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I want some of what they are smoking. From the UK Independent comes this story:
UN unveils plan to release untapped wealth of...$7 trillion (and solve the world's problems at a stroke)
The most potent threats to life on earth - global warming, health pandemics, poverty and armed conflict - could be ended by moves that would unlock $7 trillion - $7,000,000,000,000 (�3.9trn) - of previously untapped wealth, the United Nations claims today.

The price? An admission that the nation-state is an old-fashioned concept that has no role to play in a modern globalised world where financial markets have to be harnessed rather than simply condemned.
WTF? They cannot manage a simple Oil-for-Food program and now they propose to delete the concepts of nation-states (ie: national sovereignty) and we all are just one big happy family... C'mon now, let's have a big group hug. Some more:
At the heart of the proposal, unveiled at a gathering of world business leaders at the Swiss ski resort of Davos, is a push to get countries to account for the cost of failed policies, and use the money saved "up front" to avert crises before they hit. Top of the list is a challenge to the United States to join an international pollution permit trading system which, the UN claims, could deliver $3.64trn of global wealth.
You want to get rid of the cost of failed policies? Hey, the United States contributed Three Billion Dollars to the UN in 2002 and was expected to do the same in 2003 according to this report (PDF). A few examples of what they are trying to do:
Millions of people across the developing world have died from malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids, as well as from other pandemics. Vaccines needed to avert them require much-needed investment.

SOLUTION: An advance commitment by rich countries to buy $3bn (�1.7bn) worth of vaccines would be enough to encourage pharmaceutical giants to invest in finding medicines that would eliminate these pandemics.
SAVING: $600bn
Hey -- how about letting people use DDT again. That would save about 2,000,000 lives per year. The majority of everything else could be greatly minimized (ie: brought down to western levels) if there was better education. For example, some cultures view Vaccines as something that the "west" is doing to sterilize them or make them weak. Same thing with AIDS/HIV and the use of condoms. Another example:
Big business and global money ignore countries where they see the risk of conflict outweighing their potential profit margins.

SOLUTION: Guarantees by international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund to lower the cost of borrowing for poor nations by underwriting investors' loans to conflict-torn states.
SAVING: $22bn
Pariah States are generally the result of corrupt government. Nobody in their right mind would invest in a nation ruled by a despot. In this case, it is the United Nations' own fault that this level of corruption still exists. This was one of the things they were supposed to be doing wasn't it? Look at their track record... One more:
Poor countries suffer most from swings in investment tastes by the big global investors that means money can leave as soon as it arrives.

SOLUTION: Enable countries to buy "insurance policies" against big swings in growth that would ensure that they did not have to cut public spending every time. In 1997 it wreaked havoc across South-east Asia.SAVING: $2,900bn
I am sorry but this one rates a big frickin' Boo-Hoo on my Care-O-Meter. A company invests in a nation with resources but a corrupt government. A company is initially optimistic and more than willing to spread the wealth around (after all, a healthy, well educated populace is a potential customer base). Said company sees all of it's investments going into corrupt government, local contractors who are 'cousins' of the 'president' and the factories never get built to specifications. When they finally manage to get something marketable, pirates come in and kidnap people or steal product. For a classic example of this read the following: News from Russia:
Nigeria continues search for hostages after oil platform attack
Nigeria authorities continued the search Saturday for four foreign nationals abducted by gunmen who attacked an oil platform last week.
And this: Aljazeera.net:
Nine killed in Nigeria oil raid
An armed gang dressed in military fatigues has attacked the offices of Agip oil company, a unit of Italy's ENI, in Nigeria, killing nine people.
So... Do you think that I would be interested in investing in Nigeria's Oil Resources? I may have placed a bunch of investments in the country but now, I am figuring out how to cut my losses and get the hell out. Corrupt government again. The shear gall that the United Nations would propose to eliminate national sovereignty and put itself up as the nanny for the world is unreal. They have no grasp of reality.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on January 29, 2006 10:30 PM.

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