1.The price of cheap goods. FT 11/17/12 Ikea used forced German labour, from 1960 – 1990. The Swedish furniture maker used German political and other prison labor to produce it’s furniture. The Ernst & Young report notes that at least 66 companies with 117 factories in East Germany supplied the labor for production. Some prisoners worked directly from prison. This issue came to the attention of the media , was investigated, and the Chairman has apologized. This is not an isolated case. The real question remains, as a socially responsible employer, how can you compete with prison labor?
2.In the aftermath of Sandy, are we leaving the small business owner out of the FEMA Rapid Repair loop? While FEMA certified GC’s are soliciting bids from disaster residents, they are free to choose their sub contractors for additional work required. THEREFORE; the small business contractor,having no connections, forced to wait at least 2 weeks for FEMA CERTIFICATION, may be left with no new network for work. Are”big GC’s ” going to reward their own or will there be a roster of additional small contractors to choose?
3.NY Times oped/ The next round of Derivatives Regulation. The Commodities Futures Trading Commission is finally taking on the regulation of derivatives. Making derivatives transparent, makes the market safer for all. 4 years is long enough, the Commission should not think of more delay, since we can’t afford another fiscal crisis.
4. LOL Bill Moyers PBS interviews Naomi Klein who is working with Bill McKibben on climate change. Interesting, she’s advocating an independent movement, to pressure corporations and institutional endowments to recognize “climate change” and divest their portfolios of corporations contributing to Carbon emissions. (A Similar strategy was used to abolish apartheid. ) This new advocacy platform ; DO THE MATH! Is being launched and encourages students and concerned investors to become involved. If our planet is destroyed, little else will matter.