Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Neoconservative counterrevolution in USA

The Neoconservative counter revolution by Andrew Hartman
"As George H. Nash convincingly argues, the conservative turn taken by the Jews at Commentary demonstrated that Jews were more of the mainstream than ever before.
“In 1945, Commentary had been born into a marginal, impoverished, immigrant-based subculture and an intellectual milieu that touted ‘alienation’ and ‘critical nonconformity’ as the true marks of the intellectual vis-à-vis his own culture,” Nash writes. “Two generations later, Commentary stood in the mainstream of American culture, and even of American conservatism, as a celebrant of the fundamental goodness of the American regime, and Norman Podhoretz, an immigrant milkman’s son, was its advocate.”
In celebrating the “fundamental goodness” of America and its institutions, neoconservatives believed they were providing an important service to the regime they loved: they were protecting it from the New Left that they thought was out to destroy it."

Some links to progress in India

Diversity deficit across apex bodies of Indian parties by Rukmini S:
"Among Hindus, who dominate all six parties, the BSP’s CEC has the most SC representatives, while both the CPM’s Polit Bureau and the Nationalist Congress Party’s National Working Committee have none.
The NCP is in fact the most upper caste party, followed by CPI(M), in this metric."
The parochial Indian by Nissim Mannathukkaren: "India set out to establish a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic. Socialism and secularism have fallen off on the wayside; now it hobbles with sovereignty and a wounded democracy. Ambedkar had warned a long time ago: “There is no nation of Indians in the real sense of the world, it is yet to be created.”"

Monday, April 27, 2015

Does it pay to farm in India?

By Rukmini S in The Hindu:
"As you can see, a farm household needs to have at least 1 hectare[approximately two and half acres, one acre is approximately 4040 square metres] of land to make ends meet every month. But given that over 65 per cent of households have less than one hectare of land, this means that two out of three farm households are simply not able to make ends meet.
Unsurprisingly, what this translates into is debt. Over half of all agricultural households are indebted, and these are not small debts; the average loan amount outstanding for a farm household in India today is Rs. 47,000. For marginal farmers, making under Rs 4,000 per month, which doesn’t even cover their consumption, loans of over Rs 30,000 must be extremely heavy burdens.
The southern states stand out for their level of indebtedness."
P.S. Devinder Sharma:in his blog http://devinder-sharma.blogspot.in/2015/04/how-farmers-have-been-deliberately-kept.html


"Rojava—the Kurdish word for “west”—consists of three leftist enclaves making up an area slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut, in territory dominated by ISIS. In mid-2012, Assad’s forces largely withdrew from the area, and the battle was left to the Kurdish militias: the YPG (People’s Protection Units) and the YPJ (Women’s Defense Forces), the autonomous women’s militias. These militias are not the same as the Iraqi peshmerga, though the U.S. press uses that name for both.......leftists worldwide should be watching the remarkable efforts being made by Syrian Kurds and their allies to build a liberated area where they can develop their ideas about socialism, democracy, women, and ecology in practice." from The Revolution in Rojava by Meredith Tax

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Religion and innovation

Do strong religious beliefs stifle innovation? from WSJ
"“In both international and cross-state U.S. data, there is a significant and robust negative relationship between religiosity and patents per capita,.....” 

Jhansi goes off to a temple, I stay back.

 I heard that a couple whose daughter is marrying soon organized a puja. I do not know whether it is related the marriage. The parents worked hard their whole lives and want to have big wedding for their only daughter. But the girl is refusing to have big wedding and wants to donate the money to some charity. And the boy's uncles have been working for dalits in Gujarat most of their lives. One hears some good news once in a while.

Another disclaimer

It worries me when my blog starts getting too many (by my standards) hits. I am worried that I may be misleading people since I myself am confused. Recently it is crossin 500 a day sometimes and some of the posts may be construed anti-American. At a personal level some of my best friends are American and I seem to feel at home when I wander around the streets in USA. But the country's policies may be different from what people want or aware of. There was time when US tried to help other countries, but slowly it shifted from a surplus economy to a deficit one in the early seventies. Some things might have happened without actually planning and the country just took 'advantage' of what came along. And now, it may be clawing to keep some of those advantages. In any case, I am confused and exploring these issues. And when somebody says that his son has one of the best paid jobs in a bank or a big US company (like Satya Nadella), it does not make me happy. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Juan Cole China's new pivot

Pakistan as China's Hong kong West: China's New Silk Road & US Failure:
"Chinese President Xi Jinping made a state visit, full of pomp and circumstance, to Pakistan on Monday, but its centerpiece was a $46 billion investment in the country, dwarfing the US Congress’s $7.5 bn. program initiated in 2008. Whereas the US likes to sell useless weapons systems that either rust in warehouses or foment wars like that in Yemen, China’s investment is divided between $11 bn. in infrastructure and $35 bn. in energy.....

But the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is less about India and more about regional development for China and stabilization for Pakistan......

Since last June, Pakistan’s army has somewhat inexplicably turned on its former allies among the Pakistani Taliban with a big aerial bombing campaign (“Zarb-e Azb”) aimed at disrupting the Haqqani and other terrorist networks that had been targeting US troops and the Afghanistan National Army across the border. Haqqani leaders are said to have scattered. China appears to have made a defeat of the Pakistani Taliban insurgency a prerequisite for the CPEC, perhaps because of their links to Uygur fundamentalists. And, obviously, Pakistan can’t be Hong Kong West if it is routinely blown up by Taliban."

A Shamshad Begum song from Namoona 1949.Dancer?


The way of all flesh?

Vietnam forty years on: how a communist victory gave way to capitalist corruption by Nick Davies in The Guardian:
After the military victory, Vietnam’s socialist model began to collapse. Cut off by US-led trade embargos and denied reconstruction aid, it plunged into poverty. Now its economy is booming – but so is inequality and corruption
ed trade embargos and denied reconstruction aid, it plunged into poverty. Now its economy is booming – but so is inequality and corruption"

Some links on BIS-2

I like conspiracy theories. I would not go as far as Putin is a pawn of bankers (via Transmissions) but they indicate the possibilities. In any case, various groups, institutions and states seem be to working in a way that is not to the benefit of the common man. Here are some links for my own reference about Basel Committee and Basel Accords.
Wikipedia says BIS and Basel Committee are different though based in the same building. It seems BIS has a supervisory role http://www.bis.org/bcbs/membership.htm
Basel 1,2,3: http://www.bis.org/bcbs/history.htm
Role Japan financial crash around 1990 from Basel 1 (1988): http://www.mailstar.net/basle.html (eiht percent capital requirements)

Per Kurowski, a former executive director of the World Bank, has written extensively about the Basel Accords 2 and 3 (2004, 2009).
In the simplified language of Dumb Ideas:
"By allowing banks to hold only 1.6 percent in capital when investing in triple-A rated securities (e.g. tranches of subprime mortgages) or lending to sovereigns (i.e. like Greece, Italy and Spain), the regulations implied an authorized leverage of 62.5 to 1.
At the same time, regulations require the banks to hold 8 percent in capital when lending to job creating small businesses and entrepreneurs, i.e. an authorized leverage of 12.5 to 1.
What we see then are the large organizations being very well funded and sitting on more than a trillion dollars in unused working capital, while small businesses and entrepreneurs find it difficult and expensive to get financing.
Banks don’t exist to avoid risk, he argues. They exist to take intelligent risks on behalf of society. The current regulations push banks in the wrong direction. Should we really be surprised that we have major economic problems and a lack of jobs?"
See also his Casino model here "The result will be too much betting on what’s perceived as safe, and too little betting on what perceived as risky; something that of course makes the financial sector and the economy unsustainable.
Unfortunately, the IMF, the Basel Committee, the Financial Stability Board; and experts like Lawrence Summers, Ben Bernanke, Paul Krugman, and Martin Wolf, none of them wants to acknowledge the risk-adverse distortions in the allocation of bank credit to the real economy, that the current bank regulations produce."

May be more, after I absorb these a bit.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Some links on BIS-1

Ruling the world of money by Edward Jay Epstein of diamond trade exposes in 1983:  “most exclusive, secretive, and powerful supranational club in the world.”

Developments up to 2015 from Chris Powell:
"In the part of his book excerpted tonight by Zero Hedge, LeBor notes that the enormous power, secrecy, and unaccountability of the BIS are inconsistent with the democracy purportedly maintained by some of the bank’s major members.
But reviewing LeBor’s book two years ago for The New York Times —
Michael Hirsh was probably right that the BIS “has been more of a witness to history than a maker of it, more Forrest Gump than Superman.” For, as Hirsch observed, “International finance is now largely dictated by global banking corporations, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the other major central banks that make up the membership of the BIS. More often than not, they base their policy on national or regional interest.”"
Another from 2013, a bit more strident and comrehensive The Bank for International Settlements Who Rule the World by Frank De Varona:
"According to Adam Lebor, Gianni Toniolo with Piet Clement, and James C. Baker, authors of books regarding the history of the Bank for International Settlements, this supranational banking institution was created with unprecedented powers and privileges. The central bankers who created the BIS held politicians with contempt, the exception being if the politician was one of their own. The BIS founders wanted to build  a transnational financial system that could move large amounts of capital free from political or governmental control. The central bankers demanded and received   incredible immunity from their own governments, free from any type of regulation, scrutiny, or accountability for the BIS directors and members as well as their employees.....
Dr. Quigley described the international banking network in the following manner: “The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. The key to their success, was that the international bankers would control and manipulate the money system of a nation while letting it appear to be controlled by the government.”"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

From four years ago

"If the Qaddafi government goes down, it will be interesting to watch whether the new central bank joins the BIS, whether the nationalized oil industry gets sold off to investors and whether education and health care continue to be free." from
Libya: All About Oil or All About Banking?. 11 April, 2011
A little more at Central Banking and "Rogue" Nations from June 2012