Economy Business and Finance News

Will Russian Sanctions Compromise Global Energy Security?
Will Russian Sanctions Compromise Global Energy Security?
Date: 17 April 2014

After a series of headline-grabbing statements about the possibility of “switching” European consumers over to American gas, the US media hastened to announce the launch of Obama’s oil and gas offensive against Russia. In reality, the EU is not prepared, neither technically nor in terms of price, to buy its energy resources from the US. It would take at least ten years to adapt even the technically advanced German energy system to work with American gas supply. In a crisis, when it is particularly urgent to see a quick return on an investment, such projects are unrealistic.  Read more

Why Taiwan Needs Regional Integration
Why Taiwan Needs Regional Integration
Date: 16 April 2014

Recent demonstrations in Taiwan against a trade deal with China reflect the public’s deep mistrust with the mainland. Yet Taiwan needs these trade deals to sustain its economy, not just with China, but with the rest of Asia.  Read more

Game Of Thrones Economics: Why Hasn’t Westeros Had An Industrial Revolution?
Game Of Thrones Economics: Why Hasn’t Westeros Had An Industrial Revolution?
Date: 15 April 2014

The world of the popular HBO series Game of Thrones bear striking similarities to that of Western Europe during the 18th century. But whereas the Industrial Revolution saw a rapid advancement in Europe’s society and economy, Westeros has remained the same for some 6,000 years.  Read more

ECB Quantitative Easing: Just A Matter Of Time?
ECB Quantitative Easing: Just A Matter Of Time?
Date: 14 April 2014

Even as ECB officials continue to play down the generalized risk of deflation in region and claim that inflation expectations remain anchored, experts are calling on the central bank to undertake unconventional measures to combat weakness in price pressures that threatens to undermine the euro area’s recovery. The issue is no longer if the ECB will undertake quantitative easing, but when.  Read more

Why Businesses Must Focus On Long-Term Growth
Why Businesses Must Focus On Long-Term Growth
Date: 11 April 2014

Excessive short-termism is always a problem for policy, but the Global Crisis has brought it sharply into focus. This column introduces a report that discusses how a shift to longer-term solutions is necessary and possible. A key message is that businesses as well as governments need to take a longer-term view. The report identifies ways to overcome the current impasse in key economic, climate, trade, security, and other negotiations.  Read more

Singapore’s Impotent Immigration Policy
Singapore’s Impotent Immigration Policy
Date: 10 April 2014

The large influx of foreign workers into Singapore has begun to cause tension between immigrants and locals. The obvious solution for the Singaporean government, would be to drastically decrease the number of foreign workers. But here there is a problem: its development model relies on foreign workers.  Read more

Can Bangladesh Live Up To Its Economic Promise?
Can Bangladesh Live Up To Its Economic Promise?
Date: 8 April 2014

Thanks to its strategic geopolitics, Bangladesh is now being courted by both China and the United States. It is a historical moment when right economic policies, appropriate investment levels and favorable demographics could unleash a period of growth and prosperity. However, with wrong policies, Bangladesh could suffer a new era of stagnation, poverty and fall behind its regional peers.  Read more

Why Unfair Distribution Of Wealth Will Lead To Our Downfall
Why Inequality Will Lead To Our Downfall
Date: 4 April 2014

If America’s distributional game continues to create a few big winners and many who consider themselves losers by comparison, the losers will try to stop the game – not out of envy but out of a deep-seated sense of unfairness and a fear of unchecked power and privilege. Then we all lose.  Read more

Why Ukraine’s Gas Industry May Be The Most Profitable In The World
Why Ukraine’s Gas Industry May Be The Most Profitable In The World
Date: 3 April 2014

Whether it likes it or not, kicking and screaming, Ukraine will have to transform its energy sector, if it hopes to see promised IMF money. Privatizing these assets could raise $50 billion, but the benefits for investors may be even higher.  Read more

Why Russia & The US Must Work Together On Ukraine
Why Russia & The US Must Work Together On Ukraine
Date: 2 April 2014

Despite their current animosities, Russia and the U.S. need each other to maintain influence in Eastern Europe. For different reasons, neither side wants the crisis to continue, and each has a different read on the situation.  Read more

How Will Emerging Markets Retaliate Against Fed Tapering?
How Will Emerging Markets Retaliate Against Fed Tapering?
Date: 1 April 2014

To navigate the U.S. away from the huge monetary stimulus, the Federal Reserve has initiated tapering. But in an integrating world, the emerging economies, especially India, China and Brazil, will see collateral liquidity damage. How will the Fed enforce its mandate? How will central banks in emerging markets react?  Read more

Why A Major War In Asia Is Unlikely
Why A Major War In Asia Is Unlikely
Date: 31 March 2014

The rising tensions between China and Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands has led some experts to draw parallels with the Sarajevo incident, which sparked off World War I in Europe. Yet while is a significant risk that the conflict will result in a military confrontation, an all-out war is unlikely given economic reasons.  Read more

How Did Brazil’s Economy Go From Promising To Precarious?
How Did Brazil’s Economy Go From Promising To Precarious?
Date: 27 March 2014

This year’s FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics seem to be a coronation of Brazil’s undeniable and startling success. But with the Brazilian presidential elections looming later this year, a surge in street protests and growing economic unrest, will Latin America’s largest nation cope under the international spotlight?  Read more

Why The Yuan Won’t Replace The USD As The World’s Reserve Currency
Why The Yuan Won’t Replace The USD As The World’s Reserve Currency
Date: 26 March 2014

In the eyes of many commentators, the US dollar’s reign as the global reserve currency is under threat from two angles. The first comes from within the US—a permanent deficiency in demand or secular stagnation; and the second from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and in particular from a fully convertible yuan.  Read more

Russia Looks East As Relations With West Deteriorate
Russia Looks East As Relations With West Deteriorate
Date: 25 March 2014

The standoff over Ukraine has seen Europe and the U.S. warn Russia of economic isolation. But this is unlikely to matter, as it would only accelerate a Russian pivot towards China – with an imminent multi-billion natural gas deal set be a centerpiece of that strategic shift.  Read more

What The ‘Chinese Dream’ Really Means
What The ‘Chinese Dream’ Really Means
Date: 24 March 2014

For a year, President Xi Jinping and Premier have talked about the Chinese dream, while outlining massive reforms to pave the way for the realization of the dream. As the Two Sessions took place in Beijing, China’s leaders took a hard look at the future challenges. Is the Chinese dream still reachable?  Read more

Is There Room For Another International Currency?
Is There Room For Another International Currency?
Date: 21 March 2014

The dollar remains dominant in the global monetary system. The clearest sign for its prevailing status is the dollar’s role as an exclusive currency used in the global oil market. This column suggests that there is room for more than one international currency even in a market as homogenous as the oil one. This is consistent with the view that network increasing returns are not as strong as sometimes supposed, first-mover advantage is not everything, and incumbency is no guarantee for continued dominance.  Read more

UK Economy: Recovery Is Futile If It’s Led By The Finance Sector
UK Economy: Recovery Is Futile If It’s Led By The Finance Sector
Date: 20 March 2014

Whether the UK is in recovery or not depends on who you ask and, more importantly, the political stake they have in the answer. At present, most of the growth is being powered by the finance sector. But what’s the point of a recovery that only benefits the rich and does nothing to address inequality?  Read more

China’s Most Powerful Economic Weapon: Education?
China’s Most Powerful Economic Weapon: Education?
Date: 19 March 2014

China’s students are not only achieving the best results in international educational assessment, but are also receiving the most in educational investment than the rest of the world. Traditionally, Chinese people have been highly appreciative of the role of education in development, and the national obsession with education is also reflected in government policy.  Read more

Why Russia Really Wants Crimea
Why Russia Really Wants Crimea
Date: 18 March 2014

According to some analysts’ estimates, Russia’s incursion into Crimea could cost the country more than $70 billion in economic damage. Yet the determination of Putin to control the breakaway region may be driven by a deeper reason: to gain the wealth of offshore gas and oil reserves; and cut off Ukraine’s hopes of energy independence from Moscow.  Read more

Can Myanmar Avoid Recent Emerging Market Volatility?
Can Myanmar Avoid Recent Emerging Market Volatility?
Date: 17 March 2014

After half a century of isolation, Myanmar’s immediate challenge is to sustain reforms, boost foreign investment and diversify its industrial base. Unlike other Asian tigers, it must cope with a far more challenging international environment.  Read more

Why Russia Fears ‘Losing’ Ukraine
Why Russia Fears ‘Losing’ Ukraine
Date: 14 March 2014

There is a common perception that Russia's move on Crimea shows its strength. A closer examination suggests it is more complicated that it may seem. Like the bully at the school yard, the aggressiveness conceals weaknesses.  Read more

Can Chinese ‘Soft Power’ Win Hearts & Minds In Africa?
Can Chinese ‘Soft Power’ Win Hearts & Minds In Africa?
Date: 13 March 2014

China’s links to Africa have grown from mere trade partnerships, to increased media and educational tie-ups. But unless Chinese media and web services can be counted on to provide information about Beijing’s ventures in Africa independently and accurately, viewership will suffer and the “soft power” offensive will falter.  Read more

Bitcoin Crash: The End Of A Gold Rush?
Bitcoin Crash: The End Of A Gold Rush?
Date: 12 March 2014

Bitcoin, in its present form, has stark similiarites with gold. Both are backed by no one; both are, relative to fiat currency, inconvenient for day to day use; and both lack intrinsic value. As it turns out, another comparison can be made with bitcoin and gold: the collapse of Mt.Gox share similar lessons to the end of the Australian and New Zealand gold rushes in the 19th century.  Read more

Do Children Bring Happiness Or Misery?
Do Children Bring Happiness Or Misery?
Date: 11 March 2014

Study after study has shown that those who live with children are less satisfied with their lives than those who do not. Is there something wrong with these empirical analyses? Or is it that happiness measures are unreliable? This column argues that the results are correct but that comparisons of the wellbeing of parents and non-parents are of no help at all for people trying to decide whether to have children.  Read more

Will New Risks End Nigeria’s Economic Dream?
Will New Risks End Nigeria’s Economic Dream?
Date: 10 March 2014

Only a year ago, Nigeria’s economic dream – to be one of the world’s top 20 economies by 2020 – still seemed reachable. Today, domestic threats are increasing, while the international environment is far more challenging.  Read more

Russia vs. The US: Superpowers Bluff Over Ukraine?
Russia vs. The US: Superpowers Bluff Over Ukraine?
Date: 6 March 2014

Following Russia's military incursion in Ukraine, the US immediately threatened various sanctions against Moscow, including personal travel bans, an ejection from Russia from the G8, and trade and finance measures. In retaliation, a Putin advisor warned that Russia could abandon the dollar as a reserve currency and/or default on loans to US banks. Neither party however can afford any form of action, nor do they have any real influence over each other’s economies.  Read more

Can Asia’s Emerging Economies Protect Their Water Resources?
Can Asia’s Emerging Economies Protect Their Water Resources?
Date: 5 March 2014

Asia’s economic growth has been one of the success stories of the 21st century. But the economic rise of countries such as China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia has created serious pressure on their environmental resources, particularly their water supplies.  Read more

India’s Urban Work Boom Is Leaving Women Behind
India’s Urban Work Boom Is Leaving Women Behind
Date: 4 March 2014

India has one of the lowest female workforce participation rate in the world. In urban areas, the ratio is even worse. According to Sher Verick, a senior fellow at the International Labour Organisation, the two main factors keeping women at home are social customs and very low education levels.  Read more

China’s Leadership Change: One Year Later, Are Reforms Succeeding?
China’s Leadership Change: One Year Later, Are Reforms Succeeding?
Date: 3 March 2014

March 14 will mark one year since Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang took the reins of China’s leadership and the economy. Xi and his team have officially given themselves until 2020 to achieve "decisive" results with reforms. How has progress been so far?  Read more

North America: Boundless Natural Gas, Endless Opportunities – Interview With EIA
North America: Boundless Natural Gas, Endless Opportunities – Interview With EIA Chief Adam Sieminski
Date: 28 February 2014

The Energy Information Agency (EIA) has predicted that natural gas production in the US will continue to grow at an impressive pace. Right now output is close to 70 billion cubic feet a day and is expected to reach over 100 billion cubic feet per day by 2040. The trend is likely to continue without hitting a geologic “peak”, and along with this trend will come new marketing opportunities for America.  Read more

Is GDP Still The Best Indicator Of Economic Progress?
Is GDP Still The Best Indicator Of Economic Progress?
Date: 27 February 2014

Criticism of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator of the health of the economy has grown in recent years, in part because of a new focus on measures of subjective well-being or ‘happiness’. This column argues that the debate needs to distinguish between the different purposes of measurement: economic activity, social welfare, and sustainability are distinct concepts and cannot be captured by a single indicator. There are good arguments for paying less attention to GDP and more to indicators of welfare and sustainability, but it would be a mistake to adjust or replace GDP.  Read more

Why Food, Water & Fuel Are The Best Investments For The Future
Why Food, Water & Fuel Are The Best Investments For The Future
Date: 26 February 2014

Food, energy and water are, today, where gold was in the summer of 2001. No matter what happens to the stock market, food, energy and water are going to be a lot more valuable in the future.  Read more

Ukraine’s Real Problems Have Yet To Be Addressed
Ukraine’s Real Problems Have Yet To Be Addressed
Date: 25 February 2014

There should be no mistake – the Yanukovich government in Ukraine was rotten to the core, and he will not be missed. But revolutions are much easier to make than to recover from. Ukraine’s political and economic woes may be so problematic that another Yanukovich may emerge or the government may have little choice but to turn back to Russia.  Read more

How Microfinance Failed In The Developing World
Has Microfinance Failed The Developing World?
Date: 24 February 2014

Microfinance was supposed to help cure endemic poverty. Yet recent studies have found microfinance to have had zero impact on poverty alleviation. While it still has a big presence in the developing world, and undoubtedly helps some entrepreneurs find their feet, the hopes and aspirations that it once aroused are no more.  Read more

Matteo Renzi: Italy’s New Hope?
Matteo Renzi: Italy’s New Hope?
Date: 19 February 2014

Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi is the latest Italian politician given the chance to form a government. But while many of Renzi's supporters emphasise his youth as a promise for change, Renzi will still have to draw support from the Old Guard and industrialists to remain in power.  Read more

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: The Next Step For Asian Development?
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: The Next Step For Asian Development?
Date: 18 February 2014

In October, Chinese president Xi Jinping proposed the creation of an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that would offer financial support for infrastructure construction in developing countries in the region. In time, its impact on the region could be greater than the Asian Development Bank or the World Bank, but it needs to expand as rapidly as it can to acquire the necessary expertise.  Read more

Why Is China’s Economy Still Showing Signs Of Overheating Despite Slower Growth?
Why Is China’s Economy Still Showing Signs Of Overheating Despite Slower Growth?
Date: 17 February 2014

The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) economy has shown signs of overheating despite a sharp slowdown in economic growth, suggesting that, constrained by the supply of labor, its potential growth rate might have fallen significantly from its past level.  Read more

Are We Entering A Golden Age Of Gas? – Interview With IEA Head Maria van der Hoe
Are We Entering A Golden Age Of Gas? – Interview With IEA Head Maria van der Hoeven
Date: 13 February 2014

The potential for a golden age of gas comes along with a big “if” regarding environmental and social impact. The International Energy Agency (IEA) – the “global energy authority” – believes that this age of gas can be golden, and that unconventional gas can be produced in an environmentally acceptable way.  Read more

China-EU Investment Pact: Tough Talks, Right Track
China-EU Investment Pact: Tough Talks, Right Track
Date: 12 February 2014

The China-EU investment talks have begun. Due to different levels of economic development, each side has different strategic goals. Nonetheless, the bilateral talks are on the right track.   Read more

Why It Is Almost Impossible To Stop Currency Rigging
Why It Is Almost Impossible To Stop Currency Rigging
Date: 11 February 2014

Authorities in New York have announced they are launching an investigation into the manipulation of the world’s biggest financial market – the US$5.3 trillion a day traded in currencies. But suspending traders or cracking down on technology is likely to do very little. The real root of the problem is the design of the market.  Read more

Why Protests And Civil Unrest Are Growing Around The World
Why Protests And Civil Unrest Are Growing Around The World
Date: 10 February 2014

The future of world politics will be about which societies can develop responsive institutions to govern vast geographical space and which cannot. Will the growing trend of protests and civil unrest around the world – as demonstrated in the Middle East, Thailand and Ukraine recently – soon spread to countries like Russia and China?  Read more

Can Bitcoin Become The New Global Reserve Currency?
Can Bitcoin Become The New Global Reserve Currency?
Date: 7 February 2014

The lack of trust in the custodians of fiat money has provided a fertile context for the rise of Bitcoin, the ultimate digital alternative store of value as against mainstream, central bank managed currencies like the US dollar, sterling and the euro.  Read more

Do The WTO & The Doha Round Still Have A Future?
Do The WTO & The Doha Round Still Have A Future?
Date: 6 February 2014

After several days of grueling negotiations the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013, adopted the Bali Package aimed at mainly streamlining global trade. However, this is only the first step toward a Doha deal and much work remains to re-formulate a post-Bali agenda, as well as reform of the WTO to restore its relevance as a key pillar of multilateral trade relations.  Read more

India And The TPP: Wait Or Join?
India And The TPP: Wait Or Join?
Date: 5 February 2014

Can India integrate more fully into the global economy and energize its trade by joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Or will negotiating an entry require significant concessions, not necessarily in India’s interests? These outcomes will depend on how TPP framework itself develops – inclusively or exclusively.  Read more

Can The MINTs Outgrow The BRICS?
Can The MINTs Outgrow The BRICS?
Date: 4 February 2014

Over the past decade the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have dominated emerging market investments, but their growth is slowing. Investors have now turned their eyes to another group, the MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey). The opportunities presented by the MINTs are clear, but so are the challenges.  Read more

The World Economy In 2014: Is The Recovery Really Strengthening?
The World Economy In 2014: Is The Recovery Really Strengthening?
Date: 28 January 2014

The global economy seems to be on the mend. In this column, IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard provides a quick overview of the likely developments. The key points are that the recovery is happening as expected, but it remains fragile and uneven across major economies. Normalising monetary policy poses risks for vulnerable emerging markets and deflation is a real concern for the Eurozone.  Read more

Why India’s Growth Prospects Are Looking Up
Why India’s Growth Prospects Are Looking Up
Date: 28 January 2014

After a weak 2013, India’s economy has bottomed out, and its much higher long-term growth potential should assert itself after the elections. The international climate is less threatening and conditions are ripe for a cyclical upturn.  Read more

The ‘Asianisation’ Of Global Innovation
The ‘Asianisation’ Of Global Innovation
Date: 27 January 2014

Since the 1950s, the United States and the West have set the standards for prosperity, productivity and innovation. But the share of Asia in global R&D is climbing; and based on recent statistics,the region could soon displace the West as the global R&D driver.  Read more

How Twitter Can Incite Financial Panic
How Twitter Can Incite Financial Panic
Date: 24 January 2014

Social media has become an ever-present element of modern life. Financial markets can be affected too: A fake tweet last year (about an attack at the White House) caused nearly $200 billion to be wiped off the NASDAQ before eventually recovering. How did a simple tweet, which can be made up by anyone, become so powerful?  Read more

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Why The US Will Be The Biggest Loser If Talks Fai
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Why The US Will Be The Biggest Loser If Talks Fail
Date: 23 January 2014

The Trans-Pacific Partnership was always an ambitious goal. Negotiations were supposed to have been completed last year, but have dragged on. The US Congress is now attaching new conditions to its willingness to consider granting Obama fast-track authority to negotiate a trade agreement. If talks fail, it would deal a blow to the nation’s policy pivot to Asia.  Read more

Ten Reasons Intermittent Renewables Are A Problem
Ten Reasons Why Intermittent Renewables Are A Problem
Date: 22 January 2014

While many people would like us to believe that wind and solar PV will solve all of our problems, the more a person looks at the question, the clearer it becomes that wind and solar PV added to the electric grid are part of the problem, not part of the solution.  Read more

Asia’s Dominance Of Global Educational Assessments: Implications
Asia’s Dominance Of Global Educational Assessments: Implications
Date: 21 January 2014

The dramatic ascent of the emerging nations in education and skills reflect the broader new deal in global innovation. Only a few years ago, leading policymakers and senior executives in the West believed that China, along with other emerging markets, would remain the “factory of the world” for years to come, and India its “back-office.” It was a convenient fantasy – but that’s all it ever was.  Read more

Averting A US-China Economic Cold War
Averting A US-China Economic Cold War
Date: 20 January 2014

The US and 11 other countries are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), without China. And China and 15 other countries are negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), without the US. This unfortunate development was largely a result of misunderstanding and mistrust on both sides. Such economic cold war mentality could be very damaging to both countries and the world.  Read more

The Next Banking Crisis: An IT Meltdown?
The Next Banking Crisis: An IT Meltdown?
Date: 15 January 2014

Many senior banking executives today still view IT as a superfluous cost. As such, a number of banks still use technology that date back decades, with minor upgrades and maintenance over the years. The IT systems that hold up our every financial move are a disaster waiting to happen.  Read more

Forbearance: A Short-Term, But Necessary, Solution For Europe’s Debt Burden?
Forbearance: A Short-Term, But Necessary, Solution For Europe’s Debt Burden?
Date: 14 January 2014

Although Europe’s debt crisis is dissipating, many economies and banks still have substantially high debt burdens that require repayment down the road. Forbearance refers to a special agreement between debtors and creditors to ease the burden debt servicing to increase the probability of repayment.  Read more

Why Fiscal Sustainability Matters
Why Fiscal Sustainability Matters
Date: 13 January 2014

Fiscal sustainability has become a hot topic as a result of the European sovereign debt crisis, but it matters in normal times, too. This column argues that financial sector reforms are essential to ensure fiscal sustainability in the future. Although emerging market reforms undertaken in the aftermath of the financial crises of the 1990s were beneficial, complacency is not warranted. In the US, political gridlock must be overcome to reform entitlements and the tax system. In the Eurozone, creating a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism should be a priority.  Read more

NAFTA’s 20th Anniversary: Is North America Any Closer To Economic Integration?
NAFTA’s 20th Anniversary: Is North America Any Closer To Economic Integration?
Date: 12 January 2014

Twenty years after its formation, the North American Free Trade Agreement remains a highly contentious issue, given the economic impact – both positive and negative – in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The debate over NAFTA can, however, obscure some fundamental realities about the future of North America and its three major countries.  Read more

Why A China-Japan Conflict Will Cause A Global Economic Catastrophe
Why A China-Japan Conflict Will Cause A Global Economic Catastrophe
Date: 9 January 2014

Although a war is unlikely to break out anytime soon, the escalation of hostilities between the world’s second and third largest economies is concerning. According to Cambridge’s Centre for Risk Studies, under the wrost scenario, conflict would lead to a global recession lasting between 18 months and four years, and tens of trillions of dollars of global output will be lost.  Read more

Renminbi Internationalisation Will Be A Long March
Renminbi Internationalisation Will Be A Long March
Date: 8 January 2014

The internationalisation of the Renminbi has been slower than what some analysts initially predicted. Still, RMB internationalisation will continue to enjoy steady progress but there will be no sensational developments.  Read more

Can The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Solve Japan’s Debt Problem?
Can The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Solve Japan’s Debt Problem?
Date: 7 January 2014

Abenomics’ first and second arrows have put the Japanese economy firmly on the path to recovery. The country is now awaiting the release of the third arrow. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics complement the Abenomics strategy by presenting a golden opportunity to solve Japan’s debt sustainability problem.  Read more

China Reforms: Why Maintaining High Economic Growth Is Impossible
China Reforms: Why Maintaining High Economic Growth Is Impossible
Date: 7 January 2014

If China is serious about implementing the reforms introduced last November, it must accept that economic growth is more than likely to slow down. Claims that the economy can still continue to grow at above 7% not only misunderstand the nature of China’s transformation, but ignore the history of previous similar growth miracles.  Read more

Kurdistan: The Next Dubai?
Kurdistan: The Next Dubai?
Date: 6 January 2014

The pace of infrastructure development in Kurdistan – thanks to oil and gas money – has led some to call the region a “Little Dubai”. Many oil companies, both big and small, have now moved in, drawn by potential reserves.  Read more

2014 Outlook: Annus Not-So-Horribilis
2014 Outlook: Annus Not-So-Horribilis
Date: 3 January 2014

The global economy in 2013 saw a number of crisis-hit countries and regions make progress on their recovery path. Slowly, the world economy is turning a corner, but challenges still remain.  Read more

Why South Africa Is Cancelling Foreign Investment Deals
Why South Africa Is Cancelling Foreign Investment Deals
Date: 2 January 2014

Over the past few months, South Africa’s government has cancelled foreign investment treaties with Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands. The reasoning behind this tells us much about modern patterns of trade and development. As the nation looks to move on from the loss of Nelson Mandela, these moves to regain control over foreign investment will prove valuable.  Read more

Onus On US & China To Resolve Asia’s Growing Disputes
Onus On US & China To Resolve Asia’s Growing Disputes
Date: 31 December 2013

The growing maritime disputes in Asia, stemmed particularly by China, has cast doubt over future regional cooperation. Meanwhile though America has vowed to be an anchor of stability and prosperity in the region, it has ironically contributed to greater uncertainty, turbulence, and belligerence – by promising support, yet being non-discrete on how far it would actually go to defend its allies.  Read more

The Ukraine-Russia Deal: No Happy Ending?
Why The Ukraine-Russia Deal Will End In Tears
Date: 30 December 2013

The Ukraine-Russia deal involves politics as much as economics. This column argues that the economics of the deal will eventually lead to problems for one or both.  Read more

Are We Really Heading To A “Leaderless World”?
Are We Really Heading To A “Leaderless World”?
Date: 27 December 2013

The growing convergence between emerging markets and developed countries have led some to speculate of a future “G-zero world” where power is no longer concentrated among just a few countries. However, even in this scenario, policymakers can still demonstrate leadership, as demonstrated by a recent currency swap agreement between six countries.  Read more

Where Should The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Go Next?
Where Should The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Go Next?
Date: 26 December 2013

The TPP is not just another free trade agreement. In all, there are nearly 30 chapters of trade topics with many areas that go beyond existing commitments in global or regional settings. Such a complex agreement cannot be managed by overworked officials using the normal committee and review structures built into other FTAs.  Read more

How The EU Can Fix Its Failed Banks
How The EU Can Fix Its Failed Banks
Date: 24 December 2013

The worst of the crisis may appear to be over, but the Eurozone still contains undercapitalised banks with massive losses still on their books. This must be resolved, fast. A new restructuring agency for Europe’s banks is the best solution.  Read more

Hong Kong’s Growing Unease With The Mainland
Hong Kong’s Growing Unease With The Mainland
Date: 18 December 2013

When the Chinese mainland was insulated, Hong Kong thrived; and it continued to thrive for years after reforms and opening-up were launched in the mainland. Now, as the mainland's economic development finally catches up, the latter fears becoming marginalized. The city-state must ponder its next political path, with its economic future at the crossroads.  Read more

Can Shale Break OPEC’s Grip?
Can Shale Break OPEC’s Grip?
Date: 17 December 2013

Since the 1960s, OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) has dominated global oil markets, controlling production, exports and prices. The shale boom however, particularly in North America, could shift some power away from the cartel, to small, nimble companies.  Read more

Medicinal & Aromatic Plants: An Oasis Of Opportunity For Egypt’s Agriculture Sec
Medicinal & Aromatic Plants: An Oasis Of Opportunity For Egypt’s Agriculture Sector
Date: 16 December 2013

Today, Egypt’s agricultural sector constitutes 15 percent of the national GDP and 30 percent of the labour force. An untapped segment is in medicinal and aromatic plants, which are not only suitable for the nation’s landscape and climate, but promises huge benefits for both consumers and producers.  Read more

Why Asia-Pacific Holds The Key To Global Free Trade
Why Asia-Pacific Holds The Key To Global Free Trade
Date: 13 December 2013

Rather than trying to create an all-encompassing global free trade agreement at one go, some economists have argued in the past that overlapping multilateral FTAs could provide a quicker path to a global accord. In that scenario, the Asia-Pacific region may hold the future of global free trade in its hands.  Read more

The Philippines: Rising From The Ruins Of Haiyan
The Philippines: Rising From The Ruins Of Haiyan
Date: 12 December 2013

Typhoon Haiyan was one of the costliest natural disasters to happen in the Philippines’ history. Nevertheless, with some help from the international community, alongside solid government planning and strong local solidarity, the Philippines will be more than ready to make a recovery from its economic losses.  Read more

Australia’s Crossroads: Between East And West
Australia’s Crossroads: Between East And West
Date: 11 December 2013

Australia may be a nation whose identity lies firmly in the west, but its geo-political and geo-economic circumstances are shaped in large part by its location in the east. With the economy slowing, can Australia continue to hedge between U.S. strategic opportunities and Chinese economic gains?  Read more

Did The WTO Deal Really Deliver?
Did The WTO Deal Really Deliver?
Date: 10 December 2013

 Amid concern that last week's trade talks would end in failure and render the World Trade Organisation obsolete, member countries finally reached a global trade reform deal Saturday – the first in the WTO’s 18-year history. But while there was a lot of back patting, what the group actually accomplished is up for debate.  Read more

Why South Africa Is Struggling To Match Sub-Saharan Africa's Growth
Why South Africa Is Struggling To Match Sub-Saharan Africa's Growth
Date: 9 December 2013

While Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to see economic growth of 5 percent in 2013, and 6 percent in 2014, South Africa's growth expectations are far less robust at 2 percent and 2.95 percent respectively. Why is the continent’s largest economy lagging behind its neighbours?  Read more

Monetary Policy Will Never Be The Same: Olivier Blanchard
Monetary Policy Will Never Be The Same: Olivier Blanchard
Date: 6 December 2013

The global crisis changed the face of monetary policy. Central banks deployed new tools to counter the effects of the crisis, which have reduced the risk of deflation, stabilised the financial system and calmed financial markets; but potential negative side effects remain.  Read more

China-UK: An Indispensable Partnership?
China-UK: An Indispensable Partnership?
Date: 4 December 2013

Today, the UK is seen as the most open Western economy to Chinese investment. Britain on the one hand needs Chinese trade and investment to reinvigorate its economy, while the Chinese sees London as crucial to its efforts to internationalise the yuan and open a financial gateway to Europe.  Read more

Warsaw Climate Deal: How Asia Can Take The Lead To End Global Warming
Warsaw Climate Deal: How Asia Can Take The Lead To End Global Warming
Date: 4 December 2013

The Warsaw Climate Deal last month was seen as a disappointment to some, falling short of any detailed commitments or additional funding that developing countries were seeking. Still, much is already happening in Asia on climate change mitigation. Asia has the highest rate of voluntary commitments to cut carbon emissions; and many Asian countries are incorporating low-carbon growth components in their national development plans to attain a better balance between the environment, the economy, and social welfare.  Read more

China Reforms: What A ‘Decisive Role’ For The Market Really Means
China Reforms: What A ‘Decisive Role’ For The Market Really Means
Date: 3 December 2013

At the end of the Third Plenum last month, China’s leaders promised to "give the market a decisive role in resource allocation and give better play to the role of government". The wording of this statement is significant; in Chinese official documents, words matter a great deal and even some of the seemingly minor initiatives in new wording can lead to revolutionary changes.  Read more

When Are Markets Rational?
When Are Markets Rational?
Date: 2 December 2013

The Nobel Committee created quite a stir last month when it awarded its annual prize for economics to three individuals. One of the recipients, Eugene Fama, had received the award for saying that markets are efficient at capital allocation; while another, Robert Schiller, received the award for saying they are not. So which is it, or is the truth really somewhere in between?  Read more

Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Deal Will Rebalance The Middle East
Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Deal Will Rebalance The Middle East
Date: 27 November 2013

The nuclear weapons deal between Tehran and Western powers have implications not just for Iran, but the entire region as a whole. The key challenge now is for those involved in the Iran nuclear deal to turn it into something that is both sustainable in the long term and not perceived as threatening to the likes of Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Read more

Five Years On, The World Is Still No Safer Than Before The Crisis
Five Years On, The World Is Still No Safer Than Before The Crisis
Date: 22 November 2013

The 2008-2009 financial crisis, which quickly evolved into a global economic crisis, saw many of the world’s major economic powers pledge in the aftermath to embark on a series of global reforms. Still five years later, many of these proposed reforms have not been implemented and the world is not much safer now than it was before the global economic crisis.  Read more

The 10 Priciest Streets On The Planet
The 10 Priciest Streets On The Planet
Date: 21 November 2013

So you think you live in a shi-shi neighborhood? Read this list, and you may need to think again. As part of its recent Billionaire Census, Singapore-based wealth intelligence firm Wealth-X looked at the average property prices of the world’s billionaires, to find the most exclusive – and expensive – streets on the planet.  Read more

Will Turkey Ever Join The EU?
Will Turkey Ever Join The EU?
Date: 20 November 2013

The EU – whose most powerful members manifestly do not want to extend EU membership to Turkey – is once again going through the ritual of reconsidering the country's application for membership. There are huge pluses and glaring minuses involved in any future Turkish membership; this dance still has a long way to run, it seems.  Read more

China’s Grand New Strategy Is Very Much In The US Interest: Dan Steinbock
China’s Grand New Strategy Is Very Much In The US Interest: Dan Steinbock
Date: 19 November 2013

For the first time since the 1980s, Beijing is redefining China’s grand strategy. How Washington responds to these reforms has far-reaching implications in Asia, as well as across the globe.  Read more

Why Is Saudi Arabia Supporting Egypt’s Military?
Why Is Saudi Arabia Supporting Egypt’s Military?
Date: 15 November 2013

Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not the most natural friends. What more, the Saudi government is usually resistant to any form of change or revolution – whether it be internally or across the Arab region. Therefore it came as a surprise when they supported the Egyptian coup in June and went on to provide financial aid. The truth is that Saudi Arabia needs Egypt now as much as Egypt needs Saudi Arabia.  Read more

Can Islamic Banking Turn Malaysia Into A Global Financial Superpower?
Can Islamic Banking Turn Malaysia Into A Global Financial Superpower?
Date: 14 November 2013

Malaysia’s government has recently announced plans to turn its capital Kuala Lumpur into a major financial centre – rivalling the likes of London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. If Malaysia is to join the top flight of international financial centres, it must leverage its status as an established Islamic finance hub. And it must address the challenges associated with the supply of high quality human capital.  Read more

Why The US & Iran Need Each Other
Why The US & Iran Need Each Other
Date: 13 November 2013

The ongoing talks between U.S. and Iran politicians over the Islamic state’s nuclear program – and the resulting sanctions – signal a major shift in their bilateral relations. But there is more at stake for the two countries, rather than just these issues. Iran will need the U.S.’s help to repair its economy, while America sees Iran as an opportunity to manage its interests in the Middle East.  Read more

Eastern Europe’s Shattered Shale Dreams
Eastern Europe’s Shattered Shale Dreams
Date: 12 November 2013

Shale projects in Eastern Europe are being challenged by delaying tactics of industry majors. Media coverage of shale gas development is positive; but in Lithuania and Poland, global oil & gas companies are one by one dropping bids to explore for unconventional. Lack of business awareness and overdependence on preliminary estimates of shale reserves may also lead to the same result in Ukraine.  Read more

India: Will Populism Trump Reforms Yet Again?
India: Will Populism Trump Reforms Yet Again?
Date: 11 November 2013

India will need a whole host of domestic and international reforms to re-boost the economy. However in a democracy that is going into an election year, only politically friendly reforms are likely to be undertaken. Can politicians persuade their constituents to accept reform?  Read more

Slovenia’s Downfall And Why It Matters For Europe
Slovenia’s Downfall And Why It Matters For Europe
Date: 8 November 2013

The eurozone crisis appears to have a new victim: Slovenia. To avoid the need for a bailout, the IMF has called on the country to immediately recapitalise its banks. This should worry the rest of Europe as, unlike some of the other countries that have received bailouts, Slovenia was no economic basket-case. Until very recently it was considered a success story, the most prosperous and stable of the continent’s post-socialist nations. So how has it come to this?  Read more

Xi Jinping: China’s Most Important Leader Since Deng Xiaoping?
Xi Jinping: China’s Most Important Leader Since Deng Xiaoping?
Date: 7 November 2013

As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares for Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee this weekend, he will know that his country has now reached the end of an economic super-cycle first set in motion by Deng Xiaoping some 35 years ago. The challenges Xi face today may be completely different to those once faced by Deng; yet both could turn out to be equally vital for China’s future.  Read more

Is The US Responsible For China’s Military Build-Up?
Is The US Responsible For China’s Military Build-Up?
Date: 6 November 2013

The scale of China’s military build-up has raised flags among Western alarmists. Yet the focus of the military spending appears to be oriented more towards defending China's periphery, rather than any expansionist plans. In fact, one common argument is that China’s growing military power is only meant to counter the force of the U.S., which has been increasing its presence in the region.  Read more

The 3 Biggest Risks Spooking Global Capital Markets
The 3 Biggest Risks Spooking Global Investors
Date: 5 November 2013

Global investment activity fell by nearly a third in the second quarter of 2013, after two consecutive quarters of increases, according to new OECD data. And unlike earlier stages of the global economic crisis, when emerging economies played a counter cyclical role in international investment flows, the declines in Q2 have been across the board. Three key factors are likely to have the most effect on global investor confidence in the short-term.  Read more

Iranian Sanctions: US Loss, China Gain?
Iranian Sanctions: US Loss, China Gain?
Date: 4 November 2013

Washington sanctions on Iran have undermined the very goals that it would like to achieve. Rather than engaging Tehran, the sanctions are reinforcing the hardliners; isolating a moderate sections of Iran’s community, including the business community and the middle class; dividing old U.S. allies and strengthening China’s clout in the Middle East.  Read more

Can Islamic Finance Fix The Current Financial System?
Can Islamic Finance Fix The Current Financial System?
Date: 31 October 2013

The Islamic finance sector is now worth close to $1.8 trillion. Not surprisingly, it is garnering the world’s attention. And despite the challenge Islamic banks will face once it begins challenging the much larger conventional players, their emphasis on financial stability can only help improve market conditions.  Read more

Why India Must Engage Pakistan’s Middle Class – Now
Why India Must Engage Pakistan’s Middle Class – Now
Date: 30 October 2013

In the long run, India’s economy cannot grow in an unstable neighbourhood; as such building friendly relations with Pakistan is essential. Yet for too long, India’s approach to Pakistan have been fundamentally wrong; rather than engaging only with the liberal elite or the hard-line conservatives, India should build ties with Pakistan’s oft-forgotten middle class – who yearn only for economic progress.  Read more

Kenya’s Oil: The New Success Story In Africa?
Kenya’s Oil: The New Success Story In Africa?
Date: 29 October 2013

Barely one year has passed since oil was first struck in Kenya. But with over $100 million in deals pouring into the country from major oil companies, Kenya could be pumping its first commercial oil as early as next year – an astonishing achievement helped by a hundred percent success rate for drilling in various parts of the country so far.  Read more

BRICS: The World’s New Benefactors?
BRICS: The World’s New Benefactors?
Date: 28 October 2013

The BRICS are emerging as one of the world’s largest providers of foreign aid. Yet, the BRICS countries do not regard themselves as “donors” – choosing to work with “development partners”, rather than “aid recipients”. This has both positive and negatives implications for the “development partners.”  Read more

Can Neuroscience Help Us Understand Financial Bubbles?
Can Neuroscience Help Us Understand Financial Bubbles?
Date: 25 October 2013

Five years on from Lehman Brothers' collapse and “where did it all go wrong?” analysis is all the rage. Answers have varied: poor regulation, malicious bankers, dozy politicians, greedy homeowners, and so on. But what if the answer was in our minds? New research published in the journal Neuron suggests that market bubbles are in fact driven by a biological impulse to try to predict how others behave.  Read more

China’s Hidden Debt Problem: An Unavoidable Crisis In The Making?
China’s Hidden Debt Problem: An Unavoidable Crisis In The Making?
Date: 24 October 2013

Estimates for China’s local government debts are now close to $3.3 trillion. Some analysts though believe that the government need not be duly concerned about rising bad debts in its banking sector, as their central bank’s extensive foreign reserves is easily enough to recapitalize the banks. What these analysts fail to understand is that these reserves were not accumulated merely by savings, but also involved more borrowing by the People’s Bank of China.  Read more

Eurozone Crisis: How The IMF Managed To Discredit Itself
Eurozone Crisis: How The IMF Managed To Discredit Itself
Date: 23 October 2013

The IMF loans to Greece, Ireland and Portugal are considered controversial by some analysts. This column argues that these loans – granted without having agreed on convincing paths to manageable debt levels – constituted a substantial departure from IMF principles. The situation is costly for Europe and, having now permanently changed the principles guiding large IMF loans, it will be costly for crises to come. A serious rethink of the management and decision-making structure of the IMF is needed.  Read more

Fiscal Governance: Can Africa Avoid The Mistakes Of The West?
Fiscal Governance: Can Africa Avoid The Mistakes Of The West?
Date: 22 October 2013

 The ongoing debt and financial crises have exposed the dangers of the dysfunctional fiscal governance present in the U.S. and Europe. As African countries prepare to enter sovereign debt markets, they should heed the west’s “warning” – to handle fiscal issues with transparency and accountability or risk heading down the same route.  Read more

The Emerging US-EU-Asia Trade Triangle: Balancing Opportunities & Threats?
The Emerging US-EU-Asia Trade Triangle: Balancing Opportunities & Threats?
Date: 21 October 2013

After two decades of on-and-off talks, Washington and Brussels hope to conclude their trade and investment partnership. However, it is not a marriage, but a triangle drama. Emerging Asia is the third party.  Read more

China’s Quest To Integrate With Southeast Asia: A Win-Win Relationship?
China’s Quest To Integrate With Southeast Asia: A Win-Win Relationship?
Date: 17 October 2013

China has been rapidly expanding its efforts to connect politically and economically with Southeast Asia – particularly in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). While China is benefiting more their relationship with the GMS at the moment, the GMS will be able to achieve greater sustainable development as long as they are more strategic and selective in dealing with their big neighbour in the north.  Read more

How Vietnam’s Burgeoning Civil Society Is Changing The Nation’s Political Landsc
How Vietnam’s Burgeoning Civil Society Is Changing The Nation’s Political Landscape
Date: 16 October 2013

Since 1976, Vietnam has been controlled by the Communist Party. Till recently, its rule and legitimacy had never been challenged. Recent civil movements however suggest that Vietnamese are gradually rising up against the party, hoping to transform the nation from a one-party state into a democracy.  Read more

Two Visions: US and Chinese Rebalancing in Asia
Two Visions: US and Chinese Rebalancing in Asia
Date: 13 October 2013

As the momentum of economic growth is shifting from the transatlantic axis to Asia, both the United States and China are rebalancing their foreign policies in the region. However, as the recent APEC and ASEAN summits indicate, the way these two great nations are pivoting in Asia is very, very different.  Read more

Kurdistan’s Oil Potential: Why Investors Remain Positive Despite High Political
Kurdistan’s Oil Potential: Why Investors Are Positive Despite High Political Risks
Date: 10 October 2013

Kurdistan is one of the hottest emerging oil prospects today despite continued threats from the central government in Baghdad to clamp down on Kurdish aspirations for oil and gas independence. According to former BP chief and current CEO of Genel Energy, Tony Hayward, exploring for oil and gas in such new frontiers has always been about striking the right balance between geological potential and political risk.  Read more

The 3 Keys To Unlocking China’s Economic Prospects
The 3 Keys To Unlocking China’s Economic Prospects
Date: 10 October 2013

How long can China sustain its economic growth? To figure this out, we first have to look at three important developments: How quickly will China be able to liberalise its capital markets; Whether China can move its economy away from investment led growth; and finally the effectiveness of Chinese reforms, starting with the Third Plenary Session of the Communist Party next month.  Read more

Why China & Japan Need American Shale
Why China & Japan Need American Shale
Date: 9 October 2013

Thanks to the advent of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the U.S. is expected to be the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas next year, eclipsing production in Russia and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, U.S. energy exports to Asia have grown by a third this year, with greater demand coming not just from Japan – a traditional buyer of U.S. fuel – but from China as well.  Read more

Obama: Already A Lame-Duck President?
Obama: Already A Lame-Duck President?
Date: 8 October 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama first shot to global prominence in 2004 as a uniter, not a divider. But while most of the blame for Washington’s gross dysfunction will probably lie at the feet of the Republican right, that hates Obama with a rare passion, the Obama presidency may well soon be over – at least in terms of his ability to move the policy dial at home and abroad.  Read more

The Erosion Of Foreign Investment In Europe
The Erosion Of Foreign Investment In Europe
Date: 7 October 2013

As advanced economies struggle with their debt crises, the typical drivers of growth – consumption, government, net exports – are ailing in many countries, particularly in Europe. As a result, many nations hope to rejuvenate their economies through investment. Last year, however, FDI in Europe plunged. Europe alone accounted for two thirds of the global FDI decline.  Read more

The Root Of Unethical Corporate Culture
The Cause Of Unethical Corporate Culture: Bad CEOs?
Date: 4 October 2013

Curbing corporate misbehaviour is a key policy goal but fixing the problem requires an understanding of what causes it. This column develops an innovative empirical approach that identifies unethical CEOs as an important cause of unethical corporation behaviour.  Read more

How Egypt Can Still Realise Its Democratic Dream
How Egypt Can Still Realise Its Democratic Dream
Date: 2 October 2013

High among the causes of Egypt’s two popular revolutions of January 2011 and June 2013 was a demand for an honest, efficient and democratic government. However, with only an experience of partial democracy from 1923-52, and during ex-President Morsi’s bad and unpopular regime of 2012-13, true democracy will not come easily to Egypt.  Read more

Can The US Shale Boom End America’s Great Stagnation? – Tyler Cowen Interview
Can The US Shale Boom End America’s Great Stagnation? – Tyler Cowen Interview
Date: 2 October 2013

America’s “Great Stagnation” first began in 1973, when both income and productivity started to show signs of slowing down. But thanks to the shale boom, the figures are once again on the rise and may continue to rise further.   Read more

Pakistan’s Disgrace: The Shocking State Of Its Education System
Pakistan’s Disgrace: The Shocking State Of Its Education System
Date: 30 September 2013

Some 20 million Pakistani children, including an estimated 7.3 million of primary school age, today do not have access to education. Aside from the by-products of terrorism and corruption, a lack of information about the benefits of education has also added to the sorry state of Pakistan’s education system.  Read more

The Rise Of Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone: Rebirth Of A Global Financial Hub?
The Rise Of Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone: Rebirth Of A Global Financial Hub?
Date: 30 September 2013

In the 1920s, Shanghai was THE major centre of international trade and finance in East Asia. The position of the “Pearl of the Orient” though eroded with the turmoil of the 1930s. Shanghai’s new free trade zone however could restore the city’s past glory – with the expected competitive impact to be felt in Hong Kong and Singapore.  Read more

Are Economic Growth Models Inherently Flawed?
Are Economic Growth Models Inherently Flawed?
Date: 27 September 2013

Most economists today seem to think we can rely heavily on past patterns to forecast future growth. We however live in a finite world, so that even if growth can go on for a while, there are likely to be barriers at some point. Energy limits for instance could screw up all our growth models.  Read more

Indonesia Sets A Carbon Time-Bomb
Indonesia Sets A Carbon Time-Bomb
Date: 26 September 2013

Once a significant global carbon sink, Indonesia’s tropical peatlands now emit around 1 billion tonnes of CO2 a year, as a result of slash-and-burn techniques to clear land for oil, palm and paper plantations. And while the government has fought hard to address the problems of peatland loss, corruption and lack of enforcement has seen deforestation and carbon emissions continue to rise.  Read more

US-Europe Relations: Growing Apart?
US-Europe Relations: Growing Apart?
Date: 25 September 2013

The U.S.-Europe “friendship” helped shape the 20th century; but as Europe becomes increasingly fragmented – while showing greater divergence to American foreign policy, as demonstrated with the Syrian issue – does a strong transatlantic relationship still bear any significance in the 21st century?  Read more

Egypt: On Sale To The Highest Foreign Bidder?
Egypt: On Sale To The Highest Foreign Bidder?
Date: 24 September 2013

After three years of political and social turmoil, the Egyptian economy can no longer survive without the aid of foreign money. However, the inflow of foreign money has only entrenched the power of the military – who does not care where it gets the money from, as long its own interests are not compromised.  Read more

The US Shale “Boom”: A Fantasy Concocted By Politicians & Industry Bigwigs?
The US Shale “Boom”: A Fantasy Concocted By Politicians & Industry Bigwigs?
Date: 23 September 2013

The numbers don't lie—but politicians and industry bigwigs do. While pundits still wax poetic about an era of American energy independence, Bill Powers, author of the book "Cold, Hungry and in the Dark: Exploding the Natural Gas Supply Myth," sees productivity plummeting in almost every major shale play.  Read more

Are Global Agricultural Trade Policies Only Protecting The Developed World?
Are Global Agricultural Trade Policies Only Protecting The Developed World?
Date: 20 September 2013

The agriculture sector is a large part of the developing world and supports the livelihoods of a significant portion of its population. But since the last WTO Doha Round, the developing world have been concerned that ambitious tariff reduction proposals will leave their domestic agriculture sector, and by extension their economies more generally, vulnerable.  Read more

Lessons From Japan: Why Economies Take Longer To Recover From Banking Crises
Lessons From Japan: Why Economies Take Longer To Recover From Banking Crises
Date: 19 September 2013

Since the 2008 financial crisis, economic recovery in the U.S. and Europe has been slow – sparking fears of long-term stagnation. Significantly, the experience of Japan in the 1990s have shown how even developed economies, which most would assume have significant policy tools to tackle any banking crisis, can struggle to avoid a prolonged recession.  Read more

How The UK Government ‘Secretly’ Influenced Its Citizens’ Behaviour
How The UK Government ‘Secretly’ Influenced Its Citizens’ Behaviours
Date: 18 September 2013

Can governments influence the decisions and actions of their citizens without the public’s conscious knowledge? Since 2010, the U.K. government has had a taskforce, nicknamed the “Nudge Unit”, which utilises behavioural economics to come up with policies that can "encourage and enable people to make better choices for themselves."  Read more

The Real Bo Xilai Story: How One Man Came To Symbolise China’s Ongoing Struggles
The Real Bo Xilai Story: How One Man Came To Symbolise China’s Ongoing Struggles
Date: 17 September 2013

In the United States, Bo Xilai’s “trial of the century” was reported as a spicy cocktail of sex, power and violence. The real story however is about the pitfalls of rapid economic development, generational change in politics, and the progress of the rule of law in China.  Read more

The BRICs Party Is Over
The BRICs Party Is Over
Date: 16 September 2013

Emerging markets are under pressure. This column argues that this is not a mere headwind but that the BRICs’ party is over. Their ability to get going again rests on their ability to carry through reforms in grim times for which they lacked the courage in a boom.  Read more

US vs. Russia: The ‘Game’ In Syria Has Only Just Begun
US vs. Russia: The ‘Game’ In Syria Has Only Just Begun
Date: 13 September 2013

The crisis in Syria has quickly morphed into a U.S.-Russian confrontation. Russia's goal is to be seen as an equal of the United States, while Obama must tackle both domestic and international sentiment to dispel doubts about America’s preeminent global status.  Read more

Why Is Canada’s Military Returning To Asia?
Why Is Canada’s Military Returning To Asia?
Date: 12 September 2013

Canada’s new military engagement with Asia represents a shift in its defence policy, after a decade or so of near-absenteeism. But is Canada simply following the whims of American initiatives – the so-called “Pacific Pivot” – or are they serious about taking a more involved role in regional security?  Read more

Behind Syria’s Crisis: How Oil & Gas Limits Led To Civil Unrest
Behind Syria’s Crisis: How Oil & Gas Limits Contributed To The Civil Unrest
Date: 11 September 2013

The Syrian civil war has been ongoing since 15 March 2011. Though the roots of the conflict are political by nature, Syria’s depleting oil and gas reserves also played a major role in sparking the unrest: When oil exports dropped, the government suddenly found itself unable able to pay for programs that had been placating its citizens to some degree.  Read more

Nigeria’s Smuggling Problem: A Self-Inflicted Wound?
Nigeria’s Smuggling Problem: A Self-Inflicted Wound?
Date: 10 September 2013

In 2012, customs sources say that Nigeria lost nearly $200 million in potential tax revenues to rice smuggling. Added to the annual losses from oil and other forms of commodity smuggling, Nigeria may be losing billions each year through its borders. But while the government is spending millions in order to secure its borders, perhaps it should look at its own trade policies, which may have encouraged the rampant smuggling in the first place.  Read more

Investing In Lithium: Time To Capitalise On The Future Of Energy Storage?
Investing In Lithium: Time To Capitalise On The Future Of Energy Storage?
Date: 9 September 2013

In the commodity world, lithium has been a rising star as its use and prevalence has skyrocketed in recent years. Even renowned investment sage Warren Buffett chose to invest in a little-known Chinese battery producer in 2008, eventually earning back nearly $1 billion. Is it too late to jump on the bandwagon, or are there still opportunities for you to capitalise on the trend?  Read more

How China Can Rebalance Its Economy Within A Decade: Michael Pettis
How China Can Rebalance Its Economy Within A Decade: Michael Pettis
Date: 6 September 2013

China’s great rebalancing act has begun. But how successful and orderly the rebalancing process will be will depend on how realistic the government are in their growth projections. What is clear is that China can no longer accommodate 7-8 percent annual growth if it truly hopes to cure its severe domestic imbalances.  Read more

Indonesian Rupiah: Heading For A Crash?
Indonesian Rupiah: Heading For A Crash?
Date: 5 September 2013

The Indonesian rupiah has been one of the worst performing currencies in the world recently, falling to a four-year low last month. Indonesia has been caught in a global emerging markets slump that has punished countries suffering from widening current account deficits and concerns about the progress of political and economic reforms.  Read more

burning money
Can Emerging Markets Avoid A “Hot-Money Meltdown”?
Date: 4 September 2013

Emerging markets have been the darlings of global investors for most of the last decade. But the speculative flows into emerging markets have created highly leveraged investment and spending booms that are in danger of falling apart now that the “hot money” is close to drying up.  Read more

Greece Poor Homeless Elderly
No Way Back – Why Europe Is Doomed To Face A ‘Lost Decade’: Dan Steinbock
Date: 3 September 2013

Although recent market data have pointed to possible signs of recovery, the European debt crisis is still nowhere close to going away. What’s more, during the past half a decade, prosperity levels have stagnated or fallen so dramatically across Southern Europe – that even if the region would ultimately recover, it will be a far different Europe from what we’ve known from the past.  Read more

India’s Real Problem is Corruption, Not Poor Policies
India’s Real Problem is Corruption, Not Poor Policies
Date: 2 September 2013

While economists argue over the best policies for India’s future growth, they ignore the nation’s largest problem: that no matter how inventive or well-intentioned a policy may be, corruption will always get in its way.  Read more

EU-Italy Lock
Europe’s Weakest Link: Why Italy Could Reignite The European Crisis
Date: 30 August 2013

Europe’s recent economic figures have sparked hopes of a gradual recovery. Yet several unresolved issues still remain on the horizon – with none larger than the current political situation in Italy, the region’s fourth largest economy, whose government may very well collapse as early as next month.  Read more

Is Urbanisation China’s Next Engine Of Growth?: Michael Pettis
Is Urbanisation China’s Next Engine Of Growth?: Michael Pettis
Date: 29 August 2013

As part of its demographic blueprint, China intends to move hundreds of millions more people out of the countryside and into its metropolises. Urban migration is expected to create a surge in demand for housing and infrastructure, so much so that the bulls have singled out urbanisation as the engine that will power China’s future development, justifying sky-high investment levels, and even propelling a long-sought switch to a more sustainable consumption-driven growth model. But does urbanisation cause, or accommodate growth?  Read more

Are Global FDI Flows Entering A New Era Of “Asianisation”?
Are Global FDI Flows Entering A New Era Of “Asianisation”?
Date: 28 August 2013

Foreign direct investment has long been a staple source of income for many nations in Asia, with fast-growing economies in the region taking up nearly a quarter of global FDI inflows in 2011. While Asian economies will and should continue to seek FDI from advanced economies, it is time they considered alternative sources, especially from large emerging economies that have sustained growth potential, such as China and the other major BRIC nations.  Read more

Can Sovereign Debt Markets Revive Their Safe Haven Status?
Can Sovereign Debt Markets Revive Their Safe Haven Status?
Date: 27 August 2013

We used to live in a world where sovereign risk was so low that investors could behave as if that debt was risk-free. In the aftermath of the EU sovereign debt crisis, we have grown accustomed to questioning the old axiom that government bonds in major advanced markets represent a "risk-free" asset class. But what would the global financial system look like if sovereigns fail to restore their credit standing? The consequences could be far reaching.  Read more

Fracking Fantasies: Has The Shale Bubble Already Burst?
Fracking Fantasies: Has The Shale Bubble Already Burst?
Date: 26 August 2013

Just like the famous Gold Rushes of the 19th century, US shale gas development is turning out to be a limited and regional market opportunity. Across the Atlantic, the high financial and human costs to fracking also mean that Europe should forget any fantasies about repeating the US shale boom.  Read more

Will Argentina’s Energy U-Turn Save Its Oil & Gas Industry?
Will Argentina’s Energy U-Turn Save Its Oil & Gas Industry?
Date: 23 August 2013

Little more than a year after its aggressive nationalist takeover of Spanish-owned oil company YPF, Argentina is now courting foreign investment once more for its energy industry – signalling a 180-degree reversal on its past “energy sovereignty” policies. This though should come as no surprise given yet another disappointing year for local oil and gas production; even as Argentina now has the world’s fourth largest reserves of shale oil.  Read more

Myanmar Must Battle Corruption For A Fair Shot At Success
Myanmar Must Battle Corruption For A Fair Shot At Success
Date: 22 August 2013

After decades of international isolation and economic sanctions, Myanmar has made impressive strides in opening and liberalising the economy, boosting growth and raising the economic outlook for the country. However, achieving the country’s potential depends on how committed its government is to eradicating corruption at every institutional level of society.   Read more

Deconstructing The Psychology Of The Nigerian Tax Regime
Deconstructing The Psychology Of The Nigerian Tax Regime
Date: 21 August 2013

In Nigeria, as well as around the world, a majority of taxpayers view tax not as a contractual contribution to government expense, but as an involuntary tribute to be paid to avoid prosecution and penalty. Merely transcribing taxes from economic textbooks into local law will not work; tax regimes have to be developed from within the society, and targeted at the peculiar needs of the government. Tax policies have to be written by the people – and for the people. Only then would a sense of participation and expectation be truly generated, and the tax system manifestly effective.  Read more

Is China A Convenient Scapegoat For America’s Economic Woes?
Is China A Convenient Scapegoat For America’s Economic Woes?
Date: 20 August 2013

In U.S. history, difficult times have translated to periods of xenophobia, isolationism and protectionism, from the anti-Chinese legislation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to the anti-Japanese sentiments in the late 1980s. Today, America’s lingering economic weakness has hardened public opinion on international trade policies and anti-China advocates are exploiting that negative sentiment in their quest to make China a convenient scapegoat for America’s systemic problems.   Read more

US Labour Crisis: Where Have All The Good Jobs Gone?
US Labour Crisis: Where Have All The Good Jobs Gone?
Date: 19 August 2013

While the United States had added more jobs in recent months than economists had been expecting, several studies suggest that the U.S. labour market has lost at least 3 million well-paid “good jobs” forever. The bulk of new jobs being created is in fact a huge swathe of part-time work which offers no long term security and is generally low paid work – nothing there to fuel a consumer-led recovery.  Read more

Mexico energy fire
Mexico’s Energy Reform: A Double-Barreled Problem?
Date: 16 August 2013

On August 12th, Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto unveiled a plan to change the nation’s constitution in order to allow private investment into its oil industry for the first time in over 50 years. Peña’s proposals are undoubtedly a step in the right direction, but it is unlikely to please either the Mexican nationalists (who advocate government control over oil) or potential foreign investors (who will demand more concessions).   Read more

The Economics Of Global Arms Trade
The Economics Of Global Arms Trade
Date: 15 August 2013

Weapons are durable products that can outlast even the countries that manufactured them. Weapons also retain their value and are easily converted to cash, which explains why they so readily flow to conflict zones where there is an increased demand for them. In the case of Syria, we may be years away from a ceasefire, but rest assured that shortly after its final crescendo, economic forces will work to ensure that arms from this theater of war begin to make their way to the next global hotspot.  Read more

Can Indonesia Raise Incomes And Eradicate Poverty By 2030?
Can Indonesia Raise Incomes And Eradicate Poverty By 2030?
Date: 14 August 2013

Several studies suggest that Indonesia is on track to end poverty and attain high-income country status in a decade or so, while others suggest that the economy could grow to be among the world’s top ten largest by 2030 if more investments are placed in manufacturing, infrastructure development and urbanisation. However, an honest look at long-run trends in inequality and historical growth rates indicate that 2040 or longer may be more likely.  Read more

On China, Are Foreigners Always Ignorant And Therefore Wrong?
On China, Are Foreigners Always Ignorant And Therefore Wrong?: Michael Pettis
Date: 13 August 2013

There have been many cases in which foreigners were able, perhaps because they tend to be more objective, to identify risks earlier than locals. Despite the claims of the traditional China bulls, there is a great deal of worry among China economists living and working in China about the sustainability of the current growth model, and top officials too have made it obvious that they see the need for reform as urgent  Read more

Pigs in the Pipeline: Why We Need Them, Where They Fail
Pigs in the Pipeline: Why We Need Them, Where They Fail
Date: 12 August 2013

New technologies could transform the pipeline sector as operators are now in a position to make huge improvements to safety, moving from "pigging" to other more reliable methods of spotting leaks. But is it sufficient to make regulators and environmental groups change their minds on pipeline projects?   Read more

EU Steps Up Battle Against Money Laundering
EU Steps Up Battle Against Money Laundering
Date: 7 August 2013

The global financial crisis has brought a huge windfall for organised crime networks. Banks have profited handsomely from terrorists and drug lords, channelling billions of dollars through the U.S. financial system, while the European debt crisis has cemented the grip of the mafia on underground economies in peripheral eurozone countries like Italy and Spain. European authorities are now taking action against the staggering web of corruption – but is it too late?   Read more

Can Fear Necessarily Justify The Violation Of Rights?: George Friedman
Can Fear Necessarily Justify The Violation Of Rights?: George Friedman
Date: 6 August 2013

U.S. missions across the Middle East and Africa will remain closed until the end of the week for fear that terrorist cell al Qaeda will launch an attack to mark the end of Ramadan. Calling it one of the most specific and credible threats since 9/11, U.S. lawmakers say the preemptive move would not have been possible if not for electronic intercepts by the National Security Agency. Do such threats legitimise the need for NSA’s surveillance programme which has become hotly debated since the revelations made by former contractor Edward Snowden?    Read more

Sloppy Policymaking Behind Asia’s Worst Performing Currency
Sloppy Policymaking Behind Asia’s Worst Performing Currency
Date: 5 August 2013

Despite widespread investor concern, the Indian rupee, already Asia’s most volatile and worst-performing currency, continues to be weighed down by rising pessimism in Asia’s third largest economy, which is growing at a decade-low rate of 5 percent amid worsening public finances.   Read more

Are Sino-US Ties Still The World’s Most Influential Relationship?
Are Sino-US Ties Still The World’s Most Influential Relationship?
Date: 2 August 2013

Once the most influential and dynamic bilateral relationship in the global economic sphere, thorny issues of unbalanced trade, cybersecurity and intellectual property rights are now testing the political wisdom and strategic judgment of the two countries’ leaders, threatening to shake the fragile and vulnerable foundation of the Sino-U.S. relationship.   Read more

What The BRICS Development Bank Means For Africa
What The BRICS Development Bank Means For Africa
Date: 1 August 2013

The statutes of a new development bank proposed by leaders of BRICS could be ready as soon as next year, as leaders of emerging economies plan to create a funding institution that can rival Western institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF, whom they accuse of bias and reflecting the interest of rich nations.   Read more

Fighting Climate Change – Is The EU Cap-And-Trade Model On Verge Of Failure?
Fighting Climate Change – Is The EU Cap-And-Trade Model On Verge Of Failure?
Date: 31 July 2013

Eager to contain the spike in CO2 emissions, the European Union in 2005 launched an emissions trading scheme which has since been copied by a number of countries, including Australia, South Korea and some Chinese provinces. However, the global financial crisis and subsequent fall in demand and economic activity has caused the price of carbon to plunge to just five euros a tonne, effectively crippling the legitimacy of the world’s largest carbon trading market.   Read more

Investment Picks: 6 Major Oil & Gas Finds of 2013
Investment Picks: 6 Major Oil & Gas Finds of 2013
Date: 30 July 2013

The pace of oil and gas exploration is frightening, and discoveries are weekly, if not daily, with volumes investors would only have dreamt of a decade ago. Most of the discoveries in 2012 were concentrated in East and West Africa, but 2013 is looking to be a good revival year for the players in the Gulf of Mexico.   Read more

China Vs Hong Kong: Rivals or Economic Partners?
Shanghai Vs Hong Kong: Rivals or Economic Partners?
Date: 29 July 2013

In the coming years, China’s leadership will need to increase its reliance on financial services for consumption-led growth. However, plans to develop Shanghai as a free-trade zone should not be seen as a threat to Hong Kong’s prosperity and future, but rather a signal to meet new economic challenges on the Mainland.   Read more

Will Migration Cure Japan’s Demographic Dilemma?
Will Migration Cure Japan’s Demographic Dilemma?
Date: 26 July 2013

At the core of the Japan problem is the need to lift potential, efficiency and productivity in an economy that has a shrinking population and workforce. Migration is seen as central to overall reform efforts because it offers a way towards socioeconomic rejuvenation and effective participation in the global economy.  Read more

Has The Chinese Growth Miracle Hit A Wall?: George Friedman
Has The Chinese Growth Miracle Hit A Wall?: George Friedman
Date: 25 July 2013

The mainstream debate on China has shifted from forecasts of how quickly China will overtake the United States to considerations of what the consequences of a Chinese crash would be.  Following weeks of financial drama and weak economic data, the signs are now unmistakable: China is in big trouble, and the problems in its economy are deeper and even more fundamental than previously thought.   Read more

Lessons From Georgia: How Nigeria Can Overcome Its Culture of Corruption
Lessons From Georgia: How Nigeria Can Overcome Its Culture of Corruption
Date: 24 July 2013

Fifty three years after independence, Nigeria has emerged as a country undermined by the scourge of corruption, so much so that many have come to see it as in invincible institution.   Read more

Is The Next Big Oil Discovery In Resource Rich Australia?
Is The Next Big Oil Discovery In Resource Rich Australia?
Date: 23 July 2013

The shale and oil revolution that has transformed U.S. and global energy markets is on its way to Australia. According to U.S. government report, resource-rich Australia could be home to as much as 10 times the existing known gas reserves, higher than its existing oil reserves.   Read more

Will The Portuguese Finally Lose Patience And Demand A Euro Exit?
Will The Portuguese Finally Lose Patience And Demand A Euro Exit?
Date: 22 July 2013

A painful austerity drive under Portugal’s 78 billion euro EU-IMF bailout has pushed the country into its worst recession since the 1970s, where unemployment has risen to 18 percent of the total working population. Several analysts have suggested that the country is headed for a second bailout in 2014, but how much more will the Portuguese tolerate before they demand a euro exit?  Read more

Is The G20 The New Steering Group For The Global Economy?
Is The G20 The New Steering Group For The Global Economy?
Date: 19 July 2013

In the course of the 2008 financial crisis, the global geography of power has shifted from the G8 to the G20. Despite being a coalition of smaller economies, the G20 achieved relative success in consensus formation, effectively limiting the potential of the crisis, and became therewith a new player within the international community.   Read more

Economic Growth, Human Adversities: Who Is Responsible For Climate Solutions?
Economic Growth, Human Adversities: Who Is Responsible For Climate Solutions?
Date: 18 July 2013

The U.S.-China split over climate change centres on the relative responsibilities of developed and major developing nations. China, along with other developing nations, argue that since advance economies continue to have far higher levels of emissions per capita, they alone should be subject to legally binding commitments to reduce emissions. Beijing sees the U.S. as containing the right of emerging nations to develop, while Washington sees China as engaging in environmental blackmail.   Read more

Is Russia Building The Next Floating Chernobyl?
Is Russia Building The Next Floating Chernobyl?
Date: 17 July 2013

Two years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Russia is planning the construction of a new line of floating nuclear power plants that could power remote and arid areas of the country, but could also have dire consequences for the maritime environment should any mishaps occur.   Read more

When Happens To Government and Business Promises When The Economy Tanks?
What Happens To Government and Business Promises When The Economy Tanks?
Date: 16 July 2013

For a long time, the U.S. economy had been on an upward escalator, fueled by the growth of cheap energy and loans. Continued growth in debt made sense, because growth seemed likely for as far in the future as anyone could see. Governments and businesses made promises such as pensions, social security, bonds and so on. But what happens to these promises as we step off the up-escalator and on to the downward escalator?   Read more

Can China Continue To Spend Its Way To Growth?: Michael Pettis
Can China Continue To Spend Its Way To Growth?: Michael Pettis
Date: 15 July 2013

The slew of economic data released last week has confirmed the worst fears of many global investors: China is serious about rebalancing its economy and growth rates of 6 – 7 percent will no longer be encouraged. Attempts to keep growth above that level will simply mean that it will take much longer for China to fix the underlying problems in its economy, that the costs will be much greater, and that the risk of a disorderly crisis will increase.   Read more

Can Foreign Policy Cure Africa’s Dependency Syndrome?
Can Foreign Policy Cure Africa’s Dependency Syndrome?
Date: 12 July 2013

Shrugging off memories of its colonial past, Africa today stands at a precarious crossroad. On one hand, it is being aggressively pursued by international heavyweights such as the United States, China and Japan – all of which promise billions in aid and investment. But on the other hand, will Africa be able fend off the exploitative hawks circling around her?   Read more

Can Latin America Seize Its “Golden Decade”?
Can Latin America Seize Its “Golden Decade”?
Date: 11 July 2013

Since 2003, Latin America has experienced a period of resurgence, with strong growth, low inflation and improved social policy outcomes. Cheap and abundant foreign financing and strong demand for the region's commodities, particularly from China, have been extremely positive for the region. But all that could change as advanced economies return to health and capital flows back to the West.   Read more

Policy Dilemma: Can China’s 350m Urban Sprawl Be Contained?
Policy Dilemma: Can China’s 350m Urban Sprawl Be Contained?
Date: 10 July 2013

For three decades, China's reform and opening-up policies led to unprecedented economic growth, as well as the creation of first-tier megacities particularly along the coastal regions. China has in recent years contemplated a grand plan to make urban residents of 350 million Chinese villagers. It's a tall order and at stake is nothing short of China’s future.   Read more

Can Security Be Achieved Through Surveillance And Spying?
Can Security Be Achieved Through Surveillance And Spying?
Date: 9 July 2013

Intelligence-gathering post 9-11 is increasingly more complex mainly due to the changing nature of contemporary national security threats. As surveillance techniques expand and become more invasive, how do we strike the right balance between privacy and security?  Read more

Will H2 See A Rebound In Global Investment Confidence?
Will H2 See A Rebound In Global Investment Confidence?
Date: 8 July 2013

The US Federal Reserve has signaled that barring new signs of weakness in the economy, it will likely slow its asset purchases this year and conclude them next year. But Fed officials appear somewhat surprised by the sharpness of the rise in interest rates and have tried to allay fears that tapering is tightening.   Read more

china vs. india
China vs. India: Who Will Win The Race To Be More Financially Open?
Date: 5 July 2013

Since the 2008 financial crisis, both China and India have taken steps to become more financially open. But while the Indian economy appears to be ahead at present, policy continues to segment onshore and offshore markets in both economies and policymakers face challenges in further financial integration.  Read more

Brazil Riots: Citizens Unite In Contempt For Political Class
Brazil Riots: Citizens Unite In Contempt For Political Class
Date: 4 July 2013

To outsiders, Brazilians don’t seem to have as much to complain about as the protesters in Greece, Turkey, or Egypt. Its economy has boomed for two decades and is now the world’s seventh largest. But inside Brazil, anger has been simmering for some time. Atrocious public services, government corruption and the extravagant spending on the FIFA World Cup are at the root of June’s mass demonstrations across 80 cities in Brazil.  Read more

China’s Rise As An Economic Power: Dan Steinbock
China’s Rise As An Economic Power: Dan Steinbock
Date: 3 July 2013

In the early 1870s, the United States, the largest emerging economy of the era, overtook the United Kingdom. Now, as the United States' liquidity-driven growth eclipses, the once-in-a-century transition of economic power – from U.S hegemony to China’s peaceful rise – will likely accelerate.  Read more

Is Ireland Proof That Austerity Works?: Mohamed El-Erian
Is Ireland Proof That Austerity Works?: Mohamed El-Erian
Date: 1 July 2013

People on both sides of the austerity debate are trying to position Ireland as the poster child for their case. This tug-of-war illustrates the complex range of arguments in play – and highlights why conclusive economic policymaking is proving so elusive.  Read more

Is A Broader Financial Derisking Cycle At Hand?: Nouriel Roubini
Is A Broader Financial Derisking Cycle At Hand?: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 1 July 2013

The prices of a wide range of risky assets have been rising, despite sluggish GDP growth worldwide. This discrepancy reflects a new period of financial-market volatility – one that could mark the beginning of a broader de-risking cycle for financial markets.  Read more

JFK’s Enduring Legacy in Peacemaking: Jeffrey D. Sachs
JFK’s Enduring Legacy in Peacemaking: Jeffrey D. Sachs
Date: 28 June 2013

Many consider hatred and conflict inevitable, owing to a fundamental clash of values and interests. Fifty years ago, U.S. President J.F. Kennedy showed that peace could be achieved even in the most difficult circumstances. His courage, vision, eloquence, and political skills are an affirmation that the path to peace must always be preferred to the dead end of war.  Read more

Are Sanctions Against Iran Counterproductive?: Gail Tverberg
Are International Sanctions Against Iran Counterproductive?: Gail Tverberg
Date: 27 June 2013

The Obama administration in June introduced its ninth set of international sanctions aimed at driving Iran’s oil sales to a halt. If we are very lucky, the United States’ stepped up financial pressure could get Iran to back down on its nuclear weapons programme. But if we are less lucky, we may find ourselves with spiking oil prices.  Read more

Is Africa Sowing Seeds Of Its Own Subprime Crisis?: Joseph Stiglitz & Hamid Rash
Is Africa Sowing Seeds Of Its Own Subprime Crisis?: Joseph Stiglitz & Hamid Rashid
Date: 26 June 2013

There are no easy, risk-free paths to development and prosperity but borrowing money from international financial markets is a strategy with huge downside risks. It is no secret that sovereign bonds carry significantly higher borrowing costs than concessional debt does, so why are an increasing number of developing countries, particularly Sub-Saharan economies, resorting to sovereign-bond issues? And why have lenders suddenly found these countries desirable?  Read more

Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: What’s Next in the Energy Debate?
Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: What’s Next in the Energy Debate?
Date: 25 June 2013

Most, if not all, wars have been trade wars connected with some sort of material interest. As geopolitical risks multiply and conventional energy reserves decline, could the accelerated development of renewable energy prove to be the only way to avoid an inevitable spiral of war and disaster?   Read more

Resource Rivalries: Japan and China Race To Invest in Africa
Resource Rivalries: Japan and China Race To Invest in Africa
Date: 24 June 2013

The competition between China and Japan, the two economic heavyweights of East Asia, has now intensified at a time when both countries are hungrier than ever for resources and energy to cope with its development challenges. Earlier this month, Japan pledged some $32 billion in aid for Africa, a move designed in part to counter China’s rising influence on the resource-rich continent. But will Japan succeed, given China’s historical and political ties to the continent?  Read more

Who Are The Ones Manipulating The Gold Price? – Part 2
Who Are The Ones Manipulating The Gold Price? – Part 2
Date: 21 June 2013

When the price of gold crashed in April, some analysts were quick to point out that the gold market may well be manipulated by large banks. However, the fact that authorities are turning a blind eye to the alleged manipulation of gold suggests that higher powers may actually have a hand in the rigging.   Read more

Who Are The Ones Manipulating The Gold Price?
Who Are The Ones Manipulating The Gold Price?
Date: 20 June 2013

Gold has been touted a safe store of wealth, particularly when there are serious risks to global financial markets. However, gold suffers from wild price gyrations when the markets become too disruptive, and data suggests that gold prices are regularly manipulated for the benefit of large banks and to the detriment of any retail investor trying to protect their wealth by investing in gold.   Read more

Iran: New Leader, New Hope?
Iran: New Leader, New Hope?
Date: 19 June 2013

Winning a stunning victory in the country’s six-way presidential race, Iran’s new leader Hasan Rouhani has vowed to integrate Tehran into the international community, bolstering hopes for better relations with the West. A skilled negotiator and a moderate, Rouhani’s election could be the best news in many years for the future of the whole region – for Iran, its economy, the nuclear standoff, as well as diplomatic relations with Israel.  Read more

Energy Diplomacy: India’s Great Balancing Act
Energy Diplomacy: India’s Great Balancing Act
Date: 18 June 2013

In its relentless quest for energy to fuel its booming economy, India, the second largest buyer of Iranian oil, has struck a neat diplomatic balance: Delhi has managed to maintain friendly ties and oil shipments from Tehran without antagonising Washington, while keeping Baghdad on the hook as it takes the necessary steps to fill the gaps left by international sanctions on the Iranian regime.   Read more

How America Lost Its Edge in Communications Technology: Dan Steinbock
How America Lost Its Edge in Communications Technology: Dan Steinbock
Date: 17 June 2013

The United States' global primacy depends in large part on its ability to develop new technologies and industries faster than any other country. However, after decades of intensified globalization and the rise of the large emerging economies, such as China, the world’s factory, and India, the world’s technology back-office, the old U.S.-dominated information and communication technology ecosystem has not only disintegrated structurally but it has dispersed geographically.  Read more

Up in Smoke: Distrust of E-cigarettes Cement Big Pharma’s Monopoly
Up in Smoke: Distrust of E-cigarettes Cement Big Pharma’s Monopoly
Date: 14 June 2013

Over-zealous regulators in Europe and the US are threatening the growing market for e-cigarettes, reducing their revolutionary potential to save millions of lives in the 21st century by weaning smokers off the poisons in traditional cigarettes.  Read more

Why Peak Oil Pundits Got It Wrong
Why Peak Oil Pundits Got It Wrong
Date: 13 June 2013

Many investors believe that global oil production would start to decline from 2014-15, a prediction based on the so-called peak oil theory that the world demand for oil would soon outstrip supply and send oil prices through the roof. For several years in the middle of the last decade, as oil prices climbed past $100 a barrel and analysts were betting it would cross $200, peak oil pundits were sure they had it right.   Read more

Did Germany Force The Eurozone Into The Debt Crisis?: Michael Pettis
Did Germany Force The Eurozone Into The Debt Crisis?: Michael Pettis
Date: 12 June 2013

As monetary policy across the eurozone was made to fit German needs, excess German liquidity – accumulated from years of trade surpluses and policy controls – was easily exported into Spain and other peripheral European countries which all saw their trade deficits expand dramatically.  In fact, the subsequent imbalance became so large that it led almost inevitably to the European crisis in which we are today.  Read more

Are Current Oil Prices Crippling Growth?: Gail Tverberg
Are Current Oil Prices Crippling Growth?: Gail Tverberg
Date: 11 June 2013

For those who are wondering how high oil prices need to be to be considered “too high”, the answer is: We are already there. In fact, continued high oil prices may be the key reason behind the recessionary forces we are seeing around the world now, troubling developed countries like the United States and most of Europe, as well as the main drivers of global growth China and India.   Read more

Have India’s Ponzi-Styled Reforms Run out Of Steam?
Have India’s Ponzi-Styled Reforms Run Out Of Steam?
Date: 10 June 2013

India’s particular brand of economic reforms can be analogised to a Ponzi scheme: Each year, state-owned enterprises and public assets are privatised in the name of asset reallocation at throwaway prices while billions of dollars of subsidies and tax breaks are handed out to private industries in the name of reform or liberalisation. But how long can such a scheme hold up?  Read more

Resurgent Russia: An Economy in Transition, Dysfunctional but Intact
Resurgent Russia: An Economy in Transition, Dysfunctional but Intact
Date: 7 June 2013

Russia has no shortage of talent, technology or resources. The country’s top managers and functionaries are well accustomed to navigating their way through political and bureaucratic storms, and the sheer size of the country and natural endowments of oil and gas cement Moscow’s position in economic and diplomatic spheres. So why is their economy in such a state of dysfunction?   Read more

Can the US Dethrone Saudi Arabia as the World’s Top Oil Producer?: Chris Faulkne
Can the US Dethrone Saudi Arabia as the World’s Top Oil Producer?: Chris Faulkner Interview
Date: 6 June 2013

The discovery of shale gas has been the biggest driver in the reversal of decades of decline in U.S. oil production and has already transformed North Dakota, for example, into an economic powerhouse, boasting the nation's lowest unemployment rate and fastest-growing GDP, as well as an oil production level surpassing that of some OPEC nations. But will Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom with not only the largest proven oil reserves but also the largest repository – by far – of low-cost oil reserves, allow the U.S. oil boom at its expense?  Read more

Have Central Banks Overstretched Their Brand Power and Influence?: Mohamed El-Er
Have Central Banks Overstretched Their Brand Power and Influence?: Mohamed El-Erian
Date: 5 June 2013

Western central banks have extended themselves well beyond their comfort zones and today face unusual brand management risks: Beyond inflation fighting, they have had to confront market failures, fragmented financial systems, clogged monetary-policy transmission mechanisms, and sluggish growth in output and employment – essentially pushing both their policies and influence to the limit. Are they better off reining in their hyper activism?  Read more

What Africa Can Learn from East Asia’s Developmental Success: Joseph E. Stiglitz
What Africa Can Learn from East Asia’s Developmental Success: Joseph E. Stiglitz
Date: 4 June 2013

The world has changed markedly since East Asia began its remarkable developmental transition more than a half-century ago: Their development policies worked while all too often, those that followed the neo-liberal “Washington Consensus” policy prescriptions failed miserably. In the decade to come, African countries will benefit from reflecting on these successes and failures, and on what they mean for their own development strategies.  Read more

Fool for Gold: Why the Precious Metal Remains a Barbarous Relic: Nouriel Roubini
Fool for Gold: Why the Precious Metal Remains a Barbarous Relic: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 3 June 2013

Gold prices tend to spike when there are serious economic, financial and geopolitical risks. But now that the global economy is recovering, prices are expected to trend lower over time as the financial crisis mends itself. As John Maynard Keynes rightly pointed out in 1924, gold remains a “barbarous relic” with no intrinsic value, and is used mainly as a hedge against mostly irrational fear and panic.  Read more

arctic council
Will The Arctic Be The World’s New Economic Hotspot?
Date: 31 May 2013

The shrinking icecaps in the Arctic have opened up new opportunities for trade, shipping and natural resource exploration at the top of the world. While the Arctic Council, representing countries with territory above the Arctic Circle, has no meaningful decision-making power at present, its decision to granted six new countries observer status could be a precursor for greater importance in the future.  Read more

The Great Pipeline Race: Are Europe’s South Stream Fears Rational?
The Great Pipeline Race: Are Europe’s South Stream Fears Rational?
Date: 30 May 2013

Despite possessing better financing and greater energy benefits compared to its competitors (namely the Nabucco pipeline), the proposed South Stream pipeline has faced considerable opposition in Europe – by countries who wish to reduce the region’s reliance on Russian gas. Europe must ask itself: is politics really worth losing out on South Stream’s economic benefits?  Read more

The Economics Of The Illegal Wildlife Trade
The Economics Of The Illegal Wildlife Trade
Date: 29 May 2013

The illegal trade of animals or animal parts has become one of the most lucrative black market activities in the world. Driven by the promise of high profit margins, poachers in Africa – namely militias, armed groups, and insurgent groups – have driven rhinos and elephants close to extinction, while murdering hundreds of park rangers in the process.  NGOs and governments now face a race against time to reduce demand for wildlife trade, particularly in Asia, as well as to equip those on the frontline to fight a well-armed enemy.  Read more

Why The World Must Learn From Turkey’s Economic Miracle: Jeffrey Sachs
Why The World Must Learn From Turkey’s Economic Miracle: Jeffrey Sachs
Date: 28 May 2013

After a sharp downturn in 1999-2001, Turkey’s economy managed to grow by 5 percent per year on average from 2002 to 2012 – despite global and regional crises. There is however nothing flashy about the country's rise; its success was simply based on getting the fundamentals right, like rebuilding the banking sector, getting the budget under control, and investing heavily where it counts: infrastructure, education, health, and technology.  Read more

US Energy Policy – Should The Free Market Reign Supreme?: Mark Thoma Interview
US Energy Policy – Should The Free Market Reign Supreme?: Mark Thoma Interview
Date: 27 May 2013

Even as America looks towards an energy-independent future, debate continues to stir over the importance of green energy and natural gas exports. And although some have argued that government intervention is hindering industry growth, the threat of significant market failures can also hurt long-term economic and environmental sustainability.  Read more

Europe’s Oil Price-Fixing Scandal: The Next Libor?
Europe’s Oil Price-Fixing Scandal: The Next Libor?
Date: 23 May 2013

The European Commission's probe of alleged manipulation of crude oil benchmark prices has now gone beyond just the major oil companies to include even energy trading firms and price-reporting agencies. Following the Libor scandal last year, the markets really did not need yet another trillion-dollar scandal.  Read more

Is A Steady State Economy Possible?: Gail Tverberg
Is A Steady State Economy Possible?: Gail Tverberg
Date: 22 May 2013

A Steady State Economy is one that seeks to balance growth with environmental integrity by maintaining stable or mildly fluctuating levels in population and consumption of energy and materials. In our current global scenario – with population and demand for resources rising – what would it take to achieve a steady state economy?  Read more

Curing Egypt’s Post-Revolution Blues: Mohamed El-Erian
Curing Egypt’s Post-Revolution Blues: Mohamed El-Erian
Date: 21 May 2013

The worsening economic situation in Egypt over the last few months have led many to blame the 2011 revolution for derailing a seemingly stable economy. Given the right reforms however, Egypt can still restore economic and financial stability; and fulfil the promises set out earlier by the revolution.  Read more

America’s Lost Reputation & South Asia’s Shift towards China: Dan Steinbock
America’s Lost Reputation & South Asia’s Shift towards China: Dan Steinbock
Date: 20 May 2013

Pakistan’s recent elections were the first civilian transfer of power in the country’s troubled history. While it did take place amidst horrific violence, increasing poverty and pervasive corruption, it also held a promise of a very different future. Pakistan is likely to be more focused on economic development in the future, thanks to the transformative campaign of Imran Khan and his Tehrik-e-Insat (PTI) party. That, in turn, has substantial implications over U.S. and Chinese interests in South Asia.  Read more

Abenomics – A Fatal Misdiagnosis Of Japan’s Real Problem?: Marc Chandler
Abenomics – A Fatal Misdiagnosis Of Japan’s Real Problem?: Marc Chandler
Date: 17 May 2013

Based on the latest data, Abenomics appears to be, for the moment at least, achieving its stated objectives. Yet for its recent success, Abenomics only addresses the symptoms, and not the real cause, of Japan’s long-term problems.   Read more

Myanmar – Asia’s Next Tiger?: Dan Steinbock
Myanmar – Asia’s Next Tiger?: Dan Steinbock
Date: 16 May 2013

After almost half a century of isolation, Myanmar could emerge as Asia’s next tiger – but only with the right policies.  Read more

Could Rising Tensions Over South China Sea Lead to Sino-American War?
Could Rising Tensions Over South China Sea Lead to Sino-American War?
Date: 15 May 2013

The risk of conflict in the South China Sea is significant. China claims it has sovereign rights to nearly all of the territory, which is believed to sit atop extensive reserves of oil and gas. The claims are however fiercely contest by regional players such as Taiwan and the Philippines. As diplomacy is not likely to be a sufficient means of quelling rising tensions, the United States must make hard choices and put forth the effort necessary to ensure the South China Sea remains peaceful in 2013 and beyond.   Read more

Will Slowing Investment Drag China’s Reform Efforts?: Michael Pettis
Will Slowing Investment Drag China’s Reform Efforts?: Michael Pettis
Date: 14 May 2013

China wants to raise its disproportionately small share of consumption as the cornerstone effort to close one of the world’s widest income gaps and quell rising discontent among those who feel they have missed out on the country’s blistering expansion of the last three decades. Consumption growth is itself dependent on investment growth, and this is more true in the inland provinces than the urbanised coastal regions. But will China be able to maintain consumption growth once investment growth is sharply reduced?   Read more

Russia’s Privatisation Drive: Roadblocks In The Way?
Russia’s Privatisation Drive: Roadblocks Ahead?
Date: 13 May 2013

On paper, Russian President Vladimir Putin is fully committed to the privatisation of state assets. In May last year, he signed a decree calling for the sale of all state holdings in firms – outside of the defence and energy industries – by 2016. But since then, the pace of Russian privatisation has been languid at best. Part of the problem has been opposition from avowed statists, who count a close ally and adviser to Putin among their ranks.  Read more

Is The US Shale Boom Already Over?
Is The US Shale Boom Already Over?
Date: 10 May 2013

During the last three years, the mantra in the U.S. for shale has been, "Drill, baby, drill.” But the reality is there is only one true gas formation in the U.S. that is increasing production – Marcellus – while every other single shale gas play is now in decline.   Read more

Scourge Of The Seas: Pirate Fishermen Plunder The World’s Fish Supply
Scourge Of The Seas: Pirate Fishermen Plunder The World’s Fish Supply
Date: 9 May 2013

 Pirate vessels pose a severe threat to poor coastal fishing communities around the world, threatening ecosystems and committing human rights abuses. But elements of the global fishing industry are finding the means to fight back with the support of charitable organisations.  Read more

India’s Chit Fund Crisis: Indicative Of A Global Market Failure?
India’s Chit Fund Crisis: Indicative Of A Global Market Failure?
Date: 8 May 2013

The recent chit fund scam in India saw thousands of depositors, mostly poor people in villages and small towns, lose their hard-earned money after Saradha Group, who were believed to be running a wide variety of collective investment schemes, collapsed. As the case demonstrates, there is still a clear need for more transparency, corrections & regulations in not just India, but at the highest levels of global financial markets.  Read more

Gene Patents Are Sacrificing Human Lives For Profits: Joseph Stiglitz
Gene Patents Are Sacrificing Human Lives For Profits: Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 7 May 2013

The US Supreme Court recently began deliberations in a case that will determine whether human genes may be patented. But we already know that permitting gene patents results in inefficiencies – including monopoly profits and a failure to maximize the use of knowledge – that impede the pace of innovation.  Read more

External Realities May Ruin Japan’s Economic Experiment: Mohamed El-Erian
External Realities May Ruin Japan’s Economic Experiment: Mohamed El-Erian
Date: 6 May 2013

Weeks into Japan's paradigm shift in economic policy, optimism that the country may end a quarter-century of economic stagnation is balanced by fears that the authorities' new approach may make things worse. And, while debate naturally focuses on Japan's internal manoeuvres, the tipping point may lie abroad.  Read more

How The Great Recession Fundamentally Altered World Oil Prices
How The Great Recession Fundamentally Altered World Oil Prices
Date: 3 May 2013

The downturn beginning in 2008 triggered a macroeconomic meltdown that would disrupt all markets, domestic and global. Demand for petroleum diminished just as new technologies were beginning to gush out oil and gas in never-before-seen volumes, creating a perfect storm that would depress prices. Now that oil prices have rebounded, is the worst behind us?   Read more

Why The World Needs A BRICS Bank: Nicholas Stern, Joseph Stiglitz et al.
Why The World Needs A BRICS Bank: Nicholas Stern, Joseph Stiglitz et al.
Date: 2 May 2013

The significance of the decision by the BRICS to create a new development bank that they will fund cannot be overemphasized. Emerging markets and developing countries are taking the future into their own hands – at a time when rich countries are muddling through their own self-inflicted problems.  Read more

A Fed-Induced Credit Bubble By 2017?: Nouriel Roubini
A Huge Fed-Induced Credit Bubble By 2017?: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 30 April 2013

Since injecting more than $2 trillion into the financial system through three rounds of quantitative easing, the U.S. Federal Reserve is gradually realising that their experiment to kick-start the economy with near-zero interest rates has failed. Contemplating an exit strategy however may prove to be far more difficult; as loose monetary policy over the last five years has boosted leverage and risk-taking in financial markets; increasing the risk of a credit and asset bubble as large, if not larger, than the previous one.  Read more

Spain Still In Pain: No Clear Sign Of Recovery?
Spain Still In Pain: No Clear Sign Of Recovery?
Date: 29 April 2013

Last week, three new pieces of economic data for Spain revealed the extent of the nation’s fiscal and economic crisis. With record high unemployment, underperforming banks and uncertain economic policies, will Spain ever recover?  Read more

China & The US Must Co-Lead The World In Counter-Terrorism: Dan Steinbock
The US & China Must Co-Lead The World In Counter-Terrorism: Dan Steinbock
Date: 26 April 2013

Neither the U.S., with all of its military muscle and more than 40 percent of annual military expenditures worldwide, nor China, with its rising economic clout and military modernization, can effectively contain globalized terrorism on their own. Yet if they work together, the two countries could rally the international community into effective multi-polar counter-terrorism.  Read more

A Major Rethink For Japan’s Age-Old Problem?
A Major Rethink For Japan’s Age-Old Problem?
Date: 25 April 2013

Since 2000, Japan has managed to offset its shrinking labour force with increased worker productivity – at a rate higher than most other advanced economies. But, Japan’s productivity gains are soon reaching its limits and the nation must once again find new solutions to maintain economic progress amidst the world’s fastest aging population.  Read more

Will Reform Inertia Blemish Myanmar’s Economic Potential?
Will Reform Inertia Blemish Myanmar’s Economic Potential?
Date: 24 April 2013

Myanmar’s economic potential has been vastly enhanced by its access to foreign resources — in the form of new trading opportunities, the inflow of foreign investment and elevated levels of bilateral and multilateral assistance. The country’s opening represents a new chapter in Asian development but Myanmar’s golden promise will ultimately depend on what success it has with political and economic reforms at home.

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Why Economies Must Invest In Equal Opportunities For All Children: Jeffrey Sachs
Why Economies Must Invest In Equal Opportunities For All Children: Jeffrey Sachs
Date: 23 April 2013

Children are every country’s most vital resource; yet even high national incomes do not guarantee children’s well-being. According to a new UNICEF study, societies that have a strong commitment to equal opportunity for all of their children – and that are prepared to invest public funds on their behalf – tend to end up with the highest economic returns.  Read more

Can Investors Recover After The Latest Market Tremors?
Can Investor Confidence Recover After The Latest Market Shocks?
Date: 22 April 2013

Over the past week or so, a series of market shocks managed to throw investor confidence worldwide off balance. Although individually, none of these tremors were relatively big deals, collectively, they shook both investors and economists – and may ultimately impact policy, going forward.  Read more