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Muddy Waters – I’m a Man, M-A-N

By Gary Burnett in Arts and Culture, November 27, 2013

The song has become something of a blues standard with its raunchy lyrics which nevertheless betray a stronger message about a Jim Crow South where a black man would always be referred to as a “boy”, a black “man” was just too much of a threat.

Frankenstein’s Bankers

By Keith Fisher in Economics and Finance, November 26, 2013

It is now 5 years since the banking crash but its effects are still with us. What exactly happened, what has the world done about it, and is there anything to stop something similar happening again? “

China’s Third Plenum: great expectations

By François Godement in Politics, November 21, 2013

While there is still hope for change, there is overabundant evidence that Mr. Xi’s dream for China does not include the major reform that many hope for.

Hello Warsaw, This Is Haiyan Calling

By Walden Bello in Environment, November 18, 2013

The super typhoon that just hit the Philippines should be a wake-up call for climate-change negotiators in Warsaw. This year, the big climate polluters must be denounced for their continued refusal to take the steps needed to save the world from the destruction that their carbon-intensive economies have unleashed on us all.

Winter chill over Hungary’s autumn

By Yudit Kiss in Politics, November 15, 2013

The only electoral promise Fidesz has fulfilled has been the “restoration of order”, through a myriad of laws, decrees and regulations and a harsh new Penal Code. Also, assets have been re-distributed to create a new class of loyal, privileged, crony capitalists.

Is the U.S. Losing Saudi Arabia to China?

By Daniel Wagner - Giorgio Cafiero in Politics, November 3, 2013

Saudi Arabia’s declared foreign policy shift away from the U.S. in favour of China is a genuine cause for concern in Washington although a fully-fledged “divorce” from the U.S. appears unlikely.

Budget Wars:1575 Version

By Carlos Álvarez-Nogal - Christophe Chamley in Economics and Finance, October 21, 2013

The recent US debt ceiling showdown was a game of chicken over the repayment of sovereign debt. There was an analogous historical episode in 16th century Spain, in which city delegates resisted tax increases but the resulting bank failures and credit freeze caused lasting economic damage.

The Winter of Content

By Carl Rowlands in Economics and Finance, October 16, 2013

One of the last books that economist and public intellectual JK Galbraith wrote in his long and illustrious career, The Culture of Contentment (1992), has passed into relative obscurity. This is a shame, as it may offer a prophetic glimpse into the long-term, paradoxical consequences of the Reagan-Thatcher era.

At the UN, a Latin American rebellion

By Laura Carlsen in Politics,

Latin American leaders are reclaiming a right to differentiate their views from Washington’s. This year’s UN general debate became a forum for widespread dissent and anger at U.S. policies that seek to control a hemisphere that has clear aspirations for greater independence.

Eritrea, a generation in flight

By Selam Kidane in Politics,

Many of the hundreds of Africans drowned off the Italian coast came from Eritrea. Why are they so desperate to leave their country? When Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki is asked to explain the exodus of his people, he lays the blame on an international conspiracy.