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Index September 2009

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Cost, abuse and danger of the dollar

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Linked with Secrets of money, interest and inflation and all its links.  – Published on Court Fool.Info, by Rudo de Ruijter, not dated.

… 3. Bankrupt and still continuing:

On www.babylontoday.com/national_debt_clock.htm  you can see the current debt and you can see how much it grows each second… 45 % of it is to be paid back to foreign borrowers. The foreign debt is that high, that the US cannot pay back her debt anymore. The US is bankrupt.

Nevertheless dollars are still traded normally. For the purchase of oil and gas they are still needed. And, misled by an apparently healthy exchange rate, the world trade continues to do its transactions in dollars. Business as usual?  Continue Reading…

Africa-South America Summit in Venezuela Cements South-South Collaboration

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Published on Venezuela Analysis, by Tamara Pearson, September 27th 2009.  

Mérida, September 27th, 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Creating a new Radio of the South, formalising the Bank of the South, criticising the make-up of the UN Security Council, and supporting Honduran President Manuel Zelaya were among the outcomes at the second Africa-South American Summit (ASA) that was held this weekend on Margarita Island, Venezuela.

Heads of state from 61 countries, 49 from Africa and 12 from South America, participated in the summit, with the theme of “Closing gaps, opening up opportunitie” …   Continue Reading…

Gefahr für Ihr Geld

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arbeiten die USA heimlich an der Etablierung einer neuen Währung?

Im Kopp-Verlag veröffentlicht, von Thomas Mehner, September 2009.

Derzeit kursiert ein beinahe unglaubliches »Gerücht« unter einigen Insidern der Finanzbranche: Die USA sind heimlich im Begriff, eine neue Währung zu etablieren, die den Dollar ersetzen soll. Und das vielleicht schneller als gedacht.

Der Volksmund weiß, dass an jedem Gerücht (mindestens) zehn Prozent Wahrheit sind. Manche Gerüchte bestätigen sich im Laufe der Zeit, andere nicht. Gut informierte Insider berichteten nun darüber, dass das US-Establishment keineswegs zusehen werde, wie der US-Dollar als Leitwährung zerstört und das Land in den Strudel des Untergangs gezogen werde. Die Lösung: Der Dollar wird abgelöst (als Zahlungsmittel für ungültig erklärt) und eine neue Währung eingeführt, mit der die US-Verantwortlichen den Hals aus der Schlinge zu ziehen versuchen, was für sie von Vorteil ist.  Continue Reading…

Indians go in search of El Dorado

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Published on The Times of India, by Subodh Varma, 29 September 2009.

The Solvent Extractors Association , the Indian oilseeds industry body, has formed a consortium of 18 companies to acquire 10,000 hectares of prime farmland in a $40-million deal in Uruguay and Paraguay to cultivate oilseeds and pulses. The association CEO B V Mehta said they are hamstrung only by access to finance, otherwise they have it all sewn up.

Simmarpal Singh of Olam International (based in Singapore and controlled by Sunny Varghese) went to Argentina in 2005 to buy peanuts for Olam, but ended up growing them on 12,000 hectares of land, earning him the sobriquet of Peanut Prince of Argentina . Thanks to his colourful turbans , and maybe the fact that he acquired 5,000 hectares to grow soya and corn, he’s now known on the night club circuit simply as the ‘Prince’ . His IIT-Delhi wife Harpreet Kaur smilingly dismisses stories that Simmarpal enjoys preferred client status at night clubs, saying he works too hard to find time to party hard (though he does have time for golf).  Continue Reading…

Secrets of money, interest and inflation

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Linked with Court Fool.Info, with G20 the Pittsburgh Summit 2009 , with G20 goes global. And also linked with Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, with The Money Masters, a long video, with Video-debates about Economy and Society, with DIRTY SECRETS OF THE TEMPLE, and with … and specially this publication (G. Edward Griffin’s The Creature of Jekyll Island).

Published on Court Fool.Info, by Rudo de Ruijter, not dated.

… Money does not belong to the state:

Most people believe, that money is created by the state. However, most governments have little or no say over their country’s money supply. Bankers have taken over this power. They have turned this medium of exchange into a lucrative way of taxing the population by collecting interest. Bankers permanently collect interest on nearly all the money in the world.

Money is created by commercial banks:    Continue Reading…

Barack Obama’s vision of American foreign policy

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Published on The Telegraph.co.uk, by David Blair, 26 Sept. 2009.

Only three years ago, the bristling, moustached figure of John Bolton prowled the corridors of the United Nations as America’s Ambassador to an organisation he wholeheartedly despised.

“There is no such thing as the United Nations,” he bluntly declared. “There is only the international community – which can only be led by the only remaining superpower.” If the UN’s Manhattan tower block were to lose 10 storeys, said Mr Bolton, this “wouldn’t make a bit of difference”.

This week, President Barack Obama spent the best part of two days inside the very building whose spectacular destruction would have delighted Mr Bolton. For the first time, an American president personally chaired a session of the Security Council; earlier he had laid out his vision of American foreign policy before the UN General Assembly …   Continue Reading…

AgriTech India 2009

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Published on One World South Asia, 23 September 2009.

Media Today Group is organising AgriTech, an international exhibition from December 5-7, 2009 in Bangalore. The event will showcase best agricultural practices and improved technologies.

Agriculture is undoubtedly the largest livelihood provider in rural India.

As we enter a new post WTO Scenario and IT revolution, it is Agri Business that has become more prominent.

This will be particularly relevant in India, where farmers grow a number of crops, but face problems in enhancing production and productivity because of inadequate exposure to high technology and inputs as also to advanced production practices, logistics and marketing.  Continue Reading…

Castro warns of chaos if international forces sent to Honduras

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Published on Global Researcch.ca, by Russian Information Agency Novosti, September 25, 2009.

HAVANA: Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro warned on Friday that the deployment of international security forces in Honduras embroiled in a political crisis, would wreak chaos across Latin America.

Fidel Castro said in an article, published by Cuban media, that an international force would only be sent to Honduras if the government launched an attack on the Brazilian embassy in the capital Tegucigalpa, where the ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is currently taking refuge.  Continue Reading…

Un système économique structurellement irrécupérable

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Lié avec G20 goes global. – Publié sur SKYROCK, le blog de Gilles Bonafi, par Gilles Bonafi, le 22 sept. 2009.

La récession est terminée, c’est vrai. La dépression commence juste et le chômage de masse en est le révélateur. Nous ne sommes pas en 1929, c’est bien plus grave. Je ne reviendrai pas sur mes différentes analyses car bientôt les évènements vont s’enchaîner (voir sur mon blog: guerres, faillites, krach boursier, etc).

Pour comprendre pourquoi la bourse fonctionne encore il suffit de lire ce que Pierre Jovanovic écrit sur son blog. Il explique ainsi que « 40% du volume du NYSE est généré par 5 titres » ce qui a été confirmé par l’analyste financier Olivier Crottaz qui a même publié le graphique idoine (Source)  ….

… Aujourd’hui, 500 entreprises transnationales contrôlent 52 % du PIB mondial ce qui fait dire à Jean Ziegler (membre du Comité consultatif du Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies) que nous allons vers « une reféodalisation du monde. »    Continue Reading…

China: Living in the shadows

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Special report: An intimate look at China’s migrant workers, plus running coverage of the country’s changing economy

Published on Global Post, by Thomas Mucha, September 14, 2009, Updated September 23, 2009.

First:Watch these 4 videos:

BOSTON — Imagine if every worker in the United States drifted around the country each morning in search of temporary employment, not knowing if, or when, they would be paid a few dollars for a long day of labor.

Now add 50 million people to that unstable, wandering mass and you’d have what’s been happening inside China for decades.   Continue Reading…

G20 the Pittsburgh Summit 2009

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Published on The CEO Game, 24 Sept. 2009.

… More importantly, what should we expect from the Pittsburgh Summit? Since many prime economies are slowly recovering from the recession, there is no need (nor could it be fulfilled) for another round of big spending pledges, instead the summit will concentrate on the ones its members already committed to. The center stage will focus on regulation and reform, with the topic of the day being dealing with banker’s bonuses; there is a good chance to see an agreement on that.  Another hot item, is making sure that all countries are on the same page and don’t mess around with staggering companies. Will India and China be presented better in the International Monetary Fund? The IMF, The UN’s agency that facilitates international commerce and aids developing countries, will also be under discussion. Obama also claimed that we must stay clear of the asset bubbles by setting up a path for “sustainable growth while steering clear of the imbalances of the past”. Hence that’s going to be a key part of the agenda as well. Although the recovery is in progress, the fact that many people are still unemployed, should and probably will be a noticeable subject.   Continue Reading…

G20 to act as global economy caretakers

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Linked with G20 goes global. – Published on Global Post, by Cindy Skrzycki, September 25, 2009.

PITTSBURGH — The Group of 20 will take on a more pronounced role in the global economy as leaders work together to keep the steady but slow economic recovery on track and prevent a similiar meltdown from occurring again.

The group, which accounts for 90 percent of the world’s economic output, will leave emergency economic support in place until a recovery is secured and said it would establish tougher rules on bank capital by 2012, according to a draft communique obtained by Reuters.   Continue Reading…

The ACORN I Know

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Published on poplitical affairs pa, by David Swanson, (first on AfterDowningStreet.org), 9-25-09.

If someone told you that a bunch of low-income people, most of them African American or Latino, most of them women, most of them elderly, had been victimized by a predatory mortgage lender that stripped them of much of their equity or of their entire homes, you might not be surprised. But if I told you that these women and men had gotten together and, after three years of work, brought the nation’s largest high-cost lender to its knees, forced it to sell out to a foreign company, and won back a half a billion dollars of what had been taken from them—one of the largest consumer settlements ever—you’d probably ask me what country this had happened in. Surely it couldn’t have been in the United States of the Second Gilded Age, the land of unbridled corporate power and radical government activism on behalf of the rich and the greedy …  Continue Reading…

Amended Law Gives Venezuelan Youth More Autonomy

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Published on Venezuela Analysis, by Tamara Pearson, September 24, 2009.

Mérida, September 24th 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Tuesday, the National Assembly approved modifications to the National Youth Law which establish the right of students to occupy vacant job positions in places they have been volunteering, and creates the National Institute of Popular Power of Youth.

The National Assembly report said the law modifications aimed to “strengthen the popular power of youth, so an article has been developed which, in its essence, is about breaking with any bureaucratic concepts within the youth organisations” …   Continue Reading…

Policy Dialogue on Development Co-operation

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Mexico City, 28-29 September 2009

Picked up on the BLOG of Weitzenegger’s Website for International  Development Cooperation and its Newsletters.

Published on OECD DCD-DAC, Sept. 2009.

This Policy Dialogue on Development Co-operation is part of a series of events bringing together members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) with other providers of development co-operation. Demand for such dialogue is stronger than ever and was voiced by participants in last year’s UN Development Co-operation Forum in New York and Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra …  Continue Reading…

The Great Fed-Financed Dollar Decline and Stock Market Rally of 2009

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay, Sept. 23, 2009.

… In fact, the Fed has broken practically every central banking rule in order to provide cheap funds to the banks. First, it has pushed the fed funds rate to close to zero so banks could have credit at close to zero cost to them. Second, it has expanded the range and quality of assets it stood ready to accept as collateral for its loans to the banks, so much so that it can be said that the U.S. Fed is presently creating new money backed by the shakiest of assets, some being called “toxic waste”. This is reminiscent of the eighteenth century (beginning in 1789) practice of the French revolutionary government of creating new money (the assignats) backed by the seized properties of the Catholic Church.

Let’s summarize quickly the numerous ways the Fed (and to a certain extent, the U.S. Treasury) have found to channel cheap funds to the banks and to brokers. In September 2008, some investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, officially became commercial banks in order to profit from the Fed’s new generosity:  Continue Reading…

Inside The Deal

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Kamal Ahmed of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board

Linked with The Deal.com.

Watch this video on blip.tv, 5.12 min. In this edition of Inside The Deal, Kamal Ahmed, chief operating officer of the Economic Development Board of Bahrain, speaks with The Deal’s Matt Miller about the Gulf view of the financial economic crisis in the United States.

Links:

Google-results(search for key words economic development Crisis: News-results (24.9.09); Blog-search; Video-search; Scholar-results;

World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, published on Weitzenegger.de.

G20 beware: no green shoots for the poorest

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Linked with Overseas Development Institute ODI. -  Published on ODI, Sept. 21, 2009.

Talk of green shoots in the OECD countries leaves us wondering whether the financial and economic crisis is behind us. But while the initial panic may be over, talk of an early recovery also seems premature, particularly for those countries on the margins of the global economy where economic dangers still lurk.

Work by ODI confirms that the impact of the financial and economic crisis on developing countries has been significant, with at least two countries facing negative growth in 2009 and a large number of others facing major downward adjustments of pre-crisis growth rates.  The human cost cannot be ignored, with between 50 and 100 million more people trapped in poverty, surviving on less than $1.25 a day and 28 million jobs in Africa alone made vulnerable by the crisis … (full text).

Links:

Green shots: on wikipedia, and on Dictionary.com.

Social Watch Report 2009: People First

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Making finances work: PEOPLE FIRST, over sixty reorts from civil society organizations around the world show that the only way out of the current exological and economic crisis is to invest in people.

Download the 215 pdf-pages (5.84 MB).

The Financial Crisis and the Bank Bailout

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A James Corbett Report

Linked with The Corbett Report.com, and with Michel Chossudovsky – Canada. – Published on Global Research.ca, by Michel Chossudovsky, September 17, 2009.

“The stated objective of the bank bailout programs is to alleviate the banks’ burden of bad debts and non-performing loans. In actuality what is happening is that these massive amounts of money are being used by a handful of institutions to consolidate their position in global banking.

The exposure of the banks, largely the result of derivative trade, is estimated in the tens of trillions of dollars, to the extent that the amounts and guarantees granted by the Treasury and the Fed will not resolve the crisis. Nor are they intended to resolve the crisis …

… The Federal Reserve System: Circular and Contradictory Relationship:  Continue Reading…

G20 on Track to Fail the World’s Poor

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Linked with Share The World’s Resources STWR. – Published on Share The World’s Resources STWR, by Rajesh Makwana, 15 September 2009.

The financial crisis presents a rare opportunity to build a system of international finance that works in the true interest of the global public, but the G20 ministers seem intent on maintaining the unsustainable growth-oriented global economy of the past, writes Rajesh Makwana …

… Unrepresentative Institutions

Another area of concern is the G20’s support for international financial institutions that have a history of creating economic havoc in the developing world. At their April meeting earlier this year, G20 leaders agreed to treble their funding of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to US$750 billion in order to ease international lending.  Continue Reading…

UN reports 1 billion of the world’s people going hungry

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Published on WSWS, by Jerry White, 18 September 2009.

For the first time in history, more than one billion people, or nearly one in every 6 inhabitants of the planet, are going hungry this year, according to a new report from the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP). Chronic poverty, still high food prices and the impact of the world economic crisis have led to a sharp increase in the number of hungry people, now larger than the combined populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union …

… A host of irreversible physical ailments can be caused by undernourishment – the insufficient intake of calories to meet minimum physiological needs – and malnutrition – the lack of sufficient levels of proteins, vitamins and other nutrients.  Continue Reading…

Regulate bank pay

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Published on Online Journal, by Peter Morici, Sept. 22, 2009.

Wall Street greed and irresponsibility have nearly destroyed the U.S. economy. Big bonuses for bankers encourage reckless risk taking and were a principal cause of the credit crisis and Great Recession.

Pay must be regulated to avoid another calamity …

… Writing SWAPS and selling bad bonds to unwitting investors permitted bankers to earn huge profits and bonuses. When too many mortgages failed, investors and bank shareholders took enormous losses, and taxpayers bailed out the banks.

Apart from the TARP, the Federal Reserve and FDIC permitted banks to borrow at rock bottom interest rates and enjoy big profits to rebuild their capital. Consequently, widows relying on Certificates of Deposit for income now receive much-reduced interest rates. That’s right – Ben Bernanke is taxing grandma to bail out Goldman Sachs.  Continue Reading…

L’avenir du salariat, esclavage et précarité

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Publié dans Alternative Libertaire (d’abord par Commission Journal le 2 juillet 2009), par Laurent Scapin, no. 186 automne 2009 /dossier spécial.

Prenant prétexte de la crise qu’ils ont eux-mêmes générée, les capitalistes mènent une offensive d’envergure pour précariser les salarié-e-s. Plusieurs fronts anti-travailleurs sont ouverts simultanément : le prêt de main-d’œuvre, le statut d’auto-entrepreneur, le travail gratuit et les retraites …

… C’est Hortefeux, en bon porte- flingue de Sarkozy, qui a relancé l’idée de nous faire travailler jusqu’à ce que mort s’ensuive. Il était l’éclaireur de son chef, qui a confirmé lors de son « discours du trône » du 22 juin que les retraites seront de nouveau laminées (« réformées » en novlangue libérale) en 2010. Le cadre a été clairement posé : recul de l’âge de départ pour pouvoir toucher une retraite pleine et allongement de la durée de cotisation.   Continue Reading…

A Public Option is Good Government

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Published on Huffington Posts, by Rep. Keith Ellison, Sept. 18, 2009.

The current attack on the public option as “government run” health care is a completely wrong-headed argument. First off, let’s remember that government in a democracy is a good thing. Besides, with a public option, government does not “run” health care – government makes sure that everyone gets health care. Being against the public option is like wanting government out of Medicare.

Let’s be clear, our opponents have fought for decades to protect corporate health care interests. Their attack on the public option as “government run” health care is designed to distort the true meaning of reform and scare people. The public option is not government run health care; rather it is the only way to provide affordable health care that cannot be taken away …   Continue Reading…

Herbal remedy found to reduce fertility in men

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Published on Irish Times, by DÓNAL O’MATHÚNA, September 8, 2009.

DOES IT WORK: Gossypol could be used as a male contraceptive pill.

THE WORLD’S population continues to grow, especially in developing countries. Various approaches to family planning and contraception are being pursued.

One of the challenges has been finding ways to encourage men to take greater responsibility in this area. A herbal remedy called gossypol has attracted much interest as a male contraceptive pill.

While the ethical, social and political implications of contraception are significant, ongoing research has clarified some of the strengths and weaknesses of gossypol.  Continue Reading…

Another financial crisis

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Promise of reform of financial system stalls as recovery arrives

Published on Market Watch, by Greg Robb, Sept. 18, 2009.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The Group of 20 leaders may strut and preen next week at their summit in Pittsburgh about how they saved the world economy and made sure a crisis never happens again, but many analysts have already turned their backs on the group, convinced no serious reform plans are on the table …

… Financial reform:

Outside of government circles, there is a general consensus that the G20 should mandate that banks hold much more capital than they have in the past to guard against taking on too much debt.   Continue Reading…

Michael Moore leaves the free market standing

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Published on National Post, by Terence Corcoran, September 19, 2009.

After two hours locked in a VIP screening room at a Toronto theatre to view Michael Moore’s latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story, I’m feeling pretty good. Generous, even. Advance hype, including copious promotional quotes from Moore himself, has positioned the new Moore epic as a powerful ideological battering ram for the beginning of the overthrow and ultimate destruction of America’s free market economy.

Appearing on The Jay Leno Show last Tuesday, Mr. Moore repeated some of his favourite lines: “Capitalism is legalized greed” and “We’re at a point now, Jay, in this country where the richest 1%, the very top 1%, have more financial wealth than the bottom 95% combined.” Jay Leno lapped it up. Next week, the Moore campaign gets its biggest boost yet when he makes an appearance on Oprah.   Continue Reading…

Teen pregnancy, religion and the assumptions we make

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Published on Los Angeles Times, by Tami Dennis, September 17, 2009.

Conclusions could be hastily made, but …

… In exploring some of the issues connected to teen pregnancy, researchers at Drexel University College of Medicine in Pennsylvania and at the University of Pittsburgh have analyzed data on births, religious beliefs, income and abortion rates.

They found that those states whose residents expressed more strongly held religious beliefs, termed “religiosity,” had higher teen birth rates. This held true even after controlling for income and abortion rate.  Continue Reading…

Islamic Banking in the West: Conviction or Need?

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Published on asharq alawsat, by Lahem al Nasser, Sept. 18, 2009.

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Following the collapse of the Lehman Brothers, which was like a precursor to the global financial crisis from which the world is suffering today, several Western countries rushed to invite Islamic financial experts to discuss principles of the Islamic banking industry and the legal prerequisites for attracting Islamic capital and Islamic financial institutions to invest in these countries.

Countries that once opposed the establishment of Islamic financial institutions on their soil were the first to enact laws to allow such institutions to operate, such as France and Australia. Even the United States, which has long opposed amending laws or creating new ones especially for Islamic banking, has announced that it is considering using Islamic banking to fight the global crisis, according to the US Secretary of the Treasury Robert Kimmitt.  Continue Reading…

UK’s monstrous debt: £805,000,000,000

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Published on Mirror.co.uk, by James Lyons, 19/09/2009.

Fighting the credit crunch this year has left Britain more than £1,000 in debt for every person in the country. The massive cost of Gordon Brown’s plans to spend our way out of the recession was revealed in grim official figures out yesterday. The increase in borrowing took total Government debt, including all liabilities to £804.8billion. The staggering sum is over half the annual output of the entire UK …

… Economists predicted Chancellor Alistair Darling would still rack up even bigger debts this year than the £175billion he predicted. Jonathan Loynes, of forecasters Capital Economics, claimed the total could hit £220billion. The yawning blackhole has been caused by a collapse in income. Struggling businesses are paying less tax and the Government spent £900million extra on benefits last month as dole queues grew.

What you could buy with £805bn…    Continue Reading…

It’s all about cost in health care debate

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Published on FreePress.com, by TODD SPANGLER, Sept. 18, 2009.

WASHINGTON — Picking winners and losers among the proposals for health care overhaul before Congress is like predicting who’ll win the Super Bowl before training camp starts: too many variables.

Still, you can make an educated guess.

Say your income is less than three times the federal poverty level – $66,150 for a family of three – you’re probably a winner: The federal government likely will help pay your monthly premium. Or say you’ve been denied coverage because of a congenital heart condition – denial of coverage because of preexisting conditions almost certainly will end.  Continue Reading…

The implications of trade liberalization for diet and health

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a case study from Central America – a research

Linked with Globalization and Health. – Published on Globalization and Health, by Anne Marie Thow and Corinna Hawkes, 2009.

Abstract /Background: Central America has undergone extensive trade liberalization over the past two decades, and has recently signed a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. The region is also experiencing a dual burden of malnutrition with the growth of dietary patterns associated with the global ‘nutrition transition’. This study describes the relationship between trade liberalization policies and food imports and availability, and draws implications for diet and health, using Central America as a case study region.   Continue Reading…

World Bank, NGOs Exhort G20 Not to Forget the Poorest

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Published on IPS, by Jim Lobe and Eli Clifton, 17 Sept 2009.

WASHINGTON, Sep 16 (IPS) – The World Bank and major non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are calling on leaders who will gather for next week’s Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Pittsburgh not to forget the needs of the world’s poorest countries, which have been severely affected by the last year’s financial crisis …

… One of the reasons food security is so important is that food prices which went up in 2007 and 2008 have not come back down. People in developing countries are paying 30 percent more for food (than before prices dramatically shot up),” said Ritu Sharma, president of Women Thrive Worldwide, a U.S.-based NGO that advocates for economic policies to help women out of poverty.

“For many people in developing countries this means they are eating less than they were before,” she added.  Continue Reading…

Paulson’s Decision Cost Lehman, Then the World

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Published on BusinessWeek, by Lawrence G. McDonald, September 15, 2009.

The former Treasury boss arranged a Bear Stearns rescue but let Lehman go under. A Bear bankruptcy would’ve alarmed Fuld, thus averting the global upheaval.

My new book, A Colossal Failure of Common Sense, moves to a stark and irrevocable conclusion, that Henry Merritt Paulson, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary, made a fateful decision that within two weeks brought the world’s economy to its knees.

He decided to let Lehman Brothers, the 158-year-old Wall Street institution, go bankrupt. He need not have done so. But on that fateful weekend, Sept. 13-15, 2008, he made the decision with which he must live for the rest of his life. He would not save Lehman Brothers. As one senior Lehman managing director told me, “They put Lehman’s head underwater and watched for the bubbles.” And that did it, globally, as first the U.S. and then the rest of the world swooned.   Continue Reading…

US Census Bureau Confirms Rising Poverty, Falling Incomes, and Growing Numbers of Uninsured

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Stephen Lendman, September 14, 2009.

In early September, The US Census Bureau released its new report titled Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008, 74 pdf-pages, showing disturbing data that portends much worse ahead under a president and Congress doing nothing to address it …

… Continued Erosion of Health Care Coverage:

In 2008, the Bureau also collected data on health insurance coverage, putting the number of uninsured at 46.3 million last year (15.4 of the population), or an increase of 682,000 over 2007. It was the eighth consecutive year that fewer workers got employer-provided coverage, and those with it had to pay more of the cost.   Continue Reading…

China’s yuan not ready to be world currency: Central bank

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Published on The Economic Times, 15 September 2009.

BEIJING: The Chinese yuan has a long way to go before it is ready to be an international currency, a top central bank official said Tuesday, despite a recent push by Beijing to raise the yuan’s world profile.

“We are cautious on the concept of the so-called internationalisation of the renminbi (yuan),” Guo Qingping, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China, told reporters.

“Whether a currency becomes an international currency is not up to a specific country, but is up to the market.”

China has been pushing aggressively for the wider use of the yuan abroad, signing a series of bilateral currency swap agreements in the past few months.

Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan earlier this year revealed China’s apparent desire to challenge the supremacy of the US dollar, publishing an essay calling for the dollar’s replacement as the global reserve currency … (full text).

Capitalism’s Achilles Heel

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Linked with Global Financial Integrity.

Published on Global Financial Integrity, by Raymond W. Baker, not dated.

A fascinating insider’s look at the way criminals, terrorists and businesspeople move money around the world, impoverishing billions and corrupting capitalism’s ideals of fair play.

Throughout his career, Raymond Baker—a tough-as-nails businessman turned scholar—has been thoroughly committed to capitalism. He has seen it all, and now he offers careful analysis and gripping examples illustrating the serious problems besetting the global free-market system. With this book, Baker provides a fascinating insider’s look at the way criminals, terrorists, and businesspeople move dirty money around the world, impoverishing billions and corrupting capitalism’s ideals of fair play. In a highly readable account, he links banking, commerce, law, economics, and philosophy with passionate advocacy of steps that must be taken to renew capitalism’s mandate for the spread of global prosperity.   Continue Reading…

Another Hail Mary Pass From Labor’s Latest Quarterback?

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Published on Zmag, by Steve Early, September 14, 2009.

Hope for a revived union movement has come in successive waves in recent decades, only to recede over time. When the national AFL-CIO meets next week in Pittsburgh to choose new officers, the fans in the stands will be cheering the latest change in quarterbacks.

But neither handing the ball to Rich Trumka (current secretary-treasurer of the federation) or creating a united front of the AFL, Change To Win (CTW), and the National Education Association—a parallel effort now stalled by Trumka’s own election–are likely to stem union decline, by themselves. Outside the Beltway, labor’s condition continues to worsen as workers face an avalanche of job cuts and contract concessions.

In the 1930s, adversity was the mother of invention for the working class; from the depths of the depression came a grassroots upsurge that, in tandem with a new Democratic national administration, changed the balance of power between unions and management for decades to come. In our time, despite myriad economic woes, neither the AFL nor the breakaway CTW have yet found a way to convert our current recession into a “rebuilding season.”   Continue Reading…