Occupy Everywhere & Economic News Round-Up

image of singers David Crosby and Graham Nash performing at Zuccotti Park
David Crosby, left, and Graham Nash perform at the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 in New York. [AP Photo]
The Atlantic—Occupy Wall Street Gets Its Generators Back: "Occupy Wall Street got its confiscated generators back on Tuesday after its legal team pressed the Fire Department of New York to release them. The machines were picked up from the New York City Fire Academy at Randall's Island by the Wikileaks truck, which has been stationed next to Zuccotti Park since the protest's inception. The vehicle with the generator on board made its way back to Zuccotti Park hours before a planned concert by Graham Nash and David Crosby."

The GuardianOccupy protesters plan 300-mile march from NYC to Washington:
A group of Occupy protesters plan to march nearly 300 miles from New York to Washington DC in a bid to end tax cuts which they say benefit the richest 1% of Americans.

The group will set off from Occupy Wall Street on Wednesday and walk 20 miles a day en route to the capital, their arrival planned to coincide with the Congressional deficit reduction super-committee meeting on 23 November.

Protesters will pass through other occupations during the course of the 'Occupy the highway' action, which they say will encourage people in rural communities to get involved in the movement.
In US domestic news...

AP—Ohio Voters Reject Republican-Backed Union Limits: "The state's new collective bargaining law was defeated Tuesday after an expensive union-backed campaign that pitted firefighters, police officers and teachers against the Republican establishment. In a political blow to GOP Gov. John Kasich, voters handily rejected the law, which would have limited the bargaining abilities of 350,000 unionized public workers."

Reuters—Fannie Mae taps $7.8 billion from Treasury, loss widens: "Fannie Mae, the biggest source of money for U.S. home loans, on Tuesday said it needed a further $7.8 billion in federal aid to stay afloat as a shaky housing market widened its third-quarter loss to $5.1 billion. The government-controlled firm also attributed the deeper cash drain to losses on derivatives used to hedge its exposure to interest-rate swings and on expenses related to home loans made prior to the 2008 financial collapse. In the year-earlier quarter it had a loss of a $1.3 billion. Fannie Mae has now drawn $112.6 billion in bailout funds from the Treasury Department since being seized by the government in 2008 as mortgage losses mounted, and it has returned $17.2 billion to taxpayers in the form of dividends."

Think Progress—GOP Rep. Joe Walsh Melts Down, Screams at Constituents: 'Don't Blame Banks!…I Am Tired of Hearing That Crap!': "[D]uring a recent meeting with constituents in his Chicago-area suburban district, Walsh lost his cool when several attendees asked about why banks have so much power in government. At one point, Walsh even threatened to eject a man who asked Walsh about the revolving door of bank lobbyists infiltrating Congress and financial regulatory agencies. Walsh at one point screamed, 'Don't blame the banks … this pisses me off!' After several constituents accurately pointed out that bank lobbyists occupy key positions within Congress, the SEC, and other oversight bodies that are supposed to supervise bank practices, Walsh began sticking his finger close to his constituents' faces, yelling, 'Quiet for a minute or I'll have to ask you to leave!'"

CNN Money—2012 candidates slip on Econ 101: "America's Econ 101 professors say...the candidates continue to offer ideas and policies that wouldn't pass muster in their classes—populated by 18 year-old college students. ... Michele Bachmann promised to bring back $2 gas. Tim Pawlenty suggested sustained 5% GDP growth was a realistic target. Rick Perry would balance the budget with lower tax revenues. ... Stephen Golub, who is teaching Econ 101 at Swarthmore College this semester, said some of the ideas floated by Presidential candidates would earn a failing grade in his class. 'I think it's grossly irresponsible what they are saying,' Golub said, [adding that candidates are 'promising things that are impossible to deliver or make little sense']."

Washington PostRepublicans offer tax deal to break debt impasse; Democrats dismiss it: "Congressional Republicans have for the first time retreated from their hard-line stance against new taxes, offering to raise federal tax collections by nearly $300 billion over the next decade as part of a plan to tame the national debt. But Democrats rejected the offer Tuesday—along with the notion that Republicans had made a significant concession that could end the long-standing political impasse—leaving a special debt-reduction committee far from compromise with less than two weeks until its Thanksgiving deadline." What a refreshing surprise! Good job, Dems!

And in Eurozone news...

The GuardianGreece's squabbling politicians fail to pick new prime minister: "The struggle to appoint a new prime minister at the helm of an interim coalition government in Athens dragged on as squabbling politicians darted across the capital in frantic negotiation while EU leaders looked on nervously. ... The unexpected length of the negotiations combined with their fractious nature, despite the looming threat of bankruptcy, raised fears over the ability of Greece's sparring politicians to forge consensus at all. In a nation so bitterly divided by left and right, where memories of brutal civil war and military dictatorship still run deep, coalition governments are almost non-existent. Attempting to douse concerns of political instability exacerbating the debt-stricken country's economic plight, officials insisted that the appointment of a new prime minister was 'very close'."

New York TimesCrisis in Italy Deepens, as Bond Yields Hit Record Highs: "Italy's financial crisis deepened on Wednesday despite a pledge by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign once Parliament passes austerity measures demanded by the European Union. ... Mr. Berlusconi, cornered by world markets and humiliated by a parliamentary setback, appeared to have become the most prominent victim of the broader European debt crisis. But his decision did not remove wide uncertainty about Italy's ability to tackle the crisis, and some analysts said the prospect of a protracted period of political wrangling could exert further pressure for a quicker exit from the impasse."

CNBC—IMF Chief Warns World Economy Risks 'Lost Decade': "Christine Lagarde told a financial forum in Beijing that European plans to bolster a rescue package for Greece were a 'step in the right direction', but that the outlook for the world economy remained dangerous and uncertain. ... 'Our sense is that if we do not act boldly and if we do not act together, the economy around the world runs the risk of downward spiral of uncertainty, financial instability and potential collapse of global demand... we could run the risk of what some commentators are already calling the lost decade.'"

The GuardianThe emergence of the Frankfurt Group has turned back the democratic clock: "The European Union has always had problems with democracy, a messy process that can interfere with the grand designs of people at the top who know best. When Ireland voted no to the Nice Treaty, it was told to come up with the right result in a second ballot. The European Central Bank wields immense power, but nobody knows how the unelected members of its governing council vote because no minutes of meetings are published. That said, the latest phase of Europe's sovereign debt crisis has exposed the quite flagrant contempt for voters, the people who are going to bear the full weight of the austerity programmes being cooked up by the political elites."

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