Ecuador: Voters Approve a New Constitution

CSM: “Ecuador votes to lock in its shift to the left” The overwhelming approval by Ecuadoreans of a new Constitution that gives leftist President Rafael Correa a tighter grip on the economy puts the country firmly on a socialist track similar to Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela. “Today Ecuador decided to found a new country,” Mr. Correa […]

61 Floors, the Hard Way: the Banyan Tree Vertical Marathon

Yesterday my friends S and J and I participated in the 10th annual Banyan Tree vertical marathon here in Bangkok. The rules of the contest were as follows: 1. Sprint up the stairs to the top of the 61-floor hotel. 2. Go as fast as you can. 3. There is no rule three. Just run! […]

American Friends Abroad: Vote Absentee

American friends who live abroad: don’t forget to register to vote or request an absentee ballot for the fast-approaching presidential election. Most states close registration in early Oct., and forms must be mailed in via snail mail. Go to the easy-to-use Federal Voting Assistance Program site for more info. (This PSA has been paid for […]

Subprime, the Credit Crisis, and Naked Short Selling

For an in-depth explanation of the subprime crisis — which has now, of course, led to the current chaos involving mortgage-backed securities — look no further than “The Giant Pool of Money.” That’s the name of a special, hour-long episode produced by This American Life and NPR News. The show aired back in May and […]

Thailand Update: Samak Out, State of Emergency Lifted

It’s been less than a week since I last wrote about the protests here in Bangkok. A lot has happened since then. Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej has been forced from office. Thailand’s Constitutional Court found him guilty of breaking the law by continuing to host his TV cooking show. At first, Samak’s political party, the […]

Thai PM Quits (for now) Over Cooking Show

CNN: Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday that the country’s prime minister, Samak Sundaravej, should resign from his post for violating the constitution by hosting a TV cooking show while in office. Tuesday’s ruling against Sundaravej, who has faced weeks of violent street protests, also forces the resignation of his cabinet. Ministers are barred from working […]