By Sarah Marsh HAVANA (Reuters) - Israel Hidalgo and his wife left home around 7:30 a.m. to reach a supermarket across Havana because they heard it might be selling chicken, a staple of the Cuban diet increasingly scarce on the shortage-plagued island. After Cuba started limiting sales this month, partly blaming tightened U.S. economic sanctions on the Communist-run island, the couple wanted to buy as much as possible and lined up for three hours under the Caribbean sun to get tickets guaranteeing them their rations. Inside, they lined up again to collect two bags of chicken thighs each, as fellow shoppers elbowed one another in pursuit of their own rations, and headed for the checkout feeling like they had won the lottery. "We were born in this revolution and are used to rough times," said Hidalgo, a 61-year old blacksmith. "We are bracing ourselves for it to get worse." Long lines outside shops with mostly bare shelves are increasingly common in Cuba, and the government has indeed … [Read more...] about Shortages plague Cuba as U.S. sanctions sharpen economic woes
Fundamental economic problem
Northern Ireland's lack of competitiveness 'bigger problem than Brexit' BelfastTelegraph.co.uk A senior economist at Ulster University has claimed Brexit is not the biggest problem facing the local economy. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/northern-ireland/northern-irelands-lack-of-competitiveness-bigger-problem-than-brexit-37361412.html https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/northern-ireland/article37361411.ece/253c9/AUTOCROP/h342/2018-09-28_bus_44453436_I1.JPG Email A senior economist at Ulster University has claimed Brexit is not the biggest problem facing the local economy. Speaking at an event in Londonderry yesterday organised by the Irish League of Credit Unions, Esmond Birnie said Northern Ireland's economy was slowing down well before the EU referendum in June 2016. He said: "In fact, for at least a century the NI (sic) economy including here in the north west has had a fundamental competitiveness weakness, so Brexit is not our biggest problem." … [Read more...] about Northern Ireland’s lack of competitiveness ‘bigger problem than Brexit’
Tory Newmyer, The Washington Post Published 9:43 am PDT, Friday, September 21, 2018 WASHINGTON - Here's the good news: Americans are richer than ever. The stock market closed at a record high on Thursday. Filings for unemployment benefits just fell to a 48-year low. Consumer confidence is soaring. The poverty rate is extending a three-year slide. And yet. The income disparity between the classes is growing, as advances by upper-income households outpace those of the middle and lower tiers. Earnings by the typical American household remain mired around where they were before the recession. Wages are inching up, despite a tight labor market, and inflation is all but wiping out those gains. It's a tale of two economies. The strength reflected in the headline numbers remains the GOP's best defense against a midterm wipeout. But lurking just beneath them are reminders that the recovery remains patchy, and its gains have been unevenly distributed. "The aggregates often … [Read more...] about The Finance 202: America is richer than ever but most Americans aren’t. It’s the GOP’s economic quandary.
BETS ARE OFF The party wants to ban in-game advertising during live sport, block gambling on credit cards and force Premier League clubs to end sponsorship deals with gambling firms LABOUR has announced plans for a £140million-a-year tax raid on all UK gambling firms as part of a new nationwide crackdown. Deputy leader Tom Watson said a 1 per cent compulsory levy would be slapped on operators’ gross gambling yield – and the money raised would help pay for treating problem gamblers. He also unveiled plans for a “whistle-to-whistle” ban on TV and online gambling promotions during live sport events to end in-play betting ads. And Labour would ban the use of credit cards for betting. The suggestions are part of a radical gambling regulation overhaul proposed after a one year review. Announcing the new policies, Mr Watson branded problem gambling “a public health emergency”. The new rules would allow addicts to tell their banks to block online … [Read more...] about Labour plans to slap £140million-a-year tax on betting companies to help treat problem gamblers
With years to reflect back on that epic economic collapse, the seeds of doom were apparent: The rich growing richer, their wealth multiplied by generous income and corporate tax cuts; the remaining 99 percent of Americans struggling to keep pace; soaring personal debt; a period of speculative frenzy; a powerful financial industry with a hotline to Washington. Yes, 1929 was a hellacious year. That many of the same ingredients that led to the Great Depression were also present before the U.S. housing crash a decade ago is no coincidence. It is history repeating itself. Even in the Roaring '20s, we'd been there before. In the 19th century, a sharp increase in inequality after the Civil War also contributed to the the "Panic of 1873," which would trigger a six-year depression in the U.S. and Europe (the American bank Jay Cooke & Co., founded by the railroad baron, was the Lehman Brothers of its time.) The lesson is clear: Deepening income inequality today should give pause in … [Read more...] about Lehman Brothers is long gone, but the economic rot lingers