Mint ST : 2019-02-11
VIEWS : 19 : 15
15 VIEWS MONDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2019 NEW DELHI GUEST VIEW OTHER VOICES Britain has not factored in the true cost of a Brexit brain drain Time for China to leave the World Bank’s nest T he World Bank is a multilateral poverty-reduction institution, so it’s no surprise that World Bank loans played a significant role in China’s emergence from what was, before 1979, epic poverty. In 1981, the World Bank extended the first of what would be $61.1 billion in loans to the market-minded communist government under Deng Xiaoping. What is surprising is that the World Bank still lends to China at below-market interest rates. The world’s second-largest economy, proud owner of more than $3 trillion in foreign currency reserves and founder of its own global infrastructure bank, China is no longer poor: Its per capita income first exceeded the minimum for “graduation” from World Bank support in 2016. Yet the bank has committed $7.8 billion to China since then...
This is not a sustainable or even logical situation. David Malpass, the senior Treasury Department official whom President Trump nominated as the World Bank’s next president, is among those questioning China’s continued access to subsidized multilateral funding and has worked to curb it while in government. Last year, Mr Malpass helped negotiate a $13 billion capital increase for the World Bank, conditioned on raising borrowing costs for China ...To the extent he promotes a realistic, mature relationship between the institution and China, however, Mr Malpass’s tenure wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world, much less the World Bank. Exodus of London’s top professionals could immediately and abruptly erode UK’S international status and influence The Washington Post Nantes’ true colour manifests with Sala’s death EDOARDO CAMPANELLA is a Future of the World fellow at the Center for the Governance of Change at IE University in Madrid E ighteen days after Emiliano Sala’s disappearance over the English Channel, the human tragedy is approaching a point of resolution... One senses, though, that the soccer morality tale lurking behind this terrible incident is only just beginning. Already there is plenty to suggest that Sala’s transfer from Nantes to Cardiff was not all that it seemed. For every person insisting that the Argentine was joyfully anticipating his next chapter in south Wales, there is another expressing doubt as to whether he ever wanted to leave Brittany in the first place.despite the initial impressions that his £15 million ($27 million) move was a deftly handled piece of business on both sides, it has since emerged that four separate middlemen were competing over a share of the spoils.
So much then, for the French club’s recent exhibitions of collective sorrow, for their ninth-minute rounds of applause to honour their missing No. 9. The number that Nantes truly care about, it transpires, ends in several noughts. It is a warning against giving soccer too much credit for exercises in vicarious grieving... Arsenal were widely lauded for deciding to add Sala’s name to the Cardiff team-sheet. It was, to be sure, a poignant touch, but an easy one to exaggerate. S hould the UK go through with its withdrawal from the European Union (EU), one of the most severe unintended consequences will probably be the exodus of a significant share of top professionals from London. In fact, Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, Amsterdam and other cities on the Old Continent are already competing to attract Uk-based bankers, doctors, architects and academics.
Such “brain drains” are common in history. But never before has an established democracy experienced a catastrophic loss of human capital during a period of peace and prosperity. Usually, it takes a sudden regime change, violent conflict, or dire economic conditions to send a country’s professional elite fleeing en masse.
For example, many intellectuals have left Turkey in recent years as a result of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian government. In Greece during the sovereign debt crisis, high-skill workers were driven out by the lack of economic opportunity. And in Nazi Germany, Jews and other gifted but oppressed minorities were forced to seek refuge abroad.
No two mass emigrations are ever the same; but, to understand what is in store for London, the Brexiteers could still learn something from history. With all due caveats, Brexit might well end up resembling Louis XIV’S decision that drove the Huguenots out of France, thereby condemning Paris to economic backwardness and political isolation for decades.
Under the 1598 Edict of Nantes, the Huguenots had been granted freedom of worship and civil rights as a Protestant minority in Catholic France. Owing to their strict Calvinist ethics, they were indefatigable and diligent workers, and they tended to occupy the most skill-intensive professions of the time (including silk-weaving, gold- and gunsmithing, printing, and watchmaking). But in 1685, Louis revoked the Edict of Nantes, and the Huguenots gradually left France to join other Protestant communities across northern Europe.
As with Brexit today, European states rushed to attract the qualified workers that France had scared away. Within a week of the Revocation, the Elector of Brandenburg issued a decree formally inviting the Huguenots into his territory, while the Netherlands tempted them with the promise of immediate citizenship and tax breaks for three years.
Eventually, around 150,000 Huguenots settled in the Netherlands, Sweden, Prussia and Ireland, and another 50,000 found their way to the UK. As is often the case in elite brain drains, their small numbers belied the enormous socioeconomic impact they would have.
While the French economy struggled for decades, The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia Trump’s mixed messages on the Middle East A lthough US President Donald Trump did not spend a lot of time on the Middle East issues in his largely self-congratulatory State of the Union address before Congress on 6 February, what he did say on these matters was a mix of positions reflecting isolationist strands of his “America first” approach on the one hand, and some neo-conservative positions on the other. A large part of Trump’s strategy is to keep his political base happy in the hope that it will continue to stick with him through the 2020 elections... His political base from 2016 included: white workingclass Americans from rural areas and the industrial heartland who came to see the Iraq war of 2003 as a mistake and questioned why the US was spending so much blood Middle East... and Republican party foreign policy hawks who were adamantly opposed to former President Barack Obama for signing the Iran nuclear deal, pulling US troops out of Iraq and supposedly being weak against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant...
Many observers in the US and the Middle East have interpreted the new Iraq strategy as a way for Trump and his foreign policy team (namely, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) to either try to foment regime change in, or take military action against Iran. To make such a policy credible and to deter other US adversaries, Trump wants the US military to be unrivalled in the world. This kind of...strategy minimising US involvement overseas sits very well with his political base with the exception of the foreign policy hawks. Britain capitalized on the Huguenots’ talents to become the world’s first industrial powerhouse. One member of the Huguenot exodus from France, Denis Papin, invented the precursor to the steam engine. And many others helped fine-tune the techniques that would turn British weaving, printing and architecture into cutting-edge, world-leading industries.
Today, the world is once again on the cusp of an industrial revolution, and top professionals are on the march. It is widely understood that the countries with the highest-skilled workers and the most brainpower will have a significant advantage in the 21st century technology race.
In the case of Brexit, northern European countries are once again hoping to capitalize on a sudden flight of human capital in their neighbourhood. France, ironically enough, could finally make up for the unnecessary loss of talent that it suffered three centuries ago.
The similarities between Brexit and the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes do not stop there. Both episodes epitomize their eras’ defining political conflicts. Whereas the political fault line in Europe three centuries ago was between Protestants and Catholics, today it is between those for and against the European project. The emigration of the Huguenots and the impending exodus from London should be understood as side effects of political miscalculations made in the course of larger ideological battles.
For Louis, the persecution of the Huguenots was in keeping with his vision of a Catholic Europe—a vision that had been reinforced by the ascension of his ardently Catholic cousin, James II, to the English throne. Thus, rather than ordering the exile the Huguenots, Louis actually introduced strict emigration bans to prevent their departure, with the goal of forcing their conversion to Catholicism.
But rather than convert, the Huguenots fled. And, once abroad, they fomented the ire of European Protestants against France. After James II fell to the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Dutch stadtholder William III, the Prince of Orange, acceded to the English throne, where he forged a coalition with Hapsburg Austria and various German Protestant states to engulf the French in a series of religious wars.
Back in June 2016, the Brexit referendum seemed to provide Britain with an opportunity to abandon a crisis-prone EU for a more dynamic Anglosphere. The Brexiteers had promised to put an end to low-skilled immigration from Eastern Europe, and that was what mattered most. If top professionals left London, they would be viewed as acceptable casualties. From the start, Brexit has always been about intolerance of the “other”.
But, unlike the Huguenots, those now preparing to leave London are well-off members of the global elite. As such, their departure alone could immediately and abruptly erode the UK’S international status and influence. French Protestants had to participate in a century of bloody religious wars to strike an equally powerful blow against their motherland.
It is never wise to stretch historical comparisons too far. But Britons would nonetheless do well to heed the words of the Duc de Saint-simon: “The Revocation of the edict of Nantes, without the least pretext or any necessity, depopulated a quarter of the kingdom, ruined its commerce, and weakened it in all its parts.” Brexit will drive out fewer people, but the impact could be worse. Al Jazeera, Qatar The Rohingya crisis persists I t’s been nearly two years since more than seven lakh Rohingya people have entered Bangladesh having fled violent crackdown in Myanmar. There’s no viable solution in sight. As Myanmar continues to procrastinate when it comes to the repatriation, signs on the ground suggest a dismal prospect: the Rohingya crisis is deepening.hundreds of thousands of refugees are currently sheltered in several vast camps, spanning several Upazillas in Cox’s Bazar. Their lack of access to education, income-generating activities & recreation is affecting them psychologically. On the other hand, having so many refugees in a relatively small area has created societal tensions and hurt the local environment.while Bangladesh is faced with a complicated conundrum, Myanmar isn’t pressurised enough to repatriate its nationals. It has employed tactics to evade its responsibility to take back the Rohingyas.
As we have stressed, the international community must come down heavily on Myanmar for its ethnic cleansing operations against the Rohingya and its refusal to take its nationals back with their full rights guaranteed.the world’s reluctance to take stringent measures against those responsible for the genocidal crackdown allows Myanmar’s military to act with impunity. Its new crackdown targeting other ethnic groups has already prompted new exodus of Buddhist community to Bangladesh. The Daily Star, Bangladesh ©2019/PROJECT SYNDICATE MY VIEW | IN THE MARGINS VIVEK DEHEJIA J ohn Maynard Keynes, drawing on an observation of Vladimir Lenin, wrote in 1919: “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction and it does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”
No one would say that India today is in the situation that Europe was in after the Treaty of Versailles, but the Lenin-keynes insight has borne itself out repeatedly in economies undergoing hyperinflation. Likewise, no one would say that India will, in the near future (if ever), enter such terrain. But, it would be foolish to deny to that, as predicted in this column, after the ouster of governor Urjit Patel, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), under its new chief Shaktikanta Das, is likely to hew closer to the wishes of the ministry of finance and of India Inc, which is to deliver looser monetary policy.
The rate cut delivered on 7 February—by Some Modi fans found my comparison strange, yet it is not as outlandish as it may appear is senior resident fellow, IDFC Institute, Mumbai
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