Labor/Economics/Business

Somalia Leaders Call for Debt Cancellation

In Somalia, 60 percent of the 15 million person population lives in extreme poverty. According to the United Nations Development Programme almost 10 million people live in extreme poverty or close to poverty in Somalia while the war-torn African nation wrestles with a $4.6 billion debt.

IMF Warns of Global Financial Crisis Risk

Washington DC - For the second day in a row, the International Monetary Fund raised concerns of pending financial crisis. Ahead of the Spring IMF and World Bank meetings, the IMF released the Global Financial Stability Report, warning of "vulnerabilities" in corporate debt, house values and sovereign (country) debt."We are seeing some of same conditions that created the 2008 financial crisis and the IMF worries that we are not doing enough to prevent the next financial crisis," stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who monitors IMF reports.

Kaiser Permanente CEO's visit to DC for "humanitarian award" draws protest over rate hikes and CEO pay

On the 9th of April, the CEO of health insurer Kaiser Permanente appeared at an upscale hotel in DC. He was there to receive a "humanitarian award." Protesters outside the hotel banged drums and blew whistles, outraged that Kaisier is jacking up their rates while the CEO and top executives get millions in executive pay.

Video-interview with one of the participants 1 min 37 sec

Senate Votes on Puerto Rico Disaster Aid and Emergency Food Assistance

The Senate agreed to vote next week on disaster relief legislation that includes $600 million in emergency food assistance for Puerto Rico. In recent days, a turbulent exchange between President Trump and Congressional leadership exploded over whether or not Puerto Rico disaster aid monies should be included in Senate legislation.

Toll lanes (Lexus lanes) proposed for Beltway on MD side and I-270

The MD State Highway Administration has announced a "traffic relief" plan for the Beltway and I-270 that has been reported elsewhere to include widening both roads and making all of the new lanes "variable-toll" lanes that are meant to ensure the wealthy can bypass traffic congestion. States have learned the hard way that widening roads doesn't reduce congestion, so the focus now is paid bypasses for the rich.

Arlington approves funding package for Amazon in hearing disrupted by protests

On the 16th of March, the Arlington County Board met to discuss a multi-million dollar giveaway to Amazon and Jeff Bezos for HQ2, possibly the richest man in the world. Protesters disrupted the hearing, calling affordable housing and similar priorities more important than Amazon. Disregarding the public dissent, the board voted to approve the funding package by 5 to zero.

Update 3-17 11:26PM:There is a report that Amazon may end up quitting Northern Virginia as they gave up in NYC, apparently they fear the wrath of the people more than bought-and-paid for politicians do.

House Hearing Reviews Financial Transparency Legislation

The House of Representatives is holding hearings on legislative initiatives to deter corruption and secrecy in the global financial system.

Puerto Rico Debt Advisors Subject to Conflict Disclosure

Washington DC - After an investigation into potential conflicts of interest in Puerto Rico's debt restructuring, the island's oversight board notes it will increase disclosure requirements for advisors. The investigation began in response to a debt consultant whose affiliate company holds Puerto Rico debt."It's critical that any groups who are hired to advise on Puerto Rico's debt crisis disclose if they also own debt or have a conflict of interest," noted Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte.

Puerto Rico Debt Deal Receives Court Approval

Judge Laura Taylor Swain approved a deal to restructure $17 billion of Puerto Rico's $72 billion debt on Monday. Court approval was the last hurdle creditors and the island's oversight board needed for a plan to address sales tax backed debt or "COFINA" debt."We are worried that not enough debt is being cut and that Puerto Rico's people are carrying heavy austerity burdens," said Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte, who monitors Puerto Rico's debt. "The math isn't adding up.

Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance Funding

On Thursday, Judge Laura Taylor Swain delayed approval of a $17 billion debt deal between Puerto Rico "COFINA" creditors and the island's oversight board. Citing concerns that her ruling could alter Puerto Rico's constitution, the judge requested additional materials to review on Monday from the federally appointed oversight board."We are concerned that the plan under consideration doesn't cut enough debt," said Eric LeCompte who heads Jubilee USA and has monitored the island's financial situation since 2015.

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