Nearly twice as many youngsters facing financial difficulties compared to average for European countries
By Stuart Winer
he number of Israelis at risk of poverty has gone up in the last decade and is nearly twice the average in the European Union, figures released Wednesday show. Details from the “Society in Israel Report No. 6,” published by the National Central Bureau of Statistics, showed that an increasing number of Israelis are failing to make ends meet.According to the report, 31 percent of the population in 2011 was in danger of poverty, compared to 17% in the European Union. For the purposes of the report, risk of poverty was defined as when each member of a household is supported on less than 60% of the average financial resources available to the rest of the population. Among Israeli single-parent households with dependent children, 44% were facing poverty compared to 41% in 2001. In Europe, the numbers stood at 35% in 2011 and 32% in 2001. Luxembourg was found to be worst of all with 46%. The number of children at risk of poverty in Israel was twice that in Europe in 2011
by Tyler Durden
We assume it is a coincidence that on the day in which we demonstrate China’s relentless appetite for gold, driven by what we and many others believe is the country’s desire to have a call option on a gold-backed reserve currency when the time comes, just posted in China’s official press agency, Xinhua, is an op-ed by writer Liu Chang in which he decries the “US fiscal failure which warrants a de-Americanized world” and flatly states that the world should consider a new reserve currency “that is to be created to replace the dominant U.S. dollar, so that the international community could permanently stay away from the spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States.”
Of course, if China were serious, and if the world were to voluntarily engage in such a (r)evolutionary reserve currency transition ….
The Indian rupee fell to a new low against the dollar on Wednesday and stocks declined after a central bank promise to inject liquidity into the country’s financial markets provided only temporary relief from a deepening sense of crisis….
Obama promised justice to abused American homeowners. Have they gotten it?
By Yves Smith
Editor’s Note: In his 2012 State of The Union address, President Obama spoke of American homeowners abused by unscrupulous banks and financial institutions. Have they gotten justice? What follows is the first in a new series examining foreclosure settlements and the disturbing patterns of incomptency, malfeasance, and conflicts of interest which have marked their execution. Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism takes a deep dive into the mire of America’s mortage industry and investigates the continued suffering of the public at the hands of greedy predators.
On January 7, 2013, ten servicers entered into an $8.5 billion settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve, terminating a foreclosure review process which was set forth in consent orders issued in April 2010. Borrowers who had had foreclosures that were pending or had completed foreclosure sales in 2009 and 2010 could request an investigation by independent reviewers, selected and paid for by the servicers but subject to approval by the OCC.
To the crucible: an Irish engagement with the Greek crisis and the Greek left
By Helena Sheehan
January 21, 2013 — Irish Left Review, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal at the author’s suggestion and with her permission — A monumental drama is playing out before our eyes. It is a true Greek tragedy. The plot: A society is being pushed to its limits. The denouement is not yet determined, but survival is at stake and prospects are precarious. Greece is at the sharp end of a radical and risky experiment in how far accumulation by dispossession can go, how much expropriation can be endured, how far the state can be subordinated to the market. It is a global narrative, but the story is a few episodes ahead here.
Greece is the crucible.1 It is a caldron where concentrated forces are colliding in a process that will bring forth either a reconfiguration of capitalism or the dawn of its demise.
Salaries, pensions, public services are falling, while prices and taxes are rising. Massive asset stripping is underway. Water, power, ports, islands, public buildings are for sale. Unemployment, emigration and evictions have brought a sense of a society unraveling. Homeless people wander the streets and scavenge for food in bins or beg it from the plates of those eating in tavernas. If they are immigrants, they are terrorised. Those looking into a horizon without hope either drift into desolation or perform the ultimate decisive act of suicide. Some have done so in private spaces, while others have chosen public places to underline the political nature of their fate, as they jump from heights, set themselves on fire or shoot themselves. In April 2012, Dimitris Christoulas, a retired pharmacist, who felt he could no longer live a dignified life after his pension had been slashed, shot himself in front of parliament. His last words were: “I am not committing suicide. They are killing me.” He urged younger people to fight.
Excerpt of Naseer Memon oped published in Sindhi Daily Kawish on the issue of controversail local govt. law
Creation of Metropolitan Corporations
· Government will create Divisional Head Quarter of Karachi, Hyderabad , Sukkur, Larkano and Mirpurkhas as Metropolitan Corporations But Karachi Metropolitan will be consist of five districts [Note: only Karachi is different from all other Metropolitan all other metro will be consists of only one district while Karachi five]
According to 1998 census MQM has only majority in two districts out of five. If Karachi Metro consists of five District Councils then MQM can have control on only two district councils and they cannot even win mayor ship of Karachi Metro! So MQM knowingly using this Ordinance created Karachi Metro based on five districts instead of 18 towns.
· Union Council boundaries with in the Metro area cannot stretch into any Talku or town
Please note that this doesn’t apply to Town boundaries, there are 5 districts and 18 towns are in Karachi. 18 towns were created in dictator Gen. Musharaf period gerrymandering so that MQM elect their Mayor. It was not possible before since out five districts MQM can only elect two districts only.
This also shows that Karachi is different from other Metro areas.
· Through this ordinance Mayor and Chairman have authority to remove encroachment and maintain peace using Criminal Procedure Code 109, 133, 143, 144 and 145 under the Police act of 1861 and under section 30A-34B. Also they have section 144 under their authority.
Using this authority MQM Bulldoze any Sindhi area, do not allow any political rally and activity, remove any flood relief camps etc.
· Using their financial resources councils have authority to create any new department
Obviously only Karachi and Hyderabad has revenue to create any new department. We already had seen how MQM created city police by recruiting its entire party worker. Rest assured how will these departments server the city.
· Using this ordinance Deputy Commissioner office becomes irrelevant and all the powers are transferred to Chief Officer, who reports to Metro Government. Only revenue matters left to DC office but Karachi will be different again.
Now you can imagine how MQM will utilize Chief Officer Office.
· Financial grant of Metro based on its financial needs, revenue potential and revenue generation
In other words since Karachi and Hyderabad generate most the revenue hence they need more money and rest of Sindh will go to hell. There is no parity for poverty which considers in federal divisible pool.
· Using this Ordinance there are many departments moved to Metro area but most consequential are primary education and fisheries
If Karachi metro can regulate primary education it means the small number of Sindhi medium school running will be closed and there will be no new sindhi medium school will open. Also fisheries department transferred to Karachi Metro mean they will regulate all the harbors where majority of Balochs and Sindhi currently works. They will also not allow any new fishermen housing society in future.
· Military dictator Gen. Musharaf police Ordinance only reactivated in Karachi only, rest of Sindh will still in 1861 act
Courtesy: Sindhi daily Kawish, 05 October, 2012
Via – World Sindh Congress (WSC) facebook wall.
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By Sidrah Moiz Khan
Abidi held Justice Chaudhry responsible for the alleged financial impropriety done by his son, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar
While hurling fiery allegations at Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Faisal Raza Abidi on Sunday demanded a resignation from him and other judges who were reinstated under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO).
During a press conference in Islamabad, Abidi held Justice Chaudhry responsible for the alleged financial impropriety done by his son, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar.
The senator said that if the chief justice does not tender a resignation, then he will “force him out from the same way he had been restored as a judge.”
“He [Justice Chaudhry] says that he did not have any idea where his son got all that money from…I ask, when the case emerged, did you ask him where he got Rs900 million from?”
The senator produced bank account statements of Dr Arsalan and said that the person who used to “work under somebody else” now owns billions of rupees. He also showed that the billing address mentioned was that of the Chief Justice House in Islamabad.
“You [Justice Chaudhry] are to be blamed for this. This happened right in front of you. You cannot pretend to not know anything. Who gave Dr Arsalan the right to use government’s property for running his own businesses? Could he not rent out an office in some other area?
Israeli police investigators have recommended an indictment should be issued against a senior Mossad official for crimes involving financial misconduct.
The investigators recommended Israel’s top prosecutor two months ago to charge the official, who is said to be a department head in the spy agency.
The media were, however, prevented from reporting on the story until the gag was removed on Sunday, while the nature of the official’s irregularities remains unclear.
The official, who has been forced to take a leave of absence, has reportedly denied any wrongdoing. But sources said he would likely not be reinstated following the investigation findings and will have to retire.
The accused is closely affiliated with Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, who appointed him to his senior position last year.
“The investigation deals with events that allegedly took place between 2009 and the middle of 2011,” read statement issued by the prime minister’s office.
Read more » Press Tv
Via – Twitter
• Study estimates staggering size of offshore economy
• Private banks help wealthiest to move cash into havens
A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network. ….
Read more » guardian.co.uk
Via – Twitter
Tycoon, former envoy at centre of new Pakistan turmoil
By Qasim Nauman
ISLAMABAD – (Reuters) – A Pakistani real estate tycoon on Tuesday accused the chief justice of turning a blind eye to his son’s alleged corrupt financial practices, in a scandal that could damage one of the few public figures willing to take on the powerful military.
Malik Riaz, who fashions himself as a billionaire philanthropist, said he had given almost $3.6 million in bribes to Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
Power sector dues: Govt defaults on sovereign guarantees
By Shahbaz Rana
ISLAMABAD: Failure to honour its financial commitments to Independent Power Producers (IPP) has led to the first-ever sovereign default by the government in Pakistan’s history.
The default on sovereign guarantees – assurances the government provides to foreign investors – may not only unnerve the financial markets, but also downgrade the government’s creditworthiness, making it more expensive to borrow money.
“Today, the government of Pakistan has committed a sovereign default for the first time in the history of the country”, announced the IPPs Advisory Committee here on Tuesday.
“The government has defaulted on payments of roughly Rs45 billion to nine IPPs that generate 1,700 megawatts of electricity”, said Abdullah Yusuf, Chairman IPP Advisory Committee while talking to The Express Tribune. These nine IPPs started operations in 2004 and their total receivables amount to almost Rs232 billion.
Taking legal course
The IPPs gave a 30-day payment notice to the power purchaser, the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA), followed by a 10-day notice to the government. Neither the CPPA nor the government cleared the overdue amounts, said the advisory committee.
The IPPs have exhausted all avenues available and the notice served to the government expired on Tuesday, the committee said.
After the default, the IPPs have issued a legal notice to the government for recovery by Thursday, May 10th, 2012 failing which the IPPs will follow a legal course.
Yusuf said the IPPs will go to the Pakistani courts.
“The default is a very serious matter and carries negative implications for the country”, Yusuf added. ….
Read more » The Express Tribune
Discussing the Motives of the Afghan Shooter
by Glenn Greenwald
Here’s a summary of the Western media discussion of what motivated U.S. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales to allegedly kill 16 Afghans, including 9 children: he was drunk, he was experiencing financial stress, he was passed over for a promotion, he had a traumatic brain injury, he had marital problems, he suffered from the stresses of four tours of duty, he “saw his buddy’s leg blown off the day before the massacre,” etc.
Here’s a summary of the Western media discussion of what motivates Muslims to kill Americans: they are primitive, fanatically religious, hateful Terrorists.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China won’t help finance the natural gas pipeline to Pakistan, apparently because of U.S. sanctions on Iran.
By Paul Richter and Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington and Islamabad, Pakistan—
China’s largest bank has backed out of a deal to finance a proposed Iran-to-Pakistan gas pipeline that is opposed by the United States, a potential sign of the lengthening reach of U.S. economic sanctions on Iran.
Pakistani officials confirmed Wednesday that Industrial and Commercial Bank of China had withdrawn from plans to head a consortium that would finance the $1.6-billion Pakistani portion of the cross-border pipeline, apparently over concern that the bank could be excluded from the U.S. economy.
Would the Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister of Sindh redress the financial problems of Sindh Government retired Sasso officers as they are not being paid their monthly pensions in time. When approached the concerned Section officer of Sindh Agriculture department, he responded rudely that State Bank of Pakistan does not release them the funds and if any further inquiry or reason is asked, he usually stop talking and putting the receiver of the phone to avoid any further inquiry. Secondly, the annual increment as allowed by the Government to their other serving and retired employees, has still not allowed Sasso officers such annual increments. We shall be highly grateful if our financial problems are solved being the retired and senior citizens of Sindh Pakistan.
Ghulam Hussain Qureshi, Retired officer of Sasso, Old Halla – Sindh
Received via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thousands of protesters fill NYC’s Times Square
by Associated Press
NEW YORK — Thousands of demonstrators protesting corporate greed filled Times Square on Saturday night, mixing with gawkers, Broadway showgoers, tourists and police to create a chaotic scene in the midst of Manhattan.
“Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” protesters chanted from within police barricades. Police, some in riot gear and mounted on horses, tried to push them out of the square and onto the sidewalks in an attempt to funnel the crowds away. ….
Read more » The Wall Street Journal
- The young people protesting in Wall Street and beyond reject this vain economic order. They have come to reclaim the future
Why are people occupying Wall Street? Why has the occupation – despite the latest police crackdown – sent out sparks across America, within days, inspiring hundreds of people to send pizzas, money, equipment and, now, to start their own movements called OccupyChicago, OccupyFlorida, in OccupyDenver or OccupyLA?
There are obvious reasons. We are watching the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt. Most, I found, were of working-class or otherwise modest backgrounds, kids who did exactly what they were told they should: studied, got into college, and are now not just being punished for it, but humiliated – faced with a life of being treated as deadbeats, moral reprobates.
Is it really surprising they would like to have a word with the financial magnates who stole their future?
Just as in Europe, we are seeing the results of colossal social failure. The occupiers are the very sort of people, brimming with ideas, whose energies a healthy society would be marshaling to improve life for everyone. Instead, they are using it to envision ways to bring the whole system down. ….
Read more → guardian.co.uk
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- For years the founder of leader of Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has spoken about financial misappropriation and irregularities of the country’s feudal and industrial rulers through alleged or real misuse of power.
But British Land Registry records now revealed that Altaf Hussain, the charismatic middle class leader of Pakistan’s third largest political party could not curb the temptation of acquiring a series of expensive and middle class properties in the British capital – one of the most expensive cities in the world.
By Frank Viviano
A decade ago, only paranoid alarmists would have posed that question. Today, it may be an expression of cold, brutal realism.
Is Western democracy coming apart at the seams? A decade ago, only paranoid alarmists would have posed that question. Today, it may be an expression of cold, brutal realism.
On both sides of the Atlantic — from the fires that raged in large stretches of London, to the political chicanery that brought the U.S. economy to its knees in early August — the institutional framework that came to define modern democracy in the 19th century is in deep trouble.
The principal organs of financial oversight and management are in tatters. Ferociously xenophobic political movements, an entire constellation of Tea Parties, now play important roles in nearly every European nation, as well as the United States.
Faith in elected leaders and legislatures, the central and defining institutions of democracy, has never been lower.
According to the Pew Research Center, the proportion of the U.S. public expressing trust in the federal government has fallen from just under 80 per cent in the late 1960s to barely 20 per cent today. ….
Read more → AlterNet
Pakistani intelligence secretly funneled at least $4 million to a Washington lobby group whose leaders improperly lobbied U.S. officials over Kashmir
Pakistan funded Washington lobby group, U.S. says
Washington (CNN) — Pakistani intelligence secretly funneled at least $4 million to a Washington front group whose leaders improperly lobbied U.S. officials over the disputed territory of Kashmir, federal agents alleged Tuesday.
A Pakistani-American man who served as director of the Kashmiri American Council is in federal custody, while a second man accused of steering money to the organization is believed to be in Pakistan, the Justice Department said. The KAC director, Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, “acted at the direction and with the financial support of the government of Pakistan for more than 20 years,” an FBI arrest affidavit states.
One U.S. congressman quickly gave $4,000 donated by the two men charged in the case to charity, while another said he would consider a similar move if the source of the money was in question.
Fai and his co-defendant, Zaheer Ahmad, have been charged with conspiring to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires lobbyists acting on behalf of another nation to register with the U.S. government. The charge carries a possible prison term of up to five years. ….
Read more → CNN
Mumbai: Explosions shake India’s financial hub
The BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan says the explosions happened in the middle of rush hour. Three near-simultaneous explosions have shaken India’s commercial capital Mumbai (Bombay), police say. Twenty-one people were killed and 113 injured, said Maharashtra state’s Chief Minister, Prithviraj Chavan. He called the explosions, during Mumbai’s busy evening rush-hour, “a co-ordinated attack by terrorists”. One explosion was reported in the Zaveri Bazaar, another in the Opera House business district and a third in Dadar district in the city centre. …
Read more → BBC
- Gross Financial Irregularity in Punjab: Funds Allocated for Clean Drinking Water Project Diverted to “Sasti Roti” Project
Punjab Government Suggests Closure of the Foreign Funded Program
By: Aijaz Ahmed
Corruption and financial irregularities don’t seem to be limited to an individual or a single political party in Pakistan. One very often hears about the fabled corruption of the president of Pakistan and co-chairperson of PPP and also about the gross irregularities, mismanagement and corruption in the federal government. The accusers among others include the PML-N leaders who claim running a very clean government in the Punjab, the largest province in Pakistan. But as this report suggests their hands are not as clean either. They have engaged in financial irregularities and also seem to be playing gimmicks for short-term political gains at the cost of the welfare of the common men.
The much-hyped clean government of the iron man # 2, Mian Shahbaz Sharif has been involved in certain gross financial irregularities, ….
Read more : Indus Herald