A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘spain

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

leave a comment »

  • blogTO ranks the five busiest subway stations in Toronto.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the idea of using charged particle beams to propel sails.
  • Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin notes how some American conservatives blame Ebola on DDT bans.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that exoplanet Kepler 91b, detected by its eclipses of the sun, has been confirmed through radial velocity measurements.
  • The Dragon’s Tale suggests that a mysterious event reported in 775 CE around Eurasia may have been a cometary impact.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas considers if future shock, once a generational thing, may now be coming more quickly than that.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the decline of the American bathhouse, reports on a Spanish legislator who blames the national debt on same-sex marriage, and observes an anti-HIV organization’s campaign against PReP.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig examines the origins of Yiddish.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money approves of Bulgarians repainting Soviet war monuments in superheros.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting that the Unied States’ economic problems began long before 2008.
  • Otto Pohl reports from Ghana, in the middle of economic and currency collapse.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla notes that the Rosetta spacecraft is current scouting a landing site for its Philae landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
  • Torontoist describes how Arnold Palmer got his start at the Canadian Open.
  • Towleroad argues that out actor John Barrowman is a gay icon, and suggests that an anti-gay pogrom in Uganda may not have happened.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that today is the 75th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that divided northeastern Europe up between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Russia’s moves in Ukraine have harmed its Asian interests vis-a-vis China and argues that recent events have consolidated support for Ukrainian statehood.

[NEWS] Some Saturday links

leave a comment »

  • Al Jazeera America argues that depending on cars will hurt Newark’s urban renaissance, notes the emerging Indian-Israeli alliance and the import of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in sectarian communities in Northern Ireland, looks at the slowly reviving film industry of Côte d’Ivoire, chronicles the human rights issues of LGB Ukrainians and of Christian sects in the Caucasus, examines the legacies of German immigration in Brazil, and looks at the shantytowns of Mongolia.
  • Al Jazeera examines Russia’s Eurasianism, notes emergent water shortages in Syria, looks at the reaction of Sephardic Jews to a new Spanish citizenship law that would give them access to Spain, and chronicles the persecution of the Ahmadiyya in Pakistan.
  • Bloomberg notes that sanctions on Russia may hurt the Greek economy, notes the collapse in wages for young people in southern Europe, and looks at Germany’s serious impending demographic issues.
  • BusinessWeek looks at Tinder’s shabby treatment of a female co-founder, examines the stagnant economy of Thailand, looks at hospitals which mine credit card data to predict their future patients.
  • CBC notes with disappearance of anonymous public WiFi in Russia, takes a look at the consequences of the shutdown of the McCain potato processing plant in Borden-Carleton, points out the ongoing collapse of a caribou herd on the Québec-Labrador border, shows the sad toll of the Air Algérie plane crash in Québec, and notes that Vancouver’s aquarium can no longer breed cetaceans.
  • Global News looks at the impact of Air Algérie’s disaster in Montreal.
  • MacLean’s suggests Canada is not immune to an American-style housing crash, argues that the Canadian job market is weaker than it appears, and reports on the claims that restrictive American immigration policies could work to the benefit of Canada.
  • National Geographic notes some surprisingly social cephalopod populations and looks at naming ceremonies for some gorillas in Rwanda.
  • NPR reports that some big data firms claim Snowden’s data release has given terrorists ideas as to how they can be quieter, and notes some Ivoirien cacao farmers who taste
  • The New York Times notes the closure of an Upper East Side restaurant priced out by rising rents.
  • Reuters observes the worsening demographics of Italy.
  • Transitions Online takes a small-scale look on the effects of emigration in Uzbekistan.
  • Universe Today looks at how some Martian canyons were formed by different water releases.
  • Xinhua notes how emigration from Portugal has become mainstream.

[LINK] “Colonies Turned Creditors”

I came across a brief article at Ozy by Pooja Bhatia noting that prosperity in former colonies is leading to the reversal of traditional patterns of post-colonial dominance. The effect is perhaps biggest in the case of Portugal, which is the smallest and poorest of the former imperial powers and has (in Brazil and Angola) larger and richer colonies. Spain, too, is noteworthy: Spanish-speaking America is much more populous than Spain, and has in aggregate a bigger economy.

In recent years, investors from Angola, former colony of Portugal, have bought significant chunks of Portuguese companies. Spanish officials are urging their counterparts in South and Latin America to come invest — never mind the conquest. And an exodus of bright young Portuguese is seeking opportunity abroad — often in erstwhile Portuguese colonies like Brazil, Angola and even East Timor.

It’s a significant reversal from decades past, when former colonies went begging their former masters for investment, aid and trade preferences, while stomaching the brain drain of their best-educated graduates. Now the roles have reversed, at least in some quarters. Some former colonies have become emerging markets, logging fast rates of growth, while the erstwhile imperialists are scrambling to stay afloat in the global recession.

Nowhere has the reversal been as dramatic as in Portugal and Angola. The former colonizer expects its economy will shrink 1.8 percent this year, while Angola, fat on diamonds and oil and Chinese love, grew nearly 12 percent annually from 2002 to 2011.

To be sure, the phenomenon is neither widespread nor particularly thoroughgoing. The Democratic Republic of Congo remains mired in terrible conflict, while its former overlord, Belgium, enjoys relative peace and absolute wealth. And for all the Indians snapping up real estate in the United Kingdom, hundreds of millions of Indians still struggle well below the poverty line. Angola’s riches, meanwhile, are concentrated among a handful of oligarchs, including the daughter of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who is worth some $3 billion. (She’s got a half-billion-dollar chunk of a Portuguese media company.) Moreover, the country’s relationship with Portugal got testy just last month, with dos Santos complaining that Europeans were casting aspersions on the ethics of Angolan investors.

But nowhere are northern countries’ woes on better display than in the reversal of migration patterns. Migrants tend to vote with their feet. Since widespread decolonization in the mid-1950s, they’ve tended to stream from global south to global north, often to the imperial motherland. After India’s independence from Britain, for instance, Indians tended to immigrate to “Commonwealth” countries, for instance, while Haitians often went to Francophone ones like France, French-speaking Canada or Belgium, and Angolans headed for Portugal.

The flow appears to be reversing — at least in Portugal and perhaps in other places. Since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, young Portuguese have been streaming not only to wealthier European countries but also to former Portuguese colonies like East Timor, Brazil and Angola.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 25, 2014 at 7:34 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO posts a history of the Toronto Islands, and how a peninsula became an archipelago.
  • Crooked Timber makes the argument that cross-national intelligence undermines national democracies.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that there may be a hundred million worlds in our galaxy capable of supporting life.
  • Imageo shows the startling depth of the drought in California.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the victim of a gay-bashing in New York City allegedly by members of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish street patrol is suing them.
  • Language Hat announces that twenty previously unknown Pablo Neruda poems have been found in Chile.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the increasing walkability of Los Angeles.
  • Registan notes continuing issues for women in Azerbaijan.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog is skeptical of the possibilities that the Donetsk basin in the east could be reconciled to wider Ukraine after this war is over, raising the spectre of Catalonia in post-Franco Spain.
  • Spacing Toronto shares a story of an investigation to an unscenic pair of billboards placed at the intersection of Davenport Road and Bathurst Street.
  • Torontoist notes a local protest by migrant rights’ activists against the shutdown of the temporary foreign worker program.
  • The Transit Toronto blog commemorates the end of the 28 Davisville bus route.

[DM] “The “Hot Labour” Phenomenon”

Co-blogger Edward Hugh has posted a translation of a German-language interview where he talks about “hot labour”, large surge of muigration fueling boom/bust cycles.

Strong growth. Rising real estate prices. Rapid job creation. Surging immigration. This list sums up the Switzerland of 2014 down to a tee. However, it also sounds like a description of what things were like in Spain in 2007 – shortly before the country’s economy fell off a cliff. What follows is a conversation between financial journalist Detlef Gürtler and economist and crisis expert Edward Hugh about possible parallels and differences between the two booms, and the role of a new phenomenon which Hugh describes as “Hot Labour”.

Hugh argues that this is a new phenomenon, and on the increase as a result of central bank bubble inducing activity. While immigration is a vital tool aiding economies to manage the population ageing process, it is important that economic activities be balanced. Immigration fueling boom/bust cycles is far from innocuous, and harm a country just as much as a sudden stop in capital flows if the immigration is followed by emigration.

Detlef Gürtler: Well Edward, you personally lived through one of the most important real estate booms in European history – the recent Spanish one. Is the real estate boom we are witnessing in Switzerland in any way comparable?

Edward Hugh: Before I start, I think it’s worth pointing out that it goes without saying the Swiss are quite different from the Spaniards; and the Swiss economy is completely different from the Spanish one. In this sense every boom or crisis is in its own way different from anything before. That said, such “trivia” doesn’t normally stop economists like me from trying to draw comparisons, even if in this case I have to be extremely careful, since while I know quite a lot about Spain I know much less about Switzerland. So perhaps you will help me.

Detlef Gürtler: Yes, economists do make comparisons, and you were even so bold as to draw one between the German 1990s housing boom and the one which took place in Spain after the start of the century.

Edward Hugh: Well this comparison isn’t so strange as it may seem. Many talk today about Spain becoming the new Germany – in the sense of an export powerhouse – and while this idea may have a rather dubious basis in reality the shift from domestic consumption to exports is quite striking.

In both cases the subsequent “regeneration” was preceded by a significant consumer boom, in both cases there was a strong increase in real estate prices including a construction boom, in both cases there was an increase in household indebtedness, in both cases the current account deficit deteriorated. And then in both cases there was a rude awakening. The only real difference was one of scale, and in this case scale is important. Spain had what was at the end of the day the mother of all housing bubbles.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • The Big Picture shares photos of Iran 25 years after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini.
  • Crooked Timber continues its seminar on the ethics of open borders.</li
  • D-Brief notes the discovery of two new classes of planets not found in our solar system, Earth-mass gas dwarfs and rocky super-Earths.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that red dwarfs’ solar wind would significantly heat exoplanets in their circumstellar habitable zones and links to another paper concluded that Kepler-10c is a giant rocky world.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes drama in Canada regarding the possibility or not of a F-35 purchase.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog wonders about the future of the monarchy in a securely democratic Spain.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis concludes that poverty isn’t clearly the cause of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, notwithstanding the relative poverty of the Muslim north.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is rightly upset that Confederate general and defender of slavery Robert E. Lee is positioned in a new book as an American patriot.
  • The New APPS Blog considers the issues associated with democracy in the European Union after the recent elections.
  • Savage Minds’ P. Kerim Friedman considers the shooting ratio of ethnography. How much raw material do anthropologists need to collect to come up with something compelling?
  • Window on Eurasia traces the genealogy of Eurasianism in the Soviet era.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • At the Broadside Blog, Caitlin Kelly promotes Greenwich Village’s Bleecker Street, in New York City, as her favourite street.
  • The Crux argues that the apparent existence of multiple planets capable of being broadly Earth-like argues ill for our future. (The question “where is everybody?” becomes much more worrisome if it appears that there should be people out there already.)
  • Cody Delistraty writes about the ways in which travel can be a negative phenomenon, unmooring people.
  • Edward Hugh, at A Fistful of Euros, is pessimistic about Spain’s economy.
  • Joe. My. God. shares video from a New York City cat cafe.
  • Language Log reports on the exceptional difficulties of Macartney’s mission to China in the late 18th century in writing Chinese.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that the legacies of the Cold War are still felt in central Europe, in the movement of deer herds which do not cross the German-Czech border.
  • Towleroad reports on the grief of a lesbian couple in Iowa after their adoptive son died in the care of his parents.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the unstable and questionable nature of the “Russian world” model and observes the sympathies of some in Tatarstan for Crimean Tatars.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 366 other followers