August 24th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Embryo experiments: are there any limits?

ALP's problems deeper than pre-selections and branch-stacking

Zimbabwe: Mugabe aggravates drought crisis

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Dizzy with success / Angry amnesiacs

EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION: Consuming our unborn is indefensible

LAW: High Court judgment deepens native title confusion

General Cosgrove was wrong on Vietnam (letter)

Why the stock market plunged (letter)

Snowy River plan damages Murray basin (letter)

Infrastructure savings (letter)

COMMENT: Whose voice can be heard?

VICTORIA: Public forces backdown on Victorian sex zone plans

POPULATION: Time to set the record straight

COMMENT: Can the ABC be saved from itself?

ECONOMY: The Reserve, interest rates and inflation

ASIA: Taiwan's banking system under siege

BOOKS: Baby Hunger: The New Battle for Motherhood, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

BOOKS: American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles, by Thomas Keneally

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Why the stock market plunged (letter)

by Robert Bom

News Weekly, August 24, 2002

Whatever the causes for the wild ride on world stock markets, the triggers were the discovery of deceitful reporting and accountancy practices of some large American companies.

Up to the time of writing, the reaction in the Australian stock market has been far more subdued. Media commentators have praised the resilience and independence of our markets.

At least one national media outlet says it is imperative Mr Howard pushes ahead with policies to help insulate the domestic economy from global financial turbulence. The same media outlet is enthusiastically supporting Mr Howard's free trade push with the United States.

Fine writing, but which is it to be?

"Free trade" between countries has the effect of intertwining economies, rather than separating them. The more powerful partner has the chance of more free goals at the expense and independence of the smaller one.

There is some excellent reading available on the disadvantages of "free trade", explaining loss of independence, loss of jobs, and the dangers to our security and quarantine regulations.

National media editors and journalists could use this information to give us both sides of the picture. At the moment, all they are giving us is hype, while slavishly following the globalisation route taken by the United States, Mr Howard and Mr Crean.

Robert Bom,
Rockhampton, Qld

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