International Developments

? “Russia withdraws its remaining personnel from Syria: Evacuation signals growing concern in Moscow about conflict between ally Bashar al-Assad’s regime and rebels.”

? “The Men Who Get Rich Off Syrian Refugees”.

? “US and Afghan officials say they are committed to talks with the Taliban, despite an assault on a CIA station and government buildings on Monday.”

? “Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi: I have made mistakes” and “pledges radical reforms to state institutions”.

? When President Obama arrives in South Africa this Friday, “South Africans plan protests over [his] administration’s funding of African dictators, revelations of NSA spying and economic agenda.”

International Finance

? Emperor European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi “Fudged Italy’s Books to Secure Eurozone Entry, Italy Stuck With Derivative Losses”.  Wonder what else he’s done.

? A package of EU reforms will reduce subsidies to big farms “up to 30% “.  “Some” of the savings will be redistributed to smaller farms which “use eco-friendly methods.”

Money Matters USA

? The average payment to mortgage rip-off victims is $809, with two-thirds actually receiving $300.   Banks hired consulting firms to process 500,000 foreclosure reviews but the “reviews were stopped with fewer than 104,000 completed”, at a cost of  “about $2 billion”.  Yves Smith has more.

? He wrote “anti-big bank messages . . . in water-soluble chalk outside Bank of America branches” in San Diego, CA and could get 13 years and $13,000 in fines for it.  The judge has ruled his attorney cannot mention “the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial.”

? John Hammergren, McKesson Corporation, has the largest pension “in corporate America”–$159 million.  Meanwhile, “The average working household has virtually no retirement savings.”

? Originally estimated to be 2.4%, the US growth rate has been revised to 1.8%. [cont’d]

Photo by daphenator under Creative Commons license

Dan Wright

Dan Wright

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