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Afternoon News Roundup

Making It Rain The continued devaluing of the US Dollar is the subject of scrutiny from across the pond. The Economist presents a brief history of the decline of the dollar since 2002 and explains how the currencies of other … Read More

By / December 6, 2007

Making It Rain The continued devaluing of the US Dollar is the subject of scrutiny from across the pond. The Economist presents a brief history of the decline of the dollar since 2002 and explains how the currencies of other countries, like China, could help, or continue to impair, the worth of US currency. Spiegel Online offers an extensive series of essays that examines the weakness of the Dollar and, specifically, the impact of this on Europe. Chinese Credit in Iran The Financial Times is reporting that Chinese banks are becoming hesitant to extend credit to companies within Iran due to pressure exerted on the Chinese institutions by Stuart Levey, "the US Treasury under-secretary responsible for terrorism and financial intelligence." Contested Conventions Odds are that this is simply a thought experiment that will never actually materialize in the form of heated, multi-balloted competitions and smoke-filled-room-bargains. But it's a nice thought (and makes for much more stimulating political conjecture than what Obama wrote about in kindergarten). Maintaining Law's Empire Ronald Dworkin, a writer at the intersection of philosophy of law, the practice of law, and social theory, is the subject of two new anthologies of essays that examine his major works. Dworkin has specialized in facilitating a dialogue between the theories of Natural Law, Positive Law, and Legal Realism, while occasionally taking a post-Rawlsian jaunt into the issue of figuring out just what the hell "justice" is. Fukuyama on Latin America Fukuyama, writing in Foreign Affairs, reviews Michael Reid's Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin America's Soul. Though Fukuyama laments the fact that the resurgence of populism in Venezuela has overshadowed the coverage of all forms of media coverage of Central and South America, he applauds this book for its detailed explanations of how progress is being made in this region by more modest, and less flamboyant, governments. Modernism Revisited Peter Gay's Modernism: The Lure of Heresy gets treated to a couple of reviews. One from Commentary. One in the City Journal. Meanwhile, Slate hosts the author in their feature "The Book Club." His interlocutor is Mia Fineman. Bleak Victory Well, usually the National Board of Review doesn't have a reputation for having stellar taste in film, but they did manage to coalesce around the choice of the Coen Brother's spectacular film, No Country For Old Men, as the best film of the year. While the Best Foreign Films category did recognize solid films (4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days; Lust, Caution), there were a couple notable problems: namely, where was Lake of Fire for the Documentary category and tell me how is The Bourne Ultimatum one of the Best Films of the Year? While we're speaking of films, The Criterion Collection announced the 2008 release date of one of the greatest accomplishments of the 20th century: Godard's Pierrot le fou.

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