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Showing posts from September 9, 2018

3 Mistakes that Led to the 2008 Financial Crisis (All of Which We're Repeating)

Foundation for Economic Education   So long as the people in charge insist on governing the financial system through rules that no individual or group of individuals can hope to master, they will continue to overlook looming crashes. Wednesday, September 12, 2018   Diego Zuluaga Economics   2008 Financial Crisis   Great Recession   Money and Banking   Regulation It is a decade since the financial crisis, and no one is happy. Progressives like Elizabeth Warren and John McDonnell think the guilty bankers went unpunished. Free-marketeers despair over the absence of meaningful reforms to discourage risk-taking on the taxpayer’s dime. Ordinary people across much of the West have only seen tepid growth since 2008. In response, they are turning to political extremes that promise protection from competition and change. There is broad consensus that three key factors led Western economies astray in late 2008. It might have been different. People of good will may disagree on how free

Sino-Japanese ties keep warming

TRIVIUM CHINA Sino-Japanese ties keep warming Frosty relations with Japan have shown marked improvement in recent months. The latest sign of warming came on Wednesday,  when Xi Jinping met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladisvostok. Xi was positive  (Xinhua): “'China-Japan relations have entered the right track and are facing an important opportunity for improvement,' Xi said.” Abe was similarly upbeat  (Asahi Shimbun): “’The horizon for cooperation between Japan and China has widened as exchanges and dialogue over a large number of areas have become much more active…,’ Abe said.” Xi said the Belt and Road offers opportunities to deepen ties  (Xinhua): "The Belt and Road Initiative has provided a new platform and experimental field for China and Japan to deepen their mutually beneficial cooperation.” But don’t get too excited.  Relations remain far from perfect (Xinhua): “'The Japanese side in particular

China's political influence and Interference activities in US universities

REPORT : A Preliminary Study of PRC Political Influence and Interference Activities in American Higher Education WILSON CENTER Over the past two decades, PRC diplomats stationed in the United States have infringed on the academic freedom of American university faculty, students, administrators, and staff by: ● Complaining to universities about invited speakers and events; ● Pressuring and/or offering inducements to faculty whose work involves content deemed sensitive by the PRC authorities (hereafter,“sensitive content”); and ● Retaliating against American universities’ cooperative initiatives with PRC partner institutions PRC diplomats have also infringed on the personal safety of people at American universities by: ● Probing faculty and staff for information in a manner consistent with intelligence collection; and ● Employing intimidating modes of conversation A small number of PRC students have infringed on the academic free- dom of American university

DIGITAL DIPLOMACY MYTHS Jul 16, 2018   by Corneliu Bjola In the introductory chapter to the edited volume on  Digital Diplomacy: Theory and Practice  that Marcus Holmes and I published four years ago, I asked the question of whether digital technologies could be seen as a harbinger of change for diplomacy by revolutionizing the way diplomats perform their traditional functions of representation, communication and negotiation. As the question remains valid today, it might be useful to take stock of the common conceptions and misconceptions of digital diplomacy so that we can get a better picture of how digital technologies have shaped expectations about diplomatic practice in the past decade and how digital diplomacy may continue to evolve in the coming years. The Superman Myth The first and surprisingly common misconception about digital diplomacy is  the Superman myth,  which claims that digital technology can grant extraordinary powers to


WHY PUBLIC DIPLOMACY MATTERS ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA A PD Goes Local Event From summit diplomacy to sports diplomacy, the role of public diplomacy continues to grow when it comes to security challenges on the Korean Peninsula. In the Western hemisphere, many questions arise: How does the American public view U.S. policy toward North Korea and the core issue of denuclearization? How critical is public diplomacy in dealing with these tensions? What diplomatic options exist for furthering dialogue and rebuilding peace in the region? The USC Center on Public Diplomacy, the  Indiana University School of Global and International Studies  and  The International Center  will bring together leading experts in public opinion and public diplomacy for a timely discussion to broaden our understanding of the critical issues in this volatile region. Panelists include: Ira Helfand , MD,  Physicians for Social Responsibility, Co-Chair, Nuclear Weapons Abolition Committee, and member of the steer

Italy’s Diplomacy Is Floundering in the Mediterranean

OPINION  - September 4, 2018 By  Enrico Trotta There’s no doubt that the Mediterranean Sea has played a decisive role in elevating Italy’s stature on the world stage. The Romans referred to it as “Mare Nostrum” (“Our Sea”), a rather self-explanatory term that attested to Rome’s quest for maritime dominance. Throughout the Middle Ages, Italian merchants staked generous amounts of money and energy on this maritime crossroads of civilizations, eventually dominating it for many years. The resulting emergence of the Maritime Republics (e.g. Venice, Genoa) represented the capstone of Italy’s commercial and diplomatic thrust in the Mediterranean. In recent years, several Italian political figures urged to parlay Italy’s historical symbiosis with the Mediterranean into a leading role in the region. Former Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano  asserted  that Italy “knows better than any other country the language of the Mediterranean.” The term “Mare Nostrum” was dusted off by Former I

Book Release: "Story of the Baluch"

Donya-e-Eqtesad Publications, based in Tehran, is going to release a 7-volume anthropological work on Baluch tribes in southeastern Iran, written by researcher, anthropologist and author Mahmoud Zand-Moqaddam. Titled “ Story of the Baluch ,” the work will be released next week. It is the outcome of 50 years of research of the Baluchis living in Sistan and Baluchestan, according to the public relations of Donya-e Eqtesad Publications. Zand-Moqaddam’s study of the Baluchis started in 1963 when the Statistics Center of Iran sent him to the southeast region on a mission to prepare a report on the livelihood of Baluch households. The mission led to Zand-Moqaddam getting closely involved in the lives of the famous Baluch tribes. Later he undertook his own research on the people and kept traveling to and across the region at his own expense.The 7-volume work covers various aspects in the lives of the Baluchis, including culture, tradition, rituals, beliefs, livelihood, habits, history and

Allah Bux's darkest afternoon didn't end yet.

Art work by Zakir Sheran Baloch for the abducted women  It was the evening of 22nd July 2018, and the horrifying text messages from Balochistan were bombarding at my cell phone as usual. A message from them was of Allah Bux's life darkest afternoon, mentioning the abduction of his family members which included Allah Bux's wife Noor Malik, his two daughters Haseena and Sameena by Pakistani forces. The incident which took place made me awake all night, all I was thinking possibilities which can take place in military custody, reflecting Pakistan's terror war in Bangladesh in 1970's. Later I sought for their relatives so that through them I could reach Allah Bux and know the whole happenings of that day, and could make people aware about it too, Somehow I succeeded to contact Mr. Allah Bux and came to know what really happened that afternoon. It was the afternoon of 22nd July when Pakistani military surrounded and raided Allah Bux's house leaving a horrifying atmosph

CONTRASTING CHINA’S AND RUSSIA’S INFLUENCE OPERATIONS PETER MATTIS JANUARY 16, 2018 SPECIAL SERIES - MINISTRY OF TRUTH Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in “Ministry of Truth,” a special series on state-sponsored influence operations. A series of scandals from  Russian meddling in the U.S. elections  to China’s influence over Western politicians, like  Australian Sen. Sam Dastyari  and  U.S. Sen. Steve Daines , has brought American attention back to the Cold War-style fight for influence and narratives. Congress has started to act, incorporating  counter-propaganda funding into the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act  and proposing reforms to the  Foreign Agent Registration Act  and  the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States . The United States finally may be waking up to  the challenge that its NATO allies  and  Taiwan have been facing for years . As Americans try to make sense of modern political warfare, the struggle