Monday News

Privatization Answer To Ukraine Corruption, Slow Economy?
In recent months there have Ukraine’s economy appears to have stabilized somewhat, the World Bank contends in a recent report that storm clouds are on the horizon.

In its new Ukraine Macroeconomic Update, the World Bank projects real GDP to fall by 12 percent this year, down from an earlier projected 7.5 percent decline.

“The Ukrainian authorities have taken many important steps to stabilize and reform the economy, but they represent only a meaningful start of the long and arduous reform process. Continued and faster reforms will help lay the foundation for future growth and they are crucial for Ukraine’s survival,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.

If Ukraine is to move forward toward rooting out corruption and moving its economy toward recovery, Josh Cohen of Foreign Policy says it will be crucial for the government to adopt and embrace what he terms as smart privatization.

“If successfully implemented, privatization could play a critical role in jump-starting Ukraine’s war against corruption, as well as spurring on other sorely needed political and economic reforms. After initially planning to launch mass privatization in 2015, the government recently postponed the process until 2016. Ukraine should do everything in its power to meet this schedule — without further delays,” writes Cohen.

He argues the “single greatest benefit of privatization is that it would assist Ukraine’s desperate battle to free its governing institutions from the baleful influence of corrupt oligarchs.”

Capitalism Comes In Many Brands
Just as there are various forms of democracy, capitalism comes in several different forms and blends. Tim Montgomerie, Senior Fellow to the Legatum Institute, examines the good from the bad in a piece written in CapX.

AIPAC’s Influence Is A Myth On The Decline
While it remains a power in the halls of Congress, the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is overstated and its decline is due, in part, to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, reports Shlomo Ben Ami,
a former Israeli foreign minister, is Vice President of the Toledo International Center for Peace.

“The truth about AIPAC – that it is influential, but far from invulnerable – has recently been revealed, both to the public and to the group itself. Having been pushed by Netanyahu into an unwinnable fight against US President Barack Obama’s administration over its nuclear deal with Iran, AIPAC is now crumbling under the weight of its own hubris,” he writes.

Ben Ami also maintains that their influence has largely been a myth borne out by the fact they are winless in terms of their record of successfully challenging the will of past American presidents.

He notes that AIPAC was unable to prevent Jimmy Carter from selling F-15 Eagle fighters to Saudi Arabia in 1978. It did not stop Ronald Reagan from supplying AWACS reconnaissance planes to the Saudis three years later.

“And its 1991 battle with President George H.W. Bush over the linkage of US loan guarantees for Israel with Prime Minister Yitzak Shamir’s support of the 1991 Madrid peace conference – one of Bush’s key legacies – ended in defeat,” he adds.


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