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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Morgan Mintz

Morgan Mintz

Debt in Dubai Tests Laws Of Islamic Financing - - 0 views

  • The debt crisis in Dubai is about to test one of the fastest-growing areas in banking, Islamic finance, and put the city-state’s opaque judicial system on trial, according to bankers and experts in finance.
  • because there have been few major defaults in this market, there is little precedent for arbitrating the unique terms of these instruments.
  • Shariah-compliant investments prohibit lenders from earning interest, and effectively place lenders and borrowers into a form of partnership. Yet there are no consistent rules about who gets repaid first if a company defaults on such debt
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  • bondholders could insist on being repaid before banks, upending the traditional bankruptcy hierarchy.
  • A default would also pose a major new test for Dubai’s courts, which have never handled a major bankruptcy of one of the government’s own companies, lawyers and bankers said.
Morgan Mintz

How to balance Iran | The Economist - 0 views

  • Mr Walt argued that Bush-era foreign policy represented a disastrous departure from an American tradition of similar restraint, and that Barack Obama showed promising signs of a return to those roots.
  • The challenge with Iran is to preserve the clear impression, both on the part of China and on the part of the world at large, that it is not America that is upsetting the balance by asking for sanctions; it is Iran that is upsetting the balance by pursuing nuclear weapons, with consequences that America cannot forestall alone.
  • Their gratuitously provocative, adolescent threat Sunday to build ten new nuclear processing plants—a threat everyone agrees they lack the capacity to follow through on—makes them appear simultaneously scary, unreliable and weak.
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  • "Ahmadinejad may be doing more to assemble a sanctions coalition than we could do in months of work."
    An interesting look at Iran's latest nuclear maneuver. Instead of the US working to assemble a coalition to sanction Iran, Iran and Ahmadinejad will do the work for it as they appear increasingly dangerous and untrustworthy.
Morgan Mintz

BBC News - Mystery tribute channel to Saddam Hussein launched - 0 views

  • A television channel dedicated to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has appeared on Arab satellite networks.
  • It is not clear who is behind the channel which broadcasts the speeches, images and even poetry of Saddam Hussein, backed with patriotic music.
  • One Baghdad resident told the BBC that the channel has become his favourite even though watching it makes him sad for reminding him of when Iraq was safe.
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  • However the BBC's Natalia Antelava in Baghdad says that many in the city are indifferent to the news of the channel's launch.
Morgan Mintz

For One Man, Israel's Big Gas Find Is Bittersweet Victory - - 0 views

  • Two natural-gas fields in Israel's Mediterranean waters were found in January to contain enough resources to meet Israel's energy needs for 20 years
  • Since January, Israeli oil companies' stocks have soared, some rising as much as tenfold.
  • Mr. Langotsky remains defiantly upbeat. The son of early Zionist pioneers who valued duty to country over self, he insists his passionate search for oil was never about the money. "I'm very proud; I feel great," he says. "I am totally disappointed that I failed to keep my rights, but this discovery is one of the greatest achievements of my life."
Morgan Mintz

Muslim Leaders Condemn Swiss Minaret Ban - - 0 views

  • Muslim leaders from around the world condemned a vote in Switzerland to ban the construction of minarets in the Alpine country, raising fresh fears of a backlash against Swiss interests around the world
  • Maskuri Abdillah, head of Indonesia's biggest Muslim group, Nahdlatul Ulama, said the vote reflected "a hatred of Swiss people against Muslim communities."
  • the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the biggest Muslim group with 57 member states, called the vote a "recent example of growing anti-Islamic incitements in Europe by extremist, anti-immigrant, xenophobic, racist, scare-mongering ultra-right politicians who reign over common sense, wisdom and universal values."
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  • Switzerland's main employer's association, Economiesuisse, called for the government to "limit the potential damage" by keeping a dialogue open with Muslim leaders.
Morgan Mintz

Forces of Fortune - Council on Foreign Relations - 0 views

  • He reveals that there is a vital but unseen rising force in the Islamic world—a new business-minded middle class—that is building a vibrant new Muslim world economy and that holds the key to winning the cold war against Iran and extremists.
  • he offers a powerful reassessment of why both extremism and anti-Americanism took hold in the region—not because of an inevitable "clash of cultures" or the nature of Islam, but because of the failure of this kind of authentic middle class to develop in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
    • Morgan Mintz
      He seems to be in direct disagreement with Huntington's "clash of civilizations" argument here. I wouldn't call this an extension of Amartya Sen's argument though either, but rather a completely new way of framing the discussion around economic causes.
  • Nasr takes us behind the news, so dominated by the struggle against extremists and the Taliban, to introduce a Muslim world we've not seen; a Muslim world in which the balance of power is being reshaped by an upwardly mobile middle class of entrepreneurs, investors, professionals, and avid consumers—who can tip the scales away from extremist belligerence.
    This is a review of a newly published book by Vali Nasr, a renowned scholar on the Middle East and recently hired adviser to Richard Holbrooke (representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan).
Morgan Mintz

Only Decisive Force Can Prevail in Afghanistan - - 0 views

  • the ramifications of an American defeat in Afghanistan would not only be a devastating setback for our nation in what is now the central front in the global war on terror, but would inevitably further destabilize neighboring, nuclear Pakistan.
  • our problems result from what was, for years, a mismanaged and underresourced war.
  • We have an exceptional new commander on the ground, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who has begun a top-to-bottom overhaul of all aspects of our war policy and put forward a dramatically new civil-military strategy that clearly identifies failed policies and prioritizes the proven principles of counterinsurgency
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  • This team must also have the resources it needs to succeed—including a significant increase in U.S. forces. More troops will not guarantee success in Afghanistan, but a failure to send them is a guarantee of failure. As we saw in Iraq, numbers matter in counterinsurgency.
  • Mr. Obama was right when he said last year that "You don't muddle through the central front on terror . . . You don't muddle through stamping out the Taliban."
  • Additional U.S. resources must be accompanied by significant and meaningful benchmarks that hold the government of Afghanistan and our own government accountable.
    It's an opinion piece, but it's worth noting the authors and the clear position they are promoting.
Morgan Mintz

Votes tossed from 447 polls in Afghanistan - - 0 views

shared by Morgan Mintz on 07 Sep 09 - Cached
  • Abdullah is the main challenger to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is seeking a second term in office. Abdullah is Karzai's former foreign minister.
  • As of Sunday, 74.2 percent of the votes had been tallied, the IEC said. Karzai had 48.6 percent of the vote, with Abdullah at 31.7 percent. More than 153,000 votes had been declared invalid, but it was not known whether that number included votes from the 447 polling stations.
Morgan Mintz

BBC NEWS | Americas | Iran and Venezuela bolster ties - 0 views

  • Mr Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez signed accords including oil exploration and car production.
  • both leaders define themselves as revolutionaries and the 29 agreements they have signed are, in their own words, designed to drive forward those revolutions.
  • Our correspondent says there has been plenty of talk by both men of creating a world without the dominance of one single power.
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  • Mr Chavez said he would defend Iran. He said it was "under threat" of invasion, after it ignored UN demands to suspend uranium enrichment.
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