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Index January 2010

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Glacier Meltdown: Another Scientific Scandal Involving the IPCC Climate Research Group

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Published on Global Research.ca, by by F. William Engdahl , January 23, 2010.

Only days after the failed Copenhagen Global Warming Summit, yet a new scandal over the scientific accuracy of the UN IPCC 2007 climate report has emerged. Following the major data-manipulation scandals from the UN-tied research center at Britain’s East Anglia University late 2009, the picture emerges of one of the most massive scientific frauds of recent history.

Senior members of the UN climate project, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been forced to admit a major error in the 2007 IPCC UN report that triggered the recent global campaign for urgent measures to reduce “manmade emissions” of CO2. The IPCC’s 2007 report stated, “glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world.” Given that this is the world’s highest mountain range and meltdown implies a massive flooding of India, China and the entire Asian region, it was a major scare “selling point” for the IPCC agenda. Continue Reading…

Reinventing a faulty wheel

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Linked on our blogs with the Scottish Left Review SLR.

Scottish Left Review, page 12/28, by Margaret and Jim Cuthbert, Issue 56, online, January-February 2010.

… page 12: In an extensive piece of research, Margaret and Jim Cuthbert discover not only that many of the criticisms of PFI have turned out to be correct but that the mistakes are being repeated by the current Scottish Government.

This paper reports on a study we have carried out analysing the bidding process for schools PFI projects in Scotland. This tells us a good deal about PFI, and about some important things which have gone wrong. Unfortunately, even though the current Scottish government is attempting to correct some of the worst features of PFI, we will see that it has failed to learn key lessons. Continue Reading…

Many German local authorities nearing bankruptcy

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Published on World Prout Assembly (first on WSWS.org), by Elisabeth Zimmermann, Last Updated January 22, 2010.

To take one example: in Dortmund, where those heating and housing costs are no longer covered by the state “purse,” such costs have risen over the last two years to €9.5 million. Thus, a rise in local council debt is inevitable. According to a forecast made by the municipal congress of North Rhine-Westphalia, 47 percent of local councils will be unable to keep any auditable budget accounts if they meet all their obligations, and therefore will have to subject themselves to the strict austerity programme of the relevant District Authority. In Wuppertal, which has been particularly affected by the financial crisis, five public swimming pools are to be closed this year. In addition, the town mayor, Peter Jung (CDU), has proposed the suspension of the planned renovation of the town theatre, and a €2 million cut in theatre subsidies over the next four years. This could lead to the closure of the theatre, which achieved world fame through its association with the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. Continue Reading…

The Warning

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Watch this Frontline Video, published on PBS.org: THE WARNING, 55.16 min.

Introduction:

“We didn’t truly know the dangers of the market, because it was a dark market,” says Brooksley Born, the head of an obscure federal regulatory agency — the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC] — who not only warned of the potential for economic meltdown in the late 1990s, but also tried to convince the country’s key economic powerbrokers to take actions that could have helped avert the crisis. “They were totally opposed to it,” Born says. “That puzzled me. What was it that was in this market that had to be hidden?”  Continue Reading…

Deficit commission slammed as ‘reckless’ attack on Social Security, Medicare

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Published on People’s World, by John Wojcik, January 22, 2010.

(graphic: the Bush deficit).

A group of conservative lawmakers, operating under the radar, is about to hatch yet another scheme and this one would kill a lot more than just health care reform, progressives are warning.

With Medicare, Social Security and jobs programs as their target and under cover of a “deficit commission,” Sens. Kent Conrad, D-ND, and Judd Greg, R-NH, are trying to put in place a system that would allow a select group of lawmakers to bypass the normal legislative process by preventing debate on bills that the group says add to the federal deficit.  Continue Reading…

Vietnam’s democracy activists

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Strong convictions – What is behind the latest crackdown on democracy activists in Vietnam?

Published on The Economist, January 22, 2010.

SPEAKING your mind can be costly in Vietnam. This week a court in Ho Chi Minh City, the main city in the south of the country, sentenced four democracy activists to jail terms ranging from five to 16 years. Two of the men, Le Cong Dinh and Nguyen Tien Trung, had previously studied and lived abroad and one, Mr Dinh, is among the country’s best-known criminal defence lawyers.

Their “crimes” were little more than daring to express frank opinions about the state of political freedom in the country and, in the case of Mr Dinh, having defended human-rights activists who had been detained following a brief wave of political openness in 2006.  Continue Reading…

Haiti: Grants to repay an odious debt?

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Linked on our blogs with Eric Toussaint – Belgium. – Published on Voltairenet.org, by Eric Toussaint and Sophie Perchellet, 19 January 2010.

Geography and bad luck are only partly to blame for Haiti’s tragedy. Haiti was born of slavery and revolution, declaring independence from France on 1 January 1804. In exchange for diplomatic recognition, France forced the new republic to pay enormous reparations. Ever since, Haiti has been trapped in a spiral of crippling debt, exploitation, corruption, violence and destitution. Decades of US occupations and policies, combined with strangling IMF-World Bank diktats and horribly one-sided “free trade” deals, have brought Haiti completely to its knees. The fundamentals of the Haitian human tragedy can hardly be pinned on nature …  Continue Reading…

Let Haitian Immigrants Stay in the US Till Haiti Recovers

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Published on Just Foreign Policy, January 14, 2010.

As you are no doubt aware, Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake earlier this week. The devastation was amplified by Haiti’s unaddressed extreme poverty because Port-au-Prince is crowded with economic refugees from the countryside, forced to live in substandard housing. President Obama has promised that the U.S. will do all it can to help Haiti in this moment of crisis.

But the Obama Administration has a simple tool at its disposal to help Haiti that it has so far refused to use: it can grant Haitians in the U.S. “Temporary Protected Status,” allowing them to stay and work in the U.S. until Haiti recovers.

Would you write to President Obama and your representatives in Congress and ask them to grant Haitians Temporary Protected Status? … (full text).

The Exotic Currency that Will Follow the Euro Lower this Year

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Published on World Currency Watch.com, by Sean Hyman January 22, 2010.

Ever since October 2008, the EUR/CHF currency cross has been front and center on the Swiss central bank’s trading screens.

It’s because that one exchange rate (the euro vs. the Swiss franc) can make or break Switzerland’s export industry.
Let me explain. Most of Switzerland’s exports go to the remainder of Europe. So if the euro gets too weak, then the Swiss goods appear to be too expensive. Once the import prices hit a certain point, Europeans just quit buying Swiss goods … //

… (watch two charts and text) …    Continue Reading…

OTTAWA: Public Lecture on War and the Economic Crisis by Michel Chossudovsky

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University of Ottawa, January 27, 2010 – Published on Global Research.ca, January 27, 2010.

  • Causes and consequences of the economic crisis
  • Financial fraud and the “bank bailouts”
  • The economic crisis and its relationship to the Middle East Central Asian war
  • The implications of the military “surge” on the US economy
  • An oversized US war economy triggers imbalances in the US monetary system

Date: Wednesday, January 27th 2010, Time: 12:00pm – 2pm;
Address: 147-B Fauteux Hall (Law School), 57 Louis Pasteur, University of Ottawa Campus, OTTAWA, K1N6N5,
… (full text).

not ready to forget

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Linked on our blogs with the Scottish Left Review SLR. – Published on Scottish Left Review, page 17/28, by Daniel Gray, Issue 56 online, January-February 2010.

Daniel Gray examines the significance of the popular response to the publication of his well-received study of Scots volunteers in the Spanish Civil War:

From the Glasgow Communist Party to the St Margaret’s boarding school, for some reason they all wanted to hear about Scotland’s role in the Spanish Civil War.

In all, twenty eight disparate groups invited me to speak in person on the subject in 2009 following the publication of my study of Scots volunteers in the Spanish Civil War called Homage to Caledonia: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War. Group sizes ranged from two to 400, ages nine to 99. Despite my own fascination with all things International Brigades, this popular level of interest staggered me.  Continue Reading…

Remember our Economic Rights

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Linked on our blogs with the Scottish Left Review SLR, with op-icescr and Economy & Society, with op-icescr – again in Geneva, and with op-icescr – situation on April 2006.

Published on Scottish Left Review /page 18/28, by Carole Ewart, Issue 56 online, January-February 2010.

UN Human Rights Treaties can be used to establish public expenditure priorities, argues Carole Ewart: Can decisions rooted in a human rights framework improve our everyday lives or is progressive change best delivered by democratically elected politicians? It should not be a matter of ‘either, or’ as our politicians have seven, ratified United Nations (UN) Treaties to draw on when deciding on policy, on services and on funding. However there is little explicit evidence that these basic human rights standards and our international obligations to deliver them do inform key decisions on everyday issues in our communities especially at a time of public sector cuts. There is even less evidence that politicians and public sector staff are aware of the extent of their existing obligations and the range of the public’s individual rights. Continue Reading…

China’s battered image – Bears in a China shop

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The “peaceful rise” hits some turbulence; but China’s economy is not about to crash

Published on The Economist, January 14, 2010.

THE thunderous applause that China has become used to has suddenly been drowned by catcalls. Celebration that it had seen the light on climate change turned to condemnation of its spoiling role at Copenhagen. Foreign complaints about the jailing of a human-rights activist and the execution of a mentally disturbed British drug-smuggler recalled the bad old days of hectoring from Western governments. Barack Obama is (at last) due to meet the Dalai Lama, and his government has gone through with the sale of arms to Taiwan. And Google, an internet giant that had been notoriously willing to tailor its services in China to repressive local regulations, has said it may quit the market (see article). Even China’s strongest suit, its booming economy, has been damned. Rather than cheering China’s success in shrugging off the “Great Recession” of 2009, some analysts say China’s prosperity comes at the expense of the rest of the world and claim that, anyway, it is heading for a crash. One describes it as “Dubai times 1,000, or worse”.  Continue Reading…

Treasury Bills and the Budget Deficits: A Review of Financial Markets

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Published on Global Researcch.ca, by Bob Chapman, January 19, 2010.

(picked in the midst of a long text): … Americans want to blame everyone else for their problems when the culprit is their government and those who control that government, the wealthy on Wall Street, in banking and corporate America.

The ruling class is now so arrogant that they ignore our constitution, ruled by Executive Order or by a bought and paid for congress. As a consequence our country is insolvent and the rich have most of the wealth. That is why we forecast an official devaluation and default on debt and the failure of the FDICA over the next 1-1/2 years. The financial sector can make the economy do anything it wants, it owns Washington. America is the victim of a coup, a financial coup, that we have been writing and talking about for 50 years.  Continue Reading…

US-Trendforscher Gerald Celente: Der Crash von 2010

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Aus dem Kopp-Verlag, von Brigitte Hamann, 17.01.2010.

Verlässliche Prognosen sind wir von dem erfolgreichsten Trendforscher inzwischen gewöhnt. Bereits 2004 hatte Gerald Celente den Beginn der »Großen Rezession« in der Winterausgabe des Trends Jounal® für 2007 vorhergesagt.* Münden werde diese Große Rezession in einem »Economic 9/11«, in der »Panik von ›08‹«, das progostizierte Celente im Dezember 2007. Seine Prognose zum »Kollaps von ›09‹« markierte den Crash der Börsen und die Katastrophen der »too-big-to-fail«, die mit enormen Kapitalaufwand über Wasser gehalten wurden. Nun spricht Gerald Celente vom »Breaking Point 2010«, der Sollbruchstelle, an der der eigentliche große Kollaps stattfinden wird … //

… Welche Länder und Währungen können überleben?  Continue Reading…

Moving Your Money Can Have a Real Effect on Big Banks

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Washington’s Blog, January 17, 2010.

People have asked whether moving your money from your giant bank to a small community bank or credit union will have any real affect on the too big to fails, given that most of their profits come from speculative investments instead of normal banking deposits.

According to the Nation, the answer is yes:

The cynics either do not understand banking or misunderstand the widespread public anger. Dennis Santiago, [influential bank-rating firm, Institutional Risk Analytics'] CEO and managing director, explained that banks compete fiercely for the “core deposits” provided by individual and small business accounts–this stable money is their preferred base for profitable lending. Take away core deposits, and bankers feel immediate balance-sheet stress. Expand the account base for community banks, and they gain greater stability and greater lending power. “Will moving your money have an effect?” Santiago asked. “And by effect, I don’t mean making a momentary political statement. I mean making a structural difference to the country’s financial system. The answer is yes.”  Continue Reading…

Earthquake in Haiti: Cuba responds

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Published on People’s World, by W. T. Whitney Jr., January 17, 2010.

By Jan. 13, less than a day after the earthquake struck Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, 30 Cuban doctors were caring for the wounded in a fully equipped field hospital. Over the next 24 hours they saw 1,000 patients and performed dozens of operations. They were followed shortly by 30 more doctors bringing additional medical supplies. By the week’s end the Cuban doctors were working in two of their field hospitals, plus two relatively undamaged existing hospitals.

Some 6,000 Cuban doctors have provided medical care in Haiti since 1998, and almost 400 were on hand there when the earthquake hit. Those in Port-au-Prince, 152 of them, were available to work with the doctors newly arrived from Cuba.  Continue Reading…

NAFTA: Old Enough to be Tried as an Adult

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Kevin P. Gallagher, January 13, 2010.

In a welcome move, President Obama’s US trade representative, Ron Kirk, has made a new year’s resolution to craft “a new kind of trade agreement for the 21st century.” Those were the words he used in his letter to congressional leaders notifying them of the administration’s intent to negotiate the Trans-Pacific partnership agreement (TPP), a proposed eight-country trade deal with countries as diverse as New Zealand, Chile and Vietnam.  Continue Reading…

Justice in the United Arab Emirates – What a muddle

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Published on The Economist, Jan 14th 2010. – Two awkward cases suggest that the law in the emirates is unequally applied:

IT HAS been an inauspicious start to the year for justice in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A court in Abu Dhabi, the richest of the federation’s seven states, acquitted a senior prince of criminally abusing an Afghan grain dealer, despite television footage that showed the accused beating the man with a stick, pouring salt in his wounds and driving over him in a car. At the other end of the justice system, a young British tourist in Dubai, the UAE’s other main state, faces up to six years in jail after reporting to the police that she had been raped.  Continue Reading…

What You’re Not Hearing about Haiti (But Should Be)

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Published on Global Research.ca (first on Common Dreams,  2010-01-14), by Carl Lindskoog, January 15, 2010.

In the hours following Haiti’s devastating earthquake, CNN, the New York Times and other major news sources adopted a common interpretation for the severe destruction: the 7.0 earthquake was so devastating because it struck an urban area that was extremely over-populated and extremely poor.  Houses “built on top of each other” and constructed by the poor people themselves made for a fragile city.  And the country’s many years of underdevelopment and political turmoil made the Haitian government ill-prepared to respond to such a disaster.

True enough.  But that’s not the whole story.  What’s missing is any explanation of why there are so many Haitians living in and around Port-au-Prince and why so many of them are forced to survive on so little.  Indeed, even when an explanation is ventured, it is often outrageously false such as a former U.S. diplomat’s testimony on CNN that Port-au-Prince’s overpopulation was due to the fact that Haitians, like most Third World people, know nothing of birth control. Continue Reading…

The Ignoble and Noble Prizes for Economics

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For Immediate Release – Received by e-mail: From: real-world economics review, Date: 12/01/2010.

The Real-World Economics Review Blog is holding polls to determine the awarding of two prizes:

  • The Ignoble Prize for Economics , to be awarded to the three economists who contributed most to enabling the Global Financial Collapse (GFC), and
  • The Noble Prize for Economics , to be awarded to the three economists who first and most cogently warned of the coming calamity.

It is accepted fact that the economics profession through its teachings, pronouncements and policy recommendations facilitated the GFC.  We also know that danger signs became visible long before the event and that some economists (those with their eyes on the real-world) gave public warnings which if acted upon would have averted the human disaster.  Continue Reading…

If Government Won’t Break Up the Giant Banks, Let’s Do It Ourselves

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Washington’s Blog, January 13, 2010.

As everyone knows, the economy cannot permanently recover and truly stabilize until the giant banks are broken up. The top independent experts agree that the “too big to fails” are a drain on the economy and put the entire system at risk.

The giant banks aren’t lending much to the people who need it. Fortune pointed out in February that smaller banks are stepping in to fill the lending void left by the giant banks’ current hesitancy to make loans. Indeed, the article points out that the only reason that smaller banks haven’t been able to expand and thrive is that the too-big-to-fails have decreased competition … //

… We’ll Have to Do It Ourselves:   Continue Reading…

UK investors join with politicians for mandatory GHG reporting call

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Linked on our blogs with Responsible Investor RI. – Published on Responsible Investor, by Hugh Wheelan | January 12th, 2010.

A group of UK institutional investors and corporations has joined with over 50 UK Members of Parliament (MPs), to write to Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, calling for greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting to be made mandatory for all large UK organisations as soon as possible. The MPs signing the letter included Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrat party and Greg Barker, Conservative Shadow Climate Change Minister. The letter came after a report last week by the Carbon Disclosure Project that showed some companies falling far behind on carbon targets. The letter was co-ordinated by the Aldersgate Group, a group of businesses and environmental groups. Its investor signatories included Aviva Investors and The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF). Steve Waygood, Head of Sustainability Research and Engagement at Aviva Investors, said: “We believe that climate change represents a profound market failure. There is a clear need for much tougher policy measures on the international stage, as well as at the national level …  Continue Reading…

Korea, India gear for China-like tighter policy

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Published on Money Control, Source: Reuters, Jan 13, 2010.

Yields rose in swap and bond markets in South Korea, India and Indonesia on Wednesday after China’s surprise policy tightening the previous day stoked expectations for similar moves and at a faster pace across Asia.

China announced a rise in banks’ reserve requirement ratio by half a percentage point late on Tuesday, marking its first explicit step to tighten extremely loose monetary conditions … (full text).

RELATED NEWS:

Tax the Speculators: An Old Idea Whose Time is Now

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Published on political affairs pa, by Owen Williamson, January 08, 2010.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s September suggestion for a tax on Wall Street to finance health care reform is an all-American solution to a uniquely American problem, and deserves both publicity and support. Although Trumka’s idea has been lambasted by critics as everything from “sand in the wheels of commerce” to “Communist,” taxes on America’s financial sector have a long and honorable history in the story of US capitalism, and have always constituted an accepted cost of doing business during the country’s periods of greatest economic growth and prosperity.

Contemporary ultra-right “tea-partiers”  would do well to remember that American colonists protested the British “Stamp Tax” not primarily because it was taxation, but rather because it was imposed “without representation.” Continue Reading…

Pipeline Geopolitics: Major Turnaround. Russia, China, Iran Redraw Energy Map

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Turkmenistan commits its gas exports to China, Russia & Iran – Published on Global Research.ca, by Amb. M K Bhadrakumar, January 12, 2010.

The inauguration of the Dauletabad-Sarakhs-Khangiran pipeline in early January connecting Iran’s northern Caspian region with Turkmenistan’s vast gas field may go unnoticed amid the Western media cacophony that it is “apocalypse now” for the Islamic regime in Tehran.

The event sends strong messages for regional security. Within the space of three weeks, Turkmenistan has committed its entire gas exports to China, Russia and Iran. It has no urgent need of the pipelines that the United States and the European Union have been advancing. Are we hearing the faint notes of a Russia-China-Iran symphony?   Continue Reading…

Australia: Employers using Labor’s laws to impose lockouts

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Published on WSWS, by Terry Cook, 11 January 2010.

Lockouts of Sydney casino workers in the opening days of the new year underscore the increasingly aggressive use by employers of their new powers under the Rudd government’s “Fair Work” legislation to suppress industrial action.

Since Fair Work Australia came into operation on July 1, companies have gone on the offensive, confident of the Labor government’s support and the commitment of the trade unions to enforce the new laws.  Continue Reading…

Guiana rejects autonomy

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Published on iAfrica.com, AFP, 11 Jan.

Voters in French Guiana rejected an offer from France for more autonomy for the territory bordering Brazil and Suriname in South America …

… Sixty years after being granted the status of department — which makes them legally as French as Normandy or Provence — the tropical territories face recurrent social problems including high unemployment and low wages despite massive financial support from the state.

The mayor of Guiana’s capital Cayenne, Rodolphe Alexandre, said the question of financing drove the campaign and the result of the referendum.  Continue Reading…

Support Iceland Against the Financial Blackmail of the British and Dutch Governments and the IMF

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an open letter – Published on Voltairenet.org, by Birgitta Jónsdóttir, 7 January 2010.

A group within the Icelandic Parliament, called The Movement, has emerged from the mass struggle of Icelanders against the financial blackmail brought to bear against their country by the governments in London and The Hague, with the backing of the IMF, in the wake of the insolvency of three large Icelandic banks linked to the Lehman Brothers-AIG world financial panic of September-October 2008 … //

… The bill included a reasonable and fair way of handling the interest and the debt: Icelanders would pay, but only a certain percentage of their GDP, and if there were to be another financial black hole, they would not pay during that time. Continue Reading…

There’s No Place Like Home

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Published on China Today, by staff reporter ZHU HONG, January 2010.

Being one of the three major engines of the economic growth in China, exports are suffering a setback in the global financial crisis. Most export-oriented enterprises are facing sluggish sales and overcapacity. This situation has forced them to look for alternatives, and many are discovering a huge and previously neglected domestic market.

Export-oriented Manufacturers Turning Inward:… //

… Risks of the Domestic Market:   Continue Reading…

Bubble warning

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Published on The Economist, January 7, 2010.

… For all the panic last year, asset values never quite reached the lows that marked other bear-market bottoms, and now the rally has made several markets look pricey again. In the American housing market, where the crisis started, homes are priced at around fair value on the basis of rental yields, but they are overvalued by almost 30% in Britain and by 50% in Australia, Hong Kong and Spain …//

… It doesn’t add up:

But the more immediate risks may be posed by fiscal policy. Many governments responded to the crisis by, in effect, taking the debt burden off the private sector’s balance-sheets and putting it on their own. This caused a huge gap to open up in government finances. Deficits in America and Britain, for instance, stand at more than 10% of GDP.  Continue Reading…

What does 2010 hold for global economy?

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Published on Money Control, Source : CNBC-TV18, Jan 09, 2010. – … Here is a verbatim transcript of an exclusive interview with Arvind Subramanian on CNBC-TV18. Also watch the accompanying video … //

… Q: Do you think that serious dollar weakness is over and done with? Or is this incipient trend a decoy and the dollar strength is something that will vanish very quickly?

A: As an economist, I can say that the current level of the dollar, you know the dollar has declined substantially over the last eight-nine months, leaving aside little blips here and there. The dollar is kind of close to equilibrium value. On the basis of fundamentals, one can say that the dollar shouldn’t be either certainly not appreciating too much, or certainly declining too much either.   Continue Reading…

China: The Rise of Agribusiness

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Published on China Today, January 2010.

The farmer’s lot has improved in China. However the rise of agribusiness and its growing profits favors big farms, big management and big capitalization. Land reform isn’t over.

The recent steep rise in food prices has sparked fresh fears for a global food crisis. In September 2009 the United Nations hosted a conference in New York on global food security and strategies to combat ongoing food shortages in the wake of the financial crisis. In his speech UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the global food crisis “an issue that affects all of us because food security is about economic, environmental and national security for individual homelands and the world.” He cited the UN Food Agency figure that over one billion people on earth go hungry every day … //

… The following stories anchor different perspectives and round out a picture of agriculture’s evolution for our readers:

(full text).

U.S. Considering Debt Relief for Poor Countries

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Published on YahooNews (OneWorld.net), by Brittany Schell,  January 5, 2009.

Leaders in the United States Congress recently proposed a bill expanding debt relief for impoverished countries, a move hailed by development groups as progress in the fight against global poverty and unfair lending practices to poor nations.

What’s the Story? In mid-December, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers introduced the Jubilee Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, this bill will broaden debt relief for poor countries, reform the policies of international financial institutions, and press lenders to use responsible practices with respect to the world’s poorest nations …   Continue Reading…

Scanning the Abdulmutallab story for more lies

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Linked with Jerry Mazza – USA. – Published on Online Journal, by Jerry Mazza, January 7, 2010.

Returning to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempt to blow up a Northwest airliner on Christmas day, let’s scan the body of evidence for government lies, the real explosive elements. Let’s give Umar a good dose of radiation with the knowledge that first reveals the 80 grams of PETN explosive he carried in his crotch lacked a blasting cap to blow him and the plane away. Instead, lighting with an injection of liquid did nothing but set him on fire. As if no one in the military or intelligence knew that.  Continue Reading…

Yemen: Behind Al-Qaeda Scenarios, a Geopolitical Oil Chokepoint to Eurasia

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Published on Voltairenet.org, by F. William Engdahl, 6 January 2010. – Linked with Frederick William Engdahl – Germany and USA.

… What about al-Qaeda?

The picture that emerges is one of a desperate US-backed dictator, Yemen’s President Saleh, increasingly losing control after two decades as despotic ruler of the unified Yemen. Economic conditions in the country took a drastic downward slide in 2008 when world oil prices collapsed. Some 70% of the state revenues derive from Yemen’s oil sales. The central government of Saleh sits in former North Yemen in Sana’a, while the oil is in former South Yemen. Yet Saleh controls the oil revenue flows. Lack of oil revenue has made Saleh’s usual option of buying off opposition groups all but impossible.  Continue Reading…

Economy USA 2010: From the Scandalous Past to the Uncertain Future

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Linked on our blogs with Rodrigue Tremblay – Canada, and with The CODE for Global Ethics.

Published on Global Research.ca, by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay, January 6, 2010.

… In financial matters, the American central bank (the Fed or the Federal Reserve System) is a curious animal. It is an institution that is entrusted to regulate banks and other financial institutions, but it is partly owned by the large money center banks. It is in a perpetual conflict of interests. In fact, it can be said that the Fed is the banks’ own private government. In good times, large Wall Street banks, bank holding companies and other large integrated financial groups, such as AIG (American International Group), are pretty much left alone and allowed to build profitable but risky and shaky financial pyramids, with scant supervision. Continue Reading…

Obama: US agencies had intelligence to foil airline bomb plot

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Published on WSWS, by Bill Van Auken, 6 January 2010.

In a brief public statement delivered after a White House meeting Tuesday with US intelligence chiefs, President Barack Obama acknowledged that the CIA and other agencies had all the information needed to detect the Christmas Day airline bombing plot, but failed to stop it.

“This was not a failure to collect intelligence, it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had,” Obama said after meeting for two hours with some 20 top intelligence and security aides and advisors …  Continue Reading…

No, Virginia, The Economy Is Not Getting Better As Banks Still Rule

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Old Problems Remain In New Year – Published on ZSpace, by Danny Schechter, January 05, 2010.

Financial Reforms Are Being Watered Down As Bailouts Are Up.

New York, January 4th: It’s a new week, a new year, and some, erroneously believe a new decade. What’s not new is the stranglehold the banks have on our economy quietly stashing more billions for more bonuses while still restricting the flow of credit. Bad loans have been supplanted by no loans.

Writers on the left continue to go after one bankster—the one we love to hate:  Goldman Sachs which has become the poster boy for profiteering and even bad coffee served in their cafeterias. Most ignore the rest of the avaricious industry which is still volatile with big pockets of insolvency and dependence of government bailout funds.  Continue Reading…