Mark Ruffalo and Tom Morello launch Robin Hood tax plan to outlaw Wall Street excess

Tom+Morello+arm+the+homeless 450x299 Mark Ruffalo and Tom Morello launch Robin Hood tax plan to outlaw Wall Street excess

“I came late to the genre of folk music.” (img by sofilambert)

tl;dr we should have a .5% tax on trades.

@the Raw Story:

Actor Mark Ruffalo and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello have launched a new US campaign for a “Robin Hood tax”, a small levy on Wall Street transactions that organisers say could generate hundred of billions of dollars a year.

The campaign, backed by National Nurses United, the largest nursing union in the US, has already launched in 14 countries, including the UK, France and Germany.

Organisers of the campaign, which also features Coldplay singer Chris Martin, are calling for a tax of “less than half of 1%” on Wall Street transactions, which they say would not affect most Americans’ financial activity.

Adopting the 99% language of the Occupy movement, the campaign said the tax would “easy to enforce and tough to evade”. (more…)

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Does this pass the homeless test?

Homless and on the Move Does this pass the homeless test?

(img by Ginger Tuesday)

A little over a year ago, I went on a six-week fast. I wanted to know what it was like, why people did it, if I could do it, and how it would change me. Modeled off the old Catholic tradition of the Black Fast, the rules were this: you get one meal a day after sunset, six days a week, Sundays you can eat whatever.

The first week was easy. Annoying, but easy. Saturday night I had the best prime rib of my life. By the final week, I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t walk straight, my body was incapable of temperature regulation, and I had cramps and spasms constantly. I also did it in the spring and I became painfully conscious of the lengthening days.

You’d think you can cram in a good number of calories eating one meal a day, but over time, your stomach shrinks and you stop being able to eat in quantity. Big dinners became normal-sized dinners, and eventually small, calorically-dense meals. Towards the end on Sundays I couldn’t even eat three meals a day, although I was allowed to.

But when I go back to that, when I think about what the fast was like, I don’t think about the physical stress, that isn’t the part that sticks out the most, or even much at all. The most prominent part of that fast, what I remember most vividly, is an overwhelming feeling of being poor.

It crept in slowly over time. But eventually, it becomes everything, all day. One day, I looked down at the mail–junk–and saw a flier of coupons for the Hamburger Stand. I picked it up and read every word, I held it like a missal, I couldn’t pull myself away from the pictures of the food. I knew I couldn’t have all of it, couldn’t eat all of it, but I looked at the combos and the fancy drinks and tried to taste  them in my head to plan out how I might eat my next meal, how I would stage thing out, what order would I go in.

When you fast that long, even though it’s a construct of your own design, the desperate poverty you feel isn’t illusionary, it’s crushing. (more…)

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Is Insider Trading Part of the Fabric?

Japan to ask SEC to join insider trading crackdown sources 450x299 Is Insider Trading Part of the Fabric?

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission logo adorns an office door at the SEC headquarters in Washington. (img by Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

@NYT:

EVEN before the news was official, it filtered out—unofficially—to Wall Street.

Ted Parmigiani, an analyst at the former Lehman Brothers, spent two and a half years giving the S.E.C. information about what he contended was insider trading at the firm. But the S.E.C. ultimately decided against filing a case.
On a trading floor in Midtown Manhattan, the squawk boxes were set to relay a market-moving bulletin at 10 a.m. This was the news: An analyst at the investment house was raising his assessment of Amkor Technology, a big name in computer chips.

But it was only 9:30, and Amkor’s share price was already rising. By the time the announcement came, it was up 4 percent. “It was clear that my research had been leaked,” the analyst, Ted Parmigiani, recalls.

But leaked how, and by whom? To Mr. Parmigiani, there was only one explanation: someone inside his own research department had tipped off the firm’s traders, as well as some fast-money hedge funds.

Nearly seven years later, the events of that June day—and countless others like it, up and down Wall Street—still rankle him. The fallout effectively ended his career. The firm he worked for, Lehman Brothers, was eventually undone by greed and hubris, its spectacular collapse in September 2008 a symbol of an age of financial excess. (more…)

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Senators back increasing air travel fees to close TSA funding shortfall

photo414 450x465 Senators back increasing air travel fees to close TSA funding shortfall

Pat McKrotch (img by Reporter Gary)

@the Hill:

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday moved forward with legislation to increase airline passenger security fees, beating back a GOP attempt to keep them at current levels.

The 2013 Homeland Security appropriations bill would increase one-way fees for passengers from $2.50 to $5 in order to close a budget shortfall at the Transportation Security Administration.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said the $315 million in funding would otherwise come from taxpayers and argued it is better to stick passengers who rely on TSA with the bill. (more…)

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The RIAA claims LimeWire owes them more money than in all existence

Not Sure If Art Or Copyright Infringement The RIAA claims LimeWire owes them more money than in all existence

Think about this the next time you steal a single or literally nuke Western Europe (img by ROFL Photo)

It’s hard to put a price on the damages of online piracy. There’s a lot of reasons for this. Many pirates are not customers, period. They would never pay for the content they copy, and as such can not account for loss. The greatest pirates in the world are simply digital librarians, who pirate content for idealistic purposes.

And let us not forget that piracy has marketable benefits. Pirates generate buzz and demand for content, they are a kind of free advertising.

In fact, many people are arguing that piracy isn’t a serious issue at all, and point to the rapid growth of independent content creators as a strong indication that major content producers are failing because of other, non-piracy-related issues.

That being said, the RIAA wants LimeWire to pay them money they would have gotten a cut of if not for those piratey kids. The money they say they’re owed: greater than all the money. Everywhere. In all the countries put together.

The music industry wants LimeWire to pay up to $75 trillion in damages after losing a copyright infringement claim. That’s right… $75 trillion. Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood has labeled this request “absurd.”

To put that number into perspective, the U.S. GDP is around 14 trillion–less than one fifth of what the music industry is requesting. Heck, the GDP of the entire world is between 59 and 62 trillion. That’s right, the music industry wants LimeWire to pay more money than exists in the entire world.

So think about that the next time you download some pirated content because the officially-supported website’s player uses some proprietary bullshit that skips entire sections and only works in one browser and doesn’t work at all on your Mac or other non-Microsoft computer because of the encrypted streaming that you had to download that God-awful app to watch it that starts up automatically every time you turn on your computer and no-shit ties up 12 percent of your memory just sitting there running in the background doing nothing.

Because if you do that, then you are seriously harming the music industry, to a tune where you could literally nuke Western Europe and still leave the global economy in better shape than before you committed that terrible atrocity.

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Nightmare foretold if Greece heads for euro exit

O9LMP Nightmare foretold if Greece heads for euro exit

Δοινκ! (img by futuretoday777)

In Athens, the homeless are on the streets in growing numbers, soup kitchens feed twice as many people as a year ago, and the poor are diving into garbage bins in search of scrap they can sell, @Reuters:

Greece is close to breaking point as it struggles with austerity targets set by creditors, but this is just a foretaste of the nightmare of unrest, hunger and even anarchy that could engulf the debt-crippled nation if it is forced out of the euro.

If the exact economic impact of such a move is hard to nail down – newly issued drachmas devalued by up to 70 percent, runaway inflation, a banking meltdown, a collapse in trade – the implications for ordinary Greeks crushed by the debt crisis are even harder to predict.

Without international bailout cash, salaries and pensions would go unpaid and violence, political extremism and uncontrolled emigration could quickly follow. (more…)

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