All posts by Moderator

Putin Condemns “Brazen Murder Of Boris Nemtsov” As “Politically Motivated”

Vladimir Putin has broken his public silence since Boris Nemtsov’s murder and, perhaps unsurprisingly, stirred up further controversy. While condemning the “brazen murder of Boris Nemtsov right in the center of the capital,” WSJ reports, he told senior Police officials to “finally rid Russia of shame and tragedy” of politically-motivated murders. As The Guardian notes, this seemingly contradicts theories the former deputy prime minister was shot over a domestic or business row.

The Global War On Pensioners

Pensioners are under attack. As we reported yesterday, ECB front running has driven yields down and with them the discount rate that companies use to determine the present value of their liabilities. This has had the rather unfortunate effect of increasing EU pension deficits by nearly a fifth in the space of just 12 months, prompting employers to consider measures such as upping the retirement age in order to mitigate the pain.

IMF Director Admits: Greek Bailout Was “To Save German & French Banks”

For the first time in public, though practically the entire world assumed it, an official from The IMF has admitted that the various Greek bailouts were not for The Greeks at all… “They gave money to save German and French banks, not Greece,” Paolo Batista, one of the Executive Directors of International Monetary Fund told Greek private Alpha TV on Tuesday. As KeepTalkingGreece reports, Batista then went on to strongly criticized not only the euro zone and the European Central Bank but also the IMF and the Fund’s managing Director Christine Lagarde for defending Europe much too much

History Made: For The First Time Ever, US Consumers Spent More On Food In Restaurants Than In Grocery Stores

Over the weekend, we mocked the WSJ for glorifying the US “wage recovery” by focusing on the “scarcity” of waiter and bartender jobs (“there is fierce competition” for restaurant workers the WSJ said), a concept well-explored on these pages: we have shown repeatedly that soaring number of waiters and bartenders have been the “backbone”, so to say, of the US job recovery in recent years (alongside energy workers but that ship has now sailed). As it turns out the joke’s on us.

As Mark Perry of the AEI shows, for the first time ever, the spending patterns of US consumers are so skewed, that Americans, or at least a small fraction of them, spent more on restaurants and bars, than what Americans, the much larger fraction, spent on grocery stores to prepare food for themselves.

In other words, when it comes to food, either the bulk of Americans have forgotten how to cook and are hemmorghaning money to overpay for restaurant prepared dinners, or a small fraction of society – i.e., the 1% leisure class – now outspends the majority of the nation, those who can’t afford to eat out no matter the amount of subsidies or handouts by the government, on food.