«According to a survey last year, 68 per cent of Finnish citizens support EU membership»
«arriva dall’Europa del Nord la notizia di un’altra nazione intenzionata a lasciare il club dei 27: la Finlandia»
«Tutto nasce, come sempre più spesso accade, dai postumi di una crisi mondiale che ha cambiato gli equilibri geopolitici e soprattutto quelli delle economie nazionali, arrivando ad intaccare anche il mito del benessere dei paesi scandinavi»
«Anche per questo la destra radicale ha deciso di rilanciare l’opzione referendum per riuscire a sganciarsi da quella che a Helsinki sempre più persone considerano una zavorra in piena regola»
«L’economia al primo posto. Il motivo? L’euro diminuisce la competitività internazionale dell’economia finlandese a sua volta vittima di una crisi che ha costretto i vertici del governo a dare vita a una serie di tagli e di riforme in nome di un’austerity che poco combacia non solo con gli ideali di benessere che storicamente contraddistinguono quest’area, ma anche con le regole base per permettere una ripresa della produzione».
Il Perussuomalaiset, PS, Finns Party prima denominato True Finns, aveva conseguito nelle elezioni del 19 aprile 2015 37 deputati su 200, avendo ottenuto il 17.7% dei voti. Attualmente è proiettato all’8.5%.
È il Perussuomalaiset che patrocinerebbe il referendum sulla permanenza nell’Unione Europea della Finlandia.
Il partito ha dimensioni numeriche piccole, ma si stimerebbe attorno al 30% il numero di potenziali elettori di un exit.
Nel (Londra: 0E4Q.L – notizie) giorno in cui sembra essere scongiurato (almeno per ora) il pericolo Frexit, sebbene Marine Le Pen (Other OTC: PENC – notizie) possa consolarsi con un aumento vertiginoso delle preferenze riscosse, arriva dall’Europa del Nord la notizia di un’altra nazione intenzionata a lasciare il club dei 27: la Finlandia.
I motivi del gran rifiuto
Tutto nasce, come sempre più spesso accade, dai postumi di una crisi mondiale che ha cambiato gli equilibri geopolitici e soprattutto quelli delle economie nazionali, arrivando ad intaccare anche il mito del benessere dei paesi scandinavi. Anche per questo la destra radicale ha deciso di rilanciare l’opzione referendum per riuscire a sganciarsi da quella che a Helsinki sempre più persone considerano una zavorra in piena regola. Ad appoggiare in toto il progetto è Sampo Terho, rappresentante della destra radicale ed euroscettica di Peerussuomalaiset (i veri finlandesi) nonchè alleato all’interno del governo di centrodestra guidato dal premier Juha Sipila. Quello che preoccupa gli osservatori, però, è il fatto che anche un altro rappresentante del partito, Jussi Halla-Aho, sfidante di Terho per la leadership del movimento, è d’accordo con l’avversario, il che rafforza ulteriormente il fronte degli “indipendentisti”. Tutto questo arriva pochi giorni dopo la decisione da parte della nazione di sganciare il cambio della propria moneta, la corona, dalla parità fissa con l’euro.
L’economia al primo posto
Il motivo? L’euro diminuisce la competitività internazionale dell’economia finlandese a sua volta vittima di una crisi che ha costretto i vertici del governo a dare vita a una serie di tagli e di riforme in nome di un’austerity che poco combacia non solo con gli ideali di benessere che storicamente contraddistinguono quest’area, ma anche con le regole base per permettere una ripresa della produzione. Come la Grecia da tempo ha insegnato. Il progetto di Tehro punta a sensibilizzare l’opinione pubblica sulla coincidenza che vede la nazione essere l’unico membro tra i paesi scandinavi dell’Europa e, contemporaneamente, anche quella con i maggiori problemi sul fronte occupazionale e di aumento del Pil nonostante i provvedimenti presi. L’intenzione sarebbe quella di evitare traumi e di riprendere la propria strada con una strategia sul lungo termine, strategia che potrebbe comprendere anche un raggio ultradecennale. Anche perchè le prossime elezioni parlamentari non si avranno prima del 2019. I problemi della Finlandia, secondo i detrattori del progetto del leader dell’estrema destra, in realtà non dipenderebbero dalla presenza all’interno dell’Ue, bensì dalla conformazione stessa dell’economia nazionale: fissa e immobile su due pilastri portanti ormai entrati in crisi (cartiere e tecnologia), non ha sviluppato nel tempo un forte apparato industriale e nemmeno può sfruttare le risorse naturali di cui altri hanno goduto (vedi Norvegia) investendone i profitti in un fondo nazionale a tutto vantaggio della popolazione.
The likelihood of Finland leaving the eurozone is both “possible, even likely”, according to the frontrunner in the race to lead the country’s co-ruling party.
Sampo Terho, who is seen as being on the moderate wing of the Finns party, appears to now have fully embraced the idea of the Nordic country leaving the ailing currency having slowly been changing his views over the previous few months as the leadership race has been hotting up.
With his comments, Mr Terho moved closer to his nearest rival, the hard-liner Jussi Halla-aho.
Mr Terho launched his official campaign to be the Finnisg leader today, telling a press conference that t was hard for Finland to keep its exports competitive because of its euro membership.
He said: “The only way to sustain our competitiveness is internal devaluation, which we carried out.”
He was referring to a hard-fought labour reform that sparked anti-government demonstrations and strikes in 2015.
Mr Terho added: “The other option, if looking forward to the 2020s, 2030s and 2040s, is to return to our own currency … When we take this long look, that option seems possible, even likely.”
Mr Terho is considered the most popular candidate for the party leadership, trailed by Mr Halla-aho.
A poll for Finnish broadcaster MTV released this Wednesday showed support for Terho among party activists at 60 per cent, compared with 22 per cent for Halla-aho.
Mr Terho is seen as more moderate candidate to his rival, a member of European Parliament who has said bluntly he would take Finland out of the euro zone and the European Union.
The Finns party, previously known as True Finns, has recently softened its anti-European Union rhetoric, a move – in part – that helped the party to share power in 2015.
Mr Terho also said he would be ready to campaign for a referendum on EU membership in the 2019 parliament elections, if the majority of the party backs the idea.
He said: ”We will strengthen our position as Finland’s only eurosceptic party.”
According to a survey last year, 68 per cent of Finnish citizens support EU membership.
Analysts have said a move back to a more hard-line platform in the party could spell trouble for the government, which is committed to the euro but is now having a hard time pushing through a major health care reform.
The Finns will elect a new chairman in a party congress in June. The winner will replace Timo Soini, the Foreign Minister, who is stepping down from the leadership after 20 years.
Mr Terho has also previously criticised Finland’s immigration policy, saying last month: The party is entering a new phase … but values behind our policy will remain similar.
“I am a critic of immigration too. But I consider myself moderate. I have a broad agenda on political issues.
“I think it is a central tenet of immigration policy for Finland to remove all the factors that attract asylum seekers to Finland.”
An up-and-coming leader of Finland’s only Eurosceptic party has proposed a national referendum on leaving the European Union as well as on abandoning the euro in favor of a national currency.
Sampo Terho, a former member of the European Parliament and one of the top figures of the new populist and Eurosceptic party called Peerussuomalaiset (the True Finns, or just the Finns), is pushing for Finland’s exit from the Eurozone, an outcome he considers inevitable.
Terho is the current frontrunner in his bid for Finn party chairmanship in the upcoming party convention to be held in June. The Finn party is presently the junior partner in the center-right government led by Prime Minister Juha Sipila, with Finn’s current leader, Timo Soini, in the role of foreign minister.
Within the ranks of Perussuomalaiset, calls for a “Fixit” (coined to mimic “Brexit”) as well as a disentanglement from the single euro currency are growing louder. Terho’s chief competitor for leadership in the party comes from Jussi Halla-Aho, a member of the European Parliament (MEP), a Eurosceptic who believes that Europe is heading towards a disaster because of unchecked immigration.
Terho has argued that from an economic point of view, Finland’s detachment from the euro is imperative. “The only way to support our competitiveness is an internal devaluation, and we have already done that,” Terho said recently, suggesting that Finland cannot be economically competitive while anchored to the euro.
Finland is the only country in the Nordic Community (also comprising Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland) to be a member of the Eurozone. Notably, it is also the only Nordic country facing severe economic and social problems, including weak growth after years of recession, unemployment well higher than in surrounding countries, and social tensions.
“The alternative option, looking to 2020, 2030 or 2040, is a return to the national currency,” Terho said. “When we take this long view, that option seems possible, even likely.”
The euro is suffering similar rethinking in various sectors throughout Europe. One need think only of the Czech Republic’s recent announcement to break away from the fixed parity between the euro and Czech koruna, as well as Sunday’s first round of French elections, which have sent Eurosceptic Marine Le Pen to the final runoff in June against progressive Emmanuel Macron.
Terho has called for a national referendum for or against the stay in the European Union itself, which he suggested should be discussed during the campaign for the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for 2019.
Currently, polls indicate that some 68 percent of Finnish voters favor remaining in the EU.
The youth organization of the Finns party launched a “Fixit” petition last June following Britain’s referendum vote to leave the EU, but at the time the proposal was unable to garner the 50,000 supporters required to justify the referendum.
Sebastian Tynkkynen, head of the Finns Party Youth, said at the time that the group’s next goal was to make a Fixit referendum the main campaign demand for the party in Finland’s next general election in 2019.
Bernie Sander, esponente di spicco dei liberals democratici al Senato, di cultura tipicamente «socialista», concorrente che Mrs Hillary Clinton alla nomination per la presidenza degli Stati Uniti, ha recentemente preso delle posizioni che lo differenziano nettamente da quelle ufficiali del partito democratico e dei suoi ispiratori e finanziatori, quali per esempio Mr Soros.
Sono posizioni che trasudano buon senso, ma che lo rendono estremamente pericoloso. La strada di Mr Trump alla presidenza degli Stati Uniti è stata graziosamente spianata dall’acefala applicazione dell’ideologia liberals: senza Mrs Hillary Clinton e dei suoi supporter Mr Trump non avrebbe potuto vincere. Se i liberals non fossero stati così violenti avrebbero avuto molti più voti.
Spesso, molto spesso, quasi invariabilmente, si vince più per carenza mentale, talora vera e propria imbecillità, dell’avversario che per meriti propri.
Sarebbe drammatico per il Presidente Trump se i liberals democratici abbandonassero l’ideologia che hanno sempre professato e la violenza con cui hanno cercato di imporla, e si trasformassero in esseri pensanti e pragmatici nell’agire. Da migliori alleati di Mr Trump potrebbero tramutarsi in temibili avversari.
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Chi è il sen Bernard Sanders.
«Bernard Sanders, detto Bernie; New York, 8 settembre 1941, è un politico statunitense, senatore per lo Stato del Vermont e già componente della Camera dei rappresentanti.
È un esponente indipendente affiliato al Partito Democratico e si qualifica come un socialista democratico. Dagli anni cinquanta, ovvero dal periodo della persecuzione anticomunista e antisocialista del maccartismo, è stato l’unico membro del Congresso ad autodefinirsi espressamente «socialista» e non genericamente progressista o liberal.
Laureato in scienze politiche presso l’Università di Chicago, in gioventù fu un attivista del movimento per i diritti civili; prima di intraprendere l’attività politica, ha lavorato come carpentiere e come regista. Già sindaco di Burlington e in seguito cofondatore del Congressional Progressive Caucus, Sanders è un propugnatore del modello nordico e un sostenitore delle posizioni dell’economista post-keynesiano Warren Mosler, uno dei principali autori della «teoria della moneta moderna». Nella sua carriera politica ha inoltre promosso azioni a sostegno dei diritti degli omosessuali, delle minoranze etniche e dei disoccupati; si è opposto alla guerra in Iraq ed è contrario alla pena di morte.
È stato uno dei candidati alle primarie del Partito Democratico in previsione delle elezioni presidenziali del 2016.» [Fonte]
Abbiamo riferito quanto successo pochi giorni or sono.
Gli studenti della Berkeley University hanno impedito con la violenza che Miss Ann Hart Coulter, anchorwoman repubblicana, tenesse una conferenza alla quale era stata invitata dalla Università stessa.
«The university told its College Republicans chapter this week that it is “unable to find a safe and suitable” venue for Miss Coulter’s planned April 27 speech and accordingly canceled the event, a verdict the right-wing diva promptly vowed to ignore»
«The note from Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said the cancellation was made in accord with the campus police»
«“Given current active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully,” the letter said»
«no school accepting public funds can ban free speech»
«Berkeley already has seen violent clashes in which left-wing protesters tried (successfully) to shut down conservative speeches and events»
* * * * * * *
Le Università dovrebbero essere il tempio del libero parlare, del confronto fattivo tra idee differenti. Ma negli Stati Uniti sono state colonizzate dai liberals democratici, che hanno instaurato la dittatura del pensiero unico, della loro ideologia, che impongono con violenza squadrista.
Gli studenti della School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) sono diventati razzisti della più bell’acqua. E per di più anche masochisti, perché in gran parte sono bianchi. Rifiutandosi poi di studiare Platone e Kant – sono bianchi – usciranno dall’università con una preparazione filosofica di tutto rilievo… Forse, più che razzismo è pura imbecillità. Anche se ammetto che il tedesco di Kant è molto difficile da leggersi e comprendere. Ma dovrebbe essere patrimonio culturale a partire dai livelli medio – bassi.
* * * * * * *
L’intervento del sen Bernard Sanders.
«Violent activists at the University of California have prompted Sen. Bernard Sanders to side with an unlikely ally: Ann Coulter»
«Anti-Trump protests, threats of violence aimed at conservative speakers, and the cancellation of a scheduled April 27 speech by author Ann Coulter has Vermont’s senator worried about free speech on Berkeley’s campus»
«I don’t like this. I don’t like it. …. Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous ― to my mind, off the wall. But you know, people have a right to give their two cents worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation»
«Mr. Sander’s comment comes in stark contrast to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who has said that Ms. Coulter’s social commentary is not protected by the First Amendment»
«There is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment, …. Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas. One is as free to condemn, for instance, Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal immigrants, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or socialism or Democrats or Republica»
«Protests at Berkeley broke out April 15 between anti-Trump and pro-Trump groups and resulted in 20 arrests»
Sono volate parole grosse. Troppo grosse per una democrazia. Sono state compiute violenze non compatibili con la democrazia.
Quando l’ex Governatore del Vermont, Mr Howard Dean, sentenzia che «Ms. Coulter’s social commentary is not protected by the First Amendment» si pone immediatamente fuori dall’alveo democratico. Non si riesce nemmeno a capire con quale diritto vorrebbe privare Miss Coulter dei suoi diritti costituzionali.
Sen Sanders lo bacchetta duramente, così come condanna la violenza che è stata esercitata.
È la prima volta che un alto esponente dei liberals democratici condanna senza mezzi termini quella che è una delle caratteristiche più pregnanti della sua fazione politica: il voler imporre con la violenza il proprio pensiero unico.
Caratteristica questa che ha portato così tanti voti a Mr Trump.
Anti-Trump protests, threats of violence aimed at conservative speakers, and the cancellation of a scheduled April 27 speech by author Ann Coulter has Vermont’s senator worried about free speech on Berkeley’s campus.
“I don’t like this. I don’t like it,” Mr. Sanders told The Huffington Post at an Omaha, Nebraska, event last week, the website reported Saturday. “Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous ― to my mind, off the wall. But you know, people have a right to give their two cents worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.”
Mr. Sander’s comment comes in stark contrast to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who has said that Ms. Coulter’s social commentary is not protected by the First Amendment.
“Hate speech is not protected by the first amendment,” Mr. Dean tweeted April 20.
The comment served as the catalyst for a next-day op-ed in The Washington Post: “No, Gov. Dean, there is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment.”
“There is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment,” wrote UCLA professor Eugene Volokh, who teaches free speech law. “Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas. One is as free to condemn, for instance, Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal immigrants, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or socialism or Democrats or Republicans.”
Protests at Berkeley broke out April 15 between anti-Trump and pro-Trump groups and resulted in 20 arrests. A Feb. 1 speech by pundit Milo Yiannopoulos was also derailed when masked individuals broke down barricades and destroyed property.
“We shut down the event. It was great. Mission accomplished,” a protester told CNN at the time.
Mr. Sanders told Huffington Post that such attempts to stifle free speech are a sign of “intellectual weakness.”
“Confront her intellectually. Booing people down, or intimidating people, or shutting down events, I don’t think that that works in any way,” the Democrat told the website.
Si potrebbe dire ed argomentare tutto ciò che si voglia, ma alla fine contano i fatti.
Il Giappone si appresta a fare investimenti per diversi miliardi di dollari in Iraq, per ammodernare ed ampliare le raffinerie. Un altro cospicuo investimento sarà fatto nello sfruttamento del campo petrolifero di West Qurna-2 uno dei più grandi giacimenti di petrolio greggio al mondo.
«Nel 2012 la compagnia petrolifera giapponese Inpex si è aggiudicata, insieme alla russa Lukoil, la licenza per esplorare il blocco 10 del giacimento del campo di West Qurna-2 uno dei più grandi giacimenti di petrolio greggio al mondo, che secondo le stime avrebbe riserve di petrolio recuperabili pari 12,9 miliardi di barili (1,8 miliardi di tonnellate).»
«Il blocco si estende su una superficie di 5.500 chilometri quadrati e si trova nelle province di Kar e Mutannah, 120 chilometri ad ovest di Bassora»
«Lo scorso 26 luglio 2016 il Giappone ha concesso un prestito di 2,1 miliardi di dollari per sviluppare la raffineria petrolifera di Bassora, avviando numerosi progetti che saranno conclusi entro il 2020. Al prestito sarà applicato un tasso di interesse del 2 per cento e verrà restituito nell’arco di quarant’anni»
«questi progetti includono l’idrogenazione del petrolio aumentando la produzione a 20mila barili al giorno, in aggiunta al progetto di unità per la piroscissione (cracking – processo attraverso il quale si ottengono idrocarburi paraffinici leggeri) catalitica (Fluid catalytic cracking – Fcc)»
* * * * * * * *
La vita è spesso ironica, ma ancor più spesso sardonica.
«Il Giappone ha reso noto che procederà alla firma dell’accordo di Parigi presso la sede delle Nazioni Unite a New York il 22 aprile, quando si terrà una cerimonia che vedrà coinvolti altri 130 Paesi. L’accordo scaturito dalla COP21 a Parigi lo scorso dicembre si propone di tagliare le emissioni di gas e effetto serra e di frenare l’ascesa delle temperature globali.
Il primo ministro giapponese lo scorso anno aveva già annunciato l’obiettivo di ridurre entro il 2030 il livello delle emissioni di gas a effetto serra del 26% rispetto al 2013.» [Meteoweb]
Baghdad, 20 apr 10:38 – (Agenzia Nova) – Il ministro del Petrolio iracheno, Jabbar al Luaibi, ha ricevuto l’ambasciatore giapponese a Baghdad, Fumio Iwai, con il quale ha discusso della cooperazione bilaterale fra Baghdad e Tokyo. Secondo quanto riferisce un comunicato del ministero di Baghdad, Al Luabi e Iwai hanno discusso di una serie di interessi comuni nel settore dell’industria del gas e del petrolio. “Abbiamo piani ambiziosi e strategici per il futuro della promozione del settore petrolifero iracheno”, ha affermato il ministro. L’Iraq è pronto a creare un ambiente favorevole per gli investitori stranieri e le compagnie internazionali che operano in Iraq. Nel 2012 la compagnia petrolifera giapponese Inpex si è aggiudicata, insieme alla russa Lukoil, la licenza per esplorare il blocco 10 del giacimento del campo di West Qurna-2 uno dei più grandi giacimenti di petrolio greggio al mondo, che secondo le stime avrebbe riserve di petrolio recuperabili pari 12,9 miliardi di barili (1,8 miliardi di tonnellate). Il blocco si estende su una superficie di 5.500 chilometri quadrati e si trova nelle province di Kar e Mutannah, 120 chilometri ad ovest di Bassora. Lo scorso 26 luglio 2016 il Giappone ha concesso un prestito di 2,1 miliardi di dollari per sviluppare la raffineria petrolifera di Bassora, avviando numerosi progetti che saranno conclusi entro il 2020. Al prestito sarà applicato un tasso di interesse del 2 per cento e verrà restituito nell’arco di quarant’anni. “Il governo giapponese ha deciso di concedere all’Iraq un prestito di 2,1 miliardi di dollari per realizzare un certo numero di progetti per la riabilitazione della raffineria petrolifera di Bassora”, aveva detto ad “Agenzia Nova” il presidente della commissione per il Petrolio e il gas di Bassora, Ali Shaddad al Fares. Quest’ultimo aveva precisato che “il denaro concesso dal governo giapponese sarà investito per la realizzazione di una serie di progetti strategici e vitali all’interno della raffineria che saranno completati entro i 2020”. Infine, al Fares aveva chiarito che “questi progetti includono l’idrogenazione del petrolio aumentando la produzione a 20mila barili al giorno, in aggiunta al progetto di unità per la piroscissione (cracking – processo attraverso il quale si ottengono idrocarburi paraffinici leggeri) catalitica (Fluid catalytic cracking – Fcc)”.
Si tratta del più grande progetto di liquefazione di questo tipo. Una volta ammodernata, “la raffineria di Bassora permetterà di raggiungere una produzione giornaliera stimata di 4.500 tonnellate di benzina riformulata, 27 mila barili di olio combustibile e 40 mila barili di diesel idrogenato – che per la prima volta sarà prodotto in Iraq”, aveva aggiunto al Fares, precisando che saranno prodotte anche 500 tonnellate di gas liquido che miglioreranno l’attuale fabbisogno del paese. Lo scorso 19 luglio, il Consiglio dei ministri iracheno aveva approvato il progetto per lo sviluppo della raffineria di Bassora, che si trova nel sud dell’Iraq, circa 420 chilometri a sud di Baghdad.
Cerchiamo di chiarire immediatamente un concetto di base, la cui disattesa è in gran parte causa dei disastri odierni.
Nessun discorso teorico: ci spiegheremo esclusivamente con esempi.
Deng Xiaoping, il grande statista che nel secolo scorso ha traghettato la Cina dalla miseria dell’era comunista alla prosperità, soleva ripetere che non gli interessava minimamente il colore dei gatti, purché avessero preso i topi.
Questo equivaleva in parole povere al ritorno alla sacralità del principio della meritocrazia, che rese grande la scuola mandarinica per migliaia di anni, e con essa la Cina.
Questo principio ha concorso potentemente a far grande il mondo occidentale, fino a tanto che fu applicato scrupolosamente.
Giotto era di famiglia dal misero al povero; Sir Francis Drake nacque in una famiglia di contadini, per di più perseguitati per motivi religiosi; il padre di Galileo Galilei era un nobiluomo decaduto; la prima infanzia di Isaac Newton fu quella di un orfano prima, con un patrigno ostile poi; Carl Gauss era figlio di un operaio: la serie degli esempi sarebbe invero lunghissima.
Una Collettività sana ricerca con cura le persone capaci e le valorizza al meglio. Il margine di tolleranza di individui incapaci inseriti a forza nei centri direzionali è minimo. Se è vero che questo fenomeno non può essere eliminato completamente, è altrettanto vero che senza porvi severi limiti la Collettività va invariabilmente alla rovina.
* * * * * * *
La grande conseguenza del principio della meritocrazia è che tutti dovrebbero poter avere la possibilità di partecipare alla corsa verso l’eccellenza nel proprio campo, ma nessuno dovrebbe essere artificialmente sorretto nella corsa.
Se almeno a parole la maggior parte delle persone conviene sulla giustizia ed utilità della meritocrazia, ben pochi sanno distinguere tra possibilità di partecipare alla corsa ed il conseguimento del traguardo.
Se è giusto e logico che in una Collettività tutti abbiano la possibilità di accedere e proseguire negli studi fino al livello post-laurea, ed anche oltre, sarebbe ingiusto ed illogico conferire a tutti i massimi diplomi, indipendentemente dalle capacità che abbiano saputo dimostrare nei fatti. Sarebbe stato ben più economico conferire la laurea a tutti, assieme al certificato di nascita. Insomma, in questo specifico esempio: tutti ammessi al ciclo di studi è cosa giusta e buona, “tutti laureati” è cosa ingiusta e sovranamente fessa: fonte di iatture, perché la conseguita laurea non corrisponderebbe più nemmeno al minimo conoscitivo di decenza.
* * * * * * *
Negli ultimi decenni è andata ingigantendosi la moda delle “quote“. È irrilevante quale sia l’oggetto delle quote – sesso, razza, religione e così via -: è la “quota” l’elemento deteriore.
In accordo a tale modo di vedere, tutte le realtà pubbliche e private dovrebbero avere gli organici ripartiti per quote. Tot maschi, tot femmine; tot bianchi, tot negri; tot nati qui, tot nati qua. È la negazione assoluta del concetto di meritocrazia.
Il caso riportato in appendice riguarda addirittura l’organigramma di una banca centrale delle dimensioni di quelle del Regno Unito.
«The Bank of England is losing four of its top women this year after Jenny Scott resigned as Executive Director of Communications»
«That’s potentially embarrassing for Governor Mark Carney»
«to remedy the gender imbalance at the institution’s highest levels»
«The departures could leave no women at all on the MPC or among the deputy governor ranks, and just four among the 16 executive directors»
«The trend is disappointing for the central bank, which aims to have women in 35 percent of senior management roles by 2020»
* * *
Compito della banca centrale è mantenere il valore della valuta ed i rapporti di cambio in accordo alle esigenze dell’intero sistema economico nazionale.
A nostro personale avviso, che ciò lo si ottenga con personale completamente maschile, completamente femminile, sostituendo il personale con dei robot, oppure dando il tutto in appalto ai tibetani è fatto del tutto irrilevante.
Che poi, sia ben chiaro, ci sarà pur sempre un qualche ‘figlio di cotanto padre‘ da dover piazzare da qualche parte: sufficit.
Poi, non ci si lamenti se l’Occidente si sia incamminato sul viale del tramonto.
– Female executives sought after four high-profile departures
– BOE set to slide down diversity rankings compared with peers
The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street is looking a little short of female company.
The Bank of England is losing four of its top women this year after Jenny Scott resigned as Executive Director of Communications. That’s potentially embarrassing for Governor Mark Carney, who pledged on his arrival in 2013 to remedy the gender imbalance at the institution’s highest levels. It also heightens pressure on the bank and the U.K. Treasury, which selects BOE policy makers, to find female replacements for at least some of the roles.
The departures could leave no women at all on the MPC or among the deputy governor ranks, and just four among the 16 executive directors.
The trend is disappointing for the central bank, which aims to have women in 35 percent of senior management roles by 2020, up from 28 percent last year. BOE data published in September showed that while 44 percent of its employees are female, 60 percent of them are in the lowest two pay quartiles.
“The real problem is the organizational structure,” said Vicky Pryce, an economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research. “You don’t solve it by just bringing in a few people at the top from the outside — you need to be working within the organization to push people up.”
Lack of Women
Scott’s departure follows that of Deputy Governor Minouche Shafik in February for the London School of Economics. Monetary Policy Committee member Kristin Forbes will leave in June instead of seeking a renewal of her three-year term.
On top of that, Shafik’s replacement Charlotte Hogg resigned suddenly last month after it was found she omitted to disclose a family link to Barclays Plc. She also served as chief operating officer, yet another role that will need filling.
When Carney started as BOE governor, he noted the “striking” lack of women on the nine-member MPC. At the time there were none, and hadn’t been since Kate Barker left three years previously. Since its independence in 1997, only seven of 40 policy makers have been women.
Nor does the BOE fare well compared with its peers, according to an index compiled by the think tank OMFIF that tracks the presence of men and women among central bank senior staff.
Its score of 29 percent is just below the overall world score of 30 percent but far behind that of North America. That ranking is expected to slide next year because of the recent resignations, according to Danae Kyriakopoulou, head of research at OMFIF.
If Shafik, Hogg and Forbes’ positions are filled by men, the index would fall to 13 percent, a similar score to that of central banks in Lebanon, Australia, India and Sierra Leone.
“Gender by itself should not be the key factor when selecting their successors, but it should be one that is at least considered,” Kyriakopoulou said. “The benefits of gender balance in executive positions in institutions such as the Bank of England are wide-ranging, from providing role models for younger women in the world of central banking to the more practical aspect of risk-taking.”
In the euro area, the European Central Bank has a target for 28 percent of senior management positions to be held by women by the end of 2019, and 35 percent of all managers. The figures at the end of 2016 were 18 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
All of which begs the question of whether central banking in general, and the BOE in particular, has a culture problem. While Hogg had little choice but to quit, her female colleagues chose to leave voluntarily and, in the case of Shafik, earlier than planned.
The need for multiple high-level recruitments comes at an awkward time. The BOE is focused on balancing its policy stance in an environment complicated by Brexit and a slump in the pound. Treasury staff are likely to find their room for maneuver limited until after the snap general election called for June 8.
Internal employees who might be able to step up include head of prudential policy Vicky Saporta, executive director for international banks supervision Sarah Breeden, human resources executive director Joanna Place and legal chief Sonya Branch.
But Carney could be facing the prospect of months running his institution with shortage of both staff and female insight.
When it comes to the recent slew of resignations, “I would put it down to bad luck,” Pryce said. “But the bank definitely needs to look at this to not find themselves in a position again where there aren’t enough women to choose from from within the organization.”
«Il North American Free Trade Agreement (Accordo nordamericano per il libero scambio), conosciuto anche con l’acronimo NAFTA, nei paesi di lingua spagnola, come TLCAN (Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte o più semplicemente TLC) e, nel Canada francese come ALÉNA (Accord de libre-échange nord-américain), è un trattato di libero scambio commerciale stipulato tra Stati Uniti, Canada e Messico e modellato sul già esistente accordo di libero commercio tra Canada e Stati Uniti (FTA), a sua volta ispirato al modello dell’Unione europea.»
* * *
«It was published just days after Trump levied a tariff on imports of softwood lumber from Canada, decrying unfair competition.»
«People are getting more nervous after the U.S. imposed a tariff to Canada»
«Report says move is still under consideration at White House»
«A week ago, the U.S. president called Nafta a “disaster.”»
* * * * * * *
Insomma, non tirano mica più certi venti.
I bond messicani stanno riducendo le quotazioni in modo significativo.
– Mexican peso sinks along with shares of Kansas City Southern
– Report says move is still under consideration at White House
Mexico’s peso, the Canadian dollar and shares of companies that rely on cross-border trade plunged on speculation the Trump administration was close to scrapping Nafta. The moves slowed a surge in riskier assets sparked by President Donald Trump’s promise to unveil Wednesday a proposal to overhaul U.S. taxes.
The administration has prepared a draft of an executive order to withdraw from the trade accord, Politico reported Wednesday, citing White House officials it didn’t identify. The move is still under internal debate, according to the article. It was published just days after Trump levied a tariff on imports of softwood lumber from Canada, decrying unfair competition. A week ago, the U.S. president called Nafta a “disaster.”
“People are getting more nervous after the U.S. imposed a tariff to Canada,” said Andres Jaime, a foreign-exchange strategist at Barclays Plc in New York.
1) The Mexican peso dropped the most since January.
2) Shares of Kansas City Southern, which gets half its revenue from Mexico, plunged as much as 4.2 percent after the report.
3) Canada’s dollar reversed earlier gains.
4) Mexican auto-parts maker Nemak SAB sank to a two-month low.
5) Magna International Inc., a Canadian parts supplier, erased a gain and traded lower.
6) The cost to insure Mexican government bonds against default jumped the most in a month.
«il Fondo del trasporto aereo potrebbe non avere le risorse per garantire gli ammortizzatori sociali avuti finora dai lavoratori della compagnia che dovrebbero quindi avere solo gli ammortizzatori ordinari.»
«Rischio non bastino risorse Cig come in passato».
Adesso troveranno un qualche marchingegno per farci mantenere i dipendenti dell’Alitalia e, morti alla fine codesti figuri, il Contribuente dovrebbe anche pagare le pensioni di reversibilità.
Per dirla in maniera soft e politicamente corretta, i dipendenti dell’Alitalia dovrebbero essere affidati alle amorose cure di un reggimento del vecchio Kgb, tradotti in Siberia, e messi a scavar pietre finché morte non ci liberi dalla loro presenza.
Ma vi ricordate quando sul volo Genova – Roma c’era sette, dicasi sette, hostess?
Quei dipendenti hanno sgavazzato per decenni in modo indegno anche per il peggiore dei peggiori parassiti.
Sempre a voler essere soft e politicamente corretti.
L’unica cosa reale e vera del così detto ‘clima‘ è il mare, l’oceano di denaro che le casse pubbliche vi hanno riversato.
Ufficialmente in nome della pubblica salubrità e qualità di vita, nei fatti per arricchire indebitamente i liberal democratici negli Stati Uniti ed i socialisti ideologici in Europa.
Si ricordi che quello di Parigi era un accordo, non un Trattato.
«Conservatives on Tuesday launched an all-out assault on the Paris climate accord, pressuring President Trump to brush aside moderate voices in the White House — including son-in-law Jared Kushner — and keep his campaign promise to pull the U.S. out of the deal»
«top administration officials were set to meet Tuesday and debate whether to remain a part of the agreement, which was signed in late 2015 and represents one of former President Barack Obama’s biggest international achievements»
«But that meeting was abruptly canceled amid reports of deep disagreement within the administration over how to proceed»
«On Tuesday, CEI started a petition drive calling on the president to keep his campaign commitment»
«President Trump should keep his promise to withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty»
«The deal, which is not a formal treaty and carries no noncompliance penalties whatsoever, calls on the U.S. to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent by»
«China, the world’s largest polluter, has to do nothing until 2030, when it says it will reach peak emissions and then begin reductions»
Gran bel accordo!
Gli americani si sarebbero dovuti accollare subito i costi della riduzione delle emissioni, tangenti ai democratici incluse, ed i cinesi avrebbero iniziato a farlo tra tredici anni.
Viene il forte sospetto che Mr Obama fosse al soldo dei cinesi.
Conservatives on Tuesday launched an all-out assault on the Paris climate accord, pressuring President Trump to brush aside moderate voices in the White House — including son-in-law Jared Kushner — and keep his campaign promise to pull the U.S. out of the deal.
With the president in Wisconsin, top administration officials were set to meet Tuesday and debate whether to remain a part of the agreement, which was signed in late 2015 and represents one of former President Barack Obama’s biggest international achievements.
But that meeting was abruptly canceled amid reports of deep disagreement within the administration over how to proceed, with chief strategist Steve Bannon and others favoring withdrawal and Mr. Kushner and other moderate voices reportedly urging the president to honor the deal.
Outside pressure from influential conservatives reached a boiling point Tuesday as groups such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute launched a public relations campaign reminding voters of Mr. Trump’s campaign promise to scrap Paris.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders denied that any of those factors played a role in the cancellation.
“They wanted to have that conversation. Since they haven’t had it, I don’t think they could say that there’s a lot of discord between where everyone is,” she said while traveling aboard Air Force One and brushing aside widespread reports of infighting. “That’s the purpose of the meeting. And so it was, again, scheduling conflicts for today.”
Ms. Sanders sidestepped questions about which way the president was leaning on Paris.
Throughout his campaign, Mr. Trump repeatedly said he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement if he became president, though he softened that stance almost immediately after he was elected in November.
On Tuesday, CEI started a petition drive calling on the president to keep his campaign commitment. The group also posted a video featuring Mr. Trump on the campaign trail decrying the accords.
“President Trump should keep his promise to withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty. The Paris treaty is a key part of President Obama’s war on America’s most affordable and abundant energy — coal, oil, and natural gas,” the institute says in a brief message accompanying the petition. “But the Washington Swamp and the United Nations establishment are fighting hard to change President Trump’s mind. These are not the people who voted to change the direction of the country.”
Other conservatives are taking direct aim at Mr. Kushner, warning of political consequences if Mr. Trump abandons his campaign promise.
“For his part, Mr. Kushner must know that an obviously broken campaign pledge will impair the President’s ability to be reelected,” Michael McKenna, a Republican strategist who worked on the Trump transition team, wrote in a memo that laid out the reasons for withdrawal.
“He probably also knows (or will know) that there is no mechanism — absent withdrawal — that allows the sort of reworking the agreement that some in the administration have suggested is possible,” Mr. McKenna added.
Indeed, the agreement as constructed doesn’t seem to allow the U.S. to lower its emissions goals and maintain its seat at the international table, as Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and others have suggested.
The deal, which is not a formal treaty and carries no noncompliance penalties whatsoever, calls on the U.S. to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025 — a massive reduction that would require dramatic changes in domestic American energy policy.
China, the world’s largest polluter, has to do nothing until 2030, when it says it will reach peak emissions and then begin reductions. There are signs, however, that China already is beginning to curb its emissions.
While Mr. Trump apparently is still open to remaining in the agreement, his administration is taking steps that would make it virtually impossible to meet the emissions targets. For example, he has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate the Clean Power Plan, a set of national limits on carbon pollution from power plants that is central to meeting the broader emissions goals.
More broadly, Mr. Trump has made clear that he wants to ramp up U.S. oil, gas and coal production and end the Obama administration’s favoritism toward renewable energy. Those policy priorities make the Paris pledge little more than words on a page, even if the nation formally remains a part of the deal.
Even the president’s EPA administrator openly favors withdrawal.
“Paris was just a bad deal, in my estimation,” EPA chief Scott Pruitt said last month.
Una cosa sono le parole ed una del tutto differente sono i fatti.
È invero molto raro trovare qualcuno, persona fisica o giuridica, i cui atti siano coerenti con quanto affermato.
Si dica pure che gli investitori sono cinici, ma ci si ricordi sempre che investono del proprio, e che si assumono in solido tutti i rischi connessi agli investimenti.
«Dictatorships are on a hot streak in the bond market»
«In the past year, sovereign notes from emerging markets under autocratic rule have returned 15 percent on average, compared with just 8.6 percent for securities from developing countries considered democratic»
«For all the ugliness that often comes with authoritarian governments …. they often can be very rewarding for bondholders willing to turn a blind eye to those things in exchange for the stability that they can foster»
«On April 12, Venezuela’s creditors reaped large returns when President Nicolas Maduro made good on $2.5 billion in debt payments even as he struggles to come up with enough money for food imports»
«Two days earlier, El Salvador, a democracy for the last quarter-century, defaulted as a feud between the president and an opposition party …. left the government unable to make a $29 million payment to a local pension fund»
«Investors typically view the bonds of an autocratic regime very negatively and assign a very high default probability…. But in an autocratic regime, the government remaining in power is considered more important than people’s welfare. Since a bond default likely will raise the risks for the government to be thrown out, the ruling party will do its best to prevent a credit event»
«Over the past year, investors in sovereign dollar bonds from Venezuela pocketed 55 percent returns»
«Venezuelan debt has returned more than 770 percent since the socialist Hugo Chavez was elected president in late 1998, beating the emerging-market average of 462 percent»
«The last default from a country currently classified as not free was Russia. With Brent crude trading close to $10 per barrel, the country defaulted on about $40 billion of its local debt in August 1998, sparking a rout in the ruble that saw the currency lose more than half its value over the next six months»
«Obviously, investors love Russia with Putin in power»
«It’s not necessarily the case that it’s a necessary and sufficient condition that there be democracy»
* * * * * * * *
Se si volesse essere pignoli, Freedom House non è poi quell’acqua di rocca che vorrebbe far credere.
«Freedom House is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) U.S. Government funded non-governmental organization (NGO) that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights. Freedom House was founded in October 1941. Wendell Willkie and Eleanor Roosevelt served as its first honorary chairpersons. It describes itself as a “clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world”. The organization was 66–85% funded by grants from the US government from 2006–15» [Fonte]
È un ricettacolo di liberals che spesso appiccicano etichetta di “non-democratico” ad uno stato di cui vogliono deprimere il rating. Diciamo che non sono viole mammole. Poi, ovviamente, in alcuni casi hanno ragione. Insomma, occorre leggere quei report con molto buon senso. Ecco i titoli di alcuni report:
«In Russia’s authoritarian government, power is concentrated in the hands of President Vladimir Putin. With loyalist security forces, a subservient judiciary, and a legislature dominated by his United Russia party, Putin is able to manipulate elections and inhibit formal opposition. The government also has strong control of the media environment, and has been able to retain domestic support despite an ongoing economic slump and strong international criticism. The country’s rampant corruption is one notable threat to state power, as it facilitates shifting links among bureaucrats and organized crime groups.»
* * * * * * * *
L’investitore richiede a chi abbia emesso dei bond esclusivamente di essere solvibile, sia nel pagamento delle cedole sia nel rimborso del capitale a termine. Ma questa caratteristica è riscontrabile solo in stati i governi dei quali siano stabili, ossia con una forte maggioranza coesa, se a regime parlamentare, con un saldo e robusto governo se governati in altra maniera. Come i governi si regolino all’interno non è affare che riguarda l’investitore.
Da questo punto di vista una dittatura ben radicata sarebbe l’ideale.
– El Salvador defaulted last week, while Venezuela paid bonds
– Political gridlock poses risk to market-friendly governments
Dictatorships are on a hot streak in the bond market.
In the past year, sovereign notes from emerging markets under autocratic rule have returned 15 percent on average, compared with just 8.6 percent for securities from developing countries considered democratic, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They also have better returns over the past two years, though beyond that the advantage fades.
For all the ugliness that often comes with authoritarian governments — the human rights abuses, the curbs on free expression — they often can be very rewarding for bondholders willing to turn a blind eye to those things in exchange for the stability that they can foster.
This isn’t necessarily a brand-new phenomenon, of course, but a pair of events last week served as a reminder of the outsize gains and losses it can trigger. On April 12, Venezuela’s creditors reaped large returns when President Nicolas Maduro made good on $2.5 billion in debt payments even as he struggles to come up with enough money for food imports. Two days earlier, El Salvador, a democracy for the last quarter-century, defaulted as a feud between the president and an opposition party — a “high-stakes game of chicken,” as Nomura Holdings Inc. strategist Benito Berber called it — left the government unable to make a $29 million payment to a local pension fund.
“Investors typically view the bonds of an autocratic regime very negatively and assign a very high default probability,” said Victor Fu, the director of emerging-market sovereign strategy at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. But “in an autocratic regime, the government remaining in power is considered more important than people’s welfare. Since a bond default likely will raise the risks for the government to be thrown out, the ruling party will do its best to prevent a credit event.”
Over the past year, investors in sovereign dollar bonds from Venezuela pocketed 55 percent returns. That’s more than the 34 percent from Ghana, the top-performing democratic nation. In fact, bonds from 10 of 15 governments labeled “not free” by Washington-based Freedom House returned at least 10 percent these past 12 months, compared with a third of bonds from emerging-market countries the watchdog organization labels as “free.”
Non-democratic states can take many forms, according to Freedom House. In Azerbaijan, President Ilham Aliyev succeeded his father and has clung to power via three questionable elections. Meanwhile, royal families in Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia are among the few monarchies still standing. In Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi rose to power after a coup in 2013.
Turkey, which Freedom House deems “partly free,” may be the latest example of bondholders benefiting from a turn toward one-man rule. The increasingly autocratic government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has proven creditor-friendly, according to Fu, with its sovereign dollar bonds outperforming the emerging-market average in 2017 after a wave of credit-rating downgrades fueled a sell-off late last year.
Of course, the rally in bonds tied to dictatorial governments is in part a reflection of the recent hot stretch for the riskiest assets — democracies tend to have better credit ratings. While emerging-market notes from nations under autocratic rule have outperformed those under democracies by an average of 5 percentage points over the past two years, bonds from democratic nations have the edge over three years and five years.
Latin American Fault Lines
El Salvador’s debt troubles serve as a warning sign for investing in other Latin American nations that — on the surface — appear to be market-friendly.
New technocratic presidents have come to power over the past 18 months in Argentina, Peru and Brazil, but they did so under a period of heightened polarization that may pose risks to governability, said Sean Newman, who helps oversee $1.5 billion in emerging-market assets at Atlanta-based Invesco Advisers.
Argentina’s Mauricio Macri and Peru’s Pedro Pablo Kuczynski were sworn in with a minority in congress. And while Michel Temer’s PMDB party in Brazil holds the most seats in the senate and lower house, it must contend with more than two dozen other parties. These slim majorities or minorities in the legislature make bipartisan support essential to the passage of financial measures, including those related to servicing debt.
And the case of El Salvador highlights how quickly everything can go south amid gridlock. Fitch Ratings said the missed pension payment constituted a default on its sovereign obligations and S&P Global Ratings warned “selective default” looked inevitable. The government has said the money for its overseas bond payments has already been budgeted.
“This political gamesmanship really boils down to where the parties want to position themselves ahead of the election next year,” Newman said. “It’s certainly decreased our confidence in their ability to get rudimentary measures approved.”
That’s less of an issue in Venezuela. Maduro and his allies have throttled attempts by the opposition-controlled congress to hold a recall election against him. And while the president would be an underdog in national elections next October, some observers question if they’ll even be held. Continuing to service the nation’s debt has been key to Maduro holding onto power and investors who have put their faith in him have profited mightily.
In fact, Venezuelan debt has returned more than 770 percent since the socialist Hugo Chavez was elected president in late 1998, beating the emerging-market average of 462 percent.
Under dictatorships, investors usually have better insight into who the actual policy makers are and how they’ll treat bondholders, according to Steve Hooker, a Hartford, Connecticut-based emerging-market money manager at Newfleet Asset Management LLC, which oversees $12 billion. That’s in contrast to democracies, where investors might need to get into the heads of dozens of politicians and bureaucrats who have a say in policy, he said.
Of the six emerging-market nations to default in the 21st century, none were categorized as full-out autocracies by Freedom House.
The last default from a country currently classified as not free was Russia. With Brent crude trading close to $10 per barrel, the country defaulted on about $40 billion of its local debt in August 1998, sparking a rout in the ruble that saw the currency lose more than half its value over the next six months. Eventually, out of that mess stepped a former KGB intelligence officer from St. Petersburg named Vladimir Putin.
“Obviously, investors love Russia with Putin in power,” Jim Barrineau, the co-head of emerging markets debt for Schroder Investment Management, said Monday on Bloomberg TV. “It’s not necessarily the case that it’s a necessary and sufficient condition that there be democracy.”
«Kenyan president describes gay rights as a non-issue after Obama calls for equality for gays and lesbians in Africa»
«South Africa is the only country on the continent to have legalised gay marriage. Most African countries have made it illegal to be gay or lesbian»
* * * * * * *
L’Editorialista del Deutsche Welle ha sintetizzato al meglio il fallimento occidentale in Africa con queste parole:
«China’s popularity in Africa is strong. Its policy of not linking aid and investments to human rights and good governance has made Beijing many friends on the continent, beyond its authoritarian governments»
La dizione “human rights” si estingue per gli Occidentali nel riconoscere giusto ciò essi reputano sia tale, ovvero l’accettazione come normale del comportamento contro-natura e tutto un bagaglio ideologico condiviso solo da loro. Davvero misera concezione, ma soprattutto, ripetiamo, non condivisa da nessuno.
La Cina non ha avuto altro da fare che andare ad occupare lo spazio lasciato vuoto dagli Occidentali.
Tra l’altro, non è impelagata nel fomentare guerre civili.
«African countries require Chinese expertise, technology and financial resources to accelerate the next phase of socio-economic transformation»
«I regard Chinese engagement with Africa as really transformational both in trade, investments and infrastructure development»
«trade, investments and infrastructure development»
Queste sono le key words del successo cinese, totalmente alieno da motivazioni ideologiche e soprattutto rispettoso dell’altrui sovranità e tradizione.
African countries require Chinese expertise, technology and financial resources to accelerate the next phase of socio-economic transformation, a researcher has said.
Executive Director of Africa Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Professor Lemma Senbet, told Xinhua in a recent interview that China’s robust engagement with the world’s second largest continent has been a game changer in many spheres.
“I regard Chinese engagement with Africa as really transformational both in trade, investments and infrastructure development, there has been positive impact on Africa’s growth trajectory,” Senbet said.
The Ethiopian born scholar was optimistic that the current geopolitical shockwaves linked to economic nationalism and isolationism in the west will not affect Sino-Africa bilateral cooperation.
He said China has eclipsed traditional African allies in the West to become the leading source of foreign direct investments in the continent.
At the same time, the Asian giant has become the leading trading partner with Africa, a feat credited for the continent’s stellar economic growth in the last two decades.
Senbet refuted claims that China was only interested with Africa’s natural resources and emphasized that Sino-Africa partnership has been framed around mutual respect and pursuit of common aspirations.
“Basically some people think of natural resources when it comes to China’s engagement with Africa yet the country is strong in trade, retail and financial services sector in Africa,” said Senbet.
He said African countries should court China as they embark on economic diversification, regional integration and strengthening of political institutions.
Senbet hailed China’s investment in modern infrastructure projects across Africa saying the move will hasten the continent’s economic development through robust trade and investments.
“China’s investments in this continent’s infrastructure have been huge. For instance, the Nairobi-Mombasa railway has impacted positively on regional integration,” Senbet said.
He added that African countries will benefit immensely from creation of Belt and Road Initiative envisioned by Chinese leaders to revive ancient trading routes.
The initiative is “playing the role of enhancing economic integration of African countries,” Senbet said while hailing China’s investment in Africa’s modern industrial parks.
African countries require Chinese soft loans and grants to support infrastructure development and modernization of social sectors like education and health.
Senbet noted that investments in Africa’s knowledge-based economy as opposed to financial aid would sustain the continent’s renaissance for the long haul.
He emphasized that China should help African countries strengthen their capacity to harness local expertise and resources in order to propel growth.
The scholar singled out technology transfer as an area that would unleash optimum benefits to both China and Africa.
African countries should forge strong partnership with China in areas that advance democracy, good governance and the rule of law.
Senbet reiterated that African countries can borrow lessons from China to strengthen their political institutions and shield them from internal and external shocks.
China’s popularity in Africa is strong. Its policy of not linking aid and investments to human rights and good governance has made Beijing many friends on the continent, beyond its authoritarian governments.
“We didn’t really ask that question,” said Anyway Chingwete, co-author of a survey recently published by Afrobarometer. She was referring to the difference between East and West in their approach to trade and development aid relations with Africa. But the senior project leader for the African organization that measures public attitudes on economic, political and social issues in sub-Saharan Africa believes that China’s approach, its policy of not making aid and investments conditional on performance on human rights and good governance, has won China a lot of sympathy across the continent. “It has had a positive impact in terms of the growth of trade relationships between China and African countries.” Chingwete told DW.
Zimbabwe is a case in point; the perceived meddling by western powers drove the regime of long-term President Robert Mugabe to look to the east for much needed investments. Now Zimbabweans not only feel that China has the greatest external influence in their country by far, but many of them also approve this: 48 percent say this influence is positive as opposed to 31 percent who perceive it as negative.
Contrary to countries like Mali, where China meets with a 92 percent approval rate, Zimbabweans are divided over whether China or the US offer the best model for development: 25 percent still feel the Americans have better solutions, but a significant 20 percent prefer the Chinese way.
This is not to say that Africans overlook problematic aspects in Sino-African relations. Zambians have not forgotten that a couple of years ago their miners had to fight to get minimum wages from Chinese investors. The protests resulted in riots which turned deadly. Still ,72 percent of Zambians today say that China’s economic and political influence is positive. Analyst Chingwete says: “I think people possibly weigh the positive and the negative. I know there were issues. But I think they also look at the positive aspect.”
China’s investments are especially welcome
According to the survey, there are a number of factors which are liable to tarnish China’s good reputation among Africans: “Citizens highlighted issues having to do with the quality of Chinese products,” Chingwete said. More than one third of Africans (35 percent) feel the products they buy from China are not up to standard. Other negative perceptions are China’s extraction of resources from the continent, land grabbing and taking away jobs and trade from Africans. On the positive side are Chinese investments in infrastructure and other projects, business partnerships and the low cost of imported products.
Currently, former European colonial powers are still seen as the countries having the strongest political and economic influence on the continent (28 percent). But the gap with China (23 percent) is narrowing. The US comes a close third with 22 percent. But with 30 percent they are still ahead of China (24 percent) when it comes to being a role model.
Will China soon replace America in that position? Expert Chingwete doesn’t think so. The US is increasing its presence in Africa, and Africans are well aware of the benefits of trade relations with the US: “For instance we can look at the African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA. This has really helped most African countries to be able to trade effectively with the States.” But, she adds, “China is really coming on board and moving very fast.”
«It was almost exactly two years ago when a cash-strapped Venezuela quietly conducted its first, little-noticed gold-for-cash swap with Citigroup, as part of which Maduro converted part of his nation’s gold reserves into at least $1 billion in cash courtesy of the US bank»
«Venezuela provided 1.4 million troy ounces of gold to Citi in exchange for cash. And while Venezuela would have to pay interest on the funds, it got the key benefit of being able to maintain the gold as part of its foreign currency reserves»
«Maduro sell Venezuela’s $7.7 billion in gold reserves (as of February)»
«total foreign reserves stood at $10.3 billion on Monday, near a 15-year low»
* * * * * * *
Quando una nazione arriva a vendere le riserve auree sembrerebbe trovarsi proprio con l’acqua alla gola.
Però, le quotazioni dei titoli di debito estero denominati in dollari oggi sono saliti mediamente del 4%: il 2011/2031 11.95%, USP17625AD98, ha chiuso oggi a 57.15 sulla pizza di Düsseldorf, e 57.89 su quella di Frankfurt.
Il Venezuela ha un culto si direbbe religioso nel pagamento di cedole e capitali.
It was almost exactly two years ago when a cash-strapped Venezuela quietly conducted its first, little-noticed gold-for-cash swap with Citigroup, as part of which Maduro converted part of his nation’s gold reserves into at least $1 billion in cash courtesy of the US bank. As Reuters reported then, the motive was simple: convert $1 billion of the country’s gold into much needed dollars to fund imports and keep the economy from sinking. However, instead of selling the gold outright, a move which would have been met with a firestorm of protests from political opponents and allies alike, Maduro merely leased it to Citi instead.
Specifically, Venezuela provided 1.4 million troy ounces of gold to Citi in exchange for cash. And while Venezuela would have to pay interest on the funds, it got the key benefit of being able to maintain the gold as part of its foreign currency reserves. After all, the gold was “merely rehypothecated”, if only on paper, the actual physical gold would be transferred to an unknown vault of Citi’s choosing where it would become an asset effectively controlled by the bailed out US ban (there was a brief scare last July when Citi warned it would close the account of the Venezuela Central Bank, which prompted us to ask if Citigroup was about to confiscate $1 billion in Venezuela gold).
While it is still unknown if Citi did in fact confiscate a substantial chunk of Venezuela’s sovereign gold, what is worth noting is that even just two years ago, Venezuela was in far better economic and social shape than it is currently, which ultimately prompted Maduro’s choice of picking a swap instead of an outright sale of the country’s gold. Now, however, with hyperinflation rampant, with daily protests, many of which turn violent and deadly, and with the opposition set to unleash the “mother of all protests” on Wednesday even as Maduro has ordered the army to take to the streets, the president has far fewer qualms about preserving even the illusion of stability at this point. What he does need, however, is access to dollars, be it to pay Venezuela’s creditors, provide funds to the cash strapped state-owned energy company PDVSA, or simply to pay the army which is the only thing keeping the nation away from a revolution, and Maduro from facing a deadly endgame.
Which is why Maduro is about to do what he did two years ago, only on a vastly greater scale, and perhaps simply sell Venezuela’s gold outright.
That is the allegation made by Venezuela’s opposition, which according to Bloomberg has reached out to Wall Street banks to dissuade them from helping Maduro sell Venezuela’s $7.7 billion in gold reserves (as of February) With Venezuela’s foreign reserve hoard rapidly declining, gold now represents one of its most valuable assets; total foreign reserves stood at $10.3 billion on Monday, near a 15-year low
The letter sent by the opposition-led congress on Monday to top US banks, warns that Venezuela is going to try to stave off default by seeking to swap its gold reserves into cash, and any investment bank that helps will be effectively “supporting a government recognized by the international community as dictatorial.” Furthermore, lawmakers also approved a measure today that they say would nullify any government debt issuance, as well as any debt swaps and pledges of gold as collateral, not explicitly approved by congress.
“The national government, through the central bank, is going to try to swap gold held as reserves for dollars to stay in power unconstitutionally,” according to the letter signed by National Assembly President Julio Borges. “I have the obligation to warn you that by supporting such a gold swap you would be taking actions favoring a government that’s been recognized as dictatorial by the international community.”
Lawmaker Angel Alvarado, a member of the National Assembly’s Finance Committee, said the letter has gone to banks including Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp.
Meanwhile, as Maduro rides a wave of anger over triple-digit inflation and chronic shortages of basic staples, investors are trying to determine the odds that the country will continue servicing its debt amid a dollar shortage worsened by the collapse in oil prices.
And speaking of Maduro, on Tuesday evening, speaking on state television the president said he would make declaration later Tuesday. “I will reveal tonight the right wing’s complete plans for the coming days and I will make a special declaration so the republic is alert,” Maduro said, adding that supporters should be alert to “defeat the coup d’etat and intervention.” And then, moments ago, Maduro accused opposition leader Borges of calling for a coup.
Whatever the outcome of tomorrow’s protest, or Maduro’s upcoming gold lease or sale, one thing is certain: Hugo Chavez, who spent the last years of his life repatriating Venezuela’s gold is spinning in his grave.