‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 25 September – 01 October 2022
An Island editorial this week exposed – perhaps inadvertently – Japan’s sudden sumo moves in Sri Lanka:
Japan is trying to further the interests of the strategic forum, QUAD
(Quadrilateral Security Dialogue), as a member,
by intervening to enable Sri Lanka to manage its debt,
sort out its economy and lessen its dependence on China.
It has also been claimed that 2 other QUAD members,
India & the US, are also actively involved in helping
straighten up Sri Lanka’s ailing economy as part of their strategy
to counter China’s growing influence in the region.
(see ee Economists, An Appeal to Japan)
• Japan & the Asian Development Bank (which Japan controls) took a prominent role this week in boosting the Colombo Stock Exchange. President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a fit of candor, recently called the CSE too ‘rigged’. He was referring to the renewed efforts to sell off national assets: under the guise of getting rid of ‘loss-making State-owned Enterprises (SoEs)’ by throwing them to the wolves at the CSE.
The news mentions, Japan’s SG Holdings owns ‘the number one entity’ in the ‘rigged’ Colombo Stock Exchange. The news does not mention Japan also owns Aberdeen Holdings Group’s FitsAir. FitsAir this week announced ‘international passenger operations’ in Sri Lanka. Fits will be run by white ‘expat’ Peter Hill, ‘former CEO at SriLankan Airlines when it was under Emirates management & ran the now loss-making airline profitably.’ Ahem!!
The news also does not mention Aberdeen’s Fits Express was established as the ‘authorized service contractor’ for US shipping company, UPS Sri Lanka.
The ‘accidental’ President has nevertheless been busy flying SriLankan Airlines (we hope) West and then East (but not ‘too East’). He visited a dead English Queen and an almost-dead English King, US colony Japan’s still-alive Emperor Hirohito, Philippines Bong Bong (son of Ferdinand) Marcos, and even chaired the Asian Development Bank’s annual carnival. And lo! a ‘rigged’ stock market stood up erect and took notice of all this (see ee Random Notes, Japan)
• The US is turning the Pacific Islands ‘into cannon-fodder for its own interests’, writes CGTN. ‘A great deal of the history of our world is going to be written in the Indo-Pacific over the coming years and decades. And the Pacific Islands are a critical voice in shaping that future,’ US President Joe Biden stated at the first US-Pacific Island Country Summit in Washington DC on September 29, 2022.
• India, China, Gabon and Brazil abstained on a UNSC resolution condemning Russia. Despite the US media’s tagging of the war as an ‘unprovoked invasion by Russia’, former Indian envoy MK Bhadrakumar said the present war ‘ensues from the violent coup staged by the US to grab power in Kiev in 2014 so as to create an anti-Russia proxy state. US interests are not affected by the happenings in Ukraine, which is 10,000km away from its shores. But, for Russia, Ukraine is not only an existential issue but also the cradle of its civilization – inseparable. Like Nepal is for India.’ What this says about Sri Lanka, is indeed a matter to ponder.
• Just as the US and its NATO underlings perpetrated a terrorist attack on submarine pipeline NordStream in the Baltic Sea, the local media reported US envoy Julie Chung and her Economic Unit Head Phillip Loosli ‘recently’ visited ‘South Asia’s First Submarine Cable Depot, noting, ‘all submarine cables from Europe to Asia & Far East run within close reach of Galle’.
The nominally SLT-MOBITEL Galle Submarine Cable Depot is a joint venture with the Indian Ocean Cable Ship owned by Singapore Telecom and France’s Orange Marine. It’s unclear exactly how much control Sri Lanka has over the depot let alone SL Telecom. SLT is cited as a success story of privatization. The truth is of course the exact opposite. It represents another example of the handover of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty to multinationals (Japan’s NTT, US AT&T, etc).
What message does the US envoy wish to send by signaling the release of this latest information? Is it another message that, unless the government submits, serious consequences may ensue? ‘The cable repair ship Asian Restorer is stationed in Galle…The strategic location of the Depot enables swift submarine cable repair and maintenance work in the region …’
• ee reproduces excerpts from The End of a Corporate Giant – the Story of Walker Sons & Co, by Hugh Karunanayake. This rendition illuminates how English ownership over important sectors of Sri Lanka’s economy continued long after Soulbury Independence in 1948.
The author does not mention Walker’s vital umbilical link to the monopoly Peninsular & Orient Co, whose engineering work it carried out: P&O set up the Ceylon Wharfage Company to do the cargo handling for ships, for their imports & exports in the Colombo Port. P&O’s Mackinnon Mackenzie did shipping agency work. Engineering firm Walkers, originally the Marine Engineering Co, serviced the ships.
Karunanayake mentions the role of Walker’s in ‘manufacturing machinery’, but fails to note why it did not become a truly ‘industrial’ venture by incorporating upstream & downstream production of supplies (steel, etc) and distribution (ships, etc) to lead to other industrial ventures inside the country. Instead Walker’s ended up just another import-export mafia agent (see Random Notes).
‘Rather than being elected, the leaders of the World Bank (& IMF)
are appointed by the US & Europe, one result being,
the leaders appointed to the WB are always from the US
(while leaders appointed to IMF are always European).
Moreover, the entire voting system of the World Bank is skewed
towards the domination of the US, Europe and other developed countries
and the subordination of developing countries…
The largest vote holders are the G7 countries
– US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, England
– while middle- & low-income countries,
which represent approximately 85% of the world’s population,
have approximately 40% of the vote.’
– ee Economists, Africom Watch Bulletin #41
Blocked by the gatekeepers of knowledge, SBD de Silva, to whom this blog is dedicated, traveled the world, historically and geographically. He dug out clues to the political economy of underdevelopment, to particularly illuminate what is happening to Sri Lanka. Zimbabwe as Rhodesia was vital to his thesis on the different economies allowed in settler and non-settler colonies. This ee highlights the destruction of the ‘largest steel plant in the world’s southern hemisphere, in Zimbabwe, and the US wars waged by all means to prevent industrialization.
Many political analysts, for whom ‘West’ means white and good, use Zimbabwe, Somalia, Sudan, etc., (the actual ‘West’ for us), and Robert Mugabe, as synonyms of dereliction and why ‘independence’ has failed. This ee Focus reveals other greater truths: the whites are still busy trying to control the world.
• IMF Dollar Shy – Having hustled the SL government into submitting to the US government’s economic dictat, the ‘IMF says timeline remains uncertain as Sri Lanka eyes December bailout’, quoting an unnamed ‘a highly placed SL diplomatic source’. Another headline: ‘Difficult to predict Sri Lanka’s bailout timeline – IMF’. The more time they take, the more indebted we are made.
The Sinhala system of interest payment was based on simple interest. Compound interest was introduced by the English presumably on behalf of certain Muslim traders in the Eastern province, who then grabbed large swathes of land there.
• This ee Focus also looks at the almost-indecent rush to make the Central Bank of Sri Lanka ‘independent’ of the country’s needs. What does this independence mean? ee reproduces an excerpt on the origins of this call for ‘independence’, from economist Michael Hudson’s discussion with Ralph Nader on ‘Debt, Financial Surveillance, the Fed & More’. The excerpt begins with a discussion on debt & interest, and explains why this is the only kind of ‘independence’ that US and their funded think tanks, NGOS and allied poodles of US capitalists, like. Not only does it render the Central Bank independent of the SL government, it makes it dependent on private capitalists.
This ee focuses as well on the devastating effects of the recent IMF policies imposed on Zambia, despite claims by so-called ‘progressives’ that the US state-controlled IMF, which wishes to weaken our own state’s ability to run the economy, has ‘changed’.
• The People’s Republic of China celebrates their 73rd anniversary of liberation from imperialism on 01 October.
The 2022 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) takes place Oct 10-16 in Washington DC.
On October 16, China convenes the largest democratic parliament on planet earth to re-elect their leader Xi Jinping, as the US and India conduct war games on India’s northeast borders.
• Unilever-linked Capital Maharaja Group (CMG), the chemical and other import mafia agent and media moghul, is acting coy as usual. This week CMG’s florid organ NewsFirst, asked, ‘So the question is, who is the intermediary involved in the importation of fuel?’ The media loves to act as if they don’t know.
• ee is no fan of the theatre of the absurd, etc. It is yet another conceit of white culture. Only an unjust dominant force can afford to and must dispense with material cause and effect. Yet, nothing is more absurd and nothing explains the media more than its living ridiculousness. This theatre of the absurd obscures and abstracts the drama of reality. The media remains a capitalist good, and the Sri Lankan media, an imperialist product as well. Only this can explain how they hunger after the approval and to bolster the narrative, of the white man. How they can act as if the white man can really be the judge over us.
• Ursula Has Tools – Some may take solace that the EU threatens not just Sri Lanka, but its own as well. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was accused of trying to influence Italy’s elections. 3 days before the country’s polls, at US Princeton University, asked what she thought of a ‘right-wing’ victory in an EC member state, she replied, the EU has certain ‘tools’ that it can use against Italy if it chooses to go ‘in a difficult direction’. Von der Leyen was referring to the EU’s ‘ability to cut funds’ to nations that displease corporate Brussels: ‘I’ve spoken about Hungary & Poland – we have the tools.’ The Italian electorate apparently ignored her. Though only 60% or so of those eligible voted. 40% care even less of what she thinks.
• The US as the leader of the imperialists has decided they are willing to escalate from forever wars to nuclear wars, even sacrifice large swaths of the planet earth, including their own lands, in order to preserve the capitalist status quo. They believe they can survive in gated fortresses. They will not invest in real industrialization, which requires a highly skilled working class. A highly skilled working class would spell their end.
Meanwhile, the US and their UN poodles extend their intrusions into Lanka: A USAID ‘Export Barometer Survey’, with the ‘Ceylon Chamber of Commerce’ reveals ‘Pessimism looms over export sector.’
Then there is UNICEF Representative Christian Skoog, patronizing us, ‘Developing plans and policies without youth is a futile exercise’ for ‘the sustainability of the planet and the tourism sector’! Tourism sector? What skills does tourism teach? (see ee Quotes, NGOs)
Meanwhile, Japan is distributing ‘nutritional care’ though UNICEF rather than the Ministry of Health (ee Industry, UNICEF, & UNICEF welcomes Japanese aid to SL)
And the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Sri Lanka is ‘channeling private sector funds’ towards procuring essential & non-essential medical supplies and address food security…The UNDP partners are Hemas Holdings, Dilmah Ceylon Tea Co, Brandix Apparel, Daraz SL, Citi Foundation, Amana Bank, Sarvodaya, UN Global Compact Network SL & oDoc. (ee Industry, Hemas). 75 Years of Soulbury Independence, here we come, or there we go!
A1. Reader Comments –
• Congratulations #4 ee • How long ee? • Color is the new white
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Sam & Julie Shift on JVP • Aunty Sam’s Comedy of Terrors • JVP Swiss or Sudan Challenge • Pipeline Terror: US, Polish, Swedish, Danish Job • 19thC Cingalese Down Under • Archival Brainwash • NGOs as Vent • Zimbabwe Surrounded by US Army • UN Gangsterism in Haiti • US Fed Created for Rich Only • IMF Chief Has no Choice • US Sunset Slave Laws • Biden Vowed to Sabotage NordStream
A3. Random Notes –
• Japan & the Rigged Colombo Stock Market • Majority Whites & Market Coloreds • World Bank Promises Never Kept • The Story of Walker Sons & Co. • Zimbabwe as Rhodesia & SBD de Silva
B. ee Focus
B1. What Happened to Africa’s Biggest Iron Smelter: Zimbabwe Iron & Steel Company (ZISCO) by Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare
B2. Zambia’s Debt Crisis a Warning for What Looms Ahead for Global South – Tanupriya Singh
B3. Michael Hudson Discusses Debt, Financial Surveillance, the Fed & More with Ralph Nader
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news sent, or your comments, and place any e-link at the end. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• ‘Congratulations and the best of wishes on ee‘s 4th birthday’
• ‘Was this juxtaposition deliberate?: Welcome to ee’s 4th Anniversary. ‘How long can this keep going on?’
• ‘The distinction between whites & non-whites may relate to an older paradigm. What we are seeing now (all over the world), is the asphyxiation of national cultures and local people, for implementation of the imported global agenda. I see how the ‘privileged white population’ are being victimised in their own country. Only those who comply will be favoured, whatever their ethnic origin, and migrant populations seem to get prioritised, creating more resentment among locals.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Samantha Power’s visit signals a decision by the US to intervene in Sri Lanka’s policy directions… The US Ambassador in Colombo has so far handled the JVP with kid gloves, it will be interesting to watch if Ms Power has instructed Ms Julie Chung to change course… The democracy thing, that is the political side, is rather complicated. It is not that the militarists or the fascists in the defence establishment have a ghost of a chance of throwing their weight around. An uprising in the streets and a naval blockade will finish them off. The threat is from Sinhala-Buddhist extremism.’ – David, ee Sovereignty, Samantha
• ‘When Samantha Power, currently attached to USAID, says ‘USA wants countries to be independent’, she’s being comic beyond belief. How many countries does the US have military bases in, Samantha? How many countries have the US invaded over the last 2 centuries, or let’s say the last 2 decades? How many proxy wars has the US funded? How many terrorists has the US supplied arms to, do you know? How many elections in how many countries has the US interfered in? How about arm-twisting in multilateral agencies? How about the operations of the CIA and more recently, the NED? And you want countries to be independent?’ – Seneviratne, ee Sovereignty, Constants
• ‘Imagine you are planning a trip. Where would you want to go? A hotel that’s well known for bad management? Or, a place everyone says is good. What comes to your mind when you think of Switzerland, what comes to your mind when you think of Sudan? Perception matters’ – JVP leader AK Dissanayaka, ee Business
• ‘The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the NordStream I and NordStream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island, was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces. It was aided by the Danish & Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence [who controls those waters] & technical support; and approved by Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki.
The operation is a repeat of the Bornholm Bash operation of April 2021, which attempted to sabotage Russian vessels laying the gas pipes, but ended in ignominious retreat by the Polish forces. That was a direct attack on Russia. This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business & union lobby and East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have – and their troubles to come with winter.’ – ee Sovereignty, Bornholm BlowUp
• ‘On January 1, 1901, the 6 Australian Colonies came together to form the independent Nation of Australia. The Commonwealth Parliament was to pass legislation strictly limiting entry to Australia. The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 established the base for future migrant entry to Australia and set up a harsh and effective tool – the Dictation Test for turning away any non-European from Australia. The Act stated, the following could be prohibited from entering Australia: ‘Any person who when asked to do so by an officer fails to write out at dictation and sign in the presence of the officer a passage of 50 words in length in an European language directed by the officer.’ – ee Workers, Early Cingalese
• ‘In the Hambantota kachcheri, the original Leonard Woolf diaries remained in the kachcheri record room until 1960, when they were transferred to the government archives. Similarly, records of some of the old colonization schemes like Beragama were also to be found in the kachcheri 30 or 40 years later. That kind of institutional memory is now lost, and not many seem to care about it. I recently asked the Sri Lanka Tea Board (I was a board member in the 1970s) whether I could see the board minutes of my time. They said they have been told to destroy all papers which are older than 10 years, including board minutes. That is the kind of administrative culture that we seem to have now. There is a lack of historical sense in our new administrative culture.’ – ee Economists, Once JR Jayewardene
• ‘NGOs work as a ‘safety-net’ for imperialism to escape from the social discontent caused by poverty, discrimination and unemployment caused by the anti-people policies imposed by imperialism. Currently, aid provided by donor countries and organizations tends to be channeled more through NGOs rather than through governments. NGOs are running various reform programs. Today, the NGO sector has become a massive economic and political force in Bangladesh. Some NGOs have become corporate capital and are now interfering in the country’s politics. Those NGOs are associated with various processes of depoliticization. NGOs generally lack transparency, accountability, state oversight. There is lack of democracy, irregularities, looting and corruption. Now a new NGO-elite class has emerged. In the name of poverty alleviation, microcredit has been expanded in rural areas. Due to the exorbitant interest on microfinance, one NGO has to take a loan and repay the loan to another NGO.’ – ee Politics, Political Proposals
• ‘This is a sad day for Africa because now, the leading champion of Black emancipation in Africa (Zimbabwe), which is also under US and western sanctions, is now surrounded by US bases in Zambia to the north, Botswana in the west; ISIS, Kagame and US training personnel in the east (Mozambique), and a hostile western-controlled neighbor in the South. Just like the slave trade, Africans are still doing the dirty work of white supremacy to enslave themselves.’ – ee Sovereignty, Zimbabwe Surrounded
• ‘Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: The Haitian people in struggle were greatly surprised and stunned, when they learned that you have broadcast, on Channel France 24, with regard to their current just and legitimate protest movement, a set of false information that is prone to confusion, criminalization, discredit their struggle for a sovereign Haiti, just, livable. Contrary to your assertions, these popular protests are part of a struggle for a Haiti free from suffocating foreign interference, gangsterization, this extreme manufactured misery and an anti-national, illegitimate, criminal political regime established by the Core Group of which the UN is a member. This puppet political regime, operating under the dictation of the IMF, has just stabbed the people by the decision to increase by 128% the price of petroleum products.’ – ee Sovereignty, Response to Guterres
• ‘The US Federal Reserve was created to stop social purpose spending by the government, by essentially cutting the Treasury out of the monetary management process. That’s true, not only of the Fed in the US, but of central banks all over the world. The role of central banks is to prevent government from spending money on social programs and to support the commercial banks in lending money to inflate the asset markets – real estate primarily, also stocks and bonds to support private raids of corporations. Essentially, because the product is debt, to load the corporate sector down with debt, as in the junk bond takeoff. The Federal Reserve has even been buying junk bonds so that owners of junk bonds will not lose. That all began in 2008.’ – ee Economists, Federal Reserve & Debt
• ‘If we don’t bring inflation down, this will hurt the most vulnerable, because an explosion of food and energy prices for those that are better off is inconvenience – for the poor people, tragedy. So we think of poor people first when we advocate for attacking inflation forcefully.’ Central banks around the world have ‘no choice’ but to increase interest rates in an effort to combat inflation’ – Kristalina Georgieva, ee Workers, IMF chief warns
• ‘Whereas great disorders, insolencies and burglaries are oft times raised and committed in the night time by Indian, Negro & Molatto Servants and Slaves to the Disquiet and hurt of her Majesty’s subjects, No Indian, Negro or Molatto is to be from Home after 9 o’clock.’ – New Hampshire’s ‘Act to Prevent Disorders in the Night’, 1714, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundown_town
• ‘Back on 7 Feb 2022, Outlaw US Empire President Joe Biden made the following vow as reported by media: ‘If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the… border of Ukraine again, then there will be… no longer a NordStream 2. We, we will bring an end to it.’ Asked how, given the project is in German control, Biden said: ‘I promise you, we’ll be able to do it.’ – 2 Vows, ee Sovereignty
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
The news was otherwise rather candid this week about the role Japan is playing on behalf of colonial forces in the ‘rigged’ Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE):
Despite ‘extended profit-taking in heavyweight, banking & manufacturing sectors’ on Tuesday, the CSE ‘showed some positive sentiment following President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s fruitful bilateral discussions with Japan Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi & Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.
‘The year-to-date net foreign inflow to the CSE crossed the Rs13billion mark on the previous day, fueled by continuous buying into Expolanka Holdings by its parent SG Holdings of Japan. The CSE saw a net buying of Rs1.8b the previous day, of which Expolanka Holdings accounted for Rs1.7bn. Of the Year to Date figure, Rs12.5bn had been in September so far. The net foreign buying at CSE is after 4 years of outflow. Yesterday, the Central Bank announced US$ buying rate was Rs359.18 and the selling rate Rs369.93.
• ‘Japan’s SG Holdings has increased its stake in Sri Lanka’s number 1 listed entity to 79% up from 75.6% prior to August with yesterday’s buying propelling year-to-date net foreign inflow at CSE to over Rs15bn mark.
• ‘Between early August & yesterday, SG Holdings is estimated to have acquired 67 million shares or 3.7% stake in Expolanka at a price range of Rs200-230 per share.’
• ‘Aggressive buying in September alone resulted in a net inflow of Rs14.6bn to the Colombo stock market, more importantly boosting liquidity to those who sold out of Expo. Yesterday Expo saw 11.6 million of its shares change hands via 883 trades for Rs2.65bn. It closed at Rs224.75, up by 1 Rupee. Expolanka’s market value was Rs439.3bn as of yesterday, accounting for 10% of CSE’s total’ (for links to all quotes above, see ee Finance).
‘One external factor that propelled the market was the Asian Development Bank (ADB) reassurance of further support for crisis-hit Sri Lanka once the IMF Board approves the $2.9bn 4-year Extended Fund Facility program. ‘ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa told journalists that reaching the Staff Level Agreement by Sri Lanka with the IMF earlier this month was a positive development and expressed confidence in the government receiving ‘financing assurances’ from relevant creditors leading up to the IMF Executive Board approving the new support program for Sri Lanka. (‘ADB vows more help for crisis-hit SL’, ee Economists)
• A Reader’s Comment (see above) about the situation faced by ‘white’ Europeans, and the recent elections of so-called ‘anti-immigrant’, ‘fascist’ parties merits further inquiry (ee Sovereignty, Italy, etc).
Europe and more particularly the white-settler countries like Canada and the US, etc, have made a science of dividing, creating & dividing largely anti-working-class & colonial identities. The creation and constant relabeling of the original peoples of the genocided continents, into bands, tribes, status Indians, Metis, Aboriginal, Indigenous, First Nations, etc, ethnicities and skill-sets. Whites when they take high-paying jobs abraod are called, expats.
Due to the selection process, one has to be rich to enter the settler fortresses, esp from South Asia. Those people who do enter and make it (many more do not), people like the East-African-Indian Sunaks and Patels and West African Kwartengs, derive from merchant minorities in Africa! The role of Black people etc is to not just be the invasive ‘stone’ in the oyster that produces the pearls, but also those people channeled into occupations not replaced by machinery. Most white workers have lost their jobs due to automation. ‘Refugees’ and ‘immigrants’ also play the role of ‘surplus labor’ to weaken ‘labor power’, to keep their working class on their toes. These immigrants also operate as bases for maintaining and controlling foreign alliances.
The recent travel advisory by the government of India, warning of attacks on South Asians, not by whites but by Khalistani separatists, shows how the ‘diaspora’ game works to put pressure on countries who don’t fully toe the line…
• IBRD (World Bank) Recommendations – Sugath Kulatunga (excerpts)
The IBRD report in 1951 had made a few cogent observations, on product diversification and skills development, which if we had followed, the country would not be in the present dismal plight and would have progressed to developed country status. Instead, we concentrated exclusively on paddy cultivation where even after 7 decades we are not self-sufficient in food and depend on the import of wheat flour for food self-sufficiency. Extracts from the report with comments are given below:
• Ceylon is in the vulnerable position of having to import most of its primary necessities while its ability to pay for them rests largely on exports of 3 agricultural commodities, the world supplies and prices of which are subject to considerable fluctuations.
• The report indicates known reserves of about 6 million tons of iron ore are located in the southwest part of the island but are not exploited in the absence of cheap electric power
(Comment: This implied that SL must diversify its supply base, which we did not do until the quotas on apparel made us to go into garments.The report indicates exploitation of iron ores as an area we should focus on.)
• Number ‘of small private industries were established after the war including ‘the production of pharmaceuticals, tea chests, soap, glass ware, paint, bricks. Like the Government enterprises, they have had difficulty competing with imported goods and have been hampered by the lack of technical skills as well as a shortage of venture capital.
(Comment: Venture Capital – the SL Government had established the National Development Bank for the purpose of promotion of industrial, agricultural, commercial and other development of the economy of Sri Lanka having regard inter alia to the development of the rural sector. One of the objectives of the NDB was to undertake development projects, including pilot projects, in order to achieve the purposes of the Bank. Unfortunately, the NDB acted like any other commercial bank and was finally privatized by CBK who was on a selling spree. It is no more national but continues to call itself national.’ (ee Economists, IBRD)
• Excerpts [with ee comments in square brackets, highlights in red] from The End of a Corporate Giant – the Story of Walker Sons & Co, by Hugh Karunanayake:
The Early Years – John Walker of Scotland… apprenticed in the engineering shop of Deanston Cotton Mill operated by [English opium-trader in China] James Finlay and Co. In 1842 he travelled to Ceylon to work as an engineer for Wilson, Ritchie & Co which owned Hulftsdorf Mills and revolutionized coconut oil production through the invention patented by David Wilson
In 1854 Walker established his own engineering firm John Walker & Co on Trincomalee Street in Kandy, manufacturing machinery…The invention of a disc pulping machine patented in 1860 saw machinery exports to other coffee-producing countries like Java, Southern India, Brazil.
‘The motive power is the Malabar cooly, as we have not enough water for the blacksmiths troughs, and fuel is expensive! Our customers are 300 planters scattered over the Central Province. As a class I would call them good customers, but some are very long in paying.’
In 1873 Walker founded Walker & Greig to supply machinery to the new tea plantations. In 1880 the company manufactured the first tea rolling machine.
With the construction of the Southwest breakwater in the Colombo harbour, in the 1870s, the company leased ‘the Corner’ of York Street and Main St in 1881. The foundry & dockyard were constructed on 15 acres of land in Mutwal leased out from the government for 99 years in 1912.
In 1891 the firm was incorporated as a limited liability company by the name Walker Sons & Company Ltd and registered on the London Stock Exchange.
The company expanded during the first half of the 20th century, appointed as sole agents in Ceylon for much sought-after English made engineering products & services. Those agencies included Austin Motor Vehicles, Otis elevators, Carrier air-conditioning, Formica products, Lucas batteries, Crittall windows.
Among its engineering services were power installation, oil engines for tea and rubber factories, a foundry with capacity for castings up to 10 tons in weight, a machine shop served with a 15-ton electric travelling crane, a heavy-machine shop with electrically driven overhead cranes, a blacksmith’s shop, and a machinery repair shop, all based in the Mutwal facility.
In 1902 Walkers imported its first motorcar, the ‘Locomobile’ Thereafter it held the agency for Austin cars, and lorries… It was also the agent for Lucas batteries… It had branches in Kandy, Talawakelle, Ratnapura, Bandarawela, Galle.
The Colombo Iron Works (CIW) became the nerve centre for all of the company’s engineering enterprise. The slipway of the company with a cradle 120ft long was suitable for repair and maintenance work of craft. The company owned 2 ships, the Lady McCallum & Lady Blake which operated around the shores of Ceylon, both commissioned by Walkers.
In September 1926, the company launched the oil barge Mahaweli built and powered to suit special requirements. During WW2 the firm repaired & refitted 167 major warships, 322 minor warships and 1,932 merchant vessels, including aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, cruiser HMS Cornwall, HMS Cumberland, HMS Devonshire, HMS Gloucester, HMS Kent, HMS Manchester HMS Liverpool, and cruise liners RMS Queen Elizabeth and RMS Queen Mary.
…Almost all the 19/20th-century buildings within the Fort were designed and constructed by Walkers: the Galle Face Hotel, Australia Building, Victoria Building, P&O Offices, National Bank of India Ltd; Kandy Post Office, Messrs Cargills Ltd, Whiteaway Laidlaw & Co, Millers Ltd, The Scots Kirk…
The company built the HongKong & Shanghai Bank, Imperial Bank of India, National Bank of India, McKinnon McKenzie block, the new Customs House, Grand Stand Ceylon Turf Club, the new Observer office, Times of Ceylon building, YMCA building & new hostel, the Soldiers & Sailors Institute, Elphinstone Theatre, Pettah Police Barracks, St Bridgets Convent, etc.
During the 1950s it had a skilled and semi-skilled labour force of about 4,000 workers in Colombo and in the Branch establishments. Office staff included some 50 covenanted staff (Senior Executives), 120 Junior Executives; clerical and other office staff of about 500, possibly the largest for any single company in the island… Most of the Senior Executives were Englishmen, but feeling the need for Ceylonisation after Independence was granted to the country in 1948, the company recruited Ceylonese as Executives, most educated at Royal College in Colombo.
The rot began in the early 1960s when the first signs of exchange controls & import restrictions appeared. That, despite the fact the previous decade saw unrestricted imports following the Korean boom which sent rubber & tea prices spiralling upwards. The country enjoyed the benefits of that boon as did Walkers, but failed to conserve & consolidate thus exposing itself to future vulnerabilities in the foreign exchange sector.
Walkers was a company largely dependent on imports & import-based production; the first restrictions on imports imposed in 1961 saw a total ban on car and other imports which were ‘bread & butter’ lines for the company. Another very significant factor, especially when gradual relaxation of controls took place in later years, was the emergence of suppliers from non-traditional sources into the national imports basket. Post-1960 saw a significant drop in imports from traditional English suppliers, and a diversification of import sources.
Countries like Japan, Korea & non-English Europe began to assume dominant positions. This was true even in England, where the domestic market was flooded with imports from the emerging nations of the East Asia with access to superior production technologies inspired from the US. Walkers however, despite these pressures, had a reasonable foothold in the estate engineering sector, and also rose up to the challenges by diversification into areas such as fibreglass boat production, and making inroads into the tourism & hospitality sectors.
To add another unexpected blow to the company’s fortunes, the Government of the day in 1971 chose to compulsorily acquire its Head Office buildings in Prince Street, Fort, paying the company a meagre Rs700,000 as compensation. The building was acquired to house the State Pharmaceutical Corporation whose necessity to be located within the Fort was a question that went a begging, but never answered. Matters were compounded by the departure of the last of the Walker family, AC (Johnny) Walker who handed over the company to Mackwoods Ltd, who were appointed Managing Agents for the Company for a stipulated period.
The attempt to restore financial stability by Mackwoods by selling off some prime real estate of the company was met with some opposition by the workforce. The workforce went on strike for several months bringing on more financial burdens to the company. In the mid 1970s George Steuart & Co were appointed managing agents for Walkers for 3 years…George Steuarts however declined the opportunity to renew the agreement for a further 3 years.
In 1978 a new government liberalised import export trading, and the possibility of a reversal of fortunes was envisaged by foreign investors looking for healthy returns on investment. The Anglo-Indonesian Corporation part of the Sime Darby Group, headed by John Nightingale, and Charles Berry negotiated successfully with the Walker family, who relinquished their controlling interest in the company.
Around 1980 the controlling interest of the company was purchased by the Indian conglomerate the Tata Group which nominated 2 working directors to manage the company. They both resided in the Hotel Oberoi … Kapila Heavy Equipment purchased the company in 1990. In 2009 Malaysia-based company MTD Capital Berhad purchased the Company which now goes as MTD Walkers PLC.
While the Company has relinquished its role as a strategic component of plantation development in Sri Lanka, and also in its key position in marine engineering, it has since stabilised itself as a major construction company focusing on infrastructure development. It is the market leader in pile-driving operations and continues to sustain and maintain the nearly 2-century-old traditions of Walker Sons & Co.
To conclude, it may be appropriate to quote William Walker the Founding Partner of the firm when he visited Ceylon in 1886: ’ I desire as much to be your friend as your master… We have brought works to the island that were never brought before. We also have paid large amounts in wages every month to the Sinhalese and Tamil workmen. But we think we can go on a step further and do better. The first thing I will try to do for you will be to afford you medical aid in times of sickness. I wish also that some provision be made for anyone who meets with any accident or in case of protracted illness. The next thing I wish is that something be provided for our men when old age comes on and you are not able to work. If this is carried out, no old and steady worker in the Company’s service will ever have to apply to the Friend in Need Society. (‘Ref: Pioneers of Ceylon, Life of William Walker, 1897. The writer worked on the Covenanted staff of Walker Sons & Co as Market Research Manager for 5 years in the mid 1970s) – island.lk/the-end-of-a-corporate-giant/
• Zimbabwe as Rhodesia features significantly in SBD de Silva’s Political Economy of Underdevelopment (PEU). First of all, Zimbabwe exemplified SB’s thesis that the most powerful challenges the colonial powers faced were not from the Black-whites they nominated to run their interests, but from the white-settler states like Rhodesia, that both challenged the capital power of London (Lonrho, British American Tobacco [BAT], which owns Ceylon Tobacco Co [CTC], etc). SB wrote:
1. ‘The contrasting cases of Zambia and Rhodesia during WW2; cut off from world trade, the latter (a settler colony) experienced an appreciable spurt of industrial growth whereas the former stagnated’.
2. ‘A notable attempt to impound the surplus was that of the settler bourgeoisie of Rhodesia, led by Sir Roy Welensky, which took measures to terminate the payment of royalties on the Rhodesian copper mines to the British South Africa Company whose shareholders were abroad.’
These Rhodesian references (and several more) drove SB’s thesis in PEU, that:
3. ‘The diverse results of foreign capital and enterprise, as reflected in the scale and character of the economic expansion that took place, can be studied in terms of (i) the territories dominated by expatriate investors (mostly the plantation or plantation-cum-mining economies), ii) the regions of ‘new settlement‘ which were inhabited overwhelmingly by European settlers (eg, Canada, US, Australia), and (iii) the settler colonies, which a European minority came to regard as their permanent home (eg, South Africa, Kenya, Rhodesia, the lands of the Maghreb). In the regions of new settlement which became developed economies, and to a lesser extent in the settler colonies, the progressive effects of foreign enterprise seem to be connected with the fact that such enterprise involved the migration of the capitalist and often the transfer of his national allegiance.’
• The attempt by Rhodesia ‘to do a USA’ and separate from England due to London’s insistence of maintaining Zimbabwe as a colony that did not compete with ‘the mother country’, resulted in Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).’ This in turn led to Western sanctions against Rhodesia and the escalation of the African resistance. ee provides this information on the sanctions, explaining our Focus this week on Zimbabwe’s Iron & Steel Company (ZISCO).
• 1974: ‘Toshio Kimura, Japanese Foreign Minister, was reported to have assured Mr James Callaghan, English Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary, on Oct 30 that Japan was strictly observing the embargo against Rhodesia. He stated in London on the same day, his Government would tighten up import controls to prevent goods from entering Japan from Rhodesia, and he admitted 200,000 tons of chrome ore had reached his country, ostensibly from South Africa but in reality, due to ‘a statistical divergence’, from Rhodesia.
Kenneth James Cameron McIntosh (35), a former banking official, was on Oct 22 sentenced to a total of 14 years’ imprisonment and to a fine of $Rh30,000 (~£22,500) on charges relating to revelations of Rhodesian methods of circumventing UN trade sanctions.
Mr. McIntosh, who was already serving a 5-year sentence for ‘economic espionage’, with which the new sentences were to run concurrently, had pleaded ‘not guilty’ to a charge under the Official Secrets Act (arising out of publication in London Sunday Times of information which he had sent to England), he was convicted on Oct 18 and received an 11-year sentence. He pleaded guilty, however, to 113 counts under the exchange control regulations, concerning currency deals from which he was said to have earned about £15,000. After the trial had been held in-camera, Justice Beck, passing sentence, said the defendant had committed a ‘gigantic betrayal’, acting as ‘a spy against Rhodesia in the economic war that is being waged against this country’, solely with a view to protecting himself against the consequences of his ‘greedy criminal activities’, as he had tried to ‘bargain with the authorities for his release’ by threatening to make public valuable confidential information to which he had had access.
[ee: English citizen Mcintosh was manager of Nefierho Acceptances, a Rhodesian Merchant Bank which accepted the responsibility of guaranteeing a loan to expand and double Rhodesia Iron & Steel Co production, together with Barclays Bank International, Standard Bank & Rhodesian Acceptances. Mcintosh fled jail along with his English jailer in 1975…the English sanctions were ‘widely ignored by South Africa, Portugal, Japanese and other Asian businesses and, eventually, by the USA’ – NYT, 1975]
‘David Smith, Rhodesian Minister of Agriculture, announced on June 10, 1974, it had been decided to remove the Government control & support introduced for the tobacco industry in 1966, following the imposition of UN sanctions. Tobacco was henceforth to be sold to private buyers without any basic price being guaranteed by the Government. The English Parliament renewed English sanctions legislation for another year in Nov 1974, the House of Commons approving the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 (Continuation) Order, 1974, by 124 votes to 23 on Nov 8, and the House of Lords on Nov 12 without a division.
Mr. Callaghan, English Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary, disclosed in the House of Commons on Nov 8 he had raised the question of sanctions with the Foreign Ministers in the EEC Council of Ministers, and there had been a meeting of customs experts from the various EEC member-countries to improve methods of preventing illegal exports from Rhodesia. In regard to a constitutional settlement Callaghan said it could ‘only come by a change of heart among White Rhodesians and the recognition by them that they will have to deal with a Black majority population which must be given real power.’ (Times – Daily Telegraph Guardian – Financial Times – Cape Times – International Herald Tribune – Le Monde): excerpts from: Keesing’s Record of World Events, 1974
• Welcome to Redcliff: the Zimbabwean steel town turned ghost town (2016)
‘Africa’s largest integrated steel works. Wholly government owned, it produced up to one million tons annually and employed some 8,000 people.’ – sundaynews.co.zw/ziscosteel-what-went-wrong/
• Ziscosteel: What went wrong? (2017)
‘In 1956 when the loss-making situation was turned into a profit-making situation, mainly as a result of an increase in the market with the formation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, moves to denationalize the industry were taken.’ – sundaynews.co.zw/ziscosteel-what-went-wrong/
B. Special Focus___
B1. What Happened to Africa’s Biggest Iron Smelter: Zimbabwe Iron & Steel Company (ZISCO) by Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare
What Happened to Zisco Steel Africa’s biggest iron & steel smelter?
Zimbabwe’s Zisco collapsed, this is how[ & very vital for SL now]…
I find the story of ZISCO Steel very fascinating because due to lack of history many Zimbabweans peddle falsehoods about the reason it collapsed.
By not understanding ZISCO’s history, Zimbabweans miss the opportunity to learn how Rhodesians built it, the mistakes we made when we took over the company, thus risking repeating the same mistakes in future.
We need to keep the history and institutional memory of our country alive, to learn about sanctions-busting, geopolitics, nation-building, and the stakes we are playing for in the racial war that’s at play in this world.
In this ZISCO saga, we will see a contest between the resolute push by whites to maintain their racial dominance by de-industrializing Africa, while on the other side we see blacks worshipping their enemy in the name of reconciliation, to a point of not realizing that life is a winner-take-all war of racial dominance and in this case, the battleground was the biggest iron & steel producer in the southern hemisphere.
Through this ZISCO case study, I hope to impress upon Zimbabweans [& Lankans! – ee] that we cannot strategize on how to advance Zimbabwe without serious research, insights, understanding of the past or history. Every national strategist, economist, accountant, project manager, brand builder, entrepreneur or politician needs lessons learnt from the past (history/experience) as a compass for the future, otherwise they are assured of failure.
Background – ZISCO Steel was established in 1942 by the Rhodesian government, with the formation of RISCOM (Rhodesian Iron & Steel Commission) in Redcliff.
The company was formed to control all iron & steel production in Rhodesia during WW2 when the world was facing a huge global shortage of iron & steel.
At the time, Rhodesia was sitting on over 3.8 billion tons of high-grade iron ore, 200 million tons of limestone, 23bn tons of high-grade coal (7th-biggest reserves in the world) and 10bn tons of the highest-quality chrome (2nd-biggest reserves in the world), all the ingredients required to produce steel & stainless steel.
Due to this endowment of nature, it only made sense for the country to start producing its own iron & steel for itself and to satisfy the latent global demand.
When RISCOM started operations in 1948, it had no experience, an unskilled workforce and only one open hearth furnace that produced 12,000 tons of steel per year. This small output and inexperience, made the company’s operations costly, and Rhodesian steel very expensive and uncompetitive globally.
As a consequence, RISCOM made huge losses for the first 10 years as they grew their experience and learning curve. This became a bleeding wound for Rhodesian government coffers, to a point where the government contemplated privatizing the company.
By 1954 the amalgamation of Southern & Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland, pushed up the demand for steel. Consequently, this led to the Rhodesian government installing a 2nd blast furnace to increase output. The increase in market & production led to RISCOM achieving economies of scale and turning a profit in 1956.
With this shift in fortune, RISCOM became attractive to a global consortium of investors who expressed interest in buying shares in the entity.
Thus in 1957 RISCO (Rhodesian Iron & Steel Co) was formed to undertake iron & steel production. In the consortium were Messina Transvaal Steel (SA) with 24,2% shares; Anglo America (SA) holding 22,6%; Stewards & Lloyds (SL) at 14,5%; Lancashire Steel (England) 14.5%; Roan Select Trust 7%; Tanganyika and the Rhodesian government retained just over 10%.
The Rhodesian government maintained the distribution side of the business through Rhodesia Steel Sales Corporation (Rhosales), in which ISCOR (South Africa Iron & Steel Corporation, a competitor but at the same time a white brotherhood of colonial African exploiters) had shares.
In essence, RISCO was built off the back of South African capital & markets, creating huge dependency on South Africa and Anglo America (had taken over Cecil John Rhodes’ BSAC enterprises alongside Lonhro) which already controlled over 35% of the Rhodesian economy then.
With new cash-flush investors capitalizing the operations, in 1959, RISCO recapitalized a second upgrade which saw them importing 2 new open-hearth furnaces, coking ovens from Europe, a secondhand sheet-plate mill from Ireland, making improvements to existing mills and the commissioning of a new blast furnace from Kawasaki Steel Industries of Japan.
To repay Kawasaki Industries, RISCO would make repayments by delivering 360,000 tons of pig iron and 600,000 tons of iron ore annually to Japan for 50 years from 1963. This meant that the full Japanese debt was scheduled to be repaid by 2003 (impact of colonial-legacy debts).
By 1965 RISCO was producing rods, window sections, fence standards, ploughshares, rounds and over 360,000 tons of pig iron per year that was being exported to Japan, England, Egypt, Italy, the Philippines.
Sanctions Busting – In that same year,[ PM] Ian Smith declared UDI [Universal Declaration of Independence], coinciding with another US$50million upgrade in which more ovens, furnaces, mixers, cranes, oxygen feeders and trains were bought. The following year, UN sanctions were imposed on Rhodesia and a number of furnaces had to be mothballed to reduce output by 50%.
By then the UN sanctions prohibited any country from lending Rhodesia money, giving them technology or buying their iron & steel, albeit, ISCOR continued to sell RISCO steel as South African steel to complicit overseas buyers. Some steel was sold through agents & complex trading agreements, the money externalized.
In 1972 Anglo America, using its international connections, arranged a secret meeting in Paris with lenders from England, Switzerland, West Germany, France & South Africa, where it was agreed to lend RISCO $63mn for the next phase of upgrades aimed at making the company the biggest iron & steel smelter in the southern hemisphere, at over 1 million tons of output per annum.
In this Paris meeting, it was agreed that repayment would be made in delivery of iron & steel to the lenders and the surplus would be bought for much-needed foreign currency.
However, for risk management purposes, a clause in the agreement said, if the UN discovered the deal [which was illegal by international law], then the Rhodesian government would have to pay for the partial implementation and buy up the shares of some of the lenders, who feared the international backlash.
In less than 2 years, information on the loan was leaked by Kenneth McIntosh, so Rhodesia assumed the debt and bought shares of some of the players, to control about 49% of RISCO by Zimbabwean independence.
ZISCO Is Born – In 1980 Zimbabwe gained independence, and the various improvements that had taken place 1972 -80 had turned RISCO into the biggest iron & steel smelter in the southern hemisphere; this gem was now grudgingly handed over to Africans, to the disdain of the west.
The new black government took over RISCO and renamed it ZISCO. Immediately, many white Rhodesian technicians left, including Austrian Kurt Kuhn, the CEO who had helped Rhodesia bust sanctions over the period of UN sanctions. He moved back to the Austrian iron & steel parastatal Voest-Alpine; in 1982 the Zimbabwean government asked him to return to take over operations.
Kuhn came back with staff from Voest-Alpine to initiate a $200mn upgrade of ZISCO, also undertaken by Voest without any competitive bids.
Many critics of Kuhn say about $50mn of the work could have been done locally by Zimbabwean companies, but all of it was given to the Austrian company which in exchange brought staff (recruited by Kuhn’s recruitment agency) to train and transfer skills to locals.
The new government had strategically forgone local-content manufacturing, for the Austrians to train and transfer skills to the locals at hefty commissions for Kuhn and Voest.
At about this same time, the new government took over a broke Rhodesian treasury; almost all industrial sectors in the country had outdated machines and technology due to 12 years of sanctions, 17 years of high indebtedness, while many parts of the country were destroyed by 17 years of war and in need of reconstruction.
To begin the reconstruction project, the new government went about trying to borrow money from the IMF & the Paris Club, to reconstruct and develop a broke and war-damaged economy left behind with a huge debt of $700mn ($2.7billion today) by the Rhodesian government.
The IMF & World Bank in 1980 declined to give Zimbabwe loans to retool most parastatals, including the likes of Feruka refinery, in need of about $2billion to upgrade. Instead, they advised the government it was more cost effective to import fuel & other industrialized products, while focusing on resource extraction & export.
The Paris Club would however agree to give the country some loans and to be surety for loans borrowed from private banks to build the Hwange Power Station, upgrade ZISCO and develop other infrastructure.
In return, the government had to stop subsidizing ZISCO & other parastatals, to ensure the country would have surplus to repay its debts and maintain a good credit rating.
With this, the IMF & World Bank, also pushed the Zimbabwean government to devalue its currency, immediately raising ZISCO and the country’s legacy debt repayments.
All these decisions were taken at a time when most decisions were still being made by white Rhodesian bureaucrats & advisors still occupying the decision-making positions in government ministries, parastatals and ZISCO management.
The devaluation of the currency would have devastating consequences, as it drastically increased the debt repayment costs for both new technology for the ongoing upgrades and inherited RISCO debt.
Apartheid South African Sanctions – Most unfortunate for the newly independent country, the moment it shunned apartheid South Africa’s CONSAS (Confederation of Southern African States), to join Southern African Development Community (SADC), on attaining independence; apartheid South Africa’s State Security Council imposed total war on the country.
This total war consisted of military incursions by South African Defence forces (SADF), alongside economic sabotage & sanctions imposed by State Security Council corporate members, which included ZISCO shareholders such as Anglo America, ISCOR, Messina Steel and other European partners like Austria’s Voest-Alpine [biggest supplier of steel-smelting machines to S Africa, Angola & Zimbabwe].
The first objective of these white-owned companies was to destroy Zimbabwe’s industry by sabotage, blocking its access to port through Mozambique, hampering exports and crippling transport systems, to foster dependency on apartheid South African ports.
On 25 August 1980, 3 months after independence, apartheid South Africa imposed sanctions and Spornet demanded the return of 25 locomotives lent to Rhodesia to service rail routes that included exports from ZISCO.
Simultaneously, the RENAMO rebel movement was funded by the CIA & apartheid government to destabilize Zimbabwe’s Beira Corridor, oil pipeline, eastern border and Chicaulacaula Route to Maputo.
Meanwhile, the South African shareholders and partners of ZISCO, conspired to sabotage the smelter, so as to deprive black Africa of the largest steel plant in the southern hemisphere because they [S Africans & their western backers] feared it would be used to industrialize SADC, build infrastructure, break dependency on South African industry and advance SADC’s military capacity at this time when SADC was planning to wage war against apartheid South Africa.
To advance this agenda, Anglo America, Messina Steel and ISCOR alongside Voest-Alpine targeted Lancashire Steel: an English subsidiary and shareholder in ZISCO, one of the biggest customers of its steel and a major exporter of manufactured products for Zimbabwe.
The other reason for targeting Lancashire Steel by the South Africans was because it was a biggest buyer of ZISCO billets, which it used to make high-quality wire and rods that were eating into Anglo’s Haggie Rand South Africa’s lucrative, captive, high margin, market share in South Africa and Africa.
The South Africans began their assault by asking the apartheid government to increase import duties and to lower quotas on Lancashire’s high-quality rods and wire. When that didn’t work, they attempted to buy all of Lancashire’s exports to kill competition but Lancashire refused to become captive to their competitor.
Thereafter, influential stakeholders like Anglo and ZISCO CEO, Kurt Kuhn, began to use their influence on government and ZISCO, to convince decision makers and politicians that Lancashire Steel was transfer pricing and sabotaging the development of Zimbabwe. No evidence has ever proved that this was true, as Lancashire products were way cheaper than Haggie Rand.
In retaliation, the Zimbabwean government began to cut Lancashire Steel’s subsidies to less than 50% of those given to Anglo-owned Haggie Rand. When Haggie raised prices by 25% in 1982 due to currency fluctuations, Lancashire was denied price increases for months, to a point where they had to close their factory for 2 months.
Anglo and Kurt Kuhn continued to pile the pressure, asking the Zimbabwean government to allow ISCOR and Anglo to buy Lancashire, suggesting Zimbabwe had only room for one wire & steel-rod manufacturer (ie, South African Haggie Rand, despite Lancashire having better-quality products and deeper Zimbabwean roots).
This made Lancashire’s operating conditions very difficult and as a result in June 1984, ZISCO Steel took over the company. The moment that happened, ZISCO through Kuhn’s influence signed an exclusive deal for Anglo to buy Lancashire exports; however, Anglo would pay in rand, depreciating against the Zimbabwe dollar due to sanctions. Secondly, Lancashire would have to pay to transport products to South Africa at a time transport prices kept rising due to apartheid South Africa’s sabotage of Zimbabean transport routes, and the final blow was in 1984 when the South African government slapped Zimbabwean steel with a 50% tariff increase.
By 1985 the destruction of ZISCO was well underway. The Austrian CEO’s contract expired just after putting the knife in ZISCO’s back. This time, Kuhn left for good to work for Voest-Alpine in South Africa; using his own Swiss-based recruitment agency, he poached many experienced staff members to join him in South Africa. By now, ZISCO’s Lancashire Steel was totally dependent on Anglo America to buy and sell their wire and rod products at a song, precisely what the South African State Security Council had wanted.
Gradually, Anglo stopped buying Zimbabwean wire and rod, pushing their own lower-quality wire and rod from Haggie Rand to slowly starve Lancashire. Over time the South Africans, with Voest by their side, kept improving their steel industry technologically, while ZISCO was stagnant (it could no longer upgrade the plant every 5-10 years as RISCO had on government guarantees) as markets dwindled due to ESAP.
The government of Zimbabwe and ZISCO executives had been duped by the South Africans, the Voest-Alpine man and multilateral lenders who led Zimbabwe in to ESAP; all because of the African syndrome of trusting whites who are hell-bent on destroying Africa to continue exploiting its resources for free.
This decimated Lancashire and ZISCO revenues almost immediately, as now they were competing against insiders, shareholders, apartheid enemies, multilateral lenders and former partners who were also white enemies intent on destroying black competition. Talk about infiltration.
ISCOR, which had the marketing rights to market ZISCO products, in cahoots with Anglo, began to influence mines and governments in Africa to buy cheaper South African steel, wire and rods forged by new Voest technology, and not Zimbabwean steel that was produced by old technology.
As revenues decreased at both Zimbabwean companies, the lack of government subsidy, and high debt repayments weighed heavily on ZISCO because of further currency devaluations during ESAP. As a result, the companies could not renew their machinery and more marketshare was lost.
US, EU, England, Canada & Australian Sanctions – By 2001 ZISCO was operating at less than 35% capacity; and the legacy debt it inherited from Rhodesia, in part to supply 360,000 tons of pig steel and 600,000 tons of iron ore (1mn tons of product) to Japan every year for 50 years since 1963, to repay Kawasaki Steel Cooperation for supplying ZISCO with their second blast furnace in 1961, was weighing the company down.
They also owed European companies which had lent RISCO money in 1972 and further loans from the 1980 upgrade by Voest.
In February 2001 the government, its municipalities & parastatals were put under US sanctions, which prohibited the government of Zimbabwe from getting loans from multilateral lending institutions, making it almost impossible to fund future upgrades of ZISCO on debt.
These sanctions, accompanied by EU sanctions in 2002, also choked Zimbabwe Defense Industries, a major consumer of iron & steel used in the manufacturer of armor and other military equipment.
In 2003, 2005, 2008, additional executive-order sanctions were imposed by the US government to specifically target ZISCO Steel & Lancaster Steel; IDC which took over Willowvale, Deven, Almin Metals; National Railways of Zimbabwe and institutions like the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, which were all major users or drivers of iron & steel demand, among others.
With a dwindling internal demand for iron & steel, this would lead to the inevitable demise of ZISCO Steel and Lancashire Steel between 2010-13.
This is the sad history of the demise of 2 of Zimbabwe’s most iconic companies with direct and indirect linkages with diverse downstream industries from motor manufacturing, coach building, rail manufacturing, mining, construction, mining, agriculture equipment, military engineering, manufacturing, civil engineering; over 50 000 jobs were eventually lost on their demise.
The question now is, as we re-engage the west, have we learnt our lessons, can ZISCO be revived or will the new Chinese iron & steel smelter fill the vacuum to revive Lancashire Steel?
B2. Zambia’s Debt Crisis a Warning for What Looms Ahead for Global South – Tanupriya Singh
Zambia is heading toward critical negotiations to restructure its mounting debts.
The IMF has approved a $1.3bn bailout plan for the country,
which will impose cruel austerity measures on the Zambian people
On September 6, the International Monetary Fund unveiled a series of conditions attached to a $1.3billion loan program for Zambia under an Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The 38-month bailout was announced on August 31 following talks between Zambia and its official creditors to restructure its external debts, which had soared to $17.3bn by the end of 2021.
As the government in Lusaka heads into these debt-relief negotiations, the IMF is imposing brutal austerity measures on the people of Zambia, at least 60% already living in poverty.
‘Zambia is dealing with the legacy of years of economic mismanagement, with an especially inefficient public investment drive,’ read an IMF statement. Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva went on to add: ‘Zambia continues to face profound challenges reflected in high poverty levels and low growth. The ECF-supported program aims to restore macroeconomic stability and foster higher, more resilient and more inclusive growth.’
How exactly does the IMF intend on achieving these goals? Through a ‘large, front-loaded & sustained fiscal consolidation’ that will reform ‘regressive & wasteful subsidies’ and reduce ‘excessive and poorly targeted public investment:’
‘These are typical, vintage IMF conditions of austerity, which effectively means slowing down government expenditure in quite a drastic way, the brunt of which falls on the poor, on women, and the youth,’ stated Dr Grieve Chelwa, director of research at the Institute on Race, Power & Political Economy at The New School in New York, US, in an interview with Peoples Dispatch.
The blow caused by the IMF’s conditions will be swift, with the complete removal of fuel subsidies set to take place by the end of September. Implicit subsidies, including reduced excise on petrol and diesel and zero-rating them for Value Added Tax (VAT), which the government had introduced in 2021 to cushion against soaring inflation and the impact of the pandemic, will also be eliminated. Import duties will be reintroduced.
The Bank of Zambia has already stated that the move will cause a ‘nudge‘ in inflation.
Subsidy removal will lead to a rise in electricity tariffs, which will have a demonstrably greater impact on poor households. According to World Bank data, only 44.5% of Zambia’s population had access to electricity in 2020. The figure for rural areas was 14%.
The IMF has also taken aim at Zambia’s agricultural subsidies, especially the 20-year-old Farmer Input Support Program (FISP), and intends to reduce the cost of subsidies to around 1% of GDP by 2025. The new program will be implemented in the 2023-24 agricultural cycle. According to Chelwa, a million Zambians – or approximately 5% of the country’s population rely on the subsidy program for maize. A majority of these people, responsible for growing the bulk of the country’s maize, are small-scale farmers.
To increase revenues, the IMF has directed the Zambian government to expand its VAT base. This includes a rollback on VAT exemptions on unprocessed foodstuffs, limiting them to ‘specific items that figure prominently in the food baskets of the poor.’
Between July and September, over 1.35 million Zambians were estimated to be experiencing severe food insecurity driven by high food prices and climate shocks. Out of the 91 districts analyzed, over 15% were facing crisis levels (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Phase 3) of food insecurity. An additional 34 districts are projected to fall under these conditions between October 2022-23.
In an attempt to somehow gloss over the gravity of these measures, the IMF pointed to a projected increase in social protection spending from 0.7% of the GDP in 2020 to 1.6% in 2025, as well as the government’s plans to hire additional staff in the health and education sectors. It also made references to several social safety programs, including World Bank-supported social cash transfers (SCT), adding that the monthly benefit under the program had been increased from 90 to 110 kwacha ($5.75 to 7) in 2021.
‘Overall, for low-income households, the benefits from increased social spending should outweigh the impact from the removal of fuel and electricity subsidies,’ the IMF claimed.
‘In dollar terms, the increase in monthly benefits is nothing, a pittance especially given the increases in fuel prices, electricity prices, and VAT, which will take place as a result of the Fund’s conditions,’ said Chelwa.
Importantly, he added, ‘social cash transfers are given to the ultra-poor. You have all these distinctions of people characterized as being moderately poor, working poor, ultra poor. However, these are effectively abstract and arbitrary distinctions in countries that are [on the whole] massively poor.’
Not only are taxes on labor income expected to rise in the medium term, Chelwa argued, the rate of this increase will be faster than the taxes on profits in both mining and non-mining sectors, large portions of which are under the control of private corporations, owing to the aggressive structural adjustment and privatization pushed by the IMF and the World Bank in the 1990s.
‘These are essentially properties of global and western capital, so they are going to be treated quite favorably when it comes to taxation. The extent of this favorable treatment in the IMF document is shocking. 70% of the burden of raising new taxes is going to be the VAT; 15% is going to be the corporate sector,’ Chelwa said.
‘You would think that the IMF would tell Zambia that it was time to tax the mining sector appropriately, but that is conspicuously absent from the document, and this is by design.’
Mining corporations have been given major concessions in recent years, and these have been balanced by drastic cuts to social spending. Meanwhile, by 2019 Zambia’s debt rose to 85% of its GDP. Conditions worsened dramatically with the onset of the Covid pandemic in 2020, and debt rose to 118% of the GDP.
In November 2020, even though it was able to secure a debt-relief agreement with China, Zambia became the first African country to default on its external debt payments, after it was denied a request for a 6-month extension on the payment of $42.5mn in interest on eurobonds due in October. However, the crisis had been years in the making.
Debt accumulation in Zambia: After having had most of its debt waived under the IMF and World Bank’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, Zambia began accumulating new debt in 2012.
‘Like many poorer countries, Zambia began borrowing from international capital [ISB] markets based on advice of international financial institutions,’ explained Chelwa. ‘We were told that the prospects looked good and the forecasts for commodity prices were strong. It is important to keep in mind that most countries in the Global South are exporters of raw commodities. They told us to borrow, and we went out and took out bonds.’
However, Chelwa pointed to important problems inherent to these bond contracts: ‘We were borrowing to finance infrastructure projects and expecting to repay in a very short period of time. Returns on projects like bridges, highways, hospitals can sometimes take decades, but we were expecting to pay back within a decade.’
Compounding the issue was the fact that the ‘commodity prices, upon which the forecasts were based, crashed and then we have Covid and the climate crisis. Ten years later, the debt is unsustainable, and the way that the international financial architecture is set up, we have to pay no matter what.’
One route is that of the IMF, Chelwa explained further, ‘where you accept a program hoping that it will get you into the good books of those you owe money to. However, in actuality this process is quite convoluted and it is not a foregone conclusion that having an IMF arrangement will ensure that creditors treat us better.’
After its initial default in 2020, the Zambian government, under former President Edgar Lungu, formally requested to restructure its debt under the G20 Common Framework in February 2021.
In December, Zambia, now led by incumbent President Hakainde Hichilema, secured a staff-level agreement with the IMF for a bailout of up to $1.4bn. However, final approval by the IMF board was contingent on assurances that Zambia’s debt could be brought down to levels considered sustainable.
In June 2022 a creditor committee led by China and France was established to deliberate Zambia’s debt relief request under the Common Framework. In July the creditors agreed to restructure the country’s debts, paving the way for the IMF bailout.
In its report on September 6, the IMF stated, Zambia was seeking debt relief of $8.4bn between 2022-25. According to Debt Justice, $8.4bn accounts for 90% of payments to government and private lenders in this period. The organization has called for a permanent cancellation of debt payments, so these are ‘not rolled over to the 2030s to fuel another debt crisis next decade.’
With restructuring talks set to begin, one major hurdle stands in the way: private lenders, chief among them BlackRock. The asset management giant is currently the largest owner of Zambia’s bonds, holding $220mn.
On September 16, over 100 leading economists and other experts from across the world wrote an open letter to BlackRock, the G20 and Zambia’s other creditors, to engage in a ‘large-scale debt restructuring, including significant haircuts, in order to make Zambia’s debt sustainable.’
‘Over the last decade of low global interest rates, private lenders charged high-interest loans to lower-income countries. The supposed logic for charging poorer countries far-higher interest rates than richer countries was the greater risk of economic shocks that could make debt repayment more difficult. That risk has now materialized,’ the letter noted.
The rise of private lending & crisis profiteering – How is it that private lenders such as BlackRock rose to such prominence when it comes to the debt scenarios in poor countries?
The answer, as Chelwa explained, lies in a major change in the international financial architecture in the past decade or so. ‘Historically, most indebted countries have borrowed from other countries. It is bilateral debt, and coordinated under the framework of the Paris Club, which is essentially this list of wealthy creditor countries.’
‘About 12-13 years ago, the situation changed because countries started getting what are called sovereign credit ratings, from agencies including Moody’s, Fitch, Standard & Poor’s, after which they could borrow from private lenders. So these countries began to issue bonds. This was the structural change and now we are dealing with the first major crisis of this new architecture,’ Chelwa added.
Between 2022-28, 45% of Zambia’s external debt payments are to Western private lenders, 37% to public and private lenders in China, 10% to multilateral institutions, and 8% to other governments.
In 2020 BlackRock was among private lenders refusing to suspend Zambia’s debt payments. While the G20 declared, some bilateral debts would be waived under the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), private lenders and multilateral lenders were excluded from the measure. Not only that, private lenders were able to exploit the suspension of debt by official sources to extract full debt repayments.
Between 2021-24, 59% of Zambia’s external debt payments were estimated to be to private creditors. According to Debt Justice, some private lenders stood to make 75-250% profits from Zambia’s debt if paid in full. This is at a time when people are losing their lives and livelihoods under a deadly pandemic.
In April, Debt Justice estimated BlackRock could make $180mn in profit for itself and its clients from its investment in Zambian bonds, if the debts were paid in full. This would represent a profit of 110%. Meanwhile, Zambia has cut its health and social protection spending by 20% in the past 2 years. A May Oxfam report found the government’s planned cuts 2022-26 would amount to more than 5 times the annual health budget.
The G20 Common Framework provides for coordinated debt relief, and mandates private creditors to participate on comparable terms. Since the start of 2021, 3 countries – Zambia, Chad, Ethiopia – have applied for relief under the framework. No help has been given until now.
‘The prominence of private lenders is what is going to complicate any attempt to resolve debt,’ Chelwa stated. This is because bilateral debt has other, even political considerations. ‘It is more than financial returns. China has a willingness to suspend interest payments, to restructure debt, to defer it. But are the likes of BlackRock interested in that? What good does suspending debt payment do them?’
‘Zambia is a test case, also an example of what is to come for much of the Global South as we deal, yet again, with another sovereign debt crisis.’
As entities such as BlackRock continue to reap obscene profits, the people of Zambia will bear the burden of an IMF bailout in which they had no say. In its statements, the Fund increasingly uses the term ‘homegrown’ to refer to the arrangement’s policies. Chelwa has also denounced the co-optation of civil-society organizations who lent credibility to the ‘opaque process that gave birth to such an anti-poor deal.’
‘This is the IMF of the 21st century, They have learned from their mistakes, not of policy, but of public relations… They call the program homegrown, yet they impose structural benchmarks. If it was truly homegrown, why would we need an external party to impose milestones?’
(Tanupriya Singh, Peoples Dispatch – blackagendareport.com/zambias-debt-crisis-warning-what-looms-ahead-global-south)
B3. Michael Hudson Discusses Debt, Financial Surveillance, the Fed & More with Ralph Nader
M Hudson: The question is, why do people go into debt? There are 2 kinds of credit. And this goes all the way back to the church theologians in the 14th century. Ancient societies didn’t have any different word for interest and usury. All that was developed to overcome the church’s banning of interest for 1,000 years, certainly among the clergy. Then the European takeoff began. After the Crusades it was obvious that some kind of credit was necessary to finance foreign trade. And some people benefited from credit, so the church said, all right, if you’re making a loan, the debtor gains from it, then it’s interest, mutual gain. And usury is when the borrower doesn’t really receive a gain but has to pay the interest out of income that they earned elsewhere.
According to that definition, almost all consumer debt in today’s world is usury. It’s not interest because the consumers don’t gain. The banking system’s product is debt. What it’s selling is debt. And how do you get people more and more in debt? Well, you make life more & more expensive essentially by privatizing it. Part of the problem is the shift in money and credit from a public utility into a private bank. Banks don’t make money to finance economic growth. They don’t make loans for factories to be built. They create almost all of their money as mortgage debt or corporate takeover debt or a financial debt against collateral, against real estate or stocks and bonds. So none of that credit actually helps the economy grow. It just adds and adds up to the cost of doing business.
Compare the US system of privatized banking with what the Chinese system is. In China, the government controls the money supply. The government creates the money and steers the credit, and if it does not the Bank of China is not going to make a corporate takeover loan. It’s not going to have an interest in loading real estate down with more and more debt. And in fact, in China, if an industrial company or real estate companies we’re seeing today can’t pay its debt, the government can write down debt because it’s not hurting any private creditor interest. It can write down debt that’s owed to itself.
In the US, look at the problem with consumer debt and education debt. The government can’t really write down that debt because that debt is owed to private creditors. Basically you have 1-10% of creditors in the US owning almost all of the stocks, all of the bonds. So the 10% hold the 90% in debt. And basically, that’s why the economy is polarizing. More and more money is being sucked up out of the consumer economy, out of the economy of production and consumption, and paid to the financial sector. That basically has accelerated since 2008 with a quantitative easing. The role of the banks, especially of the central banks, is actually to promote inflation, but it’s the inflation of stock market and bond prices, the biggest bond rally in history, and real estate prices. And instead of what the Federal Reserve is supposed to do, supporting full employment, its job is to make sure that there isn’t full employment, that there is a reserve army of the unemployed so that wages don’t rise. When you have the current Federal Reserve head say, we’ve got to bring on a depression because with oil prices rising and inflation happening, there’s a danger that wage labor may try to catch up with inflation and ask for wages. How do we prevent labor from asking for wages to keep up with the cost of living? Make sure there is enough unemployment that it’s somehow going to force them into work, and labor will compete with each other and hold wages down so that corporate profits can remain high enough to support stock market prices, and the owners of the stock market, the 10%, are not going to lose their money; the 90% of labor will lose its money, but not the financial sector.
Ralph Nader: Let’s examine that for a moment. It’s obvious to anybody who pauses to contemplate what the game of the Federal Reserve is. Its budget is paid for by the banks. It doesn’t get appropriations from Congress. It’s run by the banks. The sections of the Federal Reserve in Dallas and Philadelphia, all those boards or bankers or other financial executives, and Federal Reserve chairman keeps saying he wanted to keep interest rates low until recently in order to stimulate the economy. I’d write him a letter and say, what are you talking about? First of all, you’re paying over 150 million savers, who have money market accounts and mutual funds and saving accounts, nothing – one-10th of 1%. So they’re not going to have much money to spend in the economy. Second, you don’t even speak out against the huge interest rates of payday loan rackets, rent-to-own rackets, student loans that can range from 6-50%, 100%, on the rollovers, 400%. You’re not talking about that., just talking about the interest rates that make the banks richer. Well, he never answered. Chairman Powell never answers. So then I tried to get the press to cover it. The press has these full-time reporters, NYTimes, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, that just do official-source journalism. They’re like dittoheads, with few exceptions, they just report what the Federal Reserve says, and don’t really point out that, whether by ignorance or indentured status, Federal Reserve has been pretty incompetent over the years in terms of its own statutory purposes, which is to maintain steady employment and stability.
So here’s what I think some of our listeners want to find out about. Chairman Powell in this latest cycle, unleashed $9trillion of quantitative easing. That’s an abstruse phrase for saying, we’re going to print this money, Wall Street, and we’re going to buy bonds, government bonds, even corporate bonds and juice the liquidity of the market, which means juice stock market prices. Now, why does the Fed pursue that? Could they use $9trn for public infrastructure or don’t they have the authority? Is there any curb on how much the Fed can spend and how much debt to itself it can go into? Is it a total Wild West here? Enlighten us.
MH: The problem is the Fed is a central bank. And the problem that you describe – of course the Fed could finance infrastructure, but that’s the kind of thing the US Treasury normally would do. The Fed was created in 1913. Before that, all of the things that the Fed has done since then were already being done by the Treasury. So after there was a crisis in 1907, JP Morgan tried to bail out largely with their own fees; he said, we’ve got to take the monetary control away from government, to really shift control of the economy and make it a centrally planned economy, but it has to be planned by the banks. So the Federal Reserve was created very explicitly. The National Monetary Commission published the volume by David Tinley on the US Treasury saying the Treasury was doing everything, but the Federal Reserve was created to shift control away from Washington into the monetary centers, New York primarily, but also Boston, Philadelphia and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The Treasury officials were not even allowed on the board of the Federal Reserve. The idea was to say, the Federal Reserve is working for the banks. To make sure most of the money created in the US economy will be created by the banks to enrich the customers of the banks, the large corporations, especially the monopolies, the real estate sector, which most bank money is for, and the Fed, by monopolizing the creation of credit, will not create social spending that the Treasury had been doing since the country was formed. It was the Treasury that organized the internal improvements for US – the Erie Canal, the roads, all of the spending into the economy.
The Federal Reserve was created to stop government social-purpose spending, by essentially cutting the Treasury out of the monetary management process. That’s true, not only of the US Federal Reserve, but of central banks all over the world. The role of central banks is to prevent the government from spending money on social programs and to support the commercial banks in lending money to inflate the asset markets – real estate primarily, also stocks and bonds to support private raids of corporations. Essentially, because the product is debt, to load the corporate sector down with debt, as in the junk bond takeoff. The Federal Reserve has even been buying junk bonds so that owners of junk bonds will not lose. That all began in 2008.
Sheila Bair, former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, said the problem of the Federal Reserve’s support of the banks was you had the largest financial crime wave in history in the years leading up to 2008. Everybody knew there was a crime wave. The newspapers reported, the language had changed. You had new words in the English language, junk mortgage or NINJA borrowers – no income, no jobs, no assets. And instead of writing down these junk mortgages to realistic market levels, which President Obama had promised to do and the Republicans were supporting, Obama left the debts in place and evicted almost 9 million US families and supported the banks in this. He did it by the quantitative easing to make sure real estate prices did not become more affordable to Americans.
RN: People hear this $9 trillion of juicing the stock market. They call it quantitative easing and the Federal Reserve prints it. A thoughtful citizen would say 1) are there any limits? Can the Federal Reserve print $100trn and give it to people around the country? 2) when does the Federal Reserve ever get paid back? Can they just order the holders of FR debt to pay off the debt; they can reverse the quantitative easing? What kind of monetary animal are we talking about here?
MH: Well, first of all, when the Federal Reserve was given the right to engage in monetary support, it listed all the purposes for what the Fed could do. And then it added 3 words, ‘& other purposes.’ So list all the things they can do, then say, ‘& other purposes,’ that means it can do whatever it wants without limit. That indeed is what it’s done. The Federal Reserve doesn’t really create money. None of this $9trn appears as money creation. What it does is it’s been a swap agreement with the banks that lets the banks deposit their mortgages and their stocks and bonds, their packaged mortgages, with the Fed and have a deposit with the Fed that it can then use to lend out into the economy. It’s sort of a travesty of the 100% Reserve Plan that essentially the banks are not able to create credit, but the Federal Reserve enables the banks to create credit, saying whatever loan you make, you’ll just deposit it with us, and ever since Obama, we’re going to pay you interest on this loan. We’ve never paid interest before, but now we will actually pay you interest so that you can make money on lending out, more money from us at the Fed than you’re going to make even on the loans that you make, as long as you make the loans to buy stocks and bonds and real estate.
So if this doesn’t appear in the money supply itself; it’s all done technically in a swap agreement where the bank will make, say, a takeover loan. How does it get the money without reserve? Well, it’ll take its packaged mortgages, or its credit-card loans or whatever, or its junk mortgage loans, and deposit them with the Federal Reserve, and it’ll use the Fed deposit and it will be as if a regular depositor walked into the bank and lent them enough money to make the loan. So it’s all done with a technicality that the Federal Reserve is very careful not to explain to people how the system works and it’s not really taught in the monetary textbooks. You really have to work in the field to follow it day by day.
Some sites follow it, like Wall St on Parade (A Citizen Guide to Wall St, wallstreetonparade.com) goes into the nitty-gritty. Randy Wray at the Levy Institute did a whole study of quantitative easing where he actually subpoenaed and got access to the $29trn worth of loans that the Fed kept making. What the Fed did in 2008, as a result of junk mortgages and of the wave of financial fraud, Citibank was broke, insolvent. Yet the Federal Reserve, through Tim Geithner, a protégé of Citibank head Robert Rubin, who had been Secretary of the Treasury under Clinton, made sure the most crooked banks were kept in business by the Fed – Citibank, Bank of America, Countrywide – the worst offenders; the government could have taken them over, bailed out all of the insured depositors, and turned them into public banks that would have enabled Citibank and others to make loans for the kind of thing that you just mentioned, for public infrastructure.
Ralph Nader: At lower prices too.
Michael Hudson: Yeah, that’s the whole point. (see ee Economist, Michael Hudson)
C. News Index______________________________________________
• ee News Index provides headlines & links to make sense of the weekly focus of published English ‘business news’ to expose the backwardness of multinational, corporate controlled ‘local media’:
(ee is pro-politics, pro-politician, pro-nation-state, anti-corporatist, anti-expert, anti-NGO)
ee Sovereignty news emphasizes sovereignty as economic sovereignty – a strong nation is built on modern (machine-making) industrialization fueled by a producer culture.
• Some historical facts to demolish the myths being circulated
• Oslo pullout, new Geneva resolution and origins of terrorism (part 1)
• Growing Public Disillusionment with the EU
• Sri Lanka pitches for multilateralism in the world order
• Sri Lanka will ask for vote on upcoming “unfair” UN resolution: foreign minister
• New legislation to set up truth-seeking mechanism if necessary: Ali Sabry
• England considers imposing sanctions on Gen. Silva, others over ‘war crimes’
• Resolution #9: Protecting Human Rights & Prosecuting Economic Crimes – Philips
• After Samantha Power’s visit – David
‘This visit signals a decision by the US to intervene in Sri Lanka’s policy directions… The US Ambassador in Colombo has so far handled the JVP with kid gloves, it will be interesting to watch if Ms Power has instructed Ms Julie Chung to change course…. The democracy thing, that is the political side, is rather complicated. It is not that the militarists or the fascists in the defence establishment have a ghost of a chance of throwing their weight around. An uprising in the streets and a naval blockade will finish them off. The threat is from Sinhala-Buddhist extremism.’
• Revoke sweeping new order to restrict protest: US HRW
• Board of Investment (BOI) discusses FDIs with US Deputy Chief of Mission on Monday
‘Doug Sonnek visited Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Raja Edirisuriya’
• New USA Center Opens in Colombo
• USA to help SLs to realize their dreams – US Ambassador
• Smashing protest movement without addressing root causes is no solution: USAID NPC
• Leave to appeal over delisting LTTE as terrorist group rejected by Federal Court in Malaysia
• RW, Modi discuss Sri Lanka’s economic crisis in Tokyo
• Hakeem discusses Oluvil port with Indian HC
• Sky is the limit for India-Sri Lanka partnership: High Commissioner Baglay
‘he emphasised the importance of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme in overall bilateral ties.’
• Only India helped SL when it faced crisis, others looked for business: Indian RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat
• President holds bilateral talks with Japanese PM
• President Ranil calls on Japanese Emperor
• Sri Lanka president concludes Tokyo visit; off to Manila to chair ADB meeting
• China stronger at 73, Kamala Harris seems worried – Prof. Samitha Hettige
• Chinese and Lankan FMs meet on sidelines of UNGA session
‘This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Sri Lanka and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact,’
• Wang Yi Meets with Foreign Minister Ali Sabry of Sri Lanka
• China and Sri Lanka to speed up negotiation process and strive for early conclusion of FTA
• SL appears to be wary about going for an FTA with China
• China has been our closest buddy in recent decades: PM
• PM pays glowing tribute to China for being a special friend of Sri Lanka
• Global Compact Network Sri Lanka launches Business and Human Rights Accelerator
• Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena opens Sri Lanka – Russia friendship festival: 65th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations
• We were severely abused by the Russians – SLs held captive – Al Jazeera
• Lankans describe abuse as Russian captives in Ukraine – Al Jazeera
‘“They [Ukrainians] have given us food and clothing,” Gianeswaran said. “We thought we were going to die but we are saved and are being well looked after.”
• US-Occupied Korea provides USD 6 mn for Central and Uva regions
• EU provides €1.5 Mn humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka
• President meets top commonwealth official, diaspora group amid opposition criticism
– newsfirst.lk/2022/09/29/eu-provides-%e2%82%ac1-5-mn-humanitarian-aid-to-sri-lanka/We have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. ‘
• London Vihara head shakes hands with English King Charles
• Economic crisis: New £3m English humanitarian support for Sri Lanka
• Ban, stop satanic cult
‘Christian youth league today staged a protest calling for the authorities to ban and stop satanic cult in Sri Lanka. The protest was held in front of Baptist Church Lipton circus’
• CMC opposes Lotus Tower musical show named ‘Hellfire’
‘Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) allowed the Hellfire Music Festival to go ahead at Lotus Tower today with the new name “ Fire’ the Colombo Municipal council (CMC) said today.’
• Queen Elizabeth II: The Apology that Never Came
• India’s Subramanian Swamy meets Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo
• RW meets Philippine President
• India can live with US-Pakistan makeover – Bhadrakumar
‘a reality check for those media analysts who wish that if only India rolls back its relationship with Russia and aligns with the US, goodies would follow. Life is real. Ask Turkey or Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Egypt what their experience has been as the allies of the US.’
• Imran’s PTI hired CIA veteran to advise on US ties: Press Trust of India
‘Hiring such lobbying firms to extend or propagate an entity’s interests is a routine exercise in the US. Besides the CIA officer’s lobbying firm, earlier this month PTI-USA Inc, a subsidiary of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, hired Fenton/Arlook to provide “public relations services, including but not limited to distributing information to and briefing journalists, placing articles and broadcasts, arranging interviews with representatives or supporters of PTI, advising on social media efforts and other such public relations services.”’
• India-Pakistan Ties Are Warming—but Don’t Get Excited Just Yet
• New US approach towards Pakistan excites Bilawal
• Arrest warrant issued for former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan
• United Nations Security Council holds session on Afghanistan situation
• At least 23 dead after suicide bomb blast at educational center in Kabul
• China, India call for negotiated way out of Ukraine war
• India Abstains On UNSC Resolution Condemning Russia’s ‘Illegal Referenda’ In Ukraine
• Australian forces killed Afghan civilians as quotas
• Strong earthquake strikes Myanmar
• Thai Prime Minister Prayuth can continue in office, top court rules
• The US should promise to stop its warships transiting the Taiwan Strait
• China encirclement and the imperialist build-up in the Pacific
• US aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea to ‘deter’ Pyongyang
• DPRK fires two ballistic missiles toward East Sea: Yonhap
• Socialist Democracy & DPRK: Ju Hyun Park
• Lavrov on Crimes of Militaristic Japan: Historical and Contemporary Aspects
• U.S. turning Pacific Islands into cannon-fodders for its own interests
• German embassy is the instigator of unrest in Iran
‘he embassy also promised members of the Amini family that Germany will protect them, including by giving them German citizenship, in case they spoke up and were prosecuted’
• Israeli forces storm al-Quds neighborhoods in new escalation
• Turkish Foreign Policy: Geopolitical Adventurism at a Crossroads
• Iran’s Shahed 136 Drone is Now Russia’s Primary Strike Aircraft in Ukraine: Unprecedented Attacks Near Odessa
• Iraq to summon Iranian ambassador over strikes
• Lula Slams US Billions in Military Aid to Ukraine
• Brazil’s Lula says Zelensky shares blame for Ukraine war
• War of Europe and North America against Russia continues Germany’s war of 1939-45
‘I believe that hostilities will last the whole of 2023. Before then this war will not end.’
• Address by the President of the Russian Federation
• EU needs to take seriously risk of Russia using nuclear weapons — Borrell
• Putin’s escalation in Ukraine doesn’t mean the U.S. should follow suit
• CIA Involvement in Ukrainian Nationalism
• Why is Right-wing on a Rise in Europe, and is Russia Withdrawing From the War?: Newsclick
• Zimbabwe Surrounded By US Army, as Zambia Agrees to Africom Base
• At least 22 killed after Ugandan army helicopters crash in DR Congo
• A Tale of Two Vows: Biden’s and Putin’s
• Putin tells Europe: if you want gas then open Nord Stream 2
• USS Gunston Hall and USS Kearsarge arrive in Poland
• Mysterious Leaks Hit Nord Stream Pipelines Linking Russia and Germany
• Whodunnit? – Facts Related to The Sabotage Attack On The Nord Stream Pipelines
• Attack on Nord Stream kills prospects for dialogue in Ukraine
‘Radoslaw Sikorski, a European Parliament member and a former Polish foreign minister, has thanked the US for damaging the Nord Stream pipelines. “A small thing, but so much joy,” Sikorski tweeted, adding, “Thank you, USA.”’
• Evidence: US Guilty Of Nord Stream Explosions
• Putin’s Remarks On Europe
• Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0 Over Ukraine?
• Aftershock of Nord Stream Explosions Rumbles Warsaw — Polish Politicians Go “Nutters”
• UN: Nord Stream leak may mark biggest single methane release ever recorded
• Germany warns Nord Stream pipeline disaster could be among worst gas leaks in history
• Turkish president renews threat to block Swedish, Finnish NATO bids
• How the Boers were Defeated In SADC
‘SAAF (South Africa Air force) feared flying over Angola where Cuban, Angolan, Namibian, Zimbabwean and MK soldiers were, because they were losing aircraft and men.’
• Coup in Burkina Faso as military dismisses Junta Leader amid violence
• Mali’s prime minister hits out at neo-colonialist France in UN speech
• In Response to Antonio Guterres, Haitian Organizations Point to the Responsibility of the UN in the “Gangsterization of Haiti”
• The “Leftism” of the Americas Collapses at the Door of Haitian Sovereignty
‘What has been going on in Haiti? Surely they know about the 2004 US/Canada/France-led coup d’etat against Haiti’s democratically elected president, and the Chapter 7 deployment of a United Nations occupation force (euphemistically known as a “peacekeeping” force).’
• The Audacity of Hopelessness, John Maxwell, 2009
‘The late Jamaican journalist John Maxwell on imperialism, underdevelopment, and the foreign love affair with Haiti’s misery’
• Nicaragua calls on UN not to submit to imperialist designs
• Colombia-Venezuela border opens after being closed seven years
• Guatemala averages 12 murders per day in 2022
• Donbass, Kherson & Zaporozhye Referendums to Join Russia
• Will Referenda and Mobilisation Change Direction of Ukraine War? – Newsclick
• Ukraine – Four Oblasts Join Russia
• Putin signs ‘independence’ decrees for Zaporizhia, Kherson
• How Ukrainian-origin leaders dominated the Soviet Union
• The War On Germany Just Entered Its Hot Phase
‘Nord Stream II was created to make Germany independent from pipelines running through Poland and the Ukraine. Blocking it was the most stupid thing for Germany to do…’
• The Bornholm Blow-Up Repeats Bornholm Bash – Poland Attacks Germany & Blames Russia
• Nord Stream network offline indefinitely after ‘unprecedented’ attack – with Russia blamed
• Bulgaria’s Election: What’s in Store Ahead of a Difficult Winter? (DW)
• Hungary will turn to international partners if EU continues to block funds
• Viktor Orbán in contact with winning Italian right-wing party leaders
• Hungary PM Orban says EU sanctions on Russia have ‘backfired’
• Poland calls EU von der Leyen’s ‘the tools’ comment ‘scandalous’
‘On Hungary, the Commission on September 18 proposed to cut €7.5 billion of EU funds allocated to Budapest over rule-of-law concerns’
• Does the EU respect the Italian people?
• Italian PM candidate attacked over rape video
‘a Ukrainian woman being raped by a fellow migrant, from Africa… “Offered up as clickbait voyeurism instead of being protected. This electoral campaign is horrendous,”’
• Meloni’s right-wing bloc wins Italian election
• Fascism returns to Europe’s centerstage – Bhadrakumar
‘rise of this politician with a working class background a combustible mix at a juncture when the future of European politics itself seems dark and uncertain, reeling under the economic crisis.’
• Social Media Destruct: Leicester Erupts Due to Hate Online?
• Open violation of UN diplomatic immunity by successive US administrations.
• On Day of Peace, US/EU/NATO Axis Reaffirmed Commitment to Weapon of War
• Biden Lies at the United Nations
‘The United Nations is in serious need of reform. It is part of the Core Group which chooses presidents for Haiti and acts against the will of its people.’
C2. Security (the state beyond ‘a pair of handcuffs’, monopolies of legitimate violence)
ee Security section focuses on the state (a pair of handcuffs, which sposedly has the monopoly of legitimate violence), and how the ‘national security’ doctrine is undermined by private interests, with no interest in divulging or fighting the real enemy, whose chief aim is to prevent an industrial renaissance as the basis of a truly independent nation.
• Police to quiz some politicos over secret plot to overthrow govt.
• SJB Marikkar warns to trap RW in one location if he fails
“We will only wait for a few more days and will surround the area where he lives and will confine him to one location without allowing him to move,”
• TNA-led anti-PTA campaign ends next week
• Socialist Youth Union (SYU) complains to National Police Commission against SDIG Deshabandu
• Presidential order to declare High Security Zones under Official Secrets Act draws fire
• Dangerously misguided resort to the archaic Official Secrets Act
• Public Security Ministry says HSZs required to run administration
• ‘Agitation Site’ is in the wrong place – Defence Secretary
• Over 80 protesters arrested, police use tear gas and water cannons
• Want to protest? Get Police approval 6 hours prior: Acting Def. Minister
• BASL Contemplates Legal Action against HASZ Gazette
• Leaders without popular mandates need high security zones – JVP
• Declaring HSZ not acceptable, may cause another uprising against govt. – Maithri
• SJB says Official Secrets Act does not prevent people from travelling on roads
• HSZs no defence for failed regimes
• Under fire Govt. defends decision to declare high-security zones
• Socialist Youth Union (SYU) challenges HSZs in Supreme Court
• SJB files FR against High Security Zone gazette
• Human Rights Commission opposes HSZs
• HSZ to be removed?
• Prez expected to rescind disputed gazette soon
• USAID’s National Peace Council (NPC) warns govt. over HSZs
• G.L accuses Govt. of turning SL into military camp
• Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka files petition against High Security Zone gazette
• Sri Lanka president revokes high security zone gazette after being challenged as “illegal”
• Aragalaya protesters may be further harassed by Rehabilitation Bill: Lawyer files SC petition
• Sri Lanka rehabilitation bill leading to Rehab Camps?
• Maithripala files writ petition against magisterial inquiry relating Easter Sunday attacks
• Court issues arrest warrant on Dhammaloka Thera
• Civil activist Shehan Malaka indicted in High Court
• KDU and the University of Calgary, Canada establishes formal ties
• The Army thought Prabhakaran had died when Col. Shankar was killed
• More than a dozen Police OICs transferred
• Crime and hypocrisy
• Police Log: September 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 2022
• Gang of land-grabbers busted
• Two men nabbed when attempting to rob bank of Rs. 22.3 million
• Heroic cop thwarts armed robbery near bank; two arrested with firearm
• Act of bravery by Police Sgt foils Rs 22.3 million robbery
• SLPP PS member arrested over attempted robbery in Thambuttegama
• Attempted bank robbery: Party membership of SLPP PS member suspended
• SLPP decides to take action on Bank Heist suspect
• Robbery reported at pharmacy in Pannipitiya
• Army Suranga arrested with a firearm in Mulleriyawa
• State Minister’s son among youths arrested for assaulting two students
• Police probe Piliyandala Gold Heist
• Man arrested for rape and murder of school girl after 15 years
• Drug used at beach parties detected
‘Currently, there are no methods to identify a person on this drug, but such people tend to smoke more cigarettes and listen to more music.’
• Two bodies in a precipice: Police probe launched in Walapane
• Man arrested with two kilos of heroin
• Suspect shot dead by Police
• Bribery Commission serves indictments on Keheliya
• Two arrested for defrauding money by promising jobs in Japan and S. Korea
• Tamil Nadu Police arrests 2 criminals wanted by Sri Lankan govt
• Indian court dismisses bail pleas of Sri Lankan fishers
• Man who demanded ransom from GR’ s wife Ayoma Rajapaksa arrested
• CID arrests barber for attempting to extort money from former First Lady
• India bans Muslim Popular Front of India (PFI) and its 8 front outfits for 5 years
• U.S. is biggest threat of global cybersecurity
• Putin grants Edward Snowden Russian citizenship: Decree
• Qualified Immunity for Police and the Death of Andrew Joseph III
C3. Economists (Study the Economists before you study the Economics)
ee Economists shows how paid capitalist/academic ‘professionals’ confuse (misdefinitions, etc) and divert (with false indices, etc) from the steps needed to achieve a modern industrial country.
• Once J.R. Jayewardene assumed duties as Prime Minister, the Planning Ministry was neglected
• ‘Rebuild Sri Lanka’ by Derana TV Channel – Kulatunga
‘I hope other channels also follow this example and devote more time on development issues rather than wasting time on never ending cheap TV drama and on longer and cheaper and violent Tamil films’
• Difficult to predict Sri Lanka’s bailout timeline – IMF
‘a highly placed SL diplomatic source said that although debt discussions have started with some countries, it is “impossible” to say how long they will take and when a final decision will be made.’
• Sri Lanka eyes $2.9 billion IMF loan finalised in December 2022
• IMF bailout at least 3-4 months away as assurances from bilateral creditors essential
• IMF says timeline remains uncertain as Sri Lanka eyes December bailout
• World Bank pushes SL to expedite restructuring, IMF
• Sri Lanka to send delegates to IMF & WB Annual meeting, October 10-16
‘Sri Lanka’s delegation will be led by Acting Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe, the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the Finance Secretary and several others.’
• IMF Economy
• IBRD (World Bank) Recommendations – Sugath Kulatunga
• Reform of international development needed: The Paris Club and Dollar Debt Colonialism
• Spotlight on ‘Emerging Issues for Macroeconomic Stability’
‘The Central Bank co-hosted the CBSL-ADBI-APAEA Online Macroeconomics Conference for the third consecutive year, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and the Asia-Pacific Applied Economics Association (APAEA), on 23 September 2022.’
• SL wouldn’t be in this mess if IMF conditions had been complied with – State Finance Minister
• Government appoints Morrow Sodali to identify $ 12.7 b Lankan ISB holders
• Sri Lanka and China dismiss ‘debt trap’ rhetoric
• Sri Lanka already started ‘low level’ talks with India, China on debt restructuring – President
• RW, Modi discuss Sri Lanka’s economic crisis in Tokyo
• Japan ready to play leading role with creditors to restructure Sri Lanka’s debt – Japanese FM
• Japan insists on ‘development finance in transparent and fair manner’
• Sri Lankans hold Japan in high esteem for its zero tolerance of bribery – Island
• President holds bilateral talks with Japanese PM
• Sri Lanka president concludes Tokyo visit; off to Manila to chair ADB meeting
• Asian Development Bank vows more help for crisis-hit Sri Lanka
• Sri Lanka President points to geopolitical rivalry for looming global economic crisis
• Creditor, debtor nations must work collectively: President Ranil at ADB’s 55th annual meeting
• 55th Annual ADB Meeting – SL seeing effects of ‘deep, painful’ reforms process: Prez
• President hopes all creditors will support Sri Lanka
• President assures unprecedented fiscal effort to restore debt sustainability
• Wickremesinghe’s bid to revive Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA appears unrealistic
• Sri Lanka appears to be wary about going for FTA with China
• U.S. envoys reiterate commitment to strengthen Sri Lanka’s economy
• Sri Lanka sees drop in fish prices as supply improves
• PM invites France to invest in fishery, agriculture, IT, renewable energy, electronics, tourism sectors
• TNA, JVP and Dullas faction cold shoulder National Council
• SLFP will boycott National Council: Maithripala Sirisena
• “National Council” (NC) passed without a vote amidst rumblings from Opposition
• National Council to form two sub-committees on national policies and economic stabilization
‘inaugural ‘National Council’ under Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, with Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, House Leader Susil Premajayantha, Chief Government Whip Prasanna Ranatunga, Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella, Minister Tiran Alas, MPs Asanka Navaratne, Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen, Mano Ganesan, Palani Digambaram, Jeevan Thondaman, Sisira Jayakodi, Namal Rajapakse, Johnston Fernando, Sagara Kariyawasam, Ali Sabri Rahim, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Vajira Abeywardena, Sivaneshthurai Chandrakanthan, Champika Ranawaka, and Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake was also present
• Ranil’s arrogance of power, Harsha’s ignorance of politics – Jayatilleka
• Political culture serious impediments to achieving fiscal consolidation – Sanderatne
• Adjusting to a “high-priced” economy – Abeyratne
‘expansion in production and improvement in productivity is the key.’
• Child’s guide to Ranilnomics IV: Proposed debt restructuring will pose more issues than answers – Wijewardena
• Hong Kong, GCC pegs, Vietnam hike rates after Fed as Sri Lanka eyes flexible policy
• A long-term development policy framework – Rienzie Wijetilleke, former Hatton National Bank CEO
‘An outward-oriented, market-friendly trade and industrial regime emphasising the dismantling of import control and tariff, which sends strong signals to industry to restructure, as well as a strong export push’
• The Draft Resolution: Can the UN help with Systemic Corruption & Economic Crimes? – de Silva Jayatilleka
• Outline of a plan for making Sri Lanka a rich country by 2048
‘1) Attracting Foreign Direct Investments from high tech export-oriented firms. 2) Modernising the education sector…’
• Poverty: Shame to the wealthy and a moral outrage
• Gains from India’s new FTAs – Wignarajah
• Do ‘business as usual’, expect results to be usual: USAID Verite Research Executive Director
• People are fully aware of the perks and benefits of CBSL staff
• Securing assets in stolen asset recovery initiative – World Bank
• Parliament rejected two anti-corruption proposals
• ‘Govt. not conceding COPE, COPA top seats in fear of corruption being exposed’
• Corruption: Ex-top House official alleges negligence of successive Speakers
• Opposition demands key positions in oversight committees
• Corruption in the country From colonization to corruptionization
• Sri Lanka crisis shows why reserves matter (July)
• ‘Critical economic uncertainties’ – Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore
‘Keynote speech by Ravi Menon at the SuperReturn Asia Conference, Singapore, 20 September 2022’
• “Trinity + Two Wings”: Construct Socialist Market Economics in New Era
‘The government in China is not only the builder of the market system, but also the maintainer of the market order, and also the top-level designer and active promoter of economic development.’
• Economic War on Asia: South Korea and the Asian Tigers (2019)
‘The first stage of the IMF reform process was to strip countries of active state participation in their own economies. What was removed was nothing less than the ‘trade and investment protectionism and activist state intervention that were the key ingredients of the “Asian miracle,”’’
• In Conversation Rutendo Matinyarare, Pan Africanism, Colonialism, Slavery
• Zambia’s Debt Crisis a Warning for What Looms Ahead for Global South
• Africom Watch Bulletin #41 on white supremacy, the IMF and World Bank
• The Federal Reserve and Debt
• Michael Hudson Discusses Debt, Financial Surveillance, the Fed and More With Ralph Nader
• Lessons we should have learned from the global financial crisis but didn’t – Randall Wray
‘The goal is to promote “industry” over “finance” and stability-enhancing institutions over “free market” policies to make it less likely that “it” (another “Great Crash”) will happen again’
• If the US sneezes, do emerging markets still catch a cold?
• Transcript: Zoltan Pozsar and Perry Mehrling Debate the Future of the Dollar
• Former Collaborator Disputes Zoltan Pozsar’s Bretton Woods III
• In the dollar we trust
‘As long as the US economy remains better equipped to handle global inflation than its trading partners are, and as long as the Fed continues to hike interest rates faster than other central banks raise theirs, the dollar will most likely stay strong.’
• IMF bailouts hit record high as global economic outlook worsens
‘Volume of IMF loans disbursed at end of August amounted to $140 billion. in 44 separate programs.
• World economy to slow, ‘paying the price of war’: OECD
• War for US Fed’s Ear on Inflation – It’s Getting Nasty
‘The Fed is prepared to kill jobs in order to win its war on inflation.’
• The IMF’s Monumental Malpractice – Steve Forbes
‘Instead of devaluations, countries should adopt currency boards, whereby their money is fixed to a reliable currency such as the Swiss franc. Currency boards unfailingly stop inflation in its tracks.’
• Imperilled co-operation at IMF annual meetings (2019)
• The liquidity crisis and drowning naked – Roberts
• Growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) is a key indicator of economic activity
• If Truss becomes prime minister, sterling will crash (August)
• Trickle-down economics – Roberts
‘The new English government says the solution to the stagnation and failure of British capitalist production is to cut taxation on the rich and on big business. The extra income flowing to them will then be available to boost investment and spending that can deliver economic growth.’
• The Tories Declare Class War
‘the days of the manufacturing entrepreneur in England are long gone. Rich people invest their money in the overheated housing market, or invest it overseas.’
• English Government Goes Full Tilt on Tax Cuts and Free-Market Economics
‘Kwarteng’s plans — and the ideology behind them — will probably set the framework for the campaigning before the next general election, which must be held by January 2025.’
• England heading for IMF bailout, warns Dr Doom
• Sterling hits record low against the dollar
• Sterling crisis: A look at the unpalatable policy options
• Bank of England seeks to stem bond market turmoil
• Bank of England to start unlimited bond purchases to stabilise market
• IMF openly criticises England government tax plans
• Bank launches emergency intervention in markets after Kwarteng mini-budget
• Bank of England left with no action but to intervene after Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget
• England defends tax-cutting budget after IMF criticism
• Liz Truss Is Already The Bad Prime Minister Everyone Expected Her To Be
• England’s Truss and Kwarteng to meet budget forecasters on Friday
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how media usually measures economy by false indices like GDP, etc., in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, constantly calling for privatization, deregulation, moaning about debt & balance of payments, without stating the need for modern industrial production.
• Sri Lanka inflation rises to 69.8-pct in September
• BOC to raise Rs.20bn via unlisted debenture issue
• 2.5% Social Security Contribution Tax from today
• ADB overturns growth forecast for SL due to economic crisis
• Sri Lanka President to visit Japan, meet ADB chief in the Philippines
• President to chair 55th meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors
• Economic levers alone not sufficient to stimulate global economic recovery – President
• President seeks ADB support to set up International University on Climate Change in SL
• President returns after visits to Japan, Philippines
• Government deficit decreased by Rs.32 billion from 2020 to 2021: USAID Verite Research
• 2021 govt. revenue only 41% of total expenditure: USAID Verite’s Publicfinance.lk
• Sri Lanka exports up 12-pct up to August 2022
• CCC-USAID Export Barometer Survey reveals Pessimism looms over export sector
• Sri Lanka exporters expect orders to fall and job losses: USAID
• Economic positivity returns: US NielsenIQ Survey
• Sri Lanka ‘s Inland Revenue collections top 60-pct of 2022 target by Aug: Minister
• Demand for alcohol to weaken amid economic contraction, roaring inflation: Fitch
‘Melstacorp’s international presence in leisure & maritime & logistics operations, through subsidiary Aitken Spence, will help to reduce risks from its exposure to SL’s weakening operating environment.’
• Alcohol consumption drops by 20-30%
• Indian central bank raises interests by 50 basis points to 5.90%
• Vietnam’s economy surges by 13% in Q3
• Thousands of Italian firms on brink of closure
• Europe’s age of abundance may be ending
C5. Workers (Inadequate Stats, Wasteful Transport, Unmodern Plantations, Services)
ee Workers attempts to correct the massive gaps and disinformation about workers, urban and rural and their representatives (trade unions, etc), and to highlight the need for organized worker power
• Railway guards launch strike action
• Govt. plans to unleash repression when people take to streets: Three-Wheeler Drivers’ Union
• As economy shrinks more working people pushed below poverty line: AOG SJB Eran
• Sri Lanka tea cost of production up 30-35-pct, Sri Lanka’s Planter’s Association says
• ‘Reduce CEB Salaries by 30%’
• 900,000 direct and part-time workers have lost their livelihoods in construction work.
• Fresh circular issued restricting public officials use of social media
• Officials to file FR on social media muzzling: Government Officers’ Trade Union Association
• Circular on cladding of attire for public officers issued
• Early retirement fiasco: Should specialist doctors retire at 60?
• Bureaucracy at Motor Traffic Department stands in way of humanitarian consideration
• Geetha to prevent garment workers moving to sex work
• Sri Lanka girls from ‘unimaginable’ backgrounds driven to sex trade by currency crisis: ex-President
• Fruit forbidden to liberals: polygamy law
• 2,718 children dropped out of school last year
• Amendment to raise age of child from 16 to 18 years
• Sri Lanka striving to achieve a better future for every child
‘Identifying the most vulnerable children through mapping and making interventions under the risk reduction programme, “Raise before Risk”, was conducted on 21st and 22nd September 2022 at Sarvodaya branches in Jaffna and Batticaloa, by World Vision serving in Northern and Eastern Provinces’.
• PSC proposes amendment to Children and Young Persons Ordinance
• Mother arrested for selling her seven-day old infant for Rs. 50,000
• Sri Lankan woman arrested in Dubai attempting to sell a baby
• Northern families forced to give up children to foster care
• 14% of those under five are underweight
• More Lankan children going to school on empty stomachs
• Families countrywide facing malnutrition, says Cardinal
• Lack of nutritious food in hospitals? Nurses’ Union alleges lack of funds from Health Ministry
• Four in ten households in Sri Lanka going hungry – World Food Program
• Cardinal slams proposed X-mas tourism festivities
• Government imposes social media ban on state employees after child hunger posts
• When ‘future’ starves
• President directs to provide aid to those affected by Thotalanga massive fire
• Kajimawatte residents demand relocation from land of infernos
• UDA under fire for labelling Kajeemawatte folks ‘illegal’
• Salon owners contemplating pulling the plug, putting more than 300,000 jobs at risk
• IMF chief warns there will be ‘people on the street’ globally
• Sri Lanka plantations call for new model as wage talks loom
• Regional Plantation Companies (RPC) renew call for productivity-linked wages amid sweeping reforms envisaged in economy
• Patients to Ragama hospital inconvenienced by non-functioning main lift
• Academy of Health Professionals (AHP) asks President RW to be wise gazette-wise
‘One such cause for the downfall of the health sector was former Health Ministers playing with the retirement age.’
• Court orders to pay Rs.30 million as compensation to child disabled at Gampaha
• Two treasure hunters drowned
• Airport senior security officer nabbed with Rs. 20mn gold biscuits
• Four arrested at BIA with gold worth over Rs. 170 million
• Six caught while attempting to flee via sea
• Navy detains three adults and kids trying to migrate illegally
• Thousands head for Qatar despite worker abuse risks
• SL can assist workers when hired for jobs in Japan
• Two arrested for defrauding money by promising jobs in Japan and S. Korea
• Dismay as Sri Lanka negotiates with brain drain!
• No short term solution for brain drain situation, must stop early: Foreign Minister
• Academy of Health Professionals (AHP) asks President RW to be wise gazette-wise
‘One such cause for the downfall of the health sector was former Health Ministers playing with the retirement age.’
• The call of Australia: From early Cingalese to recent migration
• Defence Secretary takes up issue of ragging in universities
• Developing plans and policies without young people is a futile exercise: UNICEF Sri Lanka
• Principal of Telijjawila Central School
• Lessons from a Principal
‘State sector students largely seek employment in government, central and local, and privately educated children largely seek employment in the private sector.’
• Post-pandemic schoolchildren: Does anybody care?
• Student organizes beer party in class room for her boyfriend
• Gender Equality Policy to Cabinet by end Oct.
• Survivors of gender-based violence in Sri Lanka at risk as crucial protection services shutter
• Satynmag.com CIMA Women Friendly Workplace (WFWP) Awards
• ‘Women in eCommerce 2022’ beckons a more inclusive e-commerce industry in APAC
• Maldives: Bridge gender gaps to accelerate progress, say UN experts
• Kerala’s Public Health System Wins Laurels, 43.4 Lakh Get Free Treatment
• ‘Truncated’ Wage Deal an ‘Unprecedented’ Move says All India Employees’ Association
• India Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.43% in September: CMIE
• China, DPRK resume cross-border freight train operation after 5 months
• 23 miners trapped underground after power cut at Kosovo’s mine
• Cubans have adopted a new Family Code following a national referendum
• After Florida Governor DeSantis Played a Cruel Trick on Desperate Migrants, a Hurricane
• Greetings to Russia’s Jews – Vladimir Putin
• Biden lifts shipping restrictions to allow hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to import fuel
‘shipping restrictions under the Jones Act — a century-old law requiring that only U.S.-flagged ships carry goods between two points in the U.S. This comes as a ship carrying diesel for the BP oil company remains idling off the coast of Puerto Rico.’
• Bosses think workers do less from home: Microsoft survey
• Hospital, Long-term Care Funding Cut by the Ford Conservative Government
• ‘To Liberate Ourselves, We Must Reinvent Work’: Class Struggle, Workplaces, and the State
C6. Agriculture (Robbery of rural home market; Machines, if used, mainly imported)
ee Agriculture emphasizes the failure to industrialize an agriculture that keeps the cultivator impoverished under moneylender and merchant, and the need to develop the rural home market, monetization and commercialization, to produce, rather than import, agricultural machinery.
• Food Inflation spiked to 94.9% in September 2022
• Resultant of new tax; prices of bakery products could go up: Assn.
• Govt. offers over 6000 acres of NLDB farm land to private firms
• PMB declines to release Rs 1.2 bn FD for paddy purchasing
• Leading rice miller stops paddy purchasing citing losses, PMB still out of picture
‘armers in Polonnaruwa said: “We are compelled to sell our paddy to private sector traders because the government is just sitting around leaving the big rice millers to buy paddy.’
• Discussion on National Weather Plan with NGO Weather Risk Forum
• Stop importing of coconut products: Coconut producers
• Home Business News Traditional coconut oil manufacturers stage protest
• Sri Lanka coconut prices edge up; price range widens
• Farmers feel the sting of imported big onions; Minister to meet President
• The Best Solution to Hunger: Beans and Other Legumes
• Sri Lanka is one of those 45 countries identified as heading towards a very serious food disaster
• Two arrested with large sugar consignment unfit for consumption
• Iran agrees to deliver fertilizer to Sri Lanka
‘importing fertilizer from Iran has become an issue given international sanctions imposed on the middle-eastern country. The Agriculture Minister said the necessary applications will be made via the Foreign Ministry’
• Chinese fertilizer controversy: Audit report recommends prosecuting officials involved
• First consignment of glyphosate for tea and rubber expected in December
‘Typically, the Regional Plantation Companies require around 500,000 litres of glyphosate annually for tea alone.’
• Offering at Colombo Tea Auction declines from previous week
• Tumultuous times for tea
• Sanasa launches project to develop 5,000 villages
‘Sanasa Life Insurance, Sanasa General Insurance Company, Sanasa Campus, SANASA International Pvt Ltd and Sanasa General Assembly, play a key role in implementing this project.’
• Pelwatte Dairy in JV with global farm training provider to upgrade Sri Lanka dairy farmers
• Sri Lanka poultry farmers unable to make open account imports of maize
• Soar in chicken prices increases demand for game meat
• Establish poultry farms and manage livestock at household level – Health Ministry
• SL fishermen express concern over Chinese entry to marine industry in North
• SL industry represented at Asian Palm Oil Alliance launch for promoting sustainability
• US Ambassador to UN Agencies in Rome Cindy McCain to visit Lanka to highlight US food Aid
• American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) promotes Ceylon Spices in Washington
• CICT & HIPG gift essential foods to 362 families of ‘Hope Village’
• Elephant Attacks: 5 deaths in 48 hours
• Govt. spends Rs.2,800 mn annually on elephant repellents
• 16 students arrested over Ella forest fire
• Second forest fire in Ella
• Biodiversity: Hotspot hotter – Sri Lankan Youth Climate Action Network (SLYCAN) Trust
• Fifty acres of land has been destroyed in a fire in Ramsar wetland at Anawilundawa
• Have you Ever Thought About the Food Consumed by 80 Crore People?
• Russia inks deal to supply Afghanistan with fuel and grain
• ADB plans to release $14 bln to ease food crisis in Asia and the Pacific
• The Curious Case of Rising Hunger Despite Excess Grain Stocks
• Climate Devastation and Fossil Fuel Profits
‘What do Pakistan, Puerto Rico, and Jackson, Mississippi, have in common? They’ve all recently experienced climate-related catastrophic rains…But, even more importantly, they are all low-income regions inhabited by people of color – the prime victims of climate injustice.’
C7. Industry (False definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc)
ee Industry notes the ignorance about industrialization (versus handicraft and manufacture), the dependence on importing foreign machinery, the need to make machines that make machines, build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound, and the need for a holistic political, economic and military strategy to overcome domination by merchants and moneylenders.
• Man with locally produced gun arrested
• SriLankan Airlines seeks foreign investor
• US Ambassador Chung visits South Asia’s First Submarine Cable Depot, a joint venture between SLT-MOBITEL and Singapore-France IOCPL
‘SLT established Galle Submarine Cable Depot, a joint venture with Indian Ocean Cable Ship (IOCPL) which in turn is a joint venture between Singapore Telecom and Orange Marine of France. The cable repair ship Asian Restorer is stationed in Galle …The strategic location of the Depot enables swift submarine cable repair and maintenance work in the region as all submarine cables from Europe to Asia and Far East run within close reach of Galle. The Depot stores spare cables as well as tools and test equipment required to repair mid sea submarine cable faults. US Ambassador Chung and Economic Unit Head Phillip Loosli joined Rohan Fernando – SLT Group Chairman, Lalith Seneviratne – SLT Group CEO, Janaka Abeysinghe – SLT CEO, and senior management of SLT Mobitel.’
• Spotlight on Mineral exploration project: Alarming ilmenite project threatens Mannar community, biodiversity
• Wijesekera re-appointed SL Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) President
‘President – Sanjiva Wijesekera (Executive Director, George Steuart Health), Senior Vice President – M.Prathaban (Deputy Chairman/CEO, Emerchemie NB), Vice President – Azam Jaward (Managing Director and CEO, Cipla), Secretary – Shantha Bandara (CEO, Sunshine Healthcare Lanka), and Treasurer- Dinesh Athapaththu (Managing Director, Morison)’.
• SL ranks 85th in World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)’s Global Innovation Index
• State Banks must Allow maximum concessions to indebted entrepreneurs: Siyambalapitiya
• Sri Lanka to purchase oil from Iran on government to government deal
• CPC fixed dealers’ commission based on fuel issues under QR code
• CPC to take legal action against PUCSL Chairman: Minister
• PUCSL Chairman says ready to face legal battle with Minister Kanchana
• PUCSL approves CEB to purchase power from private firms
• Plea for steady supply of crude for Sapugaskanda refinery
• Fuel Imports: Petrol 95 cheaper than Petrol 92?
‘So the question is, who is the intermediary involved in the importation of fuel?’
• PUCSL seals two fuel dispensers at CPC filling station in Colombo-7
‘Noting over 1,200 fuel stations are in the country, he said if they receive 100 complaints from 100 places it translates to around 10% of the stations having low-quality fuel.’
• PC to pay for another Petrol Shipment
• SJB alleges large scale scam involving the purchasing of oil
• Debate over poor quality crude oil imports rages
• Price of petrol lowered, no change in petroleum products
• Kanchana updates on coal, petrol procurements
• Coal crisis: Minister seeks Cabinet approval for emergency purchases
• Allegations fly over coal procurement as Norochcholai stocks run down
• Advance payment for coal cargo completed today
• Sri Lanka likely to plunge deeper into darkness as coal plant reports another breakdown
• Coal Update: Sri Lanka pays for Coal Shipment
• CEB given green light to purchase power after Unit 3 at Norochcholai fails
• Steam leak forces coal fired power plant to shut down depriving 300MW
• Govt. advertises spot tender to procure coal
• Third coal power plant in Norochcholai fixed, operates in full capacity: Minister
• School land acquisition to Upper Kothmale Hydro Power Project: SC orders CEB to construct auditorium for Tamil school
• Solar companies awaiting new tariff
‘SL has over 6.5 million electricity consumers and only 40,000 have installed rooftop solar systems.’
• Privately-owned renewable energy industry facing total collapse
• Renewable energy sector cries foul; claims officials prolonging power crisis
• No room for discriminatory electricity tariffs anymore: US Advocata
• Electricity tariff hikes; poor subsidize the rich – Daily Mirror Editorial
• Sri Lanka power tariff hike: ministry offers olive branch to protesting monks
• Extended power cuts not required until next January – PUCSL
• Yugadanavi meets 300MW shortfall caused by Norochcholai breakdown
• Litro Gas’ shaky deals in purchasing LPG
• Litro begins settling credit facility provided by WB
• Special unit to monitor 260 mega development projects
• Harith Jayasuriya appointed Acme Printing & Packaging CEO
‘He was the Group Director, MAC Holdings, and also served Marine & Air Consolidations, and Coats Thread…. Acme is a subsidiary of Lankem. Other Directors: A. Hettiarachchy, SDR Arudpragasam, R. Seevaratnam, A Rajaratnam, JM Swaminathan, A Sirimane, PS Goonewardene, G K B Dasanayake and ACS Jayaranjan.’
• A useful guide to carpentry
‘“Lee Weda Sandaha Bhawithayata Ganena Ath Ayudha (Hand Tools for Carpentry)” ‘
• SL’s construction sector crashes, 90% of work suffers
• How the dollar crisis and import restrictions choke a nation
• Browns General Trading Partners with Sierra
‘Browns is highly reputed for importing power tools, engineering tools and related equipment’
• Sri Lanka railways in losses despite fare hike
• Train crashed into old building at Dematagoda Yard
• Vehicle prices dropping rapidly?: Vehicle Importers’ Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL)
• Hambantota International Port (HIP) welcomes VIP delegation from ASEAN
• President to revive Japan-funded projects next week
• Supreme Court orders RDA to explain its position on elevated expressway
• The End of A Corporate Giant – The Story of Walker Sons & Co.
• Colombo Dockyard delivers ‘Misje Vita’ bulk carrier assembled for Norwegian company
• Civil Aviation in Sri Lanka and economy
‘policy makers appointed to civil aviation are persons with questionable backgrounds’
• Lakwin Air granted Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for domestic commercial air transport
• Sri Lanka calls EOI to build flying training school at Eastern airport
• Aberdeen Holdings Group’s FitsAir announces international passenger operations
‘Aberdeen Holdings is a privately-held diversified conglomerate headquartered in Colombo with interests in 11 industries including packaging, commodities, aviation and logistics, energy, recycling and retail and agribusiness. It serves 29 countries and has over 1,300 employees.’
• Aberdeen says Expack stake sale strategic
‘Aberdeen Holdings has been and continues to be majority shareholder …since Expack’s IPO.’
• Tuk-tuks future gloomy with zero imports
• If 10 liters or more fuel allowed, tuk tuk fares would be lowered from this week: Assn.
• CodeGen International subsidiary Vega Innovations offers electric conversion kits for trishaws
• DIMO enters pharma biz: Buys 75% stakes each in Mansel & Associated Laboratories
‘The company holds number of reputed agencies with pharmaceuticals for Antihistamine, Neurology, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Gastro – Intestinal, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Vitaminology, Dermatology, Haematology, Oncology, Diabetics and deals with antibiotics and antiviral’
• NHSL stops most lab tests; officials, private sector make a killing
‘“Most patients are asked to get these tests done in private labs.’
• Hemas, Dilmah and Daraz hand over vital and essential medicines to the Ministry of Health
The UNDP partners with Hemas Holdings, Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company, Brandix Apparel, Daraz Sri Lanka, Citi Foundation and Amana Bank, Sarvodaya, the United Nations Global Compact Network Sri Lanka and oDoc’
• Another consignment of medicine donated by China arrives
• Red Cross Society of China to donate more food packs to Sri Lanka
• Eight mobile CKDu screening vehicles donated by China commissioned
• Sri Lanka hospitals to get Rs300mn emergency supplies from Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA)
• SL to receive medical aid worth USD 2.74Mn from US NGO Hope Worldwide
‘In July, Heart to Heart International sent two consignments worth $9.131 million. The consignment from Americares arrived in Colombo earlier in September and is valued at over USD 773,000.’
• UNICEF Sri Lanka gets USD 500,000 from Japan for provision of nutritional care
• Japan signs fresh emergency grant aid with WFP, IFRC and UNICEF Headquarters
• SL Embassy in US facilitates Rs. 4.6 Bn worth of medicines
• Sri Lanka legal alcohol and tobacco consumption down: Minister
• Raigam Wayamba Salterns Group turnover tops 1 bn
• JLanka Technologies Ventures into Solar Electronic and Electrical Repair Sector
• Apparel industry in major setback due to economic downturn in its main exporting markets
• Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) pledges support to ILO’s Better Work initiative
• Hair and beauty industry badly hit by import ban on wide range of cosmetic products
• Beauty pageants say they are changing — don’t believe them
• Chandana Amaratunga to lead JASTECA to new heights
‘Japan Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association (JASTECA), alumni association of Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS), had its 36th Annual General Meeting. Mangala Samarajeewa, Nirosh De Silva, and Anuruddha Gamage were made Senior Vice President and Vice Presidents. Tyrell Roche, Treasurer; Priyantha Herath, Assistant Treasurer; Gayani Punchihewa, General Secretary; Dulanjana Silva, Assistant Secretary; Chethana Liyanage, Neil Bogahalande, Sarath Buddhadasa, Parakrama Jayatissa and Lasantha Wickremesooriya, executive committee.
• Australia’s William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT opens new building extension
• Bileeta partners USAID CATALYZE SL Private Sector Development for tech support to SMEs
• Why India Is Suddenly Buying Less Russian Crude
‘African and Middle East crude becomes more attractive as shipping rates on long voyages have jumped.’
• India’s Adani Group to invest over $100 billion in next decade mostly in energy transition
• Apple says started making iPhone 14 in India
• India to host MotoGP for first time in 2023
• OPEC+ to Hold In-Person Oil Meeting Next Week in Vienna
• US Treasury Targets Finance & Shipping of Iranian Petrochemicals & Petroleum Sales
• What Happened To Africa’s Biggest Iron Smelter
• The U.S. Is Winning Its War On Europe’s Industries And People
• EU President von der Leyen on Commission’s new strategy: Shaping Europe’s Digital Future
C8. Finance (Making money from money, banks, lack of investment in modernity)
ee Finance tracks the effects of financialization, the curious role of ratings agencies, false indices, etc., and the rule of moneylenders, preventing investment in modern production.
• Non-Bank Finance (NBFI) sector asset quality weakens as borrowers struggle to service loans
• HSBC Awards Fashion Design Fund to 5 Sri Lankan Designers
• Sri Lanka’s CSE partners Rajarata University to raise financial literacy amid pump & dump deals
• CBSL raises over Rs. 127 billion in treasury bond action (S29)
• Sri Lanka T-bond yield up in secondary market amid uncertainty over local debt restructuring
• Sri Lanka T-bond yield up; local debt restructuring uncertainty weighs
• Sri Lanka T-bond yields steady amid active trading despite uncertainties (S30)
• Sri Lanka T-bond yields steady, kerb rate 375/378
• Sri Lanka T-bill yields up; rupee guidance peg steady (S27)
• Sri Lanka sells Rs81bn in Treasuries, yields steady (S28)
• Yields in Sri Lanka T-bill rise amid speculation over local debt restructuring
• T-bill yields steady; Rs.81.6 billion raised (S29)
• Sri Lanka shares fall on profit taking (S26)
• Sri Lanka shares slip in mid-morning trade on heavy-weights (S26)
• Net foreign inflow at CSE tops Rs. 13 b mark as SG Holdings picks up more Expo shares (S27)
• Bourse falls despite creditor presentation
• Sri Lanka shares edge up from near 2-wk low in high turnover, foreign inflow; financials lead
• Indices close in green (S28)
• Positive sentiment stemming from local political developments boosts share market (S28)
• SG Holdings ups Expo stake to 79% as CSE’s YTD net foreign inflow tops Rs. 15 b mark
• Sri Lanka shares gain 1-pct in mid-morning trade
• Sri Lanka stocks gain on financials; Sampath Bank leads
• External and internal factors set stage for CSE revival by Japan (S29)
• Sri Lanka shares edge up in mid-morning trade
• Sri Lanka stocks end steady after volatile trading; investors wait for cues from policy rates
• Sri Lanka stocks steady; investors wait for cues from policy rates
• CSE turns volatile in the wake of global market pressures (S30)
• Sri Lanka shares fall in mid-morning trade
• Sri Lanka sees over 10-year high monthly net foreign inflow in Sept; forex crisis helps
• CSE ends week with losses but September with gain (01O)
• Industrial and Commercial Bank of China buys Barclays’ US$80bn London gold vault (2016)
‘Barclays’ modern vault holds precious metals for pension funds, central banks, sovereign wealth funds and other investors. Most ‘over-the-counter’ gold and silver trading is cleared through the London market, and clearing banks provide services for clients to settle their gold and silver trades, and ultimately have to have access to reserves of physical metal….London Precious Metals Clearing Ltd (LPMCL) operates a central electronic metal clearing hub, with deals between parties throughout the world settled and cleared in London. Other members of LPMCL are Barclays, HSBC, JP Morgan, the Bank of Nova Scotia and UBS.’
• Singapore becomes Asia’s top financial center: Report
• Global stock markets decline by 5.2 per cent in 2022 third quarter
• US Senate Banking Committee on China’s Threat to US National Security and Competitiveness
• Nowhere to Hide: The US Fed-Induced Bubble in Stocks and Bonds Is Blowing Up; Even the Typical Safe Havens of Gold and T-Notes Are Losing Money
‘In order of exposure to derivatives, those five bank holding companies are: JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley.’
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business focuses on the rentier diversions of the oligarchy, the domination by a merchant mafia, making money from unproductive land sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of corporate press releases disguised as ‘news’
• Real estate, perfect hedge against depreciating currency
• Firms go overseas to mitigate risk in SL
• National Chamber of Exporters conducts annual export awards press conference
• Leading the way in exploring export markets
• Diaspora group starts company for SL investors
• New appointments to board of directors of AIA Sri Lanka
‘Tan Hak Leh is Regional Chief Executive of AIA Group is new Chairman of the Board … AIA Sri Lanka’s CEO Chathuri Munaweera being appointed to the Board of Directors’
• Dhananath Fernando appointed CEO of US Advocata Institute
• SL needs to boost image to attract tourists – AKD
• Negative portrayal of Sri Lanka hits tourism sector hard: Tour operators
• US$ 41,000 required on daily basis to settle Lotus Tower debt: Patali
• Champika claims highest tower in South Asia a white elephant
• Sri Lanka’s China-backed Port City to issue dollarized business licenses
• A compelling value proposition for investing in SL in the context of Port City Colombo
• Engage in business in Port City: President announces regulations
C10. Politics (Anti-parliament discourse, unelected constitution)
ee Politics points to the constant diversions and spectacles and the mercantile and financial forces funding the political actors, of policy hijacked by private interests minus public oversight.
• Election Campaign Finance to be regulated soon – EC chief
• Pohottu as USA Proxy Part 8Mh, Mi
• Yuthukama President says Lanka yet quite resilient despite all the negative utterances
‘People relied on traditional Ayurveda treatments which helped boost their immunity. The data showed that the number of paracetamol sold in the market had dropped,…There were sales over 400 million rupees during the ten day book fair….Our people would respect a book rather than a packet of rice.’
• What Protesters (and Politicians) Should Know About Systems, Systems Theory and System Change? – Thoradeniya
• JVP’s youth wing and trade unions relaunch uprising to protest alleged Govt. oppression
• AKD warns Govt. of an imminent people’s uprising
• JVP Leader warns of Colombo being put under siege to fight govt. suppression of dissent
• Political tsunami likely by end October to wipe off corrupt politicians: Hirunika
• Ranawaka: It’s possible to prosecute those who bankrupted country
• Opposition claim within striking distance of eliminating government’s parliamentary majority
• Namal is knocking at the door
• Welgama on why he parted ways with the Rajapaksas
‘Mahinda Rajapaksa had promised him earlier that no other members of “the family” would be introduced to politics.’
• SLPP government is sinking and will resort to anything to retain power
• A post-mortem of Gotagogama
‘While a section of the middle-class still bats for those [IMF] reforms, the lower middle-classes have been so battered by price hikes and tariff revisions that they have wavered.’
• Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith calls for local Government polls
• From Opposition to Alternative? – On the potential and the trajectory of Aragalaya
‘Those of ‘us’ in ‘academic circles’ (no matter how progressive we think we are) should constantly keep reminding ‘ourselves’ of the provocative insight that “the street is always two steps ahead of theory” in order to guard ‘ourselves’ against top-down and/or vanguardist tendencies.’
• Prez appoints acting ministers for Finance, Women and Child Affairs
• The people are driven by anti-politics,
‘Even JVP leaders who have undertaken to play a messianic role may have to head for the hills’
• Archbishop calls for holding LG polls by March next year to send message to govt.
• No change to corruption and Govt. actions: SJB
• No-deal SJB Govt. will come into power next: Marikkar
‘led by Sajith Premadasa and the Minister of Defence will be Sarath Fonseka’
• Sri Lanka parliament to debate 22nd amendment to constitution on Oct 06, 07
• Muslim women urge PM to increase female representation
• Search for true democracy: Veddah Chief calls for a general election
• Whither ends the Sri Lankan crisis? – Victor Ivan
‘Shouldn’t the international community, including India and Japan, force the political leaders of Sri Lanka to embark on such a program?’
• Two faces of the “Aragalaya” – Prof. N.A.de S. Amaratunga
• The Formation of Lynch Mobs is Inevitable Soon
• No force behind appointing MR as PM: Welgama
• Nava Lanka Freedom Party claims 75% of progressive forces with it
• President must decide whether Rajapaksas are worth more than Sri Lankans – Harshana
• SLPP attempted to end my political career by offering Premiership: Sajith
• The Failure Of Capitalism As An Ideology
• Political Proposals Adopted at the 11th Congress of the Communist Party of Bangladesh
• From Revolutionaries to Visionless Parties: Leftist Politics in Bangladesh
• What Would Bhagat Singh do if he Were Alive? – Irfan Habib
• Remembering the Telangana Peoples’ Struggle Against Feudal-Colonial Rule
• Gandhi family loyalist Ashok Gehlot to run for Congress President
• Tamil Nadu Has a History of Denying Permission for RSS Marches
• Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman named PM
• Reflecting on Mugabe’s leadership with Rutendo Matinyerere
• What is Nkrumahism-Touréism? – All African Peoples Revolutionary Party
• J. V. Stalin Replies to Questions put by Mr. Elliot Roosevelt
• Why Italian fascists quote Samora Machel and Sankara
‘the appropriation of the words of Marxist and anti-imperialist heroes and intellectuals by the new nationalist and racist right to support their xenophobic or nationalist arguments.’
• Census Undercount Increased in 2020
• Commemorating Gabriel’s Rebellion at the African Burial Ground in Richmond, Virginia
• Breaking the Hold of Authoritarian Neoliberalism by Working Class Movements
• England’s Civil Service Code
‘This document goes into more detail about performance and conduct alongside other issues of employment like development, pay and leaving the civil service.’
C11. Media (Mis/Coverage of economics, technology, science and art)
ee Media shows how corporate media monopoly determines what is news, art, culture, etc. The media is part of the public relations (corporate propaganda) industry. The failure to highlight our priorities, the need to read between the lines. To set new perspectives and priorities.
• How an obscure intelligence-linked party fixed a second Brexit referendum and torpedoed Corbyn
‘Corbyn’s commitment to a second Brexit referendum should be regarded as one of the gravest political missteps in recent English political history.’
• Norman Finkelstein on The ‘Anti-Semite Corbyn’ Claims
• Meta’s Annual Marketing Summit today; adds SL to help biz get future-ready
‘Meta VP – Global Business Marketing Michelle Klein and Vice President for Southeast Asia and Emerging Markets Benjamin Joe will speak’
• 63rd Anniversary of Bandaranaike Assassination: Murderer had Free Access to PM’s Residence
• Govt. workers warned against expressing opinions on social media violating establishment code
• President Media gets new unit to counter disinformation
• Appellants Asked To Give Affidavits To The RTI Commission As First Step To Prosecution Under RTI Act
• No other option than to announce 30-rupee increase in the price of the Sunday Times
• High Commissioner Moragoda interacts with Indian Women’s Press Corps and IAAN School of Mass Communication
• Spotlight on Sri Lanka 4000-year old hunter gatherers
‘Samanti Kulatilake, Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology at Mount Royal University, Canada will speak about a site in Mini-athaliya where aquatic foragers lived in mid-Holocene period, the National Trust said.’
• Melody in the military : A brief history of military bands
• Canadian scholar Daniel A. Bell speaks on Confucianism, Chinese modernization
• Lemons, Mimosas, and Stalin’s Shovel
• False Witnesses (2008)
‘necessary response to the urban legend that the manufacturer of Tide, Crest and Dawn was some kind of satanic cult…The Procter & Gamble rumor seems to have originated among rival soap-sellers’
• NY Times claim that Russia drove attacks on Linda Sarsour is nonsense
‘The ongoing campaign against Sarsour has been relentlessly driven by the Israel lobby and the American far-right, as well as people within Sarsour’s own Democratic Party.’