Monthly Archives: October 2010

Ergas on Cost-Benefit of the NBN

After all, once the resources are spent, they are gone for­ev­er: no chance then of ensur­ing that they are put to good use. That is why the project should be care­ful­ly assessed before it is irre­versibly com­mit­ted. But there is an even more impor­tant rea­son for per­se­ver­ing [with demands for a cost-ben­e­­fit analy­sis]: in pub­lic […]

A quick primer on exchange policy

On their own, threats of sanc­tions seem unlike­ly to move Chi­na. A “trade war” — say, a mas­sive, bilat­er­al, retal­ia­to­ry hike in trade bar­ri­ers between the USA and Chi­na — is a nuclear option in an era of glob­al sup­ply and pro­duc­tion inte­gra­tion. Sure­ly it’s a bluff because, inthe incan­des­cent lyrics of Tom Lehrer: “We […]

ACTA Draft Treaty

It seems that the “near final” draft released a few days ago has been watered down a lot from ear­li­er leaked drafts. Expec­ta­tions man­age­ment? Or actu­al dis­agree­ments between the par­ties? Since ACTA was an attempt to nego­ti­ate an treaty on enforce­ment of prin­ci­ples cov­ered by the mul­ti­lat­er­al frame­work in secret and among a select group […]

Reading on climate

Debate about glob­al warm­ing is grub­by because there are so many un-acknowl­­edged pri­vate agen­das run­ning just below the sur­face. Many par­tic­i­pants in the debate have some­thing to gain (if only noto­ri­ety) from their advo­ca­cy. But atten­tion to the ques­tion has pro­voked a lot of inter­est­ing research that tells us some­thing about cli­mate and some­thing about […]

Back and forward (and back) in Geneva

News ser­vices have all picked up a state­ment by the U.S. nego­tia­tor for agri­cul­ture in WTO in which he claims there’s been “some progress” in the Doha nego­ti­a­tions in the past six months but it looks like there’ll beno new rules ahead of the U.S. Con­gress extend­ing the farm bill sub­si­dies in 2012. “Some progress”?! […]