Some news and views noted along the way while browsing.
‘Monkey taunt shows rise in racism in France’ - “France’s black Justice Minister Christiane Taubira spoke out on Wednesday saying a magazine front cover that compared her to a monkey suggested she “didn’t belong to the human race”. Meanwhile a black community leader said the cover was a sign of growing racism in France.”
The Real Heroes of the Global Economy – “The real heroes of the world economy – the role models that others should emulate – are countries that have done relatively well while running only small external imbalances. Countries like Austria, Canada, the Philippines, Lesotho, and Uruguay cannot match the world’s growth champions, because they do not over-borrow or sustain a mercantilist economic model. Theirs are unremarkable economies that do not garner many headlines. But without them, the global economy would be even less manageable than it already is.”
Bosnia united by a ball – “Since the Balkan War ended in 1995, the international community has tried in vain to build a truly multi-ethnic, Bosnian state. Yet FIFA has managed to create a genuinely national football federation. In addition, Bosnia has qualified for the 2014 World Cup.”
Who rates the rating agencies? – “As usual with government-sanctioned market activity, the questions are who regulates, in whose name, and who holds the regulator itself to account. The big CRAs, whose grades the mainstream news greet as if awed at the latest papal encyclical, are themselves raptor-capitalist businesses. As the crash showed, the fact that the firms work in an oligopolistic market is not conducive to feeding through accurate information about risk. Dodgier still is the fact that issuers, who pay the CRAs’ wages, want investors to take their bonds, so the agencies have an incentive to sign off junk as a sure thing.”