January 2009

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The World Economic Forum 2009: Implications of Financial Crisis for Africa

The opening morning session of the World Economic Forum  traditionally focuses on the "Global Economy." This year the forum is taking place in Davos from 29 January to 1 February 2009. The session is convened by Michael Elliot, the editor of Time International. On the opening panel this year were Trevor Manuel, Finance Minister of South Africa; Justin Yifu Lin, Senior Vice President and Senior Economist at the World Bank; Ferit F. Sahenk, Chairman, Dogus Group, Turkey; Heizo...

The World Social Forum 2009: A Better World is Possible

In stark contrast to the World Economic Forum (WEF) taking place in icy Davos, its counterpoint event, The World Social Forum (WSF) is taking place in another hemisphere in balmy Belem, Brazil.  The differences between the two events don't end with the weather. At the WSF, social activists from all over the world and the most marginalized communities gather to discuss issues under the theme: "A better world is Possible." At this year's event, which took pace from 26-29...

CEO Ethics

The World Economic Forum is taking place from 28 Jan to 01 Feb 2009 in Davos, Switzerland. From most reports, it sounds like a gloomy event where some of the chief culprits behind the global financial crisis are gathering for their annual hobnob. This time round, some navel gazing is anticipated. Pablo Camacho won the 2009 YouTube Davos Debates competition that posed the question: Should CEOs have a code of ethics? This clip is his winning entry. Winning the competition has given...

Madoff and the Flaying Trust in Capitalism

Picture: masternewmedia.org Saliem Fakir - Every-time capitalism is hit by a crisis it is described as being an errant event. The latest scandal which has rocked the US financial sector, where trusted and the likeable figure Bernie Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme for almost two decades, is once again dismissed as the work of a rogue element. But rarely will the pundits of the new economy, which rely on the use of innovative speculative financial instruments to make inflated profits from thin air, blame its faulty free market philosophy and...

Health for Sale

An excerpt from the documentary Health for Sale, which poses the question: "Are the world's largest drug companies, paradoxically, major obstacles to making a healthier world?" The ten largest pharmaceutical companies form the so-called "big pharma." They control the world's pharmaceutical market. In 2004, global spending on prescription drugs amounted to five hundred billion dollars. In 2002, big pharma's overall profit amounted to 35.9 billion dollars....

Noam Chomsky: Obama's Stance on the Gaza Crisis is Similar to the Bush Position

Picture: Barack Obama Democracy Now - JUAN GONZALEZ: President Obama has made his first substantive remarks on the crisis in Gaza since being elected. Obama was speaking at the State Department, flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as he named two key envoys. Retired Senate majority leader George Mitchell, who negotiated a lasting agreement in Northern Ireland, will be Middle East envoy. And Richard Holbrooke, who brokered a deal in the Balkans in the mid-1990s, will be envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In his...