Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Coalition Adopts Policy on Climate Change that it had before

Coalition adopts policy on climate change that it had before: Isn't this great? After a couple of steps backward and a bit of round and round, the Nelson Turnbull Liberal party has advanced decisively to the position that it held when the dinosaur Howard was rendered extinct at the last election by the biggest issue of the 21st Century: Climate Change.

This is an important lesson too. Now as ever, governments, parties and parliaments don't lead, they follow. Action on climate change will have to be imposed on them from without.

The heads of Woodside Petroleum, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and the Business Council were among those to directly lobby senior West Australian Liberals, including Ms Bishop and Chris Ellison. The corporate giants supported the original Coalition policy. They wanted the Opposition to stay engaged in the debate so Labor's policy, with which they have some concerns, could be fine-tuned and not subject to negotiations with the Greens.

This is ominous, and another clear signal of what is going on. Instead of a carbon tax, a watered down 'trading' system is favoured by the fossil fuel lobby, because it is easier to rort, evade and degrade.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Roubini: severe recession and financial and banking crisis is now unavoidable


Back in February 2008 Roubini claimed that:

there is now a rising probability of a “catastrophic” financial and economic outcome, i.e. a vicious circle where a deep recession makes the financial losses more severe and where, in turn, large and growing financial losses and a financial meltdown make the recession even more severe. The Fed is seriously worried about this vicious circle and about the risks of a systemic financial meltdown....

... “nightmare” or “catastrophic” scenario that the Fed and financial officials around the world are now worried about. Such a scenario – however extreme – has a rising and significant
probability of occurring. Thus, it does not describe a very low probability event but rather an outcome that is quite possible.

Well now Roubini is saying that

A severe recession and financial and banking crisis is unavoidable.... a financial meltdown - that I described in my February paper - is now underway and cannot be stopped.

NB. Henry George was correct. It's all about (kapitalized) land value and lending money using (high) land values as collateral. When land values go down after the inevitable and predictable boom, the financial system is bust.

This one is a real doozy because of the triumph of neo-liberalism: the socialism and new-deal hating 'free market' capitalist ideology which has seen the lethal trifecta of privatization, deregulation, and (property) tax cuts combined with the thoroughly ruthless and determined manner in which Wall St has created as much land-value based debt as rapidly as possible, securitized it, and flogged it all over the world as 'toxic paper', regardless of consequences.

According to some commentators the entire US banking system is insolvent.