Before we get to the good reads!
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A Few Good Reads
Here are a few of my favorite reads from the past week.
1. Ukraine’s failure to pay gas debt may cut gas supply to Europe – Russia’s energy minister:
Ukraine’s growing gas debt may lead to the failure of the country’s transit obligations and the reduction of gas supplies to south-eastern Europe, said the Russian Energy Ministry.
Officials from Russia, including Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, and officials from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Moldova held talks in Moscow on Saturday.
The meeting, also attended by officials from the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and the Finance Ministry, was held in the form of consultations on the security of gas transit through Ukraine.
All sides expressed deep concern about Ukraine’s growing debt, Novak told journalists. Here full post
2. Recession fuelling demand for debt advice, counsellor claims:
Waiting times to see debt counsellors are on the increase, one advisor has said.
In Hämeenlinna the queue to see a debt advisor has doubled in the space of a year, with no appointments now available until the autumn. Waiting times in nearby Riihimäki have also lengthened.
Riihimäki-based debt advisor Matti Yli-Sarja says the faltering economy is to blame.
”Unemployment is the big reason, and the weak job situation is only going to continue getting worse,” Yli-Sarja predicted.
“We see that even short-term joblessness can set off a vicious circle of debt. Divorce and getting sick are also common things we see that can lead to economic problems,” he said.
“Of course over-spending is another reason some people get into trouble, when someone has unforeseen reductions in their income,” Yli-Sarja added. Here full post
3. Time for everyone to wise up about debt and taxes:
In the 2014 budget, the Harper government forecast that the deficit would be eliminated in 2015-16 and would be followed by modest surpluses over the subsequent three years. The government had promised already to use the surpluses to allow income-splitting for tax purposes, to extend the fitness tax credit to adults and to reduce debt by $3 billion a year. These three initiatives alone would use up most of the surpluses over the medium term.
The opposition parties have remained rather silent on how they would use the surpluses, although both are claiming that they would target their policies at the ‘middle class’, however we’re defining it. All three parties are committed to maintaining balanced budgets and not raising personal income taxes or the GST. Here full post
4. Utah men sent to prison for alleged drug-debt killing:
Two men charged in a fatal shooting in Orem were sentenced to prison on Monday.
Mason Eric French and Travis Waldron, both 24, were sentenced to serve two to 17 years in prison for manslaughter and one to 15 years in prison on an obstructing justice charge.
Also, French received up to five years in prison for felony use of firearm, while Waldron received a one- to 15-year prison term for a similar firearm charge.
A judge ordered the sentences for manslaughter and obstruction of justice to run concurrent to one another but ordered the firearm sentences to run consecutive to the other two charges. Here full post
5. Budget pain will not be healed by a debt levy:
Following Treasury Secretary, Martin Parkinson’s, defining speech at the Sydney Institute earlier this month detailing the stiff headwinds facing the Federal Budget, which is facing decades of heavy deficits without major reforms to taxes and expenditure, as well as rising productivity, the Australian Treasury has reportedly warned that the nation is facing its most sustained period of weak growth for at least 50 years, with the economy forecast still to be feeling the effects of falling commodity prices and weak income growth in 2020:
Treasury estimates of nominal GDP, or the value of goods and services produced in the economy, show it will grow by only 3.7 per cent this year and 3.4 per cent in 2014-15, little more than half its 20-year average growth of 6.3 per cent.
Nominal GDP… is expected to average only 4.7 per cent out to June 2018, before rising to 5.6 per cent by June 2021. Here full post