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People Before Profits • Stop Foreclosures • Break Up Big Finance • End the Wars
Updated: 1 hour 56 min ago

More Coal Capacity Closed In 2018 Than First 3 Years Of Obama Admin

February 21, 2018 - 1:00pm
Last week, the Sierra Club announced the latest U.S. coal plant to close: FirstEnergy’s Pleasants Power Station in West Virginia. It’s No. 268 in a long line of U.S. coal plants that have shut down since 2010, and among several to suspend operations this month. The environmental organization lauded the closure as a victory in its Beyond Coal campaign and an affirmation that coal continues to lose when pitted against other fuel sources. The latest Sustainable Energy in America Factbook from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy noted that the steady march of coal plant closures did slow somewhat in 2017, with just six plants closing compared to the previous year’s eight. But BNEF expects the closure trend to resume next year, with nearly as much plant capacity set to shut down 2018 as during the 2015 peak, when the coal industry dropped 15 gigawatts.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Legal Marijuana Propelling Public Banking

February 21, 2018 - 12:00pm
Things are moving fast in California. A Los Angeles City Council committee approved a resolution February 16 to support the recently introduced state bill that would create a Public Bank that could take deposits from legal marijuana businesses. California Senate Bill 930, introduced at the end of January, would establish a state-chartered bank that would “allow a person licensed to engage in commercial cannabis activity to engage in banking activities in California”. The LA resolution to support SB 930 was proposed by Council President Herb Wesson and approved by the council’s Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee. Wesson proposed creating a Public Bank for the City of Los Angeles in July 2017.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

How City-Owned Public Banks Could Transform Cities

February 21, 2018 - 12:00pm
It’s no surprise that Malia Cohen worries about what local public dollars are doing. As a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the municipal legislative body, it’s her job to know how, where and why the city’s money is coming in and going out. But recently, Cohen has joined a growing number of public officials around the country who are wondering what happens in between — what happens when the money in the city coffers goes to sleep at night. In fiscal year 2017, the city of San Francisco took in an average of $508 million a month in revenues and put out $467 million a month in expenses. But in between, the banks that handle all that cash sometimes used public dollars in ways that, in the opinions of Cohen and others, contradict the reasons why that money is coming and going in the first place.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Do Financial Markets Still Exist?

February 20, 2018 - 12:00pm
No one should find this a surprising suggestion.  The Bank of Japan has a long tradition of propping up the Japanese equity market with large purchases of equities. The European Central Bank purchases corporate as well as government bonds.  In 1989 Fed governor Robert Heller said that as the Fed already rigs the bond market with purchases, the Fed can also rig the stock market to stop price declines. That is the reason the Plunge Protection Team (PPT) was created in 1987. Looking at the chart of futures activity on the E-mini S&P 500, we see an uptick in activity on February 2 when the market dropped, with higher increases in future activity last Monday and Tuesday placing Tuesday’s futures activity at about four times the daily average of the previous month.  Futures activity last Wednesday and Thursday remained above the average daily activity of the previous month…
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Union Group Argues For Public Ownership Of Energy Systems

February 20, 2018 - 11:00am
According to the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IEA-IREA), the investment needed to keep global warming below the threshold of two degrees Celsius would have to double the 2016 levels of investment to $600 billion a year and reach $14 trillion invested in solar and wind by 2030. The chances of this happening, under the current paradigm of public-private partnerships that guarantee profits and mitigate risk to private investors, according to the “Working Paper No. 10” authors Sean Sweeney and John Treat, is zero. In fact, they argue, based on a close study of the situation in the UK, that the idea that we can reach safe levels of renewable energy via aid to private profiteers is “the greatest policy failure ever.” Public money, they argue, is already responsible for the vast bulk of the world’s energy deployment.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

America’s Bizarre Income Distribution For Children

February 17, 2018 - 10:00am
In the Nordic countries, they have relatively few children in the lower class (and even fewer in the extreme lower class). They also have relatively few children in the upper class. But they have big middle classes. Around 65 percent of children in those countries have incomes that are 150% to 300% of the poverty line, which is equivalent to 75% to 150% of the median income. In the US, on the other hand, there is a big lower class that is even larger than the middle class (so defined). And then there is also a relatively large group of children with incomes well above the US median, i.e. rich kids. While the Nordic distribution looks like a bell curve with the overwhelming majority of kids clustered near the middle, the American distribution is a pyramid. If you want to fix this bizarre distribution, the way forward is pretty simple.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News