Jueves, 24 de agosto de 2006

Por Alfredo Pastor es profesor del IESE y de la CEIBS de Shanghai (EL PAÍS, 24/08/06):

Entre las fases ascendente y descendente de una burbuja especulativa existe otra que Hyman Minsky llamó de vacilación («hesitation»), y que puede durar meses: en ella, los mercados de valores se mueven sin tendencia definida, con pequeñas alzas y bajas causadas por cualquier rumor; unos días dominan las ganas de comprar, otros las de vender: «el mercado» espera una señal. Los más listos, y los más cautos, van vendiendo; otros, más dispuestos a arriesgar, aguantan, para ganar hasta el último céntimo; otros se dejan convencer de que se trata de un parón momentáneo, al que seguirán nuevas alzas; día tras día, la tensión va en aumento, aunque no la reflejen las cotizaciones.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Ariel Dorfman, escritor chileno (EL PAÍS, 24/08/06):

La primera vez que conocí a Günter Grass, nos peleamos furiosamente. Fue en marzo de 1975, si no recuerdo mal, que lo visité en su hogar cerca de Hamburgo, una amplia casa rural que daba a un río más plácido de lo que iba a ser, por cierto, nuestra relación tormentosa.

Al principio, todo anduvo sobre ruedas. Me había traído a ese lugar su gran amigo Freimut Duve, eminente editor, defensor de los derechos humanos y diputado alemán socialdemócrata por aquel distrito. Mientras Grass cocinaba una suculenta sopa de pescado -¡ya me habían advertido que era un gran cocinero!-,…  Seguir leyendo »

Por José Miguel Bolívar, periodista (EL MUNDO, 24/08/06):

Soy periodista y me libro de la acusación del titular de la Carta del Director del domingo pasado -El Franquismo fuimos todos- porque no había nacido. En el 25º aniversario de la Constitución, el anterior Gobierno nos envió un ejemplar de la Carta Magna a casa a mí y al resto de españoles que nacimos en 1978. Sus encuestas no creo que nos otorguen la más mínima autoridad y desde ese descargo me permito apuntarle algunos datos algo borrosos.

¿Qué me contaron de Franco? Poco, en realidad. Mi abuela Antonia, antes de arrancarse con los detalles o los reproches, empezaba a gimotear y se le empañaban los ojos sin poder articular palabra.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Irene Lozano, periodista, lingüista y Premio Espasa de Ensayo 2005 (ABC, 24/08/06):

POR los altavoces del metro de Londres se oyen estos días avisos que recomiendan llevar una botella de agua encima para combatir el calor. Suscitando no poca inquietud añaden: «Si se encuentra mal, permanezca en la estación y pida ayuda a nuestro personal». Antes incluso de que las estadísticas revelaran que la ciudad ha vivido el mes de julio más caluroso de su historia, la red de metro se llenó de carteles para evitar desfallecimientos masivos. Porque bajo los túneles, y en vagones que carecen de aire acondicionado, se ha rozado la temperatura de la antesala del infierno.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Joseph R. Biden Jr., a senator from Delaware and the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee (THE WASHINGTON POST, 24/08/06):

Four months ago, in an opinion piece with Les Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, I laid out a detailed plan to keep Iraq together, protect America’s interests and bring our troops home. Many experts here and in Iraq embraced our ideas. Since then, circumstances in Iraq have made the plan even more on target — and urgent — than when we first proposed it.

The new, central reality in Iraq is that violence between Shiites and Sunnis has surpassed the insurgency and foreign terrorists as the main security threat.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Jim Hoagland (THE WASHINGTON POST, 24/08/06):

Dear President Chirac,

A mutual friend warns of the obvious: An open letter to the French president — even a president who has been an acquaintance for 30 years — risks drawing resentment as its main response. But time is short and the decision you face is huge. So here goes.

The European Union’s foreign ministers meet in Brussels tomorrow, and you have told several world leaders that you will make a final decision by then on whether to provide enough troops and leadership to make the new military stabilization force for southern Lebanon credible and effective.…  Seguir leyendo »

By George F. Will (THE WASHINGTON POST, 24/08/06):

TOKYO — Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s tenure, which ends next month, has been more remarkable than perhaps most Japanese comprehend. He is the third-longest-serving prime minister since 1945, and his five years have echoed aspects of the careers of four Western leaders: Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Rudy Giuliani and Andrew Jackson.

Like Thatcher, of whom it was said that she could not see an institution without swatting it with her handbag, Koizumi, 64, cast a cool eye on his country and found it overregulated and enervated by excessive dependence on the state. Like Blair, who came to power disliking his Labor Party even more than he did the Conservative opposition, Koizumi thought that many of Japan’s problems reflected the political culture congenial to his Liberal Democratic Party, which has governed Japan for all but 10 months since 1955.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Anatole Kaletsky (THE TIMES, 24/08/06):

DEFEAT IS NEVER pleasant, but often it is better to lose than to win. Defeat in the Second World War was the best thing that ever happened to Germany and Japan in their thousand years of recorded history. For America, losing in Vietnam was also a blessing in disguise. While defeat seemed to shatter the illusion of an “American century” of global dominance, it was followed by 30 years of almost uninterrupted prosperity, a political renaissance for conservative values and America’s total victory over communism in the Cold War.

Such thoughts may not offer much consolation to George Bush, Tony Blair and Ehud Olmert as they contemplate their defeat at the hands of Iran and its Hezbollah allies.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Maziar Bahari, a journalist and documentary film maker (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 24/08/06):

WORKING as a journalist in Iran embodies the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again without getting any results. That’s how I felt at the height of the conflict in Lebanon, when I asked officials about Iran’s relations with Hezbollah, bearing in mind that posing such questions can be a futile, dangerous and sometimes even lethal exercise.

How was Iran helping Hezbollah? Did Iran really start the war to divert attention from its uranium enrichment program (which it vowed this week to continue)?…  Seguir leyendo »

By Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Clinton (THE GUARDIAN, 24/08/06):

Each Bush presidency is unhappy in its own way. George W has contrived to do the opposite of his father, as if to provide evidence for a classic case of reaction formation. Rather than halt the army before Baghdad, he occupied the whole country. Rather than pursue a Middle East peace process that dragged along a recalcitrant Israeli government, he cast the process aside.

«Frustrated?» President Bush volunteered in his Monday press conference. «Sometimes I’m frustrated.» His crankiness has deeper sources than having truncated his usual month-long summer vacation in Texas.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Richard Adams (THE GUARDIAN, 24/08/06):

When Thomas Friedman – the American journalist who has become globalisation’s loudest cheerleader – wanted to illustrate the powerful forces at work in the world economy, he got on a flight for Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters of the glory that is Wal-Mart.In his hagiographic bestseller, The World Is Flat, Friedman records his awe while standing in the middle of Wal-Mart’s operation centre in Bentonville, watching the movement of goods to and fro at the heart of the world’s largest retailer – a company that last year recorded more than $300bn in sales from 6,600 stores in 15 countries, including the Asda chain in Britain.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Cameron Duodu, a Ghanaian novelist and journalist (THE GUARDIAN, 24/08/06):

It used to be «aid fatigue» that made Africa’s unending suffering unfashionable in the G8 countries. Now it’s «misery fatigue». The very misery in Lebanon that should be strengthening the determination of all people with a conscience to redouble their concern for those in need appears, in fact, to be making suffering in Africa invisible. Again. Naturally, there is only so much sympathy for the wretched of the earth to go round.

Another difficulty is the sheer size of Africa. It is the second largest continent in the world, with more than 50 nations – some of which are quite rich, while others are extremely poor.…  Seguir leyendo »