Monthly Archives: January 2004

Dead-end trade policy

Here’s a state­ment from the Japan­ese for­eign min­istry about the stalled nego­ti­a­tions of a free trade agree­ment with Mex­i­co: bq. “Agri­cul­ture is the stick­ing point. If the two sides can agree on this, then it’s rel­a­tive­ly easy for both Japan and Mex­i­co to reach a sub­stan­tial final agree­ment,” sai­da spokesman for Japan’s for­eign min­istry. (“Finan­cial […]


For the past few days I’ve been re-locat­ing. Noth­ing but the usu­al loss­es, frus­tra­tions, indig­ni­ties and expens­es to report. I’m sure you’ve enough of your own.


Major Michael Mori’s “forth­right criticism(link to BBC News site)”: of the US Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion that is try­ing his client—the Aus­tralian Guan­tanamo pris­on­er, David Hicks—highlights a fail­ure of the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment to pro­tect its own cit­i­zens. The government’s refusal to demand the release of an Aus­tralian who has com­mit­ted no crime under Aus­tralian law and its […]

Stealing language

A judge in Cal­i­for­nia recent­ly remind­ed Play­boy Inc. that the own­ers of trade­marks can’t ‘remove a word from the Eng­lish lan­guage’ sim­ply because the word may form part of a trade­mark. In this case, the claim was that the use of Google adwords ‘play­boy’ and ‘play­mate’ by indi­vid­u­als oth­er than the plain­tiff dilut­ed the ben­e­fits […]

Shoring up China’s banks

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment revealed this week that it had com­plet­ed the first phase of a sec­ond re-cap­i­­tal­iza­­­tion of its four biggest state banks in an attempt to prop them up against their expo­sure to about bil­lion of non-per­­for­m­ing loans. The banks bad­ly need the cap­i­tal injections—which are in the form of loans drawn on China’s […]

What does free trade offer the Americas?

It doesn’t help to exag­ger­ate the case, even for a good cause. bq. “On Tues­day morn­ing [Pres­i­dent Bush] said, “Trade is the most cer­tain path to last­ing pros­per­i­ty.” On Mon­day night he said, “The best way to erad­i­cate pover­ty is to encour­age trade between nations.” Many lead­ers of the nations at this con­fer­ence dis­agree…” (“NY […]

China’s new constitutional protections

Minx­in Pei of the Carnegie Endow­ment “argues(link to Finan­cial Times)”: for insti­tu­tion­al changes to back up the recent moves[⇒ relat­ed sto­ry] to pro­tect pri­vate prop­er­ty. bq. …the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment needs fur­ther to lib­er­alise the econ­o­my and make the judi­cial process more inde­pen­dent and effec­tive. Such insti­tu­tion­al changes are indis­pens­able in mak­ing the pro­vi­sion about pro­tec­tion […]