Tag: Macbook

Apple, Foxconn and the rise of the supranationals

| February 17, 2012 | 1 Comment

This week Apple announced that the Fair Labor Association would do new, special audits of working conditions at the Chinese plants where more than 90% of its products are made. The company, which is now the world’s largest as based on the value of its shares, is responding to the backlash from a recent New York Times investigation into employee suicides and harsh, unsafe working conditions at Foxconn, its main supplier.

Both the Fair Labor Association and Apple tout the FLA’s “independent external monitoring” function, under which third-party monitoring associations that have been accredited by the FLA pay unannounced visits to the factories. (Obviously in the case of Apple the suppliers are now well aware that these visits are and will be happening.) However as the New York Times further reports, FLA has been “criticized by numerous labor unions and anti-sweatshop advocates as toothless and too cozy with its corporate members.” Continue Reading

Weekend wrap-up: 1/30 to 2/3/12

| February 4, 2012 | 0 Comments

Here’s all the great stuff you missed on the Finance Addict this week. And also check out our GIF of the Week after the jump!

  1. Banks to face the RICO Act for robosigning credit cards? While the RICO Act’s usually exercised against organized crime rings, it may be used against banks who’ve supported credit card robosigning.
  2. Germany plays hopscotch over the rubicon. Angela Merkel of Germany is blithely hopscotching over a point of no return.
  3. Shareholder rights again under attack. What will the landscape look like if Carlyle Group wins its battle to erode shareholder rights?
  4. Are we going to own AIG forever? Here’s the thing: AIG is not so sure that we’ll ever get our $51 billion back.
  5. We don’t need no education. Another view of how the banks, the politicians and the press work together to keep in place a status quo favorable to banking interests.
  6. Sometimes the “long-term” never comes. It’s easy to forget the extraordinary, unprecedented amount of assistance being lent to the economy by the central banks.
  7. They *do* exist. A regulator who’s resistant to corporate lobbying? Hallelujah!
  8. Who really pays for the things we love? Many will watch the Superbowl and use our iPhones to share the experience. But if we’re honest we’ll take our wings with a side of guilt.

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Who really pays for the things we love?

| February 3, 2012 | 2 Comments

Millions are looking forward to an exciting Super Bowl game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots on Sunday. But it’s not all good — there are huge safety concerns about the long-term effects of heads bashing at full speed.

A great article by Richard Hoffer in Sports Illustrated about the very first Super Bowl reminds us that football is a lot safer than it used to be. It was a game that “did not insult masculine sensibilities with much protective equipment.” Continue Reading