Saturday, February 04, 2012

Good News For Hard-Pressed Italy On Economic Growth On Two Surprise Fronts

Posted by Peter Quennell

Demonstrations against forced austerity are happening daily in Italy, and along with all other arms of government justice is being impacted.

We hope this wont affect a just resolution of Meredith’s case - but who knows?  Two things happened last week that might help to keep justice on the rails.

At last week’s Euro summit European leaders (video above) showed they are waking up to the fact that austerity programs like Italy’‘s and Greece’s and Spain’s alone could do permanent nightmarish damage.

Italy’s youth unemployment has just passed 30 percent and Greece’s and Spain’s passed 50 percent a few weeks ago. High levels of unemployment like this could be permanently baked in if austerity is the only “solution” entered into.

The UN’s International Monetary Fund located in Washington United States has long been criticised for austerity and excessive concerns over equilibriums which often nip growth in the bud.

But at the annual economic forum in Davos Switzerland the head of the IMF of all people showed a promising new face. She actually came out and said European austerity is not enough and active growth measures are also absolutely vital.  Here is the BBC’s report.

But neither the European leaders nor the IMF head described last week what such active growth measures would look like. It’s still blind leading the blind. They are all late to the game that the Asian economies have got quite good at (at their present level) in recent years.

Next post: the art of the possible. What cutting-edge state-of-the-art growth measures actually look like.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/04/12 at 01:16 PM in The wider contextsItalian context


If the numbers you mention are real, then it is a very difficult situation really.

What happens with austerity is that they start cutting at the bottom and not at the top. The condition becomes desperate for the poor. It is a self-defeating idea.

What is really happening that the bosses at the top have now got detached from the reality. They have lost contact with the “real people” and cannot see beyond the next one move.

Women’s jobs are the first to go and the menial jobs are now going to the immigrants- the pay is ..(well, you know that)  But this also upsets the equilibrium at the domestic front.

Top level and high paying jobs are so few that they do not count. University students are looking for a school teaching job that are just disappearing first.

The solution is not to cut back but to invest at the middle level. Wisely. Also diversify.

I do not know how these people sleep at night.

In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of the scoundrel.  With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.    —Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Posted by chami on 02/04/12 at 04:21 PM | #

Wierd spam attack here in the Comments on Saturday. Repeated links to commerce sites by three different anonymous posters, now deleted. Apologies to those who ever find moderation of their comments switched on, it is by nature a blanket measure and there’s no way to switch off moderation for trusted readers.

In a sense spamming is related to no-growth; it’s hard to get a sales message out through the noise without spending a lot of money. But firms try. Sites like ours are being targeted by robots and we are seeing 300 phony registrations a week - even though we discontinued the box in personal info where other websites can be linked to.

We still have to convince Google that TJMK is a safe site which is an arduous process. Most likely that flowed from attempted hacking rather than spamming. But we keep going.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/06/12 at 03:54 PM | #

Hi Chami. I would agree. People at the top tend to be on other planets. In part I put this down to giantism and the lack of easy routes for people to be heard and manage their stake. Tens of millions in this country are seriously worse off than they were before 2008-2009 and yet (so far) there is little coherent message or correct response from the top.

The Occupy Wall Street phenomenon HAS made some difference, though, even though I was cynical. There is a growing majority recognition that there needs to be some leveling out in who controls the assets for EVERYBODY’S benefit as billionaires tend to be ultra-cautious.

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My own notes on growth re Italy will appear here on wednesday or maybe tuesday. My wife and I between us run half a dozen computers at home and work and in a decade and a half have never had one simply crash. But on Friday the heatsink and CPU parted explosively from the motherboard of my home-office work station and I am taking today off to build another one. First time with an Intel CPU - they are leaving AMD in the dust.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/06/12 at 04:07 PM | #

Saw this in todays Guardian. She’s now trying to overturn the slander conviction… surely that won’t be possible.

Posted by Spencer on 02/07/12 at 06:47 AM | #

I am not at all surprised AK is now seeking to overturn her conviction for Slander. She knows that she got away with murder so she would believe that she could charm and lie her way out of the slander conviction.

I feel for Merediths parents and her siblings their pain. When will their nightmare end and they can let their beloved RIP.

Posted by mason2 on 02/07/12 at 08:59 AM | #

Here is the American twist to the article, notice the 50 hour interrogation.—abc-news.html

Posted by Miriam on 02/07/12 at 12:27 PM | #

It is certainly not going to be cakewalk:

(a) Judges will be missing her personal charm
(b) Dry and cold papers have a knack of exposing the truth
(c) Media circus will be missing
(d) The common argument “if she can spend 2M on propganda, why she cannot spend a few pennies on a poor black man who suffered because of her”? may finally win
(e) There will be hardly any sympathy. The court may (and it should) increase the fine considering that she is an American!

Posted by chami on 02/07/12 at 05:18 PM | #
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