Fraud And Folly: The Untold Story Of General Electric's Subprime Debacle - By Michael Hudson (13/1/12) PDF Print E-mail
Michael Hudson   
Friday, 13 January 2012 10:08

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Twin Deficits - By Gary North (13/1/12) PDF Print E-mail
Gary North   
Friday, 13 January 2012 10:07

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Gold Correction Is Over - By Alf Field (13/1/12) PDF Print E-mail
Alf Field   
Friday, 13 January 2012 10:06

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Credit Card Firms: They Don't Just Steal From Cardholders - By Matt Taibbi (11/1/12) PDF Print E-mail
Matt Taibbi   
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 08:20

Rollingstone Magazine

Great story out this morning by Bloomberg reporter Thom Weidlich, detailing yet another devious and dirty scheme in the consumer credit industry.

The story outlines the misfortunes of a successful Park City, Utah restaurant called Cisero's that is best known for serving the movie stars and film glitterati attending the nearby Sundance film festival. The restaurant is engaged in a legal battle with its bank, but the larger struggle is between the restaurant and major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard.

It's a complex tale, but the gist of it is that the credit-card companies invoked arcane provisions of operating contracts with the merchant, and unilaterally "fined" the restaurant for enormous sums of money without proving any of the charges. Some of that money was actually debited from the merchants' account before they managed to close it. 

When a restaurant opens for business, it signs service contracts with middleman firms that allow them to accept charges from Visa and MasterCards. These middleman firms process the charges on behalf of the issuing cards, and also debit the accounts of merchants for things like debit fees.



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The Cheery Jobs Report That Isn't: Outlook Still Dismal - The Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: Almost 24 million People Are Unemployed Or Underemployed - By CommonDreams.comm (9/1/12) PDF Print E-mail
CommonDreams.com   
Monday, 09 January 2012 09:03

Agencies are cheering a Labor Department report that showed a growth of 200,00 jobs in December.

AP reports:

The nation added 200,000 jobs in December in a burst of hiring that drove the unemployment rate to its lowest in almost three years. The figures raised hopes that the economy might finally be healthy enough to power an even stronger job market.

Alan B. Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, stated:

Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

This statement may be of little comfort to the long-term unemployed. The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows:

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 5.6 million and accounted for 42.5 percent of the unemployed.



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