62 People have more wealth than 1/2 of world

Zero Hedge: Just 62 individuals now hold the same amount of wealth as 3.6 billion people, the bottom half of the entire planet — a shocking statistic made even more alarming when considering as recently as 2010, that same half of all wealth was held by 388 people. Now, 80 billionaires collectively hold over $2 trillion, while the bottom half has lost $1 trillion of their wealth — in just five years.

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Finland Considers Basic Income Guarantee

BBC – The Finnish government is considering a pilot project that would see the state pay people a basic income regardless of whether they work.

The details of how much the basic income might be and who would be eligible for it are yet to be announced, but already there is widespread interest in how it might work.

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NY Times: Justice Dept May Now Prosecute Financial Execs

New York Times — WASHINGTON — Stung by years of criticism that it has coddled Wall Street criminals, the Justice Department issued new policies on Wednesday that prioritize the prosecution of individual employees — not just their companies — and put pressure on corporations to turn over evidence against their executives.

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Putin: Terrorist Proxies Used To De-stabilize Governments

Zero Hedge: If you’ve followed the incessant back-and-forth between Washington and Moscow over the course of the proxy wars raging in Ukraine and Syria, you know that the Kremlin is without equal when it comes to describing US foreign policy in a way that is both succinct and accurate.

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Commodities Derivatives Cornered by Citi and JP Morgan Chase – what’s up?

Zero Hedge: One week ago, when we scoured through the latest OCC quarterly derivative report (in which we find that the top FDIC insured 4 US banks continue to account for over 90%, or $185.5 trillion of all outstanding derivatives which as of March 31 amounted to $203 trillion; nothing new here), we found something fascinating: based on the OCC’s derivative update, JPM had literally cornered the commodity derivatives complex, when from “just” $226 billion in total Commodity exposure, JPM’s notional soared by 1,690% in one quarter to $4 trillion, or about 96% of total.

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Pope Francis calls for sweeping action on environment

New York Times: VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.

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The End of Work

Zero Hedge: Many activists are clamoring for a higher minimum wage. That’s an admirable goal, but is that where the worst problem is? Even at the abysmally low wages of the present moment, we still have 938,000 people being turned away from McDonald’s because there aren’t enough McJobs. The real problem is the lack of meaningful work.In a world of machines and social alienation, meaningful work is as scarce as water in the drought-stricken California Central Valley.

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Robert Reich: How we became the American Nightmare Economy

Salon: For the past quarter-century I’ve offered in articles, books, and lectures an explanation for why average working people in advanced nations like the United States have failed to gain ground and are under increasing economic stress: Put simply, globalization and technological change have made most of us less competitive. The tasks we used to do can now be done more cheaply by lower-paid workers abroad or by computer-driven machines.

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Stiglitz: Global Debt Restructuring Framework Necessary

The Guardian — When the euro crisis began half a decade ago, Keynesian economists predicted that the austerity being imposed on Greece and the other crisis countries would fail. It would stifle growth and increase unemployment – and even fail to decrease the debt-to-GDP ratio…

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