August 6, 2012 by Binoy Kampmark
A certain disease has taken hold of the sporting consciousness in Australia. Some might argue that it was jaundiced to begin with, obsessive, narcissistic, and, in spates, self-loathing. But the recent ‘silver’ performance of the Australian athletes, most conspicuously in such sports as swimming and rowing, has triggered a sentiment that needs not only reining in, but culling.
Consider, for instance, the remarks by John Coates, Australia’s Olympic poo bah. In May 2010, the Australian Olympic Committee was told that the government would increase funding to elite sports, with an Olympic focus in mind. “It would’ve helped if the government had moved quicker and the funding been available at the commencement of this Olympiad”. Cash for gold medals is evidently the AOC’s motto.
August 6, 2012 by Joshua Wallace
Resource nationalism, like other components of economic protectionism, has receded since the institutionalization of the Washington consensus and the gradual – if unsteady – democratisation of the developing world. The days of aggressive expropriation, the seizing of private assets by governments, are empirically in decline. Governments, as The Economist point out, are increasingly open to foreign involvement in heavy extraction industries as they seek to exploit the technical, infrastructural, employment and foreign currency advantages of foreign ownership.
August 6, 2012 by Daniel Wagner
In spite of the fact that the U.S. economy continues to suffer and Europe is imploding, the U.S. Congress has left Washington for its traditional five-week summer recess.
Among the plethora of legislation that Congress failed to address prior to its departure were two bills concerning Russia — the establishment of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) and the ‘Magnitsky Act.’ This failure means that the review of these bills will not take place until next month at the earliest — when Congress has only eight working days — or perhaps even during its ‘lame duck’ session following the November elections.