Communist Tax Lawyer

A news, research and discussion platform for monitoring the evolution of Communist and ex-Communist countries to market economies


Archive For July, 2009

New York Philharmonic Considers Tour of Cuba

July 14th, 2009


Ambassadors of the world, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra is considering a tour of Cuba. Orchestra president Zarin Mehta met with Cuban officials and toured facilities in Havana last week as the group looks to tour the communist nation later this year.

The orchestra toured North Korea in 2008 to both praise and criticism domestically and any tour of Cuba is likely to draw fire from opponents of Castro and the Cuban government.

“It has to be done soon. We have to go and work very hard with our board (of directors). We have to raise money, we have to arrange transportation,” Mehta told Reuters.

China Detention of Rio Tinto Execs Gives Foreign Investors Pause

July 13th, 2009

The detention of four Rio Tinto executives in Shanghai last week is likely to rattle international investors precisely at a time when China needs foreign support as it strives to move away from an export-based, low-end manufacturing center. China’s Ministry of State Security took the four into custody and failed to inform either Rio Tinto or the employees’ families – one of the four was an Australian citizen whose government was also kept in the dark.

With allegations of pricing disputes, tit-for-tat over the recent blocking of a sale of part of the company to the Chinese state-owned Chinalco, and the lack of information coming from the Chinese authorities on the matter, foreign business working in China are beginning to voice concerns. Read the rest of this entry »

China, India and Russia Question U.S. Dollar Dominance

July 6th, 2009

China, India  and Russia are increasingly calling for a rethink of how global currency reserves are composed and managed, underlining a power shift to emerging markets from the developed nations that spawned the financial crisis.

“There should be a system to maintain the stability of the major reserve currencies,” Bloomberg reported former Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan as saying in a speech in Beijing.

Leaders from China and India are preparing to join their counterparts from the Group of Eight industrialized nations – the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Russia – at a summit in Italy next week. In addition to China and India, Brazil will also send representatives to the summit.

Emerging markets continue to remain dependent on the U.S. dollar, thanks in part to the United States’ status as the world’s largest economy and a US$2.5 trillion export market. Shares of dollars in global foreign- exchange reserves increased to 65 percent in the first three months of this year, the highest since 2007 according to the IMF.

Inspiration for M. Butterfly Dies

July 6th, 2009

Shi Pei Pu, the Beijing opera singer and spy who was the inspiration for the broadway show M. BUtterfly died in Paris last week. Shi’s sexually convoluted love affair with a French Embassy worker created one of the strangest cases in international espionage.

The New York Times reported:

Mr. Shi, who was convicted of espionage in France in 1986 along with his lover, Bernard Boursicot, was believed to be 70. He had also been believed for years to be a woman, at least by Mr. Boursicot, who served time in prison after the affair and became a laughingstock in France.