The Daily Telegraph reports:
Under-age girls who become pregnant are most likely to have an abortion if they live in prosperous areas, figures show.
In some of the wealthiest parts of England four out of five under-age pregnancies end in an abortion, but in poorer areas under-age girls are twice as likely to keep their child.
Experts say it is the aspirations of well-off families that lead to a higher abortion rate, as girls opt not to miss out on their education.
Geoffrey Chaucer responds:
"Hear, comrades, we're of one mind, as each owns;
Let each of us hold up his hand to other
And each of us become the other's brother,
And we three will go slay this traitor Death;
He shall be slain who's stopped so many a breath."
"Now, sirs," said he, "if you're so keen, in brief,
To find out Death, turn up this crooked way,
For in that grove I left him, by my faith,
Under a tree, and there he will abide;
Nor for your boasts will he a moment hide.
See you that oak? Right there you shall him find.
God save you, Who redeemed all mankind,
And mend your ways!"- thus said this ancient man.
And every one of these three roisterers ran
Till he came to that tree; and there they found,
Of florins of fine gold, new-minted, round,
Well-nigh eight bushels full, or so they thought.
No longer, then, after this Death they sought...
Even with gilt yields ultra-low, courtesy of British QE, the UK is still spending £42bn a year servicing sovereign debt – up 50% since 2008. The Coalition is talking tough about reining-in the annual budget deficit, but our burgeoning debt stock means interest payments are anyway set to reach £70bn – twice the defence budget – by 2015. And those numbers rest on low gilt-yield assumptions that will be blown out of the water if this recent bond market implosion is the start of a trend.
Some say that growing signs of a US economic recovery are positive for stocks, which means money is being diverted out of Treasuries, so lowering their price, which pushes up yields. That’s wishful thinking. Sovereign borrowing costs have just surged in the US – and therefore elsewhere – because a politically-wounded President Obama caved-in and extended the Bush-era tax cuts, combining them with a $120bn payroll tax holiday.
Lower taxes, and the certainty of lower taxes, may bolster business investment and growth. That’s the logic employed by those painting last week’s global yield spike in a positive light. Government borrowing costs rose in America and elsewhere, they say, as a re-bounding US economy is now drawing investors’ cash away from sovereign bonds and towards more productive uses.
The reality is, though, that the market is increasingly alarmed at the rate of increase of the US government’s already massive liabilities. America’s government debt is set to expand by a jaw-dropping 42% over the next few years, reaching $19.6 trillion by 2015 according to Treasury Department estimates presented (amid very little fanfare) to Congress back in June. Since then, government spending has risen even more. So US debt service costs, like those of many other Western nations, are expanding rapidly in terms of both the volumes of sovereign instruments outstanding, and the yields on each bond.
The new worry in the market is that this latest round of tax cuts could add another $1 trillion to the US deficit, on top of the already horrendous numbers produced in June. With opinion now deeply split about the wisdom of yet another round of QE, bond investors are getting increasingly worried that the Fed will turn off the funny-money and the sugar-rush will fade. Meanwhile, the US has very few plans – and none of them remotely credible – to get to grips with the biggest debt in history.
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