The news out of England have been mostly filled with the LIBOR scandal and what the executives knew or did not know. Meanwhile, as the recession has hit the UK, hunger is a new problem, the country hasn’t seen in a long time. From Bloomberg.
Virtually unheard of during the decade-long economic boom that ended in 2007, food banks are opening at the rate of two a week. Mould said the number of people receiving emergency grocery parcels doubled to almost 130,000 in the 12 months ended in April — about 33 percent of them as a result of benefit reassessments — and the figure may reach 500,000 by 2016. Those referred for food aid, usually by doctors or social workers, are typically not destitute, rather people on low wages or on welfare.
“There is a lot of hidden hunger in Britain,” Mould said. “These are people who are working and trying their best to make ends meet. They are often working a concoction of part-time jobs, with zero-duration contracts. Their benefit support is being reduced and that will get significantly worse.” (Full article here.)
Biderman on Governments, the people and markets.
Right now what we have is a government of the special interest groups, by the special interest groups and for the special interest groups.
How do you find out who are the biggest special interest groups? Look at government budgets and look for who is getting the most money. We spend most on government workers, health care, the military, retirement, the wars on poverty and war on drugs. Those are among the biggest special interest groups. Do you really think it matters who is in charge when dealing with any of the previously mentioned special interest groups?
LIBOR, has spurred a big discussion worldwide. With many banks involved, and most probably regulators aware of the “practices” involved, the LIBOR scandal has only just begun.
Like J.P Morgan Junior said;
“The banker must at all times conduct himself so as to justify the confidence of his clients in him,”
Full video below.
Weekend market review, courtesy Doug Short.
Last week, the first week of the 3rd quarter, was a mixed bag for the eight world markets on my weekly watchlist. Half posted gains, half losses, with the average of the eight in the modest green at 0.32%. The fractional positive skew is attributable to the top performing Hang Seng and the close runner-up FTSE 100. Second thoughts in the aftermath of the previous week’s EU summit put the German index just below break-even and sent the French index to the bottom of the list. The S&P 500 finished next to last on ghostly post-holiday trading volume and disappointing employment data.
The table inset in the chart below shows that four of the eight markets are in bear territory — the traditional designation for a 20% decline from an interim high, unchanged from last week. However, the German index is only fractionally above the bear stigma. In our gang of eight, the S&P 500 remains the closest to an interim new high, down 4.54% from its April 2nd peak. At the other end, the Shanghai Composite is nearly 36% off its interim high of August 2009.