World View: EU Imposes Sanctions on Israel for West Bank Settlements

This morning's key headlines from

  • Greece on strike amid plans to cut 25,000 civil service jobs
  • Wall Street professional survey reveals widespread misconduct
  • EU imposes sanctions on Israel for West Bank settlements

Greece on strike amid plans to cut 25,000 civil service jobs

Anguished Athens protester (Kathimerini)
Anguished Athens protester (Kathimerini)

Thousands of private sector employees joined civil service workers in a 24-hour strike across Greece under the slogan, "General Strike - We are people, not numbers." Greece is being required to cut thousands of employees from civil service payrolls, if they're to continue to receive bailout payments from Europe and the International Monetary Fund. 12,500 public workers are to be placed in a so-called "mobility pool" by September this year, giving them eight months to find work in another department or lose their jobs, despite the fact that the Greek unemployment rate stands at nearly 27 percent, which is double the EU average. Greeceā€™s two-party governing coalition faces a stern test on Wednesday night, when MPs will vote on more than 100 articles contained in a multi-bill of reforms that paves the way for sackings and job transfers in the civil service. Kathimerini (Athens) and Deutsche Welle

Wall Street professional survey reveals widespread misconduct

According to a survey of 250 industry insiders from financial services firms, 23% reported that they had observed or had first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, 28% felt the industry does not put the interests of clients first and 24% admitted they would engage in insider trading if they could get away with it.

"Surprisingly," according to the survey, younger professionals on Wall Street were significantly more likely to be aware, accept and engage in illegal or unethical conduct than their more senior colleagues. Among people with less than 10 years experience, 38% said they would commit insider trading for $10 million if they wouldn't be caught.

So here you see confirmation of several major issues that I've been writing about for years.

First, Wall Street, like Washington, has a huge population of people who have no ethical or moral standards whatsoever.

Second, young people -- that is, Generation-X, are substantially more lacking in ethics and morals than older people.

Let's review briefly: Generation-X grew up at a time when feminists were telling mothers to dump their husbands, and then go to court and lie about domestic violence, in order to get as much money as possible. These children grew up without fathers, except for a stream of men in their mothers' beds, some of whom would beat or abuse them. They would have loved to have their real fathers in their lives, but they knew that their mothers were lying, and they saw how their mothers lied to the divorce court and got away with it. They said to themselves, "Hey, I can do that too!" And they grew up, went into the financial services industry, and created tens of trillions of dollars in fraudulent subprime mortgage backed securities, and then sold them to older investors, the same men who had been in their mothers' beds when they were children.

Now we have a survey that says that 38% of them are lacking in morals and ethics, and that's not the least bit surprising. And, as I keep pointing out, the same people are in the same jobs, still looking for new ways to defraud people.

The third point is that they would commit these crimes "if they wouldn't be caught," and that's exactly the situation. None of these criminals who caused the financial crisis have been prosecuted and sent to jail, and the young people in the survey are well aware of this. They know that they can defraud anyone they want, just like their mothers did, make a ton of money, laugh at the suckers they've defrauded, and get away with it.

And why are they not being investigated and prosecuted by the Obama justice department? Because they've used a fraction of the money they obtained through fraud, and donated it to Obama as campaign contributions, and Obama is returning the favor.

According to Jordan Thomas of Labaton Sucharow, which funded the survey:

"Many in the financial services industry appear to have lost their moral compass, and younger professionals pose the greatest threat to investors. Wall Street needs to take the first step toward recovery and admit that it has a corporate ethics problem, or Main Street should brace itself for more scandals."

Well, Wall Street is not going to admit anything, and neither are any Washington politicians. (As an aside, no one has even been fired among the IRS employees who used taxpayer information to target political enemies and, for all we know, personal enemies as well.)

Let's hope that there are more scandals, and it would very nice to see some of these criminals on Wall Street and in Washington go to jail. Labaton Sucharow and NY Times

EU imposes sanctions on Israel for West Bank settlements

A furious Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday angrily rejected European Union sanctions imposed because of West Bank settlements. The sanctions will bar any EU funding projects for Israel in the West Bank. The guidelines require that in all signed agreements with Brussels a clear distinction be made between Israel and the territories it occupied in the 1967 Six-Day war -- the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including mainly-Arab east Jerusalem. The aspect which has most angered Israel is the "territorial eligibility" clause which means that from 2014, only territories within the 1967 borders will be considered eligible for EU funding.

According to Netanyahu's statement:

"We shall not accept any external dictates on our borders. That is an issue that will be decided only in direct negotiations between the sides. ...

I would expect those who concern themselves with peace and stability in the region to only debate such an issue after resolving problems which are slightly more urgent, such as the Syrian civil war or Iran's race to obtain nuclear weapons."

However, Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, are viewed as illegal under international law. According to Sweden's foreign minister: "It should not come as a surprise that the EU supports international law in Middle East peace efforts." AFP and Jerusalem Post

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