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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Links for Sunday Reading - Hell in a Handbasket Edition

John Stewart explains it all ...

And Now for Frank Rich's take ...

It’s the Economic Stupidity, Stupid

THE best thing to happen to John McCain was for the three network anchors to leave him in the dust this week while they chase Barack Obama on his global Lollapalooza tour. Were voters forced to actually focus on Mr. McCain’s response to our spiraling economic crisis at home, the prospect of his ascension to the Oval Office could set off a panic that would make the IndyMac Bank bust in Pasadena look as merry as the Rose Bowl.

Uncomfortable Answers to Questions on the Economy

Something has clearly gone wrong with the economy. But how bad are things, really? And how bad might they get before better days return? Even to many economists who recently thought the gloom was overblown, the situation looks grim. The economy is in the midst of a very rough patch. The worst is probably still ahead.

Sen. Levin: Shut Down Giant Swiss Bank UBS

Federal regulators should consider revoking the US banking license of the giant Swiss Bank UBS because of its role in helping wealthy Americans evade billions of dollars in taxes, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) told ABC News today.

XX Sean’s note – sure seems like the folks in Washington don’t want us to have a way to get our money out of the US and into a safe haven like Switzerland, do they?

Fed's Stern Says Interest-Rate Rise `Can't Wait' Until Markets Stabilize

The bank president compared the credit crunch to the one in the early 1990s, which restrained economic growth for almost three years. That's a more sanguine assessment than others have. The International Monetary Fund has said it's the worst financial shock since the Great Depression. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said it's the most intense in more than half a century.

Debt Rattle, July 19 2008: Less corn and more hell

I would not at all be surprised if by Christmas Britain will be declared an economic disaster area, and emergency legislation be adopted.

How China's taking over Africa, and why the West should be VERY worried

Reminiscent of the West's imperial push in the 18th and 19th centuries - but on a much more dramatic, determined scale - China's rulers believe Africa can become a 'satellite' state, solving its own problems of over-population and shortage of natural resources at a stroke. With little fanfare, a staggering 750,000 Chinese have settled in Africa over the past decade. More are on the way. The strategy has been carefully devised by officials in Beijing, where one expert has estimated that China will eventually need to send 300 million people to Africa to solve the problems of over-population and pollution.

India: Energy scenario bleak as country faces sharp decline in power generation

NEW DELHI: The lesser inflow of water into rivers and the declining levels in dams and reservoirs across the southern, western and north-eastern regions of the country have led to a sharp decline in power generation, particularly hydro-power. The gas-based stations have also been under-performing due to shortage of fuel, leading to outages, power cuts and blackouts in many parts of the country.

Pakistan: Agri sector faces acute shortage of water

ISLAMABAD: Rising petroleum prices would affect the agriculture sector of the country as farmers are dependent on fuel to operate their tube-wells for getting water, which is the basic need for irrigation and growth of crops.

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