Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Family Matters

In an idle moment I did something I haven't done for a long time, I read Socialist Worker. There's an interesting piece, in that brief, digestible, Readers Digest style the SW has, on hedge funds.

In the Indian state of Goa mines are being dug with haste and a lack of attention to health and safety for the workers and the villagers. Water is diverted and silt floods houses. The company that owns the mines, Sesa Goa
gets much of its funding from Hermitage Capital, based in Mayfair.

Bill Browder, the head of Hermitage, says he fears that governments in the West will deal with the huge bank bailout debts by printing money, instead of taking on the working class and forcing through cuts.

B[r]owder and his friends are worried this would devalue any financial investments wealthy investors own. So Hermitage is turning to betting on “hard assets” like commodities and land to make money.

Hermitage’s “Global Fund”, which manages £650 million for the rich, is pushing its money into gold and mining companies.

In the 1990s the company made money investing in the newly opened up markets of Russia. Hermitage’s London officers have a modest exterior. But it is rumoured that the interior is modelled on the St Petersburg palace in Russia that it shares a name with.
A bit of internet searching reveals that this caricature of a cigar chomping capitalist is the grandson of a former head of the CPUSA, Earl Russell Browder.

Here's a video of Earl Russell Browder

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Talk on Development and Statistics

A worthy and not dull talk on development and statistics by Hans Rosling.

For more interesting, informative and sometimes world changing talks look at TED.