…as night falls, and august 2014 fades…

…leaving some hope that that critical misjudgment has not been made, as in 1914…

This, famous on its own, was to be made more famous as the theme song for the BBC production, ‘Riley, Ace of Spies’. The underlying theme is the series of political miscalculations in the ruthless quest for resources, other countries’, by the ‘major’ powers, that led to the tragic consequences, euphemistically called, ‘The Great War’.

Of course, another glance at Barbara Tuchman’s ‘Guns of August’ may go well with that BBC presentation. Or even its ‘Fall of Eagles’?


…the brew ethiopian and strong, the mood light…

…as is the music, a waltz – not from the Family Strauss…


…as night falls, always one certainty is the magic…

…of that composer who allows us, each, to say, ‘si ruat coelum, impavidus (impavida) sto’…


…aroma from the mug, and soon the silence…

…will be broken for most of us, as it would have remained for the then prolific Ludwig…

 


…globalisation, how bad?…

…well, that depends?…

At the Lindau meeting of ‘Nobel’ Prize Winners in economics the topic of globalisation came up for discussion. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Telegraph (paywall after a few freebies) provides his analysis. While he rates his article as technical, we simplify a tad. Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality between 0 and one or 0 and 100%. The higher the value the higher the inequality.Nobel gurus fear globalisation is going horribly wrong (technical). One observation from the 2007 Prize Winner,

Prof Maskin said it would be a counsel of despair to turn away from globalisation. The last quarter-century has led to a surge in living standards for the emerging world as a whole. Yet it must be tamed. An answer lies in Brazil, one of the few countries to buck the trend and lower its Gini index.

One of the tricks was a scheme introduced twelve years ago to make “conditional cash transfers” to poor families provided their children stay in school up to the age of 17, and must be vaccinated. The idea is spreading to Africa and the Mid-East.

Another trick is to build public transport linking the poorest slums with the places where the jobs can be found, usually far away. This is the task of microeconomics, one brick at a time.

 Brazil, rich in resources, has had to overcome high poverty and levels of inequality. It introduced social policies aimed at reducing poverty and inequality. Venezuela is yet another of those Latin American that implemented policies that focused on developing its human resources, and with significant results to show.

…globalisation as defined and applied elsewhere trumps the interventionist globalisation forcefully promoted by the west?…


…petro pulverises putin? mon dieu!…

…now that will teach vlad the bad…

So what was this pasting Putin got? We let the WaPo inform us the credulous, Ukraine forces destroy most of a column of Russian military vehicles, president says. Couple snippets,

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Friday that Ukrainian forces had attacked and destroyed part of a column of Russian military vehicles on Ukrainian territory, a step that, if confirmed, would represent a significant escalation of hostilities between Ukraine and Russia.

Poroshenko told British Prime Minister David Cameron that “the majority” of a column of Russian military vehicles “had been destroyed by the Ukrainian artillery at night,” his office said in a statement. The announcement came as NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday that the defense alliance had seen an “incursion” into Ukraine the previous night.

No need for facts or corroboration of Petro’s heroism. And if there was any doubt about it, we get confirmation from the good ole ‘Beeb’, Ukraine ‘hits Russia armoured column’ amid aid impasse. How did this ‘go down’? Read the rest of this entry »


…as the real america moves on and forward…

…tango or samba, the ladies have the joint jumpin’…

In one case. The President of Argentina has decided that being courteous is just that, being courteous; and courteousness represents no surrender of the country’s independence to some well-connected buitres del norte. So what does the Lady Pres do? Argentina moves to cut out US hedge funds. In a nutshell,

Argentina’s plan for making payments on its sovereign bonds via a local bank aims to protect the vast majority of creditors who participated in two debt restructurings, the government said.

The deadlock has kept the economically ailing country from being able to issue international bonds at a time of falling central bank reserves.

Something like saying to the buitre, ‘Buzz(?) off’? Read the rest of this entry »