Thursday, March 28, 2013

Links, 28 March, 2013

City of London Spider at the centre of tax havens by Nicholas Shaxson, the author of Treasure Islands. George Monbiot on London Corporation "There are 25 electoral wards in the Square Mile. In four of them, the 9,000 people who live within its boundaries are permitted to vote. In the remaining 21, the votes are controlled by corporations, mostly banks and other financial companies. The bigger the business, the bigger the vote: a company with 10 workers gets two votes, the biggest employers, 79. It's not the workers who decide how the votes are cast, but the bosses, who "appoint" the voters. Plutocracy, pure and simple" According to Shaxson, the rest of the votes is 23,000 and Blair wanted to increase it to 32,000. Shaxson has a new article on the new rich in the City of London 'A Tale of Two Londons' "A decade or so ago, that may have been true. But today another class sits above even them—the global commodity plutocrats: owners of mineral rights, or dominant players in mineral-rich countries in sectors such as construction and finance that benefit from commodity booms. " Some of them live in One Hyde Park built by Candy brothers. One of them names his children Monaco and Cayman.

Krugman on Cyprus 'Treasure Island Trauma' "But step back for a minute and consider the incredible fact that tax havens like Cyprus, the Cayman Islands, and many more are still operating pretty much the same way that they did before the global financial crisis. " and 'Hot Money Blues' "one thing seems certain: for the time being, and probably for years to come, the island nation will have to maintain fairly draconian controls on the movement of capital in and out of the country....I am, of course, not the first person to notice the correlation between the freeing up of global capital and the proliferation of financial crises; Harvard’s Dani Rodrik began banging this drum back in the 1990s. Until recently, however, it was possible to argue that the crisis problem was restricted to poorer nations, that wealthy economies were somehow immune to being whipsawed by love-’em-and-leave-’em global investors. That was a comforting thought — but Europe’s travails demonstrate that it was wishful thinking." Felix Salmon reminds "Cardiff Garcia looks at at a meta-study on capital controls and finds that only once — in Malaysia — were they effective. In that case, the controls were “accompanied by aggressive counter-cyclical spending, bans on short-selling the currency and trading it offshore, and defending the ringgit against speculators by fixing it to the dollar”. Those things aren’t happening in Cyprus and won’t be."

Andrew Watts in 'Mario Draghi's Economic Ideology revealed' "In other words the productivity measure includes inflation, the wage measure does not."

Daniel Little 'Michael Mann on Power' "This is an amazing corpus, and I think it throws important light on both the theory and the history. It is historical sociology on a macro-scale; and yet Mann also provides careful, almost ethnographic details at the level of individual actors -- fascists, ethnic paramilitaries, legislators, colonial administrators. So I think Mann also offers a great example of a sociologist who is not prisoner to a single methodology or a single avenue of approach to these supremely complex social processes.:

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