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January 2007 Archives


Market Rules, OK?
Focus on Trade No. 126 Jan 2007
2007 marks the tenth anniversary of the Asian financial crisis -- a crisis which in many ways marked the beginning of the end of the Washington Consensus. In this issue of Focus on Trade , the first of the year, Chanida Chanyapate and Jacques-chai Chomthongdi look at the Thai government's recent (and unfortunately botched) attempt to impose capital controls on speculators. However, in spite of the market backlash, Chanyapate and Chomthongdi argue that Thailand is ready for alternative economic policies which make a clear break from the hyper capitalism of the last ten years. Also in this issue, incisive IFI-analyst Robin Broad describes how the World Bank research props up neo-liberal ideology by privileging individuals whose work "resonates" with the dominant paradigm and Walden Bello starts the year by counting the nails in globalisation's coffin.

Mr. Wolfowitz and the Bank
NYT Jan 2, 2007
Why do so many people at the World Bank mistrust Paul Wolfowitz - including many of the leading shareholders?

That touch of mink is back in demand
IHT Jan 2, 2007
Buoyed by the globalization of trade and the broader reach of the fashion industry, sales of fur garments, trim and accessories were up 9 percent from the previous year, according to the International Fur Trade Federation. Looming over the entire industry, of course, are animal-rights activists.

Alternative finances
Susan Georges (La Monde Diplomatique) Jan 3, 2007
Now is the time to rediscover John Maynard Keynes's revolutionary ideas for an international trade organisation and adapt them to rebalance the world's economies in the 21st century.

One size does not fit all
IHT Jan 8, 2007
Today there is less certainty that there is only one model, the American model of capitalism, for developing and transition economies.

The Other Malaysia: ASEAN and Globalization
Farish A Noor (Daily Times) Jan 12, 2007
Questions emerge about whether globalization really benefits developing nations

Trade deal will link Beijing and Asean
IHT Jan 14, 2007
China took center stage at the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Sunday, signing a new trade-in-services agreement with the 10 Southeast Asian countries.

Migrant Power
Economist Jan 16, 2007
Migrant workers promote economic growth in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The Poor Get Richer
Mary Anastasia O'Grady (WSJ) Jan 16, 2007
Bad news for those who oppose global free trade.

IMF opens African technical assistance center Adobe Acrobat Required
IMF Survey Jan 15, 2007
Plus: Interview with Raghuram Rajan; IMF weighs contingent financing; Latin American growth; Nepal seeks prosperity; link between budget institutions, fiscal outcomes; fuel subsidies; IT in Ireland, India, Israel

Constitution and trade at top of Merkel's EU agenda
IHT Jan 18, 2007
The German chancellor outlined an ambitious program for her country's EU presidency.

Boeing's Winning Hand
George F. Will (WP) Jan 18, 2007
Americans ambivalent about globalization should note how Boeing is prospering.

South American trade bloc is pulled two ways
IHT Jan 18, 2007
Chávez urges a more politicized, left-leaning Mercosur.

Globalism, RIP
Carl Pope (Sierra Magazine) Jan 19, 2007
Environmentalists suspect that trade agreements are rigged to help corporations and wealthy nations.

China aims to limit foreign exchange
IHT Jan 21, 2007
The Chinese currency regulator said Sunday that it would ease rules for capital to flow out of the country this year while making it harder for money to enter, a move intended to cap increases in China's foreign exchange reserves, the world's largest.

Who Screwed Up Globalization?
Steven Weber and Ely Ratner (LAT) Jan 21, 2007
The world could benefit from some global regulations on the biggest problems common to all

Isn't the Capital Surplus a Good Thing?
Robert P. Murphy (Mises Daily) Jan 22, 2007
One of the strongest arguments in defense of large US trade deficits is to point out that they are the accounting flip side of a net capital inflow to the United States. This is quite effective rhetorically. Although the man on the street passionately believes that we ought to sell more stuff to foreigners than we buy from them, he also believes quite strongly that it's good if foreign companies build factories here, rather than Americans exporting capital abroad. So when we free market economists point out that the two positions are mutually exclusive, that at least causes the protectionist to scratch his head.

EU joins WTO complaint against U.S. corn subsidies
IHT Jan 22, 2007
The European Union, Australia, Argentina and Brazil have joined Canada in a complaint against the United States over what they claim are illegal government handouts to American corn growers, trade officials said Monday.

Why China Grows So Fast Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Michael Spence (WSJ) Jan 23, 2007
Integration into the global economy is needed for sustained high growth.

Why Deficits Matter: The International Dimension
C. Fred Bergsten & Edwin M. Truman (Peterson Institute) Jan 23, 2007
Foreigners account for about $2.2 trillion, or a little over half, of the outstanding total of $4.3 trillion of US Treasury securities held by the public. Official institutions, mainly central banks, account for about 60 percent of this total. In addition, foreigners as a whole probably hold close to $1 trillion, or about 15 percent, of US government agency securities.

Reworking the A-List
Mark Landler (NYT) Jan 24, 2007
Those invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, reflect this year's theme of a shift in power.

What Drives High Growth Rates? Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Michael Spence (WSJ) Jan 24, 2007
The short answer: demand, technology and investment.

WTO Members Looking To Davos For Way Forward
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 11, Number 2 Jan 24, 2007
Trade negotiators are turning their eyes to Davos, where ministers from around 30 of the WTO's most influential Member countries will meet later this week to discuss the struggling Doha Round negotiations.

Some Members Call For Greater Focus On Services, As Talks Resume In Geneva
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 11, Number 2 Jan 24, 2007
Services talks kicked off the new year on 22 January with a two-week 'cluster' of meetings. As usual, the subsidiary bodies of the Council for Trade in Services will meet during the first week (22-26 January); the second (29 January - 2 February) will see request-offer negotiations between Members. In line with the 'soft' resumption of the Doha Round, however, all discussions will take place on an informal basis, while delegations await concrete signals from the 'mini-ministerial' meetings being held on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.

America no longer owns globalization
IHT Jan 24, 2007
Far from some kind of conspiracy of the global elite plotting the future, Davos is in fact a backend barometer of their evolving worldview.

If the Cap Fits
WSJ Jan 26, 2007
Why our CEOs are warming to Kyoto.

An EU-like pact for Asean: A distant dream?
IHT Jan 28, 2007
Analysts said that any attempt at an EU-like Asean should address issues like income disparity and political and cultural diversity. Marking a major non-event

Marking a major non-event
Philip Bowring (IHT) Jan 28, 2007
Another Davos has come and gone, leaving one baffled as to why the event receives such extensive media coverage.

Officials change tactics on trade negotiations
IHT Jan 28, 2007
In the Ping- Pong game that is global trade talks, a highly unusual shot has been lobbed.

China tells yuan critics to back off
IHT Jan 28, 2007
China wants the rest of the world to respect its gradual pace of economic reform, a senior Chinese central banker said here, telling critics to "clean your own house first."

People's Investment Company Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Jan 28, 2007
Keeping forex reserves in Party hands.

Montenegro Adobe Acrobat Required
IMF Survey Jan 29, 2007
Plus: IMF membership, Peru loan, Lebanon, Murilo Portugal interview, IMF technical assistance (TA), Vietnam and WTO, Colombia, foreign direct investment, gender and economics, Arab economies, France and 35-hour week.

Drugs for poor and patent rights at issue in Novartis suit in India
IHT Jan 29, 2007
A legal challenge to the Indian patent law filed Monday could block the supply of cheap, Indian-made generic copies of cancer and AIDS treatments to the developing world, patients' rights advocates said.

China's Steel Woes Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Jan 30, 2007
Consolidation would do the industry a world of good.

The Chinese Exchange Rate and the US Economy
C. Fred Bergsten (Peterson Institute) Jan 31, 2007
The US global merchandise trade and current account deficits rose to $850–875 billion in 2006. This amounted to about 7 percent of US GDP, twice the previous record of the middle 1980s. The deficits have risen by an annual average of $100 billion over the past four years.

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