Industry leaders and regulators in several countries including Canada, Australia and Germany have adopted or proposed limits on high-speed trading and other technological developments that have come to define United States markets.
The flurry of international activity is particularly striking because regulators have been slow to act in the United States, where trading firms and investors have been hardest hit by a series of market disruptions, including the flash crash of 2010 and the runaway trading in August by Knight Capital that cost it $440 million in just hours. While the Securities and Exchange Commission is hosting a round table on the topic on Tuesday, the agency has not proposed any major new rules this year.
In contrast, the German government on Wednesday advanced legislation that would, among other things, force high-speed trading firms to register with the government and limit their ability to rapidly place and cancel orders, one of the central strategies used by the firms to take advantage of small changes in the price of stocks. A few hours later, a committee at the European Parliament agreed on similar but broader rules that would apply to all 27 member states of the European Union if governments also give their approval.
In Australia, the top securities regulator recently stated its intention of bringing computer-driven trading firms under stricter supervision and forcing them to conduct stress testing, to protect “against the type of disruption we have seen recently in other markets.”
The broadest and fastest changes have come out of Canada, where this spring regulators began increasing the fees charged to firms that flood the market with orders. The research and trading firm ITG found that the change had already made trading more efficient by reducing the crush of data burdening the market’s computer systems.
Now Canadian trading desks are preparing for rules that will come into effect on Oct. 15 and curtail the growth of the sophisticated trading venues known as dark pools that have proliferated in the United States. While the regulation has been hotly debated, many Canadian bankers and investors have said they don’t want to go any further down the road that has taken the United States from having one major exchange a decade ago to having 13 official exchanges and dozens of dark pools today.
28 documents found in 0.001 seconds.
- Barack Obama
- Economic Crisis
- Glenn Hubbard
- Media Criticism
- Mitt Romney
- Notre Dame
- Open Thread
- Political Ads
- President Obama
- Randall Terry
- Right Wing Violence
- Ruth Marcus
- Sean Hannity
- Uninsured Americans
- Washington Post
- World Cup
- midterm elections
- nuclear power protests
- public sector
- world cup soccer
"Politics," Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg declared during Harry Truman's presidency decades ago, "stops at the water's edge." Not, it turns out, for Mitt Romney. Three years ago, Romney blasted Obama's "apology tour" even as the President was visiting Cairo, Ankara and other capitals. (For that slander, the Washington Post fact-checker gave Romney a "Four Pinocchio" rating.) Now, the Republican nominee has dispatched his chief economic adviser, Glenn Hubbard, to pen an op-ed in a German paper to undermine the Obama administration's position on the economic crisis in Europe.
For months, the White House has been pressuring Euro zone leaders and German chancellor Angela Merkel to take action to stabilize Spain and Greece while backing away from the draconian austerity programs that are dragging down European economies and threatening the U.S. recovery. Even as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pushed for the rescue of Spanish banks, President Obama used his press conference Friday to issue a warning:
Over the longer term, even as European countries with large debt burdens carry out necessary fiscal reforms, they've also got to promote economic growth and job creation. As some countries have discovered, it's a lot harder to rein in deficits and debt if your economy isn't growing. So it's a positive thing that the conversation has moved in that direction, and leaders like Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are working to put in place a growth agenda alongside responsible fiscal plans.
But even as the Obama administration was sending Merkel one message, former Mitt Romney's chief economic adviser, Glenn Hubbard, was taking to the pages of the business journal Handelsblatt to argue the reverse in his screed, "Don't Learn from America." As The New York Times reported:
"Unfortunately, the advice of the U.S. government regarding solutions to the crisis is misleading. For Europe and especially for Germany," Mr. Hubbard wrote, according to a translation of his article from the Handelsblatt Web site.
He opposed what he described as the Obama administration's efforts "to persuade Germany to stand up financially weak governments and banks in the euro zone so that the Greek crisis would not spread to other states."
"These recommendations are not only unwise," he added, "they also reveal ignorance of the causes of the crisis and of a growth trend in the future."
Mr. Hubbard proposed a classic conservative pro-austerity, anti-Keynesian approach, arguing that cutting government spending will restore public confidence, encourage growth and avert future tax increases.
"Long-term confidence in solid government financing shores up growth and enables the same scope for short-term transitional assistance," he said. "Mitt Romney, Obama's Republican opponent, understands this very well and advises a gradual fiscal consolidation for the U.S.: structural reform to stimulate growth."
“The media,” as it’s referred to, is not a monolith. We don’t just have one channel, one paper or one site with one nefarious dude pulling levers. “The media” consists of books, newspapers, magazines, television, billboards, radio, blogs, vlogs, ebooks, webcasts, podcasts and movies etc. The media is a vast and (kind of) diverse way of communicating information.
Let’s talk news. And where the majority of Americans – as in over 50 percent (by most estimates) – still get their news – from their local nightly news show. Any discussion about how unaware Americans are when it comes to news needs to have its finger pointed at the proper culprit: Your local broadcast.
Yes, everyone hates Congress but loves their Congressman. Everyone thinks “the media” is biased, wrong and awful – but tunes in to their local anchor with admiration and trust. A pox on them all, except our guy…
Last week a PublicMind FDU poll went viral with the line, “Fox News [viewers] are five-points more likely than those who watch no news at all, to incorrectly say it’s the U.S. that is bailing out European countries.” The under-reported story (buried lede as we call it in “the media”) was of those polled 67 percent said they watched their local news. And that could explain why 36 percent said they didn’t know who was bailing out Europe and only 30 percent gave the correct answer (Germany).
Did you know that Iceland is having a revolution as a direct result of the economic meltdown centered in the U.S. housing market? How about Syria being sanctioned by the Arab League? Vladamir Putin has gotten himself back on the ballot in Russia?
And it’s not just the “reading off BBC headlines” news the local news misses – it’s the actual local news: Investigative news in the public interest. News about the economy, politics and local issues.
Your local news opts to put a camera in the face of a crime victim and be a staple of “fear porn” rather than ever tackle difficult segments holding the school board/city council/mayor/state legislature/governor accountable for anything.
Why can I assume without sitting down and watching a week of your local newscast that they’re more than likely gleefully doing a recap of what happened on Dancing With the Stars/American Idol/Survivor tonight? Because your local broadcast news is more than likely ratings driven. And because of the last couple of decades of ratings driven local news our Edward R. Murrows have all become Harvey Levins.
Why are Americans not even rising to the level of ill informed and topping out at totally clueless? Because as Homo sapiens, we are effectively distracted by shiny objects and Kardashians. Plus our monkey brains got a chance to evolve this long by being on hyper-alert for danger, so we eat up any story telling us about “the hidden dangers lurking in our homes!” So of course we tune-in as told and in that way reward our local yokels for their reportage. And local yokels as Homo sapiens … also like rewards. It’s a vicious circle.
In Europe, the politicians seem to pay at least a little attention to the voters. So who knows? Maybe this will work. But there's so much invested in nuclear energy, I don't know how they can bring it to a complete halt anytime soon:
More than 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets in 20 cities across Germany on Saturday to call for a rapid end to nuclear power, even as a government-sponsored national commission is expected to recommend that Berlin abolish nuclear energy within a decade.
The Ethics Commission is set to announce the results of its final report on Germany's energy future, calling for nuclear power to be phased out by 2021.
Chancellor Angela Merkel had tasked the commission with forging a national consensus on how to replace nuclear power with renewable energy in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan last March.
The political opposition praised the commission's recommendation while expressing doubt about how Chancellor Merkel's center-right coalition would receive the report.
"I have doubts whether Merkel can successfully implement this position within her coalition," said Thomas Oppermann of the center-left Social Democrats' parliamentary group.
In Berlin, at least 20,000 protesters marched from city hall to the headquarters of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, where they called for an immediate end to nuclear power.
Demonstration organizer Uwe Hiksch said an exit from nuclear power within a decade was not acceptable. The environmental organization Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) also called for a quicker shutdown of the country's nuclear plants.
The Philadelphia Unemployment Project demonstrating to save AdultBasic, the State of Pennsylvania insurance program to cover the unemployed. The Blues have refused to extend the contract.
Why did the insurance industry try so hard to destroy the credibility of Michael Moore's "Sicko"? Because once Americans saw what other countries had, they would begin to see what was possible -- and that would be bad for health insurers.
I'm pretty sure Americans would feel the same way if they saw the kind of safety net available to citizens in other countries -- Germany, for instance. Via Democrats Ramshield, an American expat, writing for Alternet:
The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. Though it spends less -- right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical -- the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.
The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 40 million on food stamps. Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and a dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave. When you realize all of that, it becomes easy to understand why many Europeans think America has gone insane.
Der Spiegel has run an interesting feature called "A Superpower in Decline," which attempts to explain to a German audience such odd phenomena as the rise of the Tea Party, without the hedging or attempts at "balance" found in mainstream U.S. media.
[...] The piece continues with the sobering assessment that America’s actual unemployment rate isn’t really 10 percent, but close to 20 percent when we factor in the number of people who have stopped looking for work.
Some social scientists think that making sure large-scale crime or fascism never takes root in Europe again requires a taxpayer investment in a strong social safety net. Can we learn from Europe? Isn't it better to invest in a social safety net than in a large criminal justice system? (In America over 2 million people are incarcerated.)
Unlike here, in Germany jobless benefits never run out. Not only that -- as part of their social safety net, all job seekers continue to be medically insured, as are their families.
In the German jobless benefit system, when "jobless benefit 1" runs out, "jobless benefit 2," also known as HartzIV, kicks in. That one never gets cut off. The jobless also have contributions made for their pensions. They receive other types of insurance coverage from the state. As you can imagine, the estimated 2 million unemployed Americans who almost had no benefits this Christmas seems a particular horror show to Europeans, made worse by the fact that the U.S. government does not provide any medical insurance to American unemployment recipients. Europeans routinely recoil at that in disbelief and disgust.
[...] It's important to note that no country in the European Union uses food stamps in order to humiliate its disadvantaged citizens in the grocery checkout line. Even worse is the fact that even the humbling food stamp allotment may not provide enough food for America’s jobless families. So it is on a reoccurring basis that some of these families report eating out of garbage cans to the European media.
Oracle Paul the Psychic Octopus predicts a win for Spain. However, having been in Amsterdam during Holland's amazing win over Brazil last week, I'll be going against cephalopod wisdom and rooting for the Big Orange.
Ruth Marcus writes a pretty good article in the Washington Post about the crack pot conservatives running as teabaggers in the upcoming midterm elections like Rick Barber. After watching Barber's insane political ads she concludes her article with this:
As to the video, Barber was unapologetic. "We can't be so naive to think that just because we live in America that can't happen to us," he said. "We are being fed a socialist agenda spoon by spoon, and we don't see it coming. In Germany, when Hitler was first elected under the Socialist Party, no one would have thought in a million years it would have gone where it did."
I would not have thought in a million years that this kind of thinking would be inside the conservative mainstream. If it is not, it is time for rational conservatives to speak up.
I would not have thought in a million years that a Washington Post writer would have no clue about the history of the conservative movement. Does she not realize that there was a fight for the soul of that movement between William Buckley of the NRO and Robert Welch of the Birchers? Barry Goldwater refused to dismiss the Birchers as wackos entirely because they were useful like the teabaggers, but he did attack Welch.
Rick Perlstein's: 'Beyond The Storm:'
The attendees fell into two camps. Buckley and Kirk said they were ready to write the Birchers out of the conservative movement altogether. Goldwater and others canceled accommodation. He thought there were a lot of 'nice guys' in the Society and not just 'kooks' and that it wasn't time to precipitate breaks in the conservatives' fragile movement.
They settled on a compromise. National Review would attack Robert Welch, not the John Birch Society. Goldwater would take the line that Welch was a crazy extremist, but that the Society itself was full of 'fine, upstanding citizens' working hard and well for the cause of Americanism.
Haven't we heard the same thing from Newtie and Rove about the teabaggers? Sure, they have racist signs and say racist things, but it's only a few people.The rest are great Americans. Right wing extremists have populated the conservative movement since it began. It's only when a Democrat is elected president that they freak out and expose themselves to public view. That's why I came up with the idea of writing our new book. I thought what was happening should be documented. The 'Whiplash politics' practiced by the conservative movement as soon as Obama was elected, (The Tea Party folks) which is really the GOP now was just another chapter in their checkered history. Ruth Marcus should know that. I often wonder if the MSM is just too scared to write about the tea party people or conservatives because they were traumatized during the HCR town hall meetings last summer. They were shocked by the vitriolic insanity that was splashed across the nation. Here's another tip for Ruth. Conservatives rarely abandon their wingnuts. They may attack a Michael Steele once in a while, but they will never forsake a conservative transmitter like Coulter, no matter how far out they get.
Anyway, please support liberal authors and buy this book.
Oh, and Dean Baker takes her down because she doesn't know jack about Social Security either.
[Script reads: "We Are Creating the New Germany! Remember the victims -- Vote the National Socialist List". Larger image here.]
Following up on yesterday's correction of Rush Limbaugh's historical revisionism, noting that both Blackshirts and Brownshirts made their political bones by beating up on union organizers and socialists ...
From State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, by Steven Luckert and Susan Bachrach, pp. 48-50:
In the final years of the Weimar Republic, Germany was mired in a grave political and economic crisis that left the society verging on civil war. Street violence by paramilitary organizations on the Left and the Right increased sharply. In the final ten days of the July 1932 parliamentary elections, Prussian authorities reported three hundred acts of politically motivated violence that left twenty-four people dead and almost three hundred injured. In the Nazi campaigns, propaganda and terror were closely linked. In Berlin, Nazi Party leader Joseph Goebbels intentionally provoked Communist and Social Democratic actions by marching SA [Brownshirt] storm troopers into working-class neighborhoods where those parties had strongholds. Then he invoked the heroism of the Nazi "martyrs" who were injured or killed in these battles to garner greater public attention. Nazi newspapers, photographs, films, and later paintings dramatized the exploits of these fighters. The "Horst Wessel Song," bearing the name of the twenty-three-year-old storm trooper and protege of Goebbels who was killed in 1930, became the Nazi hymn. The well-publicized image of the SA-man with a bandaged head, a stirring reminder of his combat against the "Marxists" (along with other portrayals of muscular, oversized storm troopers), became standard in party propaganda. In the first eight months of 1932, the Nazis claimed that seventy "martyrs" had fallen in battle against the enemy. Such heroic depictions -- set against the grim realities of chronic unemployment and underemployment for young people during the Weimar period -- no doubt helped increase membership in the SA units, which expanded in Berlin from 450 men in 1926 to some 32,000 by January 1933.
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog had a great post the other day exposing an online sales scheme hatched at the Republican National Committee's website whereby you could search for goods on an "Obama Card" and come up with all kinds of goodies.
So Aravosis did searches for such words as "Jew," "Latino," "Bondage," "Escort" and "Anal" and got some very interesting responses. Many of them are hilarious, actually.
But the one that caught my attention most was the search for "Jew," which you can see above. Among its responses, as Aravosis notes, is "The Jews and Their Lies."
But in the second spot for this search is the video Jud Süß. This was the vicious anti-Semitic film created by the Nazis and used as propaganda to advance the Holocaust as it was occurring in Germany.
The other stuff is incredibly hypocritical, but this material is downright disturbing. Whoever was responsible for compiling the material for these searches had deeply questionable tastes.
Sean Hannity loves his analogies. First he opens his segment last night with an analogy comparing the Obama administration to the evil anti-Catholic plotters who are the chief villains of the new Tom Hanks movie, Angels and Demons. All this in the context of Obama's appearance at Notre Dame's commencement this weekend.
Then his guest, Randall Terry -- the man who brought us the Terri Schiavo fiasco -- comes on and tries some analogies of his own. First he compares the Obama appearance to Pope Benedict appearing before Planned Parenthood. Then, at the end of the segment, he goes one better -- Obama's like Hitler:
Can you imagine somebody saying, 'Let's have one of the leaders of Germany come in -- we don't really like what he did with that Jewish thing, but they build great roads, and they gave people hope, and they helped rebuild the economy.' It's crazy.
Yes, it's crazy indeed.