Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Volunteered by Aaron Kinney at 10:05 AM
Economic output in the euro zone fell 0.1 percent in the quarter, following a 0.2-percent drop in the second quarter. Those two quarters of contraction put the euro zone's 9.4 trillion euro ($12 trillion) economy in recession, although Italy and Spain have been contracting for a year already and Greece is suffering an outright depression. A rebound in Europe is still far off. The debt crisis that began in Greece in late 2009is still reverberating around the globe and holding back a lasting recovery from the Great Recession of 2008/2009 in much of the world. "That was the last good number Germany for the time being," said Joerg Kraemer, chief economist at Commerzbank. "The business climate ... has caved in." Most economists expect Germany to contract in the fourth quarter for the first time since the end of 2011. Where Germany goes, France is likely to follow and economists expect its economy to shrink in the October-to-December period.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Volunteered by Aaron Kinney at 9:12 AM
Yet on close examination, the city's decades-long journey from prosperous, middle-class community to bankrupt, crime-ridden, foreclosure-blighted basket case is straightforward — and alarmingly similar to the path traveled by many municipalities around America's largest state. San Bernardino succumbed to a vicious circle of self-interests among city workers, local politicians and state pension overseers. Little by little, over many years, the salaries and retirement benefits of San Bernardino's city workers — and especially its police and firemen — grew richer and richer, even as the city lost its major employers and gradually got poorer and poorer. Unions poured money into city council elections, and the city council poured money into union pay and pensions. The California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers), which manages pension plans for San Bernardino and many other cities, encouraged ever-sweeter benefits. Investment bankers sold clever bond deals to pay for them.