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Index March 2012

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2012-03-01: How to Fix Too Big Too Fail;
2012-03-02: Egypt: Solid real estate;
2012-03-03: Capital Flight: Southern European Money Migrating North to Safety;
2012-03-04: The 3 A.M. Phone Call;
2012-03-05: USA: New state bank bills address credit and housing crises;
2012-03-06: WEA conference Economics in Society: The Ethical Dimension has begun;
2012-03-07: There is an Alternative to Neoliberal Monetary Austerity;
2012-03-08: What Are Iran’s Intentions?
2012-03-09: Deal or Default?
2012-03-10: Sweatshop Sugar;
2012-03-11: Debts, Money and Alternatives;
2012-03-12: War is no remedy to solve the economic crisis;
2012-03-13: China’s economic transformation;
2012-03-14: China: Rise, Fall and Re-Emergence as a Global Power, Some Lessons from the Past;
2012-03-15: Unemployment in the Post-revolutionary Arab World;
2012-03-16: 10,000 Job Applicants: Portuguese Seek Greener Pastures in German Town;
2012-03-17: Both The Market and Government Are Irrational;
2012-03-18: Capitalism – A Ghost Story;
2012-03-19: The new political economy of the Eurozone;
2012-03-20: Ever More and Ever Less;
2012-03-21: Pensioners lead charge against health service privatisation;
2012-03-22: A Global Hope Plan to End the Worldwide Financial Crisis;
2012-03-23: WALL STREET CONFIDENCE TRICK: How Interest Rate Swaps Are Bankrupting Local Governments;
2012-03-24: Constitution by numbers;
2012-03-25: From Russia with love;
2012-03-26: China: rural poverty, shifting the problem;
2012-03-27: Cut his hand off;
2012-03-28: Budget 2012: The myth that lower taxes for the rich generates more tax revenue;
2012-03-29: Uncertain World: Russia-China – Change of course?
2012-03-30: the Federal Reserve System FED;
2012-03-31: Moscow and the formation of the New World System.

Moscow and the formation of the New World System

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Published on Current Concerns, by Imad Fawzi Shueibi (philosopher and geopolitician, president of the Data & Strategic Studies Center in Damascus, Syria), March 26, 2012.

(He examines the reasons and consequences of Russia’s recent position at the UN-Security Council. Moscow’s backing of Syria is not a posture but the result of an in-depth analysis of the shifting global balance of power. The current crisis will crystallize into a new world configuration, which, from the unipolar model inherited after the collapse of the USSR, will gradually evolve towards a multipolar system, which still has to be clarified. This transition requires that the countries prudently come to an agreement and above all stop all war plans and war propaganda.   Continue Reading…

the Federal Reserve System FED

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An interview with Michael Hudson – Published on naked capitalims (first on the Russian website Terra America TA), by Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, March 29, 2012.

… Can we imagine the global economic system without Federal Reserve today? If yes/no, why?

  • As David Kinley’s book for the National Monetary Commission pointed out a century ago, nearly all the financial functions performed by the Fed already were performed by the national Treasury. In more recent times, Milton Friedman and his University of Chicago colleagues suggested that the entire Fed could be reduced to a single desk inside the Treasury. The “Chicago Plan” of the 1930s urged Treasury control, as does Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s current bank reform.   Continue Reading…

Uncertain World: Russia-China – Change of course?

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Published on english, by Fyodor Lukyanov, March 22, 2012.

The final text of Russia’s Strategy-2020, published last week, contains a small but surprising sentence that has not been given the attention it deserves. From the foreign trade and foreign policy section: “The main risks for Russia, linked with the emergence of new centers of power, are rooted in the growth of China’s economic potential and international status.”  Continue Reading…

Budget 2012: The myth that lower taxes for the rich generates more tax revenue

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Published on Left Foot, by Danny Dorling, March 27, 2012.

One of the greatest myths that was regurgitated in the aftermath of the budget was the claim the tax take on the rich rises the less they are taxed.

It was said this occurred when Nigel Lawson was chancellor in the 1980s. What actually happened in the 1980s was that as the rich took a greater and greater share of national income the share of income tax they paid went up.  Continue Reading…

Cut his hand off

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Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Gihan Shahine, 22 – 28 March 2012.

A highly controversial draft law proposed by MP Adel Azzazi, who represents the ultra- conservative Salafist Nour Party, and which suggests the application of haraba Islamic law to help deter theft and murder, has been the issue of a heated debate over the past week. The very fact that the law was presented by an Islamist and in an Islamic context has again deepened the seemingly never-ending split between Egypt’s already conflicting powers of secularists vis-à-vis Islamists.  Continue Reading…

China: rural poverty, shifting the problem

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a massive resettlement project in northern China is not all it seemsWatch the video published on The Economist, 4.27 min, March 24, 2012.

FROM her mud-brick  house high on a slope in the northern province of Shaanxi, Liu Yingfang (pictured above) looks down on what remains of a neighbour’s house swept away two years ago by the floodwaters of a mountain stream. Government officials in Shaanxi are trying to move Ms Liu and what they say are 2.8m people like her from impoverished and disaster-prone areas. They say it is the biggest resettlement project in China’s history. Not everyone is happy.   Continue Reading…

From Russia with love

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Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Ahmed Eleiba, 22 – 28 March 2012.

From cooperation to strategic alliance, Russian-Syrian relations have progressed in a straight line since 1946, when the Soviet veto acknowledged the independence of Damascus against British-French claims. Russian support for Syria in the Israeli conflict later proved unproductive, however. It bore fruit only in the last few months when the veto was used against Western and Arab attempts to end the crisis in October and again in January.   Continue Reading…

Constitution by numbers

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As parliament decides who can and cannot draft the new constitution many liberal noses will be left out of joint – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Gamal Essam El-Din, 22 – 28 March 2012.

… In a joint session on 17 March the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) abandoned its earlier position – which had been welcomed by many liberal forces – that the CA comprise 40 parliamentarians and 60 non- parliamentarians, shifting instead to a 50/50 option … //

… It was left to presidential hopeful Abul-Ezz El-Hariri to state the obvious: that the 50/50 option was bound to fan fears that the Constituent Assembly would display sectarian bias.  Continue Reading…

WALL STREET CONFIDENCE TRICK: How Interest Rate Swaps Are Bankrupting Local Governments

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Published on Global, by Ellen Brown, March 22, 2012.

Far from reducing risk, derivatives increase risk, often with catastrophic results (Derivatives expert Satyajit Das, Extreme Money, 2011).

The “toxic culture of greed” on Wall Street was highlighted again last week, when Greg Smith went public with his resignation from Goldman Sachs in a scathing oped published in the New York Times.  In other recent eyebrow-raisers, LIBOR rates—the benchmark interest rates involved in interest rate swaps—were shown to be manipulated by the banks that would have to pay up; and the objectivity of the ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association) was called into question, when a 50% haircut for creditors was not declared a “default” requiring counterparties to pay on credit default swaps on Greek sovereign debt … //  Continue Reading…

A Global Hope Plan to End the Worldwide Financial Crisis

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Published on Global, by Hon. Paul Hellyer, March 20, 2012.

… What Would Make the Money Valuable?

  • Every job that was saved from the axe at one of the three levels of government and every new job created in the arts, medicine, education, the construction of infrastructure, and so on would mean an increase in the real goods and services available to the economy. And each new job created has a multiplier effect. The process would be exactly the same as from bank-created money with one absolutely essential difference – the money would not have to be paid back with interest.     Continue Reading…

Pensioners lead charge against health service privatisation

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‘Reforms’ will hit the most vulnerable, say campaigners dedicated to preventing a ’sell-off’ of the NHS – Published on Al Jazeera, by Siobhan Courtney, March 19, 2012.

London, United Kingdom – “The National Health Service is the closest thing the English have to a religion,” declared former Conservative Chancellor Nigel Lawson in 1992. How ironic it is then, 20 years later, the entirety of England is being forced into a new form of atheism by the Tory-led British government.   Continue Reading…

Ever More and Ever Less

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Published on ZNet, by Karen J. Greenberg (Source:, March 19, 2012.

… 4. Ever More Distrust (Ever Less Privacy):

  • For years, the prospect of warrantless wiretapping in the name of national security has had a chilling effect on Americans who have opposed government policies in the war on terror. In 2008, President Bush signed a new FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which authorized the government to snoop on citizens with minimal oversight from the already secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts.  Continue Reading…

The new political economy of the Eurozone

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Published on RWER blog, by Merijn Knibbe, March 17, 2012.

I might be boring the pants off you with my European Central Bank Posts – but what’s happening in Europe is going very fast and it’s important. Power (lots of it) is shifting towards Frankfurt and Brussels. How will this power be used?

First, the shift. A quote from a recent speech from José Manuel González-Páramo, member of the board of the European Central Bank:  Continue Reading…

Capitalism – A Ghost Story

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(4th Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Trust Lecture) -

Watch this video, 66.30 min, published on Zvideo, Arundhati Roy, March 10, 2012 … this lecture that was delivered on the 20th of January, 2012 at Xaviers college, Mumbai/India – (also on YouTube).

Two more Video on YouTube:

Both The Market and Government Are Irrational

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Published on Global, by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, March 15, 2012.

One of the great economic myths is that markets are rational. Not a day passes without this myth being disproved scores of times, but the myth persists. For example, today (March 14) Bank of America/Merrill Lynch reported that “yesterday US markets started the day off with a strong rally after the solid retail sales report. . . . tailwinds are helping boost global equity markets today.”   Continue Reading…

10,000 Job Applicants: Portuguese Seek Greener Pastures in German Town

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Maria Huber, March 14, 2012.

A mini job miracle has taken Schwäbisch Hall in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg by surprise. After a Portuguese journalist wrote a rosy report on the town and its efforts to seek skilled workers from crisis-plagued European countries, job applications have flooded in. More than 10,000 people have written in so far, but results have been mixed … //    Continue Reading…

Unemployment in the Post-revolutionary Arab World

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Published on Global, by Dr. Ali Kadri*, March 13, 2012.

Abstract**: For more than a decade prior to the uprisings of 2011, the official unemployment rate in the Arab region was among the highest globally and around half the Arab population subsisted on less than two dollars a day. When unemployment is measured by imputing a minimum historically-determined level of subsistence into it, the effective unemployment rate would rise to nearly fifty percent.  Continue Reading…

China: Rise, Fall and Re-Emergence as a Global Power, Some Lessons from the Past

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Published on the James Petras website, by James Petras, March 6, 2012. – Linked on ur blogs with James Petras, USA.

… China’s re-emergence as a world economic power raises important questions about what we can learn from its previous rise and fall and about the external and internal threats confronting this emerging economic superpower for the immediate future … //

… China: The Rise and Consolidation of Global Power 1100 – 1800:   Continue Reading…

China’s economic transformation

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As China’s economic boom is built on exports, where will the country turn when that starts to falter?

First watch this video, 25.11 min, published on Al Jazeera, March 10, 2012.

… We talk to Chandran Nair, the CEO of the Global Institute for Tomorrow, about China’s economic transformation.

He says: “China and the rest of Asia should not adopt the sort of consumption-led economic model that we have adopted for the last three, four decades from the West.    Continue Reading…

War is no remedy to solve the economic crisis

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Published on Current Concens, by Erika Vögeli, March 5, 2012.

The increasingly louder war drumming by the current media reporting on the Near East is becoming unbearable. And although we have received bitter lessons concerning hasty partisanship over the last ten or twenty years – think of the Iraq war in 1991, of Yugoslavia, of the war in Afghanistan, the second Iraq war in 2003 and most recently in Libya: Always there had been the pretext of a bloated P.R. concern – and each time we had to learn that there had been lying, cheating, deceiving, and faking in advance.   Continue Reading…

Debts, Money and Alternatives

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Watch these videos on YouTube:

  • Fiat Money – rich poor divide, 3.47 min, 22 sept. 2011: Despite every effort by governments, the gap between rich and poor continues to grow. It is now the biggest it has even been in history. All sorts of reasons for this have been proffered, but few, however, seem to realise that is a simple, inevitable consequence of our system of money and credit. This video, a shorter version of which appears in the film The Four Horsemen (which I co-wrote), explains …   Continue Reading…

Sweatshop Sugar

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Labour exploitation in South Africa’s cane fields – Published on Pambazuka News, by Jason Hickel, March 8, 2012.

The 74,000 agricultural workers who plant, weed and harvest hundreds of thousands of acres of cane are mostly not unionised. They work in extremely dangerous conditions with very little by way of rights and protections. Until recently, they didn’t even enjoy a minimum wage … //

… OBSTACLES TO ORGANISING:   Continue Reading…

Deal or Default?

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Tension Rises as Greek Debt Swap Deadline Looms – Published on Spiegel Online International, by Ferry Batzoglou and David Böcking, March 8, 2012.

Investors are nervous as the clock ticks down to the deadline for Greece’s debt swap deal. The country’s private-sector creditors have to decide by Thursday evening if they want to take part or not, and it is unclear whether enough will sign up. If the deal collapses, Athens will not receive vital new bailout funds – making a default likely … //    Continue Reading…

What Are Iran’s Intentions?

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Published on ZNet, by NoamChomsky, March 03, 2012.

… The sanctions against Iran may have the same effect as their predecessors against Iraq, which were condemned as “genocidal” by the respected U.N. diplomats who administered them before finally resigning in protest.

The Iraq sanctions devastated the population and strengthened Saddam Hussein, probably saving him from the fate of a rogues’ gallery of other tyrants supported by the U.S.-U.K.—tyrants who prospered virtually to the day when various internal revolts overthrew them.

There is little credible discussion of just what constitutes the Iranian threat, though we do have an authoritative answer, provided by U.S. military and intelligence. Their presentations to Congress make it clear that Iran doesn’t pose a military threat.    Continue Reading…

There is an Alternative to Neoliberal Monetary Austerity

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Published on Global, by Prof. Michael Hudson, March 4, 2012.

… I have just returned from Rimini, Italy, where I experienced one of the most amazing spectacles of my academic life. Four of us associated with the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) were invited to lecture for three days on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and explain why Europe is in such monetary trouble today – and to show that there is an alternative, that the enforced austerity for the 99% and vast wealth grab by the 1% is not a force of nature … // Continue Reading…

WEA conference Economics in Society: The Ethical Dimension has begun

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Edward Fullbrook, March 5, 2012.

The World Economics Association WEA’s first online conference Economics in Society: The Ethical Dimension begins today /(on March 5). The first batch of papers has been posted, and discussion on them is now open.  The conference will run for one month, with its 24 papers being released in groups over the first week.   Continue Reading…

USA: New state bank bills address credit and housing crises

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Ellen Brown, March 2, 2012.

Seventeen states have now introduced bills for state-owned banks, and others are in the works. Hawaii’s innovative state bank bill addresses the foreclosure mess. County-owned banks are being proposed that would tackle the housing crisis by exercising the right of eminent domain on abandoned and foreclosed properties. Arizona has a bill that would do this for homeowners who are current in their payments but underwater, allowing them to refinance at fair market value … // Continue Reading…

The 3 A.M. Phone Call

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False Warnings of Soviet Missile Attacks during 1979-80 Led to Alert Actions for U.S. Strategic Forces – Published on The National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book No. 371, by William Burr, March 1, 2012.

  • Zbigniew Brzezinski Received 3 a.m. Phone Call Warning of Incoming Nuclear Attack
  • Declassified Documents Shed Light on Soviet Diplomatic Reactions and Internal Pentagon Review
  • Secretary of Defense Advised President Carter that “We Must Be Prepared for the Possibility [of] Another False Alert” but “Human Safeguards” Would Prevent a Crisis
  • For more information contact: William Burr /e-mail, or 202/994-7000

… Among the disclosures in today’s posting:   Continue Reading…

Capital Flight: Southern European Money Migrating North to Safety

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by David Böcking, Maria Marquart and Stefan Kaiser, February 29, 2012.

More and more people in southern euro-zone countries are moving their money north amid fears of losing their savings in the crisis. The capital flight makes things difficult for banks back home, but experts say there are no legal measures to stop it. Any steps would probably come too late, they say, and might even endanger the European project … //   Continue Reading…

Egypt: Solid real estate

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Thanks to strong fundamentals, Egypt’s currently stagnant real estate sector is bracing for a boom on the long term – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Nesma Nowar, 23 – 29 February 2012.

… For the coming period, Shoukri expects a boom in residential real estate, affecting high-end, middle-income and affordable housing. Also, commercial real estate will witness a boom especially, according to Shoukri, in Cairo’s new districts. He added that previous projects in these areas have been successful, given the fact that land pricing in these areas is lower than in central Cairo.   Continue Reading…

How to Fix Too Big Too Fail

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First watch the two videos on YouTube:

And now the Article: Published on The Economic Populist, by  Robert Oak, February 21, 2012.   Continue Reading…