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Tag Archives: Banana republic

Out of Africa: Rich Continent, Poor People

Yves here. Those of you who read Nicholas Shaxxon’s Treasure Islands may recall that one of his opening chapters discussed the extent of looting of Africa via the fact that its poor countries are capital exporters. It isn’t due solely to corrupt leaders pilfering official coffers and sending their ill-gotten gains to tax havens. It’s also due to multinational transfer pricing and tax games. A new book focuses on this topic, documenting even more of the mechanisms of wealth extraction. By...

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‘Elon, There Are Rules’: EU Says Twitter Must Comply With New Digital Services Act

Jerri-Lynn here. I’ve yet to wrap my head around the implications of Elon Musk acquiring Twitter. Nor have I spent any times studying the EU’s new Digital Services Act. But the all-too obvious first impression is that Musk and the rules are on a collision course. In fact, Thierry Breton’s statement makes that conflict explicit. And we all know Musk is not known for his ability to adhere to rules – even long-settled ones. Just ask the SEC. Musk and his press enablers are busily spinning his...

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Trade’s Resilience to COVID-19

Lambert here: Hard to be a 21st Century “arsenal of democracy” when you’ve outsourced your manufacturing base to China. But here we are. By Maria Bas, Economist, CEPII, and Ana Fernandes, Lead Economist, Trade and International Integration Unit, Development Research Group, World Bank. Originally published at VoxEU. The war in Ukraine has dramatically revealed the vulnerabilities of relying heavily on single foreign suppliers, following on from the COVID shock’s disruption of global value...

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CalPERS Consultant Global Governance Advisors Recommends Further Overpaying Grossly Underperforming CalPERS Staff

CalPERS is singlehandedly making a case against government by doing precisely what libertarians allege: abusing their control of public funds by overpaying themselves for shoddy work. As we will explain in more detail, CalPERS’ new compensation consultant, Global Governance Advisors, is enabling the giant pension fund’s staff in misappropriating from beneficiaries via the device of fundamentally and pervasively flawed pay benchmarking. The biggest fail is benchmarking CalPERS against private...

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Activists Decry Biden’s ‘Reckless’ Resumption of Fossil Fuel Leases on Public Lands

Jerri-Lynn here. Biden’s announcement Friday to resume fossil fuel lease sales for public lands  represents yet another broken campaign promise- and like his failure to do anything significant about student loans, will likely lead young people to abstain from voting come November. By Brett Wilkins. Originally published at Common Dreams Activists condemned Friday’s announcement by the Biden administration that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will resume oil and gas lease sales on public...

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Abortion Foes Played the Long Game, And They Are Winning

Yves here. The leaders of the feminist movement of my youth bear culpability for the failure to secure abortion rights. They wasted their time and Peak Feminism tail winds chasing a never-gonna-pass Equal Rights Amendment instead of nailing down key protections via legislation. And not caring about funding was another big fail. Richard Nixon was perfectly happy to go along with abortion rights but insisted the government not pay for it, knowing full well that that de facto created serious...

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Financial Times Screeches at China’s “Propaganda” for Sticking to Zero Covid Policy

It’s sobering to see multiple examples every day in the press that those in the West who fancy themselves as in charge have lost their minds, drunk on arrogance and provincialism. Today’s example is a new story in the Financial Times that berates China (although as you will see “berates” is too mild a word) for daring to stick to its zero Covid policy. Worse, the pink paper depicts China’s policy as “propaganda” as opposed to “policy”. You can see I am not making this up: It’s painful to...

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Healthcare Expert Greg Travis Speaks About the Official Disappearing of COVID-19 Pandemic

Yves here. As much as I strongly prefer video presentations with transcripts, this long talk on Covid with Greg Travis, organized by WSWS, is very much worth your time (and you can listen at 1.25x time). Readers may remember Greg Travis from the Boeing 737 Max debacle. Travis, a software developer/technologist with a strong interest in public policy, was an early and accurate critic of the Max, and his posts included helpful explainers about things like how AOA sensors work. A major theme is...

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Business Groups Thwart Senate Confirmation of David Weil to Key Labor Department Post

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Last week business lobbyists, led by the International Franchise Association (IFA), succeeded in in thwarting confirmation of David Weil to head the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division. Weil’s transgression: his previous performance when he held the same position from 2014 and 2017. Per the Hill, Business lobby defeats Biden labor nominee in...

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Letter to SEC: How Stock Buybacks Undermine Investment in Innovation for the Sake of Stock-Price Manipulation

Jerri-Lynn here. Grab a cup of coffee. William Lazonick’s latest on stock buybacks – which Biden promised to address during the presidential campaigning hasn’t (see for further context,  Where Did You Go, Vice President Joe? Biden Retreats from Bashing Looting, Um, Buybacks). In this  comprehensive post, Lazonick and co-author Ken Jacobsen analyse how: “ Rule 10b-18, as originally written in 1982 and revised by the Commission in 2003, has in fact undermined capital formation by business...

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