Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 00:26 | SYDNEY
Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 00:26 | SYDNEY

Reader ripostes: Various subjects


Sam Roggeveen


17 March 2009 14:35

Three bits of correspondence on three recent posts. First, Tony Hodges:

While the I don’t want to disagree with your suggestion that small-scale interventions may be the most useful way to do aid in a politically fragile state, I don’t think microfinance is a good idea in Pakistan. Most microfinance practitioners will tell you that the only place worse for doing microfinance than states facing a period of potentially violent unrest are those that are facing a health crisis. If lenders are worried about the capital they lend being destroyed by violence, and depositors can’t trust the institutions they’re lending to, microfinance doesn’t work.

Alison Broinowski:

I don’t disagree with Graeme Dobell’s analysis of where Kevin Rudd stands, and why the East Asia Community, no matter how long it takes, will trump Rudd's Asia Pacific Community. But what few Australians seem to understand is the real reason, that few will say out loud. The difference between an EAC and an APC is that the former will not include the US, which means East Asian countries dealing with their own security issues. The APC will include the US, which means China’s power being overshadowed. That is not what the ASEANs now want (not even the Philippines) and it is something neither Japan nor the Republic of Korea is prepared to contest if the penalty is their exclusion from an EAC. As soon as ‘Pacific’ is added to Asia, ‘East’ is diminished. I expect that Richard Woolcott will have to report that Australia and the US are the only countries he has sounded out which want that to happen. That is the real dead cat.

And Ann Capling responds to my snark about the Financial Times' ludicrous luxury goods supplement:

But of course, this is the way recessions work. Those on high salaries who remained in employment during the 1930s were also able to enjoy the benefits of deflation. And the Financial Times is no different in its practices than the Fairfax or Murdoch press here, with their weekend coloured paper specials full of advertorials promoting consumption of luxury goods.