- Earlier this week Congress tried to show that it is capable of tackling our chronic and dangerous debt problems. Despite the great fanfare I believe they have accomplished almost nothing.
- The paralysis that is British parliamentary democracy took a further excruciating nosedive this week with all three party leaders 'agreeing' that MPs should have their real pay levels reduced!
- British MPs are set to receive an 11 percent raise, taking their annual salaries up to more than $120,000 a year, effective from May 2015. The news comes alongside a simultaneous foreign aid budget increase and in the fallout of ongoing cuts.
- An estimated $111 billion of Russian money, or 20 percent of the country’s exports, is 'lost' offshore, President Putin said. To make Russian companies more transparent, he proposes stricter penalties for firms that avoid paying domestic taxes.
- The threat of another painful US government shutdown is fading away, as Democrats and Republicans have agreed a $1.01 trillion spending limit by 2015. The news is putting global markets at ease, and investors are waiting for an end to easy Fed money.
- The Eurogroup has approved a third bailout tranche for Cyprus of 100 million euro before the end of 2013.
- Australia will dive further ‘Down Under’ into debt, as lawmakers reached a deal to do away with a limit. The government can now borrow as much as it wants, and will avoid a shutdown when it reaches the AU$300 billion debt limit on December 12.
- The Russian government is demanding state-owned monopolies cut their spending by 10 percent annually over the next five years, as part of a larger concentrated effort to make state-owned companies more competitive.
- The industrious Dutch have lost their coveted AAA credit rating, as the folly of the EU’s deluded ‘third way’ economic model becomes ever more dangerous to the global economy.
- Iceland’s government has announced that it will be writing off up to 24,000 euros ($32,600) of every household’s mortgage, fulfilling its election promise, despite overwhelming criticism from international financial institutions.
- An urgent request made by United States soldiers in combat has prompted the Pentagon to place an order for three-dozen, state-of-the-art micro-drones that resemble birds and can be launched by hand.
- Russia and Italy have agreed to set up a mutual investment fund worth 1 billion euros, aimed at boosting trade and investment between the two countries.