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

A Little Memorial...

by rifek Sat Mar 5th, 2022 at 07:51:26 PM EST

...courtesy Hozier and RTÉ One.

The Parting Glass

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Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

by rifek Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 05:20:33 AM EST

As I commented elsewhere, Labour will fracture because it just can't help itself.  And here we go.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

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Reading US Tea Leaves

by rifek Thu Jul 16th, 2015 at 04:02:19 PM EST

As has been apparent in the Greek fiasco, figuring out what the US government is going to do can be like sorting out the Gordian Knot.  I'm not going to offer solutions to this problem, because there aren't any, but I have found these guidelines helpful

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Reality According to the OBR

by rifek Mon Jan 5th, 2015 at 04:13:22 AM EST

I have finally gotten around to reading the Autumn Statement from the UK's Office of Budget Responsibility.  You can download the whole smash here, but for brevity's sake, I'll stick to the Overview and Executive Summary.  I'll say up front that the Statement is a tour de force of alternately covering and kissing butt, but I believe the real importance of the Statement is the insight it provides to the "reality" the OBR is expected to manufacture to support the Coalition Government's policies.

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There Is No Education Plan A

by rifek Tue Feb 4th, 2014 at 10:06:37 PM EST

I was originally going to post this as a comment over on ARGeezer's "Does the US even have a viable Plan A for HS education?", but it got really long, so I figured I'd better do a diary.

No, the US does not have a Plan A.  My parents are retired teachers, and I've taught at all levels, so I have some idea.

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This Car Needs Polished, Let's Junk It

by rifek Sun Aug 4th, 2013 at 01:35:50 AM EST

...or, Typical Austro-Chicago Logic.

This is cross-posted from a discussion at Credit Slips and is also at my blogs The Business Law Spot and The Real Estate Spot.

Omri Ben-Shahar of the University of Chicago Law School has fired the latest round in the US class wars in a paper alleging that clauses in consumer sales contracts mandating arbitration (usually in a distant jurisdiction) and barring class action suits are good for consumers because litigation costs are actually regressive taxes that are passed along to consumers whether the consumers reap any benefits or not.  Looks like more of the Austro-Chicago rubbish that got us into this mess.

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Euro Analysis?

by rifek Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:26:28 PM EST

Over at Credit Slips, we've started a new discussion concerning a new article in New York Times Magazine about the status of the Euro crisis.  I of course chime in with my own comments.

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Is the Crystal Ball Clearing?

by rifek Sun Mar 11th, 2012 at 11:39:53 PM EST

No, not as far as being able to predict what's going to happen, just in figuring out what's happening.  Over at Credit Slips and London Banker, we're discussing different aspects of the Greek default, and we may have stumbled upon a couple of insights.

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Big Boys of Bankruptcy

by rifek Thu Jan 19th, 2012 at 02:40:42 PM EST

There is a lot of shifting going on in major, US Chapter 11 bankruptcies.  Cross-posting this from both my blogs for the edification of all.

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Why Is This Still A Debate Topic?

by rifek Wed Oct 19th, 2011 at 03:51:27 PM EST

I just posted this on both my blogs:

Adam Levitin posted a great piece on Credit Slips ripping on proposed "solutions" for the financial crisis (And yes, kiddies, regardless of the pablum they're shoveling your way, we're still in a crisis.). Basically, he compares these proposals to prescribing an aspirin to someone with a knife in his chest and then giving the aspirin to the attacker. First comment out of the box blames the mess on those evil, nasty borrowers. To quote the Interweb meme, "Don't know if trolling or just stupid." Probably a shill, actually. Anyway, I and a few others declared a free-fire zone. Enjoy.

The triggering comment from Dennis Chow and my response follow.

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As If We Needed Any More Evidence

by rifek Tue Jul 12th, 2011 at 07:36:34 PM EST

Cross-posted from my blog.

To preface, for those of you who may think I was late to the bubble prediction bandwagon, I suggest you look here and see that I was predicting the train wreck in December 2005.  Beat that, Nouriel Roubini.

We know that the overwhelming majority of opinion makers in the US are just sock puppets for the Financial Overlords.  Ditto for our supposed intellectuals.  They don't need to rub our noses in it.  But along comes Roger Lowenstein in Bloomberg Businessweek to "explain" why there have been effectively no prosecutions resulting from the collapse.  It's because, simpletons, there were no crimes committed.  Demands to the contrary are just the result of our overheated, plebeian blood.

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Koch Is Not It

by rifek Wed May 18th, 2011 at 01:34:18 PM EST

Cross-posted from my blog.

Late last year, a group of merry pranksters issued a fake press release satirizing Koch Industries' environmental policies, using Koch's trademarks and name to make the release look like it was actually from Koch.  FYI, Koch Industries is the Koch Bros., the billionaires who are funding the Tea Party and about every anti-Middle-Class piece of legislation in the country.  Nobody was actually fooled into thinking the press release came from Koch, but Koch did have to spend some staff time responding to inquiries.  Well, things like this aren't supposed to happen to People Who Matter, like the Koch Bros., so they decided to get to the bottom of it.  They sued Bluehost and Fast Domain, the internet service providers (ISPs) the pranksters used for disseminating the release, here in Utah to get the names of the pranksters (Bluehost is based here.), alleging the pranksters had committed IP fraud and infringement.

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U.S. Small Business Is In Great Shape

by rifek Sun Feb 20th, 2011 at 03:59:22 PM EST

Cross-posted from my blog.

Just ask the Wall Street Journal and the Chamber of Commerce.  According to an article this week in the Journal, business bankruptcies are down, so things must be improving for small businesses.  The Chamber of Commerce chimes in with this line, with the C of C VP for small business offering the usual pap about small businesses being better positioned to recover than the big boys because they are more nimble.

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Icelandic ForEx Loans

by rifek Sun Jul 4th, 2010 at 07:01:41 PM EST

One of the main gaming tables in the pre-bust Icelandic financial casino were loans denominated in ISK but with interest indexed to other currencies.  The Iceland Supreme Court has declared that indexing to be illegal; Iceland law requires that loans denominated in ISK must be indexed in ISK.  That done, there is a big debate on about who gets stuck with the bill for reforming these loans.  There is a lot of chest-thumping obscuring things, but it really comes down to this: Who was more responsible for making sure the loan was right at the start, the borrower or the lender?  I've chimed in at a few sites, but the following is taken from a series of chimes at The Iceland Weather Report.

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A Couple of Thoughts for the Gold Bugs

by rifek Mon Nov 30th, 2009 at 07:31:39 AM EST

With all the economic instability roiling around, it isn't surprising that the gold bugs are out in force, claiming everything went to Hell in a handbasket when we went off the gold standard and that gold can restabilize everything.  A couple of thoughts on that.

originally posted on November 25 - Nomad

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New Boom, New Hindenburg?

by rifek Mon Sep 14th, 2009 at 08:02:32 PM EST

Les Leopold has a new article on Huffington Post pointing out that, in spite of all the platitudes, the US government hasn't done much of anything about the business practices that caused the crash.  Consequently those practices are alive and well and leading us down a new primrose path.

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In Iceland's Fall, We Sin All

by rifek Sun Apr 26th, 2009 at 03:47:59 PM EST

Alright, Iceland's election results are in, and the Independence Party has taken a thumping (not to the extent deserved, as it still received about 23%, but given that 25-30% of US voters still consider Bush to have been the greatest thing ever...) due to its involvement with dead banks and the collapse of Iceland's economy.  And of course that collapse was entirely due to the ignorance and greed of Icelanders.  I don't think so.

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The Snowball at the Top

by rifek Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 12:10:40 AM EST

Wow, I'm out of action for a couple of weeks, and all Hell breaks loose.  I'll never make a mod.  Too much of a hick.  If people started trashing my forum, I'd track them down and whup them up alongside the head with a tire iron.


Here in the US, so much is going to owl bundles so fast that it's hard to keep track of all the details.  Like that we have another huge round of resets coming at us.

I also posted this today in my blog.

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Will MOAB Trigger Protectionism?

by rifek Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 06:04:28 AM EST

The Mother Of All Bailouts seems to become a bigger mother every day.  Will it also undermine itself by causing countries to set up barriers to international finance?

promoted by Jérôme - interesting discussion below the fold.

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They've Certainly Fixed THAT

by rifek Fri Oct 24th, 2008 at 10:02:43 AM EST

This whole bubble deflation/market contraction thing is just a liquidity problem, right?  So if the central banks pump a trillion (pick your currency) of taxpayers' money into the system, it will right itself, right?  Right?

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