Latest Developments, June 19

In the latest news and analysis…

Bleak outlook
The World Bank has published a new climate change report exploring what “temperature increases will look like, degree-by-degree” for some of the world’s poorest people over the next century:

“In Sub-Saharan Africa, the researchers found food security will be the overarching challenge, with dangers from droughts, flooding, and shifts in rainfall.
Between 1.5°C-2°C warming, drought and aridity, will contribute to farmers losing 40-80 percent of cropland conducive to growing maize, millet, and sorghum by the 2030s-2040s, the researchers found.

Loss of snow melt from the Himalayas will reduce the flow of water into the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra basins. Together, they threaten to leave hundreds of millions of people without enough water, food, or access to reliable energy.”

US troops in Mali
Sahara Media reports that American soldiers have arrived at the Amchach military base near Tessalit in northern Mali:

“According to sources contacted by Sahara Media, the soldiers’ arrival at this strategic base, which took place over the past two days, has the support of the French military.
These same sources say the US troops will be deployed to various points in northern Mali by month’s end.
According to Sahel watchers, this base had been a point of contention between Paris and Washington, both of whom wanted to set up a military base, though Algeria and Libya objected to foreign troops being stationed near their borders.” [Translated from the French.]

Partial transparency
The Center for Global Development’s Alex Cobham and Owen Barder have mixed feelings about this week’s G8 statement on “tackling financial secrecy”:

“It is disappointing that the G-8 did not agree to compile registries of beneficial ownership of companies and trusts, let alone to make them public. If individuals can own companies anonymously, it is too easy for them to set up shell companies and shelter their income from tax within them. We are confident it will eventually dawn on everyone that the only workable solution is registries of beneficial ownership, and that there is no reason that these should not be public.”

Going beyond aid
The Canadian Council for International Co-operation’s Fraser Reilly-King argues that while “aid alone” will not achieve the Millennium Development Goals or their post-2015 successors, strategies based on leveraging private capital should be viewed with caution :

“With the obsession around growth and the private sector, has come a strong focus on creating an enabling environment for private sector development. The World Bank’s (much criticized) flagship Doing Business Report ranks countries according to the ease of doing business. In practice, while it may encourage countries to streamline heavy bureaucratic processes that choke innovation, this has also led to excessive deregulation, flexibilization of work forces, and attacks on labour rights. For me, it is not about creating an enabling environment to develop the private sector (and stimulate investment), but rather creating an environment that enables the private sector (and investment and civil society and citizens) to contribute to development and poverty eradication. It’s a subtle, but extremely important, difference.”

Truth to power
Humanosphere reports that former Costa Rican president and Nobel laureate Oscar Arias told a US audience “your government is the most dangerous government on Earth”:

“Arias — in town to do a commencement speech for [the University of Washington Bothell], among other speaking events — had plenty of praise for the United States, for the generous and enterprising spirit of Americans.
But he also couldn’t help noting our country’s history of ‘supporting military dictatorships,’ of only doing foreign aid when we can see how it helps us and, as the world’s leading arms dealer and military power, of exporting violence.”

Green façade
The Dominion raises questions about Canadian-based Goldcorp’s attempts to “re-brand” its San Martin mine, which ceased production in 2008, as a Honduran ecotourism site:

“But the reality on the ground is a long way from the stories told in company documents and press releases.
A visit to the site in early 2013 revealed no evidence of a thriving hotel or ecotourism project. Instead, tall fences with barbed wire surrounded a space of land on the hill down from the mine. It cost $20 to enter the area and there were security forces guarding the site.

Residents claim that Goldcorp’s San Martin Foundation should not fall under the definition of ecotourism. Members of the Siria Valley Environmental Committee fear that the site is acting as a placeholder for the mine to re-open in the future once new mining regulations come into place.

Health equality
Durham University’s Clare Bambra makes the case for taking on economic inequality as a way to improve public health:

“Ultimately, more equal societies have better health outcomes. While even the most egalitarian developed countries have health inequalities, all of their citizens are better off and live longer. The poorest and most vulnerable groups in social-democratic countries like Sweden and Norway are far healthier and live longer than their counterparts in neo-liberal countries such as the UK or the US.”

Dodgy accounting
Freedom from Want author Ian Smillie argues that current statistics on extreme poverty do not reflect improving global conditions since the 1980s so much as a big change in the World Bank’s math:

“The problem is that the figures used a decade or so afterwards for 1980, 1985 and 1990 are not the same figures the Bank was using at the time. In its 1980 World Development Report (WDR)—still available on line—the World Bank said that ‘The number of people living in absolute poverty in developing countries (excluding China and other centrally planned economies) is estimated at around 780 million.’ At the time, China had an estimated 360 million destitute people, so the global total was probably about 1.1 billion—the same as today.

Over the past decade, however, the Bank began to tinker with the 1980-1 base. For example, ‘The Bank’s annual statistical report, World Development Indicators 2004 (WDI)… shows a drop in the absolute number of people living on less than $1 a day in all developing countries from 1.5 billion in 1981, to 1.1 billion in 2001.’
Are you following the numbers? The 1981 base had increased to 1.5 billion. And it kept rising thereafter to its current level of 1.9 billion. What remains constant is the 1.1 or 1.2 billion people living in poverty ‘today’ (whether that ‘today’ is 2013, 2004, 2000, 1985 or 1980).”

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Latest Developments, May 30

In the latest news and analysis…

Beyond MDGs
The Guardian reports that the UN panel tasked with drawing up the post-2015 development agenda has claimed its new report presents “a clear road map for eradicating extreme poverty by 2030”:

“But the proposals do not include a standalone goal on inequality, reflecting [UK prime minister and panel co-chair David] Cameron’s priorities: growth rather than reducing inequality.

‘Nice goals, but the elephant in the post-2015 room is inequality,’ said Andy Sumner, a development economist at King’s College London. ‘We find in our number-crunching that poverty can only be ended if inequality falls so one should ask: where’s the inequality goal? Something resembling that elephant in the room – on data disaggregation – is in annex 1 of the report, but will anyone remember an annex note in 2030?’

The high-level panel proposed 12 measurable goals and 54 targets. Goals include ending extreme poverty for good, making sure everyone has access to food and water, promoting good governance, and boosting jobs and growth. Targets include promoting free speech and the rule of law, ending child marriage, protecting property rights, encouraging entrepreneurship, and educating all children to at least primary school level.”

Pros and cons
The Overseas Development Institute’s Claire Melamed argues that the post-2015 report’s absence of an inequality goal may prove a “wise decision” but calls the treatment of global partnerships a “missed opportunity”:

“An income inequality goal risks focusing campaigners and policymakers on shifts in, say, a country’s Gini coefficient – which is a pretty poor indicator of how people are actually faring, and doesn’t go to the heart of the multiple, intersecting inequalities, and the different dimensions of inequality. If talk of a ‘data revolution’ is carried through, and we know what is happening to the poorest and most remote communities – if their children are going to school, if they have healthcare, if they are at risk of violence – that is much more useful information than a shift in the Gini coefficient.

The panel has ducked some hard choices [on global partnerships] – or maybe failed to reach a consensus. There’s great language on the need for all institutions, including the private sector, to be much more transparent and accountable. The report goes beyond MDG eight by suggesting a target on keeping global warming within 2C. But there’s little that’s specific – instead of measurable targets, we get vague aspirations to create an ‘open, fair and development-friendly trading system’, or ‘reform the international financial architecture’, or ‘reduce tax evasion’.”

Corporate thinking
The Christian Science Monitor explores the “different paths” that EU and US companies have taken following the garment factory collapse that killed over 1,000 people in Bangladesh last month:

“Clothing firms quickly came under activist and union pressure to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh: a five-year, legally binding commitment from retailers, whose suppliers will be subject to independent inspections and public reports. A finance mechanism also requires each firm to contribute to safety upgrades, at a maximum of $2.5 million each over the five-year commitment.

US firms, which have cited legal liabilities, have embraced a lawyer-driven dialogue that favors a corporate instead of consumer response, [International Marketing Partners’ Allyson] Stewart-Allen says. North American re-tailers say they are drawing up their own safety plan.”

Radioactive workplace
The Daily Times reports on allegations that a uranium mine run by Australia’s Paladin Energy in Malawi is a “death trap” for local workers:

“Rex Chatambalala, who said he worked as control room operator in the final product area until August 2010, said local workers are exposed to radioactive material, highlighting two worst areas.
‘The first is the pit or mine where workers are exposed to radioactive dust, and the second is the processing line starting from crushers to the final product area,’ said Chatambalala in an exclusive interview.
‘When pipes block, Malawians are the ones unblocking them and they do this manually. Supervisors just instruct from far, telling you even to pick a radioactive stone with hands.
‘The expatriates don’t work where they know it is dangerous. They send locals there while they sit the offices drinking coffee.’ ”

Lily pads
Nikolas Kozloff writes in the Huffington Post about the growing US military presence in and around Africa:

“Reportedly, the Pentagon wants to establish a monitoring station in the Cape Verde islands, while further south in the Gulf of Guinea U.S. ships and personnel are patrolling local waters. Concerned lest it draw too much attention to itself, the Pentagon has avoided constructing large military installations and focused instead on a so-called ‘lily pad’ strategy of smaller bases. In São Tomé and Príncipe, an island chain in the Gulf of Guinea and former Portuguese colony, the Pentagon may install one such ‘under the radar’ base, and U.S. Navy Seabees are already engaged in construction work at the local airport.”

Conflict catalysts
Peru-based filmmaker/journalist Stephanie Boyd argues that reporters who accompanied Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his recent trip to Latin America should have focused less on scandals back home and more on the human rights records of Canadian mining companies in the region:

“There are currently 229 social conflicts in Peru and over half of these are related to mining, oil and gas projects, according to Peru’s government Ombudsman’s office.

‘Many of Peru’s historic and current mining conflicts are related to Canadian companies,’ says Jose de Echave, who served as vice-minister of the Environment during President Humala’s first cabinet.
One of the most recent involves Vancouver-based Candente Copper, which hopes to build a copper mine in one of northern Peru’s fragile tropical forests. Leaders from the nearby indigenous community of Cañaris say the proposed mine would destroy their source of water and livelihood. Last year the community held a referendum in which 95 per cent voted against the mine, but the company has ignored the results and is pushing ahead with the project.”

Racist violence
Despite recognizing “legitimate concerns about the overbroad scope of some provisions,” Human Rights Watch pushes for parliamentary debate on a Greek bill aimed at protecting immigrants from the country’s growing number of racially motivated hate crimes:

“A version of the draft law seen by Human Rights Watch would protect migrants who are victims of, or substantive witnesses to crime from deportation, as well as their families, while the alleged attackers are prosecuted. Human Rights Watch research indicates that fear of deportation deters undocumented migrants from reporting attacks to the police.”

Latest Developments, April 6

In the latest news and analysis…

Endless mission
Reuters reports that France’s foreign minister has expressed the desire to have a permanent French military presence in Mali:

“ ‘France has proposed, to the United Nations and to the Malian government, a French support force of 1,000 men which would be permanent, based in Mali, and equipped to fight terrorism,’ [French Foreign Minister Laurent] Fabius said before leaving Bamako after a one-day visit.
A diplomatic source in Paris said France hoped to have the [UN] peacekeeping force approved by the Security Council within three weeks, and to have it deployed by the end of June or early July in time for scheduled presidential elections.
A clause in the U.N. resolution will allow [UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon] to request the rapid intervention of France’s 1,000 troops, which would be deployed under a bilateral deal with Mali, the source said.”

Gitmo scolding
The UN News Centre reports that UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has said she is “deeply disappointed” by the failure of the US government to fulfill its promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay:

“ ‘Some of [the prisoners] have been festering in this detention centre for more than a decade,’ Ms. Pillay said. ‘This raises serious concerns under international law. It severely undermines the United States’ stance that it is an upholder of human rights, and weakens its position when addressing human rights violations elsewhere.’

‘We must be clear about this: the United States is in clear breach not just of its own commitments but also of international laws and standards that it is obliged to uphold. When other countries breach these standards, the US – quite rightly – strongly criticizes them for it.’ ”

Uranium discontent
Agence France-Presse reports on a protest held by about 2,000 students against French nuclear giant Areva in Niger’s capital:

“Marchers held aloft placards saying ‘No to exploitation and neo-colonialism’ and ‘No to Areva’.
‘The partnership in the mining of uranium is very unbalanced to the detriment of our country,’ said Mahamadou Djibo Samaila, secretary general of the Union of Niamey University Students that organised the protest.

The government of Niger, one of Africa’s poorest countries, complained late last year that its four-decade-old deal with Areva to mine its vast uranium deposits was unfair and should be changed.”

Robot wars
The University of Sheffield’s Noel Sharkey explores the potential limitations and dangers of “fully autonomous robot weapons”:

“Is anyone thinking about how an adaptive enemy will exploit the weaknesses of robot weapons with spoofing, hacking or misdirection?
Is anyone considering how unknown computer programs will interact when swarms of robots meet? Is anyone considering how autonomous weapons could destabilize world security and trigger unintentional wars?
In April this year in London, a group of prominent NGOs will launch a large civil society campaign to ‘Stop Killer Robots.’ They are seeking a new legally binding preemptive international treaty to prohibit the development and deployment of fully autonomous robot weapons.”

Toothless treaty
Former Reuters columnist Bernd Debusmann writes that the recently approved UN arms trade treaty is not at all certain to succeed in “throttling the flow of arms to the world’s killing fields”:

“Russia and China, the world’s second- and fourth-largest arms exporters respectively, abstained. So did 22 other countries that have misgivings about the agreement. Iran, North Korea and Syria – all subject to arms embargoes – voted against.
So did, in a manner of speaking, a domestic American pressure group, the National Rifle Association, whose extraordinary influence on the U.S. Congress is almost certain to result in the senate blocking ratification of the treaty.

The United States is by far the world’s largest arms exporter and if it stayed on the sidelines, along with Russia and China, the Arms Trade Treaty would lack teeth.”

Segregated cities
The Guardian’s Gary Younge argues that the uneven and unfair distribution of wealth in US cities means “chaos will spread randomly and episodically”:

“The problem starts with poverty. Infant mortality rates for black families in Pittsburgh are worse than in Vietnam; male life expectancy in Washington, DC is lower than it is the Gaza Strip.
Poverty rates in some black and Latino neighbourhoods in almost every city are higher than 50%. In some, violence is rampant. By one estimate, between 20% and 30% Chicago school children have witnessed a shooting. The US now has more people in its penal system than the Soviet Union did at the height of the gulag system.”

Poverty makers
Alnoor Ladha and Martin Kirk of /The Rules and Joe Brewer of Cognitive Policy Works argue that global poverty is created by an “industry that includes private companies, think tanks, media outlets, government policies, and more”:

“This isn’t to suggest that there’s a dark, smoky room somewhere in which a small cabal plots to cause immeasurable misery just because they can. This isn’t a conspiracy theory. In truth, it happens in big boardrooms and political conferences, where people create rules and execute strategies to ‘maximise self-interest’ as economists say, by extracting wealth from others. This is largely driven by a maniacal focus on short-term profit or advantage while ignoring one of its primary effects – the impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people. Wilful ignorance, though, as any legal scholar will tell you, is no defence in law. It’s about time we applied the same standard to our economic rules and realities.”

Latest Developments, January 22

In the latest news and analysis…

Casualties of war
In an interview with France 24, the UN refugee agency’s William Spindler discusses the uncertain humanitarian situation since the start of the French offensive in northern Mali, where the number of refugees “could rise by as much as 400,000”:

“Only organisations that already had staff on the ground are present. International NGOs have not yet been given access to the combat zones since the French army launched its offensive.

The situation will only worsen because of growing difficulties in transportation, especially between the cities of Mopti and Gao. We also fear an increase in the number of internally displaced people, which we currently estimate at 229,000.”

Splitting Africa
Reuters reports that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has come out strongly against the French-led military intervention currently underway in Mali:

“ ‘I would like to confirm that we do not agree, ever, to military intervention in Mali because this would inflame the conflict in this region,’ Mursi said.
‘The intervention must be peaceful and developmental and funds must be spent on development,’ he said. ‘What we don’t ever want is to … separate the Arab north from the core of Africa.’ ”

The Pakistan exception
The Washington Post reports that a nearly completed US government counterterrorism “playbook” establishing rules for targeted killings will not immediately apply to CIA drone strikes in Pakistan:

“The adoption of a formal guide to targeted killing marks a significant — and to some uncomfortable — milestone: the institutionalization of a practice that would have seemed anathema to many before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Among the subjects covered in the playbook are the process for adding names to kill lists, the legal principles that govern when U.S. citizens can be targeted overseas and the sequence of approvals required when the CIA or U.S. military conducts drone strikes outside war zones.

The decision to allow the CIA strikes to continue was driven in part by concern that the window for weakening al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan is beginning to close, with plans to pull most U.S. troops out of neighboring Afghanistan over the next two years. CIA drones are flown out of bases in Afghanistan.”

Lessons from Bangladesh
The Wall Street Journal reports that Wal-Mart has announced a new “zero tolerance policy” that would mean terminating contracts with suppliers that use subcontractors without the American retail giant’s permission:

“The changes, which begin taking effect March 1, come after Wal-Mart clothing was found at a Bangladesh factory where a fire killed 112 people in November—a factory the company said was no longer supposed to be making its clothes.
The tougher new policies replace the Bentonville, Ark., retailer’s prior ‘three strikes’ approach to policing suppliers, which gave the suppliers three chances to address problems before being terminated.”

New treaty
In a Q&A with Inter Press Service, Uruguayan diplomat Fernando Lugris, who chaired 140-nation negotiations on the newly agreed and legally binding Minamata Convention on Mercury, discusses some of the issues that divided rich and poor countries:

“The GRULAC (Latin American and Caribbean Group) clearly sought to introduce health as an issue throughout the convention, and the agreed text basically contains many measures for health protection.
The group also insisted on the need to include a specific article on health. In principle, the industrialised countries felt that an article on health was irrelevant in an environmental agreement.
However, Latin America’s persistence and its clear interest in protecting human health succeeded in getting the final session of the plenary to agree on an article specifically about health.

The international community has clearly formulated this issue [of indigenous rights] through the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is a non-binding agreement, but unfortunately at the level of binding agreements there are still some countries that oppose making specific reference to native peoples. This is not the case in Latin America.”

Commodification salvation
The Guardian’s Claire Provost urges greater scrutiny of “market-based approaches to the world’s water woes,” whose growing popularity is setting off alarm bells in some circles:

“The global water justice movement – emboldened by a decade of struggles against the commodification and privatisation of water – warns that setting up markets for the benefits provided by ecosystems could pave the way for a wholesale commodification of nature while doing little to address imbalances of money, power and resources. Commentators have lashed out at payments for ecosystems services for heralding the greatest privatisation since the enclosure of common lands, and sounded the alarm over prospects for a future financialised global water market and the impact that could have on food security.
Alarmingly, this week’s report notes that social goals – from poverty reduction to gender inequality – are not measured or monitored in most projects, even when mentioned as priorities.”

Concentration problems
Oxfam is calling on world leaders, many of whom are about to meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos, to “commit to reducing inequality to at least 1990 levels”:

“Barbara Stocking, Oxfam Chief Executive, said: ‘We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true.’

‘In a world where even basic resources such as land and water are increasingly scarce, we cannot afford to concentrate assets in the hands of a few and leave the many to struggle over what’s left.’
Members of the richest one per cent are estimated to use as much as 10,000 times more carbon than the average US citizen.”

Small answers
A Guardian editorial argues the international development industry appears to be incapable of leading the necessary conversation about changing the world, a debate that “needs blasting open”:

“While the questions in development are getting bigger, the professional and intellectual scene has never been so fragmented. It will take a formidable alchemy to forge strong solutions here. One thing is clear: wasting years on a technocratic debate about goals which are for advocacy more than anything else – and likely drawn up without reference to such fundamentals as political rights – is not a serious response to the dysfunctional summitry, procrastination and missed targets of recent years. And it will leave the global public square in the same state of disrepair. The conversation we need has barely begun.”

Latest Developments, October 24

In the latest news and analysis…

Unspeakable issue
The New York Times reports that, for the first time since 1988, climate change did not come up during the US presidential debates:

“Throughout the campaign, the candidates have talked a great deal about energy, but it has essentially been a competition in who could heap the most praise on fossil fuels. They tended to avoid any explicit linkage between their energy proposals and climate risk.

‘No candidate has been able to portray climate change policy as a win-win,’ Eugene M. Trisko, a lawyer and consultant for the United Mine Workers of America, said on Tuesday. ‘That’s because they understand that the root of climate change mitigation strategy is higher energy costs. It’s an energy tax, and that’s something you don’t want to talk about in a debate.’ ”

Disposition matrix
The Washington Post reports on a new American database, the “disposition matrix,” suggesting the US government intends to continue carrying out targeted killings for years to come:

“The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the ‘disposition’ of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.
Although the matrix is a work in progress, the effort to create it reflects a reality setting in among the nation’s counterterrorism ranks: The United States’ conventional wars are winding down, but the government expects to continue adding names to kill or capture lists for years.”

Phantom menace
Human Rights Watch’s Bill Frelick and Bangkok-based human rights lawyer Michael Timmins slam the apparent spread of Australia’s “punitive asylum policies” to neighbouring New Zealand:

“The bill provides for the near-automatic detention for six months and beyond of so-called ‘mass arrivals’ (11 people or more) by boat or other unscheduled craft who are ‘potentially illegal.’
What mass arrivals? Notwithstanding 18th and 19th century Europeans who might have met the bill’s ‘mass arrivals’ definition, no modern-era boatload of asylum seekers has ever reached New Zealand. Even if one were to arrive, this would in no way overload New Zealand’s existing asylum system. The hypothetical ‘risk’ does not justify the abdication of principle.”

Justice deferred
The Wall Street Journal reports that the UK looks set to adopt deferred-prosecution agreements, a tool much used by US prosecutors in the fight against corporate wrongdoing, such as the bribing of foreign officials:

“Under a deferred-prosecution agreement, criminal charges would be dropped after a period of time if an organization complies with the terms of a deal, which could include the imposition fines, disgorgement and orders to implement measures to prevent future wrongdoing.

The [US] agreements don’t require a judge’s involvement, and there’s no one to question the fairness of the agreement or to second-guess its terms, as Dealbook’s Peter Henning pointed out in September.
Under the U.K. proposal, however, a judge will have the power to block an agreement if they don’t agree that the settlement is appropriate, the consultation report said.”

Stolen oil
Reuters reports that a Nigerian politician has begun campaigning for a global solution to his country’s oil-theft problem, given that an estimated 90% of Nigeria’s pilfered crude ends up on world markets:

“Oil companies say so called ‘bunkering’ — tapping into oil pipelines to steal the crude — and other forms of oil theft are on the rise in Nigeria, despite an amnesty that was meant to end a conflict there in 2009 over the distribution of oil wealth.
Yet while local gangs hacking into pipelines to steal small quantities for local refining are the most visible sign, it is industrial scale oil theft involving collusion by politicians, the military, Western banks and global organised crime that is the real drain on Nigeria’s resources, [Niger Delta politician Dele Cole] said.
‘International theft is diverting huge quantities … and the sophistication of the exercise — from breaching the pipeline, to having barges, to knowing when ships are at the port, to being paid — is major,’ he said.”

Unwanted comeback
Reuters also reports that malaria “is being transmitted from person to person within Greek borders” for the first time since 1974:

“Species of the blood-sucking insects that can carry exotic-sounding tropical infections like malaria, West Nile Virus, chikungunya and dengue fever are enjoying the extra bit of warmth climate change is bringing to parts of southern Europe.
And with austerity budgets, a collapsing health system, political infighting and rising xenophobia all conspiring to allow pest and disease control measures here to slip through the net, the mosquitoes are biting back.”

Better than nothing
The BBC reports that 10 EU countries – including Germany, France, Italy and Spain – plan to forge ahead with a financial transaction tax despite failing to obtain the support of all 27 member countries:

“Governments across Europe have been implementing drastic austerity measures to cut debt levels, and taxing banks is seen by some as an important way to raise revenues, particularly while the economic recovery remains so fragile.
Opponents argue that unless it is adopted universally, the tax would drive business to financial centres that did not impose the tax.”

Stacked deck
The University of London’s Simon Reid-Henry argues that, while dependency theory has faced some valid criticism over the years, its focus on “the problems of uneven starting points and the structural unfairness of global capitalism” remains relevant today:

“And the underlying critique of western chauvinism (that western-style capitalist democracy is the best model for the rest) remains pertinent when people persist in talking of development ‘ladders’, for example. Perhaps more important, Frank’s belief that we too readily overlook the way that too many of the privileges of the rich nations are not only unearned but predicated upon the prior and active removal of that wealth from others is, if anything, making something of a comeback in these days of heightened discussion of inequality.”