Monthly Archives: June 2004

Al-Qaeda algebra

Brendan O’Neill casts plausible doubt on implausible numbers bq. Claims of a big, bad, threatening al-Qaeda are unquestioningly accepted because they suit the agenda of both sides. (“Spiked-online”:http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/0000000CA5A2.htm)

Closing the gap

The Economist points to some intriguing OECD modeling of options for closing America’s $145bn (5% of GDP) current account deficit. bq. America must beggar its neighbours with a competitive devaluation of the dollar, or beggar itself with a massive fiscal contraction—or both (“Economist”:http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2784281)

Plants and Patents

In Geneva this week, negotiators are trying to bridge some wide rifts on the subject of agricultural market reforms before the negotiations effectively pause for the US elections until sometime in the first quarter of 2005. Officials are working on a ‘framework’ for an eventual agreement on agriculture that focuses on the big issues of […]

Stiglitz on Doha round

The Commonwealth Secretariat has commissioned former Clinton Council of Economic Advisers member and World Bank Chief Economist (and Nobel prize winner) Joe Stiglitz to review the development content of the so-called “Doha Development Agenda”. bq. Our report comes down soundly on the side of the developing countries. Recent negotiations have not only failed to push […]

China inflation watch

The reality, in China as everywhere else, is that only the price of credit controls demand. bq. Annual inflation of 5 per cent would eat away steadily at the real value of government debt and the bad debt mountain held by banks. The authorities may be willing to take the risk that, in a high […]

EU Constitution draft adopted

It’s not so much a constitution as a document that subsumes and clarifies four older inter-governmental treaties that formed the European Union’s ‘constitutional base’. bq. “…the question remains whether the constitution can make an enlarged Europe work. A second question is whether it will ever come into force. The text has to be ratified in […]

Between the lines

The Financial Times reports a feel-good message from the UNCTAD meeting in São Paulo. It seems that the proposal to agree—by July—on a ‘framework’ agreement for the completion of the WTO negotiations remains alive. bq. Negotiators hope that recently renewed political momentum will allow them to make progress on the tough inter-related farm trade issues. […]