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Has Argentina Bottomed Out

Matteo Lucchetti
unemployment fund
Image by Marc Wathieu
PROJECTION & DISCUSSION : "ON SOCIAL METAMORPHOSIS" de Luigi Coppola, vidéo, 13:45 min. (2012).
Jeudi 14 juin 2012 à 18h30, galerie de l’Erg (Ecole de Recherche Graphique), Bruxelles.
Curatrice : Francesca Chiacchio.

SCREENING & TALK : "ON SOCIAL METAMORPHOSIS" by Luigi Coppola, video, 13:45 min. (2012).
Thursday June 14, 2012, Erg gallery, Brussels.
Curator : Francesca Chiacchio.

Projection de ON SOCIAL METAMORPHOSIS de Luigi Coppola et discussion entre lʼauteur et Matteo Lucchetti.

ON SOCIAL METAMORPHOSIS de Luigi Coppola, vidéo, 13:45 min. (2012).
Ce film, conçu pour le projet expositif Enacting Populism in its Mediæscape de Matteo Lucchetti, analyse l’aspect émancipateur des dynamiques populistes, autour de l’idée de la transformation des mythes à l’aune du climat populiste. On social metamorphosis est né d’une collaboration entre Luigi Coppola et l’économiste et anthropologue belge Paul Jorion. A partir de la section "utopie réaliste" du célébre blog de Paul Jorion, ils ont travaillé sur un texte qui rassemble à la fois les propositions écrites par les internautes, qui ont participé collectivement à cette section, et des textes de Louis Antoine de Saint Just, John Maynard Keynes et Franklin Roosevelt. Luigi Coppola a ensuite mis en scène ce nouveau script sous la forme d’un chœur grec classique, de manière à articuler un parallélisme entre les demandes et les propositions formulées dans le texte et la voix d’un "peuple".
"La révolte peine à trouver la parole" remarque Luigi Coppola, qui suggère le masque comme outil symbolique de fédération et de protestation. Conçus par l’artiste avec des pages de journaux économiques, les masques ouvrent la bouche du peuple. Les visages de la métamorphose sociale ne se cachent pas, ils se reconnaissent au contraire les uns dans les autres: le masque leur procure la puissance de la multitude.

Luigi Coppola (1972) est un artiste italien, il vit et travaille à Bruxelles. Il travaille principalement dans le domaine de la performance. Sa recherche artistique se concentre sur les dynamiques relationnelles, mettant l’accent sur les aspects conceptuels de l’ordre dans les mécanismes sociaux. Sa pratique artistique émane d’une combinaison de différentes expériences professionnelles et pédagogiques. Il a une double formation de scientifique (Ingénierie Environnementale, Doctorat en Analyse du Risque) et d’artiste (Arts Visuels et Performatifs).

Matteo Lucchetti (1984) est historien, critique d’art et commissaire d’exposition indépendant. Après des études d’histoire de l’art contemporain à l’Université de Florence, il a obtenu un Master d’arts visuels et études curatoriales à la NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan). En 2010, il était accueilli comme chercheur en résidence à BAK, Utrecht, où il collabore encore en tant que rédacteur au projet Former West. Ses projets curatoriaux incluent : Practicing Memory – in a time of an all-encompassing present (Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, 2010; DEPO, Istanbul, 2012). Il est co-commissaire avec Judith Wielander du Visible project, initié par la Fondazione Pistoletto et la Fondazione Zegna.

L’exposition Enacting Populism in its Mediæscape (Paris, 18 février – 22 avril 2012) a été conçue par Matteo Lucchetti pendant sa résidence à Paris à la Kadist Art Foundation. Elle résulte d’une recherche sur les relations possibles entre des pratiques artistiques et une forme de populisme véhiculée par les médias qui dénote du climat politique européen actuel. Dans l’exposition qui se déroula durant les deux derniers mois de la campagne présidentielle française, l’espace ressemble à celui d’un bureau de parti politique lambda, devenant ainsi un environnement ambivalent dans lequel les œuvres peuvent à la fois être perçues comme appartenant au champ de l’art contemporain, ou comme des éléments relatifs à la préparation d’une campagne. (Alterazioni Video, Heman Chong, Luigi Coppola, Danilo Correale, Foundland, Nicoline van Harskamp, Steve Lambert, Oliver Ressler, Jonas Staal, Société Réaliste, Anna Scalfi Eghenter, Superflex)
www.enactingpopulism.org

50°49’19.50"N 4°21’25.53"E galerie de l’Erg
rue du Page 87, 1050 Brussels
contact : francesca.chiacchio@erg.be

"Enacting Populism in its Mediæscape" at Kadist Art Foundation, Paris.

Populism seems to be on everybody’s mind in Europe, no more so than in the lead-up to the French presidential elections in May. The term ‘populist’ popped up day after day in the headlines to denounce the political agendas of politicians as far apart as Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Nicolas Sarkozy. More a political style than an ideology, populism can exploit latent fears about anything from the rise of globalization, European Union enlargement, migration and unemployment to social insecurity, offering one-dimensional responses to a complex situation.

To use populism as a way to better understand democracy was the starting point for curator Matteo Lucchetti’s ‘Enacting Populism’, a research project that started in Antwerp at the end of 2010 and culminated this spring in an exhibition featuring 12 artists and collectives at the Kadist Art Foundation. The initiative was undoubtedly timely, scheduled to take place two months before the first round of French elections, mirroring populist strategies and profiting from the feverish campaign atmosphere. Lucchetti further echoed this effect by transforming the gallery space into a fictional campaign office, with the walls painted in an administrative green and Soviet furniture borrowed from Paris’s Communist Party headquarters.

The show essentially resembled a discursive space more than an exhibition, presenting art works that comprise or mimic forms of documentation such as posters, extracts of political speeches, pseudo-political administrative documents and flyers. As its titled suggested, ‘Enacting Populism in its Mediæscape’ played itself to a certain degree by acting out the role of a populist exhibition. However, this effect was rapidly exhausted, as it reached the inevitable limit of endlessly re-enacting the grammar and imagery the show claimed to denounce.

One of the consequences of that approach was that the art works required a great deal of time, attention, reading and additional explanation to be consumed, going against populism’s principle of appealing to people’s emotions through simple and effective communication strategies. One exception was a video by Oliver Ressler, which was only visible at night, when it was projected onto the closed façade of the gallery space. The footage in Robbery (2012) literally shifts from ‘night time robbery’ – images of shops being looted during England’s social unrest – to ‘daytime robbery’: Sarkozy and Angela Merkel misappropriating government funds to save banks. The connection needs no further explanation.

Other works also stood out. Danilo Correale’s project Re-designing Fear – People’s Party Spectacular (2011) worked around the recurrent populist discourse of hope for change. The artist introduced 5,000 scratch-cards into circulation in Antwerp, which, when scratched off, revealed familiar xenophobic slogans. A video installation and publication by the collective Foundland, entitled Simba, The Last Prince of Ba’ath Country (2012), formed an archive of pro-Al-Assad propaganda images that shows how a country’s political imagination can be falsified through the Internet.

Did ‘Enacting Populism’ manage to go beyond simulation and live up to Lucchetti’s aim of trying ‘to articulate positive and emancipatory means through images’ to create a potential social change? These are ambitious goals and not many of the projects on view were able to successfully develop this activist potential. Ernesto Laclau introduced the exhibition with a lecture and an interview published in Le Monde in which he moved beyond negative connotations linked to the xenophobic European populist discourse, highlighting its positive outcomes in Latin America. Claiming that ‘without a certain dose of populism, democracy is unthinkable today’, he provided one of the exhibition’s theoretical goals of finding positive populisms. But Laclau’s ideas created expectations that went somewhat unfulfilled, as there were no examples in the show of populism’s ‘positive antagonisms’. I would have liked to see works that were more conscious of their own involvement in the dynamics of populism, over-complicating rather than dismantling and analyzing its discourse.

In spite of these unavoidable shortcomings, ‘Enacting Populism’ remained a thorough investigation of a theme that can be endlessly re-enacted through exhibitions and in the public debate. In 2005, together with Lars Bang Larsen and Nicolaus Schafhausen, I tried my hand at dealing with populism through the prism of contemporary art in the exhibition ‘Populism’. I was struck then by the claim that the 21st century was destined to be the ‘populist era’, much like the 20th century had been the ‘totalitarian era’. The interest aroused now by this new show suggests that the topic is becoming increasingly timely and that populism is here to stay.

Cristina Ricupero.

www.frieze.com/issue/review/enacting-populism-in-its-medi…

A definite depiction of Argentine fiscal health is the Merval Index which shed down almost 9% in 2012. If this represents a bottoming out scenario for the financials of the country then equity and related investments should pick up. As per the IMF and FIEL reports the economy could barely manage a 1.5% growth in the past financial year and there may be further downside in this context considering that the inflation growth for the coming year is forecasted at 24% annually. American investors seeking financial adventure in foreign lands and multi-fold gains should take a closer look at the NASDAQ listed Argentine ETF which uniformly expose to the twenty most liquid and mostly large cap company securities that have their majority business interests vested in Argentina but for all the right reasons are listed on the other global exchanges primarily in the form of American derivatives [ADRs].

The downside fastened with the state’s announcement to nationalise its largest oil and gas company YPF S.A. The fact that it rubbed wrong shoulders with management of Spanish Repsol (technically Repsol holds the controlling stake in YPF) led to the YPF ADR collapsing as much as 70%. Further a regulatory move earlier in the year 2012 proved to be unfavourable towards the market as it increased the excess capital from 30% to 75% that dividend paying financial institutions must hold. So some banks like Banco Macro (BMC) had to suspend dividend payments. A weak Peso coincides with the dismal sate of the ruling party which under the rule of country’s president Mrs. Kirchner is already under shadows of political trouble and debt.

One impressive fact is that it is the third largest middle class economy in the Latin American region and the notable growth rates from the year 2003 to 2011 has made it progressively important in current years. The economy has leisurely improved after 2001 (the same year in which the country defaulted on $ 132 billion in public debt); it grew at a steady pace of 7% to 9% in the subsequent years. The country restructured about 100 billion in bonds in 2001; many investors have been rewarded in recent years as these bonds were linked to the nation’s GDP.

Easiest access is through Equity traded funds offering diversified exposure (and minimising risk) to this country under a single United States traded security. Individuals looking for more precise savings can also purchase American Depository Receipts (ADRS); these are United States traded securities replicating performance of the foreign stocks on their respective stock exchanges and are primarily introduced for excess fund procurement.

More prevalent options include ETFs attuned to the performance of FTSE Argentina 20 Index; these pure play funds will give assets in the form of 20 most liquid and largest corporations actively involved in this nation’s economy.

Fundamentally Argentina has nothing withstanding growth and years prior to 2012 have seen pro-growth data for basic issues like Unemployment Rate, Exports and Infrastructure spending.

FTSE bound Argentine Fund may easily turn out to be the surprise disclosure and rewarding for systematic investors who are willing to play on the downside that arises from a fresh state default scenario and those who are convinced with the nation’s prowess to contain the on going legal tiffs with the multi billion dollar fund houses that do not agree with the 2002 debt re structuring policies of the then ruling government.

ARGT Global X Fund is a pure play product that delivers as per the returns of the FTSE Argentina Fund after the annual expenses of 0.75%. The bench mark comprises of 21 stocks. Sector-wise consumer staples and material industry account for 69% of the holdings. Mercadolibre Inc. and Arcos Dorado Holdings Inc make for 27% of the assets but the top holding for ARGT is Tenaris S.A. ADS with 21.21% of assets assigned to the stock.

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Stumped by SUTA: PEO Company to the rescue

Bailout is Bullsh*t.
unemployment fund
Image by eyewashdesign: A. Golden
New Yorkers Protest the US0 BILLION Wall Street BAILOUT: Wall Street, NYC – September 25, 2008

Photographer: a. golden, eyewash design – c. 2008

Friends,

The richest 400 Americans — that’s right, just four-hundred people — own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans COMBINED! 400 of the wealthiest Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is .6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly 0 billion — the same amount that they were demanding We give to them for the "bailout." Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!

Of course, they are not going to do that — at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a 7 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not HIS, he did what the rich prefer to do — spend it and never look back. Now we have a .5 trillion debt that will take seven generations from which to recover. Why — on –earth – did — our — "representatives" — give — these — robber — barons — $US850 BILLION — of – OUR — money?

Last week, proposed my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, were predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: THERE…IS…NO…FREE… LUNCH ~ PERIOD! And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there should have been NO HANDOUTS FROM US TO YOU! Last Friday, after voting AGAINST this BAILOUT, in an unprecedented turn of events, the House FLIP-FLOPPED their "No" Vote & said "Yes", in a rush version of a "bailout" bill vote. IN SPITE OF THE PEOPLE’S OVERWHELMING DISAPPROVAL OF THIS BAILOUT BILL… IN SPITE OF MILLIONS OF CALLS FROM THE PEOPLE CRASHING WASHINGTON "representatives’" PHONE LINES…IN SPITE OF CRASHING OUR POLITICIAN’S WEBSITES…IN SPITE OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE PROTESTING AROUND THE COUNTRY… THEY VOTED FOR THIS BAILOUT! The People first succeeded on Monday with the House, but failed do it with the Senate and then THE HOUSE TURNED ON US TOO!

It is clear, though, we cannot simply continue protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think THESE IDIOTS should/’ve do/one. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here’s the proposal, now known as "Mike’s Rescue Plan." (From Michael Moore’s Bailout Plan) It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are that you DIDN’T, BUT SHOULD’VE:

1. APPOINTED A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money was expended, Congress should have committed, by resolution, to CRIMINALLY PROSECUTE ANYONE who had ANYTHING to do with the attempted SACKING OF OUR ECONOMY. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse should have and MUST GO TO JAIL! This Congress SHOULD HAVE called for a Special Prosecutor who would vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in future. (I like Elliot Spitzer ~ so, he played a little hanky-panky…Wall Street hates him & this is a GOOD thing.)

2. THE RICH SHOULD HAVE PAID FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT! They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than ,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class should have to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase.

If they truly needed the 0 billion they say they needed, well, here is an easy way they could have raised it:

a) Every couple makeing over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over 0,000 a year should pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It’s the Senator Sanders plan. He’s like Colonel Sanders, only he’s out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich would have still been paying less income tax than when Carter was president. That would have raise a total of 0 billion.

b) Like nearly every other democracy, they should have charged a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This would have raised more than 0 billion in a year.

c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders should have forgone receiving a dividend check for ONE quarter and instead this money would have gone the treasury to help pay for the bullsh*t bailout.

d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raised the corporate income tax BACK to the levels of the 1950s, this would give us an extra 0 billion.

All of this combined should have been enough to end the calamity. The rich would have gotten to keep their mansions and their servants and our United States government ("COUNTRY FIRST!") would’ve have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools…

3. YOU SHOULD HAVE BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME! There are 1.3 million homes in foreclosure right now. That is what is at the heart of this problem. So, instead of giving the money to the banks as a gift, they should have paid down each of these mortgages by 0,000. They should have forced the banks to renegotiate the mortgage so the homeowner could pay on its current value. To insure that this help wouldn’t go to speculators and those who tried to making money by flipping houses, the bailout should have only been for people’s primary residences. And, in return for the 0K pay-down on the existing mortgage, the government would have gotten to share in the holding of the mortgage so it could get some of its money back. Thus, the total initial cost of fixing the mortgage crisis at its roots (instead of with the greedy lenders) is 0 billion, not 0 BILLION.

And let’s set the record straight. People who have defaulted on their mortgages are not "bad risks." They are our fellow Americans, and all they wanted was what we all want: a home to call their own. But, during the Bush years, millions of the People lost the decent paying jobs they had. SIX MILLION fell into poverty! SEVEN MILLION lost their health insurance! And, every one of them saw their real wages go DOWN by ,000! Those who DARE look down on these Americans who got hit with one bad break after another should be ASHAMED.! We are a better, stronger, safer and happier society when all of our citizens can afford to live in a home they own.

4. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A STIPULATION THAT IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GOT ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A "BAILOUT," THEN WE OWN YOU. Sorry, that’s how it’s done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank "owns" that house until I pay it all back — with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk — and necessary for the good of the country — then you can get a loan, but WE SHOULD OWN YOU. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.

5. ALL REGULATIONS SHOULD HAVE BEEN BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD! This catastrophe happened because we let the fox have the keys to the hen-house. In 1999, Phil Gramm authored a bill to remove all the regulations that governed Wall Street and our banking system. The bill passed and Clinton signed it. Here’s what Sen.Phil Gramm, McCain’s chief economic advisor, said at the bill signing:

"In the 1930s … it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets.

"We are here today to repeal [that] because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom.

"I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality."

FOR THIS NOT TO REOCCUR, This BILL SHOULD HAVE BEEN REPEALED! Bill Clinton could have helped by leading the effort for the repeal of the Gramm bill and the reinstating of even tougher regulations regarding our financial institutions. And when they were done with that, they should have restored the regulations for the airlines, the inspection of our food, the oil industry, OSHA, and every other entity that affects our daily lives. All oversight provisions for any "bailout" should have had enforcement monies attached to them and criminal penalties for all offenders.

6. IF IT’S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT’S TOO BIG TO EXIST! Allowing the creation of these mega-mergers and not enforcing the monopoly and anti-trust laws has allowed a number of financial institutions and corporations to become so large, the very thought of their collapse means an even bigger collapse across the entire economy. No ONE or TWO companies should EVER have this kind of power! The so-called "economic Pearl Harbor" can’t happen when you have hundreds — thousands — of institutions where people have their money. When we have a dozen auto companies, if one goes belly-up, we DON’T FACE A NATIONAL DISASTER! If we have three separately-owned daily newspapers in your town, then one media company can’t call all the shots (I know… What am I thinking?! Who reads a paper anymore? Sure glad all those mergers and buyouts left us with a STRONG and "FREE" press!). Laws Should have been enacted to prevent companies from being so large and dominant that with one slingshot to the eye, the GIANT FALLS and DIES. And no institution should be allowed to set up money schemes that NO ONE understands. If you can’t explain it in two sentences, you shouldn’t be taking anyone’s money!

7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD EVER BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF "PARACHUTE" OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY. In 1980, the average American CEO made 45 times what their employees made. By 2003, they were making 254 times what their workers made. After 8 years of Bush, they now make over 400 times what their average employee makes. How We have allowed this to happen at publicly held companies is beyond reason. In Britain, the average CEO makes 28 times what their average employee makes. In Japan, it’s only 17 times! The last I heard, the CEO of Toyota was living the high life in Tokyo. How does he do it on so little money? Seriously, this is an OUTRAGE! We have created the mess we’re in by letting the people at the top become bloated beyond belief with millions of dollars. THIS HAS TO STOP! Not only should no executive who receives help out of this mess profit from it, but any executive who was in charge of running his company into the ground should be FIRED before the company receives ANY help.

8. CONGRESS SHOULD HAVE STRENGTHENED THE FDIC AND MADE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE’S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES. Obama was correct to propose expanding FDIC protection of people’s savings in their banks to 0,000. But, this same sort of government insurance must be given to our NEVER have to worry about whether or not the money they’ve put away for their old age will be there. This should have meant strict government oversight of companies who manage their employees’ funds — or perhaps it means the companies should have been forced to turn over those funds and their management to the government? People’s private retirement funds must also be protected, but perhaps it’s time to consider not having one’s retirement invested in the casino known as the stock market??? Our government should have a solemn duty to guarantee that no one who grows old in this country has to worry about becoming destitute.

9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off your TVs! We are NOT in the Second Great Depression. The sky is NOT falling, Chicken Little! Pundits and politicians have lied to us so FAST and FURIOUS it’s hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I wrote to and repeated what I heard on the news last week, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that was true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the ’80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn’t go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into their Jacuzzis before they slip into their million thread-count sheets to drift off to a peaceful, Vodka tonic and Ambien-induced slumber.

As crazy as things are right now, tens of thousands of people got a car loan last week. Thousands went to the bank and got a mortgage to buy a home. Students just back to college found banks more than happy to put them into hock for the next 15 years with a student loan. I was even pre-approved for a USK personal loan. Yes, life has gone on with little-or-no-change (other than the whopping 6.1% umeployment rate, but that happened last month). Not a single person lost any of his/her monies in bank, or a treasury note, or in a CD. And, the perhaps the most amazing thing is that the American public FINALLY didn’t buy the scare campaign. The citizens didn’t blink, instead telling Congress to take that bailout and shove it. THAT was impressive. Why didn’t the population succumb to the fright-filled warnings from their president and his cronies? Well, you can only say ‘Saddam has the bomb’ so many times before the people realize you’re a lying sack of shit. After eight long years, the nation is worn out and simply can’t take it any longer. The WORLD is fed up & I don’t blame them.

10. THEY SHOULD HAVE CREATED A NATIONAL BANK, A "PEOPLE’S BANK." Since they’re really itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don’t We give it to ourselves? Now that We own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a People’s bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And, now that we own AIG – the country’s largest insurance company – let’s take the next step and PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EVERYONE. MEDICARE FOR ALL! It will SAVE us SO MUCH MONEY in the LONG RUN (not to mention bring peace of mind to all). And, America won’t be 12th on the life expectancy list! We’ll be able to have a longer lifespan, enjoying our government-protected pension and will live to see the day when the corporate criminals who caused this much misery are let out of prison so that We can help re-acclimate them to plain old ordinary, civilian life — a life with ONE nice home and ONE gas-free car invented with help from the People’s Bank.

P.S. Call your Senators NOW !!! —> www. visi. com/juan/congress/
Since they voted against passing the extension of unemployment benefits and skipped out to "campaign" to us to be re-elected…call them and tell them you will vote for the other "guy" if they don’t get their act together!

Here’s a backup link in case we crash that site again —> www. congressmerge. com/onlinedb/index. htm

Filing and paying taxes often feels like battling a superhero, difficult and tiresome! Fortunately, to help you, the business owner, juggle running your business with paying corporate and payroll taxes there are PEO companies. But before explaining how PEO companies can help with taxes, let’s investigate unemployment taxes.

Included in payroll taxes are unemployment taxes to the state and to the federal government to pay for the benefits of those who are out of work. SUTA, the State Unemployment Tax Authority, deals with, as the name implies, the state unemployment tax. The amount charged is calculated based on a percentage of the wage an employee is due, and off the experience rate of your company. The tax is paid by you, the employer, without making a deduction from employees’ salaries. When calculating the SUTA tax, you are advised to also calculate the FUTA tax, the unemployment tax paid to the federal government. When this is done, you can get a credit to reduce the FUTA tax. In other words, understanding the SUTA tax can save you money!

The money collected from the SUTA tax is put in the State Unemployment Trust Fund to pay unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, different states have different regulations for unemployment; the qualifications for receiving unemployment benefits, the length of receiving benefits, and the amount of benefits are different in Florida than in Colorado, for example. In turn, because every state administers unemployment payouts in their own way, their SUTA tax differs. If your business stretches into more than one state, you may be paying a SUTA tax rate of 5.4% in one state and 5% in one state. What is more, in some states (Alaska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) money is also collected from employees. Complicating tax filing further is the fact that the SUTA tax is variable, just like other forms of payroll taxes. The tax can be changed at any time, confusing employers who do not fully understand it.

As stated previously, filing the SUTA tax with the FUTA tax can lead to a FUTA tax reduction; hence, saving you money. There are other benefits of properly filing the SUTA tax. For example, certain states will lower SUTA tax rates to new businesses. However, SUTA rates DO differ from state to state and it is possible that your new company will start with a higher rate and can have this adjusted as each year goes on. There can be a lot of confusion over different taxes.

For small business owners who would prefer to spend their time managing their business instead of determining the changes in tax rates, consulting an expert can be incredibly beneficial. For example, Professional Employer Organizations, or PEOs, specialize in knowing tax laws and how they differ from state to state. Investigating PEO companies can save you time with administrative tasks such as taxes. Employee leasing services are not a new concept, but have been utilized for many years and have become creditable organizations for small businesses who understand the importance of focusing on their goods or services by offloading administrative tasks.

Carolyn Stoll is a frequent contributor to PEO Compare and writes about issues that may affect small businesses such as Outsourced HR, staff leasing, Employee Leasing, and PEO Services.

Hyundai slashes production and desperately advertises; Ohio’s Unemployment fund dries up; Biden goes to Iraq; Berknake claims Stimulus may not be enough.

Hyundai to slash domestic output amid global slump
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090112/ap_on_bi_ge/as_skorea_hyundai_motor_2

Ohio unemployment fund runs out
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090112/oh_unemployment_fund.html?.v=1

50,000 New Jobs For New GM Battery Plant In Michigan
http://www.wilx.com/news/headlines/37468709.html

Seasonal Unemployment Up Across Michigan
http://wdetfm.org/article/seasonal-unemployment-up-across-michigan/

Oregon in Top 5 for unemployment
http://www.katu.com/news/local/37416819.html

Coloradans filing more new unemployment claims
http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20090111/NEWS/901119985/1058/RSS

Seniors: Economy’s nothing like Great Depression
http://www.fox28.com/global/story.asp?s=9654584

U.S. Economy May Shrink 1.5% in 2009 as Recession Stymies Fed
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aTv0Xmo40wr8&refer=home

Bernanke Urges Strong Measures to Stabilize Banks
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=avMrVuolALQ4&refer=home

Merkels Coalition Forges Stimulus Plan for Extra .8 Billion
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aERsFh44NeVo&refer=home
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Short out recession problem in private sector with A-kasse

Matteo Lucchetti
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Image by Marc Wathieu
PROJECTION & DISCUSSION : "ON SOCIAL METAMORPHOSIS" de Luigi Coppola, vidéo, 13:45 min. (2012).
Jeudi 14 juin 2012 à 18h30, galerie de l’Erg (Ecole de Recherche Graphique), Bruxelles.
Curatrice : Francesca Chiacchio.

SCREENING & TALK : "ON SOCIAL METAMORPHOSIS" by Luigi Coppola, video, 13:45 min. (2012).
Thursday June 14, 2012, Erg gallery, Brussels.
Curator : Francesca Chiacchio.

Projection de ON SOCIAL METAMORPHOSIS de Luigi Coppola et discussion entre lʼauteur et Matteo Lucchetti.

ON SOCIAL METAMORPHOSIS de Luigi Coppola, vidéo, 13:45 min. (2012).
Ce film, conçu pour le projet expositif Enacting Populism in its Mediæscape de Matteo Lucchetti, analyse l’aspect émancipateur des dynamiques populistes, autour de l’idée de la transformation des mythes à l’aune du climat populiste. On social metamorphosis est né d’une collaboration entre Luigi Coppola et l’économiste et anthropologue belge Paul Jorion. A partir de la section "utopie réaliste" du célébre blog de Paul Jorion, ils ont travaillé sur un texte qui rassemble à la fois les propositions écrites par les internautes, qui ont participé collectivement à cette section, et des textes de Louis Antoine de Saint Just, John Maynard Keynes et Franklin Roosevelt. Luigi Coppola a ensuite mis en scène ce nouveau script sous la forme d’un chœur grec classique, de manière à articuler un parallélisme entre les demandes et les propositions formulées dans le texte et la voix d’un "peuple".
"La révolte peine à trouver la parole" remarque Luigi Coppola, qui suggère le masque comme outil symbolique de fédération et de protestation. Conçus par l’artiste avec des pages de journaux économiques, les masques ouvrent la bouche du peuple. Les visages de la métamorphose sociale ne se cachent pas, ils se reconnaissent au contraire les uns dans les autres: le masque leur procure la puissance de la multitude.

Luigi Coppola (1972) est un artiste italien, il vit et travaille à Bruxelles. Il travaille principalement dans le domaine de la performance. Sa recherche artistique se concentre sur les dynamiques relationnelles, mettant l’accent sur les aspects conceptuels de l’ordre dans les mécanismes sociaux. Sa pratique artistique émane d’une combinaison de différentes expériences professionnelles et pédagogiques. Il a une double formation de scientifique (Ingénierie Environnementale, Doctorat en Analyse du Risque) et d’artiste (Arts Visuels et Performatifs).

Matteo Lucchetti (1984) est historien, critique d’art et commissaire d’exposition indépendant. Après des études d’histoire de l’art contemporain à l’Université de Florence, il a obtenu un Master d’arts visuels et études curatoriales à la NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan). En 2010, il était accueilli comme chercheur en résidence à BAK, Utrecht, où il collabore encore en tant que rédacteur au projet Former West. Ses projets curatoriaux incluent : Practicing Memory – in a time of an all-encompassing present (Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, 2010; DEPO, Istanbul, 2012). Il est co-commissaire avec Judith Wielander du Visible project, initié par la Fondazione Pistoletto et la Fondazione Zegna.

L’exposition Enacting Populism in its Mediæscape (Paris, 18 février – 22 avril 2012) a été conçue par Matteo Lucchetti pendant sa résidence à Paris à la Kadist Art Foundation. Elle résulte d’une recherche sur les relations possibles entre des pratiques artistiques et une forme de populisme véhiculée par les médias qui dénote du climat politique européen actuel. Dans l’exposition qui se déroula durant les deux derniers mois de la campagne présidentielle française, l’espace ressemble à celui d’un bureau de parti politique lambda, devenant ainsi un environnement ambivalent dans lequel les œuvres peuvent à la fois être perçues comme appartenant au champ de l’art contemporain, ou comme des éléments relatifs à la préparation d’une campagne. (Alterazioni Video, Heman Chong, Luigi Coppola, Danilo Correale, Foundland, Nicoline van Harskamp, Steve Lambert, Oliver Ressler, Jonas Staal, Société Réaliste, Anna Scalfi Eghenter, Superflex)
www.enactingpopulism.org

50°49’19.50"N 4°21’25.53"E galerie de l’Erg
rue du Page 87, 1050 Brussels
contact : francesca.chiacchio@erg.be

"Enacting Populism in its Mediæscape" at Kadist Art Foundation, Paris.

Populism seems to be on everybody’s mind in Europe, no more so than in the lead-up to the French presidential elections in May. The term ‘populist’ popped up day after day in the headlines to denounce the political agendas of politicians as far apart as Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Nicolas Sarkozy. More a political style than an ideology, populism can exploit latent fears about anything from the rise of globalization, European Union enlargement, migration and unemployment to social insecurity, offering one-dimensional responses to a complex situation.

To use populism as a way to better understand democracy was the starting point for curator Matteo Lucchetti’s ‘Enacting Populism’, a research project that started in Antwerp at the end of 2010 and culminated this spring in an exhibition featuring 12 artists and collectives at the Kadist Art Foundation. The initiative was undoubtedly timely, scheduled to take place two months before the first round of French elections, mirroring populist strategies and profiting from the feverish campaign atmosphere. Lucchetti further echoed this effect by transforming the gallery space into a fictional campaign office, with the walls painted in an administrative green and Soviet furniture borrowed from Paris’s Communist Party headquarters.

The show essentially resembled a discursive space more than an exhibition, presenting art works that comprise or mimic forms of documentation such as posters, extracts of political speeches, pseudo-political administrative documents and flyers. As its titled suggested, ‘Enacting Populism in its Mediæscape’ played itself to a certain degree by acting out the role of a populist exhibition. However, this effect was rapidly exhausted, as it reached the inevitable limit of endlessly re-enacting the grammar and imagery the show claimed to denounce.

One of the consequences of that approach was that the art works required a great deal of time, attention, reading and additional explanation to be consumed, going against populism’s principle of appealing to people’s emotions through simple and effective communication strategies. One exception was a video by Oliver Ressler, which was only visible at night, when it was projected onto the closed façade of the gallery space. The footage in Robbery (2012) literally shifts from ‘night time robbery’ – images of shops being looted during England’s social unrest – to ‘daytime robbery’: Sarkozy and Angela Merkel misappropriating government funds to save banks. The connection needs no further explanation.

Other works also stood out. Danilo Correale’s project Re-designing Fear – People’s Party Spectacular (2011) worked around the recurrent populist discourse of hope for change. The artist introduced 5,000 scratch-cards into circulation in Antwerp, which, when scratched off, revealed familiar xenophobic slogans. A video installation and publication by the collective Foundland, entitled Simba, The Last Prince of Ba’ath Country (2012), formed an archive of pro-Al-Assad propaganda images that shows how a country’s political imagination can be falsified through the Internet.

Did ‘Enacting Populism’ manage to go beyond simulation and live up to Lucchetti’s aim of trying ‘to articulate positive and emancipatory means through images’ to create a potential social change? These are ambitious goals and not many of the projects on view were able to successfully develop this activist potential. Ernesto Laclau introduced the exhibition with a lecture and an interview published in Le Monde in which he moved beyond negative connotations linked to the xenophobic European populist discourse, highlighting its positive outcomes in Latin America. Claiming that ‘without a certain dose of populism, democracy is unthinkable today’, he provided one of the exhibition’s theoretical goals of finding positive populisms. But Laclau’s ideas created expectations that went somewhat unfulfilled, as there were no examples in the show of populism’s ‘positive antagonisms’. I would have liked to see works that were more conscious of their own involvement in the dynamics of populism, over-complicating rather than dismantling and analyzing its discourse.

In spite of these unavoidable shortcomings, ‘Enacting Populism’ remained a thorough investigation of a theme that can be endlessly re-enacted through exhibitions and in the public debate. In 2005, together with Lars Bang Larsen and Nicolaus Schafhausen, I tried my hand at dealing with populism through the prism of contemporary art in the exhibition ‘Populism’. I was struck then by the claim that the 21st century was destined to be the ‘populist era’, much like the 20th century had been the ‘totalitarian era’. The interest aroused now by this new show suggests that the topic is becoming increasingly timely and that populism is here to stay.

Cristina Ricupero.

www.frieze.com/issue/review/enacting-populism-in-its-medi…

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Eurozone sovereign bailouts likely to stop at Portugal

Town Hall for the former Borough of Morecambe and Heysham, Marine Road East, Morecambe LA4 5AF
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Image by mrrobertwade (wadey)
Town Hall and municipal offices. Foundation stone laid 7th August 1931, official opening 7th June 1931. Designed by the Borough Engineer, P.W.Ladmore, with facade design by Alfred William Stephens Cross, MA, V-PIAAS, his son, Kenneth Mervyn Baskerville Cross, MA, FRIBA and C.Sutton.
Red-brown rustic brick in 1:3 English bond, Darley Dale stone details including portico, architraves and aprons to windows, quoins, parapet. White glazed bricks line the upper floor walls facing onto the council chamber clerestory windows and shallow pyramidal glazed roof with ventilator restored circa 1980. Steel framed structure, concrete flooring, internal walls of hollow fire clay blocks, flat roof originally covered with natural rock asphalt. Austral type metal window frames, some replaced.
C18 classical style, symetrical. 2 storeys over raised basement, 13 x 16 bay rectangular plan with grand entrance hall and central single-storey top-lit council chamber.
Single-storey Tuscan portico to the central 3 front bays: a flight of 6 wide steps; paired columns in antis; triglyph frieze; balustrade with urns. Paired pilasters flank central entrance doors, with semi-circular sockets for ceremonial halberds presented in 1905. The facade was surmounted by a tall flagstaff, temporarily removed due to water penetration at base of the supports.
Rear: plain fenestration, stone sills and brick flat arches, open well to bay 7 with steps down to basement, 4 cast iron moulded posts, handrail altered. Left return: right quoined bay with deep eaves and parapet as front; the remainder is slightly lower. Entrance bay 3: ten stone steps with cast iron and bronze handrails, panelled double doors, overlight with geometric tracery, moulded stone surround. Tall 3-pane windows as rear and square-section cast-iron down pipes, Lancashire rose on hoppers. Right return: similar to left, 9 steps to the entrance door bay 14, left handrail replaced.

Interior fittings survive throughout the building, including panelled doors, window frames with pivot opening or side casement mechanisms, radiators, light fittings. The ground floor layout and individual rooms include: panelled double doors open into a square lobby with original central pendant lamp, glazed screen to main staircase hall. The entrance hall has cream and light blue terrazzo flooring with central mosaic panel of the town shield and motto ‘BEAUTY SURROUNDS. HEALTH ABOUNDS’; wheelchair ramps obscure curved corner steps; square section columns with later decoration, cantilevered stone divided staircase: cast iron ballustrade with scrolled panels and ramped mahogany handrails; the stair well lit by 3 round-arched stained glass windows. Double doors to left and right open into the Council Chamber / magistrates’ courtroom: 4 corner columns carry a deep moulded beam which supports clerestory walling with roundels and square windows with original yellow and blue geometric patterned glass; walls: moulded ‘acoustic’ plaster wall panels , ceiling of square glazed panels and decorative bands in red, green, yellow and blue. Original glass cube pendant lights. Wall gas lights here and elsewhere in the building in the form of bronze plaques with relief decoration of laurel leaves supporting torches with white glass globes. A fixed oak partition, 3 glazed leaded glass panels [central door] divided by paired pilasters, screens the entrance to the chamber from the rear corridor and magistrates’ rooms. Furniture: original black oak desks, chairs with green hide upholstery, and tables, the latter straight or curved and in units designed to be moved to suit the number of members meeting. Carved motif of coat of arms on chair backs; the tall chairs and mayor’s / magistrate’s desk survive, with original lights and bells.
The outer rooms are reached from a corridor round three sides of the building which also links the two secondary staircases to rear left and right. The stairs are one straight flight with roll-moulded mahogany hand rails and bronze landing balustrades with scrolled decoration.
Interior, first floor, front: the mayor’s private room and anteroom has a built-in oak cupboard, the main front suite of rooms includes the mayor’s parlour and two committee rooms separated by folding panelled oak screens; the doors have pedimented surrounds, the panelled plaster ceiling has been removed to reveal steel joists and concrete infill. The left offices include the original open and well-lit drawing office. The right-hand corridor rooms include the original kitchen and general office.
Basement: reached from the rear stairs; includes steel doors to former cell or strong room and base of rear boiler house chimney .

Garage approximately 20m to north-east, brick, concrete pillars support flat lintels, parapet above. Single storey, 5 bays, originally open-sided but now with panelled doors and inserted windows far right.

The building of the new Town Hall was made possible by funding from the Unemployment Grants Committee and planning began in 1930. The work cost over £40,000 and the foundation stone was laid by the then Mayor Councillor J.S.Cordingley, J.P., on 12th August 1931. Heating was on the low pressure hot water system with a gas-fired boiler.
The design team for the facade was father and son, Alfred and Kenneth Cross, with C. Sutton. The RIBA records show that Kenneth Cross [d.1968] worked extensively for local authorities in London [including Westminster, Marylebone, Finsbury, Finchley and Inslington] and for Bournmouth and Newcastle-on-Tyne. He was an expert in the design of indoor swimming baths and wrote two books on public baths. He also designed for the Barbers’ Company, the Grocers’ Company, the Whitgift Foundation, St John’s College, Cambridge, Plymouth Commercial Bakery, and Barclays Bank.
Morecambe and Heysham Municipal buildings were illustrated in The Builder, August 19th 1932 and obituaries of Kenneth Cross, who was President of the RIBA, are in The Times, Building magazine 26th January 1968, p.98; and the RIBA Journal volume 75, 1968.

Listing NGR: SD4395164768

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright.

Three of the heavily indebted ‘PIGS’ countries – Greece, Ireland and Portugal – have already received or requested bailouts from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, leaving only Spain holding on to solvency without external support.
The sequence of funding failures has triggered fears that Spain could suffer the same fate. Such an eventuality would pose a far greater threat for the Eurozone given that Spain’s economy is almost twice the size of those of Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined.
Spain’s gross external debt hit €1.76 billion at the end of 2010, according to the Bank of Spain. If the Eurozone solvency crisis is following a clear pattern – with investors focusing on one country at a time – Spain will come under greater scrutiny in the coming months.
“Spain’s size, and the distribution and complexity of its various types of sovereign, quasi-sovereign, bank and corporate debt, creates political headaches for the EU far greater than those in the smaller economies,” says Tamara Burnell, head of sovereign and financials credit analysis at M&G Investments.
But while pessimists point to problems in the country’s real estate and savings bank sectors, as well as unemployment in excess of 20%, the consensus view is that the bailouts will stop at Portugal.
“A disaster moment for Spain is not likely in the near term,” says Ashish Shah, senior vice-president of global credit at AllianceBernstein in New York. “Spain is in a much better position than Ireland, Portugal or Greece. But the country is clearly not out of the woods yet.”
Spain’s gross domestic product accounted for 11.56% of the Eurozone total in 2010, according to IMF figures, whereas Greece, Ireland and Portugal together accounted for just 6.06%.
“Growth, while weak, is improving and exports are okay, which will provide some offset to what will remain fairly low personal consumption in the short term,” says Duncan Sankey, senior portfolio director and head of credit research at Cheyne Capital in London.
But investors acknowledge the country faces major financial and economic challenges. Among these, the most significant are unemployment – 21.29% at the end of the first quarter, according to government figures – real estate debt and unhealthy bank balance sheets. All of these problems will continue to attract attention.
“There is no question the banking system is undercapitalised and the government is trying to address that,” says Shah. “The reality is the government is going to have to address it from the fiscal side, which means borrowing money and putting it in the banks. Spain will struggle to deliver the growth it needs to absorb the heavy social costs [of that process]. All this is happening as the European Central Bank is tightening rates, which is particularly bad for Spain because the mortgage market is largely a floating rate market.”
Nevertheless, investors take some comfort in the relative openness Spain has shown in publishing debt figures in its banking and real estate sectors.
“Spain will not go the way of Greece, Ireland or Portugal,” says Luke Spájic, head of European credit portfolio management at Pimco in London. “We know the debts are large but if the banks can be stabilised with equity and then fund themselves, it is very difficult to predict the Spanish banking system will disappear tomorrow. We know the size of the debt so what is the worst-case scenario when they go out to raise money? They might end up with an 80% debt-to-GDP ratio, which is a lot lower than the US.”
In terms of bond market sentiment, however, there are undoubtedly risks that buyers may end up staying away from upcoming Spanish issuance, even though that risk may not present itself for a few months.
“It will take some time for the risk to materialise in Spain because the government is very transparent about what it needs to do and is showing a tremendous amount of political will in that direction,” says Shah.
Nevertheless, the size of the Spanish economy relative to the other PIGS countries means it would be unwise to ignore the risk it poses to the Eurozone.
“At the moment you can still draw a distinction between Italy and Spain on the one hand and Greece, Ireland and Portugal on the other,” says Sankey. “Does that mean Spain is immune from contagion? Absolutely not, although they are looking somewhat better. The size of the problem is so much bigger in Spain that, if it had to be addressed, it might actually hush the voices of some of the less enthusiastic elements in the European Union.”
Yet for some investors, it is not just that worst-case scenarios are unlikely, or even that the EU will ensure they do not come to pass. Instead, Spain may even be worthy of increased allocations.
“There is a stock of people, be it Brits or Scandinavians or Germans, who will go and buy property in Spain,” says Spájic. “There is a massive stock of houses to get through.”
Spájic is also quick to emphasise the difference between the predicament Spain faces and that faced by Greece.
“The poorer peripheral countries have really tough debt dynamics,” he says. “When Greece has to go back to the private market next year, it will be a real struggle. Who is going to lend it €30-€40 billion? The public sector may step in again but then the risk builds it may not come back to market. With Spain you have got to paint a really nasty scenario for that to happen,” he says.
But if the macro picture were to turn negative again across Europe, Spain will not be the only country to come under pressure from investors, argues Burnell at M&G.
“Let’s not forget though that plenty of other large developed economies also share many of Spain’s problems, so there seems to be a reluctance to admit or confront the issues in Spain – after all, looking in the mirror can be painful for those who still believe themselves to be in a far better position. So a solution for Spain probably has to involve a much wider admission of pain than most can contemplate right now,” she says.

Find the full article on Risk.net. Cheyne Hedge Fund is a London-based alternative asset manager

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Fundamentals of Exchange Traded Fund

AGORA 2013: What could EU do to fight youth unemployment?
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Image by European Parliament
Elia Elenius, Finland/29/employed: "As Member states have different problems, the national parliaments are best positioned to fight youth unemployment. The EU should channel funds through national institutions and they will know their best."

More on Agora 2013: www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20131107…

This photo is free to use under Creative Commons license (CC) and must be credited: "© European Union 2013 – European Parliament" (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license). For HR files please contact: webcom-flickr(AT)europarl.europa.eu

The Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is generally treated as a type of investment fund with is usually traded on Stock Exchanges. The Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) contains monetary assets like stocks and bonds which are traded with its net asset value. Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) are the most sought after form of investment as it is less costly, its tax efficiency qualities etc. An Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is considered to combine the valuation of a mutual fund that is capable of being sold after the trading day for the net asset value. An Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) acts just like a company that contains several assets and allows shareholders to have a share of the benefits of the assets. The shareholders get a share of the profits from Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) like dividends or interests and also receive a residual value if the fund of the ETF is liquidated. Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) being an index fund provides investor with a large window to view the stock exchange situations not only in a particular country but the stock exchange system worldwide on a real time basis with a lower costing structure unlike other investment options.

Apart from ETF Fundamentals which is also a port folio in itself, there are several guide books available which guides people to avail a long-term financial security at by helping them know of the various methods of investment and the returns each one can get. Books like Fail Safe Investing and several other have these concepts in them which are very simply stated conveying the message to the common people who are interested in investing. These texts advise the common people to diversify their investments of bonds, stocks, gold, cash etc to make sure they are financially safe. The writer also ensures that people owning such a type of diversified portfolio do not have to worry about global financial crisis like recession, inflation or deflation where the financial conditions of people usually deteriorate with major problems like unemployment, bankruptcy etc. Different aspects of the portfolio perform differently throughout the year and therefore equalizing the returns in spite of the variations in the financial market.

Several financial institutions and individual investors have adopted the strategies of this book and are said to have found the strategies very lucrative. During the period of recession in the year 2008, investors and brokers who had adopted this plan found it extremely lucrative as it could give good returns apart from the monetary terms. The book advises people to dividing their finances into four parts. They include 25% in Stocks which provides good returns during prosperity, 25% in bonds that gives returns during prosperity and deflation, 25% in money market funds and 25% in Gold which protects one’s financial condition during Inflation.

In comparison to pure stick portfolio the Permanent fund Portfolio is diversified strategy of investment which is a sometimes a sort of an investment idea for investors as one cannot always afford to invest in the four different parts of the portfolio. It is not always considered the ideal type of invest and cannot be made an Investment blueprint and followed blindly. No matter how you are investing and where you are investing, but you need to know the way of making the safe investing that entail you to have more profit.

This article has been written by Demmy Groves, who is associated with ETF Fundamentals for a long time. She has described here how to avail the long-term security through Fail Safe Investing , the book, which is essential prior to make any investments.

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European Pension Funds – Polish Pensions Hardest Hit

11 – I Am Jumping
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Image by Kyle Taylor, Dream It. Do It.
Freedom Park Township, Johannesburg, South Africa
Walter takes a moment to jump with the more than 250 preschool students he works with through his Venture, Freedom Park Youth Class. Inspired by his own childhood struggles to become literate, Walter has brought together hundreds of high-school age mentors to teach English language basics like the alphabet, numbers, shapes and days of the week to preschool-age students using games, music, singing and dancing. He also uses the opportunity to educate the high school mentors on issues like HIV/AIDS prevention and teen pregnancy. In a South African economy that oftentimes posts unemployment rates of up to seventy percent, Walter has worked to fund his position, turning a passion for social change into a fulfilling livelihood.

The global economic downturn has affected pensions all over the world, but up until now Central European pensions seemed to have braved the storm. There is a chance that European governments could use the recession as an excuse to U-turn on urgent pension reforms.

According to data released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), private pension funds lost a staggering twenty-three per cent of their value in 2008. The stock marker collapse has developed into an economic crisis, with pension funds falling from declining and earnings and rising unemployment denting pension contributions. Public pensions are being affected by the rise in unemployment benefits and fiscal stimulus packages putting a strain on the public purse.

The largest of the private pension fund losses was felt in Ireland, where losses of thirty-seven per cent were recorded. The Czech Republic experienced the smallest losses below ten per cent.

Stock markets across the world have plummeted since last year, so the diverse range of private pension fund losses can’t be explained by relative losses in the markets. How these pension funds were invested seems to be the deciding factor. While stock markets in OECD countries fell by around forty-five per cent in 2008, Government bonds tended to rise, with the international index up by over seven per cent in 2008.

The countries whose pension funds invested more in bonds than in stocks like the Czech Republic and Slovakia seemed to have fared better than English-speaking countries where pension funds tended to be invested in equities.

Poland’s private pension funds lost more than other Central European countries because of a law which was supposed to aid the Polish stock market. Open Pension Funds (OPFs) are limited to investing only five per cent of their assets outside Poland. While this had meant the Warsaw Stock Exchange is important to the region, but the over-population of funds in the local market drove the over-valuation of Polish stocks; a bubble which burst when the economic crisis swept through.

While private financial sources make up over forty per cent of retirement incomes in Australia, Canada, the UK and US, they only make up five per cent of incomes in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.

For younger workers in these areas though, pensions are expected to provide a significant chunk of retirement incomes. Pension funds being resilient to turbulent economic conditions is of paramount importance for this new breed of worker, as they save for retirement.

John McE writes on behalf of the Pensions Regulator, which is the UK regulator of work-based pension schemes.

Working to improve confidence in work-based pensions by protecting members’ benefits and encouraging high standards and good practice in running pension schemes.

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Get And Obtain an Unsecured Unemployment Loan – Loans For the Unemployed

Go Fund Me Campaign for my bff Liz!!!
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Image by Forsaken Fotos
www.gofundme.com/4jg1zo the page ….hi, my name is liz and i’ve been an insulin dependant diabetic since i was 9, i’m now 34, and have no insurance. i’ve been turned down by government help and am searching other avenues… i recently had dka, which was told by the er if i hadn’t gotten there when i did, i wouldn’t have made it through the night. 4 days in icu and a mountain of bills later.. well you know the story.. my blood sugars are always extremely high and is physically making my health deteriorate… i desperately need to see a diabetic specialist and to be put on an insulin pump. i also have mitro valve prolapse which has gotten severely worse, and am unable to see a heart doctor. i try to control everything on my own, but apparently i’m not a fairy :/ so i am hoping to find assistance in helping myself 🙂 any donations would be a blessing… i work 3 jobs and am just getting by, mainly because the cost of my meds and to get to the drs when i actually have the 0-0 needed per visit.. update… i am currently laid off… since december… am living on unemployment and its not looking like i can return to my job.. i have a torn muscle in my hip and in my shoulder… which i can not have fixed yet. I also this week was in an auto accident and my car was totaled… so I am currently looking for donations to help with ANY medical needs… for everyone that has donated… THANK YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK!!!!!!!!!!

Being unemployed can make it hard to lend cash as many investors are unwilling to take a chance with someone who cannot confirm their ability to pay back them. Unsecured unemployment loans can avail you keep your head above the water as you look for service with a fresh employer, or while you are getting unemployment compensation profits from the government or your previous employer. Unsecured unemployment loans are relatively simple to obtain and can be received in sum as great as £20,000.

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Living On Borrowed Time

Running Amok Again
unemployment fund
Image by elycefeliz
The Republicans and Tea Party "Leaders" have been in a frenzy to defend poor BP, and attack Obama over the Gulf Oil Spill. They’re frantic to protect big corporations and "property rights", and show no concern for the people, wildlife and land that is being harmed.

"I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown . . . I apologize. . . I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is — again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize."
~ Rep. Joe Barton, Republican, Texas, House Committee on Energy and Commerce

BP shouldn’t have to be fleeced and made chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest — they’ve got to be legitimate claims. ‘The other thing we have to remember is that Obama loves to make evil whatever company it is that he wants to get more power from."
~ Rep. Michelle Bachman, Republican, Minnesota

"What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business . . . I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen."
~ Rand Paul, Republican Tea Party Candidate, Kentucky State Senate Race

"I’m not going to point fingers and make this a partisan issue at all . . . But it is that inherent problem that we have with government . . National security, safety of the people, needs to be the top priority. . . . Instead of funding these other things on the periphery that really just get in the way of the private sector’s progress . . We can’t afford to demonize these energy producers . . . "
~ Sarah Palin, Republican Loser/Quitter and Tea Party Darling

"It’s a sad story of government incompetence. . . When there is a natural disaster like this we do expect our government to do some things and to do them well."
~ Matt Kibbe, Tea Bagger

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/21/…
Joe Barton is not alone. The Texas congressman’s lavish sympathy for BP — which he sees not as perpetrator of a preventable disaster but as victim of a White House "shakedown" — is actually what passes for mainstream opinion among conservative Republicans today.

But Barton was only echoing a statement that Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) had issued a day earlier in the name of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of House conservatives whose Web site claims 115 members. The statement groused that there is "no legal authority for the president to compel a private company to set up or contribute to an escrow account" and accused the Obama administration of "Chicago-style shakedown politics." Just to review: A group constituting roughly two-thirds of all Republicans in the House takes the position that President Obama was wrong to demand that BP set aside money to guarantee that those whose livelihoods are being ruined by the oil spill will be compensated. In other words, it’s more important to kneel at the altar of radical conservative ideology than to feel any sense of compassion for one’s fellow Americans.

Yes, President Obama used the power of his office to pressure BP to set money aside for compensation. If Republicans believe he shouldn’t have, then by all means they should speak up.

www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/6/18/877299/-The-Republic…
by Laurence Lewis
The Republicans are not on your side
The message is simple and easy, because it happens to be true. On issue after issue, the Republicans prove that they don’t care about people, they only care about their corporate owners. Last week, they blocked an extension of unemployment benefits. This week, they killed it. They also ensured a pay cut to doctors who accept Medicare patients, ensuring that fewer doctors will, and that those on Medicare will have more trouble finding medical care. But while they’ve been busy hurting people, they’ve also been busy helping corporations

With the BP oil gusher destroying the Gulf of Mexico, Republicans are having to pretend not to be defending BP. Meanwhile, they’re criticizing President Obama for trying to protect people from BP. It’s always the same. They protected the banks from financial regulation. They protected the health insurance industry from real health care reform. They killed cramdown, which would have protected homeowners from losing their homes. The list goes on and on. Issue after issue. Year after year.

When have the Republicans supported legislation that helps people at the expense of corporate special interests? When have they proposed such legislation, on their own?

The great astronomer, Carl Sagan, who like me was a strong believer in skeptical inquiry, used to say, one of the saddest lessons of history is this: “If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the Bamboozle. And we’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The Bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge – even to ourselves – that we’ve been so credulous”.

Yes, the bias is still very positive as the government’s propaganda machine keeps pumping out favorable numbers, or at least a very positive spin of them and investors both large and small continue to be bullish to an extreme, as the market continues to inch its way higher on ever declining volume.

“YOU CAN”T FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME”

The Fed is actively pursuing what they think will be a market-based “wealth effect” – where higher stock prices is believed to encourage more spending by both individuals and business. The Fed has been successful in driving up stock prices thus far, but they seem to be losing the battle in maintaining bond prices. The BIG question is: How much longer before reality sets in?

The credit illiquidity that devastated financial markets in 2008-09 is about to re-assert itself. This suggests that the next phase of this Bear Market will probably begin with the Bull Trap snapping shut some time between now and the 1st week in January; as the market attempts to push through to a new recovery high.

Just as in 2007, liquidity is quickly starting to dry up virtually across the board, spreading from Greece to Ireland to Portugal to Spain with Italy not far behind. The cancer is also spreading into the European heartland to Belgium and France and engulfing the new eastern states as well. For the time being, the Euro’s weakness is lending some strength to the Dollar, but can America be far behind?

In a normal and healthy up trending market, you would always have profit-taking sell-offs along the way that shake out the weak sisters as the market climbs a wall of worry. However, for the last year or so, at the slightest sign of a correction, Bernanke and his liquidity hose rushes in to stop any correction from developing (for fear that both the economy and markets will resume their downward spiral), all of which is not normal and can’t last. For the last month or so, we have also seen an acceleration in group rotation with even the banks finally participating, which is a market ending sign.

There are serious questions regarding the scale of “QE2.” Some are worrying that QE2 is smaller than they were hoping for; while others are worrying that QE2 will soon be followed by QE3. Since every Ponzi scheme must eventually come to a terrible end, how much longer can Ben keep his two Ponzi (Bonds & Stock) schemes going? That is why this skeptic keeps seeing ever increasing market risk that will probably result in the biggest BULL TRAP in history.

Economist Nouriel Roubini (“Dr. Doom”) known for calling the housing market collapse (a year after I published my warning in “DENIAL”), suggested that the U.S. is a “fiscal train wreck” that could see the country face stagnation with slow growth, high unemployment, deflation and huge civil unrest.

Unemployment in the Euro zone, as in the USA, continues to be a major problem as unemployment surged to a 12 year high.

Japan, cut its 2011 and 2012 GDP estimates after the country’s industrial production declined for the fourth month in arrow.

With continued problems in jobs, housing and flat government spending, you really need to step back and examine the prevalent risk to the stock and especially the bond markets. The rule may be,”The Trend Is Your Friend”, but you must be mindful that TRENDS change so be watchful for that inevitable TOP.

BANKS

The banks’ ultra low interest rate costs and the pairing down of their loan loss reserves have provided most, if not all, of their profits without the necessity of engaging in normal bank practices (like lending money). Although profits were up 11.5 % in the 3rd quarter, it compares to 135% in the 2nd quarter and the 49% in the 1st quarter. Moreover, non-financial profits slowed dramatically to 8.6% from 25% in the 2nd quarter and 52% in the 1st quarter. So as for their financial profits are concerned, they are decidedly unreliable since they are all due to the Fed’s generosity; a payback for their complicity in monetizing the Federal debt.

SENTIMENT

Bullish Sentiment has shot up to extremes for both the little guys and the pros reaching levels last seen in December 2007. The main question is, “Can the economy really have bottomed and begun that cyclical bull market that they claim formally began in September 2009?” We are being constantly bombarded by all the great indicators by our one way cheer leading media economists and analysts. However, there are still a few questions that I would like to pose that no one seems to even want to mention, let alone discuss. Number one is the Bush tax cuts which, if not extended, will end up being the largest tax increases in history. Number two is the price of oil. It recently hit $ 90/bbl+ and should the world continue to expand, a move back to $ 140/bbl and more would end up being an even larger tax increase, resulting in a crash just like the last move to $ 145/bbl set off. Extending the ban on off-shore drilling for another seven years so that the country with the world’s largest oil and gas reserves cannot access its own wealth dooms us to be dependent for our energy needs on the likes of Chavez and Iran. We might still be able to make it, but the tax increases don’t stop there. The Obama Care new taxes have already started and continue to increase every year until they really take off after the 2012 elections. Take a look at your pay stubs and you will see how much health insurance costs have increased due to the new mandates already being imposed on insurance companies. The States are also looking for ways to increase taxes. There’s more, but for the moment they have slipped my mind. With these facts already in evidence, can we really expect a booming economy and a further 20% increase in next year’s corporate profits and stock markets?

Next we come to QE2. Since QE1 did not solve anything, except kicking the can down the road a ways and in my opinion, creating the stock market bubble that we are now in, what can we really expect from QE2 and is there a QE3 on the horizon as Bernanke has already hinted at? If the economy is so good, why do we need all those QE’S?

CHINA

Try steering through the hype: Inflation is exploding and is now up at (an under reported) 4.4%. Their real estate market is also in a Giant Bubble, even larger than was our own and they do not even have economists who are allowed to voice their opinions. Are we expected to believe that they can side step the trap that both Japan and then the US found themselves in as we followed Japan step by step into the Socialist abyss? It should come as no surprise to any of my loyal fans as I have been predicting this for over a year now. G-D only made one set of Natural Economic Laws and like it or not, we all must end up suffering their consequences for not following them. (Remember that old butter commercial, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”)

The most vociferous and ardent commodity bulls are also China bulls, and rightly so, given that the price gains achieved across the industrial commodity complex over the past 12 months can only be justified by making the assumption that China will continue its rapid growth. China’s importance to the commodity world stems from the fact that the bulk of its growth revolves around fixed-asset investment, which means that the growth is commodity-intensive. The risk to the bullish case is that a substantial chunk of this growth in fixed-asset investment is linked to a building boom that, to put it mildly, does not appear to be sustainable. It is nothing new. China’s current building boom ranks with the construction of Qin Shi Huang’s tomb* as one of history’s all-time great examples of mal-investment.

My reasons for being bearish on China and, by extension, on commodities, such as iron ore, copper and even oil is that they all rely heavily on Chinese demand. One of my reasons is that a lot of the residential and commercial buildings that have been built over the past few years remain empty, and yet new buildings continue to go up at a frenetic pace. There appears to be a complete absence of traditional return-on-investment considerations, especially in the residential property market, in that investors often have no intention of generating any rental income from the houses and apartments they purchase. Renting is thought to be pointless, because even if a tenant could be found, the yield would be so low that it wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Instead, the thought is simply to buy a property, hold onto it for a few years, and then sell it for a large profit. In other words, in China today the “greater fool theory” is the predominant practice on a phenomenal scale. Check the FXI and tell me that it is in a Bullish Phase. Remember China led the market crash in 2008: Is it now leading the worlds’ markets down once again?

NOTE: China’s holdings of Treasuries have dropped from $ 2 trillion to under $ 800 billion: Most of that money has been used to buy up appreciating Commodities instead of holding on to their depreciating US $ ‘s The Chinese will soon pair down their holdings to a point where they will stop buying commodities which will also mark the end of the commodities BOOM:

I have warned in past missives as to what will happen when you start a war with your banker who also happened to be holding all the cards.

If this bull trap rally lasts much longer, it will end up being Santa’s biggest present ever – at least to those of us who take advantage of this last chance to get out and get short before the biggest bear trap in history slams shut.

WILL WE EVER LEARN?

Monetary inflation (QE’s) is invariably the driving force behind today’s major investment bubbles, the reason being that a steep multi-year upward trend in prices could never occur within an important sector of the economy (such as real estate) without a veritable flood of new money. This time around, there is little if any investor money coming into the stock markets. The new FIAT money and its price-related effects are not spread out evenly over the economy. Some prices always rise faster than others, which can set in motion a self-reinforcing feedback (an increase in price attracts investment/speculation that leads to an additional increase in price, etc.) that eventually reaches bubble proportions. If the money-supply growth that supports the bubble then slows or stops, the bubble bursts and the consequences of years of poor resource allocation come to the fore. Alternatively, if the monetary authorities decide to keep the money supply growing rapidly in an effort to postpone the ‘day of reckoning’, the eventual result will always be hyperinflation.

HOW NOW DOW

Markets remain in a dull and uninteresting UP SLOPING TRIANGLE ending pattern. Could this be the calm before the storm, which should end some time between XMAS and the 1st week of January 2011. Looks to me like the markets are putting in the third major top of the major topping process that began in 2000. Now is the time to evaluate the strategies you intend to employ to both protect and profit from the coming deluge. We are just like Noah who knew that the great deluge was coming, but did not know exactly when it would begin.

Trading Suggestions

As much as my EGO enjoys picking tops and bottoms, at this moment in time the safest, best and most profitable trading strategies is to stick with precious metals trading. WHY? One thing for sure is because we KNOW what the primary trend is and if you stay with the primary trend, with just a little patience you won’t go wrong. The last 10 years should have told you that.

However if you insist on the Trading Stock and Bond Markets, it is my considered opinion that we are facing a situation where the monthly, weekly, daily, 60 minute, 30 minute and 15 minute Full Stochastic are in overbought territory. We also have Bullish sentiment at or near record highs, which is as I have often explained in the past a very bearish indicator. We are also witnessing inter-market divergences, which is also very bearish. And the S&P is in a rising bearish wedge pattern. Put it all together and we are in the final stages of a MAJOR TOP culminating sometime between now and the 1st week of January 2011.

Spend the next 2 weeks lining up the stocks that you want to short or instead you can start scaling in by buying puts on non-leveraged Index ETF’s into every 50 to100 point rally into the 1st week of January, which is the maximum this final meandering rally is expected to last OR you can wait until next year. The coming crash will be so dramatic that even if you miss the first 10%, there will be plenty more left for you to profit from.

China’s growing importance to the precious metal markets was underlined by the news that Chinese Gold imports have surged by more than 500% due to increased investment demand. Incredibly, China’s Gold imports were five times higher in the first ten months than in the whole of last year. Imports hit 209 tons compared to 45 tons for all of 2009, according to the Shanghai Gold Exchange. Trading volume of Gold on that exchange for the first 10 months rose 43% to 5,014.5 tons. Chinese buyers concerned about inflation are looking to Gold as a store of value. Chinese people do not have trust in paper currencies due to their experiences with an authoritarian government and hyperinflation. Most of the 1.3 billion people in China only began to acquire and own Gold in 2003 as Gold ownership was banned from 1945 to 2003 and their demand has increased from a near zero base. This means that the increase in demand is very sustainable and will likely continue as their wealth increases and their concerns grow about an overheating economy, inflation and a housing bubble (all lead to further diversification into Gold). Nearly 16% of global Gold demand went to Chinese households between July and October this year, rising from the previous three-year total of 14%. Chinese consumers bought almost half as much Gold since the global financial crisis began in mid-2007 as all investors living in the West.

A major force driving this increase is an ever increasing fear of inflation. October consumer inflation in China hit 4.4% compared to a year earlier – faster than expected and the hottest inflation in 25 months. Since Gold is a traditional hedge against inflation, Chinese consumers – who have no access to overseas Gold markets and funds – are rushing to buy Gold coins, bullion and bars. All this is on top of China’s existing cultural affinity for Gold. The Chinese are big savers, and their favorite way to store their money is in Gold.

Lion Fund Management has just won approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to launch the Lion Global Gold Fund, which invests in Gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs) overseas offering an easy, brand new way to invest in Gold. Other fund managers in China are itching to roll out new Gold stock and bullion funds. This should unleash a tidal wave of investor demand, just like funds such as GLD, GDX, GDXJ, etc. did in the United States.

The Turkish people also keep about 5,000 tons of Gold jewelry “hoarded” who knows how and that amount is increasing as the Turkish economy is rapidly expanding and the people see the metal as a savings tool because of rising global Gold prices as well as their fear of inflation.

Global investment demand for Gold of 1,901 tons last year exceeded jewelry consumption of 1,759 tons for the first time in three decades.

SILVER

Chinese demand for the ‘poor man’s Gold’ is also surging. 18,900 tons of Silver went through the Shanghai Gold Exchange in November, higher than the total trading volume of 16,400 tons in 2009. It may trade as much 70,000 metric tons of Silver this year. The exchange traded 39,777 tons of Silver in the January to October period, an increase of 290% from the same time last year,

PALLADIUM

As a matter of fact, on November 30th the US Senate unanimously approved the coinage of a $ 25 face value Palladium bullion coin with a Mercury-head design and a weight of 1 ounce. Recently a new ETF was launched that is backed by physical metal and weighted 55 percent in Silver, 33 percent in Platinum and 12 percent in Palladium. This ETF is issued by ETF Securities Ltd. of New York, trades with the ticker symbol WITE on the NYSE.

GOLD

Gold is up another 29% this year and is heading for its 10th consecutive annual gain, the longest winning streak since at least 1920 in London. This is mostly due to the inflation demand for an alternative asset to protect against the debasement of currencies. In truth, bankers are greedy self-serving parasites whose dispensing of credit ultimately leaves societies, businesses and nations bankrupt on the gallows of compounding interest on debt that has now become so large that there is no hope for repayment.

As far as Gold and Silver are concerned, my last 10 years recommendations have not changed. We are still only a little more than half way through this Golden Bull Market. Do not sell out of your core positions. Use any $ 100 to $ 200 selloffs as a Golden Opportunity to buy more. My LT targets are still $ 6,250 Gold and $ 215 Silver. So, if you are light on Silver, buy more Silver as it will out perform Gold for the near future. I will be publishing a new list of recommended stocks sometime early next year.

HAPPY HANUKKAH and a MERRY CHRISTMAS

GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS

STAY THE COURSE: All of my long term readers were not surprised by the shenanigans of the last few weeks. It was all discussed and called for in my last few letters. There are rarely any major surprises once you analyze recent political events with an open mind and without pre-conceived Ideological positions. The most frequent mistakes I usually make are ones of timing. I seem to continually underestimate the stupidity and ignorance of our Keynesian Economists and Politicians who are continuously lying to the public.

Most everything you’ve been taught to believe about investing in the market is wrong. Investing in this market requires doing the exact opposite of what you were taught to do. Find out how unsettling markets like these can be used to generate big profits by, subscribing to UNCOMMON COMMON SENSE.

Learn how to buy gold and make great money doing it! Gold is the best investment in ANY economy!

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*
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Wolfgang Sterneck:
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Photo-Reports:
www.flickr.com/sterneck/sets
Articles (german / english) :
www.sterneck.net

– * –

JO TAMBÉ ESTAVA AL PARLAMENT… I HO TORNARIA A FER

El dia 31 de març comença el judici contra les 20 persones imputades per l’intent de bloqueig del Parlament del 15 de Juny del 2011. Aquell dia s’anaven a iniciar el tràmits per aprovar els pressupostos amb el primer paquet de retallades a Catalunya, que va propiciar el tancament d’empreses públiques, la privatització de la sanitat, les retallades al sector de la cultura, educació, etc.

La mobilització “Aturem el Parlament” va succeir dues setmanes després del brutal desallotjament de la Plaça Catalunya a mans dels antidisturbis dels Mossos d’Esquadra a les ordres del que era conseller d’Interior i ara ho és d’Empresa i Ocupació, Felip Puig. També responsable del dispositiu policial que va disparar contra l’ull d’Esther Quintana.

La criminalització per part de la premsa subvencionada pel Govern i l’escalada repressiva que va venir després (judicis contra persones que volien impedir un desnonament al Clot, nombroses detencions a les vagues generals, multes absurdes per les persones que es manifestaven o per enganxar cartells, etc), va ser i és encara, una resposta planejada per procurar frenar l’augment de la indignació i de la força de les protestes populars contra el poder polític, econòmic i altres injustícies quotidianes, com el patriarcat i el racisme.

Durant aquells dies, la gent es va organitzar arreu per construir política des del carrer, com moltes seguim fent. La política que volem és assembleària, horitzontal, autogestionada, sense representants, és del poble i per al poble, i xoca amb la política institucional que ens governa. La qual ha estat protagonista d’un espiral de corrupció i de tenir llaços, sovint familiars o personals, amb grans empreses privades que reben encàrrecs d’obres públiques i amb els peixos grossos del poder financer.

Aquell dia érem milers de persones les que vam anar a intentar aturar el Parlament, per combatre el drama de tantes vides immerses en la misèria, els acomiadaments per les retallades, els suïcidis pels desnonaments, etc. Perquè moltes d’aquestes barbàries s’aproven dins dels murs d’aquest edifici. Per aquest motiu estàvem assenyalant els culpables el 15 de Juny de 2011 i per això mateix, ho tornaríem a fer sense por, perquè legitimem la nostra actuació, i perquè si la gent del carrer, a qui ens afecta tot això, no lluitem, ningú altre ho farà per nosaltres.

Sabem i tenim clar que aquest és un judici polític, una farsa per atemorir a aquelles que decideixen plantar cara i actuar contra els responsables de tanta precarietat. De fet, ens reafirmem al comprovar que l’acció directa contra els poderosos i generar alternatives de vida els molesta, i molt. Per això, i perquè som conscients del poder que podem tenir quan ens organitzem, no ens volem doblegar davant les seves intimidacions i fem una crida a estendre la solidaritat a aquells i aquelles que pateixen la repressió i la violència quotidiana d’aquest sistema econòmic, en les seves infinitats de formes.

Convoquem manifestació el dia 29 de març a Barcelona a les 18:30 a Plaça Catalunya.

SOLIDARITAT AMB TOTES LES REPRESALIADES I AMB AQUELLES QUE LLUITEN!!

La propera vegada que agafin un helicòpter, que sigui per marxar ben lluny i no tornar a molestar!

encausadesparlament.wordpress.com

———–

I was at the Catalan Parliament too…
and I would do it again

On March 31st the court case against the 20 people who are charged with an attempt to block the Catalan Paliament on June 15th 2012 will begin. That day in June, the process of implementing the first round of budget cuts in Catalonia began. Cuts that involved closing public companies, the privatization of health care,as well as cuts in the area of culture, education, etc.

The mobilization “Aturem el Parlament” (“Paralize the Parliament”), took place two weeks after the brutal eviction of Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona), by the riot police Mossos d´Esquadra under the command of Felip Puig. He was the minister of the Interior at that time and is currently the minister of companies and labour. He was also responsible for the police operation that shot Esther Quintana in the eye.

The criminalization by the media (that is funded by the state) and the increase of repression which followed (court cases against people trying to prevent an eviction in the neighbourhood of el Clot, many detentions during the general strikes, absurd fees for people protesting or hanging banners with tape etc), was, and still is, a planned response to try to stop the rise of outrage and the strength of popular demostrations against economic and political power, and other daily injustices (such as patriarchy and racism).

During those days, people organized themselves all over to build and create politics from the streets, as many of us continue to do. The politics we want are based in assemblies, horizontal, self-organized, without leaders; they belong to the people and they are for the people, and clash with the institutional politics which govern us. The same institutional politics and their protagonists are creating a corruption spiral and have relationships, mostly family-based, with private companies (that receive contracts for public constructions) and with high-up people with economic power.

That day we were thousands of people trying to paralyze the Catalan Parliament in order to fight the drama of so many lives embedded in misery, the layoffs due to the cuts, the suicides due to evictions, etc. Because many of these atrocities are approved behind the walls of that building. This is the reason that we were pointing out the guilty ones that 25 of June 2012, and because of this, we would to it again without fear. Because we legitimize our action, and because if we, the people from the street -whom are the most affected-, don´t fight, nobody will do it for us.

We know that this is a political court case, a farce to scare those who decide to stand up and take action against thoseresponsibleforall this precariousness. In fact, we reaffirm our ideals and actions after proving that direct action and the creation of alternatives of life bothers them, a lot. Because of this, and because we are aware of the power we can have when we are organized, we don´t want to bow down to their intimidation. We call for a spread of solidarity for all the ones who suffer daily repression and violence within this economic system, in its infinite shapes.

SOLIDARITY WITH ALL THE REPRESSED AND THOSE WHO FIGHT!!

The next time that they take an helicopter, it should be to go far away, and not come back to bother us.

———-

Repression in Spain. A call for international solidarity

During the last three years Spanish society has witnessed a period of intense social protests against austerity, corruption, unemployment and so on. As in other times in history, the greater and more radicalised the protest the bigger the repression that the state organises against it. Since the general strike in September 2010, a common trend of this repression strategy is been a kind of ‘laissez faire’ in the streets but followed by ´selective´ detentions months later. Police have been literally knocking doors down of those who continuously take part in different actions and demonstrations, and consequently dozens of people have been arrested.

On June the 15th 2011, ten thousand people surrounded the Catalan parliament in Barcelona. That day the government wanted to approve a vast austerity cut in health and education, and the idea was to block politicians from getting into the building. “Inexplicably” the police did not protect some politicians, which caused direct confrontation with protesters, and of course that fact was used by the media as an example of violence against democracy. After that, people were violently dispersed, and the MPs could do their job.

On October the 4th 2011, 22 people were arrested in their homes. They have been accused of a crime against the state, using a law designed for coup leaders and that had never been used before in Spain. They now face a penalty of up to 8 years in jail, whereas some of them have been also accused of different crimes related to other demonstrations. The trial will start in March the 31st 2014 and it is expected to last four days.

There will be a national day of solidarity in Spain on March the 29th with demonstrations in several cities. So we also call for international solidarity.

You can call, email or block different Spanish embassies or institutions. Or you can do whatever you consider appropriate…

“That day we tried to block the Catalan parliament to combat the drama of many lives immersed in poverty, layoffs by cuts, suicides by evictions, etc. Because many of these atrocities are approved behind the walls of that building. We were pointing at the guilty, and because of that we would do it again without fear. We know this is a political trial, a farce to scare those who choose to stand up and take action against those responsible for such precarious living conditions. In fact, we reaffirm it to find that both direct action against the powerful and generate alternative lives bothers them a lot. For this reason, and because we understand the power that we can have as we organise ourselves, we do not want to bow to their intimidation and we make a call to extend solidarity to those suffering the daily repression and violence of this economic system, in its myriad forms”.

encausadesparlament.wordpress.com/manifest-suport/manifes…

———-

In an effort to motivate small businesses and to bring down unemployment level, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM – Analyst Report) started a new plan to slash loan rates on small businesses, who elect to hire new employees.

JPMorgan will lower the rate by 0.5 percentage points for every brand new employee small businesses appoints, with the limit of three employees.

Apart from lowering loan rates, JPMorgan will also present discounts to small businesses for the opening of checking accounts. The company expects these small businesses to take full advantage of the lower interest rates and help lower unemployment.

The new program initiated by JPMorgan will be applicable to new lines of credit of up to $ 250,000. However, the existing customers can avail this facility by increasing their line of credit by $ 10,000 or more. A small business can save up to $ 4,000 over a period of three years on the balance of $ 65,000 with the discounts and rate cuts, according to the estimate made by the company.

In addition, JPMorgan plans to hold conferences in 11 cities across the country to assist local and small business owners to improve their sales figures and fund their businesses.

Small business lending has been a topic of intense discussion since the financial crisis. Many of the U.S. banks, who had taken government funding were pressurized by the public to help reduce unemployment by providing loans to small businesses. Though these banks are still lending, the demand for loans have been very less due to the financial turmoil and they are not able to find enough credit worthy borrowers.

Besides JPMorgan, other companies have also started a range of programs to help small businesses. In November 2009, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) with the help of Warren Buffett had launched a program to provide $ 500 million of capital to fund small businesses and facilitate education programs. In February 2010, Huntington Bancshares Inc. (HBAN) announced that it expects to double the small business lending over the next three years to $ 1.5 billion.

In the past, Bank of America Corp. (BAC) had announced that it will increase its spending on small and medium-sized and diverse businesses. The company pledged to buy $ 10 billion of products and services from the small companies over the next half-decade, with a 5% increase in spending every year.

Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) had remained one of the main providers of credit to the U.S. economy in first quarter 2010 and continued to lend to credit-worthy customers.

JPMorgan along with several other companies such as Capital One Financial Corp. (COF), U.S. Bancorp (USB), PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC) have started giving a second look to the every rejected small business loan.

JPMorgan continues to make contributions to the economic recovery by lending to small businesses. In the first quarter of 2010, the company’s loan to small businesses increased 31% year over year to $ 2.1 billion. Building on the efforts of the Obama Administration, the company has also launched an initiative to increase small-business lending to $ 10 billion by the end of 2010.

With the aid of its latest program to cut rates for the small business borrowers, JPMorgan will be able to boost its market share in lending business. This will enhance the company’s revenue as new regulatory reforms may lead to reduced revenue in many of its profitable businesses in the days ahead.

Additionally, we predict continued synergies from JPMorgan’s diversification and strong capital position, but a pressurized credit quality and reduced levels of client activity will be a drag on the future earnings. This justifies JPMorgan’s Zacks #3 Rank (Hold), implying that the stock is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months. Hence, we maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.

13722712793_18e9194eec

Introduction To Social Security

BarcelonA – AnarquistA *
unemployment fund
Image by Sterneck

*
BarcelonA – AnarquistA *
Photo-Report – March 2014
www.flickr.com/photos/sterneck/sets/72157643657256375

+
Barcelona – Arte Rebelde *
Photo-Report – March 2014
www.flickr.com/photos/sterneck/sets/72157643655743885

– * –

Wolfgang Sterneck:
In the Cracks of the World
Photo-Reports:
www.flickr.com/sterneck/sets
Articles (german / english) :
www.sterneck.net

– * –

JO TAMBÉ ESTAVA AL PARLAMENT… I HO TORNARIA A FER

El dia 31 de març comença el judici contra les 20 persones imputades per l’intent de bloqueig del Parlament del 15 de Juny del 2011. Aquell dia s’anaven a iniciar el tràmits per aprovar els pressupostos amb el primer paquet de retallades a Catalunya, que va propiciar el tancament d’empreses públiques, la privatització de la sanitat, les retallades al sector de la cultura, educació, etc.

La mobilització “Aturem el Parlament” va succeir dues setmanes després del brutal desallotjament de la Plaça Catalunya a mans dels antidisturbis dels Mossos d’Esquadra a les ordres del que era conseller d’Interior i ara ho és d’Empresa i Ocupació, Felip Puig. També responsable del dispositiu policial que va disparar contra l’ull d’Esther Quintana.

La criminalització per part de la premsa subvencionada pel Govern i l’escalada repressiva que va venir després (judicis contra persones que volien impedir un desnonament al Clot, nombroses detencions a les vagues generals, multes absurdes per les persones que es manifestaven o per enganxar cartells, etc), va ser i és encara, una resposta planejada per procurar frenar l’augment de la indignació i de la força de les protestes populars contra el poder polític, econòmic i altres injustícies quotidianes, com el patriarcat i el racisme.

Durant aquells dies, la gent es va organitzar arreu per construir política des del carrer, com moltes seguim fent. La política que volem és assembleària, horitzontal, autogestionada, sense representants, és del poble i per al poble, i xoca amb la política institucional que ens governa. La qual ha estat protagonista d’un espiral de corrupció i de tenir llaços, sovint familiars o personals, amb grans empreses privades que reben encàrrecs d’obres públiques i amb els peixos grossos del poder financer.

Aquell dia érem milers de persones les que vam anar a intentar aturar el Parlament, per combatre el drama de tantes vides immerses en la misèria, els acomiadaments per les retallades, els suïcidis pels desnonaments, etc. Perquè moltes d’aquestes barbàries s’aproven dins dels murs d’aquest edifici. Per aquest motiu estàvem assenyalant els culpables el 15 de Juny de 2011 i per això mateix, ho tornaríem a fer sense por, perquè legitimem la nostra actuació, i perquè si la gent del carrer, a qui ens afecta tot això, no lluitem, ningú altre ho farà per nosaltres.

Sabem i tenim clar que aquest és un judici polític, una farsa per atemorir a aquelles que decideixen plantar cara i actuar contra els responsables de tanta precarietat. De fet, ens reafirmem al comprovar que l’acció directa contra els poderosos i generar alternatives de vida els molesta, i molt. Per això, i perquè som conscients del poder que podem tenir quan ens organitzem, no ens volem doblegar davant les seves intimidacions i fem una crida a estendre la solidaritat a aquells i aquelles que pateixen la repressió i la violència quotidiana d’aquest sistema econòmic, en les seves infinitats de formes.

Convoquem manifestació el dia 29 de març a Barcelona a les 18:30 a Plaça Catalunya.

SOLIDARITAT AMB TOTES LES REPRESALIADES I AMB AQUELLES QUE LLUITEN!!

La propera vegada que agafin un helicòpter, que sigui per marxar ben lluny i no tornar a molestar!

encausadesparlament.wordpress.com

———–

I was at the Catalan Parliament too…
and I would do it again

On March 31st the court case against the 20 people who are charged with an attempt to block the Catalan Paliament on June 15th 2012 will begin. That day in June, the process of implementing the first round of budget cuts in Catalonia began. Cuts that involved closing public companies, the privatization of health care,as well as cuts in the area of culture, education, etc.

The mobilization “Aturem el Parlament” (“Paralize the Parliament”), took place two weeks after the brutal eviction of Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona), by the riot police Mossos d´Esquadra under the command of Felip Puig. He was the minister of the Interior at that time and is currently the minister of companies and labour. He was also responsible for the police operation that shot Esther Quintana in the eye.

The criminalization by the media (that is funded by the state) and the increase of repression which followed (court cases against people trying to prevent an eviction in the neighbourhood of el Clot, many detentions during the general strikes, absurd fees for people protesting or hanging banners with tape etc), was, and still is, a planned response to try to stop the rise of outrage and the strength of popular demostrations against economic and political power, and other daily injustices (such as patriarchy and racism).

During those days, people organized themselves all over to build and create politics from the streets, as many of us continue to do. The politics we want are based in assemblies, horizontal, self-organized, without leaders; they belong to the people and they are for the people, and clash with the institutional politics which govern us. The same institutional politics and their protagonists are creating a corruption spiral and have relationships, mostly family-based, with private companies (that receive contracts for public constructions) and with high-up people with economic power.

That day we were thousands of people trying to paralyze the Catalan Parliament in order to fight the drama of so many lives embedded in misery, the layoffs due to the cuts, the suicides due to evictions, etc. Because many of these atrocities are approved behind the walls of that building. This is the reason that we were pointing out the guilty ones that 25 of June 2012, and because of this, we would to it again without fear. Because we legitimize our action, and because if we, the people from the street -whom are the most affected-, don´t fight, nobody will do it for us.

We know that this is a political court case, a farce to scare those who decide to stand up and take action against thoseresponsibleforall this precariousness. In fact, we reaffirm our ideals and actions after proving that direct action and the creation of alternatives of life bothers them, a lot. Because of this, and because we are aware of the power we can have when we are organized, we don´t want to bow down to their intimidation. We call for a spread of solidarity for all the ones who suffer daily repression and violence within this economic system, in its infinite shapes.

SOLIDARITY WITH ALL THE REPRESSED AND THOSE WHO FIGHT!!

The next time that they take an helicopter, it should be to go far away, and not come back to bother us.

———-

Repression in Spain. A call for international solidarity

During the last three years Spanish society has witnessed a period of intense social protests against austerity, corruption, unemployment and so on. As in other times in history, the greater and more radicalised the protest the bigger the repression that the state organises against it. Since the general strike in September 2010, a common trend of this repression strategy is been a kind of ‘laissez faire’ in the streets but followed by ´selective´ detentions months later. Police have been literally knocking doors down of those who continuously take part in different actions and demonstrations, and consequently dozens of people have been arrested.

On June the 15th 2011, ten thousand people surrounded the Catalan parliament in Barcelona. That day the government wanted to approve a vast austerity cut in health and education, and the idea was to block politicians from getting into the building. “Inexplicably” the police did not protect some politicians, which caused direct confrontation with protesters, and of course that fact was used by the media as an example of violence against democracy. After that, people were violently dispersed, and the MPs could do their job.

On October the 4th 2011, 22 people were arrested in their homes. They have been accused of a crime against the state, using a law designed for coup leaders and that had never been used before in Spain. They now face a penalty of up to 8 years in jail, whereas some of them have been also accused of different crimes related to other demonstrations. The trial will start in March the 31st 2014 and it is expected to last four days.

There will be a national day of solidarity in Spain on March the 29th with demonstrations in several cities. So we also call for international solidarity.

You can call, email or block different Spanish embassies or institutions. Or you can do whatever you consider appropriate…

“That day we tried to block the Catalan parliament to combat the drama of many lives immersed in poverty, layoffs by cuts, suicides by evictions, etc. Because many of these atrocities are approved behind the walls of that building. We were pointing at the guilty, and because of that we would do it again without fear. We know this is a political trial, a farce to scare those who choose to stand up and take action against those responsible for such precarious living conditions. In fact, we reaffirm it to find that both direct action against the powerful and generate alternative lives bothers them a lot. For this reason, and because we understand the power that we can have as we organise ourselves, we do not want to bow to their intimidation and we make a call to extend solidarity to those suffering the daily repression and violence of this economic system, in its myriad forms”.

encausadesparlament.wordpress.com/manifest-suport/manifes…

———-

In order to address the routine concerns of many, regarding the payment of bills post-retirement or disability, a federal benefits program was designed in the United States, in 1935, known as the Social Securities Act. The program known as the social security program provides disability, retirement, unemployment and survivor benefits and Medicare. The benefits offered aim at providing financial support to the citizens of the U.S., who fall under the categories specified within the paradigms of the program.

The Social Security Act of 1935 introduced the social security system in the US. The system caters to the financial needs of the retired citizens, who have contributed to the social security trust fund for at least 10 years. It also provides benefits to the survivors, in event of the employee’s death. The other benefits offered cover disability and unemployment.

It is essential for the person to make the regular required contribution to the Social Security Trust Funds through the payroll taxes, to be eligible. By virtue of the provisions of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act or FICA, every worker’s income is subject to a tax payment of 12.4% on the first $ 94,200 earned during the year. Half of this amount or 6.2% is paid by the employer, while the other 6.2% is deducted from the salary of the employee. The amount is given to the government. Self-employed people are responsible for paying the full 12.4%. This amount is used fund the social security system.

The system has been designed to benefit those who make the necessary contributions for a period of ten years. There is a credit system incorporated in the scheme and you can earn a maximum of four credits per year. This means that irrespective of the higher limit of your actual earnings and consequently the quantum of your contribution to the fund, your earnings would entitle you to receive four credits.

The amount of the monthly social security check that you would receive after retirement would be calculated on the basis of your 35 highest income-generating years. You need to apply, to start receiving you social security benefits. The best time to do this would be a few months before your actual retirement date.

The social security program attempts to pay the retired citizens a pre-determined sum of money, to cover their basic needs. It works as a kind of insurance for the retired people, helping them to cope with financial difficulties, post-retirement.

It is a form of insurance that covers the surviving spouse and children, in case of the employee’s death. If the spouse is between 62 to 65 years, 70 to 99 percent of the benefits are payable. Dependent parents and unmarried children under 18 years are entitled to receive the benefits too.

Disability that prevents employment opportunity is also considered for benefits under the social security system. Physical and mental disabilities are also covered and the payment starts five months after proving the disability to the authorities.

Under the social security system, unemployment benefits are available to those whose unemployment is due to circumstances beyond their control. The program is designed to provide financial relief to the citizens of the U.S. at crucial times.

Joseph Kenny writes for CardGuide.co.uk, offering the latest offers on credit cards in the UK, visit them today for their top 10 credit cards.
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