News Links: Osborne to Fund Infrastructure Projects as UK Retail Sales Fall
- Osborne Said to Ready $46 Billion Program to Fund Infrastructure Projects – Bloomberg
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will present a 30 billion-pound ($46 billion) program to finance the construction of roads, railways and infrastructure projects as he tries to stop the British economy sliding back into recession.
- Retail sales fall at fastest pace since March – CBI – Telegraph
High street sales have fallen at their fastest rate in almost three years as the household squeeze continued to take its toll on retailers, raising fresh fears about the recovery, according to research by the CBI.
- Today’s currency war may be tomorrow’s global crisis: book | Reuters
The martial metaphors come easily for Rickards, who argues in his new book, "Currency Wars," that government attempts to devalue their currencies and inflate away their debts could set the stage for the mother of all financial crises, complete with a dollar collapse and the breakdown of all civil order.
- Black Friday online sales jump 26 percent: comScore | Reuters
Online retail sales in the United States on the post-Thanksgiving shopping day known as "Black Friday" jumped 26 percent this year, led by Amazon.com Inc, comScore said on Sunday.
- Retail stocks up after strong holiday weekend | Reuters
After a blockbuster performance over the long Thanksgiving weekend, U.S. retailers now must replicate the robust results in order to see profitable sales gains for the rest of the holiday season.
- The World from Berlin: ‘Politicians Should Not Fear Direct Democracy’ – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International
Bulldozers can finally dig in after opponents of the Stuttgart 21 rail project suffered a decisive defeat in a referendum on Sunday. Now, as head of the state government in Baden-Württemberg, the Green Party must complete a project to which it has long been opposed, write German editorialists.
- BBC News – OECD warns of European recession
The OECD has warned that the eurozone and UK could be entering a recession, and has cut its global growth forecast.
- BBC News – European markets rally on eurozone deal hopes
Stock markets in Europe have rallied on hopes that eurozone leaders will stitch together a new fiscal policy pact.
- Britain unites with smaller countries to block US bid to legalise cluster bombs | World news | The Guardian
Israel, Russia and China along with America wanted to approve use of ‘bomblets’ that often unintentionally maim and kill civilians
- How the Plummeting Price of Cocaine Fueled the Nationwide Drop in Violent Crime – Jobs & Economy – The Atlantic Cities
Cocaine was the driving force behind the majority of drug-related violence throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s. It was the main target of the federal War on Drugs and was the highest profit drug trade overall. In 1988, the American cocaine market was valued at almost $140 billion dollars, over 2 percent of U.S. GDP. The violence that surrounded its distribution and sale pushed the murder rate to its highest point in America’s history (between 8-10 per 100,000 residents from 1981-1991), turned economically impoverished cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Trenton and Gary, Indiana, into international murder capitals, and made America the most violent industrialized nation in the world. Then in 1994, the crime rate dropped off a cliff. The number of homicides would plummet drastically, dropping almost 50 percent in less than ten years. The same would go for every garden variety of violent crime on down to petty theft. The same year as the sharp decline in crime, cocaine prices hit an all-time low.
- The Military-Civilian Gap: Fewer Family Connections | Pew Social & Demographic Trends
A smaller share of Americans currently serve in the U.S. Armed Forces than at any time since the peace-time era between World Wars I and II. During the past decade, as the military has been engaged in the longest period of sustained conflict in the nation’s history, just one-half of one percent of American adults has served on active duty at any given time.1 As the size of the military shrinks, the connections between military personnel and the broader civilian population appear to be growing more distant.
- Eurozone debt crisis: Britain faces ‘second recession next year’ | Mail Online
The stark warning from the OECD is understood to have ‘sent a lightening bolt’ through the Treasury as Chancellor George Osborne prepares for the autumn this week.
- The Entire Sovereign Debt Crisis Can Be Understood By Looking At Sweden Vs. Finland
The only obvious difference between the two: Finland is part of the Eurozone, meaning it can’t print its own money. Sweden has no such risk. This is a narrow version of something that much of the media picks up on earlier last week that UK gilts were trading with a lower yield that German bonds, a reflection of the same principle: In UK the government can print. In Germany, it can’t.
- Europe Scrambles for Solutions – Tim Duy’s Fed Watch
One way or another, Europe will experience a massive credit shock. Presumable, the ECB could help offset this by allowing governments to loosen spending to support demand and fund bank recapitalization. But the path we are on appears to provide ECB help only in return for more austerity. And it is that never-ending pursuit of austerity that leaves me bearish on Europe, regardless of the political news of the day.
- Thinking the unthinkable on a euro break-up | Gavyn Davies | FT.com
It has suddenly become respectable to ask the question: what would happen if the euro broke up? Last week’s rise in German bond yields signals that a euro break up is being taken more seriously by investors. I am told that London law firms are allocating large amounts of time to examining the validity, following a break-up, of cross-border contracts written in euros. And, to judge from my own inbox, asset managers are beginning to ask about the economics of how it could occur.
- The eurozone really has only days to avoid collapse – FT.com
In virtually all the debates about the eurozone I have been engaged in, someone usually makes the point that it is only when things get bad enough, the politicians finally act – eurobond, debt monetisation, quantitative easing, whatever. I am not so sure. The argument ignores the problem of acute collective action. If the European summit could reach a deal on December 9, its next scheduled meeting, the eurozone will survive. If not, it risks a violent collapse.
- IMF drawing up £517bn package to save Italy, Spain and the euro – Telegraph
The International Monetary Fund is being lined up potentially to help Italy and Spain amid growing fears that a European rescue scheme will not be able to prop up the countries.