Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

Hillary Clinton and Dilma Rousseff

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

This week’s special issue of FT Weekend Magazine contains interviews and profiles of 19 “women of the year“, from Theresa May (Britain

impeaching the President of Brazil

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

The traumatic nine-month impeachment trial of President Dilma Rousseff is now entering its final phase. For nearly a year, Brazil has lacked strong political leadership while the country goes through its deepest recession on record. The needed change of leadership would proceed much faster if the head of government were Prime Minister rather than President.

end the war on drugs to win the war on terror

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

There are many reasons to legalise drugs. British journalist Misha Glenny writes about one that is often overlooked: ending the war on drugs can help governments pursue the war on terror by depriving criminals of a major source of revenue. Legalising recreational drugs also produces fiscal benefits: governments can tax legal drugs and avoid the cost of arresting and incarcerating users of illegal drugs.

The terms may no longer be politically correct but western governments continue to wage both a war on terror and a war on drugs. They now need to recognise what is staring them in the face : that the prosecution of the latter makes it impossible to win the former. ….

The billions spent by America and its allies on war in Afghanistan since 2001 have not destroyed the Taliban. On the contrary, funds from heroin sales have made the group stronger than ever. ….

The movement of cocaine and marijuana through west Africa and the Maghreb has provided various organisations linked to al-Qaeda and Isis with a cash boost. Western governments cannot stop drugs reaching their cities, and their passage benefits some of the worst people in the world.

But the problems do not end there. Homegrown terrorists in Britain and France are often radicalised in prison, after first being jailed for drugs offences or other petty crime. ….


the strait-jacket of a presidential system

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Brazil’s economy is in a mess, and so is its political system. According the Financial Times, “wholesale political renewal” is needed, beginning with the removal of the president herself, Ms Dilma Rousseff.

Sadly, there is little chance of that until scheduled elections in 2018. Unpopularity is insufficient reason to remove Ms Rousseff: if it was, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the former president who laid the grounds of Brazil

institutional and economic reforms in Brazil and Mexico

Friday, August 21st, 2015

FT columnist John Paul Rathbone uses Brazil and Mexico as case studies to argue that economic reforms cannot bear fruit in a climate of corruption, insecurity and lawlessness.

While Mexico is far ahead of Brazil in the World Bank

Reforming Pensions in Developing Countries (new publication)

Monday, September 8th, 2014

UNRISD (the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development) has just released a new publication on pension reform in developing and transitional countries. The 368-page volume contains nine chapters of case studies written by various scholars, plus an introduction and conclusion authored by Katja Hujo. So far I have read only the introduction and conclusion, plus chapter 9 (a superb case study of Bolivia).

The book contains a wealth of information, and I will blog on some of the case studies as I read them. First, though, I would like to complain that the book pays little attention to universal

Cuban doctors in Brazil

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

So acute is the shortage of doctors in remote parts of Brazil, the centre-left government of President Dilma Rousseff has seized on the issue to shore up her popularity ….

By March next year [2014] there will be 6,600 doctors working in thousands of municipalities, the majority of them Cuban. The policy is one of the few concrete responses of Ms Rousseff

pro-poor policies and middle-class revolt

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

A thoughtful post from Stephen Kidd on the unintended consequences of targeted, pro-poor social expenditure.

From Turkey to Brazil, the middle class are out on the streets protesting. ….

My own view is that

Stephen Kidd is blogging!

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

British anthropologist Stephen Kidd’s new blog is worth visiting. Here are extracts from two of his first three posts, with links to the full blogs. (more…)

gains from trade

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Exceptionally, some uplifting financial news from the back pages of last weekend’s newspaper.

The greatest gains from trade are possible when products traded are valued highly by purchasers, but regarded as useless (or worse) by sellers. This is the logic behind a recent agreement that the UK and China reached for trade in pig