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Fatster’s Roundup

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Good morning!

International Developments

? “France backs plan for UN peacekeeping force in Mali: Defence minister says France would play role in UN force as troops capture airport in last rebel-held town [Kidal]”. No surprise: “Mali rebels hide as French troops drive past–then return”. Issue:  “It might be best if Africa’s former rule[r]s refrained from intervening, but who would respond to Mali’s cries for help otherwise?”

? Informative report highlights: “Egypt is in revolt”,  “is ungovernable”; police have lost control in Port Said, Suez, Ismailia; “State of Emergency” was a despised tool used by former President Hosni Mubarak, and now by President Mohammed Morsi.

? Scenes from the hell that is Damascus today.

? “Israel faces repercussions of air strike on Syria: Jewish state maintains its traditional silence in the face of accusations that it violated Syria’s sovereign territory”. Syria has formally complained to the UN.

? “The Myths of America’s Shadow War: Taking covert action is far less clean–and much more complex–than many assume.” After exposing 12 myths, the article concludes with four questions former CIA Director William Webster used when deliberating covert action.  They seem almost quaint today.

International Finance

? Has the US been buying Iranian oil for the Afghan army?

? “Pakistan to build $1.5bn Iran pipeline”.  This “essential pipeline” cannot be delayed, according to a Pakistani official, regardless of “stiff US opposition”.

? Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is now entangled in that country’s growing corruption scandal.

?  The “IMF loves telling client states to shrink spending and government overall, and they are particularly keen on cutting social safety nets”–and more from  a new paper by Mark Weisbrot and Helene Jorgensen of CEPR.

? Lord Nigel Lawson, former UK Chancellor: fully nationalize the Royal Bank of Scotland; don’t be concerned about “‘losing star performers’ if bonuses were cut” since they are “not particularly impressive individuals [and] all of them easily replaced”; etc.

Money Matters USA

? More on Lanny Breuer‘s parsimonious approach to  prosecuting major, complex financial fraud while he was at the US Dept of Justice.  Too big too fail defense was used, a dark day in the rule of law.  Interview with  Dimitri Lascaris, expert in US-Canadian securities class action suits.

? “Unemployment claims rise as fragile US jobs market takes hit: Jobless claims increaed by 38,000 to 368,000 last week–more than forecasters expected and the largest rise since November”.

? 44% of US households are unable to “keep themselves out of poverty for more than three months in the event of a financial shock such as a lost job or medical emergency”.

? The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation which insures pension plans is expected to “run out of cash in 20 years”.  The PBGC lacks clout to make employers “pay their fair share of premiums.”  Will Washington correct this situation or leave it to the same fate many seem to want for Social Security, the Post Office, etc.? [cont’d.]

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.