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November 11, 2011     Post-Gazette
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November 11, 2011
 

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, NOVEMBER 11,2011 by Sal Giarratani  .... / EUROPE GIVES NO AID TO EUROPE The 20 largest countries in the world didn't agree to boost the International Money Fund reserves to pre- vent Greece's debt crisis from spreading to Spain and Italy. Greece's government concluded in their meeting in France that they wouldn't boost the monetary fund or take other steps to prevent the Greece's debt crisis from spreading to Italy and Spain. Prime Minister George Papandreou resigned under protest to form of a unity gov- ernment. The G-20 rebuff dashed hopes that China or the IMF would be a white knight. The Italian bond yields soared 15 basis points for an intraday high of 6.43%, betting that Italy would have trouble paying their debt and that Italy would fall back into a recession and if Greece defaults you're looking at another Lehman Bros., whose collapse in late 2008 sent the global economy into a tailspin. Europe overshad- owed positive U.S. employ- ment news. America added 80,000 jobs in October. The jobless rate dipped . 1% to 9% and it would have a devas- tating effect on the market and its unclear how the Greek's feel about staying in the euro zone. They're very opposed to the austerity pro- gram, but they want to keep the euro. They can't have both. The Market's picture remains mixed. Investors are seeing more breakouts. On the negative side, inves- tors haven't seen the gains of strong markets and the markets uptrend is under pressure especially with Greece's confidence vote and other countries (NO) like Ireland and Portugal and others within the G-20 gives notice to Europe. Greece and Italy who are still in doubt. The data out of Europe is: Italy is running out of cash. If Greece defaults and Italy follows suit and the European Monetary Sys- tem were to implode that would have a devastating impact on the U.S. The Greek's are opposed to an austerity program but they want to keep the euro. They can't have both. For the week, NYSE declined 3.2% and the S&P fell 2.5%. The New York Stock Index and the NASDAQ off 1.9%. Priceline.com will report re- suits this week. The Street expects a 74% earnings gain versus last year on a 41% surge in revenue. There were stocks that broke out. Italian bond yields soared 15% to 63A%. If Italy doesn't grow it cannot afford to pay these rates said Jay Bryson, Global Economist at Wells Faro. Italy is failing back into a recession, as we are a few months from Italy running out of cash. The Philly Chip Index rose 1.1%. Gold and oil held their ground, but bonds crept higher. The 10-Year Yield fell four basis points to .203%. Tehran is a bigger threat to America than al Qaeda. A UN watchdog group says that Iran is doing re- search that doesn't make sense unless it's for nuclear weapons. Israel said the world is closer to pursuing military options. The confi- dence vote in Greece hung over the market. It's time to call your Financial Advisor or call me at 617-337-5712. Newspaper Nostalgia Serving the Public Trust Instead of Just Chasing Profits Made the Journalism Business Better in the Old Days, Even Without Computers by Donald Kaul It's been a little more than 50 years since I first walked into the Des Moines Register newsroom to begin a career in journalism. It was a beat-up scruffy place filled with beat-up scruffy people, almost all men. They worked in a big room lined with gray steel desks piled high with news- papers, stacks of books, notebooks, and ashtrays overflowing with cigar- ette stubs. They wrote on manual, black typewriters. The phones, also black, had rotary dials. This scene right out of The Front Page was a case of love at first sight. "This is my kind of place," I told myself. And, as it turned out, I was right. But the most important thing about that room was something you couldn't see: an invisible wall that pro- tected its inhabitants from interference from the busi- ness department. It meant that, if you had the facts on your side, you could annoy the rich and powerful of the city. The wall would protect you from retaliation. The best newspapers in those days tended to be owned by long-time newspa- per families. These owners viewed their papers as profit machines, certainly, but also as a public trust. These families supported the prin- ciple that news was news and business was business, and the two should not be confused. 1960s newsroom. It wasn't a perfect arrange- ment. It would have been better, for example, to have had more women and people of color reporting and editing the news. But it worked pretty well for decades. Things changed in news- rooms as they did every- where else. Computers arrived on the scene, bring- ing with them increased efficiency but also competi- tion for readers and adver- tising dollars. The ranks of the ruling families grew too numerous to be fed by dividends alone. They cashed out, selling at el- evated prices to newspaper chains, which then resold the publications to busi- ness brigands who had nei- ther understanding nor in- terest in newspapers as newspapers. Newspapers were just another kind of dog food to them. In city after city, papers were closed down, staffs cut to the bone, and home deliv- ery severely curtailed. The invisible wall? Can some- thing invisible disappear?It did. Nowhere was that sce- nario played out more starkly than at the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times companies, home to a half dozen of the nation's fre- est papers. A friend of mine, James O'Shea, a top editor at both the Tribune and the Times, had a ringside seat at the disaster. He's written a book giving a blow-by-blow ac- count: The Deal from Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American (Continued on Page 15) Joe the Auto Mechanic has the Right Idea I'm sure everyone remem- bers good old Joe the Plumber who made headlines a few years back when he took on President Obama in an im- promptu debate over eco- nomic issues just as the financial meltdown while waiting in a handshaking line. The president got lots more than a mere hand- shake from the guy; he got an earful as well. Latest news from Obama is that the more he does the less that gets better for the country's economic life or for the millions that remain unemployed or join the ranks daily. The presi- dent even admitted on a TV news program that the country was worse over than it was before his elec- tion. Not exactly the mantra for a re-election campaign. Meanwhile, the plumber is now running for the U.S. Congress as a Republican in a Cleveland-Toledo district currently represented by the most female Democrat in the U.S. House. All eyes will be upon both men in 2012. Meanwhile, there's a new Joe here on the South Shore. His name is Joe Hubbard from Braintree. Folks in Braintree have already elected him to of- rice. He won in hi first cam- paign for public office a couple of years ago and served one term on the Braintree Board of Select- men. After one term he retired from office because he doesn't think public office should be a lifetime career. He ran, he won, he served and probably would have been re-elected if that had been his wish. Hubbard decided he liked his real job as auto mechanic and wanted to devote himself to that. Public office need not become a lifetime job. I know Joe Hubbard as my auto mechanic at Benson's Garage on Bridge Street in North Weymouth when he started working part-time there while at Northeastern University. He eventually became a great mechanic working for Johnny Benson. When Benson retired a few years back, Hubbard bought the shop. I always love talking politics with him. He keeps up on everything. I've been a loyal customer so long that Benson before he retired gave me a neat Benson sweater for Christ- mas one December. A couple of days ago, while reading the letters section of the Boston Globe (October 18), I came upon an interesting letter and when I scanned down to the author's name, there it was, Joe Hubbard-Braintree." Joe was criticizing a Boston Globe columnist who quoted an Occupy Boston protester who said "there is corruption in the govern- ment" and then the Tea Party and Republican House got blamed for it. Hubbard pointed out that the Demo- crats were in the White House and held a majority in the US Senate and that seemed to be at least part of the problem: yet went unmentioned. Hubbard said, "I think they are all equally guilty of creating this 'cor- rupt' environment." Con- tinuing, Hubbard blamed the Globe reporter for seemingly covering up for any Demo- crat blame for anything and hoped 'these protests are registering with Democrats as well as Republicans." Like my friend Joe, I also think pointing fingers and chastising targeted groups are counterproductive. Back when Hubbard ran for town selectman, I helped in the campaign writing a piece about how the Town of Braintree needed a good mechanic to fix things right. From the looks of things Washington could use a few good mechanics too and, oh yes; at least one plumber from Ohio also named Joe in Congress. 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