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Archive for November 18th, 2008

Saw this on Finance Manila. It’s a humorous but surprisingly accurate assessment of how the housing and mortgage bubble created the financial crisis gripping the US and the world presently. It’s also a good analysis of investor psychology and herd mentality.

The scary part is: what comes after bailout?

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Recent news about a court decision to allow the withdrawal of life support off a young girl who has in been in a coma for 16 years. The Catholic Church is crying euthanasia and stirring flak against the girl’s father who made the court appeal.

I personally find it difficult to draw the lines in the Euthanasia debate, especially on religious and moral grounds.

 From the Straits Times:

ROME – ITALY’S highest appeal court on Thursday cleared the way for the removal from life support of a woman who has been in a coma for 16 years, the ANSA news agency reported.

The court upheld a July ruling by a lower court in Milan that doctors could stop artificially feeding Ms Eluana Englaro, 37, as it had been proven that the road accident victim’s coma was irreversible.

The Roman Catholic Church has made Ms Englaro a symbol in its campaign against mercy killings and demanded that she be kept alive.

Related articles:

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On the newswires recently:

QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuador vowed Friday to delay a $30.6 million interest payment on its foreign debt while it investigates possible irregularities in the contracts, sending its benchmark bonds and credit rating tumbling as default fears soared.

Finance Minister Maria Elsa Viteri said Ecuador won’t make Saturday’s payment, and is instead invoking a 30-day grace period to review an audit of 2012 bonds worth $1.25 billion. The audit is due next Thursday.

Standard & Poors devalued the country’s long-term debt rating by three notches, from B- to CCC-, citing the “severe uncertainty” that Ecuador will ultimately pay up. The ratings agency warned it would further slash its rating to “SD” or “selective default,” if the government signals plans to restructure its debt.

Full article here.

Another article on BBC:

Last week Ecuador won itself a place in economic history books when it became the first country to default on its Brady debt.

The default doesn’t just set a first for Ecuador, it is also likely to set a precedent for how government and investors behave when borrowers default.

The question is: whose responsiblity is it when a borrower can’t pay the money it owes?

Last year, official lenders, such as the IMF, came under fire for effectively bailing out private investors with public money during and after the Asian crisis.

The interesting thing? (more…)

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On Malaya’s columns today, Lito Banayo writes a very angry and edgy critique of police corruption. It’s deliberately one-sided but my thought is: considering the sorry credibility of the police force, is there really anything that can balance this argument?

Dick Gordon suggested that it might be the military culture still ingrained in the now-civilianized police force. The “mistah” culture, some call it. And Versoza agreed, saying they’re still trying to be less militaristic. Frankly, that is an insult to the military establishment. Unlike the police, soldiers are not into kotong; they do not receive intelihensya from jueteng lords. They suffer deprivation while putting their lives on the line, and many do not become corrupt until they wear stars on their shoulders. The police get more practice, so that when they become generals, they become more rapacious and immoderately greedy.

Full story here.

Too bad there isn’t the equivalent of an LTO that exposes crooked cabbies in the police force.

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