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Index September 2011

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2011-09-01: Libyan rebels dance in the streets, while globalized capital waits in the wings;
2011-09-02: Soft Power, the Euro-Rescue and the German Greens;
2011-09-03: North Dakota’s Economic Miracle – it’s not Oil;
2011-09-04: U.S. zero job growth in august, as unemployment rate remains stable;
2011-09-05: The world economy: Mountains to climb;
2011-09-06: Europe Needs to Wake Up;
2011-09-07: Europe’s Troubled Assets Bank Bailout;
2011-09-08: How economic theory came to ignore the role of debt;
2011-09-09: A Labor Day tale of three cities: Pittsburgh, Birmingham and New Orleans;
2011-09-10: Samir Amin: A tribute to a fighter against global capitalism;
2011-09-11: Exploiting the unemployed;
2011-09-12: Opinion: 9/11 and the makers of history;
2011-09-13: Unite chief Len McCluskey in civil disobedience call;
2011-09-14: War – The Fiscal Stimulus Of Last Resort;
2011-09-15: The cuts that fed the Texas wildfires;
2011-09-16: IMF says amidst high global food and fuel prices central banks should provide clarity on inflation targeting;
2011-09-17: Longitudinal evidence that fatherhood decreases testosterone in human males;
2011-09-18: UBS scandal undermines investment bank model;
2011-09-19: The German government’s pension reform: A travesty for pensioners in poverty;
2011-09-20: The Triumph of Capitalism: Jobless Nations;
2011-09-21: The New Rebels: Germany’s Pirate Party Celebrates Historic Victory;
2011-09-22: Interview: the Left Bloc and resistance across Europe;
2011-09-23: Parecon and Spain;
2011-09-24: The Idea of the Co-Operative is Vital – also for the Coming 150 Years;
2011-09-25: Europe Against Austerity;
2011-09-26: Commentary: Death Of A Statesman – Burhanuddin Rabbani;
2011-09-27: … got about some State Owned Banks;
2011-09-28: Russia Needs Exploration Technology; America Needs Oil Reserves;
2011-09-29: No apologies on economy says Cooper;
2011-09-30: Under the Brunt of Western Imperialism and the Free Market.

Under the Brunt of Western Imperialism and the Free Market

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Nigeria and the African Continent – Published on Global Research.ca, by Prof. Adewale Stephen, September 28, 2011.

The Need for Nigeria to Redefine Her Foreign Policy at 51: Upon gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria made the liberation and restoration of the dignity of Africa as the centerpiece of her foreign policy and played a leading role in the fight against the apartheid regime and others. Nigeria foreign policy was soon tested in the 1970s after the country emerged united from its own civil war and quickly committed itself to the liberation struggle that was going on there … //   Continue Reading…

No apologies on economy says Cooper

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Published on Next Left (a Fabian Society blog), by blog owner , Sept. 25, 2011.

Labour shouldn’t apologise for its record and needs to fight back against Tory myth-making about the economy, said Yvette Cooper at the Fabian Question time event at Labour conference … //

… Cooper said the focus should instead be on growth and showing “the Labour alternative to what is happening now.” She argued that the Conservative “myth-making” turned the financial crisis into a crisis of the public sector, whereas in fact it was the public sector that saved the economy from the failures of an under-regulated financial sector.  Continue Reading…

Russia Needs Exploration Technology; America Needs Oil Reserves

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Published on Casey Research.com /Best of the Week, by Team, September 24, 2011.

Put yourself in Putin’s shoes. During his presidency (from 2000 to 2008), Russia accounted for 80% of the growth in oil production outside of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Russia’s increased output matched the growth in demand by China and India almost barrel for barrel. But about four years ago, Mother Russia’s oil production plateaued at just over 10 million barrels a day and has failed to increase appreciably since. Now production is starting to decline.   Continue Reading…

… got about some State Owned Banks

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Bosses disappear as debts mount – Published on english.EASTDAY.com (Source: Shanghai Daily), Sept. 26, 2011 … Wenzhou in eastern Zhejiang Province is battling its own subprime lending crisis after seven company bosses fled the city in the past 10 days, leaving thousands of employees in a state of shock and up to hundreds of millions of yuan in loans unpaid. Most of the bosses who have disappeared were in the manufacturing industry, according to yesterday’s National Business Daily. Each had borrowed hundreds of millions of yuan from banks as well as private creditors, the newspaper said. Private lending in Wenzhou, the cradle of China’s private sector, has been booming since the country started monetary tightening late last year to fight inflation. State-owned banks, under orders to maintain a stable loan-to-deposit ratio, are reluctant to offer loans to small firms like those in Wenzhou over default concerns. The difficulty of borrowing money from banks has forced some small business owners to turn to private lending, mostly illegal, for help despite the high cost. However, when business doesn’t run well as expected, small business owners find themselves unable to pay their debts … (full text).   Continue Reading…

Commentary: Death Of A Statesman – Burhanuddin Rabbani

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Published on Radio Free Europe /Radio Liberty, by Tanya Goudsouzian, September 24, 2011.

In the spring of 1974, Afghan state police stormed Kabul University to arrest Burhanuddin Rabbani, then a renowned professor of Islamic jurisprudence. An impassioned orator and a graduate of Egypt’s Al Azhar University, Rabbani was seen by the government of President Mohammed Daoud Khan as one of the key proponents of political Islam. Islamism was one of the few credible alternatives to the communist ideology that was then growing rapidly among both among educated urbanites and the rural population of Afghanistan.  Continue Reading…

Europe Against Austerity

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1 October 2011, 10am-5pm, Camden Centre, Bidborough St, London WC1H 9AU, England. – Eurozone on the brink, fight back – what does the left say about the eurozone crisis, and do we have a different way out? – Published on Red Pepper.org.uk (first on Europe Against Austerity), September 21, 2011.

In the last two years, Europe has seen waves of strikes, mass demonstrations, student occupations, civil disobedience and even riots in response to government austerity policies. Struggles have broken out against pension cuts, student fees, reduced welfare payments, privatisation and falling living standards. So is there an alternative to cuts and privatisation? What does the left say about the crisis of the eurozone? What were the fundamental economic causes of the ‘great recession’ – and does the left have a different way out?   Continue Reading…

The Idea of the Co-Operative is Vital – also for the Coming 150 Years

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An interview with Dr Torsten Lorenz, published on Current Concerns no 15, August 29, 2011.

Current Concerns: Four years ago the “Dresdner Hefte” have published your fundamental article “The development of the European Idea of the Co-Operative” (see also Zeit-Fragen No 9 and 10, February 28 and March 7, 2011). Meanwhile the world is moving towards a new economic crisis. Is the idea of the co-operative getting more important in these times?  Continue Reading…

Parecon and Spain

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Interview published on Zcommunications (Source: La Diagonal), by Michael Albert and David Marty, September 22, 2011.

… Critics have said that parecon’s new remuneration system, combined with balanced job complexes, would kill the incentives that drive talented people to produce the things that we want and need. How do you address that argument?   Continue Reading…

Interview: the Left Bloc and resistance across Europe

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Portugal’s Left Bloc will be participating in the European Conference Against Austerity in London on 1 October. – Published on Counterfire, August 30, 2011 (first on The Bullet, and on Global Research.ca).

Jorge Costa is a leading member of the Left Bloc and is a former Left Bloc MP. He spoke to Feyzi Ismail about the crisis and the need for Europe-wide mobilisation. The European Conference Against Austerity will take place on Saturday, 1st October at the Camden Centre in London, with a range of international speakers, debates and workshops.

… Can you describe the IMF intervention and the current political situation?   Continue Reading…

The New Rebels: Germany’s Pirate Party Celebrates Historic Victory

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Staff, Sept. 19, 2011.
(First my comment: best is their goal to make transparent all Govs and other power-groups, and I hope, with the time, also the economic power groups. We have to go much further than only wikileaks, WE HAVE TO MAKE TRANSPARENT THE WHOLE MESS. Only then we have a chance to change all that).

Once the Greens were Germany’s political rebels. But on Sunday they lost their title to the Pirate Party, which won seats in a regional government for the first time. The success of their data-driven message took even the party itself by surprise … //  Continue Reading…

The Triumph of Capitalism: Jobless Nations

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Published on Global Researcch.ca, by Prof. John Kozy, Seeptember 18, 2011.

… I have, in the past, written about many of these horrid features of Capitalist economies, especially its abject immorality. Today I want to discuss an obvious falsehood that still gets repeated especially by right wing politicians and their counterparts in the economics profession and the business community, that is, businesses, not governments, create jobs.  Continue Reading…

The German government’s pension reform: A travesty for pensioners in poverty

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Published on WSWS, by Sybille Fuchs, September 17, 2011.

The recent “ reform plans” of Ursula von der Leyen (conservative Christian Democratic Union), Germany’s federal minister for labour and social welfare, are supposed to prevent poverty among the elderly. In fact the plans are not worth the paper they are printed on. The proposed tax-financed increase in pensions for low income earners will not prevent poverty in old age … //  Continue Reading…

UBS scandal undermines investment bank model

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Published on The Globe and Mail, by Peter Thal Larsen, Sept. 16, 2011.

Ossie Gruebel must be regretting the day he agreed to take the helm at UBS (UBS-N11.880.474.12%) A $2-billion (U.S.) shock loss, apparently the fault of a single rogue trader, has dealt a huge blow to the Swiss bank’s post-crisis revival hopes. Though UBS can absorb the financial damage, the case for getting out of investment banking has been given renewed force.  Continue Reading…

Longitudinal evidence that fatherhood decreases testosterone in human males

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Published on PNAS.org, by Lee T. Gettler, Thomas W. McDade, Alan B. Feranil and Christopher W. Kuzawa, not dated.

Abstract: In species in which males care for young, testosterone (T) is often high during mating periods but then declines to allow for caregiving of resulting offspring. This model may apply to human males, but past human studies of T and fatherhood have been cross-sectional, making it unclear whether fatherhood suppresses T or if men with lower T are more likely to become fathers … //  Continue Reading…

IMF says amidst high global food and fuel prices central banks should provide clarity on inflation targeting

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Published on Finfacts Ireland, by Finfacts Team, Sept. 15, 2011.

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) on Wednesday warned that amidst high global food and fuel prices, central banks need to clearly identify and communicate their inflation targets or risk undermining their credibility in the markets .. //

… So, one natural question to ask is, what effect would these fiscal adjustments have on countries’ external balances?  Continue Reading…

The cuts that fed the Texas wildfires

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Published on Socialist Worker, by , Sept. 14, 2011.

AT LEAST four people are dead and more than 1,500 homes have burned to the ground as a result of some 200 wildfires that have ripped across Texas since the start of September.

With this tragedy unfolding, you’d think Texas Gov. and Republican presidential aspirant Rick Perry would be back in his home state, immersed in the emergency fire control and relief efforts–or at least pretending to be for the cameras …  // Continue Reading…

War – The Fiscal Stimulus Of Last Resort

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Published on HoweStreet.com, by Ellen Brown, Sept. 12, 2011.

So went the anti-Vietnam War protest song popularized by Edwin Starr in 1970 and revived by Bruce Springsteen in the 1980s. After 9/11, it was placed on the list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles distributed by Clear Channel. So went the Bruce Springsteen pop hit of the 1980s, first produced as an anti-Vietnam War song in 1969. The song echoed popular sentiment. The Vietnam War ended. Then the Cold War ended. Yet military spending remains the government’s number one expenditure. When veterans’ benefits and other past military costs are factored in, half the government’s budget now goes to the military/industrial complex. Protesters have been trying to stop this juggernaut ever since the end of World War II, yet the war machine is more powerful and influential than ever.  Continue Reading…

Unite chief Len McCluskey in civil disobedience call

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Published on BBCnews, September 11, 2011.

Speaking on the eve of the TUC congress, Unite leader Len McCluskey said no form of protest should be ruled out including “direct action”. He urged a “campaign of resistance so that the government will take stock and perhaps take a step back” from their “attack” on workers’ jobs and pensions. “I don’t think we can rule anything out,” he told the Andrew Marr Show.

The three-day TUC conference, which gets under way in London on Monday, is set to be the most highly-charged in recent years. TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, who will address delegates on Monday, has already warned that Britain faced widespread strikes this autumn unless ministers changed direction on plans to raise public sector workers’ contributions to their pensions.  Continue Reading…

Opinion: 9/11 and the makers of history

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Published on Al Jazeera, by Tarak Barkawi, September 6, 2011.

After 9/11, the administration of US President George W Bush initiated the era of the global war on terror. For many, this was a misguided response to terror attacks. But before the decade was over, US forces invaded two countries and are now fighting shadow wars in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, while an air war continues in Libya. Pentagon commands cover the entire planet, and US military assistance programmes are active in almost every country.   Continue Reading…

Exploiting the unemployed

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Published on Socialist Worker.org, by , September 6, 2011.

The worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression is having a far-reaching effect on the whole of the U.S. working class–while Corporate America returns to record profits. In the second article in a two-part series, Alan Maass looks at who’s been hurt and who’s been helped by the jobs crisis–with additional reporting by Gary Lapon, Leela Yellesetty and Christine Darosa … //

… TWO CONCLUSIONS flow from all this:  Continue Reading…

Samir Amin: A tribute to a fighter against global capitalism

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Horace Campbell, September 8, 2011.

Honouring Samir Amin as he celebrates his 80th birthday this month, Horace Campbell pays tribute to Amin’s tireless work ‘to strengthen effective forms of popular power’ and underlines his enormous contribution to our understanding of global capitalism’s increasing destructiveness … //

… INSIGHTS INTO THE TRIBUTARY MODE OF PRODUCTION:  Continue Reading…

Expectations: Jedi monetary policy

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Published on The Economist, by R.A., September 8, 2011.

On Tuesday, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) adopted a bold policy of pledging to sell Swiss Francs in an unlimited amount to ensure that the exchange rate viz-a-viz the euro is at least 1.2 Swiss Francs per euro. The exchange rate promptly jumped over 8 percent to a bit more than 1.2 Swiss Francs per euro. The SNB can clearly weaken its currency in this way, so long as its commitment is unwavering. The SNB did so, judging that this is the best available way of meeting its underlying macroeconomic objectives. Indeed, the SNB may not actually have to intervene heavily. It’s a nice case study in the power of credible commitment and rational expectations.  Continue Reading…

A Labor Day tale of three cities: Pittsburgh, Birmingham and New Orleans

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Phil Rockstroh, September 8, 2011.

As Hurricane Irene made her way up the Eastern Seaboard, my wife and I packed a few changes of clothes and trundled westward out of her path to spend the storm’s duration in Pittsburgh, PA.

The excursion did us some good, in particular, leaving insular Manhattan, and facing the faded, crumbling Industrial Age grandeur of Pittsburgh. Walking, once again, among the plaintive rasps of the ghosts of the devastated laboring class (the social setting of our youth) provided us with a humanizing contrast to our present day circumstances stranded amid the manic chattering of the preening demons of banal self-regard possessing Manhattan careerists.  Continue Reading…

How economic theory came to ignore the role of debt

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Michael Hudson, September 6, 2011.

Starting from David Ricardo in 1817, the historian of economic thought searches in vain through the theorizing of financial-sector spokesmen for an acknowledgement of how debt charges (1) add a non-production cost to prices, (2) deflate markets of purchasing power that otherwise would be spent on goods and services, (3) discourage capital investment and employment to supply these markets, and hence (4) put downward pressure on wages.   Continue Reading…

Europe’s Troubled Assets Bank Bailout

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Germany’s Chancellor Merkel Pushes for a Eurozone Banktatorship – Published on Global Research.ca, by Mike Whitney, September 5, 2011.

… What Merkel and Co. want to do is turn the system on its head and transform the EFSF into a permanent off-balance sheet SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) authorised to distribute public money to failing banks. And it’s all being done to keep their sketchy banker friends from losing money. So, behind all the baloney about “fiscal unity” and “consolidation of state finances”, lurks the ugly truth that the eurozone is a two-tiered system whose financial architecture is identical to Enron. There’s nothing democratic about a system that rewards profligate elites while shunting the losses off onto workers. That’s just plain old kleptocracy.  Continue Reading…

Europe Needs to Wake Up

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Published on SPIEGEL Online International, Interview with Gerhard Schröder, September 5, 2011.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Schröder, is the euro in mortal danger?

  • Schröder: No. If you look at the external value of the euro in relation to the dollar, we were once at 82 cents and are now at 1.40. The euro is not in danger. What is missing is a political concept.

SPIEGEL: But something is going fundamentally wrong with the euro at the moment.  Continue Reading…

The world economy: Mountains to climb

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Published on The Economist, September 3, 2011.

CENTRAL bankers are not known for seeking solace in the heavens. But at their annual symposium in Jackson Hole, organised by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the world’s leading monetary mavens could be found, after dinner, peering enthusiastically into telescopes set up by the local astronomy club. As he spied the M82 galaxy, 12m light-years away, one central banker remarked: That puts our problems into perspective.  Continue Reading…

U.S. zero job growth in august, as unemployment rate remains stable

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Dean Baker, September 3, 2011.

The Labor Department reported that there was no growth in jobs in August, while it revised down its job growth numbers for the prior two months by 58,000. Job growth over the last three months has now averaged 35,000, well below the 90,000 needed to keep pace with the growth of the labor force. The Verizon strike reduced the number of jobs reported in August by 45,000. Adjusting for this factor, job growth would have averaged 50,000 over the last three months … //  Continue Reading…

North Dakota’s Economic Miracle – it’s not Oil

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Published on Web of Dept, by Ellen Brown, August 31, 2011.

North Dakota has had the nation’s lowest unemployment ever since the economy tanked. What’s its secret? In an article in The New York Times on August 19th titled “The North Dakota Miracle,” Catherine Rampell writes:

  • Forget the Texas Miracle. Let’s instead take a look at North Dakota, which has the lowest unemployment rate and the fastest job growth rate in the country.  Continue Reading…

Soft Power, the Euro-Rescue and the German Greens

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Published on Current Concerns no. 14, by km, August 22, 2011.

Politically the present resolutions and plans for the Euro “rescue” mean a further weakening of the European National States and a further shift of political power towards the EU-institutions. This shift is equivalent to an attack on the parliamentary constitutional democracy with its separation of powers, as well as a further attempt to push an EU-Executive Power that is uncontrolled, without separation of powers.   Continue Reading…

Libyan rebels dance in the streets, while globalized capital waits in the wings

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Nick Egnatz, August 31, 2011.

… After 42 years under Gaddafi’s rule, Libyans are certainly entitled to a new government. The question is whether or not they will be better or worse off than under Gaddafi? Under Gaddafi Libya had:

  • The highest standard of living in Africa.
  • Full legal equal rights for women, unheard of in the Arab world. [3]
  • Free education for all Libyans
  • Free healthcare for all Libyans
  • Average life expectancy increased by 22 years under Gaddafi’s revolution. From 52 years in 1970 To to 74 years in 2010 [4]    Continue Reading…