Not Before Time

Brighton College, a modest private school in the South of England, has announced that Mandarin Chinese is to become part of school’s core curriculum from September. Now all it needs is for the state sector to follow suit:

In a clear sign of China’s growing economic and political clout, a British school has become the first in the country to make Mandarin Chinese a compulsory subject for all pupils…..

“One of my key tasks is to make sure that the pupils at Brighton College are equipped for the realities of the 21st century, and one of those realities is that China has the fastest growing economy in the world,” Richard Cairns, headmaster of Brighton College, said.

“This year China replaced Britain as the world’s fourth largest economy. We in Britain need to face up to this challenge, see it for the trading opportunity that it is, and ensure that our nation’s children are well-placed to thrive in this new global reality.

“A better understanding of the language and culture of China will be hugely to the advantage of the children of Brighton College.”

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

Not before time…

… but a welcome development nonetheless (and, perhaps, a harbinger of better times to come): controversial Banca d’Italia boss Antonio Fazio decides to spend more time with his family.

4 thoughts on “Not before time…

  1. Well, depending on which family he actually belongs to, he may be off soon to sleep with the fishes :).

    I wouldn’t be betting too strongly on this better things to come part. Presumeably the same people who have been backing him in the Italian Central Bank will now choose the next governor, or if Belusconi’s new law comes into effect the n Berlusconi will. Either way, the situation doesn’t exactly fill me with glowing optimism.

  2. Having followed Mrs T.’s link, I can’t help noting the headline of the current most frequently emailed news story on Yahoo! Italia:

    USA: sex with mare, light sentence

  3. Yep, it’s as I thought, this goes hand in hand with a move to weaken central bank independence in Italy. Now so long as the bank is a toothless paper tiger, this isn’t too important, but, if Italy should ever have to leave the eurozone for some mysterious reason, then……….

    Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s cabinet today will discuss a proposal to give the government the power to appoint and remove the Bank of Italy governor, a day after the departure of Fazio, 69. The government was powerless to force Fazio out even after he became the target of two criminal investigations into bank takeovers in Italy.

    Former European Central Bank Executive Board member Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa is among the frontrunners to head the Bank of Italy….

    Berlusconi is personally backing former finance minister Domenico Siniscalco, the paper said and opposes the candidacy of Padoa-Schioppa, the newspaper reported.

    Under the government’s proposal to change the selection process, a new candidate would be proposed by the government and need to be approved by a two-thirds vote in parliament, forcing Berlusconi and the opposition to agree on a candidate. The government also plans to propose a five-year term limit on the central bank head and reserve the right to revoke the mandate. Fazio was the only euro-zone central bank head appointed for life.

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