Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Occupy Protesters Were Right, Says Bank of England Official

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: The anti-capitalist protesters who occupied St Paul’s Cathedral were both morally and intellectually right, a senior Bank of England official said last night.

Andrew Haldane, a member of the Bank’s financial policy committee, said the Occupy movement was correct in its attack on the international financial system.

The Occupy movement sprang up last year and staged significant demonstrations in both the City of London and New York, protesting about the unequal distribution of wealth and the influence of the financial services industry. Members of the movement occupied the grounds of St Paul’s and remained camped there for more than three months until police evicted them in February last year.

“Occupy has been successful in its efforts to popularise the problems of the global financial system for one very simple reason; they are right,” Mr Haldane said last night. Mr Haldane, the Bank’s executive director for financial stability, was speaking to Occupy Economics, an offshoot of the Occupy movement, at an event in central London.

In a speech entitled Socially Useful Banking, he said the protesters had helped bring about a “reformation” in financial services and the way they are regulated.

Partly because of the protests, he suggested, both bank executives and policymakers were persuaded that banks must behave in a more moral way, and take greater account of inequality in wider society. » | James Kirkup, Deputy Political Editor | Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday, 29 October 2012

Almost Five Million British Workers Paid Less Than the Living Wage

THE GUARDIAN: TUC describes new research that the standard of living in one of every five families is being hit as 'shocking'

One in five British workers and their families are likely to have inadequate standards of living because they are being paid less than the living wage, according to a study.

The research by the consultants KPMG found that 4.82 million workers have to survive on less than a living wage, currently £8.30 an hour in London and £7.20 in the rest of the country. The TUC described the findings as "shocking".

The government has resisted campaigns to increase the currentminimum wage of £6.19 to living wage levels, fearing that it would hit employment figures. It argues that it is a poorly targeted poverty measure.

But an increasing number of employers, notably the London mayor Boris Johnson, have introduced a living wage rate for their staff. According to KPMG's study, the voluntary measure has helped 10,000 employees, and redistributed £96m to the lowest paid. » | Matthew Weaver | Monday, October 29, 2012
Greek Magazine Editor in Court for Naming Alleged Tax Evaders

THE GUARDIAN: Kostas Vaxevanis at centre of political storm after publishing names of wealthy Greeks alleged to have Swiss bank accounts

A magazine editor in Greece will appear in court after publishing the names of more than 2,000 wealthy Greeks alleged to have Swiss bank accounts, triggering a row over tax evasion that threatens the stability of the government.

Kostas Vaxevanis was arrested on Sunday, after his weekly journal, Hot Doc, printed the list of names, which including prominent members of Greece's political and business elite.

The editor was giving a live radio interview when police arrived, and broke off saying he had to go "to be arrested". At the same [time] he tweeted about the arrest, comparing the police to German stormtroopers in the second world war. In another tweet he wrote: "They're entering my house with the prosecutor right now. They are arresting me. Spread the word."

Police officials said that Vaxevanis had illegally published personal details without proof that the people involved had broken the law. But he and other critics of the government have portrayed his arrest as part of a cover-up intended to obscure claims that the finance ministry had had the list for more than two years without taking action against those named. » | Julian Borger | Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Archbishop of Canterbury Contender Criticises Banks

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: The frontrunner to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury has accused banks of having “no socially useful purpose” and being “exponents of anarchy” in a speech warning that the battered financial services industry cannot be repaired.

The Rt Rev Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, says the sector must be rebuilt “from the ruins” of the financial crisis to become something that “helps people rather than being there for people to help it”.

Bishop Welby, who is a member of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, called for the introduction of formal banking qualifications, for the Government only to only support financial institutions that have a “clear and explicit social value”, and to offer an easier tax regime and lighter regulation for banks that demonstrate a “social purpose”.

Speaking at a conference in Zurich, Switzerland, Bishop Welby said: “At the moment clearly these are merely ideas in the mist.

"But one principle seems to me to be clear, we cannot repair what was destroyed in 2008, we can only replace it with something that is dedicated to the support of human society, to the common good and to solidarity.

"Financial services are crucial to human development, but they only do their job when the work they carry out is done in a way that is truly a service." » | Graham Ruddick | Saturday, October 27, 2012
Prince Albert of Monaco on Tax and Space

Westerwelle für Freihandelszone mit den USA

REUTERS DEUTSCHLAND: Berlin (Reuters) - Bundesaußenminister Guido Westerwelle (FDP) hat EU und USA dazu aufgerufen, zur Bewältigung der Schuldenkrise eine Freihandelszone zu schaffen.

In der "Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung" (Samstagausgabe) forderte er, die EU solle mit den Vereinigten Staaten nicht nur außen- und sicherheitspolitisch, sondern auch wirtschaftlich enger zusammenarbeiten. "Ich dringe darauf, dass Europa und Nordamerika so schnell wie möglich Gespräche über eine transatlantische Freihandelszone aufnehmen", sagte der Außenminister. » | Samstag, 27. Oktober 2012

Friday, 26 October 2012

Debt-stricken Spain Hit by Record Joblessness

New statistics show unemployment rate now above 25 per cent, with about 800,000 people losing jobs in past 12 months.

Spain Jobs Woes Deepen as Unemployment Rate Hits 25pc

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Spain’s unemployment rate reached 25pc, official data showed of Friday, the highest level since the nation’s transition to democracy, with further layoffs predicted next year.

Tens of thousands of jobs were lost between July and September raising the number of unemployed to 5.78 million people, Spain’s National Statistics Institute reported, a level unseen since the dictatorship of Francisco Franco ended in the mid-1970s.

The number of Spanish households in which every member is out of work climbed to 1.74 million, roughly one tenth of all Spanish families.

The rise in the number of jobless comes as Spain sinks deeper into recession, with output expected to decline for the third consecutive quarter.

It comes as Spain struggles with deep austerity measures that have forced many out onto the street in protest.

Unions have called a general strike for November 14, the second since Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government came to power in December. » | Fiona Govan, in Madrid | Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Economics of Hajj: Money and Pilgrimage

BBC: Millions of Muslims from all walks of life have converged on Saudi Arabia to perform the pilgrimage known as the Hajj.

The annual occasion has become a lucrative business in recent years, proving a great financial asset to the economy of the oil-rich kingdom.

Many pilgrims, however, struggle to reconcile their spiritual needs with their wallets.

Mohammed Zayan, a 53-year-old pilgrim from Tunisia, has waited a lifetime to perform the religious obligation, which does not come free.

"I spent up to $6,000 (£3,700) on my Hajj," says Mr Zayan, who wears the traditional white pilgrims' clothes.

"I thank God that he enabled me to save this amount of money but I'm sad I could not afford taking my wife and son with me."

The millions who come to Mecca every year bring billions of dollars to the Saudi economy. » | Ahmed Maher, BBC Arabic, Mecca | Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Cash-strapped Cyprus Plots Russian Exit from Austerity

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: It has been three years since I was last in Paphos, a resort on Cyprus's west coast, and at first glance not much has changed.

In a taxi from the airport, down a rollercoaster road of potholes and speed bumps, we drive past white-walled villas draped in bougainvillea. At the quayside of the old harbour, traditional fish restaurants continue to do steady business, as tourists gather by the castle to watch a magnificent sunset. Behind this façade of familiarity, however, the comings and goings have been so dramatic that many in Cyprus are struggling to understand what has happened to them. Important features of local life have, literally, disappeared – and I'm not talking just about thousands of feral cats that used to reside here.

This island, once a magnet for money, is perilously close to running out of cash. Standard & Poor's, the ratings agency, has downgraded Cyprus twice since the beginning of August, citing "deteriorating domestic credit conditions and eroding consumer and investor confidence".

With an election due in February and fears of a lurch to the left, a local café owner admitted to me that property buyers from overseas, many of them British, who in the past had been "robbed", would be foolish to rush back.

Evidence of plunging fortunes is everywhere, with billboards offering two-bedroom apartments, originally priced at €150,00 (£122,000), now €79,000. In the shopping zone close to Paphos's more expensive hotels, there are several boarded up premises, scarred with graffiti, where bars and car-hire companies used to flourish.

Things are so bad that some individuals, owed money by the government for appropriation of their land, have begun sending in the bailiffs to seize state assets. Only last week, seven vehicles owned by various departments, including the land registry, were grabbed and whisked away for auction. » | Jeffrey Randall | Monday, October 22, 2012

Friday, 19 October 2012

Im Wallis wird die «alpine Batterie» gebaut

Zwischen Martigny und Chamonix entsteht ein neues Pumpspeicherkraftwerk. Es produziert allerdings keinen neuen Strom, sondern soll ab 2017 ausschliesslich als «alpine Batterie» dienen. Das Kraftwerk soll für die Schweiz ein Trumpf in den Verhandlungen mit der EU über ein neues Energieabkommen sein.

Tagesschau vom 18.10.2012

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Newsweek va arrêter son édition papier

LE FIGARO: Newsweek a décidé d'arrêter son édition imprimée dès la fin de l'année. Le célèbre hebdomadaire américain, fondé il y a près de 80 ans, va passer au tout numérique, sur le Web, le mobile et les tablettes. La dernière édition papier sera celle du 31 décembre. » | lefigaro.fr avec AFP | jeudi 18 octobre 2012

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

'Devastating Impact': Euro Exit by Southern Nations Could Cost 17 Trillion Euros

SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL: A new study by a German think tank warns that a euro exit by Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy would cut global GDP by 17 trillion euros and plunge the world into recession, with France suffering the biggest loss. A Greek exit alone would be manageable, but must be avoided to forestall a domino effect, it says.

A Greek euro exit on its own would have a relatively minor impact on the world economy, but if it causes a chain reaction leading to the departure of other southern European nations from the single currency, the economic impact on the world would be devastating, a German study warned on Wednesday.

Economic research group Prognos, in a study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, estimated that euro exits by Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy would wipe a total of €17.2 trillion ($22.3 trillion) off worldwide growth by 2020.

The researchers arrived at a particularly bleak assessment because they didn't just calculate the losses of creditors who had lent money to the crisis-hit nations. They also analyzed the possible impact of a euro collapse on economic growth in the 42 most important industrial and emerging economies that make up more than 90 percent of the world economy.

Using an econometric model, Prognos first calculated the effect of a Greek euro exit, and then simulated the step-by-step fallout from Portugal, Spain and Italy abandoning the currency as well. » | cro | Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Armutskonferenz: Schere zwischen Arm und Reich schadet Gesellschaft

WIENER ZEITUNG: Kluft wächst. / 511.000 Österreicher leben unter der Armutsgrenze.

Wien. Die Armutskonferenz hat anlässlich des heutigen Internationalen Tags der Beseitigung von Armut am Mittwoch bei einer Pressekonferenz vor den Auswirkungen einer größer werdenden Schere zwischen Arm und Reich für die Gesellschaft gewarnt. Laut Statistik leben 511.000 Österreicher unter der Armutsgrenze, was sich negativ auf ihre Lebenserwartung und Gesundheit auswirke, und am Ende höhere Kosten für die Gesellschaft bedeute.

Die Ungleichheit in Österreich wachse, so Martin Schenk, Sozialexperte der Diakonie Österreich. In vielen Haushalten müsse am Monatsende die Entscheidung getroffen werden, ob man die Miete zahlen oder sich beim Supermarkt Essen kaufen wolle. "Das sind Entscheidungen, die furchtbar sind, die aber in Österreich stattfinden." Grund für die Unterschiede ist laut Schenk die steigende Zahl von Menschen mit prekären Jobs, die von ihrem Gehalt nicht mehr leben können. Noch stärker seien die Unterschiede beim Vermögen, in das auch Immobilien, Aktien und Unternehmensbeteiligungen einberechnet werden: "Die obersten zehn Prozent der Bevölkerung besitzen die Hälfte des Gesamtvermögens." » | Mittwoch, 17. Oktober 2012

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Goldman Pay Pot Hits $11bn as Profits Jump

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Goldman Sachs has joined in a much better-than-expected third quarter for Wall Street, raising the prospect its bankers will take home bigger bonuses this year.

The investment bank’s $1.51bn (£936m) profit in the quarter comfortably beat market expectations and compares with a loss of $393m in the same period last year. Bond trading and an increase in the value of some of Goldman’s investments helped drive an increase that follows better than forecast results from rivals Citigroup and JP Morgan. » | Richard Blackden, New York | Tuesday, October 16, 2012
French Business Erupts in Fury against "Disastrous" François Hollande

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: France is sliding into a grave economic crisis and risks a full-blown “hurricane” as investors flee rocketing tax rates, the country’s business federation has warned.

“The situation is very serious. Some business leaders are in a state of quasi-panic,” said Laurence Parisot, head of employers’ group MEDEF.

“The pace of bankruptcies has accelerated over the summer. We are seeing a general loss of confidence by investors. Large foreign investors are shunning France altogether. It’s becoming really dramatic.”

MEDEF, France’s equivalent of the CBI, said the threat has risen from “a storm warning to a hurricane warning”, adding that the Socialist government of François Hollande has yet to understand the “extreme gravity” of the crisis.

The immediate bone of contention is Article 6 of the new tax law, which raises the top rate of capital gains tax from 34.5pc to 62.2pc. This compares with 21pc in Spain, 26.4pc in Germany and 28pc in Britain.

“Let’s be clear, Article 6 is not acceptable, even if modified. We will not be complicit in a disastrous economic mistake,” Mrs Parisot told Le Figaro. An alliance of private organisations in France has issued a protest entitled “State of Emergency for Business”, warning that confiscatory tax rates threaten lasting damage to the French economy. » | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | Monday, October 15, 2012
UK Faces $2.2bln Bill to Cover Eurocrat Pensions – Report

RT.COM: The EU’s bureaucracy is set to grow while the rest of Europe is wracked by austerity measures. UK taxpayers will reportedly fork out an extra $2.2 billion annually for the next seven years to pay for the doubling of pensions for Brussels’ officials.

A confidential letter leaked to The Telegraph also reveals that EU pensions are set to double to more than $3.2 billion a year by 2045.

In addition, it disclosed that the European Commission is requesting a 26 per cent increase to cover the growing costs of the civil service in the proposed 2014-2020 budgets, bringing the cost from $72 billion to $91 billion.

Currently, the EU’s retirement plan for bureaucrats consists of 60 per cent of final salary, which evens out to an annual pension of $91,000. This costs European national governments about $1.6 billion annually.

But, this number is continually growing, as the EU takes on more staff to accommodate its expansion from 15 to 27 countries since 2004. » | Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Indonesia Aims to be Islamic Fashion Powerhouse

WSJ – BLOG: JAKARTA–A new breed of designers is seeking to blend Islamic modesty with cutting-edge style to turn Indonesia into a global center of Islamic fashion.

The idea may seem like a bad fit for some fashion mavens, who when thinking of Islamic fashion usually picture drab black or white cloths used to cloak female beauty rather than celebrate it.

But the Islamic-fashion industry has taken off in recent years as designers look for ways to incorporate the bold colors and rich textile traditions prevalent in some Islamic societies while still maintaining sufficient modesty to adhere to Muslim mores.

Indonesia, as the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, is already one of the main players, with a local fashion industry now estimated to be worth $6.6 billion dollars a year. But local designers and retailers – led by an industry group called the Indonesian Islamic Fashion Consortium – are hoping to expand the Islamic fashion component of the industry even more by drawing up a road map to make Indonesia the “capital” of global Islamic fashion by 2020.

Right now, Malaysia, Thailand and France are among the leading Islamic fashion hubs, industry officials say. » | Ahmad Pathoni | Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Îles grecques à vendre

LE POINT: Pour alléger les dépenses publiques, l'État grec songerait à faire évacuer les îles de moins de 150 habitants. L'idée fait scandale.

La nouvelle a fait l'effet d'une bombe. Selon la presse grecque de ce week-end, les émissaires de l'Union européenne et du Fonds monétaire international auraient proposé au gouvernement grec de "déplacer les habitants des îles comptant moins de 150 habitants vers des lieux plus accessibles". Une proposition reprise publiquement par Kostas Mousouroulis, le ministre grec des Affaires maritimes. Le pays possède en effet une myriade d'îles, dont beaucoup sont proches des côtes turques. Vingt-deux d'entre elles sont habitées par moins de 150 habitants. Leur fonctionnement, selon le ministre, aurait un "coût trop élevé pour l'État".

Cette annonce a provoqué un tel tollé dans le pays que Kostas Mousouroulis a été contraint de revenir sur ses propos, affirmant qu'il s'agissait d'une plaisanterie. Dans la foulée, le gouvernement dans son ensemble s'est empressé de démentir l'information. Mais nombre d'experts doutent d'une simple gaffe du gouvernement et croient plutôt à un ballon d'essai pour que l'idée fasse son chemin. À l'image de Manolis Glézos, le député du Syriza, le parti de la gauche radicale : "Oslo ne peut pas donner le prix Nobel de la paix à une Union européenne qui demande l'évacuation d'un certain nombre d'îles." » | De correspondante di Point à Athènes, Alexia Kefalas | dimanche 14 octobre 2012

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Crisis-hit Spaniards Seek Work in France

As the economic crisis is taking its toll on Spain, an increasing number of labourers - particularly construction workers - are crossing the border into France for work. French builders now complain that the foreign competition is stealing their business, and that unemployment is rising in French border towns. A French labourer earns $15, while a Spaniard will work for $10. Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports from the Franco-Spanish border.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Inside Story US 2012 - Ignoring America's Poor

With 46 million people living in poverty, why are the presidential candidates so quiet on issues affecting the poor? Shihab Rattansi speaks to Cheri Honkala, Marcy Wheeler & Austin Nichols

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Ed Miliband Is Right to Threaten the Banks

THE OBSERVER – EDITORIAL: He proposes that they should be kept on a short leash. It's a start, and will cheer Labour conference delegates

When Ed Miliband tells Labour conference delegates that he plans to break up Britain's banks should they backslide on tough new regulations, he is going further than the usual banker-bashing. When he attacks the government, which he argues has capitulated to intense lobbying and let the banks off the regulatory hook, it is not from the easy hit school of political point-scoring.

His strategy is broader and goes back to his long-held belief that a buccaneering, devil-take-the-hindmost approach to business is out of place in the 21st century. More than that, it is counterproductive and harmful to an economy that needs to shift away from a reliance on the money made by banks and their chief asset – the inflated loans made on seemingly irresistible property speculation.

Miliband may seem an awkward, even alien performer to some , but he will strengthen his appeal if he can stitch together policies that resonate with an audience that has spent the last four years watching incredulously as the City and the wealthy successfully defend their corner. Responsible capitalism sounds dull and un-British, but it also presents an opportunity for a little reinvention and a greater degree of fairness. It also has the potential to enthuse disenchanted Liberal Democrats as much as it does delegates desperate for some policy meat from the podium.

At the moment, we are going backwards, with income inequality getting worse and austerity leaving the wealthy unscathed. The crimes of the banks are many and well documented. They stretch from the branches and call centres that mis-sold payment protection insurance to the trading rooms that fiddled industry-wide interest rates and the boardrooms, where characters such as Barclays' boss Bob Diamond sanctioned aggressive tax-avoidance schemes. Not to mention the drug-running and money-laundering schemes that went on under the noses of HSBC and Standard Chartered and for which they have paid multibillion pound fines. Yet their lobbying power remains undiminished. » | Editorial | Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Iran Crisis: 'We Hardly Make Ends Meet. I Wonder How Poor Families Survive'

THE GUARDIAN: Parvin, a housewife in Tehran, explains how the currency crisis is affecting ordinary Iranians

In Iran, it was always hoped that the man who asks for your daughter's hand would be an engineer or a doctor. But now, with the crisis over the national currency, one joke says: "We had happily assumed that our daughter had married a foreign exchange dealer, but to our dismay it turned out that he was faking and was merely an engineer."

My country's currency, the rial, is losing its value rapidly and we feel its impact in the prices of staple goods, household products and almost everything else. We are a middle-class family and can hardly make ends meet. I wonder how poor families survive.

Prices are going up every day but our income remains static. The money in our pocket comes from my husband who works in a public office. In comparison to last year, his salary has risen very little whereas our daily needs, such as milk, cheese, chicken, are going up disproportionately. » | guardian.co.uk | Friday, October 05, 2012

Parvin is a pseudonym

Friday, 5 October 2012

La croissance zéro s'installe en France

LIBÉRATION: L'Insee rapporte cinq trimestres consécutifs de croissance nulle, et un chômage qui s'envole.

La France semble s’installer durablement dans une période de stagnation économique, avec un enchaînement inédit de cinq trimestres consécutifs de croissance zéro et un chômage qui continue de s’envoler, selon l’Insee qui a révisé jeudi à la baisse sa prévision pour 2012. » | AFP | jeudi 04 octobre 2012
Antonis Samaras: „Die griechische Demokratie steht vor ihrer größten Herausforderung“

HANDELSBLATT: Exclusiv – Er findet dramatische Worte: Griechenlands Ministerpräsident Antonis Samaras vergleicht die Situation seines Landes mit der Weimarer Republik und warnt vor den Auswirkungen der Arbeitslosigkeit für die Demokratie.

Athen. Der griechische Ministerpräsident Antonis Samaras hat in dramatischen Worten vor den Folgen einer weiteren Verschlechterung der wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Lage seines Landes gewarnt. In einem Interview mit dem „Handelsblatt“ verglich Samaras die Situation seines Landes mit der Weimarer Republik. „Die griechische Demokratie steht vor ihrer vielleicht größten Herausforderung“, sagte der Regierungschef.

Der Zusammenhalt der griechischen Gesellschaft sei durch die „steigende Arbeitslosigkeit gefährdet, so wie es gegen Ende der Weimarer Republik in Deutschland war“. Die Gesellschaft „als Ganzes“ sei bedroht durch Populisten der extremen Linken und „durch etwas, das es in unserem Land noch nie zuvor gegeben hat: den Aufstieg einer rechtsextremistischen, man könnte sagen faschistischen, Neonazi-Partei“. Diese sei in Umfragen bereits die „drittstärkste politische Kraft in Griechenland, Tendenz wachsend“. » | gst/ghö/mina | Freitag, 05. Oktober 2012

Das gesamte Interview finden Sie hier

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Interview with Economist Joseph Stiglitz: 'The American Dream Has Become a Myth'

SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL: The finance industry is to blame for the growing divide between the rich and poor in the United States, says Nobel Prize-winning economics professor Joseph Stiglitz. In an interview with SPIEGEL, he accuses the industry of preying on the poor and buying government policies that help them get richer.

At Columbia University, which is located just blocks from Harlem in Manhattan's West Side, wealth and poverty are closer together than they are in many places in New York City. This is where American economist and 2001 Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz works as a professor. The Gary, Indiana native has spent years examining social inequality. His first personal experience with the issue came when, as a young boy, he asked why his nanny wasn't caring for her own children. Later, as the World Bank's chief economist, he studied the phenomenon on a global level. In June, he published a book on the topic entitled "The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future," which has just been released in German as well. In a SPIEGEL interview, Stiglitz discusses how wealth disparity is dividing America and how Europe can best overcome the euro crisis. » | Interview conducted by Alexander Jung and Thomas Schulz | Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Ed Miliband Delivers Keynote Speech at the Labour Party Conference

Labour's leader Ed Miliband attacks the casino style banking. He uses his keynote speech to Labour party delegates in Manchester to warn bankers to get their own house in order to prevent another financial crisis

Monday, 1 October 2012

Al Jazeera Speaks to Former Le Monde Editor

Al Jazeera speaks to Patrice de Beer, the former editor of Le Monde.