By R. Nstranis
BERLIN (IDN) – 'There is no alternative but to cut public spending and development aid' has become a much repeated mantra for governments in the rich countries. But investigations reveal that there is a huge lot of hidden 'private' money that could put an end to extreme global poverty.
By Roberto Savio*
SAN SALVADOR, The Bahamas (IDN | Other News) - Hardly a week goes by without the disclosure of some scandal related to banks. Now British Standard Chartered has been accused by an American regulator of having schemed with the Iranian government to launder billions of dollars for the potential support of terrorist activities. What gives an added value to this allegation is that Standard Chartered was, at least up until now, considered one of the cleanest banks, and was not associated with any scandal.
By R. Nastranis
PARIS (IDN) - Imagine a physician telling you to get a haircut to reduce your weight. This sort of a spurious argument has been apparently used by some of the major givers of official development assistance (ODA) which fell by nearly 3 percent in 2011 for the first time in 14 years.
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN (IDN) - For innovative young folks, angels are by no means mythical beings or messengers of God as depicted in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and the Quran. They are flesh-and-blood source of equity capital at the seed and early stage of company formation, particularly when banks are reluctant to lend.
By Raúl de Sagastizabal
Hedging behaviour, a high degree of groupthink, intellectual capture, a general mind-set that excludes contrary views, fiefdom battles, inadequate analytical approaches, and lack of accountability should make governments ask themselves whether the time has not come to withdraw their support for the IMF.
By Peter Wahl*
BERLIN (IDN) - In spring 2011 it became more and more obvious that Greece would not be able to comply with the conditionality of the 2010 rescue package of €120 billion. Targets were not reached since the budget cuts and austerity measures had stalled growth, and the recession was deeper than calculated. Spending for unemployment went up while tax revenues fell.
By Raul de Sagastizabal*
MONTEVIDEO (IDN) - Hot money is the "purely speculative money," which enters into an economy or an economic sector in order to earn a short-term and/or huge profit and leave quickly, as long as it finds more profit elsewhere.
Hot money refers to funds that net speculators move, the professional speculators, who spend 24/7 looking for an opportunity to obtain more and more profits.
By Martin Khor*
Booming capital flows to developing countries are destabilising currencies and threaten to end in a bust. The commodity markets are also subjected to speculation, with volatile fluctuations in prices. Capital controls at the domestic level and regulation of capital flows and commodity markets at the international level are both needed.
By Katsuhro Asagiri
TOKYO (IDN) - Corporate social responsibility is not just a buzzword for Isao Mizuno. It is a commitment he and his 95 employees translate into practice day in and day out. Mizuno is the president of Chiyoda Unyu, a transportation company in western Tokyo.
Since 2002, they have been supporting a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Japan, which is engaged in a reforestation project in some 5,100 kilometres away Nepal. Chiyoda Unyu workers collect empty milk packages, considered as recyclable waste in Japan, and bring these to the company. Chiyoda Unyu forwards these to an NGO which sells these to a recycling company, and supports with the proceeds tree planting projects at the feet of the Himalayas. [GERMAN | JAPANESE]
By Peter Wahl*
BERLIN (IDN) - The EU has for some time been discussing a package of proposals to better coordinate economic policies and avoid crises in the Euro zone. The main purpose is to impose stricter budget discipline on member countries even including sanctions for those in the Euro zone.
By Julio Godoy
PARIS (IDN) - Paris journalists argued in a recent "debate" on the national public radio 'France Info' that Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is an ideal European nominee to lead the International Monetary Fund (IMF) because she speaks "such perfect English".
Beyond the parochial predisposition such an argument reflects, it seems that French journalists and other members of the Paris "elite" believe that the ability to speak perfect English is an "atout" -- a trump card -- only bestowed on the very best and the brightest. They seem to have hardly other arguments to defend the candidacy of Madame Lagarde.