Economic crisis in the USA and Europe

Deepening economic crisis in Eastern Europe: here.

Germany’s leading political circles fear a second international financial crash exceeding in intensity and impact that of autumn 2008: here.

This video says about itself:

Up to 150 parents, pupils and staff marched through the city and demonstrated on November 21 outside the Town Hall in Sheffield, England to oppose the proposed closure of Abbeydale Grange School.

Hundreds of students rally against budget cuts in Detroit, USA: here.

Oregon’s October unemployment figure, released last week, remained unchanged from September and showed a nearly 1 percent drop from May 2009’s high of 12.2 percent. The report, however, was far from good news for workers: here.

5 thoughts on “Economic crisis in the USA and Europe

  1. United States: Photo essay — Students occupy Berkeley university building to protest fee hike

    Story and photos by David Bacon

    Berkeley, California — November 20, 2009 — Students occupied Wheeler
    Hall on the University of California campus in Berkeley, protesting
    against a decision by university regents to raise tuition fees by 32%,
    bringing them to US$10,302 per year for undergraduates.
    At the beginning of the occupation the students made several demands,
    including the reinstatement of 38 laid-off custodial workers, and
    amnesty for protesting students.

    * Read more


  2. Loans to banks topped £61 billion

    Finance: Emergency loans to Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS peaked at £61.6 billion at the height of the financial crisis, the Bank of England has said.

    The bank revealed for the first time the details of its assistance to both banks in a submission to the Treasury select committee.

    The duo put up collateral worth more than £100bn in return for the loans, as the financial system was rocked by the failure of Lehman Brothers.
    Alarm bells ring over winter deaths

    Winter deaths: The highest winter deaths figures in almost 10 years should act as a “deafening wake-up call” for the government, charities have warned.

    There were an extra 36,700 deaths in England and Wales from December 2008 to March 2009, compared with the average for non-winter periods, figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed.

    Age Concern and Help the Aged head of policy Andrew Harrop said: “It is a national scandal that the UK has more older people dying in winter, compared to the rest of the year, than countries with more severe weather, such as Sweden and Finland.”


  3. The Netherlands:

    Gerrit Zalm in firing line over DSB

    Wednesday 25 November 2009

    Former finance minister Gerrit Zalm may lose his job as CEO at ABN Amro if reports about mistakes made when he was chief financial officer at bankrupt bank DSB are true, finance minister Wouter Bos told tv programme RTLZ on Tuesday evening.

    An independent inquiry is currently under way into the collapse of the bank and the role of its directors. ‘Then we will make our judgement,’ Bos said. ‘If carefuI research shows Zalm made mistakes, we will have to think again about his future at ABN Amro.’

    Zalm is currently in charge of merging ABN Amro and Fortis Nederland into a single, state-owned bank.

    An article in this weekend’s Volkskrant said Zalm was well aware of over-selling at the bank and had defended the bank’s policies to the financial service sector regulators. Bos said the article was based on ‘very anonymous sources’ and it is impossible to say what is accurate.

    Also on Tuesday evening, TV show EénVandaag said it had obtained a letter signed by Zalm and the other directors defending DSB’s loan policy. The letter also stated that DSB had set up its own bailiffs operation which ‘suggested’ to defaulters that they agreed to pay part of their wages directly to DSB in lieu of the loan.



  4. CHICAGO, Nov. 26, 2009

    Food Banks Report Surge in First Timers

    Of 25 Million Americans Relying on Pantries, Many Were Middle Class Who Lost Jobs, Had Wages Cut, Group Says

    Shelves are stocked at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf in Burlington, Vt., Wednesday. Around Vermont, demand is up at food shelves as Vermonters lose jobs, try to make ends meet on unemployment and struggle with heating, food and fuel costs. Many charities say they have been able to meet the demand with donations from food drives at businesses, church groups and schools, but wonder if they’ll raise enough during the upcoming holiday season. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

    (AP) Prentice Jones worked construction jobs around Chicago for most of his 60 years and is quick to boast of a foreman job he once held at a revamped city college and 23 years at a steel company.

    But these days, work has been so scarce that the man with a penchant for cowboy hats has been forced to move in with his mother and do something this week he never expected – visit a food pantry.

    “There’s no work now,” Jones said while waiting in line at St. Columbanus Parish for a frozen turkey and bags of apples, bread and potatoes. “I pray it’s temporary.”

    A surge in first time visitors has contributed to the greatest demand in years at food banks nationwide, according to Feeding America, a Chicago-based national food bank association. Many of the first timers were middle class but lost jobs or had their wages cut.

    “They were doing pretty well,” said Ross Fraser of Feeding America. “They’ve completely had the rug pulled out from under them.”

    Federal agencies and national organizations have just started tracking first timers. But anecdotal evidence and statistics from individual pantries is clear: More and more new faces are appearing among the approximately 25 million Americans who rely on food pantries each year.

    St. Columbanus Pantry, which serves about 500 people a week on Chicago’s South Side, has had up to 50 new people sign up each week since February.

    The Friendly Center in Orange, Calif., serves 80 families a day, with about 20 new people trying to qualify each day, far more than last year.

    And at the Community Kitchen and Food Pantry of West Harlem, N.Y., about 250 of the 1,000 people who show up each day – up from 750 this time last year – are newcomers.

    “The line has grown so long that when you walk outside, it’s overwhelming,” said Jesse Taylor, senior director at the pantry. “A lot of people are coming out in suits, they’re carrying brief cases.”

    Food banks across the country report about a 30 percent increase in demand on average, but some have seen as much as a 150 percent jump in demand from 2008 through the middle of this year, according to Feeding America.

    Reliance on food banks and the number of Americans using food stamps – at least 35 million currently – are two indicators of hunger. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said earlier this month that 49 million people, or 14.6 percent of U.S. households, struggle to put food on the table, the most since the agency began tracking food security levels in 1995.

    First timers to food banks have worries others might not experience.

    For starters, they may not know what to do.

    “Some don’t have the coping skills, they’ve never been in this situation,” said Elizabeth Donovan, a director at the Northern Illinois Food Bank, which serves 13 counties. “Asking for help is difficult.”

    Jones was cajoled into coming into the food pantry by a friend who knew where to go, where to wait and how to apply for services.

    But others say the experience is fraught with shame, confusion or anger.

    “We’re hearing from more and more middle class who have never in their life gone to a food pantry,” said Diane Doherty, an executive director at the Illinois Hunger Coalition. “They’re very, very frustrated and angry.”

    About half of the almost 40,000 families who have been fed at Holy Family Food Pantry in Waukegan, Ill., about 40 miles north of Chicago, are new, services director Barb Karacic said.

    They include Gail Small, a 55-year-old school bus driver who got laid off from her $16 an hour job at the Waukegan Public School District earlier in the year and hasn’t been able to find work since.

    “It was very embarrassing,” Small said. “I didn’t tell my children. I didn’t tell my dad.”

    Others say at some point, the need to survive trumps emotions.

    Linda Herrera, 59, went to All Saints Parish on Detroit’s southwest side for the first time this week. Herrera, who is on state assistance, said the embarrassment of having to pick up food was offset by her empty cupboards.

    “We were down to practically nothing,” she said, carrying out bags containing juice, mashed potatoes, dried milk, rice and beans. “I’m trying to just make it now ’til the end of the month, until I get my check.”

    © MMIX The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


  5. Pingback: Economic crisis, Dubai, elsewhere | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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