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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 10,602

Journal Archives

Venezuela Is About to Go Bust

Venezuela’s economy is facing a tsunami of bad news. The country is suffering from the world’s deepest recession, highest inflation rate, and highest credit risk — all problems aggravated by plunging oil prices. Despite all its troubles, though, until now Venezuela has kept making payments on its $100-billion-plus foreign debt.

That is about to end. In recent days a consensus has emerged among market analysts: Venezuela will have to default. The only question is when.

A Venezuela meltdown could rock financial markets, and people around the world will lose a lot of money. But we should all save our collective sympathy — both the government in Caracas and the investors who enabled it had it coming.

In the last few years, the Venezuelan government has been steadfast about staying in good graces with its lenders. It has paid arrears on its debt religiously, and has constantly asserted that it will continue paying.


Will America stick with Colombia in peace, as it did in war?

After 15 years and $10 billion, the United States aid program known as Plan Colombia has helped put the country on the verge of peace for the first time in more than half a century.

The Colombian government is in the final stages of peace negotiations with rebels from the FARC, the last major guerrilla group fighting in Colombia’s war. The two parties are expected to sign a final peace accord at the end of March.

So as Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos takes a victory lap in Washington this week, the question is: What is Washington’s role now?

Mr. Santos wants to keep the money flowing. But there are questions about whether an aid program built to defeat a rebel insurgency can be changed to consolidate peace.


Shkreli Miraculously Makes Nation Side with Congress

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a feat that some observers called nothing short of miraculous, the embattled pharmaceuticals C.E.O. Martin Shkreli single-handedly made the American people side with Congress on Thursday morning.

According to polls taken after his appearance before the despised legislative body, Shkreli’s smug, smirking, and utterly douchey performance had the effect of temporarily transforming members of Congress into marginally sympathetic figures.

The University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, which tracks the American people’s attitudes toward the legislative branch, said that after Shkreli’s appearance Congress’s approval rating surged from eleven per cent to fourteen per cent.

“A three-per-cent gain may not seem like a lot, but I think everyone in Congress is popping champagne corks today,” Davis Logsdon, the pollster who supervised the survey, said. “Martin Shkreli is the best thing to happen to Congress in years.”


Fox to reduce workforce; targets $250 million in budget cuts

Source: LA Times

21st Century Fox intends to trim its West Coast workforce to help reach $250 million in cost cuts this year at its TV networks and film studio.

Fox's corporate bottom line has been under increased pressure because of higher programming and marketing costs. In addition, several of Fox's TV networks have grappled with lower ratings and lower advertising revenue.

The dramatic cuts — announced Monday — reflect an increasingly turbulent media environment. Consumers are migrating to digital platforms for entertainment and canceling or scaling back their traditional pay-TV subscriptions. That means less revenue for Fox and other programming companies that rely heavily on cable programming fees for profits.

"Our industry is changing rapidly, presenting new challenges and even more opportunities," Fox TV Networks Chief Executive Peter Rice wrote in an email sent Monday to TV employees to notify them of the staff cuts.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-fox-workforce-reductions-250-million-20160201-story.html
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