Welcome to the weekly roundup of great articles, facts and figures. These are the weekly under the radar finds that made our eyes pop.
OECD - China Will Exceed the United States in Four Years
The OECD has a new report showing China will fly past the United States and be the world's largest economy in four years. Clinton and Congress basically outsourced our economy to China in 2000. In a space of little more than a decade the U.S. will lose their economic power completely to China.
The balance of economic power is expected to shift dramatically over the next half century, with fast-growing emerging-market economies accounting for an ever-increasing share of global output, according to a new OECD report.
Divergent long-term growth patterns lead to radical shifts in the relative size of economies. The United States is expected to cede its place as the world's largest economy to China, as early as 2016. India’s GDP is also expected to pass that of the United States over the long term. Combined, the two Asian giants will soon surpass the collective economy of the G7 nations. Fast-ageing economic heavyweights, such as Japan and the euro area, will gradually lose ground on the global GDP table to countries with a younger population, like Indonesia and Brazil
The "Killer App" Orca May Have Cost Romney the Election
What poetic justice. A get out the vote app, Orca, was supposedly to be team Romney's ultimate weapon against Obama's massive GOTV machine. Instead Orca may have cost Romney the election. Guess who built it? Why Microsoft and an unnamed application company who supposedly offshore outsourced the development! Hey campaigns, Hire American isn't just a campaign slogan, it really pays if you want something to work during critical times.
Orca turned out to be toothless, thanks to a series of deployment blunders and network and system failures. While the system was stress-tested using automated testing tools, users received little or no advance training on the system. Crucially, there was no dry run to test how Orca would perform over the public Internet.
Part of the issue was Orca's architecture. While 11 backend database servers had been provisioned for the system—probably running on virtual machines—the "mobile" piece of Orca was a Web application supported by a single Web server and a single application server.
Incredible story of sheer technical incompetence including even VoIP phones being misconfigured. That's what you get people when you outsource your technology. The story also shows how technology is making or breaking campaigns.
Mortgage Fraud Architect Now Runs Chase's Foreclosure Victim Compensation Fund
Propublica has dig out a fox in the hen house of Chase Bank.
An executive who the Justice Department says facilitated a scheme to defraud Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is now spearheading JPMorgan Chase's role in the government's program to compensate victims of the big banks' abusive foreclosure practices.
Think Just the GOP Cheat? Not in California
Propublica again shows how the Democrats gerrmandered districts in California to obtain a super majority and one party rule.
Last year we wrote about how Democrats used front groups, disingenuous testimony, and other aggressive tactics to manipulate California’s independent redistricting commission. The effort was meant to create safe seats for the Democratic Party and in particular for incumbents.
Let Them Eat Cake is the New Jobs They Won't Do
We have a very nice call out on the lies politicians say when they import more foreigners and outsource our jobs.
The four word phrase, “Let them eat cake” is often attributed to 18th Century French Queen Marie Antoinette, purportedly in response to being told that the peasants of France had no bread to eat. It is likely that the quote was never uttered by that member of French aristocracy in the days before the French Revolution. However, while she may not have made that statement it is clear that she and the other members of the elite of French society could not relate to the daily suffering of their far less fortunate fellow citizens and in fact, treated them with abject contempt.
Today the leaders of the United States are not suggesting that the poor eat cake but politicians from both sides of the political aisle provide the disingenuous claim that illegal aliens do the work that Americans won’t do. Many of these politicians such as Chuck Schumer, the Senator from New York and former President Clinton have never even held a “real job!” They graduated from college and immediately set about getting elected- working within a political system that bears no relationship to the world that most people live in. These politicians truly live and operate in a parallel universe!
More Excessive CEO Pay for Being Fired
The Citigroup CEO is ousted. So of course he gets $15.5 million:
Citigroup said it will pay $15.5 million to Vikram Pandit, its former chief executive who resigned from company last month, as well as to his top deputy.
The bank said on Friday the payments to Pandit and former Chief Operating Officer John Havens reflect the progress the bank made in 2012 and work they did in some earlier years.
The statement came less than a month after board members led by Chairman Michael O'Neill told Pandit privately that his work was not satisfactory, sources said at the time.
Power Outages and Sandy
The lack of outrage over Sandy is incredible. Huge areas still are without power, yet it isn't being made a priority or turned over to FEMA. New Jersey is in tent cities which they call prison. The time estimates for power to be restored get longer and longer. People are blaming the utility companies, yet one has to wonder where is the national guard and utility repair teams from outside of the area? Heck of a job there...
"Thirteen days to fix a pole? What, are you kidding me?" Mangan said. "Governor Cuomo has to get rid of LIPA. We have to find out if Minnie or Mickey is running that service and have them put the power on for these people. It is a disgrace."
Some are in tent cities which are like prison:
Inside the giant billowy white tents, the massive klieg lights glare down from the ceiling all night long. The air is loud with the buzz of generators pumping out power. The post-storm housing - a refugee camp on the grounds of the Monmouth Park racetrack - is in lockdown, with security guards at every door, including the showers.
No one is allowed to go anywhere without showing their I.D. Even to use the bathroom, "you have to show your badge," said Amber Decamp, a 22-year-old whose rental was washed away in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
The mini city has no cigarettes, no books, no magazines, no board games, no TVs, and no newspapers or radios.
More on the Fiscal Cliff
Bill Black has more on the fiscal cliff, including Tim Geithner's role:
Treasury Secretary Geithner, who is not an economist and who has consistently demonstrated that he does not understand economics became Obama’s principal economic advisor. Geithner was a Republican who became an Independent as a fig leaf. He disdained public sector spending, even in response to a Great Recession.
From Zach Goldfarb’s excellent profile of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s success inside the Obama administration:
The economic team went round and round. Geithner would hold his views close, but occasionally he would get frustrated. Once, as [then chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers Christina] Romer pressed for more stimulus spending, Geithner snapped. Stimulus, he told Romer, was “sugar,” and its effect was fleeting. The administration, he urged, needed to focus on long-term economic growth, and the first step was reining in the debt.
Wrong, Romer snapped back. Stimulus is an “antibiotic” for a sick economy, she told Geithner. “It’s not giving a child a lollipop.”
In the end, Obama signed into law only a relatively modest $13 billion jobs program, much less than what was favored by Romer and many other economists in the administration.
Common Dreams has a good overview of Professor Margrit Kennedy's work on how credit and the resulting interest jacks up prices and is a glorified wealth transfer.
In the 2012 edition of Occupy Money released last week, Professor Margrit Kennedy writes that a stunning 35% to 40% of everything we buy goes to interest. This interest goes to bankers, financiers, and bondholders, who take a 35% to 40% cut of our GDP. That helps explain how wealth is systematically transferred from Main Street to Wall Street. The rich get progressively richer at the expense of the poor, not just because of “Wall Street greed” but because of the inexorable mathematics of our private banking system.
Some People Take Out Their Sore Loser On Others
Robert E. Murray read a prayer to a group of company staff members on the day after the election, lamenting the direction of the country and asking: “Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build.”
On Wednesday, Murray also laid off 54 people at American Coal, one of his subsidiary companies, and 102 at Utah American Energy, blaming a “war on coal” by the Obama administration.
Sign the Petition
Naked Capitalism has a petition against Erskine Bowles as Treasury Secretary.
The word is that Erskine Bowles, who most recently headed the so-called “National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” which might more accurately be called the “National Commission to Increase Unemployment and Make Old People Die Faster” is the top pick on the short list of candidates for the next Treasury Secretary.