Archive | June, 2010

  • Sovereign Debt in the Americas: New Data and Stylized Facts

    Excerpt: In contrast to the stable average stocks of debt, the composition of these debt stocks (by lender, currency and location) have changed visibly over the last 15 years. By lender: private lending shifted from bank- to bond-based (private lending), while official lending moved from bilateral to multilateral.  On the other hand, in contrast with […]

  • Debt Management in Latin America: How Safe Is the New Debt Composition?

      . . . Public debt levels as a share of GDP declined substantially in the Latin American region during the five years preceding the great global crisis of 2008 and 2009.  Data available for the largest seven countries in the region (LAC-7)1 show that the ratio of total public debt to GDP fell from […]

  • A Threatened Blow

    On Tuesday, June 8, I wrote the Reflection “On the Threshold of Tragedy” around midday; later I watched Randy Alonso’s “Roundtable” television program, broadcast at 6:30 p.m. as usual. That day, the eminent and distinguished Cuban intellectuals taking part in the Roundtable replied to the program director’s acute questions with eloquent words which greatly respected […]

  • About Keynes and Keynesians

      Did you ever accept Keynesian economics, or did you go beyond Keynesian economics and feel his approach had lost the essence of what the problem was? One thing you should understand is that Keynesian theory permits an enormous variation in political and ideological positions.  Later on what Joan Robinson came to call Bastard Keynesianism […]

  • Persistent (and Game-Changing) Myths: Iran’s 2009 Presidential Elections, One Year Later

    Since manufactured claims about Iraqi WMD led the United States to invade Iraq in 2003, no analytic line about developments in the Middle East has had a bigger impact on American foreign policy than the assertion that the outcome of Iran’s June 12, 2009 presidential election — held one year ago tomorrow — was a […]

  • Turkey: Media’s Latest Target for Terrorist-Baiting

      The Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla that resulted in the deaths of eight Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American has led Israel and its supporters to argue (see The Weekly Standard, 5/31/10) that the Turkish government and a prominent Turkish humanitarian organization are “terrorist” sympathizers with ill intentions toward Israel and the United States. […]

  • Bolivia and Its Lithium: Can the “Gold of the 21st Century” Help Lift a Nation Out of Poverty?

      Excerpt: . . . Finally, there are concerns about the chronic problems faced by the Bolivian government to manage such an ambitious program — problems that pre-date President Morales.  To pull off its lithium ambitions, Bolivia will need highly trained and qualified experts, in the technical and scientific aspects of lithium, in business management […]

  • A Blow Waiting to Happen

    On Tuesday, June 8 at noon, I wrote the Reflection “On the Threshold of Tragedy” Later, I watched Randy Alonso’s TV program, Roundtable, usually aired at 6:30 pm. That day, outstanding and prestigious Cuban intellectuals taking part in the program answered pointed questions raised by the moderator with eloquent words that showed great respect for […]

  • The Greenest Building in New York (and Maybe the World)

    If it were set in, say, Manhattan, Kansas, it would be a spectacular sight: a twisting, shimmering 51-story tower of glass. As it is, though, it doesn’t stand out in Midtown Manhattan, New York — a stylized office tower, topped by a harpoonish spire. In short, another glass office building that screams “architecture” while exuding a vague and somewhat threatening sense of private power.

  • Three Protests and What They May Mean for Immigrant Rights

    The immigrant rights movement is moving to a new level of militancy, at least to judge by events in New York City the first week of June. At noon on June 1 several hundred people gathered in front of the Jacob Javits Federal Building in Lower Manhattan for a press conference and a civil disobedience […]

  • The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration

      Executive Summary: The United States currently incarcerates a higher share of its population than any other country in the world.  The U.S. incarceration rate — 753 per 100,000 people in 2008 — is now about 240 percent higher than it was in 1980. We calculate that a reduction by one-half in the incarceration rate […]

  • Brazil and Turkey Defy Washington on Iran Sanctions

    The United Nations Security Council approved a resolution calling for new sanctions against Iran today.  Wait, did you just yawn?  Pay attention, there’s real news here.  The man-bites-dog story is that two countries — Brazil and Turkey — voted no, while Lebanon abstained. That’s a record.  There’s never been more than one no vote before; […]

  • The Dictatorship of the Market: Interview with Colin Leys

      Colin Leys is an honorary professor of politics at Goldsmiths College London, who has worked in the UK, Africa and Canada.  He was until recently the co-editor of Socialist Register.  One of Colin’s books is Market-Driven Politics.  A week before the UK general election Edward Lewis spoke to him about some of the themes […]

  • Obama’s Charade on Iran Sanctions

    Today, the United Nations Security Council will adopt a new resolution imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran over its nuclear activities.  Predictably, the Obama Administration is working to spin its “victory” in New York as both a great diplomatic achievement and a serious intensification of international pressure on Iran over the nuclear issue. […]

  • Ikhras: Exposing House Arabs and House Muslims

      Logo designed by Carlos Latuff About Ikhras “Ikhras” is classical Arabic for “Shut Up,” which is “Inchab” in Iraqi, “Sakkir Boozak” in Levantine Arabic, or “Intam” in the Arabian Peninsula.  Ikhras was inspired by the Arab and Muslim “activists” and “representatives” that hijacked our identities and name for their own self-aggrandizement and in furtherance […]

  • A Jewish Ship to Gaza

      We are a group of German Jews who want to send a ship with not only daily necessities but also musical instruments to Gaza.  We are acquiring a ship, loading it up in Germany, and then picking up passengers (Jewish and non-Jewish, German and non-German) at a Mediterranean port. Among the goods to be […]

  • On the threshold of tragedy

    SINCE the day of March 26, neither Obama nor the president of South Korea have been able to explain what really happened to the flagship of the South Korean Navy, the state-of-the-art submarine hunter Cheonan, which was taking part in a maneuver with the U.S. Navy to the west of the Korean Peninsula, close to […]

  • Social Security and the Age of Retirement

    Excerpt: The first half of the twentieth century saw extraordinary gains in the life expectancy at birth (for men, nearly 22 years; for women, nearly 21 years).  But such improvements did not translate directly into longer retirements.  Life expectancy at age 65 for men increased less than five years over this time; for women, about […]

  • Kalecki Again

    Not very long ago, one of the main concerns of the U.S. labor movement and left-liberals was winning the passage of a full employment policy at the federal level.  In fact, this goal was attained in 1978 when Congress passed and President Carter signed the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, which ostensibly committed the federal government […]

  • Supporting Occupation and Motivating New Terrorists: Obama’s Failure to Deliver on His Cairo Speech

    President Obama’s first half year in office was singularly focused on reviving America’s desultory standing in the Muslim world.  Last week marked the first anniversary of Obama’s Cairo speech — his widely heralded address “to the Muslim world” — which was intended as the culmination of a series of important steps.  These included: Obama’s appointment […]