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Jul 14

The Rights of Man

Over the weekend, the Inquirer editorial said current commanders are Nostalgic for Palparan ; but it was this news item -Ships’ 45 accidents listed: Lloyd’s details Sulpicio’s 28-year history– that provoked the most commentary, from yesterday’s editorial, Sucking up to Sulpicio, to today’s editorial, MV Scandalous .

Especially interesting to me is that it took digging around by Inquirer’s research department, and access to Lloyd’s database, for this story to emerge, when it should have been front and center from day one. And the reason it wasn’t -if you’ve noticed, letters to the editor basically supplemented original reports of the number of Sulpicio-related sea accidents- surely has everything to do with the slovenly way our government agencies maintain records. This is fruitful grounds for Congressional action but… the legislature is no paragon of record-keeping itself.

(On a related note: Passenger shipping industry drowns while budget airlines fly high.)

My column for today is Chaos in Barangay Bansot.

Last week’s columns, Bringing the world to our shores and Embracing evolution, were remarked on by The Warrior Lawyer and blackshama’s blog . Even in the context of religion, in Ren’s Public Notebook. Earlier blog entries was commented upon by missing points and Howie Severino.(A kind account of my show also appeared in Jose A. Carillo’s column recently) Incidentally, the website of the program I’m looking at is here: University of Western Australia MBA Program in Manila.

Provincial-related stories to explore further (specifically: is this a real emerging news story or a well-managed media campaign by Evardone?): PDCC brings hope to Eastern Samar bad roads and E. Samar’s biggest calamity: Bad roads.

Als, with regards to food: Food gets scarce in Cotabato as floodwaters continue to rise and P18-per-kg rice disappearing from Bicol markets.

Overseas: Stagflation Sightings Multiply:

Unfortunately for policy makers, different weaponry is called for to vanquish the two heads of the stagflation dragon. Recession can be held at bay by lowering interest rates, while inflation is usually tamed by raising interest rates. Given the impossibility pursuing both courses of action simultaneously, priorities come into play. Historically, inflation has been considered the greater long term economic menace, and has therefore been dealt with first.

This was the plan of attack successfully mapped out by President Ronald Reagan and US Fed Chairman Paul Volcker in the 1980s. With the president’s political backing, Volcker was able to kill stagflation with a short but heavy dose of double-digit interest rates. With the stable currency and low inflation that resulted, the stage was then set for a sustained and robust economic expansion.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has recognized the stagflation threat for some time. But rather than studying the playbook of Volcker and Reagan, his gaze rests on events 40 years earlier. A well-known student of the financial history the 1930s, Bernanke is well aware that when the same beast raised its head following the Crash of 1929, the Fed rapidly raised interest rates. His conclusion was that this overreaction magnified the recession of 1930 into the Great Depression of the ensuing decade.

Scared stiff that these events could repeat themselves on his watch, Bernanke is loath to push up rates. In so doing, he is ignoring the much more recent and equally instructive lessons of the 1970s, in which a politically cowed Federal Reserve stood by while inflation raged uncontrollably.

Also, a long overdue link (from July 4): Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis: Internal World Bank study delivers blow to plant energy drive.

Today is Bastille Day, the national day of France, a day of inspiration to republicans and revolutionaries down the ages.

The French Revolution gave us the metric system and, along the way, the blueprint for the abolition of monarchy and its replacement with a constitutional, republican regime. And one of its seminal documents was the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

It’s interesting that Jose Rizal set out to translate the Déclaration des Droits de l’homme et du citoyen du 26 août 1789 into Tagalog, which clearly suggests he felt it to be one of those seminal documents necessary for the public instruction of the citizenry. According to Ambeth Ocampo, it’s in Escritos Varios or Escritos Politicos de Rizal, under the title Manga Karapatan ng Tao.

vc004834.jpg

(illustration above: Lafayette’s copy, Library of Congress collection)

Here is a very recent (re)translation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citzen:

Preamble

The representatives of the French people, formed into a National Assembly, considering that ignorance, neglect or scorn of the rights of man to be the only causes of national misfortunes and the corruption of governments, have resolved to set out, in a solemn Declaration, the natural, unalienable and sacred rights of man,

so that this Declaration, always present to all members of society, reminds them constantly of their rights and their duties;

so that the acts of the legislative power and those of the executive power, being able to be compared at every moment with the aim of the whole political institution, should have greater respect for that aim;

so that the demands of the citizens, founded henceforth on simple and indisputable principles, are always oriented to conserving the Constitution and to the happiness of everybody.

Consequently , the National Assembly acknowledges and declares, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights of man and of the citizen:

First Article – Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions can be based only upon benefit for the community.

Article 2 – The aim of every political association is the preservation of the natural rights of man, which rights must not be prevented. These rights are freedom, property, security and resistance to oppression.

Article 3 – The fundamentals of sovereignty has its origins essentially in the Nation. No organisation, nor individual, may exercise any authority that does not expressly come from there.

Article 4 – Liberty consists in being able to do anything that does not harm other people. Thus, the exercise of the natural rights of each man has only those limits that that ensure to the other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights. These limits may be determined only by the law.

Article 5 – The law has only the right to forbid those actions that are detrimental to society. Anything that is not forbidden by law may not be prevented, and none may be compelled to do what the law does not require.

Article 6 – The law is the expression of the collective wishes of the public. All citizens have the right to contribute, personally or through their representatives, to the forming of the law. The law must be the same for all, whether it protects or it punishes. All citizens, being equal in its eyes, shall be equally eligible for all important offices, positions and public employments, according to their ability and without other distinction than that of their qualities and talents.

Article 7 – No man can be accused, arrested or detained except in the cases determined by the law, and according to the methods that the law has stipulated. Those who pursue, distribute, enforce, or cause to be enforced, arbitrary orders must be punished; but any citizen summoned, or apprehended in accordance with the law, must obey immediately: he makes himself guilty by resisting.

Article 8 – The law must introduce only punishments that are strictly and indisputably necessary; and no one may be punished except in accordance with a law instituted and published before the offence is committed, and legally applied.

Article 9 – Because every man is presumed innocent until he has been declared guilty, if it should be considered necessary to arrest him, any force beyond the minimum necessary to arrest and imprison the person will be treated with severely.[2]

Article 10 – No-one should be harassed for his opinions, even religious views, provided that the expression of such opinions does not cause a breach of the peace as established by law.

Article 11 – The free communication of thought and opinions is one of the most precious rights of man. Any citizen can therefore speak, write and publish freely; however, they are answerable for abuse of this freedom as determined by law.

Article 12 – Guaranteeing the rights of man and of the citizen requires a public force[3]. This force is therefore established for the benefit of all, and not for the particular use of those to whom it is entrusted.

Article 13- For the maintenance of the public force, and for administrative expenses, a common tax is necessary. It must be spread in similar fashion among all citizens, in proportion to their capability.

Article 14 – All citizens have the right to verify for themselves, or through their representatives, the necessity for the public tax. They further have the right to grant the tax freely, to watch over how it is used, and to determine its amount[4], the basis for its assessment and of its collection, and its duration.

Article 15 – Society has the right to ask a public official for an explication of his management and supervision.

Article 16 – Any society in which the guarantee of rights is not ensured, nor a separation of powers is worked out, has no Constitution.

Article 17 – Property, being an inviolable and sacred right, no one may be deprived of it; unless public necessity, legally investigated, clearly requires it, and just and prior compensation has been paid.

How very far off we are, in terms of achieving what these 18th Century Frenchmen envisioned not only for themselves, but for all humanity.

A magnificent retelling of the story of the French Revolution is “Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution” (Simon Schama). The great Catholic historian Christopher Dawson and his views on The Rights of Man predate Schama’s by two generations, yet his views seem to be echoed by Schama and incidentally, illuminates the Philippine situation as it’s existed since the 1960s:

For the French peasants and workers had not been taught, like the English, to follow their landlords and employers. It had always been the policy of the French government to detach the people from the privileged classes and to maintain direct control of them through the Intendant and the Cura. They lived their own life in their communes and guilds and looked for guidance not to the nobles and the rich merchants but to the ultimate sources of all authority — the King and the Church. And hence, though they had little class consciousness in the modern sense, they had a strong national consciousness which had found expression hitherto in their loyalty to the King and their devotion to the Church. Now, however, everything conspired to shake their confidence and disturb their faith. Ever since the death of Louis XIV they had seen the higher powers at war among themselves; Jansenists and Jesuits, Church and Parlements, the government and the magistrates; and more recently the continual succession of reforms and counter-reforms, such as the abolition and re-establishment of the Corporations and the changes that produced the rises of prices and periodic crises of unemployment and food shortage, caused an increasing feeling of insecurity and discontent. There were the disorders and the revolutionary agitation of the last two years, the sinister rumors of treachery in high places, and finally the appeal of the King to the nation by the summoning of the States General and the extraordinary democratic forms of election which exceeded the demand of the reformers themselves.

All these factors combined to rouse popular feeling as it had not been roused since the days of the League. The deeps were moved. Behind the liberal aristocrats and lawyers who formed the majority of the States General, there lay the vast anonymous power that had made the monarchy and had been in turn shaped by it, and now it was to make the Revolution. To the liberal idealists – to men like Lafayette and Clermont Tonnerre, to the Abbe Fauchet and the orators of the Gironde, the Revolution meant the realization of the ideals of the Enlightenment, liberty and toleration, the rights of men and the religion of humanity. They did not see that they were on the edge of a precipice and that the world they knew was about to be swallowed up in a tempest of change which would destroy both them and their ideals. “Woe unto you, who desire the day of the Lord. It is darkness and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand upon the wall and a serpent bit him”; they were a doomed generation, fated to perish at first by ones and twos, and then by scores and hundreds and thousands, on the scaffold, in the streets and on the battlefield. For as the Revolution advanced it gradually revealed the naked reality that had been veiled by the antiquated trappings of royalty and tradition — the General Will — and it was not the benevolent abstraction which the disciples of Rousseau had worshipped but a fierce will to power which destroyed every man and institution that stood in its way. As de Maistre wrote, the will of the people was a battering ram with twenty million men behind it.

A subsequent passage illuminates, too, the problem with Year Ones and Year Zeros, of New Societies and those who aspire to raze and refashion entire societies:

But if it was a time of freedom and hope, it was also a time of illusion. The Constituent Assembly went to work in a mood of boundless optimism without any regard for the facts of history or the limitations of time and place, in the spirit of their arch theorist Sieyès, who said that the so-called truths of history were as unreal as the so-called truths of religion. When their work was finished, Cerutti declared that they had destroyed fourteen centuries of abuses in three years, that the Constitution they had made would endure for centuries, and that their names would be blessed by future generations. Yet before many months had elapsed their work was undone and their leaders were executed, imprisoned or in exile. They had destroyed what they could not replace and called up forces that they could neither understand nor control. For the liberal aristocracy and bourgeoisie were not the people, and in some respects they were further from the people than the nobles and clergy who remained faithful to the old order. On the one hand there were the vast inarticulate masses of the peasantry who were ready to burn the castles of the nobles but who were often equally ready to fight with desperate resolution for their religion. On the other hand there was the people of the communes, above all the Commune of Paris.

The Commune of Paris would, of course, keep throwing up barricades in an attempt to return to the republicanism of the Revolution. The France of 1789 and of 1870 (the Paris Commune) are commemorated in two songs detested by the Right: the French national anthem and the Internationale, anthem of Socialists, Communists, and Anarchists.

The Marseillaise has ferocious lyrics, which may explain the unease it inspired in regimes wary of the republicanism established by the French. My favorite examples: the Czar of Russia, manifesting a new alliance with France, shocking his fellow monarchs by standing at attention while the French anthem was played; years later, when Lenin arrived in Russia after years of exile, a band played the French national anthem; in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (and mention has to be made here of Beethoven’s extremely jolly Wellington’s Victory which showed how a national anthem could be woven into a crowd-pleasing piece of bombast), and in fiction, see this marvelous paper, Bogart’s Nod in the Marseillaise Scene: A Physical Gesture in Casablanca.

And of course, the closing portion of our own national anthem pays homage to the French anthem: listen to the closing phrases of the French anthem and see for yourself; but unlike us, the French aren’t pedantic about their anthem).The other musical heritage from revolutionaries in France is The Internationale: It was the national anthem of the Soviet Union from the time of Lenin until World War II:

The Chinese also pay ritual Socialist homage to the song, in this case, beginning with the original French version and then shifting to Chinese, complete with large scale rhythmic clapping (not very different from this 1965 version in the same hall):

A Chinese heavy metal version!

Which is nice n’ rhythmic, but this other (truncated) version which mixes the rock version, which begins with Mao proclaiming the People’s Republic at the Gate of Heavenly Peace, then shifts to creepy Cultural Revolution iconography, is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine:

And of course, there’s a version in Filipino (an old revolutionary once tried to explain to me the nuances of the various versions floating around, one apparently belonging to the Huks, the other to the CCP, and woe unto any radical singing the wrong version in the wrong company: I wonder what this video set to a photo of the Great Helmsman with Imeldific is all about?): but so you know what all the Socialist, Communist, and Anarchist fervor’s about, here’s a version in English:

146 comments

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  1. rego

    “Once mlq3 takes the MBA and has taken the subjects, quanti and research i am inclined to believe that there will be a change of outlook.” The C at.

    ===============================================
    Ohhh love this.!

  2. UP n student

    to leytenean: One of my friends just declared bankruptcy 3 weeks ago. At 2 houses, he knew he was rich. At 4 houses, he knew he was just 2 years away from retiring. The 6th-house broke him (he got the last 4 with undocumented/no-income-verification loans and pumped-up valuations). 4 of the houses were already negative-cash at the teaser rates, then blam-blam-blam — the teaser-rates expired one after the other just as you described. He carried the last house for a full-year with no tenants using his credit card!!! All his credit-cards are now maxed-out; his net-worth is deadly-negative ( compared to Wow-I’m-rich!!! (from I-can’t-believe-this-house-costs-this-much!!! numbers)).

    ———————–

    Pag-ibig loans : 30% down

    http://www.lozaph.com/realtyph/2007/08/pag-ibig-housing-loan-program/

  3. cvj

    Karl (at 6:43am), by ‘Wall Street-financial types’ i wasn’t referring to the US entrepreneurs and industrialists.

    Also, i don’t think we should evaluate our taipans by their net worth but by whether they are able to set-up local production capabilities. Malls and airlines-services are nice, but it would be better if we have our local counterparts to Nokia, Toyota etc. Lucio Tan, Gokongwei and Henry Sy have failed in this respect. It’s not entirely their fault since our government, unlike our more successful neighbors did not put in place an industrial policy that would have helped them along.

  4. leytenian

    up n… oh wow, there’s a way out instead of bankruptcy. tell your friend to mitigate or modify his loans according to current market value and avail the new Fed/government package/assistance of lower interest rates. he has to show income though . income that would pay all of his mortgages on new monthly payments. the calculation of debt to income is 43%…
    that’s the only way. he can keep it and sell it in two years. he must be in vegas or somewhere in california? if he is unemployed, then i’m not sure of what he is going to do. Bankcruptcy is common nowadays. another solution, is to find an investor as his partner ( like an LLP or LLC) to buy all his property at foreclosured price. Investor could be someone he knows, wil own 50% shares.. this require preparation of financial statement in his part.. like proposing a new business to an investor. corporation must be formed quickly …

    have him call his old mortgage broker.. he should know all the deals out there. poor guy… information is crucial in time of crisis. there’s a lot of solution.another one is shortsale without hurting his credit.

  5. leytenian

    UP N student:
    i can’t help but share…. for example..
    if one house has a mortgage balance of $800,000, that house will probably be appraised and valued according to recent sales ( recent sales are shortsales and foreclosed sales- about 40 to 50% off of mortgage balance) .
    my estimate in california and the rest of the US will probably be at $450,000 as the new appraisal.( for the $800,000) . this new figure will then qualify to a lower payment of 5.6% for primary home and at fixed rate. he should do it that way… he will save his home and his family will not suffer ongoing stress. the hope is there. or he can call HUD.

  6. UP n student

    amazing, isn’t it? $800K 3 years ago, now $450K? Buy-high/sell-low is a fast way to the poorhouse; with leverage the jet-fuel to get you there super-faster.

  7. leytenian

    Up n… if he will foreclose it, the investors will grab it at $300,000 in a day and resale it at $400,000 after the US election or wait until the 3rd quarter of 09.

    with those numbers, his bank will probably allow him to keep his home at $450,000. the bank will lose more if he will pursue to let go as in filing bankruptcy or go into foreclosure.

    it’s amazing… the ripple effect is still coming. i haveard that a lot of our politicians were investing their money in US real estate… i hope it was not the people’s money.

  8. UP n student

    another way to the poorhouse is to put your profitable business as collateral so you can open another business because you want to hire people.

    [or your house; banks likes to take your house-personal residence as collateral]

  9. KG

    Sabi na nga ba mali yung listing na natingnan ko ,di yung latest

  10. KG

    Hawaiian guy, no problem.

  11. UP n student

    leytenean: my friend who submitted for bankruptcy was always a renter. All the houses were “speculator” houses. he was a “flipper”, was making good money with flipping, Then he noticed the houses he had flipped (and the other houses his realtor was showing him) were ramping up in super-charge fashion. He felt bad that he had left so much profit on the table. He switched from his expertise — flipping — to a new model — buy-and-hold-for-longer (hey… hot market). He thought he could time things. He guessed wrong.

  12. supremo

    mlq3,

    Go for it as long as you’re comfortable. All I’m saying is discussions, esp. heated discussions, among Filipinos in a setting like that tends to degenerate into mudslinging.

  13. supremo

    KG,

    ‘Sure, Fannie Mae,and FreddieMac were not exposed to the Sub prime lending market from 2004-2006.
    Can they escape it now?’

    Don’t worry about those 2 companies they will not go down. China and Russia are in too deep to the tune of $1 T in US treasuries. The US will not allow them to lose there money.

  14. KG

    CVJ,

    medyo naintindihan ko kaya hinighlight ko si Warren Buffet.
    sya yumaman sya sa pagiging investor nya.even from that old listing.(wrong url)

    since you can’t compare entreps and industrialist to the wall street guys, tama ka, we can’t.

    ====================

    ourorry pero ang mga walang masyado pera,foreign partners din ang hin own version of toyota,etc.

    sad story about the guy with the water ran car, 1969 ,pa yun natakot tayo sa mga oil rich country eh.

    even our reversed engineering sucked,because it is only an imitation.

    remember our version for Pajero,the Pareho

    we almost had a fiber glass car called the conge car,di rin umubra.

    we had a plan to have the pinoy suv,hanggang plano na lang

    now how bout that electric jeepneys.

    our own nokia? we have been manufacturing components of cellphone,computers for years.magaling naman tayo gumaya at magbutingting,ang lakas ng loob nga nating magbenta ng iphone kahit walang authorized na mag aayos nyan dito.(baka outdated na naman ako?) wala, wireless landline lang yata tayo eh.

    pero it is cut throat mind you. nortel the canadian company that supplies our call center’s IP phones is or was in trouble(news can be history in a second)

    why not make our own IT phones that is cost effective for prospective clients.

    Ang sarap mangarap ng gising.

    don’t worry me mga anak at apo naman yang mga taipan at billionaryo eh.

    for the sme types utang ng katakotakot.and of course the occassional foreign partner.

    yung microlending, we are masters of disasters di rin natin naayos,naging for ever lending.

  15. leytenian

    most banks are reluctant to extend commercial credit even with collaterals or good credits. some banks are highly illiquid.

  16. cvj

    Karl, there’s nothing that the Japanese and Koreans can do that we can’t if pursued the same policies as them (with appropriate modification for our context). In the beginning, they also sucked but got better at producing stuff along the way. Even Finland’s Nokia took 17 years to be successful. The difference is that Japan and Korea addressed inequality first, and then industrialized. We haven’t done that necessary first step.

    Sabi mo nga, kahit anong subukan natin pumapalpak. All through our various policy experiments these past one hundred plus years, what factor has remained constant? Isn’t it the presence of rent-seeking Oligarchs and inequality in Philippine Society? Kaya tama si hvrds in his comment above:

    No amount of policy planning that does not start with getting the primary sector in shape- agriculture – and asset reform in the primary sector will get anywhere… – hvrds, July 15th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    The first order of the day is asset-reform in agriculture. That’s why i think that this crisis is also a window of opportunity since it may finally force us to do the right thing out of desperation just like what happened in Vietnam in the late 80’s. (Puwera usog)

  17. hvrds

    Question when private banks of shadow banks get into trouble why is the government obliged to rescue them?

    Is it not an article of personal responsibility that both depositors and banker be held responsible for their actions whether they fail or not.

    Si if you fell for the sales pitch since banks sell deposits and buy loans depositors are the buyers and if they do not keep tabs on their banks they deserve to lose their money.

    John Mangun said that the passengers of Sulpicio made their choice and they paid for it with their lives.

    What happened to accountability. I thought that in a free market there will always be winners and losers. To the wise and responsible go the winnings.

    What gives??????

    The people who bought their sub prime loans knew that the rates would reset. You go to a party with a huge buffet and you indulge.

    The price for credit was set very low to get you to play.

    Now the whole world is going to suffer for the excessive partying of America.

    Dito naman, ramdam na ramdam and asenso. Ngayon naging Noah’s Ark at pantawid sa kahirapan.

    A policy framework is supposed to be at the very least according to our set of rulers medium-term.

    Wha happened????????

  18. mlq3

    supremo, except when the inferiority complex of our kebabs comes in. one dynamic i noticed in the classes i observed was that the filipinos didn’t ask questions, were afraid to make comments, the foreigners were the ones who questioned the professor (i think most kebabs are still traumatized by the local tradition of professors sneering at students who dare ask for clarifications or who challenge their professors’ orthodoxy)

  19. PSI

    “You go to a party with a huge buffet and you indulge” – hvrds

    Its bad enough that mortgage loans were granted to sub-prime borrowers in the U.S. What’s worse was when these loans were re-packaged (CDOs) and sold to worldwide investors.

    That, created the contagion that crept up and battered the better quality assets, including bonds and equities. As KG said, Fannie and Freddie might have no sub-prime loans in their accounts, but could not escape its effects.

    Talk of ” Little Houses in the Praire” bringing down Wall Street.

  20. cvj

    i think most kebabs are still traumatized by the local tradition of professors sneering at students who dare ask for clarifications or who challenge their professors’ orthodoxy – mlq3

    Kinda like what Ca T does. I hope our kababayans realize that such attitude is normally an attempt to hide a weakness on the part of their professors so it’s nothing to be traumatized about.

  21. hvrds

    Wow…. The regulators are taking over the markets in the U.S. Man the real blood was not yet hitting the streets…..

    What about the volume of call options in the oil futures that are all heading upwards and are the basis for price discovery ??????? Not likely.. Need to get Iran under control first…..

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080716/bs_nm/sec_shortselling_dc

    “WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. securities regulators issued an emergency rule on Tuesday to limit certain types of short selling in major financial firms, including Fannie Mae (FNM.N) and Freddie Mac (FRE.N).

    “The rule is the latest effort by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to clamp down on market manipulation that some blame for the sharp declines in financial stocks and the demise of investment bank Bear Stearns in March.”

    “The rule will go into effect on Monday, July 21, and last through July 29, although it could be extended to last up to 30 days. The SEC said it will consider rules to address short selling issues across the entire stock market.”

    “The emergency rule applies to 19 financial firms including Lehman Brothers (LEH.N), Goldman Sachs (GS.N), Merrill Lynch (MER.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N).”

    “The SEC said that a loss of confidence in markets can lead to panic selling, which may be further exacerbated by certain types of short selling.”

  22. hvrds

    U.S. regulators are saving the stock price of the Big Money Center Banks.

    What about the poor consumer of oil products who are subject to the speculative price discovery in the futures market for oil.

    Do they merit a bailout?????? With Big Oil in charge of the White House you think they will move?????

    Man we are witnessing the largest example of crony capitalism on a massive scale that is humongous compared to our friend Alex Magno and his patrons Big Mike and GMA.

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/stiglitz101

    The End of Neo-liberalism?
    by Joseph E. Stiglitz
    Joseph E. Stiglitz
    Joseph E. Stiglitz

    “NEW YORK – The world has not been kind to neo-liberalism, that grab-bag of ideas based on the fundamentalist notion that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently, and serve the public interest well. It was this market fundamentalism that underlay Thatcherism, Reaganomics, and the so-called “Washington Consensus” in favor of privatization, liberalization, and independent central banks focusing single-mindedly on inflation.”

    “For a quarter-century, there has been a contest among developing countries, and the losers are clear: countries that pursued neo-liberal policies not only lost the growth sweepstakes; when they did grow, the benefits accrued disproportionately to those at the top.”

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rogoff44

    The World’s Runaway Train
    by Kenneth Rogoff

    …..A general rise in global demand will simply spill over into higher commodity prices, with little helpful effect on consumption. Isn’t this obvious? Yes, there is still a financial crisis in the US, but stoking inflation is an incredibly unfair and inefficient way to deal with it.

    …….This runaway-train global economy has all the hallmarks of a giant crisis in the making – financial, political, and economic. Will policymakers find a way to achieve the necessary international coordination? Getting the diagnosis right is the place to start. The world as a whole needs tighter monetary and fiscal policy. It is time to put the brakes on this runaway train before it is too late.

  23. KG

    CVj,

    sorry me di ako nabura sa message ko sa yo.(sanay kana with almost three years of exchanges)

    tulad ng sinabi ko madami pa tayong kakaining bigas.
    let us take it literaly.

  24. cvj

    Karl, i agree 🙂

  25. Amadeo

    Missing in the back-and-forth discussions in the comments section about the US sub-prime mess and the overall downward valuation of US residential (mainly) real estate is the collateral effects they create among those homeowners who not only financed prior to all these but did so conservatively and were vetted strictly according to traditionally safe guidelines.

    Because of short or quick sales, or forced sales, or worse, foreclosures and subsequent auction sales, overall valuation of neighborhoods, cities, and statewide, has been impacted negatively. Thus those we played by the rules have also seen their real estate equities vanish overnight. While this appears not to substantially affect the economy overall, it does erode greatly these people’s confidence in the economy, and their thoughts of the dream houses they thought they had purchased.

    It would be interesting to find out from the aforesaid commenters if they have indeed been personally affected by all these developments. Last year, I was quite successful in disposing a property in Daly City CA held for over 20 years at a price almost 7 times its original purchase price. And using the proceeds to purchase into a new development about 70 miles away. Now, we have seen the valuation of that new house possibly down by 50% – all in a span of a single year!

    In an ironically new twist, the valuation of the old house sold may have gone down, but definitely not as drastically as the new house. The issues could be whether the area is an older development as compared to newer ones. Or whether certain areas are insulated from too wide fluctuations because of limited supply or differing relative demands for housing.

    Another property purchased in a new development over a 100 miles away going Sacramento way, done within the years of frenzied grants of sub-prime mortgages92004-2007), but again done conservatively ( with substantial down payment, income verification, and even acceptable debt-to-income ratio), we have seen its value diminished by about 30% over the past two years.

  26. PSI

    “..the losers are clear: countries that pursued neo-liberal policies not only lost the growth sweepstakes; when they did grow, the benefits accrued disproportionately to those at the top.” – Joseph Stiglitz as quoted by hvrds

    It was during FVR’s term that RP took hook, line, and sinker all the Washington-consensus prescriptions of free trade, privatization, and liberalization. The slogan then: enlarge the economic pie first and benefits will trickle down.

    Erap was more circumspect and slanted towards pro-poor agenda: Erap Para sa Mahirap

    PGMA seems to have taken the middle road as globalization reared its ugly head: employment-generating investments cum subsidies

  27. The Ca t

    do you have any other reason why mlq3 may want to go to Australia? i am curious.

    MLQ3 does not have to go to Australia. Do you know how modules are conducted in the MBA if you have enrolled in one?

  28. The Ca t

    i observed was that the filipinos didn’t ask questions, were afraid to make comments, the foreigners were the ones who questioned the professor (i think most kebabs are still traumatized by the local tradition of professors sneering at students who dare ask for clarifications or who challenge their professors’ orthodoxy)

    There you go again Manolo.

    I have had several foreign students in my class before.

    Filipinos will always have the inferiority complex whether it is inside the classes or just attending a conference together with foreigners not because they were bullied by their professors or teachers. Many of them do not want to get embarrassed on the thought that they may be wrong.

    The foreigners don’t mind. They will always have that superiority feeling.

    But believe me, the noisy ones are those who do not excel in the program.

    Kinda, paimpress lang.

  29. The Ca t

    Kinda like what Ca T does. I hope our kababayans realize that such attitude is normally an attempt to hide a weakness on the part of their professors so it’s nothing to be traumatized about.

    Why have you seen me in action inside the classroom?

    It is different when you traumatize the students because you discourage them from asking questions

    It is different when you encourage them to talk and express their opinions by CHALLENGING THEM.

    It is part of the training in the Graduate school. And when you are an expert in the subject, you are not bullied by the students who pretend that they are one, like some commenters here who hide behinds the links and quotations from other sources.

    And in the graduate school, there is such a thing as simulation.

  30. UP n student

    the Ca t: “… part of the training in graduate school”. If you mean that there is a formal class (and there are textbooks on the matter), can you post the titles (both of the class and of the books) ?

    I can understand the “…kinda like what Ca T does” comment from cvj —the blogposts from you that I have encountered project an unfriendly bellicose “don’t tread on me!” attitude. Are you just practicing on this blogsite?

  31. mlq3

    i don’t have to go to oz as cat pointed out, the course brings the aussies to manila.

  32. mlq3

    cat, i’ve seen foreigners in their own classes in their own culture and so i do have a point of comparison, both in terms of the students’ own attitudes towards authority and the authorities’ own attitude to their students. and in any case it’s not the quiet grinds who always do well just as being talkative isn’t a sign of genuine ability.

  33. The Ca t

    part of the training in graduate school”. If you mean that there is a formal class (and there are textbooks on the matter), can you post the titles (both of the class and of the books) ?

    I can give you several titles of different reference books on different subjects.
    Unlike in the undergrad, professors should not be using one textbook, she should be ahead of several reference books to the graduate students.

    I prepare my own syllabi and cases based on actual corporate environment. Many of the cases in the foreign-authored texbooks are not
    applicable in the Phil. management environment.

    I ask the students to present their case analyses from several viewpoints.

    It depends on the professors how they will conduct the classes..by boring lecture of principles or by applying the principles as the graduate students relate them their experience.

    By simulation, students are asked to role play in negotiation techniques and project presentation with some invited guests as the panel.

    I do not assume the role of a professor/lecturer. I always assume the role of a moderator anddevil’sadvocate among students who are also managers ad professionals in their own respective fields.

  34. UP n student

    …… can you post the titles . . . . .

    I had an Iranian woman senior manager from one of the families close to the shah. 50% of the time, she’s very charming, and then there are times she would snarl :

    did you not listen to the request? I can’t stand here to listen to your song-and-dance…. do you have the answer or do we need another meeting for this?

  35. UP n student

    Or if the other party did not belong to her chain of command, she’ll interrupt, then go with : ….. come on, John! Enough of the song-and-dance. There are people here who do have to get work done, you know!!!

  36. PSI

    UP n, I sense an attitude, Bro. My favorite was business policy where marketing, production, and human behavior techiques and approaches get integrated. Well, I probably dreamt to be CEO too much.

    But I must admit; I was weak on quanti that’s why.

  37. leytenian

    “Many of the cases in the foreign-authored texbooks are not
    applicable in the Phil. management environment. ”

    no wonder, management in the philippines do not exist. i can sense insecurity . the students will suffer if teachers think that foreign textbooks are not applicable to the Philippine management.

    i’m just excited for manolo…the program is very diverse.. i like it. more power manolo.

  38. leytenian

    Amadeo
    “Because of short or quick sales, or forced sales, or worse, foreclosures and subsequent auction sales, overall valuation of neighborhoods, cities, and statewide, has been impacted negatively.”

    very true… that’s paper losses.

    “It would be interesting to find out from the aforesaid commenters if they have indeed been personally affected by all these developments.”

    you are not alone. of course, it’s painful to think but my house is my house and i’m in here for the next 5-10 years…

  39. The Ca t

    no wonder, management in the philippines do not exist. i can sense insecurity . the students will suffer if teachers think that foreign textbooks are not applicable to the Philippine management.

    Who said that management does not exist in the Philippines? It does.

    Why will students suffer? Very stupid statement.

    If the professor knows how to conduct classes which can make the students appreciate the differences in the management style, the students learn.

    For example what is the management style of the Japanese managers compared to their Western counterparts. And did I mention text books? I mentioned about the cases found at the end of the chapter of the textbook.

    NagMBA kaba talaga?

    The cases that I prepared are only designed to the PHilippines Business Environment so the managers attending the classes can relate to the situations.

  40. The Ca t

    very true… that’s paper losses.

    Who said that they are paper losses.

    Properties put in shortsale are sold at less than the appraised or loan value. The proceeds are just enough to pay for the loan. What did the property owners lost, the house, and the payments that they have paid in the past.

    This is also true for foreclosed properties because they are the same properties that may have been put up for short sale but there are no buyers.

    The property owners lost the house and the money, they had amortized in all the years they’ve been paying.

    These are not paper losses. These are actual money lost.

  41. leytenian

    one will lose if one will sell. why would someone sell if the value is not there if they can afford the payments… ( paper losses).

  42. marcelo

    Since this blog began with the Rights of Man, I think I’ll add something here for the ladies. A line from Macaulay, the Great British Reformer, Liberal Politician, Sharp-Witted Historian, Font of Many Wonderful Quotations and (I think) one of the first to call the Press the Fourth Estate:

    “I shall not be satisfied unless I produce something which shall for a few days supersede the last fashionable novel on the tables of young ladies.”

    (Just wanted to lighten up the conversation a bit)

  43. Bencard

    marcelo, i’m not sure if you noticed it. it seems every thread in this blog, for the most part, begins and ends with discussions, or kilometric dissertations, on “economics”. it’s amazing how many armchair economists and “experrts” we have in the country, in general, and in this blog, in particular. little wonder that our country is in such an economic mess.

  44. marcelo

    Ah no, you should not be so down on our dear compatriots.

    Can you imagine what the discussions must be like on Indian, Israeli, Arab, French and Latin American blogs? Now those folks can talk and blog forever (I know. I’ve been to coffeeshops in many of those places, and in every one of them, some one is telling someone else what’s wrong with the government of the day).

    So relax, and relish the exchange of ideas without the discomfort of having them attached to an acutal living and possibly onboxious person.

    (Too bad, though, that a good cup of java can’t be part of this deal!)

  45. nameless

    putang ina

  46. nameless

    fuck america

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