Thursday, March 3, 2011

Doha, special rels, jobless and inflation, Marx, Lenin and the liberals

1) When will EUrope finally get it together? The (rest of the) world is turning!

2) Many politicians in many countries like to loosely use terms such as national interest and sovereignty, are they catchphrases of the political era?

3) IATA has cut its airline profits forecast due to high oil costs (BBC News)

4) Policy: What many forget (or choose to forget) is that competition law is the cornerstone of genuine "free market"

Most ideologies stand on good ideas. It is their application/practice that makes the difference.
Marxism was meant for industrially mature countries eg UK, Germany etc, instead it was practiced in agri/rural Russia et al & China!

IMO Marxism is an irrelevant in 2011 as Rand-ism. And a centrist mix of capitalism & social democracy seems best in practice.

On the other hand, it can IMO be said that China is extracting communism's revenge on capitalism nowadays, via its capitalocommunist (Frankenstein-like) model and its 2001 WTO membership (a major US & European mistake).

American & European greed led to China's 2001 WTO membership that has backfired on the US & EU! Maintenant c'est trop tard pour eux

By the way: What do the liberals and the Leninists have in common, in iterms of ideology? Their distaste for private monopolies & cartels. But whereas liberals think that they can be avoided via competition, anti-monopoly and antitrust legislation, Leninists prefer the state ownership model, for monopolies and business in general!

5) By the way, since I mentioned the WTO, according to BBC News:

"Doha Round: US presses China, India and Brazil"

It seems that the USTR is pushing the BRICs for more concessions on their part, in lower tariffs and better market access, for the ever lasting (since 2001) Doha Round of WTO trade talks to come,, at last, to a successful end. Let us be reminded that WTO rules based international trade is not tariff-free but that via GATT and since the mid 1990s its successor, the WTO, tariffs have been lowered considerably, globally, to to different degrees (less the developed the economy, the less the pressure to cut tariffs, generally speaking).

I should also note that as far as I know President Obama has not (yet?) been given by Congress the "fast track" powers that a Democrat-dominated Congress had given to GWB Jr. Fast track means that an WTO agreement among 170+ countries will then have to be either approved as is or rejected by the US Congress, ie there can be no proposals for amendments (which would render an agreement among 170+ virtually impossible).

Reminds one of the Sovereignty Bill that Cameron recently passed in the UK! If an EU regulation or directive that has been deliberated by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament (in co-decision) can then be amended by the UK Parliament or any national Parliament, then does that render EU lawmaking a joke or not?

6) On that special ... relationship:
My comments:
1) The ceremony gave awards did not crown anyone!
2) Does the EU need its own Hollywood (movie industry cluster) or not? And where (location)? Of course a Euro-Hollywood cluster should be a private sector matter, not a "Brussels" one (matter/funding)
3) A film's language (21+ languages in the EU) seems to be key factor in intra-EU & international success (esp US box office results)
4) The trans-national, even intra-EU view seems lacking, eg in topics & scripts. What is needed are more multi-lingual/national (intra-EUropean) stories & themes to attract EU-wide audiences. IMO "EU funds" should go to "multi/cross-national/lingual" film productions (ie from many EU states)
5) Sport is not affected significantly by languages. But music & film (& TV series) are highly dependent on language (in how many countries do foreign language films and TV programs play in VO btw?)
6) There is a special UK-US relationship but it is between Hollywood & royal film themes (Kings's Speech, The Queen, Elisabeth I & II, etc)

7) The European Commission's DG ECO & FIN's EU interim forecast: Recovery gaining grouund makes for interesting reading.

8) Eurostat: Inflation: Flash estimate for February 2011 for Eurozone: 2.4% vs 2.3% in Jan 2011
My comments:
1) Inflation hawks alert then?
2) IMO w/o a better Single Market. esp for SMEs and jobs, unemployment will remain high & structural in EU & Eurozone

9) Eurostat: Unemployment stats (seasonally-adjusted):
a) Eurozone unemployment 9.9% in January 2011 (vs 10.0% in Dec 2010 & 10.0% in Jan 2010)
b) EU27 unemployment 9.5% in January 2011 (vs 9.6% in Dec 2010 & 9.5% in Jan 2010

10) On a humorous note: Britain has no Euro vision! (see EU) That's why it cannot win the ESC either? Plus: Lots of "special relationships" (UK-US style) among the participating countries though! (sorry couldn't help the pun)

11) And finally, in case you missed it: According to Reuters, the head of the FDIC calls for big bank restructuring.
My comments:
1) While there was reportedly less pressure on Wall St firms et al at Davos (WEF) this year, the issue seems to remain hot in the public opinion domain
2) Seems that Hollywood did not buy into the "party line" either, it gave an Oscar to the telling Inside Job documentary! A huge global message!

1 comment:

  1. There is an interesting debate in the blogosphere exploring the reasons for the persistent high unemployment rates in the US and elsewhere. Conservatives lay the blame on the structural skills mismatch and argue that this cannot be resolved through any stimulus spending measures. Liberals claim that the massive slump in aggregate demand from the boom, means that there are massive idling resources which can be brought to work with an appropriately structured stimulus program.

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