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Debate the Issues: Investment

image of Debate the Issues: Investment

Why do financial markets see so little risk, while companies that invest in the real economy appear to be much more prudent? How will we fund future pensions when interest on the products that finance them are so low? Where will the trillions of dollars needed to improve and extend infrastructures come from? How should international capital flows be regulated? These and other challenges are discussed in this collection of expert opinions on the social, economic and policy perspectives facing international investors, governments, businesses, and citizens worldwide.

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Don't supply chains: Responsible business conduct in agriculture

Two questions today: which fictional character helped bring down a colonial empire and gave his name to a food label? If you’re Dutch, you probably know the answer, if not, I’ll save you an Internet search by telling you: Max Havelaar, eponymous protagonist of Multatuli’s Max Havelaar, of de koffi-veilingen der Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappy, translated into English as Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the Dutch government ordered farmers in its East Indies, modern-day Indonesia, to grow quotas of export crops rather than food. The Dutch also reformed the tax system, creating a public-private partnership that allowed tax commissioners to keep a share of what they collected. The result was the misery and starvation the book denounces. Max Havelaar helped change attitudes to colonial exploitation in the Netherlands and was even described as The book that killed colonialism by Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer in the New York Times Magazine.

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