Sunday, 28 June 2009

Piracy and gobal redistribution of wealth

Piracy is undoubtedly a crime. That cannot be disputed. However, as Marcus Aurelius argued, "hunger is the mother of all crimes". Thus I ask: is piracy merely a manifestation of the unequal distribution of wealth in the world? Arguably, some pirates enjoy what they do: the thrill, the drama, the weapons. But if we look closer, we can see how it is simply mankind's struggle for economic equality. It is essentially an economic crime. And one cannot fight such crimes with use of force - what is needed is long-term regional economic reform.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE < < < <<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Piracy at Sea IV

As Incorpolis argued in "Piracy at Sea III", the solution to the Somali piracy problem entails reforming the political and social fabric of the country. Indeed, as Rear Adm Peter Hudson put it "piracy cannot be solved at sea...bringing stability in Somalia is crucial".

For more on this see:

Thursday, 18 June 2009

On the LPC electives: You don't have to be fair

The desire to become known publicly,

By re-registering, listing and trading,

Intra-group taxes and VAT relief,

Private acquisitions, takeovers,

Shareholder’s grief.

Disclosing facts that are unknown,

May seem to some burdensome,

You have to be fair.

You have to be fair.

You have to be fair is set in stone.

Moving, buying, profiting, growing,

Taxing, ruling the unruly, encoding,

M.B.O’s and M.B.I’s

Private equity, change of control, sigh.

You have to be fair.

You have to be fair.

Planning early avoids later losses,

Unhappy employees but happy bosses,

Merging entities that once competed

For the same resources that are now depleted.

Tricky stocks and tricking prices,

Warranties, indemnities,

But the seller entices,

The buyer, poor buyer, says “no more!”

To the glorified English legal principle of

Caveat emptor.

That is,

Let the buyer beware.

You don’t have to be fair.

Oh seller!

Watch him drown,

Oh students!

In their robes and gowns,

Teachers! Teach them,

That they don’t have to be fair.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Piracy at Sea III

The international commercial system is sick. In medicine, a physician would ideally treat the patient by surgically removing the tumour or eradicating the cause of the disease - failing that, he would treat the symptoms in the hope that the patient will eventually recover. Or he could do a mixture of any of those things. The commercial world has opted for a symptomatic treatment policy in the adventurous quest for combating piracy at sea. It naively believes that it can treat the symptoms of this commercial infection by merely sending more military ships to the coast off Somalia. But such a move is clearly bound to fail. In plumbing, you don't fix a leak by bucketing it in a cup, emptying it, and robotically starting the process all over again. You don't need to be an expert in plumbing to know that in such circumstances what you really ought to do is fix the pipe. What the international community has failed to recognise is that the problem cannot be doctored via sporadic military missions - the remedy does not lie in use of force, but in the use of political reform. Thus, the only way of preventing piracy at sea (at least off the coast of Somalia) is by re-visiting the political, social and economic (frail) architecture of the country. Only by re-engineering its political infrastructure, providing a viable economic direction and developing a stable and reliable social network for its people will Somalia be able to secure its borders and territorial waters. But it cannot do it alone. Maybe the international community can't see the forest for the trees. Or perhaps it can, and is constrained by a political timidity that will only exarcebate an issue that will never sail away, no matter how many military vessels are sent. C'est dommage, but I think that the pirates are here to stay.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Brown going Down: Reloading Labour

Political escape-goatism. One of the greatest weapons held by the opposition in times critical to disturbing the electoral equilibrium. Thus the Shakespearian question pertains on Labour's besieged economic gladiator's conscience, PM Brown: to go or not to go? After a desperate cabinet reshuffle, prompted by a series of unprecedented resignations, the Prime Minister has fallen in a political trap that will undoubtedly be impossible to escape. Has Brown been political KO'd? Arguably, yes. Despite the mishandled recession, MP's expenses fiasco and an inability to engineer hope for the population, it is argued that Brown is still the best man to do the "job". What we need is not a new leader, but a new ideology. Labour's political philosophy, though commendable, has been subject to extraneous forces which have infected the roots of a party that once was the nation's favourite. It is now time for New Labour to be strategically replaced by Labour, Reloaded.