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The Foreign Desk

Take that, Paul Volcker

It has become almost taboo to criticise Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, whose sepia-tinted plan to break up the banks has unfortunately become a touchstone of the debate on financial reform. If you are against the "Volcker rule", you must be for Wall Street, so watch out for pitchforks.
The rule, [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Saturday, 8 May 2010 at 1:32 am

Coastal voting: Trying to pick the member for Weston-Super-Mare from India

It's been a shamefully long time since I voted in an election. Truth be told, the last time I actually crossed the ballot box with my pencil was 1997, the year of the Blair landslide, when I was living in Cardiff and working for a regional newspaper. During the last two previous elections I was [...]

By | Eagle Eye, The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 10:34 am

General Motors’ deceitful ad campaign

Excellent. Someone is calling Ed Whitacre, chairman of General Motors, on the outrageous, deceptive ads he is running on national TV here at the moment.
In the commercial, he says:
 
I’m Ed Whitacre from General Motors. A lot of Americans didn’t agree with giving GM a second chance. Quite frankly, I can respect that. We want to [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 8:16 pm

Arizona’s ugly immigration row is about religion as well as race

The dispute regarding Arizona’s new law cracking-down on illegal immigrants has seen endless allegations of racism thrown around, principally by opponents who fear that it will lead to police harassment of anyone who happens to have olive skin.
Behind the scenes, though, the ongoing controversy is also sparking an ugly and increasingly tribal clash between members [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Friday, 30 April 2010 at 2:47 am

Which is the party of awful bigots?

Only one of the three main UK political parties had NOTHING positive to say about the contribution of immigrants to the UK in their manifestos this election.
Can you match the paragraph with the party? 
“Britain has always been an open, welcoming country, and thousands of businesses, schools and hospitals in many parts of the country rely [...]

By | Eagle Eye, The Foreign Desk | Wednesday, 28 April 2010 at 10:22 pm

Fatima Bhutto and her dislike of “dodgy questions”

 Fatima Bhutto, the smart, stylish and charming niece of the late Benazir Bhutto has been getting some pretty good press of late for her new memoir Songs of Blood and Sword. Much of the book is taken up with the by now well-known saga of the feud within the Bhutto clan and of the chilling [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 26 April 2010 at 4:56 am

Goldman Sachs just got hit where it really hurts

Every way you look at it, the fraud charges laid against Goldman Sachs are devastating for the investment bank.
While the public took up pitchforks against the company, and the media labelled it a "vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity", Goldman maintained that its reputation with clients – the reputation that really matters – has [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Friday, 16 April 2010 at 11:20 pm

Crisis inquiry will not find smoking gun

The chairman of the US commission of inquiry into the financial crisis complains that $8m is far too little money for an investigation of this size and scope. He's right – but thank goodness he wasn't given any more. On the evidence of the past few days, it is clear that $8m is going down [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Sunday, 11 April 2010 at 6:36 pm

It’s time to fight for net neutrality

This hasn't been the best few days for those of us who think that internet users should be guaranteed equal access to the information superhighway. The principle of net neutrality means no "fast lanes" for corporations, who want to pay more so that their video content can be allowed to overtake that of smaller bloggers [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Sunday, 11 April 2010 at 6:29 pm

Was a gay Indian academic driven to take his own life?

Amid the flurry of sad stories that filled the papers today – for instance, the awful, heart-breaking accounts of the Indian troops under deadly fire from Maoist rebels phoning their families to say good-bye – the tale of Shrinivas Ramachandra Siras caught my eye.  Siras was a professor of Marathi, one of the many Indian languages, [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 8 April 2010 at 6:25 am

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