More finance stuff...
Stumbled across Fair Finance Watch, which (last year) reported that some large companies have been involved in a fair amount of subprime lending in places with less market regulation, such as Brazil, India, etc.
I'm intrigued as to this "hidden" aspect of "democratising" the world. It seems that the US has a mission to bring capitalism (please correct me if this isn't an intended effect of modern "democracy") to places currently under some other economic guise, but there is very little (public) talk as to how ready nations are for such a major transmutation, or about how they should go about it, if at all. I'm not a historian, but most of the successful capitalist states emerged that way, rather than being dragged into it overnight. Maybe the US neocons realise that the "best" way to get a nation converted in the little time available (i.e. before oil runs out) is by giving it a clean break - to be accomplished most easily by regime change and "clean" (i.e. high-tech, less-time) wars.
Is there a real danger, though, of having a democratic, marketised world, in which only the established, larger states know how to actually use their system? If I were truely sceptical, I'd suggest that newly-converted, under-informed/supported capitalist states would be totally at the whim of the pre-globalised, well-established companies and nations who a). made the rules in the first place, and b). have done rather well under those rules.
American house sales up, but sales of things to go in house down.
Maybe not surprising, what with a possible $8 trillon debt looming.
Oh, and in an effort to resist the perceived American imperilaist threat, North Korea shouts, "Somebody set up us the bomb!"