Thursday, May 31, 2018

Italy and the euro: Sergio Mattarella has opened a window of opportunity to save the single currency

Carlo Cottarelli, Interim-PM, arrives at Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome, May 29, 2018

Crisis looms large over the eurozone yet again. And this time it’s swirling around Italy. If Cyprus was a tropical storm for the euro in 2013 and Greece a hurricane in 2015 what will Italy turn out to be in 2018?

Italy’s public debt is 132% of GDP. This is the second highest in the euro area (Greece is still out in front with 180.8%). In absolute terms, however, Italy’s public debt at €2.3 trillion dwarfs Greece’s €320 billion. Meanwhile, the eurozone’s third-largest economy contains a rising tide of populist, anti-EU sentiment.

Trump makes racism respectable again in America

One hundred years after Woodrow Wilson, a racist who restored segregation to the federal civil service, won re-election in the 1916 US presidential election, Donald Trump, another racist who in the 1970s with his father had been charged with housing discrimination against blacks by the Department of Justice, was elected president. In recent decades while overt racism had become a social taboo, Trump won many fans by propagating the lie that Barack Obama, the first black president, had been born in Africa not the United States – suggesting Obama was an illegitimate president.

This week Roseanne Barr, an actress and Trumpian, wrote in a tweet that Obama administration aide Valerie Jarrett was the baby of the “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.” The odious cretin also tweeted that 87-year-old Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire George Soros, had collaborated with the Nazis to send fellow Jews to the gas chambers and steal their wealth – he was a child/teen during the Second World War.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Can technology solve Brexit NI border issue? - BBC Newsnight May 2018

BBC News: Published on May 11, 2018- Brexit: Five steps to understanding the EU customs union - How the UK's future trading relationship with Europe is going to work is one of the biggest Brexit questions.

The New Silk Road: China's Route to Europe? | DW English

Radio Free Europe: China’s “New Silk Road” is a multibillion-dollar project, linking it to European markets via a corridor of trade and investment across Central Asia. Kazakhstan is a major partner, and the two countries speak glowingly of their cooperation. But beneath the veneer of warm words, corruption, bureaucracy, and old antipathies sometimes get in the way.

DW Germany: China is investing US$900 billion in the New Silk Road – possibly the biggest infrastructure project in history. Is the goal to foster trade and development? Or does China have a neo-colonial agenda?

Who was Karl Marx? | Videos: DW Germany Documentary & Economist

Karl Marx (1818-1883) was a German-born philosopher of the 19th century whose works covered economics, sociology and political theory and later revolutionized politics in large parts of the world.

Born in the city of Trier, Karl Marx fled to England and became stateless in 1849, after he became considered a political threat in Germany. Known as the "Father of Communism," he wrote the political pamphlet "The Communist Manifesto" (1848) with Friedrich Engels, and is the author of the founding theoretical text "Capital: Critique of Political Economy" (1867-1883).

Was Karl Marx right? | The Economist — Karl Marx remains surprisingly relevant 200 years after his birth. He rightly predicted some of the pitfalls of capitalism, but his solution was far worse than the disease.

Martin Wolf: how Italy became Eurosceptic and why it matters

FT's chief economics commentator looks at the potential for upheaval for the euro and the eurozone as a new populist Italian government edges closer.

Italy in crisis again but average incomes higher than Ireland’s