“I WAS A GERMAN”: ERNST TOLLER BOOK

December 24, 2010 on 8:51 pm | In Books, Germany, History, Literary | Comments Off

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I Was a German: The Autobiography

Ernst Toller (Author)

Product Description

Synopsis

First published in 1934, “I Was a German” is the autobiography of the expressionist playwright Ernst Toller.

Like many others, Toller had volunteered in 1914 but the war turned him into a pacifist. When revolution broke out after Germany‘s defeat in 1918, he became a leading figure in the socialist movement in Munich and in 1919 joined the cabinet of the Bavarian Soviet Republic. When the revolution was brutally quashed by right-wing Freikorps, Toller was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for High Treason (‘but with honourable intent’). After his release, he became one of the most celebrated playwrights of German expressionism. Forced into exile in 1933, he was internationally recognised as a courageous, tireless figure of resistance against the Nazis. Now, reissued for the first time since its original publication, “I Was a German” is Toller’s autobiography – from his childhood and student days to war, revolution, and imprisonment. The book is a unique memoir that provides a fascinating insight into the ‘generation of 1914′ which returned from the trenches as fervent believers in the ideals of socialism.

It also reveals that only with the knowledge of the events of 1918 and 1919 can we properly understand what happened in Germany in 1933.

Product details:

· Paperback: 288 pages

· Publisher: Pimlico New Ed edition

· 2 Dec 2010

· Language English

· ISBN-10: 071260698X

· ISBN-13: 978-0712606981

I Was a German: The Autobiography

Ernst Toller (Author)

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS “BIS REVIEW NO. 174″: GLOBAL IMBALANCES PROSPECT

December 24, 2010 on 2:04 am | In Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research, World-System | Comments Off

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BIS Review

Bank for International Settlements

BIS Review No 174 available

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Thu 12/23/10

Please find BIS Review No 174 attached as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file. Alternatively, you can access this BIS Review on the Bank for International Settlements’ website by clicking on http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm.

What’s included?

BIS Review No 174 (23 December 2010)

Ardian Fullani: The Albanian economy and the banking sector in 2010

Durmuş Yılmaz: Reform strategies and expectations in the new normal – a public perspective

Norman T L Chan: Master’s degree 2009–2010 graduation ceremony

Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile: Farewell party for the 2010 retired staff

Louis Kasekende: Citation for outstanding leadership

Andrew G Haldane: Global imbalances in retrospect and prospect

e-mail press@bis.org

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

BIS Review

Bank for International Settlements

BIS Review No 174 available

http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm
Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Thu 12/23/10

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS “BIS REVIEW NO. 172″: GLOBAL REBALANCING

December 21, 2010 on 3:49 pm | In Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research, World-System | Comments Off

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BIS Review

Bank for International Settlements

BIS Review No 172 available

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Tue 12/21/10

Please find BIS Review No 172 attached as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file. Alternatively, you can access this BIS Review on the Bank for International Settlements’ website by clicking on http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm.

What’s included?

BIS Review No 172 (21 December 2010)

Erkki Liikanen: Global rebalancing, asset prices and policy responses

Miguel Fernández Ordóñez: Global rebalancing, asset prices and policy responses

Choongsoo Kim: The prospects for the Korean economy in 2011

Stanley Fischer: Israel’s economy

Hirohide Yamaguchi: Challenges for Japan’s financial system after the financial crisis

Deepak Mohanty: Investment and its financing – what causes private investment to remain relatively low in Asia?

e-mail press@bis.org

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

BIS Review

Bank for International Settlements

BIS Review No 172 available

http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Tue 12/21/10

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GLOBAL SHIPPING

December 20, 2010 on 11:26 pm | In Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research | Comments Off

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RECOVERY OF GLOBAL SHIPPING INDUSTRY WILL

TAKE MORE TIME, FINDS UN REPORT

New York, Dec 20 2010

RECOVERY OF GLOBAL SHIPPING INDUSTRY WILL TAKE

MORE TIME, FINDS UN REPORT

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 20 Dec 2010

While the hard-pressed shipping industry is recovering from recent declines, it is still being hindered by fragile global economic conditions as well as depressed freight rates and an oversupply of vessels, says a new United Nations report.

The http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/rmt2010_en.pdf Review of Maritime Transport 2010, produced by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), shows that international seaborne trade contracted by 4.5 per cent in 2009 to 7.94 billion tons, which is below 2007 levels. It had climbed to an all-time high in 2008.

Although a global recovery is currently under way, it is uneven, slower than the recoveries that have followed previous recessions, and subject to numerous uncertainties and to the fragile global economic conditions, according to the report, an annual publication that provides important information on this vital sector.

Signs show that the shipping industry and seaborne trade are recovering, but it will likely take some time for the industry to return to its 2009 levels, UNCTAD said in a http://www.unctad.org/Templates/webflyer.asp?docid=14175&intItemID=1528〈=1 news release.

Maritime transport is the single most important transport mode, with around 80 per cent of the market share in the global movement of goods. In some developing countries this percentage is much higher, due to cumbersome cross-border procedures and an underdeveloped land transport infrastructure.

The report notes that seaborne trade in dry bulk commodities, such as iron ore, grain, coal, bauxite/alumina and phosphate, which represent around one quarter of seaborne trade, actually grew by an estimated 1.4 per cent in 2009. However, this figure masks fluctuations by commodity type, it adds.

The supply of new vessels, the report points out, showed no signs of abating. At the beginning of 2010, the world merchant fleet reached 1,276 million deadweight tons (dwt),
an increase of 84 million dwt over 2009. Despite this increase, the combined effect of a downturn in demand and an oversupply of vessels meant that freight rates for many vessel types remained depressed.

The report also details recent developments in maritime legislation, such as steps by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) regarding the scope and content of an international regime to control emissions of greenhouse gases from international shipping.

Every year the report has a regional focus and this year it is on Asia since 2007, when UNCTAD last reported on the region. The report notes that recovery in the region, where gross domestic product (GDP) growth decelerated to 4 per cent in 2009, its lowest level in eight years remains fragile and is subject to downside risks.
Dec 20 2010

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

RECOVERY OF GLOBAL SHIPPING INDUSTRY WILL

TAKE MORE TIME, FINDS UN REPORT

New York, Dec 20 2010

RECOVERY OF GLOBAL SHIPPING INDUSTRY WILL TAKE

MORE TIME, FINDS UN REPORT

UNNews UNNews@un.org

http://www.un.org/news

Mon, 20 Dec 2010

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CLIMATE CHANGE ABSTRACTS: 2010

December 20, 2010 on 8:09 pm | In Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Science, World-System | Comments Off

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The Royal Society 2010

Selected Abstracts

· Beyond ‘dangerous’ climate change: emission scenarios for a new world

The Copenhagen Accord reiterates the international community’s commitment to ‘hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius’. Yet its preferred focus on global emission peak dates and longer-term reduction targets, without recourse to cumulative emission budgets, belies seriously the scale and scope of mitigation necessary to meet such a commitment. Moreover, the pivotal importance of emissions from non-Annex 1 nations in shaping available space for Annex 1 emission pathways received, and continues to receive, little attention. Building on previous studies, this paper uses a cumulative emissions framing, broken down to Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 nations, to understand the implications of rapid emission growth in nations such as China and India, for mitigation rates elsewhere. The analysis suggests that despite high-level statements to the contrary, there is now little to no chance of maintaining the global mean surface temperature at or below 2°C. Moreover, the impacts associated with 2°C have been revised upwards, sufficiently so that 2°C now more appropriately represents the threshold between ‘dangerous’ and ‘extremely dangerous’ climate change. Ultimately, the science of climate change allied with the emission scenarios for Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 nations suggests a radically different framing of the mitigation and adaptation challenge from that accompanying many other analyses, particularly those directly informing policy.

· emission scenarios

· Annex 1

· non-Annex 1

· cumulative emissions

· climate policy

· emission pathways

· 2011 The Royal Society

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Full Text

· Abstract 2 of 11Articles

Cumulative carbon emissions, emissions floors and short-term rates of warming: implications for policy

A number of recent studies have found a strong link between peak human-induced global warming and cumulative carbon emissions from the start of the industrial revolution, while the link to emissions over shorter periods or in the years 2020 or 2050 is generally weaker. However, cumulative targets appear to conflict with the concept of a ‘floor’ in emissions caused by sectors such as food production. Here, we show that the introduction of emissions floors does not reduce the importance of cumulative emissions, but may make some warming targets unachievable. For pathways that give a most likely warming up to about 4°C, cumulative emissions from pre-industrial times to year 2200 correlate strongly with most likely resultant peak warming regardless of the shape of emissions floors used, providing a more natural long-term policy horizon than 2050 or 2100. The maximum rate of CO2-induced warming, which will affect the feasibility and cost of adapting to climate change, is not determined by cumulative emissions but is tightly aligned with peak rates of emissions. Hence, cumulative carbon emissions to 2200 and peak emission rates could provide a clear and simple framework for CO2 mitigation policy.

· cumulative emissions

· emissions floors

· rate of warming

· climate change

· 2011 The Royal Society

Full Text

· Abstract 3 of 11Articles

When could global warming reach 4°C?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) assessed a range of scenarios of future greenhouse-gas emissions without policies to specifically reduce emissions, and concluded that these would lead to an increase in global mean temperatures of between 1.6°C and 6.9°C by the end of the twenty-first century, relative to pre-industrial. While much political attention is focused on the potential for global warming of 2°C relative to pre-industrial, the AR4 projections clearly suggest that much greater levels of warming are possible by the end of the twenty-first century in the absence of mitigation. The centre of the range of AR4-projected global warming was approximately 4°C. The higher end of the projected warming was associated with the higher emissions scenarios and models, which included stronger carbon-cycle feedbacks. The highest emissions scenario considered in the AR4 (scenario A1FI) was not examined with complex general circulation models (GCMs) in the AR4, and similarly the uncertainties in climate–carbon-cycle feedbacks were not included in the main set of GCMs. Consequently, the projections of warming for A1FI and/or with different strengths of carbon-cycle feedbacks are often not included in a wider discussion of the AR4 conclusions. While it is still too early to say whether any particular scenario is being tracked by current emissions, A1FI is considered to be as plausible as other non-mitigation scenarios and cannot be ruled out. (A1FI is a part of the A1 family of scenarios, with ‘FI’ standing for ‘fossil intensive’. This is sometimes erroneously written as A1F1, with number 1 instead of letter I.) This paper presents simulations of climate change with an ensemble of GCMs driven by the A1FI scenario, and also assesses the implications of carbon-cycle feedbacks for the climate-change projections. Using these GCM projections along with simple climate-model projections, including uncertainties in carbon-cycle feedbacks, and also comparing against other model projections from the IPCC, our best estimate is that the A1FI emissions scenario would lead to a warming of 4°C relative to pre-industrial during the 2070s. If carbon-cycle feedbacks are stronger, which appears less likely but still credible, then 4°C warming could be reached by the early 2060s in projections that are consistent with the IPCC’s ‘likely range’.

· climate modelling

· climate-change projections

· 4°C

· global warming

· dangerous climate change

· 2011 The Royal Society

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Full Text

· Abstract 4 of 11Articles

Regional temperature and precipitation changes under high-end (≥4°C) global warming

Climate models vary widely in their projections of both global mean temperature rise and regional climate changes, but are there any systematic differences in regional changes associated with different levels of global climate sensitivity? This paper examines model projections of climate change over the twenty-first century from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report which used the A2 scenario from the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, assessing whether different regional responses can be seen in models categorized as ‘high-end’ (those projecting 4°C or more by the end of the twenty-first century relative to the preindustrial). It also identifies regions where the largest climate changes are projected under high-end warming. The mean spatial patterns of change, normalized against the global rate of warming, are generally similar in high-end and ‘non-high-end’ simulations. The exception is the higher latitudes, where land areas warm relatively faster in boreal summer in high-end models, but sea ice areas show varying differences in boreal winter. Many continental interiors warm approximately twice as fast as the global average, with this being particularly accentuated in boreal summer, and the winter-time Arctic Ocean temperatures rise more than three times faster than the global average. Large temperature increases and precipitation decreases are projected in some of the regions that currently experience water resource pressures, including Mediterranean fringe regions, indicating enhanced pressure on water resources in these areas.

· regional climate change

· precipitation

· temperature

· global climate models

· 2011 The Royal Society

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Full Text

· Abstract 5 of 11Articles

Water availability in +2°C and +4°C worlds

While the parties to the UNFCCC agreed in the December 2009 Copenhagen Accord that a 2°C global warming over pre-industrial levels should be avoided, current commitments on greenhouse gas emissions reductions from these same parties will lead to a 50 : 50 chance of warming greater than 3.5°C. Here, we evaluate the differences in impacts and adaptation issues for water resources in worlds corresponding to the policy objective (+2°C) and possible reality (+4°C). We simulate the differences in impacts on surface run-off and water resource availability using a global hydrological model driven by ensembles of climate models with global temperature increases of 2°C and 4°C. We combine these with UN-based population growth scenarios to explore the relative importance of population change and climate change for water availability. We find that the projected changes in global surface run-off from the ensemble show an increase in spatial coherence and magnitude for a +4°C world compared with a +2°C one. In a +2°C world, population growth in most large river basins tends to override climate change as a driver of water stress, while in a +4°C world, climate change becomes more dominant, even compensating for population effects where climate change increases run-off. However, in some basins where climate change has positive effects, the seasonality of surface run-off becomes increasingly amplified in a +4°C climate.

· climate change impacts

· global water resources

· water resources stresses

· macro-scale hydrological model

· ensembles

· uncertainty

· 2011 The Royal Society

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Full Text

· Abstract 6 of 11Articles

Agriculture and food systems in sub-Saharan Africa in a 4°C+ world

Agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa faces daunting challenges, which climate change and increasing climate variability will compound in vulnerable areas. The impacts of a changing climate on agricultural production in a world that warms by 4°C or more are likely to be severe in places. The livelihoods of many croppers and livestock keepers in Africa are associated with diversity of options. The changes in crop and livestock production that are likely to result in a 4°C+ world will diminish the options available to most smallholders. In such a world, current crop and livestock varieties and agricultural practices will often be inadequate, and food security will be more difficult to achieve because of commodity price increases and local production shortfalls. While adaptation strategies exist, considerable institutional and policy support will be needed to implement them successfully on the scale required. Even in the 2°C+ world that appears inevitable, planning for and implementing successful adaptation strategies are critical if agricultural growth in the region is to occur, food security be achieved and household livelihoods be enhanced. As part of this effort, better understanding of the critical thresholds in global and African food systems requires urgent research.

· food security

· adaptation

· climate change

· livelihoods

· 2011 The Royal Society

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Full Text

· Abstract 7 of 11Articles

Changes in the potential distribution of humid tropical forests on a warmer planet

The future of tropical forests has become one of the iconic issues in climate-change science. A number of studies that have explored this subject have tended to focus on the output from one or a few climate models, which work at low spatial resolution, whereas society and conservation-relevant assessment of potential impacts requires a finer scale. This study focuses on the role of climate on the current and future distribution of humid tropical forests (HTFs). We first characterize their contemporary climatological niche using annual rainfall and maximum climatological water stress, which also adequately describe the current distribution of other biomes within the tropics. As a first-order approximation of the potential extent of HTFs in future climate regimes defined by global warming of 2°C and 4°C, we investigate changes in the niche through a combination of climate-change anomaly patterns and higher resolution (5 km) maps of current climatology. The climate anomalies are derived using data from 17 coupled Atmosphere–Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) used in the Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change. Our results confirm some risk of forest retreat, especially in eastern Amazonia, Central America and parts of Africa, but also indicate a potential for expansion in other regions, for example around the Congo Basin. The finer spatial scale enabled the depiction of potential resilient and vulnerable zones with practically useful detail. We further refine these estimates by considering the impact of new environmental regimes on plant water demand using the UK Met Office land-surface scheme (of the HadCM3 AOGCM). The CO2-related reduction in plant water demand lowers the risk of die-back and can lead to possible niche expansion in many regions. The analysis presented here focuses primarily on hydrological determinants of HTF extent. We conclude by discussing the role of other factors, notably the physiological effects of higher temperature.

· tropical forests

· climate change

· climate patterns

· water stress

· maximum climatological water deficit

· carbon dioxide

· This journal is © 2011 The Royal Society

Full Text

· Abstract 8 of 11Articles

Sea-level rise and its possible impacts given a ‘beyond 4°C world’ in the twenty-first century

The range of future climate-induced sea-level rise remains highly uncertain with continued concern that large increases in the twenty-first century cannot be ruled out. The biggest source of uncertainty is the response of the large ice sheets of Greenland and west Antarctica. Based on our analysis, a pragmatic estimate of sea-level rise by 2100, for a temperature rise of 4°C or more over the same time frame, is between 0.5 m and 2 m—the probability of rises at the high end is judged to be very low, but of unquantifiable probability. However, if realized, an indicative analysis shows that the impact potential is severe, with the real risk of the forced displacement of up to 187 million people over the century (up to 2.4% of global population). This is potentially avoidable by widespread upgrade of protection, albeit rather costly with up to 0.02 per cent of global domestic product needed, and much higher in certain nations. The likelihood of protection being successfully implemented varies between regions, and is lowest in small islands, Africa and parts of Asia, and hence these regions are the most likely to see coastal abandonment. To respond to these challenges, a multi-track approach is required, which would also be appropriate if a temperature rise of less than 4°C was expected. Firstly, we should monitor sea level to detect any significant accelerations in the rate of rise in a timely manner. Secondly, we need to improve our understanding of the climate-induced processes that could contribute to rapid sea-level rise, especially the role of the two major ice sheets, to produce better models that quantify the likely future rise more precisely. Finally, responses need to be carefully considered via a combination of climate mitigation to reduce the rise and adaptation for the residual rise in sea level. In particular, long-term strategic adaptation plans for the full range of possible sea-level rise (and other change) need to be widely developed.

· sea-level rise

· impacts

· adaptation

· protection

· retreat

· 2011 The Royal Society

Full Text

· Abstract 9 of 11Articles

Climate-induced population displacements in a 4°C+ world

Massive population displacements are now regularly presented as one of the most dramatic possible consequences of climate change. Current forecasts and projections show that regions that would be affected by such population movements are low-lying islands, coastal and deltaic regions, as well as sub-Saharan Africa. Such estimates, however, are usually based on a 2°C temperature rise. In the event of a 4°C+ warming, not only is it likely that climate-induced population movements will be more considerable, but also their patterns could be significantly different, as people might react differently to temperature changes that would represent a threat to their very survival. This paper puts forward the hypothesis that a greater temperature change would affect not only the magnitude of the associated population movements, but also—and above all—the characteristics of these movements, and therefore the policy responses that can address them. The paper outlines the policy evolutions that climate-induced displacements in a 4°C+ world would require.

· migration

· displacement

· climate change

· mobility

· adaptation

· 2011 The Royal Society

Full Text

· Abstract 10 of 11Articles

Rethinking adaptation for a 4°C world

With weakening prospects of prompt mitigation, it is increasingly likely that the world will experience 4°C and more of global warming. In such a world, adaptation decisions that have long lead times or that have implications playing out over many decades become more uncertain and complex. Adapting to global warming of 4°C cannot be seen as a mere extrapolation of adaptation to 2°C; it will be a more substantial, continuous and transformative process. However, a variety of psychological, social and institutional barriers to adaptation are exacerbated by uncertainty and long timeframes, with the danger of immobilizing decision-makers. In this paper, we show how complexity and uncertainty can be reduced by a systematic approach to categorizing the interactions between decision lifetime, the type of uncertainty in the relevant drivers of change and the nature of adaptation response options. We synthesize a number of issues previously raised in the literature to link the categories of interactions to a variety of risk-management strategies and tactics. Such application could help to break down some barriers to adaptation and both simplify and better target adaptation decision-making. The approach needs to be tested and adopted rapidly.

· adaptation

· uncertainty

· decision-making

· risk management

· complexity

· climate change

· 2011 The Royal Society

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Full Text

· Abstract 11 of 11Articles

The role of interactions in a world implementing adaptation and mitigation solutions to climate change

The papers in this volume discuss projections of climate change impacts upon humans and ecosystems under a global mean temperature rise of 4°C above preindustrial levels. Like most studies, they are mainly single-sector or single-region-based assessments. Even the multi-sector or multi-region approaches generally consider impacts in sectors and regions independently, ignoring interactions. Extreme weather and adaptation processes are often poorly represented and losses of ecosystem services induced by climate change or human adaptation are generally omitted. This paper addresses this gap by reviewing some potential interactions in a 4°C world, and also makes a comparison with a 2°C world. In a 4°C world, major shifts in agricultural land use and increased drought are projected, and an increased human population might increasingly be concentrated in areas remaining wet enough for economic prosperity. Ecosystem services that enable prosperity would be declining, with carbon cycle feedbacks and fire causing forest losses. There is an urgent need for integrated assessments considering the synergy of impacts and limits to adaptation in multiple sectors and regions in a 4°C world. By contrast, a 2°C world is projected to experience about one-half of the climate change impacts, with concomitantly smaller challenges for adaptation. Ecosystem services, including the carbon sink provided by the Earth’s forests, would be expected to be largely preserved, with much less potential for interaction processes to increase challenges to adaptation. However, demands for land and water for biofuel cropping could reduce the availability of these resources for agricultural and natural systems. Hence, a whole system approach to mitigation and adaptation, considering interactions, potential human and species migration, allocation of land and water resources and ecosystem services, will be important in either a 2°C or a 4°C world.

· climate change

· integrated assessment modelling

· adaptation

· extreme weather events

· ecosystem services

· biodiversity

· 2011 The Royal Society

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/gca?gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F20&gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F45&gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F67&gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F85&gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F99&gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F117&gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F137&gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F161&gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F182&gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F196&gca=roypta%3B369%2F1934%2F217&submit=Get+All+Checked+Abstracts


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FLEXIBLE CREDIT LINE: IMF

December 20, 2010 on 4:43 pm | In Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, World-System | Comments Off

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of

the IMF, emphasizes the new FCL instrument

which has recently been renewed in the case of

Mexico:

The IMF’s Flexible Credit Line (FCL)

Ocotober 5, 2010

When a country faces the global effects of an economic crisis and there is a risk that it could have trouble accessing funds in the capital markets, it often needs short-term funding to weather the crisis and reassure financial markets and investors. Even before the recent global economic crisis emerged, the IMF was in the process of reforming how it lends money to countries that find themselves in a cash crunch. The idea was to create different kinds of loans for the very different needs of our 187 member countries. The Flexible Credit Line (FCL) was designed to meet the increased demand for crisis-prevention and crisis-mitigation lending from countries with robust policy frameworks and very strong track records in economic performance. To date, three countries, Poland, Mexico and Colombia, have accessed the FCL: due in part to the favorable market reaction, all three countries have so far not drawn FCL resources.

Flexibility to meet countries’ needs

A key objective of the lending reform is to reduce the perceived stigma of borrowing from the IMF, and to encourage countries to ask for assistance before they face a full blown crisis; in addition, countries with very strong track records can apply for the FCL when faced with actual balance of payments pressures. The flexibility provided by the FCL also means the IMF can meet a broad range of country needs:

Countries have flexibility to draw at any time within a pre-specified window on the credit line, or to treat it as a precautionary instrument.

Assuring qualified countries they have large and up-front access to IMF resources with no ongoing conditions.

The FCL works as a renewable credit line, which at the country’s discretion could initially be for either one- or two-years with a review of eligibility after the first year. If a country decided to draw on the credit line, repayment should take place over a 3¼ to 5 year period.
There is no cap on access to IMF resources, and the need for resources will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Low cost to get through tough times

The cost of borrowing under the FCL is the same as that under the Fund’s traditional
Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). If accessing Fund resources on a precautionary basis, countries pay a commitment fee that is refunded if they opt to draw on those resources. The commitment fee increases with the level of access available over a twelve month period, effectively ranging between 24 and 27 basis points for access between 500 and 1000 percent of quota, and higher above 1000 percent of quota.

As with other non-concessional IMF facilities, the cost of drawing under the FCL varies with the scale and duration of lending. The lending rate is tied to the IMF’s market-related interest rate, known as the basic rate of charge, which is itself linked to the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) interest rate. Large loans, with credit outstanding above 300 percent of quota, carry a surcharge of 200 basis points. If credit outstanding remains above 300 percent of quota after three years, the surcharge rises to 300 basis points. The escalation of the surcharge is designed to discourage large and prolonged use of IMF resources. Currently, the effective interest rate under the FCL (or an SBA) for access between 500 and 1000 percent of quota—ranges between 2.1–2.7 percent, rising to about 2.5–3.4 percent after 3 years, and higher above 1000 percent of quota.1 These interest rates exclude a flat 50 bps service charge, which is applied to all Fund disbursements.

Very strong performers qualify

The qualification criteria are the core of the FCL and serve to show the IMF’s confidence in the qualifying member country’s policies and ability to take corrective measures when needed. At the heart of the qualification process is an assessment that the member country:

· Has very strong economic fundamentals and institutional policy frameworks

· Is implementing—and has a sustained track record of implementing—very strong policies

· Remains committed to maintaining such policies in the future.

The criteria used to assess a country’s qualification for an FCL arrangement are:

· A sustainable external position

· A capital account position dominated by private flows

· A track record of access to international capital markets at favorable terms

· A reserve position that is relatively comfortable when the FCL is requested on a precautionary basis

· Sound public finances, including a sustainable public debt position

· Low and stable inflation, in the context of a sound monetary and exchange rate policy framework

· No bank solvency problems that pose systemic threats to banking system stability

· Effective financial sector supervision

· Data integrity and transparency.

1 As of September 23, 2010 with the SDR interest rate of 0.31 percent.

IMF Executive Board Renews US$48 Billion Flexible

Credit Line Arrangement with Mexico

Press Release No. 10/114
March 25, 2010

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a successor one-year arrangement for Mexico under the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) in an amount equivalent to SDR 31.528 billion (about US$48 billion). The Mexican authorities stated they intend to treat the arrangement as precautionary and do not intend to draw on the line.

The FCL was established on March 24, 2009 as part of a major reform of the Fund’s lending framework (see Press Release No. 09/85). The FCL is designed for crisis prevention purposes as it provides the flexibility to draw on the credit line at any time. Disbursements are not phased nor conditioned on compliance with policy targets as in traditional IMF-supported programs. This flexible access is justified by the very strong track records of countries that qualify for the FCL, which gives confidence that their economic policies will remain strong.

Following the Executive Board discussion of Mexico, Mr. John Lipsky, First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chairman of the Board, made the following statement:

Mexico has a sustained record of sound economic policies, and has very strong economic fundamentals and frameworks. Public and private debt levels were reduced and balance sheets strengthened in the years before the global crisis. Well implemented rules-based policy mechanisms, including the balanced budget fiscal rule and inflation targeting framework and flexible exchange rate regime, have anchored stability.

This strong policy framework has helped preserve stability during the crisis, and––for the first time in many decades––allowed the authorities to deliver a sizable countercyclical fiscal and monetary policy response. Adroit steps have been taken in various financial market segments to maintain orderly conditions. The authorities have continued to demonstrate their commitment and ability to reform in challenging times, including through the passage of important revenue measures in the 2010 budget that will strengthen the medium-term fiscal outlook. Swift action to secure contingent credit lines during the crisis—from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the International Monetary Fund—also helped maintain external confidence.

On the back of these strong policy measures and improving global economic conditions, growth has resumed since mid-2009, asset prices have recovered from troughs seen at the height of the crisis, and domestic financial stability has been maintained. Looking forward, policies will continue to be underpinned by the rules-based macroeconomic framework, and the authorities intend to continue to react as needed to any future shocks that may arise.

Nonetheless, sizeable downside risks still confront the global economy. It is against this background that, at the authorities’ request, the Executive Board today approved a one-year arrangement under the IMF’s FCL, which the authorities intend to treat as precautionary. This successor FCL arrangement will continue to play an important role in supporting the authorities’ overall macroeconomic strategy and in bolstering confidence until external conditions improve, complementing financing from other multilaterals.

Mexico’s very strong policy frameworks and economic fundamentals, together with the additional insurance provided by the successor arrangement under the FCL, put Mexico in a very strong position to deal with other potential risks that could arise in the period ahead as the global economy continues to gradually recover from the crisis.”

To read the staff report and other documents related to the approval of Mexico’s Flexible Credit Line, please see: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2010/cr1081.pdf

IMF EXTERNAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT

Public Affairs Media Relations
Phone: 202-623-7300 Phone: 202-623-7100
Fax: 202-623-6278 Fax: 202-623-6772

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the IMF, emphasizes the new FCL instrument which has recently been renewed in the case of Mexico:

The IMF’s Flexible Credit Line (FCL)

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GLOBAL WAGE GROWTH

December 16, 2010 on 11:08 pm | In Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research | Comments Off

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UN REPORT:

FINANCIAL CRISIS SLASHED GLOBAL WAGE GROWTH BY

HALF

New York, Dec 16 2010

UN REPORT:

FINANCIAL CRISIS SLASHED GLOBAL WAGE GROWTH BY HALF

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Thu, 16 Dec 2010

The financial and economic crisis cut global wage growth by half in 2008 and 2009, http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/press-and-media-centre/press-releases/WCMS_149929/lang–en/index.htm according to a new United Nations report.

This study shows another face of the lingering employment crisis, the Director-General of the UN International Labour Office (ILO), Juan Somavia, said of his agency’s report, calling on policy makers to focus on wage determination to strengthen the tepid recovery. The recession has not only been dramatic for the millions who lost their jobs, but has also affected those who remained in employment by severely reducing their purchasing power and their general well-being.

Analyzing data from 115 countries and territories covering 94 per cent of the approximately 1.4 billion wage earners worldwide, the “http://www.ilo.org/global/publications/ilo-bookstore/order-online/books/WCMS_145265/lang–en/index.htm Global Wage Report 2010/11 Wage policies in times of crisis shows that growth in average monthly wages globally slowed from 2.8 per cent in 2007, on the eve of the crisis, to 1.5 per cent in 2008 and 1.6 per cent in 2009. Excluding China, global average wage growth dropped to 0.8 per cent in 2008 and 0.7 per cent in 2009.

The report cites considerable variations across regions, with wage growth slowing but remaining consistently positive in Asia and Latin America while experiencing a dramatic fall in other regions such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Advanced economies saw a drop in real wages in 12 of 28 countries in 2008, and in seven in 2009.

The report, the ILOs second on the issue since 2008, says the overall short-term impact of the crisis on wages should be looked at within the context of a long-term decline in the share of wages in total income, a growing disconnect between productivity growth and wages, and widespread and growing wage inequality.

In particular, it notes that since the mid-1990s the proportion of people on low pay, defined as less than two-thirds of median wage, has increased in more than two-thirds of countries with available data. Looking ahead, it says the pace of the recovery will depend, at least partly, on the extent to which households are able to use their wage to increase consumption.

Wage stagnation was an important trigger of the crisis and continues to weaken recovery in many economies, Mr. Somavia said. We are facing a world of deficient aggregate demand amidst large unmet needs and continued high unemployment macroeconomic policy makers must turn their attention to employment and to wage determination to strengthen the tepid recovery and address longer term social and economic imbalances.

The reports findings included that 50 per cent of countries adjusted their minimum wages as part of regular reviews or to protect the purchasing power of the most vulnerable workers, a departure from earlier crises when minimum wage freezes were the pattern and calls for better articulation between minimum wages and social and labour market policies to help low paid workers, who are especially vulnerable to falling into poverty.
Dec 16 2010

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

UN REPORT:

FINANCIAL CRISIS SLASHED GLOBAL WAGE GROWTH BY

HALF

New York, Dec 16 2010

UN REPORT:

FINANCIAL CRISIS SLASHED GLOBAL WAGE GROWTH BY HALF

UNNews UNNews@un.org

http://www.un.org/news

Thu, 16 Dec 2010

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS “BIS REVIEW NO. 169″: INDIA

December 15, 2010 on 4:49 pm | In Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, India, Research | Comments Off

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BIS Review

Bank for International Settlements

BIS Review No 169 available

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Wed 12/15/10

Please find BIS Review No 169 attached as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file. Alternatively, you can access this BIS Review on the Bank for International Settlements’ website by clicking on http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm.

What’s included?

BIS Review No 169 (15 December 2010)

Ivan Iskrov: Reflections on the past year

Glenn Stevens: Inquiry into competition in the Australian banking sector

Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur: New Primary Dealer System for Ghana

Charles Bean: The economic outlook for 2011 and beyond

K C Chakrabarty: Prospects for economic growth and the policy imperatives for India

e-mail press@bis.org

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

BIS Review

Bank for International Settlements

BIS Review No 169 available

http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Wed 12/15/10

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS “BIS REVIEW NO. 168″: CREDIT CYCLE

December 15, 2010 on 3:21 am | In Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research | Comments Off

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BIS Review

Bank for International Settlements

BIS Review No 168 available

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Tue 12/14/10

Please find BIS Review No 168 attached as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file. Alternatively, you can access this BIS Review on the Bank for International Settlements’ website by clicking on http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm.

What’s included?

BIS Review No 168 (14 December 2010)

Jean-Claude Trichet: Educational games “€conomia” and “Inflation Island

Duvvuri Subbarao: Mint road milestones

Ipumbu Shiimi: Financial inclusion – an imperative towards Vision 2030

Subir Gokarn: Monetary policy considerations after the crisis – practitioners’ perspectives

David Aikman, Andrew G Haldane and Benjamin Nelson: Curbing the credit cycle

e-mail press@bis.org

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

BIS Review

Bank for International Settlements

BIS Review No 168 available

http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Tue 12/14/10

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WOLFGANG PAULI: THE TRUTH OF SCIENCE AND THE PHRASE “IT IS NOT EVEN WRONG”

December 15, 2010 on 2:00 am | In History, Philosophy, Research, Science | Comments Off

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Wolfgang Ernst Pauli and His Phrase

It Is Not Even Wrong”

Every college freshman who takes the basic chemistry course comes across the Pauli Exclusion Principle, enunciated by the Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli.

Wolfgang Ernst Pauli (April 25, 1900 – December 15, 1958) was an Austrian theoretical physicist and one of the pioneers of quantum physics. In 1945, after being nominated by Albert Einstein, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his “decisive contribution through his discovery of a new law of Nature, the exclusion principle or Pauli principle,” involving spin theory, underpinning the structure of matter and the whole of chemistry.

His most severe criticism, which he reserved for theories or theses so presented as to be untestable or unevaluatable and, thus, not properly belonging within the realm of science, even though posing as such.

They were worse than wrong because they could not be proven wrong.

Famously, he once said of such an unclear paper:

Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!

“Not only is it not right, it’s not even wrong!”

An argument that appears to be scientific is said to be not even wrong if it cannot be falsified (i.e., tested) by experiment or cannot be used to make predictions about the natural world. The phrase was coined by theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who was known for his colorful objections to incorrect or sloppy thinking.[1]

Rudolf Peierls writes that “a friend showed [Pauli] the paper of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but on which he wanted Pauli’s views. Pauli remarked sadly, ‘It is not even wrong.’ [2]

Basis

Statements that are “not even wrong” may be well-formed, but lack reference to anything physical (as in “Souls are immortal”, because the noun “soul” is not well-defined in terms of experimental results), or may simply be gobbledygook which appears meaningless.

The phrase implies that even a wrong argument would have been better than the argument proposed, because an argument can only be found wrong after at least meeting the criteria for being considered academically (proper assumptions, falsifiable, makes predictions). Arguments that are not even wrong do not meet these criteria.

The phrase “not even wrong” is often used to describe pseudoscience or bad science and is considered derogatory.[3]

Further meanings

“Not even wrong” has also come to mean science that is well-meaning and based on current scientific knowledge, but can neither be used for prediction nor falsified. Such conjectures are non-scientific, even when they are spoken in scientific language. The phrase has been applied to aspects of the super string theory of physics on the grounds that, although mathematically elegant, it provides (as of now) neither predictions nor tests.[4]

Not Even Wrong is also the title of a book by Paul Collins in which he discusses the history of beliefs about autism and searches for an appropriate educational setting for his autistic son.

Notes

1. Shermer M (2006). “Wronger Than Wrong”. Scientific American. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=wronger-than-wrong.

2. Peierls, R. (1960). “Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, 1900-1958″. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 5: 186. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1960.0014.

3. Oliver Burkeman (September 19, 2005). “Not even wrong”. The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1573072,00.html.

4. Woit, Peter, Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law, Basic Books, 2007, ISBN 978-0465092765

Gerald Holton Discusses This Pauli Story:

Gerald Holton is Mallinckrodt Research Professor of Physics and Research Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.

He discusses this Pauli story in his various recent Harvard books:

Among his recent Harvard University Press books are:

The Scientific Imagination

(Harvard University Press, 1998)

The Advancement of Science, and its Burdens

(Harvard University Press, 1998)

· The Scientific Imagination

(Harvard Univ. Press, 1998)

· Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought: Kepler to Einstein

(Harvard Univ. Press, 1973; rev. ed., 1988)

· Science and Anti-Science

(Harvard Univ. Press, 1993)

· Einstein, History, and Other Passions

(Harvard University Press, 2000)

This Pauli phrase again shows that science can never be understood within science but must be analyzed outside science which brings you into the realm of philosophy.Science is one step only.

Wolfgang Ernst Pauli:

Born 25 April 1900 (1900-04-25) Vienna, Austria-Hungary

Died 15 December 1958 (1958-12-15) (aged 58) Zürich, Switzerland

Citizenship Switzerland

Nationality Austria

Fields Physics

Institutions University of Göttingen
University of Copenhagen
University of Hamburg
ETH Zürich
Princeton University

Alma mater Ludwig-Maximilians University

Doctoral advisor Arnold Sommerfeld

Other academic advisors Max Born

Doctoral students Nicholas Kemmer Felix Villars

Other notable students Markus Fierz Sigurd Zienau

Known for Pauli exclusion principle
Pauli-Villars regularization
Pauli matrices
Pauli effect
Pauli equation
Pauli group
Coining ‘not even wrong’

Influences Ernst Mach Carl Jung

Influenced Ralph Kronig

Notable awards Lorentz Medal (1931)
Nobel Prize in Physics (1945)
Matteucci Medal (1956)
Max Planck Medal (1958)

Notes
His godfather was Ernst Mach.

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