“Credit default swaps (CDS) are contracts that insure against default of municipal bonds, corporate debt and mortgage-backed securities. They are sold by banks and hedge funds who collect a premium for providing the insurance. Unlike insurance, however, CDS are unregulated. This means that, when the bond defaults, there is no regulator to make sure the seller of the CDS actually has the money to pay the holder.”—Credit Default Swap - Definition of Credit Default Swaps
“CDO’s, or Collateralized Debt Obligations, are sophisticated financial tools that repackage individual loans into a product that can be sold on the secondary market. These packages consist of auto loans, credit card debt, or corporate debt. They are called collateralized because they have some type of collateral behind them.”—CDOs - Collateralized Debt Obligations - Definition of CDOs
Some of the advice for how Haiti ought to rebuild after the earthquake sounds hauntingly familiar. There are echoes of the same bad development advice Haiti has received for decades, even before the nation faced its current devastating situation. To avoid repeating past failures, we would be wise to review how previous aid models led down the wrong path.
Twelve years ago, Grassroots International released a study entitled “Feeding Dependency, Starving Democracy: USAID Policies in Haiti.” Offering an in-depth examination of USAID development policies in Haiti, the study concluded that official aid actually damaged the very aspects of Haitian society it was allegedly trying to fix. The aid was undermining democracy and creating too much dependency.
The study was particularly critical of the development community for making Haiti into a net food importer when it had been nearly self-sufficient and, in fact, a major rice producer. Despite, or because of, years of aid programs and structural adjustment policies imposed by international financial institutions and donor countries, the study found that Haiti’s food dependency was actually increasing. This disturbing result was partially caused by subsidized food aid programs that fed transnational agribusiness corporations but didn’t help Haitians grow food for their families.
Sadly, much of that 12-year-old study could have been written today.
What the arrival of hunky Kevin means for the traditionally conservative franchise aimed at kids BY DOUGLAS WOLK
Archiecomics.com Kevin Keller
The reaction to Thursday’s announcement that Archie Comics’ Riverdale High would now include a gay student was as predictable as, well, an Archie Comics plot: hand-wringing and high-fiving, raised eyebrows and rolled eyes. Veronica No. 202 (cover caption: “Meet the Hot New Guy!”), written and drawn by veteran Archie artist Dan Parent, will introduce slender, blond Kevin Keller. From the few pages of the story released so far, it appears Parent is treating Kevin’s orientation as a surprise but not a shock: The hot new guy is being pursued by Veronica but has no interest in her, Jughead advises him that she’s pretty persistent, and Kevin declares that “it’s nothing against her! I’m gay!” To which Jughead’s immediate reaction is deciding to to wait and let Veronica figure it out for herself, and the plot goes on.