Children are being abandoned on Greece’s streets by their poverty-stricken families who cannot afford to look after them any more.
Youngsters are being dumped by their parents who are struggling to make ends meet in what is fast becoming the most tragic human consequence of the Euro crisis.
It comes as pharmacists revealed the country had almost run out of aspirin, as multi-billion euro austerity measures filter their way through society.
Abandoned: Children are being dumped on Greece’s streets by their poverty-stricken families who cannot afford to look after them any more (file picture)
Athens’ Ark of the World youth centre said four children, including a newborn baby, had been left on its doorstep in recent months.
One mother, it said, ran away after handing over her two-year-old daughter Natasha.
Four-year-old Anna was found by a teacher clutching a note
MF Global unloaded hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of securities to Goldman Sachs in the days leading up to its collapse, according to two former MF Global employees with direct knowledge of the transactions. But it did not immediately receive payment from its clearing firm and lender, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM – News), one of the sources said.
The sale of securities to Goldman occurred on October 27, just days before MF Global Holdings Ltd (Other OTC:MFGLQ.PK – News) filed for bankruptcy on October 31, the ex-employees said. One of the employees said the transaction was cleared with JPMorgan Chase.
At the same time MF Global, which was run by former Goldman Sachs head Jon Corzine, was selling securities to Goldman to raise badly needed cash, the futures firm was also drawing down a $1.2 billion revolving line of credit it had with JPMorgan, according to one of the former MF Global employees.
JPMorgan spokeswoman Mary Sedarat said the bank did not withold money because of the line of credit. She declined further comment on details of the transactions.
Bankers, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds are gambling on hunger by speculating on food supply. Global regulators should step in to stop them
High-frequency traders and momentum-driven hedge funds made it their business to speculate on food in 2011. Photograph: Tim Wimborne/Reuters
Last year, the price of global food floated high as ever. That’s bad news for most of us, but not for those who trade commodities. In fact, 2011 was a great year for the traders, who thrive on bad news, currency woes, drought, flood, freeze, fire and all other manifestations of imminent apocalypse.
2011 was a wild ride. One spring morning, cocoa futures dropped 12% in less than a minute. Corn ascended to all-time peaks and sugar fluctuated more in one day than it used to in a month. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, railed against speculators in coffee, while PepsiCo forecast its own medium-term commodity cost increases to exceed $1bn. All of which meant a bumper crop for the world’s commodity exchanges – even those that used to be backwaters, like the Kansas City Board of Trade and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, both of which recorded their highest electronic trading volumes in history.
It was a volatile year, and the volatility posed problems for the food industry. Faced with a high-stakes game of price-shifting basic ingredients, the world’s largest food processors and retailers put out the call for maths PhDs and economic modellers to theorise and implement ever-more complex risk-management strategies just so they could keep up with the second-by-second spikes and dips of grain and livestock futures. In the meantime, high-frequency traders and momentum-driven hedge funds made it their business to speculate on food.
Uncertainty over the future of the eurozone runs high, despite last week’s high-on-hot-air agreement on moving towards greater fiscal union. And that uncertainty is driving European banks into a severe liquidity crunch that could cause the region’s entire banking system to collapse, analysts fear.
The early warning signs of such a liquidity seizure are already showing up in the troubles that European banks face in raising short-term liquidity. French, Italian and Spanish banks have run out of collateral (typically US Treasures) that they put up to finance short-term loans, and have been forced to pledge their gold reserves in order to secure dollar funding, reports The Telegraph.
Some European banks have resorted to selling foreign assets to meet their capital requirements; others have cut back on their lending to industry.
Money is to the economy what blood is to the human body. So long as both are circulating smoothly, they’re doing fine. But when liquidity starts to choke in the veins of the economy, as is happening now, it points to a coming seizure. Which is the worry that keeps bankers and analysts up at night these days.
Investors are beginning to lose their faith in the banking system, and have begun a ‘bank run’ that could snowball into a full-blown crisis.
The “collateral crunch” has come about because the banks’ traditional means of raising funds are running dry as investors, worried about the survival of the euro, are pulling out their savings or are easing up bank bond purchase.
Essentially, what this signals is that investors are beginning to lose their faith in the banking system, and have begun a ‘bank run’ that could snowball into a full-blown crisis.