Goud is gek

Goudkelder, Bank of England’s photostream, 7 februari, 2013 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution

Door Ton Salman en Marjo de Theije   Sinds enige tijd zijn wij betrokken bij het project “Gold Mining in the Amazon”, dat wordt geleid door Marjo de Theije en waarbinnen Ton Salman het Bolivia deel-project coördineert. Marjo de Theije verwierf een substantiële WOTRO-subsidie voor dit project dat in vijf landen (Colombia, Peru, Suriname, Brazilië en Bolivia) wordt uitgevoerd. Wij beiden leren veel bij dankzij onze deelname in dit project, over de fascinerende en snel expanderende wereld van de kleinschalige mijnwerkers, over de methodes van alluviale en bergmijnbouw, over de migratiestromen die door de goudkoorts worden veroorzaakt, over het leven en de dromen van goudzoekers, en over de conflicten rondom landgebruik tussen landbouwers, bosbouwers, natuurvrienden, inheemse gemeenschappen en anderen. Het heeft nogal wat consequenties voor het Amazonegebied als dankzij economische crises de goudprijs steeds maar weer opnieuw ophoog gaat, tot het huidige astronomische niveau van ruim 40 euro per gram! Lees verder

Financial Crisis Worldwide (5): Sakawa Money in Ghana

Detail of Sakawa calendar


By Marleen de Witte

In the streets and homes of Accra, the impact of the global financial crisis appears slow. Analysts say this is due to the weak integration of the largely informal local economy with the global financial market. But this is not to say that people do not experience financial crisis. Lees verder

Financial Crisis Worldwide (4): No crisis for gold miners

Brazilian miner shows gold in the pan

By Marjo de Theije

At the end of the summer of 2009 the price of gold passed the barrier of 1000 US$ an ounce for the second time since the financial crisis started. Early November it passed the 1100 US$ barrier and outlooks say the limit is not in view. I immediately think: “Good News,” Lees verder

Financial Crisis Worldwide (3): Bolivia

Photo by Archerten
Photo by Archerten

Door Ton SalmanHesitating at the doorstep — the impact of the global economic and financial crisis in Bolivia”

Financial and economic crises as the one currently haunting us, inevitably affect the whole world — we are too interconnected for anyone to escape its impact. The way the crisis lands in various countries and regions, however, differs considerably.

Take Bolivia. As a reminder: since early 2006 Bolivia is governed by its first indigenous president, Evo Morales. He attempts to pull through economic reforms, to strengthen the country’s sovereignty vis-à-vis external agents, and pursues reforms in favor of the Bolivian poor. In his political discourse he combines an ideological (‘socialist’) with an ethnic vocabulary, accusing the West of a history of exploitation of the South, and additionally charging Western political and economic models of being instigated by greed, by obsession for accumulation and expansion, and of neglect of the environment and the depletion of natural resources. The crisis, in his view, is a leaf out of one’s own book. This does, nevertheless, leave the question open: will the crisis hurt in Bolivia?

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Financial Crisis Worldwide(2): Indonesia


By Julliete Koning

From the point of view of Indonesia, the current crisis is merely one in a series. To illustrate this, I will reflect on the Asian Financial crisis of 1997 and the subsequent crises that ‘hit’ Indonesia up until the eve of the present global crisis.

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Financial crisis worldwide

Street selling in The Gambia (by red hand records)
Street selling in The Gambia (by red hand records)

By Kim Knibbe What do a window washer at a cross-roads in a metropole who starts washing your window unasked, an old lady from a village in Africa who visits her son in the big city to ask for financial support, a beggar and a pickpocket have in common? According to the anthropologist James Ferguson, they are all involved in what he calls improvisational distributive labour. Ferguson said this during the seminar The Financial Crisis: views from anthropology, which was held at our department last week. 

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Bonus on the beach

By Chris Madden (with permission)
By Chris Madden (with permission)

Tijo Salverda explains what the financial sector can learn from a former colonial elite.

Hedge fund managers, the City and Wall Street’s top bankers, regulators and politicians involved in reshaping the financial markets, should take a look at the tropics. They can learn a great deal from the former white colonial elite of Mauritius.

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