Iraq sell-off

BBC News: Iraq adopts sweeping economic reforms.

“The changes – set to be implemented in the next few weeks – will allow foreign banks to buy Iraqi financial institutions, while the central bank itself will become independent.

Foreigners will be able to take over businesses and industries that were previously state-controlled.”

And they claim that Washington had nothing to do with this? This is the Washington Consensus written all over it. Liberalise financial markets, no limits on foreign ownership. If th U.S. thinks that keeping the oil industry state run will placate critics, they are sadly mistaken (especially when we already know how embedded Halliburton is in Iraq’s oil affairs already). Sounds to me like a strategy for stripping Iraq of it’s wealth, and control over it’s affairs, in much the same way as the rest of the developing world.

This is ugly and sad…

Coffee win

From an Oxfam emailout:

“On September 15, Procter & Gamble (P&G) ˇ the largest coffee company in the US ˇ announced that it would introduce Fair Trade CertifiedTM coffee products through its specialty coffee division, Millstone. This announcement is an exciting campaign breakthrough that will help guarantee small-scale coffee farmers a decent and steady price ˇ helping them avert poverty and ruin.”

Excellent

Find out more about the Make Trade Fair campaign.

Indispensible nations

Jim Moore: .

“The superpower idea virus has hosts in the State Department, the Pentagon, and in liberal as well as conservative circles. Its proponents maintain their view despite strong evidence that the most important world problemsˇhatred, fear, trauma, moral and social erosionˇnot to mention environmental and economic fragility and degradationˇare barely addressed by US power. “