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 […]