Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Big move from India...
India bans all cotton exports -- India, the world's second-largest producer of cotton, has banned all exports of the fibre in a move that is set to squeeze global supplies and push international prices higher. Monday's decision was effective immediately, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said, without explaining the reason for the embargo. Analysts said the government opted for a ban to ensure sufficient supply of cotton for domestic textile companies, which have been under pressure as prices have risen.

Where all the stuff you order online comes from...
This American Warehouse Sounds as Bad as Foxconn -- After hearing all about the horrible working conditions it takes to make our electronics at Foxconn, Mother Jones' Mac McClelland shows us what it takes to ship those products. It sounds pretty awful. And not just by American standards, but, in comparison to what happens in China, a developing nation without our fancy American worker protections. McClelland spent a short time as a temp worker in a shipping warehouse called Amalgamated Product Giant Shipping Worldwide, during the busy Christmas season. After days of back-ache inducing labor, she confirms a scary reality happening right here in the good ole U.S. of A. But is it worse than Foxconn?

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Speaking of the Olympics...
The new Routemaster London Bus – procurement triumph or overpriced monstrosity?? -- The new London Routemaster bus made its first actual live appearance last week. Your chances of catching it by luck are pretty slim, as there is only one in service at the moment! But the early reviews suggest it will be popular with the public, and I must say it is certainly aesthetically pleasing. One of its major benefits is the open platform at the rear, which the old London double deckers had, enabling you to jump on and off at junctions, or in traffic jams, rather than having to wait for a bus stop. The new model replicates that, but comes with new features as well, such as air-con, and two staircases instead of the traditional single stairway. It is twice as fuel efficient as a traditional diesel bus and the most environmentally friendly of its kind.

- Sheena Moore

First Voice

  1. Thomas:

    About cotton: this is rich of India since they are arguing at the WTO level right now against countries (Turkey and Egypt) that are imposing levies on cotton imports – it is also quite illogical at that, if India’s goal is to ensure lower prices domestically there should be more cotton for India at home if it doesn’t wind up in Turkey or Egypt.

    In fact, India should argue for massive import duties everywhere – rather than ban exports. What they have done is the least logical of all approaches they could have taken.

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-02-24/news/31095360_1_cotton-yarn-special-import-import-duties

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