Thursday, October 27, 2011

San Diego school district faces possible insolvency

The San Diego Unified School District's board of trustees got a cold, harsh dose of fiscal reality from its financial consultant and its staff Tuesday night. Then it took an earful from angry parents, staff and even fifth-graders from schools the district has slated for possible closure. Aside from some sparring on whether to reduce busing, a spat that ended with a majority of the board voting to reject further cuts, there was little actual action at Tuesday's meeting. Rather, the marathon meeting was an opportunity for the board to air publicly the true depth of its financial woes and blame the state for those woes.
Bennett outlined the state's decision to project an optimistic $4 billion in extra revenues state, and described the legislative mandate from Sacramento that school districts must spend the money, even though they might never actually get it. His description of the budget games being played sent gasps through the 300-strong crowd of sign-waving education supporters, many of whom had clearly come to talk about school closures and seemed to be learning the details of the district's dire financial situation for the first time.
After further stunning the crowd with statistics — he said if the state makes midyear cuts to San Diego Unified's budget, the district will be down to the same per-student funding level it was at 11 years ago.
The topic isn't new to the district. Internally, it's been discussing possible insolvency for years even as the board has taken gambles on the state's situation improving, potentially compounding the grave financial situation.
The purpose of Bennett's presence at the meeting seemed more aimed at educating the broader public about just how dire things really are at San Diego Unified. Coming two weeks after district Superintendent Bill Kowba (who remained silent throughout Tuesday's four-and-a-half-hour meeting) announced the district was "at the edge of the cliff, looking over and down at insolvency," the presentation was the latest in a line of recent public proclamations of distress by the district.
Frances O'Neill Zimmerman posted at 8:52 am on Wed, Oct 26, 2011. Posts: 497 I really appreciated Will Carless' accurate account of that School Board meeting last night: sound and fury signifying nothing. Theater, grandstanding, heartfelt appeals, tainted Board members berating staff, no decisions, a silent Superintendent.
swiss franc climbing again
1 CHF = 1.1624 USD
Up about 2% this last month

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Greece live feeds

Live feeds from Greece!

Greece uprising

Volos protests The citizens of Volos rose from the sofa and took to the streets of fire
SEE Reportage "Mammoth": They carried the greatest volume and rate, mobilizing the city's history WORKERS and officials, public and private professionals of all trades, teachers, students, and retirees, sank the squares and streets the city, occupied public buildings, blockaded the offices of two government MPs, while the more hot-blooded smashed bank branches. And all of this? the same time as the Government continues its offensive against low-and low-income. He was truly the biggest volume and beat, strike in the history of Volos. The images also speak for themselves:
"War Zone" in downtown Athens Fires everywhere and suffocating atmosphere 10/19/2011 17:5477

Monday, October 17, 2011

Unconfirmed: Portugese military says it will protect the protesters

Story making rounds on internet. We will see what happens.
PORTUGUESE MILITARY TO PROTECT PROTESTERS AGAINST REGIME 11:45 PM OZYISM 1 COMMENT 17/oct/11 NATO member state Portugal is in trouble as new reports indicate that the military is preparing to protect protesters if the regime starts crack downs. This comes as NATO is desperate to end the war in Libya, even attempting a genocide in Sirte to end the resistance. Activists believe that NATO is desperate because it wants to prepare for internal uprisings in NATO member states, which are on their beginning phases.

Greece strike schedule posted

Posted 16 Oct 2011 Agenda MONDAY
State media are to continue strike action until Thursday. The Panhellenic Seafarers Association’s strike until Tuesday will affect all ferry services. Lawyers are continuing to strike until Wednesday. Customs employees walk off the job for 24 hours. Tax office, Social Security Foundation (IKA) and local authority employees continue rolling 48-hour strikes.
Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis visits Vienna to meet Austrian government officials and representatives of international organizations and Austrian business groups.
The Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) will hold a round-table discussion titled “Debt Crisis in Europe: Lessons for Greece from the Scandinavian Experience.” Starts at 6 p.m. at the Athens Hilton. (Info:
NGO Smile of the Child and Child Helpline International (CHI) will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. at the Astir Palace Resort in Vouliagmeni, in the context of the European CHI Regional Consultation that starts on Monday and concludes Wednesday. (Info:
Railway workers start a three-day strike, until Thursday, affecting the Proastiakos suburban rail and the metro service to Athens Airport. Journalists hold a 24-hour strike. Port workers start a 48-hour strike.
Rhodes inaugurates the Aquaculture 2011 Congress. To Friday. (Info:
The country’s main labor unions, GSEE and ADEDY, begin a 48-hour strike. There will be no flights or taxis. Retail stores and banks will remain closed too.
No flights or taxis, with public transport also likely to be disrupted as industrial action by GSEE and ADEDY continues.
The Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media of Athens University’s Department of Communication and Media Studies is hosting the 5th European Conference on Games-Based Learning (ECGBL 2011), with the support of the University Research Institute of Applied Communication and the cooperation of the Hellenic-American Union. To Friday. (Info: In the context of the conference there are two exhibitions on display at Athens University: “Serious Games Showcase & Best Practices 2011,” and “Playful Learning Media (PlayLearn) 2011,” open until Saturday.
Management guru Charlene Li to feature in an event titled “Understanding Open Leadership” at the Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel. Starts at 6.30 p.m. (Info: 210.661.7777,
The American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce is organizing the 3rd Thessaloniki Tax Forum, with guest of honor Minister of Finance Evangelos Venizelos, at the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki Hotel. The official language of the forum is Greek, with no simultaneous translation available. (Info: 2310.286453,
The Manpower Organization (OAED) is organizing its second Labor Forum from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Vellidio Conference Hall in the Helexpo grounds in Thessaloniki. (Info:
Prime Minister George Papandreou to take part in extraordinary eurozone and European Union summits. , Sunday October 16, 2011 (23:01)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Italian protests against banks

Italian newspaper
[translation] MOBILIZATION Students march against new banks Eggs and junk against several branches Attempted a raid at Goldman Sachs, busy throwing things against the media in defense of the police headquarters of Fininvest Blitz at Goldman Sachs LONDON - Blitz at Goldman Sachs, eggs and paint against the banks, vegetables at police headquarters in front of the Fininvest: also on Friday, after the demonstration on October 7 last year, students took to the streets to demonstrate for and against the public school funds the crisis and the government. The procession was attended by about ten thousand young people according to the organizers (two thousand according to police estimates). The raid at the headquarters of U.S. bank Goldman Sachs was the first action of the student demonstration. A group of twenty boys tried to get a surprise in the Milanese headquarters of the U.S. bank, Bossi in the square, near Piazza Cordusio. Rejected by some employees of the home, the young people then smeared with spray paint the hallway and throwing bags full of garbage to the cry of "Goldman Sachs has the courage to face the future without young people."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Physical silver running out because its spot price does not reflect true investment demand

Silver at bargain prices!
Several readers of ArabianMoney have written to us over the past two weeks to express their astonishment at the current price of silver because demand where they live is so high that stocks have run out. Consider this comment: ‘I used to buy silver from a shop in Kobar in Saudi. From the last four weeks they said they ran out of silver. I cannot find anyone who sells silver in Saudi now. I asked them from where do they get their silver. They said the UAE. The problem is they only have 1kg bars…and I still cannot find any supplier.’ No stock Well don’t bother coming to the UAE. Our information is that the 1kg bars mentioned here and featured in a video on the website last month (click here) are all sold out too. We’ve also had feedback about low or no stock in Texas and Australia from big private bullion dealers there.
Here's a comment left on the above linked item:
Comment by Greg Hudson - 06 October 2011 Report from the Bullion trenches in Sydney (ABC Bullion): Brisk trading again today with clients queued before we opened and queues of 30+ mins to get in the front door at lunch time and early afternoon. A mix of gold and silver buyers. Very few sellers, in silver we only bought back 2kg of silver over the counter. As expected last week we have sold out 1kg silver bars for immediate sale, and the wait list for 1kg bars from the PAMP refinery has blown out from 4 to 6 weeks. The only silver bars we have to sell over the counter to take now is some beaten up 50 & 100 oz Harrington bars from the 70’s that we bought back several weeks ago when prices were much higher (we are selling them at loss!) and sub 1kg bars, such as 100 & 500gram, but the 10oz bars have sold out. 1oz & 1kg silver coins are still available. Gold bars and coins are still readily available but we are getting warnings of supply issues in the pipeline from our suppliers which is not a good sign going into the Indian gold buying festival of Diwali on the 26th.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Saudi Arabia unrest in al-Qatif

Unrest in Shia area al-Qatif 14 people injured Monday. Saudi police open fire on protesters
Pro-democracy protests which swept the Arab world earlier in the year have erupted in eastern Saudi Arabia over the past three days, with police opening fire with live rounds and many people injured, opposition activists say. Saudi Arabia last night confirmed there had been fighting in the region and that 11 security personnel and three civilians had been injured in al-Qatif, a large Shia city on the coast of Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province. The opposition say that 24 men and three women were wounded on Monday night and taken to al-Qatif hospital. The Independent has been given exclusive details of how the protests developed by local activists. They say unrest began on Sunday in al-Awamiyah, a Shia town of about 25,000 people, when Saudi security forces arrested a 60-year-old man to force his son – an activist – to give himself up. [sounds a bit like how the London riot started.]

Indian Silver Demand Leads to ‘Supply Issues'

Tue, Oct 4 2011, 13:43 GMT
Heightened physical demand for silver from the Indian subcontinent is causing “supply issues” according to UBS this morning. UBS note that airline capacity to deliver the precious metal is being “stretched” and premiums are unsurprisingly on the rise.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Greek protests

Greek civil servants and unions opposed to Prime Minister George Papandreou’s new round of wage and pension cuts occupied government offices for a second day, blocking access for officials seeking to determine whether the country qualifies for an international loan to avert default.
Taxi drivers protest outside the Greece parliament building on 29 Sept 2011.