Greek Stock Market Follows Manufacturing Sector Over the Cliff Upon Opening this Morning

Greece stock market nosedives after five-week shutdown

Greece’s stock market plunged nearly 23% on Monday when it reopened after a five-week shutdown brought on by fears that the country was about to be dumped from the eurozone.

The main Athens stock index fell to in worst ever one-day performance after only a few minutes of trading.

Greek manufacturing activity hits record low in July

With capital controls, banks closed and slumping demand, Greece’s factory output fell to its lowest level on record in July.

The manufacturing sector – which makes up about 10% of the economy – fell to 30.2 points according to Markit’s montly purchasing managers index. Anything below 50 is a sign of contraction. This is the worst performance since the company started compiling the data in 1999

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UPDATES from Greece: Vote Day, Tahrir Moment in Syntagma Square and the IMF Pledge that Isn’t

by Scott Creighton

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A man racked by shame begs for money as Greeks line up to make their small daily withdrawals from a bank

Alexis Tsipras took his case to the press last night in an hour-long interview on state TV. During that time he defended his 180 degree turn and urged the country to get behind the “irrational” Troika coup because, as he put it, “it’s the best deal Greece can get” Gone was all the pretense he displayed back when he and the rock-star pretended to want Greeks to vote “NO” on the austerity referendum. Now he demands a “YES” from Parliament on the neoliberal economic brick being dropped on the heads of the people he represents. He promised to keep the banks closed until the deal is ratified. More economic terrorism from the “hero” of Greece and the left. Like Obama siding with the republicans to get several of his previous “successes” done in congress, Tsipras looks to the neoliberal opposition parties for support getting the deal finalized.

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BDS the Global Corporate Coup!

by Scott Creighton

Putting forward a simple idea: BDS the global corporate coup.

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In 2005, Palestinian civil society put out a call for a truly global movement of people opposed to Israel’s illegal and immoral treatment of Palestinian people living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. It is called the BDS movement (boycott, divest and sanction) and though it has not yet ended the brutal and inhumane treatment, it’s influence is building across the globe with minor victories over the last few years and certainly a major victory for the Palestinian cause in the “hearts and minds” campaign targeting young, college-aged people all over the world.

Similar BDS-type movements have met with a great deal of success in the past most notably in apartheid South Africa.

The BDS movement is having a profound effect on Israeli businesses and therefore on Israeli policy. Fascist nations and their Vichy politicians are wholly owned subsidiaries of their Big Business backers. You haven’t got to look past our own borders here in the states to realize that simple truth about American “democracy” and our “friends in the region”.  And to that end, they are both equally vulnerable to the will of the wallet as long as it is well organized and just.

The effect is so great, Israel’s predominant lobbying effort here in the states, AIPAC, has put forward a rider ( U.S-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act ) for a corporatist “trade” bill, the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), which seeks to counter the crippling effects of the growing BDS movement.

“The U.S-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act will ensure that American free trade partners never engage in this harmful and illegitimate political protest against Israel, while also protecting U.S. companies from foreign lawsuits targeting their associations with Israel.” Feb. 2015

Clearly, powerful lobbying groups and think-tanks don’t take the time to write legislation to thwart a movement if they don’t perceive that movement as a serious problem and ultimately a threat to their established power structure. Therefore, BDS is working and AIPAC is telling us it is.

Today I would like to put forward another idea, one borrowing from the Palestinian BDS movement. Borrowing from it and hopefully adding to it.

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Protests grow in Baltimore in defiance of police-military siege

(“Authorities and the media are seeking to condition the population to accept routine police state measures and the suspension of democratic rights.” Yep. That’s the ticket)

by Jerry White, WSWS

Thousands of workers and students demonstrated in Baltimore Wednesday, defying the military-police crackdown in the city of 622,000.

Solidarity protests, including those demanding the removal of the National Guard from Baltimore, spread to other cities, including New York City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Washington, DC.

While the police murder of 25-year-old Freddie Gray was the trigger of social opposition, the outpouring of protests is driven by deeper social causes.

In addition to police violence, angry youth on the streets of Baltimore spoke out against deteriorating schools, impoverished neighborhoods, poverty level jobs and the vast social chasm that has produced “two Baltimores”—one for the rich and powerful, the other for the poor. They complained of the indifference of the political establishment in the city, which has long been dominated by a corrupt layer of African American Democratic Party politicians.

As the immense class tensions that characterize American society are beginning to rise to the surface, the ruling class is responding with violence and repression…

Much of the media coverage Wednesday was characterized by a self-congratulatory tone over the success of the military-police crackdown and the supposed popular support for the dispatch of armed troops

[read more here]

Various BS from POTUS During the State of the Union

by Scott Creighton

President Obama gave his State of the Union speech last night and like many did during the recent election, I chose to abstain. I Hulued old X-Files episodes instead and from the looks of it, it was time better spent.

(The truth is out there folks. You just have to look for it and put up with people calling you “Spooky” while you do it. That’s all.)

As is often the case in politics, now as it was in the beginning, the bovine excrement was flying fast and furious (oops)

Below are a few samples of what I caught in the face (like one of his “collateral victims” on Terror Tuesday) while reading the transcript of his cynically populist Rainmaker routine.

So put on your boots and grab a snorkel cus the shite is deep in Obamaland and it takes a real lefty to guide you safely through the muck and back again.

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Fed Delays Volcker Rule, Giving Wall Street Another Holiday Gift

by Zach Carter, Huffington Post

Christmas came early for Wall Street this year. The Federal Reserve on Thursday granted banks an extra year to comply with a key provision of the Volcker Rule, a move that gives financial lobbyists more time to kill the new regulation before it goes into effect.

The Volcker Rule is a key element of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law that bans banks from engaging in proprietary trading — speculative deals that are designed only to benefit the bank itself, rather than its clients. Thursday’s move by the Fed gives banks an additional year to unwind investments in private equity firms, hedge funds and specialty securities projects. The central bank also said it plans to extend the deadline by another 12 months next year, which would give Wall Street a two-year reprieve through the 2016 presidential election.

The Fed’s delay comes less than a week after Congress granted Wall Street a reprieve from another reform that had been mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The measure, known as the swaps push-out rule had eliminated federal subsidies for trading in risky derivatives — the complex contracts at the heart of the 2008 banking meltdown. Bank watchdogs say the Volcker Rule delay adds insult to injury.

[read more here]

Brussels protests: Anti-austerity demonstrations end in violent clashes with police

by Kashmira Gander, from the Independent

Violent clashes marred trade union-led demonstration in the Belgian capital of Brussels today, where some 100,000 workers gathered to protest against the government’s free-market reforms and austerity measures.

For around two hours, the unexpectedly large crowd rallied peacefully in the main streets of central Brussels, against measures they claim are damaging the welfare state.

The trade unions object to government policies that promise to raise the pension age from 65 to 67, freeze the automatic link between wages and inflation, and cut public services in a way that would affect the entire population.

Violence later broke out, with police firing tear gas and using water canon against the crowd to break up incidents. No casualties were immediately reported.

Philippe Dubois, a protester who came from the industrial rust belt of Liege, told reporters:”They are not looking for money where it is, I mean people with a lot of money.”

The event launched a month-long campaign by trade unions against the pro-business governing coalition, which will culminate in a nationwide strike on 15 December.

[read more here]

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