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Sep 01st
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A Big Regulator for the Little Investor PDF Print E-mail



ALMOST six months ago, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson proposed an ambitious consolidation of the regulatory agencies that police the nation's financial system. Unfortunately, since then the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve have been so busy reacting to crises — just this week, taking over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and trying to broker a sale of Lehman Brothers — that these long-term, systemic remedies have been punted to the next president.
On China: A New Approach to All of Asia PDF Print E-mail

By Thomas M. Donnelly

The Beijing Olympics seem like they happened years ago. But before the Games are ancient history, let me draw attention to Sophie Richardson, a director of Asia advocacy for Human Rights Watch, who recently lamented that "not a single world leader who attended the Games or members of the International Olympic Committee seized the opportunity to challenge the Chinese government's behavior in any meaningful way."
In the Seventh Year PDF Print E-mail


And in the seventh year after the fall, the dust and debris of the towers cleared. And it became plain at last what had been wrought.

For the wreckage begat greed; and it came to pass that while America's young men and women fought, other Americans enriched themselves. Beguiling the innocent, they did backdate options, and they did package toxic mortgage securities and they did reprice risk on the basis that it no more existed than famine in a fertile land.
Misery Loves Democrats PDF Print E-mail


It has come to our attention that a large number of Democrats have gone completely nuts about Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

Cheer up, Obama-ites. You're overreacting. I'll answer all your questions as long as you promise to take deep breaths into this nice paper bag.
The Power of De PDF Print E-mail


Save the home lenders, save the world? If only it were that simple.

The just-announced federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant mortgage lenders, was certainly the right thing to do — and it was done fairly well, too. The plan will sustain institutions that play a crucial role in the economy, while holding down taxpayer costs by more or less cleaning out the stockholders.

Real Wars and the U.S. Culture War PDF Print E-mail


The culture-war surge in the U.S election campaign has come at the expense of meaningful debate about the real wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's dangerous because they stand at critical junctures.

We've had Sarah Palin at the Republican National Convention setting a new low for foreign policy with her attempt to mock Barack Obama's approach to international terrorists: "He's worried that someone won't read them their rights."
An EU ban on ads with sexist overtones? Another quasi-fictional piece of translucent flimflam PDF Print E-mail

The story was a brilliant excuse to print Eva Herzigova's infamous Wonderbra ad yet again

Charlie Brooker

According to a pointless piece of eye-rolling anti-EU extrapolation that appeared in a number of newspapers, a smattering of MEPs are calling for the introduction of strict new advertising guidelines that could eventually lead to Eva Herzigova's breasts being taken out and shot.
The lessons of past economic downturns PDF Print E-mail

Adrian Hamilton

It is a sobering thought that nearly two-thirds (62 per cent to be precise) of the members of Parliament only entered the House of Commons in 1997 or after. In other words, not only have they known no other life than under a Labour government but they have known only the good times in the economy. Indeed it is only a small minority of MPs who can probably remember any of the recessions that Maggie, Major and Harold Wilson all had to endure.
Sarah Palin Speaks! PDF Print E-mail



Sarah Palin came out of hiding Wednesday night, and boy, she seemed ticked off.

"Here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to win their good opinion," said the moose-gutting, polar bear-trashing, aerobics-class-networking vice presidential nominee.

Geo-engineers, too, have a vital role in saving the planet PDF Print E-mail

Cleaner fuel will not halt climate catastrophe. We need to find pioneering solutions that alter the earth's thermal balance

Oliver Tickell

This week the Royal Society published a special edition of its journal, Philosophical Transactions, dedicated to "geo-engineering" interventions to combat global warming. Its initiative deserves to be welcomed, not rejected out of hand. The time may come when we need to geo-engineer in order to maintain our planet in a livable state.

How the Fed Can Fix the World PDF Print E-mail


SMALL rallies notwithstanding, we are experiencing the most dangerous financial period since the 1930s. In the year since this crisis erupted, huge losses have threatened the solvency of our largest financial institutions. As a result, the Federal Reserve has been forced into increasingly difficult emergency actions, including the rescues of the investment firm Bear Stearns and the mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to prevent the entire system from collapsing.

Who knows if Palin will bring victory or defeat? But the culture wars are back PDF Print E-mail

The furore surrounding McCain's running mate is a return to the old American politics of red state versus blue state

Jonathan Freedland

A race that began as the West Wing now looks alarmingly like Desperate Housewives. Six months ago, you couldn't help but notice the striking similarity between Barack Obama and Matthew Santos, the fictional but charismatic ethnic minority candidate who promised to heal America's divide. Now, you can't help but feel you're watching an especially lurid episode from Wisteria Lane, as the real-life Sarah Palin fends off rumours of a fake pregnancy - and the accusation that her son is actually her grandson - by revealing that her unmarried 17-year-old daughter is expecting a baby and will soon marry the father, a young hockey player.
Rich Man's Burden PDF Print E-mail


FOR many American professionals, the Labor Day holiday yesterday probably wasn't as relaxing as they had hoped. They didn't go into the office, but they were still working. As much as they may truly have wanted to focus on time with their children, their spouses or their friends, they were unable to turn off their BlackBerrys, their laptops and their work-oriented brains.

Americans working on holidays is not a new phenomenon: we have long been an industrious folk. A hundred years ago the German sociologist Max Weber described what he called the Protestant ethic.
What the Palin Pick Says PDF Print E-mail



John McCain is not a normal conservative. He has instincts, but few abstract convictions about the proper size of government. He's a traditionalist, but is not energized by the social conservative agenda. As Rush Limbaugh understands, but the Democrats apparently do not, a McCain administration would not be like a Bush administration.

The main axis in McCain's worldview is not left-right. It's public service versus narrow self-interest. Throughout his career, he has been drawn to those crusades that enabled him to launch frontal attacks on the concentrated powers of selfishness — whether it was the big money donors who exploited the loose campaign finance system, the earmark specialists in Congress like Alaska's Don Young and Ted Stevens, the corrupt Pentagon contractors or Jack Abramoff.
A Star Is Born? PDF Print E-mail



Thursday night, after Barack Obama's well-orchestrated, well-conceived and well-delivered acceptance speech in Denver, Republicans were demoralized. Twenty-four hours later, they were energized — even exuberant. It's amazing what a bold vice-presidential pick who gives a sterling performance when she's introduced will do for a party's spirits.

There are Republicans who are unhappy about John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin. Many are insiders who highly value — who overly value — "experience." There are also sensible strategists who nervously note just how big a gamble McCain has taken.
Russia's cruel intention PDF Print E-mail

In South Ossetia, I witnessed the worst ethnic cleansing since the war in the Balkans

Luke Harding

After three weeks in Georgia reporting on the war and its aftermath, I find one conversation sticks with me. I had arrived in Karaleti, a Georgian village north of Gori. I had gone there with a group of foreign journalists in a Russian army truck; our ultimate destination was Tskhinvali, in South Ossetia. Several houses along the main road had been burned down; an abandoned Lada lay in a ditch; someone had looted the local school.
This is how we will stand up to Russia's naked aggression PDF Print E-mail

Gordon Brown

Twenty years ago, as the Berlin Wall fell, people assumed the end of hostility between East and West, and a new world order founded on common values. As part of this, 10 Eastern European states joined Nato and intensified co-operation with Europe and more wanted to follow. But Russia's hostile action towards Georgia suggests that they are unreconciled to this new reality.

Their aggression raises two urgent questions for us: how best to stabilise Georgia now, and how to make it clear to Russia that its unilateral approach is dangerous and unacceptable. War in Georgia also poses a serious longer term issue - how can we best create a rules-based international system that protects our collective security and safeguards our shared values?

US election: It's the most vicious election campaign ever - and here's why PDF Print E-mail

Paul Harris

The Republican war room in Denver looked harmless. It was on a busy road in a neighbourhood of modest motels and petrol stations. Only a handmade sign, emblazoned with an arrow and the words 'John McCain', pointed the way.

But looks can be deceiving. More than two dozen Republican staffers were camped in Denver last week, spearheading the latest assaults on Barack Obama who was addressing the Democratic convention nearby. 'We came here to piss the Democrats off,' said one Republican aide with a grin.

It's party time for Luanda's elite as Angola grows rich on oil and gems PDF Print E-mail

The Guardian Online

A dark grey limousine pulls up at the Miami Beach bar. From the back door, a woman's slender leg emerges. But its owner has her entrance ruined when she plunges her white sandal-clad foot into a puddle. A male friend rushes to lend a hand.

'What is to be done about all the potholes in Angola?' she asks. 'Buy a 4x4,' comes the answer. 'Everyone else has.'

With a heavy helping of rich man's logic, Angola is this week heading into its first elections for 16 years. The last elections, in 1992, led to a return to war.

Champagne and Tears PDF Print E-mail



It was as though the Champagne had been on ice for half a century or more. On Thursday night, with Barack Obama formally accepting the Democratic presidential nomination at Mile High Stadium in Denver, African-Americans from coast to coast and beyond felt they might now dare to pop the corks.
The Middle East on Biden PDF Print E-mail

Does Obama's choice of running mate mean he's shaping up to be just another establishment candidate for the White House?

Khaled Diab

Not one to rest on his laurels, Barack Obama is already delivering on his promise of change – albeit in the wrong direction. He has changed his image from that of the sophisticated, sensible and sensitive "outsider" to become another establishment figure.

Since his nomination, the formerly progressive senator has taken a sharp turn to the right, and morphed, in terms of rhetoric at least, into a "Republican-lite" candidate.
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