about capitalism and hints that support for socialist alternatives is emerging as a majoritarian force in America’s new generation.
“In the Pew poll, just 43% of Americans under 30 describe ‘capitalism’ as positive. Even more striking, the same percentage, 43%, describes ‘socialism’ as positive. In other words, the new generation is equally divided between capitalism and socialism.”
— May 18 Commondreams.org article
Greece flogs its islands to pay debt
“There’s little that shouts ‘seriously rich’ as much as a little island in the sun to call your own ... Now Greece is making it easier for the rich and famous to fulfil their dreams by preparing to sell, or offering long-term leases on, some of its 6000 sun-kissed islands in a desperate attempt to repay its mountainous debts
“Greece embarked on the desperate act after being pushed into a €110 billion ($156 billion) bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund last month ...
“The Private Islands website also lists Nafsika, in the Ionian sea, which is on the market for €15 million.
“But others are up for grabs for less than €2 million — less than buyers will spend on a town house in London's upmarket Mayfair or Chelsea.”
— June 26 Sydney Morning Herald
United States: Six-year-old on terror list
“The father of a 6-year-old Ohio girl who turned up on the U.S. government's terror watch list says the worst thing his daughter has ever done is probably been mean to her sister.
“But Santhosh Thomas, a doctor from Westlake, Ohio, says he's sure that's not enough to land his 6-year-old Alyssa on the no-fly list of suspected terrorists ...
“An airline ticket agent informed the family of their predicament when they embarked on a recent trip from Cleveland to Minneapolis ...
“The Thomases were allowed to fly that day, but authorities told them to contact the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to clear up the matter. Now they've received a letter from the government addressed to 6-year-old Alyssa, telling her that nothing in her file will be changed.”
— June 26 Aolnews.com article.