BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS FEB 28 2011: UNCONVENTIONAL MONETARY POLICY

February 28, 2011 on 7:53 pm | In Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research | Comments Off

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Central bankers’ speeches for 28 February now available‏

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Mon 2/28/11

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Mario Draghi: Economic growth outlook, regulatory measures and the situation of Italian banks

Janet L Yellen: Unconventional monetary policy and central bank communications

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at:

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CHINA PESSIMISM FROM MINXIN PEI

February 26, 2011 on 1:55 am | In Asia, Books, China, Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research, World-System | Comments Off

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Minxin Pei is a China-watcher who fled China after Tiananmen 1989 and got his degree at the Kennedy School at Harvard and is now at Carnegie.

He is against the “China euphoria” crowd and a China pessimist.

Can one argue now that Pei must be wrong given that China sailed through the current crisis better than anyone else?

China‘s Trapped Transition:

The Limits of Developmental Autocracy

Minxin Pei (Author)

Review

Minxin Pei is unquestionably one of this country’s best informed and most insightful analysts of contemporary Chinese politics. This well-written, provocative book­-a sobering picture of a China beset by severe social problems yet resistant to the political reforms needed to resolve them-­directly challenges much of the conventional wisdom about the rise of China. It is certain to be welcomed by scholars, policymakers, and general readers alike.
–Elizabeth J. Perry, author of Patrolling the Revolution (20060531)

In this superb work, Pei asks penetrating questions about the course of China’s development. He offers a very effective critique of the gradualist approach to reform, explaining that the problems China faces are not incidental to but an integral part of that approach. Powerfully argued, this is a major contribution sure to stir debate.
–Joseph Fewsmith, author of China since Tiananmen (20060612)

Pei’s notion of a ‘trapped transition’ will prove valuable­-and not just for its application to China. It serves to challenge the deterministic and evolutionary assumptions behind much of the literature on democratization.
–Philippe C. Schmitter, European University Institute (20060901)

Not only does Minxin Pei make the case that the Chinese reforms are partial and self-limiting, but he also calls into question the hopeful view that rapid growth will ultimately generate political reform. His important book has implications for current debates about the United States-China relationship, but will also force a rethinking of the broader comparative literature on the developmental state.
–Stephan Haggard, co-author of The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions (20061001)

Thought-provoking…Mr. Pei argues, persuasively, that China’s gradualism, often favourably contrasted with the former Soviet Union’s flirtation with radical reforms, is as much a political as an economic strategy.
–Martin Wolf (Financial Times )

Pei does not have much time for the optimistic assumption that democracy in China is just around the corner…For Pei, there is little chance of dethroning the Communist party behemoth in spite of the heroic efforts of the dissidents and democracy campaigners.
–Chris Patten (Financial Times )

As Pei sees it, big trouble looms [for China]. Continued progress toward a more modern economy will require the establishment of a true rule of law, which in turn will require ‘institutional curbs’ on governmental action. These two limitations on power are incompatible with the party’s insistence on dominating society. So long as the current political framework remains in place, then, China is effectively, and perhaps fatally, trapped in its state of transition…China’s Trapped Transition presents a] comprehensive and, I believe, compelling understanding of present-day China.
–Gordon G. Chang (Commentary )

[An] acute and insightful examination of China’s ongoing transition.
–Chris Hunter (China Economic Review )

Pei’s most significant contribution lies in his lucid exposition of the causal links between the structural logic of China’s “illiberal adaptation” and its manifest socio-economic and political consequences…He has arguably–like Elvin before him–raised the level of debate and altered the terms of engagement.
–Richard Baum (China Journal )

Product Description

The rise of China as a great power is one of the most important developments in the twenty-first century. But despite dramatic economic progress, China’s prospects remain uncertain. In a book sure to provoke debate, Minxin Pei examines the sustainability of the Chinese Communist Party’s reform strategy—pursuing pro-market economic policies under one-party rule.

Pei casts doubt on three central explanations for why China’s strategy works: sustained economic development will lead to political liberalization and democratization; gradualist economic transition is a strategy superior to the “shock therapy” prescribed for the former Soviet Union; and a neo-authoritarian developmental state is essential to economic take-off. Pei argues that because the Communist Party must retain significant economic control to ensure its political survival, gradualism will ultimately fail.

The lack of democratic reforms in China has led to pervasive corruption and a breakdown in political accountability. What has emerged is a decentralized predatory state in which local party bosses have effectively privatized the state’s authority. Collusive corruption is widespread and governance is deteriorating. Instead of evolving toward a full market economy, China is trapped in partial economic and political reforms.

Combining powerful insights with empirical research, China’s Trapped Transition offers a provocative assessment of China’s future as a great power.

Product Details:

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • March 31, 2006
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674021959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674021952

Pei is well known is his field for writing about the political divide between the CCP and the Chinese people. This book does an excellent job in covering the realities of the economic and political situations within China. The vast majority of the book is actually quite an easy read, but the beginning of the book can be challenging for those that aren’t use to conceptual models (hence 4 stars).

I highly recommend that those interested in China read this book. While I do not agree with specific points, Pei’s general ideas are sound and provide lots to think about. China’s government (read the CCP) must withdraw from the market if the economic reforms laid down by Deng Xiaoping are to continue and be successful. However, as Pei points out, by withdrawing from the markets, the CCP will lose a lot of its hard power.

For those who’s never been to China or lived there, this book might be a little out of their scope. After all, the only things you hear in the news are how if Walmart were a country, it’d be China’s 7th biggest trading partner, or how Intel is building their fabs in China (away from Shanghai towards inland to further reduce cost). For those people, go read on how China will take over the world economically by the middle of this century and believe what you want.

For those who have any clue about China’s political system are keenly aware that the entire Chinese economy is still tied into the political system, and that is just a time bomb waiting to explode. If the CCP were to collapse, half of the country’s wealth will be exported and rest will go down with the defunct banking system. This book digs into the depth of the current geo-political situation, and is so accurate that the People’s Congress is taking note and implementing changes (albeit slowly) previously pointed out by the author. If you want to know the REAL story behind the Chinese economic system and where it’ll truly head in the next several decades, this is THE book to read. Not some “economic model that projects blah, blah, blah and threatens US’s position in the world,” where the author is totally clueless of all fundamentals of the Chinese economy other than published economic numbers.

This book is a highly intelligent, in-depth and convincing analysis of China as a dysfunctional, ‘predatory’ state. It is highly unlikely it will evolve in positive directions of increasing democracy. While it may collapse, the future may instead be that of a corrupt, stagnating failed state which exports its problems to the rest of the world – failure to control drugs, arms sales to dangerous regimes, aids, illegal immigration, etc etc. An important antidote to all the self-serving business propaganda on China’s economic miracle.

ITEM II:

Author: Minxin Pei

Looming stagnation.

(The Color of China) (economy):

An article from: The National Interest

Product Description

This digital document is an article from The National Interest, published by The National Interest, Inc. on March 1, 2009. The length of the article is 3465 words.

Citation Details
Title: Looming stagnation. (The Color of China)(economy)
Author:
Minxin Pei
Publication:
The National Interest (Magazine/Journal)
Date:
March 1, 2009
Publisher:
The National Interest, Inc.

Forecasters of the fortunes of nations are no different from Wall Street analysts: they all rely on the past to predict the future. So it is no surprise that China’s rapid economic growth in the last thirty years has led many to believe that the country will be able to continue to grow at this astounding rate for another two to three decades.

Optimism about China’s future is justified by the state’s apparently strong economic fundamentals–such as a high savings rate, a large and increasingly integrated domestic market, urbanization and deep integration into the global trading system. More importantly, China has achieved its stunning performance in spite of the many daunting economic, social and political difficulties that doomsayers emphasize…and yet Minxin Pei doubts the adaptability of the Chinese system.

China‘s Trapped Transition:

The Limits of Developmental Autocracy

Minxin Pei (Author)

Publisher: Harvard University Press

March 31, 2006

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AUSTRALIA FOREIGN TRADE STATISTICS

February 26, 2011 on 12:04 am | In Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research | Comments Off

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Government of Australia

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

R.G. Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent

Barton ACT 0221 Australia

Tel: +61 2 6261 1111
Fax: +61 2 6261 3111

ABN 47 065 634 525

Trade and economic data and publications

Australia‘s two way trade in goods and services was worth more than $507 billion in 2009 — a vital component of Australia’s economic prosperity.

What is the composition of Australia’s trade? How many countries does Australia trade with? What are Australia’s top 10 trading partners? Which regions are most important to Australia’s trade?

In the following pages, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides the answers to these questions and more: a wealth of trade-related information, statistics and analysis at your fingertips. These services include:

Snapshot of trade statistics

More information

For further trade statistical information which can be customised to your specifications, contact: StatsSection@dfat.gov.au or phone +61 2 6261 3186.

Government of Australia

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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SOME JAPANALIA BASED ON AKIRA KUROSAWA’S 1944 MOVIE “THE MOST BEAUTIFUL”

February 25, 2011 on 2:52 am | In Art, Film, History, Japan, Literary | Comments Off

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Some Japanalia Mentioned or Implied in Akira Kurosawa’s

1944 movie, “The Most Beautiful.”

Hakozaki-guu Hakozaki Temple

Hakozaki-gu Temple is located in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture and is one of Japan’s three great Hachimangu temples. It also has one of Japan’s three great ‘romon’ two-storey gates. In addition, the temple is a ‘Shikinai-sha’ (a temple listed in the Engishiki–a list of all temples in the nation which received offerings from the government).

Its status as a temple was Myoujin-taisha (or Myoujindai–a temple which enshrines major and remarkable gods).

The enshrined deities at Hakozaki-gu are Emperor Ojin (the main deity at the temple, the 15th imperial ruler of Japan and the guardian of warriors), Empress Consort Jingu of Japan (empress consort and mother of Ojin), and Tamayori-hime-no-mikoto (mother of Emperor Jimmu).

Hakozaki-gu was first established in 921 during the Heian period, under the authorization of Emperor Daigo. A magnificent temple was built here and, in 923, was transferred from the Chikuzendaibu-gu.

In the mid-Kamakura period, when the Mongols tried to invade Japan and came close to Hakozaki-gu, a ‘divine wind’, or ‘kamikaze’, rose up to repel them. As a result, the deities at Hakozaki-gu were worshipped as gods of charm against misfortune, as well as for success, overseas transport and communication and protection overseas.

Hakozaki-gu is a cherished and highly regarded temple, and fills the four seasons with captivating, enjoyable festivals, such as Tamatori Sai and Hojoya Taisai.

http://nippon-kichi.jp/article_list.do?ml_lang=en&p=706

This shrine is one of the famous historical shrines in Japan.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJOIMRV-eg8Related videos

Bishamonten is known as a guardian deity of the world and the god of treasure.

Ebisu, the deity of commerce
It is worshipped as a god of business and prosperity.

Fukurokuju, the god of wealth and longevity

It has been worshipped as a god of wealth for a long time.

Benzaiten, the goddess of fortune

Daikokuten, the god of wealth

Jurojin, the god of longevity

“Ghenko-no-Uta” (“Song of the Mongol Invasion “)

The Mongol invasions of Japan (Genkō) of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo (Korea) to vassaldom. Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank as nation-defining events in Japanese history. The Japanese were successful, in part because the Mongols lost up to 75% of their troops and supplies both times on the ocean as a result of major storms. The invasions are referred to in many works of fiction, and are the earliest events for which the word kamikaze, or “divine wind”, is widely used. With the exception of the occupation of Japan at the end of World War II, these failed invasion attempts are the closest Japan has come to being conquered by foreign power in the last 1500 years.

Starting in 1275, the Kamakura shogunate (Bakufu) made increased efforts to defend against the second invasion, which they thought was sure to come. In addition to better organizing the samurai of Kyūshū, they ordered the construction of forts and a large stone wall (Sekirui), and other defensive structures at many potential landing points, including Hakata Bay, where a two meter high wall was constructed in 1276. Religious services increased and the Hakōzaki shrine, having been destroyed by the Yuan forces, was rebuilt. A coastal watch was instituted and rewards were given to some 120 valiant samurai. There was even a plan for a raid on Korea to be carried out by Shōni Tsunesuke, a general from Kyūshū, though this was never executed.

After the failed invasion, Kublai Khan was tired of being ignored and not being allowed to land, so five Yuan emissaries were dispatched in September 1275 and sent to Kyūshū, refusing to leave without a reply. Tokimune responded by having them sent to Kamakura and then beheading them.[7] The graves of those 5 executed Yuan emissaries exist to this day in Kamakura at Tatsunokuchi.[2] Then again on July 29, 1279, 5 more Yuan emissaries were sent in the same manner, and again beheaded, this time in Hakata. Expecting another invasion, on Feb 21, 1280, the Imperial Court ordered all temples and shrines to pray for victory over the Yuan.

The Battle of Yamazaki, also called the Battle of Mount Tennō is the well-known conflict that follows the Incident of Honnōji. As the Oda officers were spread across the land during Nobunaga‘s assassination, few could reach their lord to assist. Hideyoshi, who was ordered to suppress the Mōri, quickly dealt with his opposition through peace negotiations. With his new allies, he raced back to Kyoto and targeted the man responsible for Nobunaga’s death, Mitsuhide. The battle served as Hideyoshi’s first step for power.

The Battle of Yamazaki

Date July 2, 1582

Location Along the bounders of Settsu and Yamashiro Province (north of modern day Ōsaka prefecture and south of modern day Kyoto prefecture).

Result Hashiba victory; Mitsuhide commits suicide.

Hachiman

Hachiman (, Hachiman-jin / Yawata no kami) is a Japanese syncretic god incorporating elements from both Shinto and Buddhism.[1] Although often called the god of war, he is more correctly defined as the tutelary god of warriors.[1][2] He is also divine protector of Japan and the Japanese people. The name means God of Eight Banners, referring to the eight heavenly banners that signaled the birth of the divine Emperor Ōjin. His symbolic animal and messenger is the dove.

Since ancient times Hachiman was worshiped by peasants as the god of agriculture and by fishermen who hoped he would fill their nets with much fish. In the Shinto religion, he became identified by legend as the Emperor Ōjin, son of Empress Consort Jingū, from the 3rd – 4th century AD.

Syncretism

After the arrival of Buddhism in Japan, Hachiman became a syncretistic deity, fusing elements of the native kami worship with Buddhism (shinbutsu shūgō). In the Buddhist pantheon in 8th century AD, he became Hachiman Great Bodhisattva (Hachiman Daibosatsu).[3]

Samurai worship

Because as Emperor Ōjin he was an ancestor of the Minamoto clan, Hachiman became the tutelary kami (, ujigami?) of the Minamoto samurai clan.[2] Minamoto no Yoshiie, upon coming of age at Iwashimizu Shrine in Kyoto, took the name Hachiman Taro Yoshiie and through his military prowess and virtue as a leader, became regarded and respected as the ideal samurai through the ages. After Minamoto no Yoritomo became shogun and established the Kamakura shogunate, Hachiman’s popularity grew and he became by extension the protector of the warrior class the shogun had brought to power. For this reason, the shintai of a Hachiman shrine is usually a stirrup or a bow.[4]

Throughout the Japanese medieval period, the worship of Hachiman spread throughout Japan among not only samurai, but also the peasantry. So much so was his popularity that presently there are 25000 Shinto shrines in Japan dedicated to Hachiman, the second most numerous after shrines dedicated to Inari. Usa Shrine in Usa, Oita prefecture is head shrine of all of these shrines and together with Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū, Hakozaki-gū and Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, are noted as the most important of all the shrines dedicated to him.

The crest of Hachiman is in the design of a mitsudomoe, a round whirlpool or vortex with three heads swirling right or left. Many samurai clans used this crest as their own, ironically including some that traced their ancestry back to the mortal enemy of the Minamoto, the Taira of the Emperor Kammu line (Kammu Heishi).

References

1. a b Scheid, Bernhard. “Hachiman Shreine” (in German). University of Vienna. http://www.univie.ac.at/rel_jap/bauten/bekannteschreine.htm. Retrieved 17 August 2010.

2. a b Motegi, Sadazumi. “Shamei Bunpu (Shrine Names and Distributions)” (in Japanese). Encyclopedia of Shinto. http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=776. Retrieved 23 March 2010.

3. Bender, Ross (1979). “The Hachiman Cult and the Dōkyō Incident”. Monumenta Nipponica 34 (2): 125–53. doi:10.2307/2384320. http://jstor.org/stable/2384320.

4. Ashkenazy, Michael (November 5, 2003). Handbook of Japanese Mythology (World Mythology) (Hardcover). ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1576074671.

Further reading

Tanuki

Tanuki is the common Japanese name for the Japanese raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus). They have been part of Japanese folklore since ancient times. The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absent-minded.

Tanuki is often somewhat mistakenly translated as raccoon or badger into English, animals which are similar to tanuki in appearance, but actually belong to different Carnivora families.

Some Japanalia Mentioned or Implied in Akira Kurosawa’s

1944 movie, “The Most Beautiful.”

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS FEB 24 2011: RESERVE BANK OF INDIA

February 24, 2011 on 3:32 pm | In Economics, Financial, Globalization, India, Research | Comments Off

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Central bankers’ speeches for 24 February now available‏

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Thu 2/24/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 24 February 2011

now available on the BIS website

Jean-Claude Trichet: Competitiveness and the smooth functioning of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

Duvvuri Subbarao: The Reserve Bank of India making a difference in your daily life

Thomas M Hoenig: Financial reform – post crisis?

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at:

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

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Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 24 February now available

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Thu 2/24/11

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS FEB 23 2011: JAPAN’S ECONOMY

February 23, 2011 on 2:34 pm | In Economics, Financial, Globalization, Japan, Research | Comments Off

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Central bankers’ speeches for 23 February now available‏

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Wed 2/23/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 23 February 2011

now available on the BIS website

Mario Draghi: In memory of Enzo Grilli

Glenn Stevens: The resources boom

Zeti Akhtar Aziz: Advancing women’s leadership in public life

Caleb M Fundanga: Fourth quarter 2010 media briefing

Hirohide Yamaguchi: Japan’s economy and monetary policy

Jürgen Stark: Central banking after the financial crisis

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at:

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Communications

Bank for International Settlements

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Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 23 February now available‏

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Wed 2/23/11

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WAS DUTCH COLONIALISM IN INDONESIA PROFITABLE?: THE 1860 NOVEL “MAX HAVELAAR” AND THE FONS RADEMAKERS MOVIE FROM 1976

February 23, 2011 on 5:10 am | In Art, Books, Film, History, Literary, World-System | Comments Off

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Max Havelaar is a 1976 Dutch film directed by Fons Rademakers, based on the 1860 novel Max Havelaar by Multatuli.

Max Havelaar (1976)

Max Havelaar of de koffieveilingen der

Nederlandsche handelsmaatschappij

(original title)

An idealistic Dutch colonial officer posted to Indonesia in the 19th century is convinced that he can make the kinds of changes that will actually help the local people he is in charge of, but circumstances soon make him realize just how out of touch he really is, and it doesn’t take long for things to go from bad to worse.

The movie opens with this quote from King William III of the Netherlands:

When We scrutinize, with gratitude,

The highly satisfactory condition of the country’s finances

And we recognize that Our present wealth derives

From the fruits yielded up by Our property in the East Indies

Then We do not hold lightly,

Our calling to further the well-being and development of these Our

colonial possessions

The sacrifice demanded of Us to succour these lands

And to maintain Our authority over them

We will not make grudgingly.

William III, King of the Netherlands

William III (19 February 1817 – 23 November 1890) was from 1849 King of the Netherlands

Max Havelaar

Max Havelaar:

Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company

Eduard Douwes Dekker (2 March 182019 February 1887), better known by his pen name Multatuli, was a Dutch writer famous for his satirical novel, Max Havelaar (1860) in which he denounced the abuses of colonialism in the colony of the Dutch East Indies (today’s Indonesia).

In 1860, he published his novel Max Havelaar under the pseudonym of Multatuli. Dekker’s new pseudonym, which is derived from Latin, means, “I have suffered much”, or, more literally “I have borne much” referring to himself, as well as, it is thought, to the victims of the injustices he saw. An attempt was made to ignore this irregular (for the 1860s) book, but in vain; it was read all over Europe.

Dekker was born in Amsterdam. His father, a ship’s captain, intended his son for trade, but this humdrum prospect disgusted him, and in 1838 he went out to Java and obtained a post as a civil servant. He moved from one posting to another, until, in 1851, he became assistant-resident at Ambon, in the Moluccas. In 1857 he was transferred to Lebak, in the Bantam residency of Java. By this time, however, all the secrets of Dutch administration were known to him, and he had begun to openly protest about the abuses of the colonial system. Consequently he was threatened with dismissal from his office for his openness of speech. Dekker resigned his appointment and returned to the Netherlands in a state of fierce indignation.

Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company (Dutch: Max Havelaar, of de koffij-veilingen der Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij) is a culturally and socially significant 1860 novel by Multatuli (the pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker) which was to play a key role in shaping and modifying ) about Dutch colonial policy in the Dutch East Indies in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. In the novel, the protagonist, Max Havelaar, tries to battle against a corrupt government system in Java, which was a Dutch colony at the time.

The colonial control of Indonesia had passed from the Dutch East India Company (VOC) to the Dutch government due to the economic failure of the VOC. In order to increase revenue, the Dutch colonial government implemented a series of policies termed the Cultivation System (Dutch: cultuurstelsel), which mandated Indonesian farmers to grow a quota of commercially tradable crops such as tea and coffee, instead of growing staple foods such as rice. At the same time, the colonial government also implemented a tax collection system in which the collecting agents were paid by commission. The combination of these two strategies caused widespread abuse of colonial power, especially on the islands of Java and Sumatra, resulting in abject poverty and widespread starvation among the farmers.

Multatuli wrote Max Havelaar in protest against these colonial policies. Despite its terse writing style, it raised the awareness of Europeans living in Europe at the time that the wealth that they enjoyed was the result of suffering in other parts of the world. This awareness eventually formed the motivation for the new Ethical Policy by which the Dutch colonial government attempted to “repay” their debt to their colonial subjects by providing education to some classes of natives, generally members of the elite loyal to the colonial government.

Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer argued that by triggering these educational reforms, Max Havelaar was in turn responsible for the nationalist movement that ended Dutch colonialism in Indonesia after 1945, and which was instrumental in the call for decolonisation in Africa and elsewhere in the world. Thus, according to Pramoedya, Max Havelaar is “the book that killed colonialism”.[1]

In the last chapter the author announces that he will translate the book “into the few languages I know, and into the many languages I can learn.” In fact, Max Havelaar has been translated into thirty-four languages. It was first translated into English in 1868. In Indonesia, the novel was cited as an inspiration by Sukarno and other early nationalist leaders, such as the author’s Indo (Eurasian) descendant Ernest Douwes Dekker, who had read it in its original Dutch. It was not translated into Indonesian until 1972.[2]

In the novel, the story of Max Havelaar, a Dutch colonial administrator, is told by two diametrically opposed characters: the hypocritical coffee merchant Droogstoppel, who intends to use Havelaar’s manuscripts to write about the coffee trade, and the romantic German apprentice Stern, who takes over when Droogstoppel loses interest in the story. The opening chapter of the book nicely sets the tone of the satirical nature of what is to follow, with Droogstoppel articulating his pompous and mercenary world-view at length. At the very end of the novel Multatuli himself takes the pen and the book culminates in a vocal denouncement of Dutch colonial policies and a plea to the then-king of the Netherlands to intervene on behalf of his Indonesian subjects.

The novel was filmed in 1976 by Fons Rademakers, as part of a Dutch-Indonesian partnership. The film was not allowed to be shown in Indonesia until 1987.

References

  1. Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1999). “The book that killed colonialism”. The New York Times Magazine. April 18: 112-114.
  2. Feenberg, Anne-Marie (1997). “Max Havelaar: an anti-imperialist novel”. MLN 112(5):817-835.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer [1] (February 6, 1925April 30, 2006) was an Indonesian author of novels, short stories, essays, polemics, and histories of his homeland and its people. A well-regarded writer in the West, Pramoedya’s outspoken and often politically charged writings faced censorship in his native land during the pre-reformation era. For opposing the policies of both founding president Sukarno, as well as those of its successor, the New Order regime of Suharto, he faced extrajudicial punishment. During the many years in which he suffered imprisonment and house arrest, he became a cause célèbre for advocates of freedom of expression and human rights.

“The Buru Quartet” is his anticolonial masterpiece

The Buru Quartet

  1. Bumi Manusia (This Earth of Mankind) (1980)
  2. Anak Semua Bangsa (Child of All Nations) (1980)
  3. Jejak Langkah (Footsteps) (1985)
  4. Rumah Kaca (House of Glass) (1988)

The movie Max Havelaar opens with this quote from King William III of the Netherlands:

When We scrutinize, with gratitude,

The highly satisfactory condition of the country’s finances

And we recognize that Our present wealth derives

From the fruits yielded up by Our property in the East Indies

Then We do not hold lightly,

Our calling to further the well-being and development of these Our

colonial possessions

The sacrifice demanded of Us to succour these lands

And to maintain Our authority over them

We will not make grudgingly.

Max Havelaar is a 1976 Dutch film directed by Fons Rademakers, based on the 1860 novel Max Havelaar by Multatuli.

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INTEGRATING FOOD AND ENERGY

February 23, 2011 on 1:43 am | In Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research, Third World | Comments Off

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INTEGRATING FOOD AND ENERGY CROPS CAN HELP REDUCE

POVERTY, NEW UN STUDY FINDS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Feb 17 2011

INTEGRATING FOOD AND ENERGY CROPS CAN HELP REDUCE

POVERTY, NEW UN STUDY FINDS

Farming systems that combine crops that can be used for food and fuel can help reduce poverty and boost food and energy security, says a new report published today by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The “http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i2044e/i2044e.pdf report, entitled “Making Integrated Food-Energy Systems (IFES) Work for People and Climate An Overview”, uses specific examples from Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as from some developed countries to show how food and energy crops can be successfully integrated.

Integrated systems offer numerous benefits to poor rural communities, according to Alexander Mueller, FAO Assistant Director-General for Natural Resources.

For example, poor farmers can use leftovers from rice crops to produce bioenergy, or in an agroforestry system can use debris of trees used to grow crops like fruits, coconuts or coffee beans for cooking, he “http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/51165/icode/ says, noting that other types of food and energy systems use byproducts from livestock for biogas production.

He adds that with these integrated systems farmers can save money because they do not have to buy costly fossil fuel, nor chemical fertilizer if they use the slurry from biogas production.

They can then use the savings to buy necessary inputs to increase agricultural productivity, such as seeds adapted to changing climatic conditions an important factor given that a significant increase in food production in the next decades will have to be carried out under conditions of climate change, states Mr. Mueller.

FAO also noted several other benefits offered by integrated food-energy systems. They are beneficial to women as they can eliminate the need to leave their crops to go in search of firewood.

Women in developing countries can also significantly lower health risks by reducing the use of traditional wood fuel and cooking devices. Some 1.9 million people worldwide die each year due to exposure to smoke from cooking stoves.

Integrating food and energy production can also be an effective approach to mitigating climate change, especially emissions stemming from land use change.

By combining food and energy production, IFES reduce the likelihood that land will be converted from food to energy production, since one needs less land to produce food and energy, FAO stated.

Having an integrated system often leads to increased land and water productivity, therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing food security, it added.

An agro-forestry IFES is currently being implemented on a large scale in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a 100,000 hectare plantation located about 140 kilometres east of the capital, Kinsasha, combines food crops and acacia forests, enabling farmers to grow high yielding cassava and other crops at the same time that they process wood into charcoal.

Total charcoal production from the plantation currently runs from 8,000 to 12,000 tonnes per year, while farmers produce 10,000 tonnes of cassava, 1,200 tonnes of maize and six tonnes of honey annually.

Each farmer, using 1.5 hectare of land generates an income of about $9,000 per year ($750 per month). In comparison, a taxi driver in Kinshasa earns between $100 and $200 per month, FAO pointed out.
Feb 17 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

INTEGRATING FOOD AND ENERGY CROPS CAN HELP REDUCE

POVERTY, NEW UN STUDY FINDS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

New York, Feb 17 2011

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GREEN ECONOMIC FINANCE

February 23, 2011 on 1:24 am | In Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research | Comments Off

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INVESTING IN ‘GREEN ECONOMY’ CAN BOOST GROWTH,

REDUCE POVERTY — UN REPORT

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 21 Feb

New York, Feb 21 2011

INVESTING IN ‘GREEN ECONOMY’ CAN BOOST GROWTH, REDUCE

POVERTY — UN REPORT

Investing around $1.3 trillion — or two per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) — into ten key sectors can kick-start a transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient ‘green economy’ that can also help reduce poverty, says a new United Nations report launched today.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) presented the report, “Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication,” to environment ministers from over 100 countries at the opening of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Nairobi.

The http://www.unep.org/GreenEconomy/Portals/93/documents/Full_GER_screen.pdf report identifies the following sectors as key to greening the global economy: agriculture, buildings, energy supply, fisheries, forestry, industry including energy efficiency, tourism, transport, waste management and water.

It sees a green economy as not only relevant to more developed economies but as a key catalyst for growth and poverty eradication in developing ones too, where in some cases close to 90 per cent of the GDP of the poor is linked to nature or natural capital such as forests and freshwaters.

“With 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day and with more than two billion people being added to the global population by 2050, it is clear that we must continue to develop and grow our economies,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“But this development cannot come at the expense of the very life support systems on land, in the oceans or in our atmosphere that sustain our economies, and thus, the lives of each and everyone of us,” he added.

“The green economy provides a vital part of the answer of how to keep humanity’s ecological footprint within planetary boundaries. It aims to link the environmental imperatives for changing course to economic and social outcomes — in particular economic development, jobs and equity.”

According to UNEP, the world currently spends between one and two per cent of global GDP on a range of subsidies that often perpetuate unsustainable resources use in areas such as fossil fuels, agriculture, including pesticide subsidies, water and fisheries.

Many of these are contributing to environmental damage and inefficiencies in the global economy, and phasing them down or phasing them out would generate multiple benefits while freeing up resources to finance a green economy transition.

The report does acknowledge that in the short-term, job losses in some sectors, such as fisheries, are inevitable if they are to transition towards sustainability. Investment, in some cases funded from cuts in harmful subsidies, will be required to re-skill and re-train some sections of the global workforce to ensure a fair and socially acceptable transition.

The report makes the case that over time the number of “new and decent jobs created” in sectors — ranging from renewable energies to more sustainable agriculture — will however offset those lost from the former “brown economy.”

The green economy, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and international environment governance are the two themes for UNEP’s Governing Council session, which is also looking ahead to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.

“We live in some of the most challenging times that perhaps any generation has faced, but also one of the most exciting moments where the possibilities of re-shaping and re-focusing towards a sustainable 21st century have never been more tangible,” Mr. Steiner noted in his http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=663&ArticleID=6904&l=en&t=long opening address to the session.

Feb 21 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

INVESTING IN ‘GREEN ECONOMY’ CAN BOOST GROWTH, REDUCE

POVERTY — UN REPORT

UNNews UNNews@un.org

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

Mon, 21 Feb

New York, Feb 21 2011

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS FEB 22 2011: GLOBAL IMBALANCES

February 22, 2011 on 1:37 pm | In Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research, World-System | Comments Off

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Central bankers’ speeches for 22 February now available

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Tue 2/22/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 22 February 2011

now available on the BIS website

Masaaki Shirakawa: Global imbalances and current account imbalances

Shyamala Gopinath: Approach to capital account management – shifting contours

Lorenzo Bini Smaghi: Eurozone, European crisis and policy responses

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at:

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 22 February now available‏

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Tue 2/22/11

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