Saturday, April 19, 2014

Errol Mendes

Goldman Sachs and the Integrity Crisis

The SEC charging Goldman for fraud demonstrates the ethics gap at the heart of the economic meltdown.

The fact that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is charging Goldman Sachs with fraud over its marketing of worthless subprime mortgage securities reveals that the world has not only gone through a financial crisis, it is also going through an integrity crisis.

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There is hope for democracy

Is democracy in permanent crisis in societies plagued by ethnic, tribal, religious or economic rivalries?

The world has witnessed a murderous rampage and riots in Kenya following rigged elections. The global community is also anxious about the turbulence in nuclear-armed Pakistan following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, with many wondering about the complicity of security and intelligence agencies of the Musharraf government. Likewise we have seen the demolition of any viable opposition in Zimbabwe before the presidential elections in March, which could threaten the continued torture of his country by President Robert Mugabe.

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Improving democracy in parliament in order to save parliament

As we start a new year in 2011, there increasing evidence that Stephen Harper, the temporary Prime Minister of Canada is treating the seat of the country's democracy, the House of Commons as an irritant that should either be used primarily to undermine the opposition or to introduce legislation which is designed to garner votes as opposed to dealing with the most fundamental challenges facing the country.  Here is a possible reform to make Parliament relevant again with a different government in power.

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Corruption corroding the global economy and sustainable development: The United Nations Global Compact at risk

Secretary-General Kofi Annan pointed out in 1999 that there is a need to "humanize" the global market though effective promotion of human rights, labour standards and the environment. These three areas, he said, were chosen as the prime concerns of the United Nations Global Compact, because they are the ones that, in the absence of positive action, could pose a threat to the open global market, and especially to the multilateral trade regime.These words now seem prophetic, in light of what happened at Seattle and Genoa, and the uncertain fate of the Doha Development Round of multilateral trade talks.

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A new global force

The credibility and future of the most powerful military force the world has ever seen is at stake in Afghanistan.

In the wake of the U.S. and Northern Alliance victory over the Taliban in 2001, the United States, embroiled in the Iraq debacle, failed to provide anywhere near sufficient boots on the ground. This was followed by a similar action by NATO partners. At that critical time, when both the United Nations and Afghan President Hamid Karzai pleaded for a stabilization force of sufficient size for the new government to cover the whole country, they were massively let down by members of NATO.

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