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UsernameSlightly Optimistic
Joined04 Feb '06  18:48
First Post04 Feb '06  20:22
Last Post24 Mar '17  11:18
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Last 10 posts

24 Mar '17  11:18
British Political Economy
Article in the 'Globalist' arguing that Scotland should accept Brexit. Politics in the West

However, the trend:

Economics. Looking ahead, the world is becoming economically flatter at an alarming rate. In recent years the West defended its weakening position by deregulating finance - which culminated in the 2008 financial crisis. No significant re-regulation since. The US is likely to default on its huge debt, causing a much bigger cross-order disaster in the West; a huge 'Nixon Shock'. Incidentally the FT reports that China is clamping down on its debt creation.

Other options - military perhaps. In a discussion at Harvard this week on whether the Thucydides Trap can be avoided it was pointed out that China is now a leading actor in UN peacekeeping - any hegemon/empire builder must be tempted to write the rules for politics for the rest of the world.

Why does the article focus on politics in Scotland? Politics everywhere will have to change to accommodate the shift of tectonic plates. Over to the G20 [chaired this year by Germany], which was resurrected to help the West last time - political cohesion seems essential, especially in Europe.
23 Mar '17  13:52
International Trade
A new report on trade and investment trends around the world makes interesting reading.

Charting a Course for Trade and Economic Integration in the Asia-Pacific

The Asia Policy Institute, headquartered in New York, concluded that regional trade agreements offer the best path forward to liberalize trade, raise standards, and promote broad reforms.
Events are leading us towards the hemispheric economy that US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton foresaw.

If global trade agreements are indeed no longer the trend, it seriously questions the UK's trade policy following Brexit. See the British forum 23 Mar '17 11:56.

Moreover China seems to be on course to rewrite the rules of finance:
China-led AIIB approves 13 new members

The approved applicants include eight non-Asian countries – Canada, Belgium, Ethiopia, Hungary, Ireland, Peru, Republic of Sudan and Venezuela – and five regional members – Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Armenia, Fiji and Timor Leste.

The multilateral institution, seen as a rival to the Western-dominated World Bank and Asian Development Bank, was initially opposed by the United States but attracted many US allies including Britain, Germany, Australia and South Korea as founding members. Canada applied to join the AIIB last year.

23 Mar '17  11:56
British Political Economy
Barnier to UK: trade talks will come after settling accounts
23 Mar '17  10:39
European Political Economy
Doesn't take long for little c's continued distractions.

Eager to suppress support for financial regulation, "Brexit . . . allows Brussels to revisit ideas previously torpedoed by Britain"
23 Mar '17  10:18
European Political Economy
Didn't take long for little c's distraction.

Little support for financial regulation here, "Brexit . . . allows Brussels to revisit ideas previously torpedoed by Britain"
23 Mar '17  10:04
European Political Economy
Interesting discussion yesterday. Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

Takeaways included that China is aiming at leading UN peacekeeping, thereby establishing the world's enforceable rules.

Astonishing similarities between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. Xi was first to come up with make China great again. Both identified the rule by the other as the obstacle to their own greatness. Moreover they've fired up populist nationalism to support 'draining the swamp' and their nations's historic mission. Perhaps this means there is some agreement on the need to improve financial regulation of the public purse. The EU seem to be moving in this direction - see below.

From 12 Sep '16 15:34

New global rule-sets?

Will the Cost of Becoming the Next Secretary-General Be a Less Western U.N.?
Numerous U.N. officials and diplomats report that China is bidding for one of its nationals to take over the post of undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations, a highly influential job that French nominees have filled for 20 years. Chinese diplomats have recently signaled their strong desire to see the U.N.’s missions downplay human rights concerns and other progressive issues. An appointee from Beijing could place serious limits on the efforts of the blue helmets.

22 Mar '17  17:35
European Political Economy
Differences also in global financial regulation.

It seems unlikely that Washington will apologise to Iceland for the flaw in the Washington consensus.

Donald Trump, trade and the new world order: Might the Trump administration usher in a new era for international finance?

The European Union would no doubt also be interested in effective rules for the regulation of global finance. One key barrier to imposing financial discipline is at last being removed. "Brexit . . . allows Brussels to revisit ideas previously torpedoed by Britain"

Brussels considers tougher powers for EU’s financial watchdog
22 Mar '17  15:13
The UK General Election
Tillerson plan to skip NATO, visit Russia puts allies on edge

Scope here for a public interest audit of UK defence expenditure. But are such big spending departments immune from effective audit?

The Pentagon has never been audited. That's astonishing
22 Mar '17  10:00
European Political Economy
Yet another attempted distraction, little c.
22 Mar '17  09:59
The UK General Election
Yet another attempted distraction.

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