"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

EXTRACTIt is hardly surprising that neither Rajoy nor, for that matter, Italy’s Mario Monti is exactly rushing to take advantage of the ECB scheme. If Madrid accepts tough new conditions, it will be seen as prostrating itself before the ‘men in black’ - inspectors from the EC, ECB and IMF troika - and that may spark more trouble on the streets. Rajoy is already deeply unpopular, if not hated, for the July budget which contained sweeping austerity measures. That €65 billion package included raising VAT from 18% to 21%, which, for example, saw the rate on public transport, hotels and processed foods rise from 8% to 10%; cuts to benefits (reduced unemployment benefit after six months out of work) and public sector pay, like removing Christmas payments; a new fuel tax; raising the retirement rate; and cutting billions off local government spending.
Vicious and painful measures that are being made at a time when the Spanish jobless rate is close to 25% - with youth unemployment now standing at a staggering 53% - and an economy that is mired in recession. The IMF, to name one organisation, expects that the recession will last until at least 2014. Extra austerity measures on top of that, even if it were a so-called ‘bailout-lite’, could amount to political suicide.