BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS FEB 23 2011: JAPAN’S ECONOMY

February 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, Judaica | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 23 February now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Wed 2/23/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 23 February 2011

now available on the BIS website

Mario Draghi: In memory of Enzo Grilli

Glenn Stevens: The resources boom

Zeti Akhtar Aziz: Advancing women’s leadership in public life

Caleb M Fundanga: Fourth quarter 2010 media briefing

Hirohide Yamaguchi: Japan’s economy and monetary policy

Jürgen Stark: Central banking after the financial crisis

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at:

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 23 February now available‏

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Wed 2/23/11

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WAS DUTCH COLONIALISM IN INDONESIA PROFITABLE?: THE 1860 NOVEL “MAX HAVELAAR” AND THE RADEMAKERS MOVIE FROM 1976

February 23, 2011 at 4:57 am | Posted in Books, Film, History, World-system | Leave a comment

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Max Havelaar is a 1976 Dutch film directed by Fons Rademakers, based on the 1860 novel Max Havelaar by Multatuli.

Max Havelaar (1976)

Max Havelaar of de koffieveilingen der

Nederlandsche handelsmaatschappij

(original title)

An idealistic Dutch colonial officer posted to Indonesia in the 19th century is convinced that he can make the kinds of changes that will actually help the local people he is in charge of, but circumstances soon make him realize just how out of touch he really is, and it doesn’t take long for things to go from bad to worse.

The movie opens with this quote from King William III of the Netherlands:

When We scrutinize, with gratitude,

The highly satisfactory condition of the country’s finances

And we recognize that Our present wealth derives

From the fruits yielded up by Our property in the East Indies

Then We do not hold lightly,

Our calling to further the well-being and development of these Our

colonial possessions

The sacrifice demanded of Us to succour these lands

And to maintain Our authority over them

We will not make grudgingly.

William III, King of the Netherlands

William III (19 February 1817 – 23 November 1890) was from 1849 King of the Netherlands

Max Havelaar

Max Havelaar:

Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company

Eduard Douwes Dekker (2 March 182019 February 1887), better known by his pen name Multatuli, was a Dutch writer famous for his satirical novel, Max Havelaar (1860) in which he denounced the abuses of colonialism in the colony of the Dutch East Indies (today’s Indonesia).

In 1860, he published his novel Max Havelaar under the pseudonym of Multatuli. Dekker’s new pseudonym, which is derived from Latin, means, “I have suffered much”, or, more literally “I have borne much” referring to himself, as well as, it is thought, to the victims of the injustices he saw. An attempt was made to ignore this irregular (for the 1860s) book, but in vain; it was read all over Europe.

Dekker was born in Amsterdam. His father, a ship’s captain, intended his son for trade, but this humdrum prospect disgusted him, and in 1838 he went out to Java and obtained a post as a civil servant. He moved from one posting to another, until, in 1851, he became assistant-resident at Ambon, in the Moluccas. In 1857 he was transferred to Lebak, in the Bantam residency of Java. By this time, however, all the secrets of Dutch administration were known to him, and he had begun to openly protest about the abuses of the colonial system. Consequently he was threatened with dismissal from his office for his openness of speech. Dekker resigned his appointment and returned to the Netherlands in a state of fierce indignation.

Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company (Dutch: Max Havelaar, of de koffij-veilingen der Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij) is a culturally and socially significant 1860 novel by Multatuli (the pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker) which was to play a key role in shaping and modifying ) about Dutch colonial policy in the Dutch East Indies in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. In the novel, the protagonist, Max Havelaar, tries to battle against a corrupt government system in Java, which was a Dutch colony at the time.

The colonial control of Indonesia had passed from the Dutch East India Company (VOC) to the Dutch government due to the economic failure of the VOC. In order to increase revenue, the Dutch colonial government implemented a series of policies termed the Cultivation System (Dutch: cultuurstelsel), which mandated Indonesian farmers to grow a quota of commercially tradable crops such as tea and coffee, instead of growing staple foods such as rice. At the same time, the colonial government also implemented a tax collection system in which the collecting agents were paid by commission. The combination of these two strategies caused widespread abuse of colonial power, especially on the islands of Java and Sumatra, resulting in abject poverty and widespread starvation among the farmers.

Multatuli wrote Max Havelaar in protest against these colonial policies. Despite its terse writing style, it raised the awareness of Europeans living in Europe at the time that the wealth that they enjoyed was the result of suffering in other parts of the world. This awareness eventually formed the motivation for the new Ethical Policy by which the Dutch colonial government attempted to “repay” their debt to their colonial subjects by providing education to some classes of natives, generally members of the elite loyal to the colonial government.

Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer argued that by triggering these educational reforms, Max Havelaar was in turn responsible for the nationalist movement that ended Dutch colonialism in Indonesia after 1945, and which was instrumental in the call for decolonisation in Africa and elsewhere in the world. Thus, according to Pramoedya, Max Havelaar is “the book that killed colonialism”.[1]

In the last chapter the author announces that he will translate the book “into the few languages I know, and into the many languages I can learn.” In fact, Max Havelaar has been translated into thirty-four languages. It was first translated into English in 1868. In Indonesia, the novel was cited as an inspiration by Sukarno and other early nationalist leaders, such as the author’s Indo (Eurasian) descendant Ernest Douwes Dekker, who had read it in its original Dutch. It was not translated into Indonesian until 1972.[2]

In the novel, the story of Max Havelaar, a Dutch colonial administrator, is told by two diametrically opposed characters: the hypocritical coffee merchant Droogstoppel, who intends to use Havelaar’s manuscripts to write about the coffee trade, and the romantic German apprentice Stern, who takes over when Droogstoppel loses interest in the story. The opening chapter of the book nicely sets the tone of the satirical nature of what is to follow, with Droogstoppel articulating his pompous and mercenary world-view at length. At the very end of the novel Multatuli himself takes the pen and the book culminates in a vocal denouncement of Dutch colonial policies and a plea to the then-king of the Netherlands to intervene on behalf of his Indonesian subjects.

The novel was filmed in 1976 by Fons Rademakers, as part of a Dutch-Indonesian partnership. The film was not allowed to be shown in Indonesia until 1987.

References

  1. Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1999). “The book that killed colonialism”. The New York Times Magazine. April 18: 112-114.
  2. Feenberg, Anne-Marie (1997). “Max Havelaar: an anti-imperialist novel”. MLN 112(5):817-835.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer [1] (February 6, 1925April 30, 2006) was an Indonesian author of novels, short stories, essays, polemics, and histories of his homeland and its people. A well-regarded writer in the West, Pramoedya’s outspoken and often politically charged writings faced censorship in his native land during the pre-reformation era. For opposing the policies of both founding president Sukarno, as well as those of its successor, the New Order regime of Suharto, he faced extrajudicial punishment. During the many years in which he suffered imprisonment and house arrest, he became a cause célèbre for advocates of freedom of expression and human rights.

“The Buru Quartet” is his anticolonial masterpiece

The Buru Quartet

  1. Bumi Manusia (This Earth of Mankind) (1980)
  2. Anak Semua Bangsa (Child of All Nations) (1980)
  3. Jejak Langkah (Footsteps) (1985)
  4. Rumah Kaca (House of Glass) (1988)

The movie Max Havelaar opens with this quote from King William III of the Netherlands:

When We scrutinize, with gratitude,

The highly satisfactory condition of the country’s finances

And we recognize that Our present wealth derives

From the fruits yielded up by Our property in the East Indies

Then We do not hold lightly,

Our calling to further the well-being and development of these Our

colonial possessions

The sacrifice demanded of Us to succour these lands

And to maintain Our authority over them

We will not make grudgingly.

Max Havelaar is a 1976 Dutch film directed by Fons Rademakers, based on the 1860 novel Max Havelaar by Multatuli.

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INTEGRATING FOOD AND ENERGY

February 23, 2011 at 1:39 am | Posted in Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research, Third World | Leave a comment

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INTEGRATING FOOD AND ENERGY CROPS CAN HELP REDUCE

POVERTY, NEW UN STUDY FINDS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Feb 17 2011

INTEGRATING FOOD AND ENERGY CROPS CAN HELP REDUCE

POVERTY, NEW UN STUDY FINDS

Farming systems that combine crops that can be used for food and fuel can help reduce poverty and boost food and energy security, says a new report published today by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The “http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i2044e/i2044e.pdf report, entitled “Making Integrated Food-Energy Systems (IFES) Work for People and Climate An Overview”, uses specific examples from Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as from some developed countries to show how food and energy crops can be successfully integrated.

Integrated systems offer numerous benefits to poor rural communities, according to Alexander Mueller, FAO Assistant Director-General for Natural Resources.

For example, poor farmers can use leftovers from rice crops to produce bioenergy, or in an agroforestry system can use debris of trees used to grow crops like fruits, coconuts or coffee beans for cooking, he “http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/51165/icode/ says, noting that other types of food and energy systems use byproducts from livestock for biogas production.

He adds that with these integrated systems farmers can save money because they do not have to buy costly fossil fuel, nor chemical fertilizer if they use the slurry from biogas production.

They can then use the savings to buy necessary inputs to increase agricultural productivity, such as seeds adapted to changing climatic conditions an important factor given that a significant increase in food production in the next decades will have to be carried out under conditions of climate change, states Mr. Mueller.

FAO also noted several other benefits offered by integrated food-energy systems. They are beneficial to women as they can eliminate the need to leave their crops to go in search of firewood.

Women in developing countries can also significantly lower health risks by reducing the use of traditional wood fuel and cooking devices. Some 1.9 million people worldwide die each year due to exposure to smoke from cooking stoves.

Integrating food and energy production can also be an effective approach to mitigating climate change, especially emissions stemming from land use change.

By combining food and energy production, IFES reduce the likelihood that land will be converted from food to energy production, since one needs less land to produce food and energy, FAO stated.

Having an integrated system often leads to increased land and water productivity, therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing food security, it added.

An agro-forestry IFES is currently being implemented on a large scale in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a 100,000 hectare plantation located about 140 kilometres east of the capital, Kinsasha, combines food crops and acacia forests, enabling farmers to grow high yielding cassava and other crops at the same time that they process wood into charcoal.

Total charcoal production from the plantation currently runs from 8,000 to 12,000 tonnes per year, while farmers produce 10,000 tonnes of cassava, 1,200 tonnes of maize and six tonnes of honey annually.

Each farmer, using 1.5 hectare of land generates an income of about $9,000 per year ($750 per month). In comparison, a taxi driver in Kinshasa earns between $100 and $200 per month, FAO pointed out.
Feb 17 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

INTEGRATING FOOD AND ENERGY CROPS CAN HELP REDUCE

POVERTY, NEW UN STUDY FINDS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

New York, Feb 17 2011

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GREEN ECONOMIC FINANCE

February 23, 2011 at 1:18 am | Posted in Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research | Leave a comment

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INVESTING IN ‘GREEN ECONOMY’ CAN BOOST GROWTH,

REDUCE POVERTY — UN REPORT

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 21 Feb

New York, Feb 21 2011

INVESTING IN ‘GREEN ECONOMY’ CAN BOOST GROWTH, REDUCE

POVERTY — UN REPORT

Investing around $1.3 trillion — or two per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) — into ten key sectors can kick-start a transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient ‘green economy’ that can also help reduce poverty, says a new United Nations report launched today.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) presented the report, “Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication,” to environment ministers from over 100 countries at the opening of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Nairobi.

The http://www.unep.org/GreenEconomy/Portals/93/documents/Full_GER_screen.pdf report identifies the following sectors as key to greening the global economy: agriculture, buildings, energy supply, fisheries, forestry, industry including energy efficiency, tourism, transport, waste management and water.

It sees a green economy as not only relevant to more developed economies but as a key catalyst for growth and poverty eradication in developing ones too, where in some cases close to 90 per cent of the GDP of the poor is linked to nature or natural capital such as forests and freshwaters.

“With 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day and with more than two billion people being added to the global population by 2050, it is clear that we must continue to develop and grow our economies,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“But this development cannot come at the expense of the very life support systems on land, in the oceans or in our atmosphere that sustain our economies, and thus, the lives of each and everyone of us,” he added.

“The green economy provides a vital part of the answer of how to keep humanity’s ecological footprint within planetary boundaries. It aims to link the environmental imperatives for changing course to economic and social outcomes — in particular economic development, jobs and equity.”

According to UNEP, the world currently spends between one and two per cent of global GDP on a range of subsidies that often perpetuate unsustainable resources use in areas such as fossil fuels, agriculture, including pesticide subsidies, water and fisheries.

Many of these are contributing to environmental damage and inefficiencies in the global economy, and phasing them down or phasing them out would generate multiple benefits while freeing up resources to finance a green economy transition.

The report does acknowledge that in the short-term, job losses in some sectors, such as fisheries, are inevitable if they are to transition towards sustainability. Investment, in some cases funded from cuts in harmful subsidies, will be required to re-skill and re-train some sections of the global workforce to ensure a fair and socially acceptable transition.

The report makes the case that over time the number of “new and decent jobs created” in sectors — ranging from renewable energies to more sustainable agriculture — will however offset those lost from the former “brown economy.”

The green economy, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and international environment governance are the two themes for UNEP’s Governing Council session, which is also looking ahead to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.

“We live in some of the most challenging times that perhaps any generation has faced, but also one of the most exciting moments where the possibilities of re-shaping and re-focusing towards a sustainable 21st century have never been more tangible,” Mr. Steiner noted in his http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=663&ArticleID=6904&l=en&t=long opening address to the session.

Feb 21 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

INVESTING IN ‘GREEN ECONOMY’ CAN BOOST GROWTH, REDUCE

POVERTY — UN REPORT

UNNews UNNews@un.org

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

Mon, 21 Feb

New York, Feb 21 2011

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