A €3.9bn bailout of Monte dei Paschi by Mario Monti’s technocrat government has become a potentially explosive issue just a month before parliamentary elections, with the prime minister and the Bank of Italy accused by centre-right politicians of failing to be fully transparent about suspected financial irregularities at the Siena bank. The bank has close political ties to the centre-left Democratic party.

via Draghi meets minister over MPS problems – FT.com.

Ein doppelter Riss geht durch Europa

Es hätte aus europäischer Sicht so schön werden können: Endlich mal wieder ein Davos, bei dem die europäische Krise nicht im Mittelpunkt stünde. Doch daraus wurde nichts. Dafür sorgte schon der britische Premier David Cameron, als er kurz vor dem Abflug nach Davos erklärte, die Briten sollten über den Verbleib in der EU abstimmen – in vier Jahren.

Am Donnerstagmorgen redete er auf dem World Economic Forum. Es war ein Plädoyer für ein anderes Europa, eines, in dem die Briten bleiben könnten. Flexibler. Wirtschaftlich stärker. Offener als bisher.

via Davos: Ein doppelter Riss geht durch Europa | Wirtschaft | ZEIT ONLINE.


Now arrives yet another insult to our freedoms – the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which some are already describing as “NAFTA on steroids.”  The TPP, as it is called, is a very-secretive, multi-national trade agreement currently being negotiated among eleven different Pacific-Rim countries and pushed by both Republicans and Democrats.  In its fourteenth round of negotiations – which just finished in Leesburg, Virginia, as you read these words – the parties hope to make wide-ranging changes to all parties’ laws, rules, and regulations. (See http://www.ustr.gov/tpp)

                Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, the United States, and recent newcomers Mexico and Canada (since June 2012) are the negotiating partners.  China is a noticeable absence, but the office of the United States Trade Representative has announced that it hopes that 40% of the World’s population will eventually be covered by this Agreement.  In the same way that the European Union sprang from the loins of the European Economic Community (another free-trade partnership), I see the TPP as the real debut of the global World Government for which some have been so fervently working.