economy

Puerto Rico: Billionaire hedge fund managers demand schools close to pay debt

“Billionaire hedge fund managers have called on Puerto Rico to lay off teachers and close schools so that the island can pay them back the billions it owes,” the Guardian said on July 28 on the debt crisis facing the United States' Caribbean colony.

Germany's Deutsche Bank bail out shows kid gloves for corporate thieves

In 1870, six months before a retreating French army was defeated by Prussian troops at Sedan, the Deutsche Bank was established in Berlin.

Although Britain was still the pre-eminent world economic power, the US and Germany were starting to take the giant strides that would soon enough see them leave the former “workshop of the world” in their wake.

France: Amid debates, left gives solidarity to Greece

In the aftermath of the harsh deal for brutal austerity and mass privatisation imposed on Greece in the early hours of July 13, both Berlin and Paris are floating alternative “solutions” to the euro problem.

Germany, on the one hand, wants greater fiscal integration, whereas France is calling for the creation of a eurozone government as well as a dedicated finance minister.

The mainstream press is talking up the divisions between the two nations as fundamentally different perspectives on the euro — or even differences in political “culture”.

Graduates rack up huge debts to go on the dole

When Gough Whitlam’s Labor government abolished university fees in January 1974, student enrolments had already been increasing at double the population growth for two decades.

In 1985, three years before Bob Hawke’s Labor government abolished free tertiary education and brought in the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS), it had decided to develop the full-fee international marketing of education as an export industry.

Britain: Jeremy Corbyn campaign gives voice to austerity anger

British politics is being shaken up by the shock rise of veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn to take the lead in the British Labour Party leadership contest, running on a platform against austerity and for pro-people measures such as renationalising privatised industries.

The ballot for Labour leader closes in September. The leader is elected by party members and by a new category called Labour “supporters”, which anyone can become by paying the three pounds online.

Greece: IMF refuses to sign off on bail out deal amid SYRIZA divisions

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has decided not to sign off on the European Union's bailout deal with Greece, saying it does not specifically address tackling Greece's debt, TeleSUR English said on July 30.

In a meeting on July 29, the IMF board members said they “cannot reach staff level agreement at this stage” over whether to support Greece's bailout package, according to the Financial Times who received the confidential meeting minutes.

Australian inequality skewered, but few solutions found in Labor

Battlers & Billionaires: The Story of Inequality in Australia
Andrew Leigh
Black Inc. Books, 2013
210 pages, $19.99 (pb)

In Australia, notes economist and Labor MP Andrew Leigh, the poorest 20% of the population own just 1% of total household wealth. The top 20%, however, hog a fat 62%.

Spanish state: Catalonia hurtles towards showdown

If a Catalan Rip Van Winkle were to wake up today after a sleep of only six years, his disorientation with Catalonia would be as great as that of the original Rip Van Winkle after he dozed right through the American War of Independence.

“Am I hallucinating?” he might ask, struggling to find the right answer to questions like:

Greece: New measures pass, SYRIZA youth oppose deal

The Greek parliament passed a second bill on July 23 including measures needed for Greece to open negotiations over the eurozone's bailout package of 86 billion euros, TeleSUR English said that day.

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