Thursday, November 3, 2011

Quick Hits - November 3, 2011

The Greek / Eurozone debacle is one of the biggest stories overseas.  Many new developments and the situation remains very much influx as the stakes are extremely high for both the EU, Greece, their government leaders, and with the collateral damage possibilities, even the US.  President Obama is in Cannes for the G20 meeting... Among the updates, the WSJ is reporting that the Eurozone, led by Merkel (Germany) and Sarkozy (France) have delivered an ultimatum to Greek PM Papandreou; it is also being reported that Papandreou has decided to scrap the referendum plan..which has just been confirmed by the Greek Finance Minister.  Is this because of the emergency meeting called after Greek Government Ministers revolted over the referendum?  The Ultimatum?  Or is it because the slim 3 vote majority that Papandreou held in Parliament disappeared as at least 4 from his party either resigned or defected from supporting the vote to authorize the referendum?

Some quick numbers on Greece's financials - the Greek debt obligation now totals about $480 billion US.  This amount is about 150% of the annual GDP of Greece.  In 2010, the GDP shrunk by 4.5%.  For 2010, the Greek Government had about $118.5 billion US in revenues and spent about $150.6 billion US.  The $32.1B US deficit was, proportionally, less than the US Federal budget deficit of 2010.  (The US currently has a national debt obligation of about 100-102% of GDP.)

In other news.....

#OccupyOakland continues to set the pace for violence as they turned their 11/2/11 strike day into riot day...vandalizing a Whole Foods grocery store, smashing windows at a Bank of America bank, building and burning barricades, topped off by forcing the shutdown of the Port of Oakland.  Meanwhile, Oakland's leaders continue to make excuses for the radical Marxists, anarchists, and pinheads that comprise the OccupyOakland movement.  These same people are distributing fliers that are calling for more violence.

On the domestic news front, while many in the media salivate over the accusations / smears / disclosures regarding GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain, there are also some items of interest that are in danger of slipping under the radar screens...  The Chairman of the Federal Reserve has opened the door for a new round of Fed purchases of mortgage backed securities after releasing dismal projections on the US Economy (economic growth and unemployment) through 2014. 

The other GOP Presidential candidate / front-runner, Mitt Romney, who has challenges appealing to the more conservative wing of the GOP, is the subject of a Washington Post story that reports he told NARAL in 2002 - 'You need a moderate like me in DC to influence the GOP'.  This will not help his efforts to appear to be a conservative.

Pollster Frank Luntz highlights that the 'Honest Budget Act' bill currently being reviewed in Congress is 'legislative perfection' when it comes to support from the people. 

Perhaps no form of out-of-control government spending is more exasperating than the money the federal government pretends it doesn’t spend. Since 2005, accounting tricks and budget gimmicks have enabled more than $350 billion in additional deficit spending. That’s why, about a month ago, Sen. Jeff Sessions and Sen. Olympia Snowe introduced the Honest Budget Act to eliminate the nine most common deceptive budgeting practices Washington routinely employs.
Big Peace World View - 3 November 2011 - In addition to the Greek drama, Israel, in retaliation for the repeated missile / rocket attacks from Gaza, approves new settlements to be constructed. 

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