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The capitalist network that runs the world - physics-math - 19 October 2011

The capitalist network that runs the world - physics-math - 19 October 2011
AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters' worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy. The study's assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable. The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York's Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere (see photo). But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. The Zurich team can. 1.

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5 Silly Initiation Rituals of Famous Sinister Organizations We've always been a little confused by the concept of the initiation ritual. There are organizations all over the world where somehow proving your worth as a new member involves some kind of arbitrary, ridiculous and humiliating ceremony. They're often disgusting, vaguely sexual and never have anything to do with your qualifications as a prospective member. You could write off this sort of thing as the invention of drunken frat boys, but trust us: The weirdest rituals go way beyond that. #5.

Cameron family fortune made in tax havens David Cameron's father ran a network of offshore investment funds to help build the family fortune that paid for the prime minister's inheritance, the Guardian can reveal. Though entirely legal, the funds were set up in tax havens such as Panama City and Geneva, and explicitly boasted of their ability to remain outside UK tax jurisdiction. At the time of his death in late 2010, Ian Cameron left a fortune of £2.74m in his will, from which David Cameron received the sum of £300,000. SA weathers storm, but food prices still set to double by 2030 Traditionally the cost of staple foods has gradually inflated over time, and future cost scenarios have taken this approach. But a report released by Oxfam today has factored in the rapid changes in price that come about due to climate-related crop failures. Their most conservative scenarios see food prices doubling by 2030. Half of this increase will be down to changes in average temperatures and rainfall patterns, it said. The report, Extreme Weather, Extreme Prices, said that for the moment South Africa is secure.

Rational Irrationality: Charting the Great Inequality Debate On this week’s Political Scene podcast, Dorothy Wickenden asked me why inequality has suddenly emerged as a live political issue. After ignoring the subject for years, even Republicans are being forced to address it. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, is set to deliver a speech today about income disparity and ideas for promoting social mobility. Caught on camera: top lobbyists boasting how they influence the PM - UK Politics - UK * Claiming they have used their access to Downing Street to get David Cameron to speak to the Chinese premier on behalf of one of their business clients within 24 hours of asking him to do so; * Boasting about Bell Pottinger's access to the Foreign Secretary William Hague, to Mr Cameron's chief of staff Ed Llewellyn and to Mr Cameron's old friend and closest No 10 adviser Steve Hilton; * Suggesting that the company could manipulate Google results to "drown" out negative coverage of human rights violations and child labour; * Revealing that Bell Pottinger has a team which "sorts" negative Wikipedia coverage of clients;

List of Companies Engaged in Weather Modification, Related Patents, and Much More This link provides a list of Weather Modification companies currently operating in the US and much more. It also contains a list of US Government agencies currently engaging in weather Modification. In addition, it contains a list of US Patents that apply directly to weather modification and those in active use today. Emails Give Glimpse Into Deals That Fueled Financial Meltdown As ProPublica has been detailing for two years, Wall Street banks and the hedge fund Magnetar worked together to build mortgage-backed deals that the hedge fund also bet against [1]. The more than $40 billion of deals helped fuel the crash of 2008. Now, recently collected emails from bankers and a Magnetar executive involved in some of the deals appear to shed new light on how they did it.

Growth outlook bleak for SA Schussler said that, because South Africa's major trading partner, the EU, is under economic stress, some of its members have reduced their imports from this country. There was little doubt, he said, that the effects of the austerity measures Greece and Spain, among others, were enduring would soon be felt in South Africa. He said creating conditions conducive to entrepreneurship was something the government should do now. In the long term, it should remedy the ailing education system. Why Inequality Doesn't Matter From the corridors of power in Washington to protest encampments on Wall Street, economic inequality is once again at the forefront of American public debate. The combination of rising fortunes at the upper end of the income distribution and stagnation lower down has led to calls from the left for actions to redress the imbalance and punish what Theodore Roosevelt called "malefactors of great wealth." If the immediate circumstances are new, however, battles over the significance and implications of inequality are not, and in this context we feel it useful to resurrect a skeptical perspective on the subject from a previous era.

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