– Pentagon sets sights on public opinion (MSNBC):
Money spent on winning hearts and minds at least $4.7 billion this year
– Lords: rise of CCTV is threat to freedom (Guardian):
The steady expansion of the “surveillance society” risks undermining fundamental freedoms including the right to privacy, according to a House of Lords report published today.
– Julius Baer hit by ‘defamatory’ accusations (Financial Times):
Julius Baer shares fell as much as 40 per cent on Friday after an anonymous letter to regulators about alleged trading irregularities at the Swiss private bank came to light.
– US unemployment expected to rocket (Telegraph)
– Forecast 2009: There Will Be Blood (ChartingStocks):
2009 will be a year of complete destruction for the US economy. 5 Million will lose their jobs. The Dow Jones Industrial average will break below 6,000. Municipalities will fail. Insurers will fail. The unemployed and foreclosed American population will take to the streets and begin rioting. The Greatest Depression is upon us.
– Calif. Counties Threaten Tax Revolt Against State (CBS):
SPRINGFIELD – Facing an ever-growing pile of bills, crushing debt and less tax money flowing into the state treasury, Illinois is broke. But could the state climb out of its nearly $9 billion budget hole by declaring bankruptcy? No, say tax and budget experts
– State can run out of money, but can’t file for bankruptcy (Chicago Daily Herald)
– Irish economy ‘worst hit in eurozone’ (Independent):
Every five minutes a job is lost.
– UBS predicts gold to hit $1000 (Telegraph)
– Thousands of Royal Mail jobs under threat (Financial Times)
– Schools seize homes over fees (Sydney Morning Herald):
EVERY week parents of private school students are losing their homes to bankruptcy actions taken by cash-strapped schools that can no longer wait for overdue fees.
– Wall Street CEOs, investment bankers charged prostitutes on corporate cards, madam says (The Raw Story):
Kristin Davis, the madam in question, went public to ABC News this week; ABC will be broadcasting her interview Friday at 10 pm. Davis says she has a list of 9,800 clients, many of whom she says New York prosecutors deliberately avoided when taking her case, even though she offered them her annotated client list.
– BA freezes pay amid a £70 million pre-tax loss (Times Online)
– Manufacturing falls at fastest rate for 28 years (Times Online)
– Toyota triples year loss forecast (BBC News):
The Japanese car giant has now tripled that figure and expects to make a 450bn yen operating loss, the first annual loss at the firm in 70 years.
– FDIC Announces 7th ’09 Bank Closing: FirstBank Financial (CNN Money):
Earlier this week, the FDIC boosted its estimate for the cost of U.S. bank failures amid signs that industry conditions and the broader economy are worsening.
– Bank details £50bn plan to help ease credit markets (Financial Times)
– Gross Says US Must Spend to Avoid Mini Depression (Bloomberg)
(“U.S. may slump into a “mini depression” unless policy makers spend trillions of dollars to spur growth” … if the U.S. continues to spend trillions of dollars, then it will slump into the ‘Greatest Depression.” To me it looks like the USS Titanic has already hit the iceberg.)
– Acts Of Insanity Are What Destroyed The Economy (International Forecaster)
– SEC Officials Can’t Find Their Own Backsides: Lawmaker (CNBC):
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) attacked SEC officials testifying before the House Financial Services committee for failing to detect Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme on Wednesday.
“What the heck went on? Your mission, you said, was to protect investors and detect fraud quickly,” he said. “You couldn’t find your backside with two hands if the lights were on.”
– State employee: I get $93803 for no work (Albany Times Union)
– News Corp profits fall 42% on ‘grim’ economy (Times Online)
– Ministers ‘misled’ judges over torture evidence (Independent)
– Porn Star Provides In-Flight ‘Entertainment’ (NBC Bay Area):
Shortly afterward, she leaned over and performed a sex act on Martz.
Puma said it was a way to repay Martz for allowing the crew to use his chopper and hangar at Montgomery Field.
– Professor makes his mark, but it costs him his job (Globe and Mail)
– Transparent Frogs Discovered in Colombia (EcoWorldly)