Archive for April 2011


April 28, 2011

by Ellen Brown


If the Gaddafi government goes down, it will be interesting to watch whether the new central bank joins the BIS, whether the nationalized oil industry gets sold off to investors, and whether education and health care continue to be free. 

Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank – this before they even had a government. Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:

I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences. (more…)


Financial Heist of the Century: Confiscating Libya’s Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF)

April 27, 2011

by Manlio Dinucci
The objective of the war against Libya is not just its oil reserves (now estimated at 60 billion barrels), which are the greatest in Africa and whose extraction costs are among the lowest in the world, nor the natural gas reserves of which are estimated at about 1,500 billion cubic meters. In the crosshairs of “willing” of the operation “Unified Protector” there are sovereign wealth funds, capital that the Libyan state has invested abroad. (more…)

Why patients are not consumers

April 25, 2011


Republican budget guru Paul Ryan has a plan to end Medicare as we know it to be replaced with a series of less-generous vouchers. The House of Representatives has voted to implement this plan. The political side of this has been written about a lot, and I am not going to rehash what has been better covered elsewhere. I do want to address what seems to be a persistent fallacy or delusion which is held to a near-religious level by many free-market conservatives: The idea that market economics can have an impact on health care costs.

This concept has underpinned every major Republican health care plan since, well, since Mitt Romney’s proto-ObamaCare reforms. The idea is that consumers, when they have “skin in the game,” and when they are empowered and incentivized to see that their money is spent efficiently and only as necessary, will change their health care consumption behavior in a way which will force providers to compete on cost and quality and thus drive down costs. (more…)

Apple: the hidden costs of your iPad and iPhone

April 21, 2011

Eifion Rees

4th April, 2011

It may have billion-pound profits and gushing praise for technological innovation but Apple is increasingly in the spotlight over its labour rights and environmental record. Eifion Rees reports on the ‘sweatshop brand’

 Thinner, lighter, faster… The iPad 2, recently launched in the UK, is the latest in a proliferating number of touch-screen devices from computer giant Apple.

It arrives on these shores a mere 12 months after the advent of the original iPad and the fourth-generation iPhone. Since 2007, when the first iPhone was launched, Apple’s smartphones and tablet computers have taken the world by storm.

But in recent years the company has faced criticism for its less than exemplary environmental and social record – including the use of toxic chemicals, a secretive supply chain and a lack of general commitment to green issues. Unlike other companies, it refuses to set future targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and does not produce corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. (more…)

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