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Counting the Cost
Reform your ways!
A look at financial and economic reforms, Middle East aviation, and biscuits in Gaza.
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2010 16:47 GMT



Hi there,

'Reform' is one of those buzz words, isn't it. A catch phrase which gets trotted out when things go bad.

And certainly, 'reform' has been buzzed around a lot more ever since things went economically wrong, almost two years ago now.

And this week on CTC, we are looking at two types of reform. 

One is financial reform in the US, known more simply as the Wall Street reform bill.

It is currently before the Senate (not voted on as I write this) but it has made it through a joint committee and the House which is a start.

It aims to better police and regulate the banking system which failed so badly, particularly the sub-prime mortgage debacle, and to protect Americans from predatory practices and systemic failure.

Nick Spicer will talk us through all of that in a segment I'm calling Wall Street Reform 101.

(Random piece of information: did you know that the New York Stock Exchange is not actually on Wall Street? It is on Broad Street, which runs perpendicular to Wall Street. Don't believe me? Check it out! - it is marked with an 'A' on this map)

Our other 'reform' is of the economic type.

It was decided at the G20 meeting in Toronto that there would be a sort of concession between countries who want to spend and stimulate their economies, and those who want to tighten belts and cut deficits.

Sounds lovely and harmonious, but I can't help but think ahead to the next G20 meeting in Seoul in November and wonder if even then we'll still be asking what happened to this joint approach. 

The problem is - and Samah El-Shahat will explain this in detail on the show - you have got different countries who quite simply operate in different ways, and asking them to compromise their own ways for what some might say is "the greater global good" is a big ask.

In the end, a government's duty is to its own people and that is who they will always look out for first and foremost.

Lots of other stuff coming this week too.

Middle East aviation is one of my favourite topics, and Dubai has gone and opened a brand new airport which will eventually be the biggest in the world. Can it survive alongside Doha and Abu Dhabi?

We'll also explore the benefits of natural gas - particularly in light of everything going on with oil in the Gulf of Mexico - as well as inflation in Iran, and chocolate biscuits in Gaza. 

Yes, really!

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2130; Saturday: 0430, 1230, 1900; Sunday: 0230, 1630; Monday: 0830.

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Al Jazeera
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