Higher you climb, harder you fall

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, October 26th 2008

Trini PeopleLAST week, when I suggested that the masses of poor and middle-income people across the world may yet have the last laugh in the midst of the global financial crisis, many readers laughed at me. “You can’t be serious?” several of my friends called to ask, exploding into loud guffaws. “Of course I am,” I responded. I proceeded to explain why I thought the super-wealthy would cry more tears than the wretched of the earth.
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PM: We never planned to buy 200 luxury cars

Ria Taitt Political Editor
Tuesday, October 21st 2008

PM Patrick ManningPrime Minister Patrick Manning on Saturday told the PNM General Council meeting that Government never had any intention of purchasing 200 luxury vehicles to transport VIPs during the two major international conferences to be held in Port of Spain next year.

Manning told the meeting that he did not know where this notion came from. He noted that this country had hosted conferences before, and the Government never purchased vehicles for this.
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Only the poor will survive

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, October 19th 2008

Trini PeopleOUR economists, bankers, stockbrokers, manufacturers, multi-millionaires and politicians will argue and wrestle over the next few months over where Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is heading. As a member of the lower-middle-income group (call us LMIGs), a sizeable portion of our population, I can only look on at what’s happening globally. I see financial fallouts in which individuals and corporations are losing billions of dollars a day. That boggles the minds of those of us who have never seen a million TT dollars in paper, far less billions.
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In Trinidad, the piper calls the tune

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, October 12th 2008

PNMI grew to dislike Budget presentations and the debates that followed them during my five short years as a parliamentarian. For most of that period, the then Prime Minister, Dr Eric Williams, was also Minister of Finance. Like most intellectuals who were also heads of governments in that era, Williams reveled in making lengthy presentations. Having a captive audience comprising 35 MPs, a number of senators and other high-ranking public officials who felt it was their duty to be present for the budget, Williams would drone on and on, sometimes for five, six hours.
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Latin American and Caribbean Unity

By Noam Chomsky
October 2nd 2008; ZNet

CaribbeanThis talk was given to the VII Social Summit for Latin American and Caribbean Unit, via video feed.

During the past decade, Latin America has become the most exciting region of the world. The dynamic has very largely flowed from right where you are meeting, in Caracas, with the election of a leftist president dedicated to using Venezuela’s rich resources for the benefit of the population rather than for wealth and privilege at home and abroad, and to promote the regional integration that is so desperately needed as a prerequisite for independence, for democracy, and for meaningful development. The initiatives taken in Venezuela have had a significant impact throughout the subcontinent, what has now come to be called “the pink tide.” The impact is revealed within the individual countries, most recently Paraguay, and in the regional institutions that are in the process of formation. Among these are the Banco del Sur, an initiative that was endorsed here in Caracas a year ago by Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz; and the ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean, which might prove to be a true dawn if its initial promise can be realized.
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60 Minutes: A Look at Wallstreet’s Shadow Market

October 05, 2008
CBS News

Wall St.Steve Kroft looks at some of the arcane Wall Street financial instruments that have magnified the economic crisis.

It began with a terrible bet that was magnified by reckless borrowing, complex securities, and a vast, unregulated shadow market worth nearly $60 trillion that hid the risks until it was too late to do anything about them.

And as correspondent Steve Kroft reports, it’s far from being over.
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Why is T&T Not Talking to the Venezuelans

By Stephen Kangal
October 08, 2008

Trinidad and Tobago and VenezuelaPrior to the commencement of the TT/Barbados Maritime Boundary Arbitration I wrote in March 2004 to former Minister of Foreign Affairs Knowlson Gift advising that T&T should hold immediate consultations with our Venezuelan treaty partner with respect to collaborating on the defence of the maritime boundary that they jointly established by treaty in 1990. Points 1 to 22 of the boundary are illustrated in the chart below.
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Vision and visionaries to steer us through crisis

By Raffique Shah
October 05, 2008

Wall St.With Ronald Reagan now dead and Margaret Thatcher barely alive, I shall resist the urge to blame this global financial crisis solely on them. In many ways, they cannot be blamed for today’s debacle. Some enterprises Thatcher divested should never have been state-owned: a trucking business (National Freight Corporation), 27 railway hotels, carmakers Jaguar and Rolls-Royce. Why would any government engage in such ventures?
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