Archive | 3:29 pm

My Favorite for Miss Atom 2009

20 Feb
Photo Gallery: Bombshells in the Nuclear Industry (Der Spiegel)

Readers will wait a long time for a photo of a blond woman in an East Asian-themed blog, so run with this tantalizing shot of a woman who perhaps shouldn’t be anywhere near a nuclear reaction. “The 25-year-old describes herself as a ‘capricious, impatient, individualist with a pragmatic approach to life and an adventurous mind.'”

Perhaps she’s not the optimal candidate to assure Russians about the safety of its nuclear industry.

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Our Mother’s Labor Pains

20 Feb

Capitalism is not dead; it’s just pregnant with the next capitalism!

The current crisis shows how far we have come from that model. Financial globalization, in particular, played havoc with the old rules. When Chinese-style capitalism met American-style capitalism, with few safety valves in place, it gave rise to an explosive mix. There were no protective mechanisms to prevent a global liquidity glut from developing, and then, in combination with US regulatory failings, from producing a spectacular housing boom and crash. Nor were there any international roadblocks to prevent the crisis from spreading from its epicenter.

The lesson is not that capitalism is dead. It is that we need to reinvent it for a new century in which the forces of economic globalization are much more powerful than before. Just as Smith’s minimal capitalism was transformed into Keynes’ mixed economy, we need to contemplate a transition from the national version of the mixed economy to its global counterpart.

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Two Green Thumbs Up for Clinton

20 Feb

Clinton in Indonesia (The Economist)On the American secretary of state’s first trip to East Asia and Indonesia, the center-right Economist‘s take is laudatory – and not just by contrast.

Yet East Asia was somewhat neglected under Mr Bush, especially in the second term. The cause was partly bureaucratic. After it was launched in 2006, the “strategic economic dialogue” with China came to dominate the bilateral relationship at the expense of broader issues such as security and human rights. At times, it seemed relations were the sole preserve of the former treasury secretary, Hank Paulson.

As for the State Department, its East Asia agenda was consumed by North Korea, which exploded a nuclear device in October 2006. Mr Bush’s assistant secretary of state for the region, Christopher Hill (who accompanied Mrs Clinton), focused on little else. This irked Japan. Not only did the United States appear to be neglecting its biggest Asian ally. Japanese and South Korean warnings against over-hasty deals with North Korea were also ignored.

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