Middle class housing projects are the Bay Area's future

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When "affordable" homes in San Francisco are advertised as "From the low $1,000,000s", it's not just the working poor who are pushed out of the city: it's everyone, except VCs, people living on VC money, and people who've cashed out on VC-backed companies. Read the rest

Iceland's Prime Minister says he won't resign, mass demonstrations gain momentum

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After storming out of an interview where he was questioned about his ownership of an offshore company implicated in the Icelandic banking scandal, Iceland's Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, has said he will not resign (he did apologize for doing a bad job on the interview). Read the rest

Panama Papers: Largest leak in history reveals political and business elite hiding trillions in offshore havens

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An anonymous source has handed 2.6TB worth of records from Mossack Fonseca, one of the world's largest offshore law firms, to a consortium of news outlets, including The Guardian. Read the rest

LA's new rule: homeless people are only allowed to own one trashcan's worth of things

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A new law passed by the LA city council prohibits homeless people from owning more belongings than can fit in a 60-gallon trashcan with the lid on, and allows police to summarily confiscate any tents that are still standing on public property during daylight hours. Read the rest

33 state Democratic parties launder $26M from millionaires for Hillary

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The Supreme Court's 2014 McCutcheon v FEC ruling eliminated aggregate caps on individual campaign donations, and this paved the way for the DNC and the Hillary Victory Fund to collaborate with 33 state-level Democratic parties to accept $10,000 donations from the millionaires and billionaires who back Clinton, kicking them back up to Hillary, allowing each couple to donate up to $1.32M to the Clinton campaign. Read the rest

Four days in, and the BBC hasn't even mentioned the biggest bribery scandal in history

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On Wednesday, Fairfax and Huffington Post broke the Unaoil story, revealing that they had been leaked a trove of email from an obscure Monaco family business that had acted as a global fixer in bribery and bid-rigging that looted the treasuries and oil-fields of some of the world's poorest countries, from Iraq to Yemen, acting on behalf of blue-chip companies like Rolls-Royce and Halliburton. Read the rest

Bitcoin transactions could consume as much energy as Denmark by the year 2020

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The numbers in this study are very back-of-the-envelope and assume a worst case: widespread adoption of Bitcoin and not much improvement in Bitcoin mining activity, along with long replacement cycles for older, less efficient mining rigs. Even the best case scenario has Bitcoin consuming a shocking amount of electricity.

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Online casino bankrolls largest-ever, ruinously expensive war in Eve Online

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Eve Online ("spreadsheets in space") is the infamously intricate massively multiplayer space trade/conquest game where real cash can be exchanged for in-game currency , making the battles fought there consequential in a way that sets it apart from other games. Read the rest

Chase freezes man's bank account because his dog's name, 'Dash,' looked like 'Daesh'

Seriously, guys? [Shutterstock.com]

Bruce Francis transferred some money to his dog walker to pay for services to his pit bull, and wrote the dog's name, "Dash," in the notes field.

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Judge says Citibank's law-school loan isn't "student debt" and can be discharged in bankruptcy

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The most toxic debt in America is student debt: your student loans (originated by universities, backed by the federal government, and handed off to banks, who securitize them) are subject to virtually unlimited (and uncontestable) penalties and fees, and are immune to bankruptcy, and are the only form of debt that can be taken out of your Social Security. Read the rest

Student loan garnisheeing topped $176M in three months

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The latest figures on government-backed student loans are in, and with them, the news that the US government took $176 million out of ex-students paychecks and Social Security in the last three months of 2015. Read the rest

Scarfolk's lost 1970s budget announcement lays bare the modern Tory strategy

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Scarfolk is a fictional English horror-town stuck in a perpetual loop, from 1970-1980, from which beautifully weathered artifacts escape onto our modern Web. Read the rest

America's universities: Hedge funds saddled with inconvenient educational institutions

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Public and private universities alike have been transformed into financial shell-games for Wall Street's wealthiest hedge-funds, while tuition and student debt soar, adjuncts are exploited, and the lifetime expected returns on a university degree plummet. Read the rest

Forced arbitration clauses are a form of wealth transfer to the rich

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A federal judge called America's move to forced arbitration and bans on class-action suits -- bans favored and enabled by Scalia -- "among the most profound shifts in our legal history." Read the rest

Hollywood hospital ransoms itself back from hackers for a mere $17,000

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Last week, hackers bricked Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, encrypting all the data on its devices and demanding 9,000 Bitcoin (~$3.6m) to give the hospital's IT staff the keys needed to reboot it. Read the rest

Russian Central Bank shutting down banks that staged fake cyberattacks to rip off depositors

The Russian Central Bank has withdrawn licenses from at least three banks who are alleged to have hired hackers to break into their own systems and empty out depositors' account, secretly giving the money back to the bank less a commission. Read the rest

A new, made-in-China subprime crisis

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As China's banks struggle under the weight of never-to-be-repaid subprime loans (which were turned into bonds using the same trick that produced the US/EU subprime crisis), the Chinese government is throwing money at them to loan out to ever-dodgier borrowers, just to change the ratio of delinquent debts to ones that have yet to turn delinquent. Read the rest

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