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G-7 Solution to Global Financial Crisis-A Marshall Plan for Creditors and Speculators

A Marshall Plan for Creditors and Speculators Michel Chossudovsky FOLLOWING the dramatic nosedive of the Russian rouble, financial markets around the world had plummeted to abysmally low levels. The Dow Jones plunged by 554 points on August 31, its second largest decline in the history of the New York Slock Exchange. In the uncertain wake of 'black September 1998', G-7 ministers of finance had gathered hastily in Washington. On their political agenda; a multibillion dollar plan to avert the risks of a worldwide financial meltdown. In the words of its political architects US treasury secretary Robert Rubin and UK chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown: "we must do more to...limit the swings of booms and busts that destroy hope and diminish wealth".1 Announced by president Bill Clinton in late October, the G-7 proposal to install a 90 billion dollar fund "to help protect vulnerable but essentially healthy nations" from currency and stock market speculation will go down in history as the biggest financial scam of the post-war era.

Political Economy of Agrarian Conflicts in India

Conflicts in India C Chandramohan dependence and reciprocal obligations, both economic and social. The landlord by virtue of his large landholdings was in a position to ensure food security for his household as well as that of his clients. He exercised full control over the clients and granted patronage to them. The clients needed the land to cultivate and farm- work for sustenance and the landlords patronage and support to help tide over crisis periods and in turn they offered their service, deference and loyalty. General protection and welfare of attached labour households was the responsibility of the landlords. The landlords were also generous enough to extend some loans to workers [Jose George 1984], Tenant cultivation and sharecropping were quite common and rents were based on customary rates [Biggs 1976].

Kerala CPI(M) All That Is Solid Melts into Air

Kerala CPI(M): All That Is Solid Melts into Air K T Rammohan With party unity reaching breaking point and the fact becoming increasingly transparent to the public eye, the polit bureau of the CPI(M) has finally conceded that the Kerala party is plagued by 'groupism'. The polit bureau would, however, prefer to project the development as the result of a 'clash of egos'. Yet egos do not clash in a vacuum; the clashes are possibly manifestations of certain tendencies and expressions of specific interests and sections. What are these tendencies and which are these interests and sections?

Of Capital and Other Punishments

In a country like India where extreme social stratification and increasing social turmoil are likely to sharply affect the ideas and opinions of people, including judicial officers, putting in human hands the discretion to take life can be quite dangerous. Conflict and turmoil apart, the very deep stratification of Indian society makes even-handed dispensation of justice a problematic thing in the best of times. We live in times of severe social turmoil and the ascendance of the extremely illiberal politics of the Hindu fanatics. As this mood catches on we are going to find the courts silently handing out more and more harsh punishments, bending backward to look at evidence from the policemen's point of view and sending more and more people to the hangman. It is in this context that the debate on capital punishment must be conducted.

Rating Agencies and Capital Market Reform A Plea for Self-Regulation

Rating Agencies and Capital Market Reform: A Plea for Self-Regulation D N Ghosh There have been several instances in recent times of the market not taking kindly to the actions of rating agencies. The merits of individual rating opinions apart, what is of concern are the nature of the differences in perceptions and the reasons why the rating agencies lay themselves open to criticism. The key issues.

Nuclear Race in South Asia

Mahbub ul Haq IT will come to you as no surprise that I fully endorse the thesis that there should be a genuine commitment by the existing nuclear powers to a concrete timetable for nuclear disarmament. The recent and unfortunate nuclear tests of India and Pakistan should be seen as a part of this problem, not isolated from this international commitment to nuclear disarmament.

Capitalism and Globalisation in the Light of the Communist Manifesto

Light of the Communist Manifesto IN one way or another, the Manifesto is even more true today than in 1849 when it was written. Marx was first and foremost a student and critic of capitalism, Marx explained, through the scientific method, dialectical materialism known as historical materialism, how competition and 'free enterprise' would inevitably lead to the concentration of capital and the monopolisation of the productive forces.

Reservation for Women-Challenge of Tackling Counter-Productive Trends

Challenge of Tackling Counter-Productive Trends Medha Nanivadekar IF one is to go by the statements of the ministers in the BJP-led coalition government, the 81 st constitutional amendment bill seems to be on its way out of the cold storage where it was dumped by the Gujral government. Now the bill is likely to be reintroduced after the parliament meets in July 1998. It is intriguing to note that the bill still faces an uncertain future in spite of the fact that all major national political parties have committed themselves to 33 per cent reservation for women in state assemblies as well as the Lok Sabha in their election manifestos for 1996 and 1998 Lok Sabha elections. "The women's movement has till date, opposed all attempts to use its demand for one third reservation as a bargaining counter, because any dilution now will be ultimately targeted at the panchayat raj provision to which the movement has given the first priority" [ Vina Mazumdar, Seminar, September 1997, p 19].

Multiculturalism, Group Rights, and Identity Politics

and Identity Politics NaliniRajan DESPITE the Hindu nationalist rhetoric, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's slogan of 'one nation, one culture, one people' has its roots in post-Renaissance European thought. English classical liberalism from John Locke to J S Mill took the culturally homogeneous nation-state for granted. Even the classical republicanism of Rousseau, as embodied in the practices of the French revolution, maintained that the national assembly expressed the general will of the people of a homogeneous nation-state.

Mainstreaming Indigenous Knowledge-Developing Jeevani

The Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute in Kerala has successfully produced an anti stress drug from a local plant using the indigenous knowledge of the local tribals, the Kanis. In its attempts to share the benefits accruing from this development with the kanis, it has encountered numerous problems, THE Kani tribals are a traditionally nomadic community, who now lead a primarily settled life in the forests of the Agasthyamalai hills of the Western Ghats, in the Thiruvanantha- puram district of Kerala. The Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI), a centre for plant research is an autonomous institution for research and development set up by the government of Kerala, One of the major aims of the institute is to carry out botanical, chemical and pharmacological research for the development of scientifically validated and standardised herbal drugs.

US-Iraq Conflict and Global Intellectual Community-Some Unasked Questions

Intellectual Community Some Unasked Questions Daya Krishna THE almost complete silence of 'intellectuals' all lover the world regarding the US behaviour in its conflict with Iraq is a cause for grave concern as they are supposed to be the 'conscience keepers' of the world and vigilant critics of those who are in power. The 'brahmanical function of the intellectual class vis-a-vis those who exercise the ruling function in any society or polity is one of the crucial factors in restraining those who rule from departing too much from the path of 'dharma' or righteousness. It is true that those who have wealth or power seldom listen to those who talk of rightful conduct either in the context of seeking wealth or power. Yet, however ineffectual, the function has to be exercised at least by those who have themselves not become 'instruments' of whoever controls the centres of wealth and power.

Labour of Sisyphus, Feast of the Barmecide-The Sentence and the Promise in Development Studies

The Sentence and the Promise in Development Studies T V Sathyamurthy IN the double metaphor that I have chosen for the title, I have attempted to capture the fate of a majority of people in the industrially less advanced countries during the last 50 years(as well as increasing numbers of people in the less unadvanced countries of the world). The myth of Sisyphus is a familiar one. My guess is that the story of the Barmecide is less well known, In Homer, the myth of Sisyphus constitutes a powerful evocation of endless punishment. The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock uphill to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that, in the words of Camus, there is no more dreadful punishment than "futile and hapless labour", wasted and unrewarding labour, I should like to add, The fabled feast of the Barmecide is described in an Arabian Nights story in which a wandering mendicant, famished and thirsty, was led into the presence of a Barmecide (a prince) presiding over a sumptuously furnished and well-provided desert equivalent of a palace. Having led the visitor to believe that he was about to be served an elaborate feast and choice wines, the Barmecide kept the victim engaged in endless conversation at the same time as keeping his appetite stoked by the delicious culinary smells and the gurgling sound of pouring bottles floating out of the adjacent room. Neither the feast nor the wines materialised, even though the guest was compelled to appreciate a virtual feast to the accompaniment of real gestures with the appropriate senses.

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