Daily: Here’s why Portugal will miss its deficit targets in 2012

Note: I missed a few articles here, so I may be updating this post with them later today. Or I may put them in the next daily links post

As I said last year about the Troika’s coming occupation of the periphery, none of these countries is going to make their targets. Austerity cuts are too much for this to work. Europe has underestimated how much austerity cuts private demand and tax receipts and so the deficit goals have been too optimistic.

The one bright spot here has been Ireland. There is a real possibility that Ireland could exit the Troika program as an example of success that proponents of austerity can point to. They will say, here’s Ireland, they did it; why can’t you do it too? But of course, the reason Spain, Portugal and Greece can’t do it is that they waited too long. Ireland had a head start. Trying to cut when everyone else is cutting leads to debt deflation. That’s the origins of the next crisis.

Portugal verfehlt das Defizitziel – NZZ.ch, 24.08.2012

Another article about Portugal missing its 2012 deficit target. This one is from Switzerland in German. The culprit here is falling tax receipts. Again, austerity is a deflationary policy which should be expected to reduce tax revenue. Therefore, any forecasts have to take this into account in the future.


United States

Phoenix foreclosure rate down 34 percent from a year ago – Phoenix Business Journal

“The Phoenix area’s foreclosure rate — which CoreLogic measures as the percentage of homes undergoing some stage of the foreclosure process versus an area’s total number mortgaged homes — was 2.36 percent in June. During the same time last year, that figure was 3.63 percent. That equates to a 34 percent drop in foreclosure rate in the past 12 months.”

The Consumerist » We Cosigned Our Unemployed Son’s Student Loans. Now We’re Screwed

“If you retain one piece of information from reading this site, let it be this one: never co-sign anyone’s student loans. Not your spouse’s student loans. Not your best friend’s student loans. Not your nephew’s student loans. Not even your own child’s student loans. It is the worst possible kind of debt to assume on behalf of someone else. The balances can be huge, the debt can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, and there’s nothing to repossess. That’s what anonymous parents M and D have learned, the very hard way.”

Elizabeth Warren Makes Timmy Geithner Squirm Over AIG and Goldman Sachs Bailouts – YouTube

This is from 2009. And gives you a sense of the issues from the bailouts that we saw in the US

The Bain Files: Inside Mitt Romney’s Tax-Dodging Cayman Schemes


ECB Said to Await German ESM Ruling Before Settling Plan – Bloomberg

“European Central Bank President Mario Draghi may wait until Germany’s Constitutional Court rules on the legality of Europe’s permanent bailout fund before unveiling full details of his plan to buy government bonds, two central bank officials said.”

Xenophobia Still Prevalent in Germany 20 Years after Neo-Nazi Attacks – SPIEGEL ONLINE

“”Eastern Germany is extremely thinly populated with foreigners. And that vacuum is immediately filled with xenophobic slogans,” says Dimitri Avramenko, the politician in charge of immigrant issues for Schwerin, the capital city of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where Rostock is located. “There is also a huge amount of latent racism in the population.””

ECB mulls setting target bands for bond yields – sources | Reuters

“The European Central Bank is considering setting yield band targets under a new bond-buying programme to allow it to keep its strategy shielded and avoid speculators trying to cash in, central bank sources told Reuters on Friday.”

German finance ministry studying Grexit costs: paper | Reuters

“A working group led by Germany’s deputy finance minister is studying the possible economic impact of a Greek exit from the euro zone, a newspaper reported on Friday, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepared for talks with Greece’s prime minister.”

Spain not in talks over European sovereign aid: Deputy PM | Reuters

You know what they say: don’t believe it until it’s officially denied!


New Statesman – Who is left defending George Osborne?


iPhone Ranked Seventh in China’s Smartphone Market – John Paczkowski – Mobile – AllThingsD

“Apple doesn’t yet offer a truly low-end smartphone that appeals to price-conscious Chinese consumers. Second, and more importantly, the iPhone doesn’t yet support Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA), China’s homegrown wireless standard. And until it does, China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier, can’t offer it to its 688 million or so subscribers.”

Apple in China: not as cool as before | beyondbrics

“According to IDC, Apple’s share of the Chinese smartphone market by shipments fell by nearly half to 10 per cent in the second quarter from three months earlier. The company came fourth in a ranking topped by Samsung and Lenovo, the Chinese company that is also the world’s second-largest PC vendor.”   

Samsung, Apple Both Come Away Losers In South Korean Patent Trial | TechCrunch

“Apple: The company was found to have infringed on two of Samsung’s technology patents (CNN reports that they pertain to Samsung’s implementation of Wi-Fi), and have been order to pay out a total of ₩40,000,000 (about $35,200).

Samsung: The hometown hero didn’t get off scot-free, as the company was found to have violated one of Apple’s design patents, specifically one dealing with the bounce-back animation seen when a user tries to scroll past the edge of a webpage. The price tag for that transgression? ₩25,000,000, or about $22,000.”


Ullrich proud of his second places on the Tour – chicagotribune.com

“Former German cyclist Jan Ullrich, who finished runner-up to Lance Armstrong three times in the Tour de France, said he was proud of his second places and indifferent as to whether he was handed the American’s titles.”

Als Armstrong die Tours niet won, wie dan wel? Een chaotisch overzicht :: nrc.nl

This Dutch article asks what I’ve been asking: if Lance Armstrong is stripped of his Tour de France wins, who gets the wins in his place? It would seem Jan Ullrich gets three of them, but he was banned for doping – but only for events after 2005. His other victories still stand.

Construction of the Hoover Dam, 1931-1936 | Retronaut   

BBC News – Australia’s resources boom is over, minister warns

Good short video on the end of the resources boom in Australia. Cameo by Steve Keen.

China’s Economy Besieged by Buildup of Unsold Goods – NYTimes.com

” After three decades of torrid growth, China is encountering an unfamiliar problem with its newly struggling economy: a huge buildup of unsold goods that is cluttering shop floors, clogging car dealerships and filling factory warehouses.”   

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