Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Its All an 'Inside Job'

by An American in London Mon Nov 29th, 2010 at 09:29:39 AM EST

Highly recommend you all see the documentary, 'Inside Job' by Charles Ferguson. It explains everything we already knew about the financial meltdown in a cohesive manner understood by the general population.

Ireland, EU, US etc are run at the executive levels by criminals who have defrauded us.

It wouldnt surprise me if Greece, Ireland, Portugal next, etc are acting as 'bagmen' for the EU banks. Besides the bailouts these countries very well may need for themselves and to satisfy their current bondholders; they are being asked to take on more debt, most likely never to be paid out, in order for the EU to provide funding to the massively insolvent EU banks without scaring the 'bejeesus' out of everyone and avoiding cataclysmic events for now.These payments to the banks are beyond what the EU banks exposure is to these 'bag' countries.

If you extrapolate what just Ireland is being forced to take, then the US would need a bailout of seven trillion dollars right away and there is no way the congress or the citizens would ever allow that to happen, at least in public.

The only answer is to default and to continue to default in all these countries and force the criminals out and cleanse and come up with a new system. Otherwise its curtains for all these countries and ultimately our freedoms.
Because we are facing a choice between a form of fascism or new thinking like Roosevelt's New Deal. With keeping the old order in charge we are bound for the former choice.

So instead of playing on the 'turf' of the criminals about what the next thing the criminals will do or should do; how about comments on how the new order following the defaults of all these countries, banks etc will look with the emphasis on how social justice should be integrated into any new system. Livable minimum wage, staged in requirements for wages and standard of living increases for countries with export imbalances which destroy the standard of living of the people in the importing countries etc.

Comments >> (8 comments)

Lionel Barber editor of FT- Anglo Capitalism Swine Disease Carrier

by An American in London Tue Apr 28th, 2009 at 12:20:09 PM EST

An example of the problems with our society today is the media, politicians and capitalists all seem to think everything was hunky dory until the implosion of the financial institutions and with a little regulation; capitalism will be just fine. They ignore the social ethos which has to take precedent and has been missing from our society for decades.

If you listen to the interview of Lionel Barber by Charlie Rose at the following link; you will see what appears to be a rational,sophisticated person who is very much in tune with 'today's conventional wisdom' but who doesnt quite grasp the severity of our world and he could easily be seen as insane like many other commentators in the media and in our governments and institutions.

The impression one gets is a tweak here, a tweak there and growth will be the mantra again seeming to forget the previous growth was a mirage which masked the underlying problem of social justice and income inequality.

Link to interview is: http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10252

Comments >> (12 comments)

Jerome Kierval-Societe Generale 'Rogue Trader'

by An American in London Sat Jan 26th, 2008 at 07:09:49 AM EST

Interesting article in the Independent today about the trader, Jerome Kierval.
Headline is: 'He's done nothing wrong': mother springs to the defence of rogue trader

Link is below. What is very interesting and peculiar to me is, to my knowledge, this is the first diary on ET about the trader and he is French!!!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/europe/hes-done-nothing-wrong-mother-springs-to-the-defence-of-rog ue-trader-774280.html

Comments >> (4 comments)

Airport Workers Strike 7 Airports in England Jan 7

by An American in London Sat Dec 29th, 2007 at 07:00:03 AM EST

Airport workers today [editor's note, by Migeru: 2007 December 21] announced a strike against BAA 7 major airports in the UK because the Spanish owned BAA is canceling the final pension scheme plan for new workers but will not effect current employees. Nice to see there are still some principles left worth striking over.

The UK management of BAA is against their Spanish owners pension decision and the union feels the only way to get their Spanish owners to listen is to stage a strike.

It would be constructive for the EU to set enforceable high standards for pension etc., based on the previous company directed pension plans as long as they providing the best possible security for the employees.
It would obliterate the 'takeover for profits only' which has infested Europe and has decimated the European model of social justice, which the US electorate is finally now realizing it needs.  

Link to BBC story.

Diary rescue by Migeru

Comments >> (6 comments)

Dems Back US energy Bill without tax credits for wind or solar

by An American in London Mon Nov 12th, 2007 at 05:39:10 AM EST

Please link to this column by Raymond Learsey and would be interested if anyone has an update on the bill and why it hasnt been more widely reported.

Huffington Post

Comments >> (10 comments)

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush by Joseph Stiglitz

by An American in London Wed Nov 7th, 2007 at 05:51:40 AM EST

In an article in December's Vanity Fair, Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate, writes the next president will have to deal with yet another crippling legacy of George W. Bush: the economy and sees a generation-long struggle to recoup. Should be read in parallel with Jerome's excellent diary, 'Financial Meltdown-More to Come'.

Link: http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/12/bush200712?currentPage=1

Comments >> (19 comments)

Duke of Westminster and Les Puces de Saint Ouen

by An American in London Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 03:26:17 AM EST

Excellent column by Agnes Poirier in The Guardian today about how the Duke of Westminster has bought Les Puces, attempting to raise the rents 35-70 % and eventually wants to build office buildings, shopping centers on the site.
The link is :

Comments >> (4 comments)

Sarkozy reviewed by BHL

by An American in London Sat Jul 21st, 2007 at 05:47:15 AM EST

In Sunday's NY Times, BHL reviews the autobiography of Sarkozy, 'Testimony-France in the Twenty First Century'

The link is : http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/books/review/Levy-t.html

As usual BHL is flummoxed by the dichotomy of Sarkozy.

Comments >> (82 comments)

How the world can save the bank

by An American in London Fri May 18th, 2007 at 08:27:12 AM EST

The following is from a Guardian comment by Paul Bluestein. Paul Blustein is journalist in residence in the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington. A former reporter for the Washington Post, he covered the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other issues related to economic globalization for more than 10 years


The long institutional nightmare is over. That, at least, is the hope at the World Bank, now that Paul Wolfowitz has resigned as the bank's president amid the furor over the hefty pay raise and job transfer received by his woman friend, a bank employee. With any luck, this will end the enormously distracting, increasingly tiresome debate over whether Wolfowitz violated the bank's conflict of interest rules when he arranged the terms of his companion's job package - as his critics contended - or whether he had acted in good faith at the behest of the bank's board and fell victim to a smear campaign, as he and his defenders assert.

But the bank's ability to fulfill its mission of alleviating poverty in the developing world has suffered a severe blow amid the deep divisions and acrimony generated by the controversy, and it is imperative for the 185 governments that own the bank to breathe new life into the institution. There would be no better place for them to start than with the system that brought Wolfowitz to the bank in the first place - a longstanding tradition of mutual back-scratching and political horse-trading that gives the world's richest nations the power to choose the leaders and, often, the deputy chiefs of the bank and its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund.

Comments >> (2 comments)

To understand political violence, we must first recognise its potency

by An American in London Mon May 14th, 2007 at 07:49:27 AM EST

Excellent column in Today's Guardian by Garry Younge on the contradiction of Northern Ireland and Iraq where in order to bask in the success of Northern Ireland, both Britain and America had to forget their justifications for the war on terror of the past five years. Also highly recommend viewing of the newly released , 'The Battle of Algiers'. It is playing in theatres in London with new prints and will be re-released for DVD shortly. Just as important now as when made 40 years ago. On my list of top ten films to see. Link for Guardioan column is: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2078849,00.html The professed goals of terrorists may well be legitimate, but acting in isolation does nothing to advance their cause

Gary Younge
Monday May 14, 2007
The Guardian

Last Tuesday in Philadelphia the FBI exposed an alleged terror cell of young Muslims planning to attack a military base in New Jersey. The authorities say the six men, aged between 22 and 28, hoped to kill as many soldiers as they could with assault rifles and grenades.

Once again, those who believe a potential terrorist should be easily identifiable were disappointed. Like school shooters, the men fit the profile of dangerous people who are impossible to profile. They are not drawn from the underclass, nor did they lead segregated lives. They delivered pizzas, worked in stores and ran their own roofing business. The neighbours suspected nothing; their families are in shock.

They were amateurs, apparently egged on by the FBI informer among them. At some stages they blew hard about jihad. At others they worried about being caught. But they were determined. "As far as people, we have enough," another claimed. "Seven people and we are all crazy ... We can do a lot of damage with seven people."

Comments >> (11 comments)

You can't stop a tidal wave with a fork

by An American in London Sun May 13th, 2007 at 11:46:07 AM EST

An illuminating story on how one American business went broke due to global outsourcing at such a frenetic pace as to not allow any planned redundancy.

This example of American business is what France has to look forward to if Sarkozy adopts the policies of the 'elites' who supported his campaign to be President.

Read more... (7 comments, 288 words in story)

Blair and Labour-A Tragedy of Lost Opportunity

by An American in London Thu May 10th, 2007 at 01:29:56 PM EST

Blair like all politicians is a sociopath. The difference with Blair is he is extremely religious which makes him a dangerous politician. He is also one of the greatest communicators of the modern age.
The only question regarding Iraq is whether Blair actually believed his own rhetoric or was aware he was a mouthpiece for multinational oil and the military industrial complex.

The Faustian bargain Blair made prior to his first election was to make the Bank of England 'independent'. Meaning the same bank governors who had been protecting the interests of the top 5% of the UK population would continue since had Blair not made the bank independent; it would have meant Blair and Labour could have appointed the majority of governors and would then have had the ability to influence monetary policy for the benefit of the vast majority of voters who ended up electing Blair and Labour.

Murdoch through his papers, The Sun and The Times showed their appreciation for Blair's decision to make the Bank of England independent by endorsing Blair and Labour. The reason the 'elites' needed to make the deal with Blair was because they knew they could do business with him. He wasnt a real Labour person, having been raised in a Tory conservative household. The elites who run the UK also knew if they didn't make the deal; it was likely Blair and Labour would have a substantial majority after the 97 election and could do what they wanted to. Blair and Labour,having been out of power for 15 years, were desperate enough to make the deal, giving up what would have been a revolution because of Blair's 160 vote majority in the House of Commons. A real tragedy since although additional financing was provided for the NHS and Education; it isn't nearly enough to rectify the starvation of public services under Thatcher so today the NHS still has 50% less financing per capita than the Scandinavian countries healthcare systems which Blair and Labour are so envious of.

By making the Bank of England independent; it meant Blair and Labour couldn't finance the majority of the desperately needed funds for the NHS and Education through Bank of England bonds or debt but Blair, Gordon Brown,Labour and the City came up with private financing initiatives(PFI) to finance part of the desperately needed money for the NHS and Education. Unfortunately private financing wasted at least 30-40% of the financing on consultants, fees and the necessary profit margins for the private financing initiatives.

The major question is whether Blair believed in the mantra of private/public partnerships and drank the 'kool aid' or did know he was making a Faustian bargain to be elected and realized getting the financing through PFI was better than getting no financing at all.  

Blair and Labour's government will go down in history as a real tragedy because of the potential opportunites not realized due to the compromises which were not necessary to get back into the majority and government. The partially financed NHS and state education aren't enough to negate the continuing criticism of those services and very possibly will allow the Tories to win the next election. The Private Financing Initiatives will continue under Brown but will hardly be effective enough to eliminate the shortfall from the Thatcher years. What the commentators and MP's never state is not only does the financing have to be enough to increase the current per capita spend to the same levels as the Scandinavian countries with good outcomes but the financing has tobe enough to make up for years and years of the shortfall under Thatcher in both the services and infrastructure of the public services. Why the French, both Sarkozy and Royal, would be envious of either the UK or Tony Blair is beyond reason.

Comments >> (15 comments)

Annual Compass Progressive Conference in London June 9

by An American in London Wed May 9th, 2007 at 11:23:13 AM EST

For anyone interested, Compass, a progress Labour group is holding their annual conference in London, June 9. The following provides information and links:

 On Saturday 9 June 2007 at Central Hall Westminster, Compass in association with UNISON, The Guardian and New Statesman will stage the first big gathering of progressives post the 2007 elections, immediately after the G8 sunmmit and the midst of Labour's leadership elections.
- New speakers have been announced and the online agenda is fully updated at www.compassonline.org.uk/conference.

shaping our global world

With only 4 weeks left to book your place it's time to register for the big event of the summer...

The event where all the big debates take place, with major speakers including: Ken Livingstone; Dave Prentis; Jon Cruddas; Frances O'Grady; Jon Trickett; Neal Lawson; Helena Kennedy; Peter Hain; Emily Thornberry; Keith Sonnet; Murad Qureshi; Claire Fox; Miranda Grell; Paul Mason; Helen Goodman; Pam Giddy; Hilary Wainwright; David Aaronovitch; Sukhvinder Stubbs; Mark Seddon; Tony Benn; John McDonnell; Nick Pearce; Tony Breslin; Kate Hudson; Catherine Fieschi; Angela Eagle; Gemma Tumelty; Sue Palmer; Sami Ramadani; Antonio Mirando who'll be joined by a broad and inclusive range of ministers, MPs, trade unionists, commentators and leading figures from across the democratic left and the wider progressive community.

* Further big named speakers to be announced in due course

With all the major pressure groups; think tanks and publications addressing the big issues of the day including...

Democratising power in the global age; shaping our public services; well-being; global migration; britishness; employment in the global economy; the environment and climate change; beating global poverty; citizenship; human rights and the war on terror; equality; women and global poverty; education in a global age; nuclear disarmament; local identity; commercialisation of childhood; Europe; corporate responsibility; marketisation; migrant remittances and many more.

Help shape the political weather, at the UK's biggest gathering of progressives this summer...

At this year's Compass conference we want you to answer the question: what shape should our world take and what are the tools we need to form it in line with our values of equality, liberty, solidarity and democracy. This is the ideal moment to come and debate a post-blair politics within an international and global context and help shape the political agenda.

Come and get inspired, debate and influence the future at the Compass National Conference this June...

With a 2000+ capacity venue at Central Hall Westminster making this the biggest annual gathering of progressives after the2007 elections, after the G8 summit and in the midst of Labour's leadership elections.

Don't forget to book your place @ www.compassonline.org.uk/conference

Or look out for the booking form in both Tribune and the New Statesman this week!

**Book early to guarantee your place*


Gavin Hayes
General Secretary
Compass - direction for the democratic left
Southbank House
Black Prince Road
t: +44 (0)20 7463 0633
e: info@compassonline.org.uk    
w: www.compassonline.org.uk

"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi

Comments >> (6 comments)

How will Sarko make France Attractive to Private Equity

by An American in London Mon May 7th, 2007 at 09:45:09 AM EST

What laws and regulations will have to be changed by Sarko & Co in order for France to be more attractive to private equity?

What sectors dominated by public companies will be reformed in order to allow the public cos. to be either public/private partnerships or taken over by private interests?

What areas of the French economy will benefit the most from private investment?

Comments >> (5 comments)

Sego-Sarko Debate Opinions

by An American in London Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 08:10:43 AM EST

From the diaries (with title edit), an opinion of a community member - what are yours? ~ whataboutbob

I saw the debate last night and came away from it with different opinions of each candidate.

Read more... (151 comments, 348 words in story)

Tonight's Debate

by An American in London Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 03:17:33 AM EST

Does anyone know if British Television or any other broadcaster is covering the Royal/Sarkozy debate live with English translation? Thank you for your help.

Comments >> (9 comments)

Breaking news-Will it Affect The Election

by An American in London Fri Apr 27th, 2007 at 08:02:33 AM EST

Today; Reuters reported a 'dustup' between Sarkozy and Bayrou.What will it mean to Royal's campaign for the Bayrou's voters and if the story gains traction; will it remind the French electorate of the 'despot like' traits of Sarkozy?

France's Sarkozy in Furor Over Axed TV Debate

PARIS (Reuters) - France's rightwing presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy was embroiled in a free speech row on Friday after a defeated candidate accused him of stifling a televised election debate.

Francois Bayrou said Sarkozy had subverted basic democratic freedoms of free speech by using his media and business contacts to pull the plug on Saturday's scheduled debate on Canal+ television between him and Socialist challenger Segolene Royal.

Sarkozy's campaign director Claude Gueant said the accusations were a baseless slander and denounced what he said were ``Stalinist tactics'' by the centrist Bayrou.

Comments >> (23 comments)

How Can Royal Win

by An American in London Tue Apr 24th, 2007 at 08:58:29 AM EST

Please comment on what would have to happen in order for Royal to win. I believe she would have to come across as competent and wise in the debate. She will have to allign Sarko with the neocons and extremists of the Bush administration which shouldn't be hard to do since Sarko has always looked for photo opps with them whenever he has visited or spoken about Washington. Why hasn't Royal painted Sarko as an extremist pig whose best friends are Bush & Co and both elements will threaten everything the French people feel good about regardless of Sarko's slippery charm and command.

How will the other candidates voters vote in the runoff? Will LePen voters stay home or is it possible they would like to vote for Royal as a vote for Sarko would be committing political suicide and at least a vote for Royal allows them to be the 'opposition' and with LePen's daughter running against the first woman President therefore giving her more credibility as a female candidate?

Will Bayrou's voters be afraid of Sarko and vote overwhelmingly with Royal? Does any endorsement or tacit endorsement by Bayrou have any influence on his voters? After all they are an independent group having voted in the first place for Bayrou and certainly won't be followers.

Your comments and analysis are greatly appreciated.

Comments >> (45 comments)

News and Views

 July 2024

by Oui - Jun 30, 154 comments

Your take on today's news media

 June 2024

by Oui - Jun 1, 192 comments

Your take on today's news media

Occasional Series
Click for full list