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Posts posted by Andromeda

  1. Ankur, I saw on MSNBC earlier that the Euro has been weakening, as well (I also saw this on the CNN ticker) due to 3.6% monthly inflation last month. That puts the Euro at an all-time weak point against the dollar, IIRC. Do you know anything about this?


    Let me search for the article and edit my post with the article in it. If I can't find it in 15 minutes, though, it'll wait till after the debate.


    EDIT: That didn't take long at all. Here's the NYT's take.


    Inflation Accelerates in Nations Using Euro


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    Published: April 1, 2008


    Euro-zone inflation accelerated in March to the fastest pace since 1992, official data showed Monday, giving the European Central Bank more reason to look with concern on the announcement of a big wage agreement in Germany.

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    Europe Takes a Closer Look at Employee Stock Ownership


    Eurostat, the European statistics agency, said prices rose in March at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the 15 countries that share the euro, the highest rate since June 1992. The rate in February was 3.3 percent, which had itself been a record. Inflation is running far above the European Central Bank’s 2 percent guideline.


    In recent months, high prices for energy and food in particular have pushed up inflation and are cited as reasons that household spending is being held back.


    The concern about rising prices is not confined to the euro zone. In a speech on Monday, the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, noted that “food prices on world markets are more than 50 percent higher, and oil prices two-thirds higher, than they were a year ago.”


    The Ver.di service workers union in Germany, along with other unions representing civil servants, announced on Monday a deal with government negotiators that calls for a 3.1 percent pay increase for 2008, and a one-time payment of 50 euros, or $79.


    Workers will receive a 2.8 percent raise next year, and some workers will get additional one-time payments.


    Ver.di, which sought an 8 percent increase for 2008, had threatened major strikes in April if negotiations failed. The union, with 2.4 million members, is second in size among German unions behind IG Metall, which won a 5.2 percent pay increase for steel workers in February.


    Matthew Sharratt, an economist at Bank of America in London, said policy makers at the central bank would probably view the wage deal in Germany, the largest euro-zone economy, with alarm.


    “While inflation is being caused by external factors,” he said, “this will strengthen the resolve of the E.C.B. not to cut rates in the foreseeable future.”


    Ken Wattret, chief euro-zone economist at BNP Paribas in London, said that labor negotiators often use inflation as a benchmark for their bargaining positions. The central bank’s concern is that inflation fears will become self-reinforcing.


    “The news on prices gets worse and worse each month,” he said. “When headline inflation gets this high, it’s understandable that the central bank talks tough.” Mr. Wattret said he had expected the bank to cut its main rate as soon as this summer, but in light of continuing inflation surprises, “that looks increasingly unrealistic now.”


    He said that workers in Germany were just beginning to catch up with years of wage growth that had trailed productivity growth.


    But economists said it was harder to argue for strong wage growth in the service sector represented by Ver.di than in the industrial sector, where productivity has been rising rapidly.


    The German labor negotiating season is not over. Postal workers are planning a warning strike Tuesday at Deutsche Post to press their own wage demands.


    The president of the central bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, and his colleagues have resisted political pressure to ease monetary policy, even as the Federal Reserve has aggressively cut rates to deal with the global crisis in credit markets.


    The European bank has kept its main interest rate at 4 percent while the Fed has cut rates six times, bringing its main policy rate, the federal funds rate, down to 2.25 percent, from 5.25 percent last summer.


    But the European monetary authorities have moved to help credit markets, injecting funds into the money markets in unprecedented amounts.

  2. Saying "Subjectivity is bad because objectivity is good" is pretty circular. If an aff team was going to go for reasonability (it's been done), they'd beat that argument into the ground. You need to explain up front why objectivity leads to a better decision than providing leeway and room for debate.

  3. She'd be a far better president, for sure. She knows how to deal with three factions (Dems, small-L libertarians, and right Republicans) in a legislature, she can win in a red state, and she is an excellent manager. Saving taxpayers a shit ton of money by changing the way we do paper clips is simply incredible.

  4. Well, it looks like this is the only discussion going on in here right now, so I'm game.


    I don't know about your claim that anyone can be great at music with proper training, or with enough time, or with enough dedication - or any combination thereof. I was trained in piano from the time I was 3 until I turned 16. And I was always terrible at it. Same with singing. Some people, in my estimation, simply have no musical talent. For another example, see Vanilla Ice.


    EDIT: To the jackhole who decided to neg rep me for "trippel posts," there were plenty of posts in there, from Burns.

  5. Well if you have the console already it's a hell of a lot cheaper than even going out and buying an acoustic starter guitar. It's also got a more friendly learning curve than actual guitar, and it's just a flat-out fun game to play.

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