[updated January 26, 2015]
urope is stunned, and bankers aghast, that the new party of the Left, Syriza, won Sunday's parliamentary elections in Greece.
Syriza won on the promise that it will cure Greece of leprosy.
Oddly, Syriza also promises that it will remain in the leper colony. That is, Syriza wants to rid Greece of the cruelty of austerity imposed by the European Central Bank but insists on staying in the euro zone.
The problem is, austerity run wild is merely a symptom of an illness. The underlying disease is the euro itself.
For the last five years, Greeks have been told that, if you cure your disease—that is, if you dump the euro—the sky will fall. I guess Greeks haven’t noticed, the sky has fallen already. With unemployment at 25%, with doctors and teachers eating out of garbage cans, there is no further to fall.
In 2010, when unemployment was a terrible 10%, a year into the crisis, the “Troika” (the European Central Bank, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund) told the Greeks that brutal austerity measures would restore their economy by 2012. Ask yourself, Was the Troika right?
Read more: Eurozone's Trojan Hearse: Greece's Austerity Resistance
Created on Friday, 30 January 2015 02:14
Written by Oil Price.com
Increasing Demand For Refined Products Will Increase Oil Prices
by Dan Steffens
n last week's article I posted a ch
art from the International Energy Agency'srecent Oil Market Report that shows global demand for refined products catching up to supply by the 3rd quarter of this year. My opinion is that all of the analysts who are now blaming the sharp drop in oil prices on a "glut" of supply could change their tune quickly as consumers adjust to lower fuel costs.
Just as higher costs reduce demand for any commodity, lower costs will increase demand. This is especially true for a commodity that has a direct impact on standard of living, like oil does.
When the price of gasoline plunged below $1.00/gallon in 1986, demand for motor fuels and other refined products increased by almost 5% within twelve months. Today, world demand for hydrocarbon based liquid fuels (including biofuels) is over 92.5 million barrels per day. You can go to the IEA website and see for yourself that normal seasonal demand is expected to push demand over 94.0 million barrels per day within six months. I think both the IEA and our own Energy Information Administration (EIA) are grossly underestimating the price related demand increase that is already starting to show up in the data.
Read more: Divining Price Rises for Refined Petroleum Products
Created on Thursday, 29 January 2015 05:10
Written by Ramzy Baroud
Dear Syria: From One Refugee to Another
by Ramzy Baroud
- Middle East EyeW
henever the word ‘refugee’ is uttered, I think of my mother. When Zionist militias began their systematic onslaught and ‘cleansing’ of the Palestinian Arab population of historic Palestine in 1948, she, along with her family, ran away from the once peaceful village of Beit Daras.
Back then, Zarefah was six. Her father died in a refugee camp in a tent provided by the Quakers soon after he had been separated from his land. She collected scrap metal to survive.
My grandmother Mariam, would venture out to the ‘death zone’ that bordered the separated and newly established state of Israel from Gaza’s refugee camps to collect figs and oranges. She faced death every day. Her children were all refugees, living in shatat – the Diaspora.
My mother lived to be 42. Her life was tremendously difficult. She married a refugee, my dad, and together they brought seven refugees into this world - my brothers, my sister and myself. One died as a toddler, for there was no medicine in the refugee camp’s clinic.
Read more: A Refugee's Message for Syria's Diaspora