Monthly Archives: January 2005

Sutherland report on the Future of WTO

WTO has published a report commissioned for its tenth anniversary from a group of ‘wise men’—chaired by former Director-General Peter Sutherland and including some of the usual suspects—on how to make the Organization more credible and more functional The 37 recommendations include some floggings for hobby horses (‘free trade agreements&#8217), dubious faith in the ability […]

Where Bush’s victory came from

As the inauguration of G W Bush in his second term as President approaches, a silly demonstration of disappointment is being prepared by those who want to show that what Bush has done, or may do in his second term, is “‘not in our name’”:http://www.nion.us/. Of course it is in the name of the USA, […]

Lesotho textile industry shuts down

Tiny mountainous Lesotho has high, dry valleys, some sheep, a small number of tourists and some excess hydro power it can sell to South Africa, which completely encloses its borders. Lesotho was deceived by distorted trade regulations into welcoming texile industry investors who were there for the short term. The country’s officials thought that with […]

Indonesia declines debt relief

The Australian government got it right in refusing to join the call for Indonesian debt relief but, instead, offering soft loans instead bq. Speaking to the Financial Times during a one-day visit to Berlin, Mr Wirajuda [the Indonesian Foreign Minister] said: “We prefer to have a combination of mechanisms, including grants, concessionary loans but also […]

Farewell to Robert Heilbroner

bq. Robert L. Heilbroner, who died January 4 at the age of 85, was one of a dwindling generation of professional economists who had broad humanistic curiosity and progressive values, and who wrote graceful prose for a large audience. (“American Prospect”:http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=8999) Heilbroner’s greatest and most enduing work: “The Worldly Philosophers”:http://online.bcc.ctc.edu/econ/econgallery/gallery.htm is a book to which […]

Resolving the issue of aircraft subsidies

Good news for them and for the WTO, which would have been obliged by the rules to establish a disputes Panel, if requested … but without any hope of resolving the problem by adjudication. bq. … Washington and Brussels seem to have decided that the economic interests at stake were too large to risk an […]

The performance of Big Pharma

“This article”:http://www.americanscientist.org/template/BookReviewTypeDetail/assetid/39097;jsessionid=aaa5f9pT7Kt1Vn in the latest issue of American Scientist reviews some recent well-informed criticism of the industry, including the findings of a 2002 “report by the U.S. lobby group ‘Families USA’”:http://www.familiesusa.org/site/DocServer/PPreport.pdf?docID=249 that found nine of the largest US-based pharmaceutical companies spent an average of only 11 percent of revenues on R&D compared to 27% of […]