Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Recent US Government Shutdown: Bad For the Global Economy?

Despite the “political fallout” of the recent US government shutdown largely confined within its own boarders, was this bone-headed move by the GOP really bad for the global economy? 

By: Ringo Bones 

The cause may be just a “mere” disagreement by the Tea Party leaning members of the US Republican Party over President Obama’s flagship healthcare, but the reasons behind the disagreement seems to read like the salient points of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf being shoehorned to the US Republican Party’s “interpretation” of the Christian Bible has cost the US economy 24 billion US dollars – or 0.6 percent of US GDP wiped out - in the 16-day government shutdown. But will a repeat of such a “political tantrum” – which will be due in January 14, 2014 – spell the death knell of the global economy? 

Reputational damage to the US government and of the US economy – from the perspective of the rest of the world – is quite considerable over the Tea Party leaning members of the US Republican Party resorting to manufacture a crisis in order to protect their vain political interests. Even Mainland China – who owns trillions of dollars of American Treasury Bills largely used by the Bush administration to fund its “War on Terror” during the first decade of the 21st Century – now calls for the global economic community to restructure the way they do business that’s decoupled from America’s recent politically triggered economic uncertainty. The last time the US Republican Party pulled such a prolonged shutdown was back in 1995 where a 21-day shutdown cost the US economy 1.5 billion US dollars. 

Can the global economy survive another political temper tantrum from the ultra right wing branch of the US Republican Party? The world’s leading tenured economists may shudder at the prospect, and unless the most radical right-wing members of the US Republican Party are voted out of Capitol Hill this upcoming mid-term elections in November 2014, the global economy might not survive another political temper tantrum from radical right-wingers who insisted that white Anglo Saxon Jesus didn’t miraculously cured the sick for free. I think things are worse that what Vanessa Williamson had been pointing out in The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Barclays Remittance Row: Draconian Anti Terror Measure?

Even though the move is allegedly to disrupt the finding of Al Qaeda related groups in Somalia, but is the latest Barclays anti-terror move just a bit too draconian for a majority of ordinary Somali citizens? 

By: Ringo Bones 

This could probably be the very first precedent of “non-fatal collateral casualties” in the on-going war on terror. Given Barclay’s “altruism” of doing their part of disrupting the day-to-day operations of Al Qaeda related groups – like the recent Al Shabaab attack on the Westgate Mall in Kenya back in September 21, 2013- wherever they may be, should the local innocent civilians have to suffer the consequences? 

With the recent decision of Barclays to end its deal with remittances companies in Somalia citing that they are just a financial front for Al Qaeda related terror groups, 3 Somali remittance firms have launched a legal action against Barclays over their rather draconian measure to disrupt terror groups in Somalia. Barclays claims that the remittances are used to fund Somalia based terror groups with sympathies to Al Qaeda that are currently launching terror attacks throughout Africa – which the latest high profile attack is the Kenyan Westgate shopping mall hostage taking and shooting incident by Al Shabaab operatives back in September 21. 

Somalia gets 60 percent of its foreign currency flow via remittances and the truth of which is that this “lifeline” service is primarily used to fund local small to medium business being run by ordinary Somalis with nothing to do with Al Qaeda whatsoever. Given that most of Somalia has just reached a state of normalcy after two decades of armed anarchy, is Barclay’s recent decision to end its remittance deal with Somalia for all intents and purposes just punishing the wrong group of people?