Goooooood Morning Fiatnam!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Economic Ground Zero for Canada


After the collapse of oil prices and home valuations in 1986 the oil sands mining town of Fort McMurray became a semi-desolate place of reduced expectations. One of the two mining operations went on strike and I remember the workers picketing on the highway near the site access.
As a teenager my friends and I would drive around an area we called The Dead Roads. The Dead Roads were a planned subdivision which had been under development when the collapse of 1986 happened. The roads had been built, the sidewalks and curbs set, and the utility services to the lots had been roughed in. But no houses had been built.

U.S. fourth-quarter GDP growth rate trimmed to 2.2% from 2.6%

  • First reading was 2.6%
  • Personal consumption 4.2%
  • First reading on personal consumption was 4.3%
  • GDP sales 2.1% vs 1.6% exp
  • Inventories add 0.12 percentage points to GDP
  • US GDP ex-motor vehicles +2.9% vs +3.5% previously
  • Exports +3.2% vs +2.8% previously
  • Imports +10.1% vs +8.9% previously
  • Business investment in structures +5.0% vs +2.6% previously
  • Core PCE 1.1% vs 1.1% exp
  • GDP deflator 0.1% vs 0.0% exp
Nothing immediately jumps out. Trade was a bit stronger and vehicles added less to GDP than believed and that's a good sign for growth last year and going forward.

The June hike is off the table : From Janet Yellen during her last testimony humphrey-hawkins : "I don't see the point in looking at inflation without food and energy".

Syriza's Greece: From a New Social Deal to an Updated Version of the Economics of Social Disaster


In Greek mythology, Cronus devoured all his children because of a prophecy that he would be overthrown by one of his own children. In contemporary Greece, it is the political elite that devours the children of its nation by robbing them of any hope of improving their lot.
A month after the last general election, it is now the turn of Syriza's political leaders to break their promises - following the pattern of every other government that has ruled a nation of 11 million gullible people in the last half century - and destroy a society's hopes and dreams for a brighter tomorrow.

 The Syriza party folded under pressure like a cheap suit.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Microsoft ( International ) - Closing 2 China Plants, Cutting 9,000 Jobs


Microsoft plans to close two of its factories in China by the end of March, according to the Dow Jones News Service. That would mean the loss of about 9,000 jobs, as reported by the The Nikkei in the Friday morning editions.
The company inherited the two mobile phone factories when it acquired the handset division of Nokia last April. Some of the production will be moved to Vietnam.

Robert De Niro Nailed with $6.4 Million Tax Lien


Robert De Niro has been clobbered with a $6.4 million tax lien by the IRS, according to city documents.
The two-time Academy Award winner and Tribeca icon owes a total of $6,410,449.20 to Uncle Sam, according to documents first uncovered by The Smoking Gun website.
The tax lien lists the actor’s address as 114 Hudson St., De Niro’s investment property between North Moore and Franklin streets. The film and restaurant baron has an estimated worth of over $200 million, and has major ownership stakes in properties in LA, London, and throughout Tribeca, including Nobu, TriBeCa Grill, The Greenwich Hotel and TriBeCa Productions.
Co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival and widely lauded as a catalyst for the neighborhood’s post-9/11 resurrection, De Niro loves spending money — just not spending money, apparently, on the feds. His $125K-a-month rental on Central Park West is one of the city’s priciest.
The lien was assessed in November with the city Department of Finance.

Who's blowtorching American jobs?

George Soros is funding Obama's "net neutrality" push

It's reported George Soros has pumped $196 million into Obama's efforts to seize regulatory control of the Internet, and has placed so-called net neutrality proponents on White House staff.

Here's another odd report: Google and other Internet firms have won concessions, and revisions have been made to the "net neutrality" plan after their request.

Did Google get to see the "net neutrality" plan that's been kept secret from the rest of America, or did it just guess at what the plan said when it requested changes?

Net neutrality's looking more and more like Obamacare. Big biz cronies have the inside scoop, while the American people are left in the dark til the plan's a done deal.

Industry Analyst Jeff Kagan Comments on FCC Net Neutrality Ruling


Technology Industry Analyst Jeff Kagan is available to speak with reporters, and may be quoted through this release.

The following comments should be attributed to Industry Analyst Jeff Kagan on the FCC decision on Net Neutrality. See USA Today, Feb 26.
There is quite a bit of noise and excitement around Net Neutrailty, but nothing is solved with this FCC decision.
This is just one more step in the long process that has been going on for a decade already.
We are still years away from a final decision on Net Neutrality when the courts will decide one way or the other.
This FCC decision is simply one more step in this very long process.
Expect suits to be filed against this FCC ruling and for the courts to eventually decide years from now.
This FCC ruling will have the following results:
This is a win for companies like Netflix, Amazon.com and others who use plenty of bandwith.
This is a loss for Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink.
This is a loss for wireless service providers like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile USA.

The courts have shot this down in previous years so lets see what happens.

The Net Neutrality Scam; Fixing a Problem That Doesn't Exist

Yet again, the government wants to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. According to the Obama administration and the FCC, it is necessary to regulate internet service providers so that they don’t interfere with people’s access to the web. The claim immediately prompts one to ask:
Who is being denied access to the web?

In the past twenty years, access to the internet has only become more widespread and service today is far faster for many people — including “ordinary” people — than it was twenty years ago, or even ten years ago. Today, broadband in Europe, where the internet is more tightly regulated, hasless reach than it has in the United States.

The administration’s plan is rather innocuously called “net neutrality,” but in fact it has nothing at all to do with neutrality and is just a scheme to vastly increase the federal government’s control over the internet.

What is Net Neutrality?

We don’t know the details of the plan because the FCC refuses to let the taxpayers see the 300-page proposal before the FCC votes on it today. But, we do know a few things.

Currently, ISPs are regulated by the FCC, but as an “information service” under the less restrictive rules of so-called Title I. But now, the FCC wants to regulate ISPs as utilities under the far more restrictive Title II restrictions. For a clue as to how cutting edge this idea is, remember this switch to Title II regulation would put ISPs into the same regulatory regime as Ma Bell under the Communications Act of 1934.

So what does this mean for the FCC in practice? According to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, “It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works.” More specifically, Gordon Crovitz at the Wall Street Journal writes:
[With Net Netruality,] bureaucrats can review the fairness of Google’s search results, Facebook’s news feeds and news sites’ links to one another and to advertisers. BlackBerry is already lobbying the FCC to force Apple and Netflix to offer apps for BlackBerry’s unpopular phones. Bureaucrats will oversee peering, content-delivery networks and other parts of the interconnected network that enables everything from Netflix and YouTube to security drones and online surgery.
The administration insists these measures are necessary because — even though there is no evidence that this has actually happened — it is possible that at some point in the future, internet service providers could restrict some content and apps on the internet. Thus, we are told, control of content should be handed over to the federal government to ensure that internet service providers are “neutral” when it comes to deciding what is on the internet and what is not.

Farage: Multiculturalism Made Us ‘Frightened Of Our Own Shadows’