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News & Notes

Freer Trade? Foreign Affairs magazine special issue

By Times Staff
Published December 13, 2005


With the big showdown among trade ministers set to get under way this week in Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs magazine is out with a special issue to brush up on the so-called Doha round. The question mark in the title, Freer Trade? , should not be read as reflecting any doubt about the benefits of trade. Indeed, one of the problems with this short volume is that the writers chosen for it are so convinced about the benefits of trade that they are not in the best position to explain why the success of the Doha round is so much in doubt (hence the question mark).

The one exception is Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University's trade guru, who reminds us that the world will not end if there is not another round of trade liberalization. But if you can wade through the platitudes about the need to develop broader vision, broader understanding and broader participation by heads of state, you'll find some interesting nuggets in the other essays about strategies that might actually keep the talks alive.

ON THE MOVE

Executive comings and goings in the past week:

- George Buckley, chief executive of Brunswick, as chief executive of 3M.

- Donald Nicolaisen, former chief accountant for the SEC, as director of Verizon.

- Lewis Coleman, former chief financial officer of Bank of America, as president of Dreamworks.

- Patricia King, Georgetown University law professor and expert in bioethics, as member of Harvard Corp., the university's governing body.

- Sir Jon Bond, former chairman of HSBC, as chairman of Vodafone Group.

- Edward Zander, chief executive of Motorola, as chairman of the Technology CEO Council.

Out

- Richard Scrushy, ousted former chief executive of HealthSouth, as director.

- Peter Kann, as chief executive of Dow Jones, in 2007.

- Robert C. Clark, former dean of the Harvard Business School, as director of Lazard, to avoid potential conflict with his role as director of Time Warner, which faces a possible takeover attempt by Carl Icahn, a Lazard client.

- Shane Coppola, as chief executive of Westwood One.

- Yu Li, general manager of a unit of PetroChina that was responsible for a spill that poisoned the drinking water of Harbin city.

ON THE BRAIN

The term: clean coal

- A set of technologies that turn coal into liquid or gas while separating out environmentally harmful elements.

- A synthetic fuel pioneered by Nazi Germany during World War II that was not cost-competitive until the recent spike in oil and gas prices.

- A potentially enormous new source of fuel for power plants and vehicles, and feedstock for chemical plants.

- The target of $1.6-billion in research and development money in the energy bill that was enacted in August.

- In the view of supporters, an answer to the country's energy problems and an economic silver bullet for West Virginia and states of the northern Rockies.

- In the view of many environmentalists, an oxymoron.

- The focus of FutureGen, an experimental, $950-million power plant project to be financed jointly by the government and an industry consortium and located in whichever state submits the best proposal or has the most political clout.

[Last modified December 13, 2005, 01:30:24]


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