Economy Business and Finance News

Economic calm despite a busy week ahead.
Quiet Start to the Week Despite Upcoming Economic Events
Date: 28 July 2014

This is an eventful week, but the economic calendar starts slowly.  The FOMC meeting, first look at Q1 US GDP and the US jobs report, are the highlights.    The capital markets are also off to a slow start.  The US dollar is narrowly mixed.  Against most of the major currencies, the greenback has been confined to about a 15 tick range.   Read more

Hong Kong night lights
Huge Obstacles in $400 Billion Russia China Gas Deal
Date: 25 July 2014

 With its economy flat lining and being held up by oil and gas exports, Russia desperately needs to increase the scale of those exports.   Read more

action limited despite important developments
Important Developments Come to Light but Price Action Mostly Limited
Date: 24 July 2014

There have been five important developments today, but price action has been mostly limited.  Confirmation that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is pausing after hiking rates for the fourth consecutive time has sent the New Zealand dollar sharply lower.  Read more

All new lows for the Euro in 2014.
Euro Hits All New 2014 Lows
Date: 23 July 2014

The euro slipped through the low of the year and the weekly trend line going back to 2012. However, it found bids near $1.3460 and has recovered a bit.  Read more

Capital city Jakarta in Indonesia.
Indonesia Faces Difficult Decisions Regarding Debt
Date: 22 July 2014

Indonesia’s next president will need significant funds to fulfil election promises. But both candidates Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prabowo Subianto have expressed caution about international borrowings.  Read more

Forex Markets bid nervous calm at start of the week.
Nervous Calm Amid Forex Markets to Start the Week
Date: 21 July 2014

 The US dollar is little changed to start the week. The apparent calm masks heightened geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Gaza.

   Read more

Markets weary of dollar's power.
Dollar Limps into Weekend as Markets Wary of Geopolitics
Date: 18 July 2014

Geopolitical events are overshadowing a light economic calendar ahead of the weekend.   The shooting down of the Malaysian plane over Ukraine and the Israel's launch of a ground assault in Gaza dominate the focus.   Read more

Financial assistance to help expand South Asia trade.
Chinese Financial Assistance to Boost Intra-regional Trade in South Asia
Date: 17 July 2014

Since the mid-2000s, the South Asian region has witnessed an incoming wave of Chinese financial assistance. In some South Asian countries like Sri Lanka, China has overtaken traditional donors by highly engaging in post-war infrastructure development activities.  Read more

Currency gaines attributed to Yellen comments.
Dollar Firms on Hump Day, but does it have Staying Power ?
Date: 16 July 2014

 Recent comments by Yellen give rise to concern as to whether misinterpretation may be responsible for attribution to dollar gains and economic growth. What’s really going on here?

  Read more

The Economic Impact Of The World Cup
The Economic Impact Of The World Cup
Date: 16 June 2014

What’s the World Cup worth? For some, it is a cash cow and a commercial bonanza; to others, a waste of money. Is hosting the tournament worth it?  Read more

Asia’s Economic Strategy Beyond Free Trade Agreements
Asia’s Economic Strategy Beyond Free Trade Agreements
Date: 11 June 2014

The launch of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (in APEC’s backyard led by the United States) and (later) the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) (under the umbrella of ASEAN) is dominating thinking about regional integration. These agreements are designed in part to leverage value out of the plethora of bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) negotiated over the past 15 years. Yet trans-regional FTAs, like the proposed TPP, are only a small step, incidental to realising the potential of Asian economic integration.  Read more

Western Hypocrisy? – Why Is China Always Chided For Currency Intervention, But N
Western Hypocrisy? – Why Is China Always Chided For Currency Intervention, But Not Europe?
Date: 22 May 2014

Recently, China's yuan has depreciated, and there is some evidence that Chinese officials got the ball rolling and may be continuing to guide the currency lower. This has been the cause of great consternation for G7 policy makers. Yet while the U.S. and Europe often issue statements against Chinese currency intervention, little is done when European officials purposely talk the euro lower.  Read more

5 Developments To Look Out For In Asian Bond Markets In 2014
5 Developments To Look Out For In Asian Bond Markets In 2014
Date: 20 May 2014

This year is shaping up to be another challenging year for bond markets in Asia after a see-saw 2013 which saw prices rise at the start of the year, and then fall back on news that the US Federal Reserve plans to reduce or “taper”its quantitative easing operations.  Read more

Dongguan Factory Strike: A Turning Point For Chinese Labour?
Dongguan Factory Strike: A Turning Point For Chinese Labour?
Date: 19 May 2014

Last month, tens of thousands of Chinese workers staged a massive strike at a shoe factory in Dongguan, lasting over two weeks and involving over 40,000 people. The strike was notable for both for its scale and substance – the workers not only demonstrated significant legal knowledge and political savvy, but also showed a wider sense of workers' consciousness.  Read more

Why Hasn't The US Sanctioned Gazprom?
Why Hasn't The US Sanctioned Gazprom?
Date: 15 May 2014

As tensions between the West and Russia continue to rise over Ukraine, it is notable that no sanctions have yet to be placed on Russia’s state gas giant Gazprom. Given Gazprom's centrality to the Russian economy, it's unlikely that Putin won't react if the company does come in for Western sanctions.  Read more

Why Chinese Living Standards Matter More Than Being The World’s Largest Economy
Why Chinese Living Standards Matter More Than Being The World’s Largest Economy
Date: 14 May 2014

The Chinese economy is on track to replace the U.S. as the world’s largest economy – measured by purchasing power parity (PPP) – by the end of this year, according to a recent World Bank report. But while emerging economies are catching up with advanced economies, but differences of living standards remain far apart.  Read more

Why Obama Should Abandon The Asian Pivot
Why Obama Should Abandon The Asian Pivot
Date: 12 May 2014

The U.S. pivot to Asia has undergone considerable challenges ever since it was first announced in November 2011. Ultimately it is highly unlikely to achieve its main aim – to compel China to accept U.S. leadership in the region.  Read more

Why ASEAN Is Mongolia’s Best Chance For A Prosperous Future
Why ASEAN Is Mongolia’s Best Chance For A Prosperous Future
Date: 5 May 2014

Despite its great potential, the Mongolian economy has not developed as well as expected – a trend that can be reversed with sound regional integration. But finding the right economic partners is difficult; and the nation runs the risk of falling behind as an underdeveloped and isolated “white spot” on East Asia’s dynamically advancing economic integration map.  Read more

Bottled Water: The Biggest Marketing Scam Of The Century?
Bottled Water: The Biggest Marketing Scam Of The Century?
Date: 2 May 2014

 In many developed countries around the world, tap water is widely considered to better for you than the bottled variety and subject to more stringent safety checks. Why then do we insist on purchasing something which is up to 300 times more expensive than what comes out of our taps?  Read more

Will Japanese Politics Undermine The Reform Agenda?
Will Japanese Politics Undermine The Reform Agenda?
Date: 30 April 2014

Abe's reform plan, now in its critical phase, will be derailed if tensions persist, both at home and abroad.  Read more

Why Economists Can No Longer Ignore Environmental Issues
Why Economists Can No Longer Ignore Environmental Issues
Date: 29 April 2014

The concept of environmental capital is throughly entrenched in policy dicussions but largely missing from mainstream economic curriculums. This column argues environmental externalities, climate change, and constraints on natural resources will constantly and deeply affect humankind’s future. The teaching of economics, especially growth economics, should stop ignoring them.  Read more

New, More Transparent, Contracts To End Africa’s ‘Resource Curse’?
New, More Transparent, Contracts To End Africa’s ‘Resource Curse’?
Date: 28 April 2014

Contrary to logic, resource-rich countries in Africa have tend to experience less economic growth in the long run than those deprived of natural riches. To reverse this trend, NGOs have been campaigning for greater transparency and accountability in the management of revenues from oil, gas and mining.  Read more

Five Signs That Greece Is On The Road To Recovery
Five Signs That Greece Is On The Road To Recovery
Date: 25 April 2014

The long-troubled Greek economy successfully returned to international bond markets this month with relative success. Having been at the centre of the European debt crisis, how important is Greece’s recovery to the region?  Read more

Why Is India Still The World’s Largest Arms Importer?
Why Is India Still The World’s Largest Arms Importer?
Date: 24 April 2014

Although not the world’s top military spender, India has been the world’s largest arms importer since 2010. The need to modernise has indeed been one major reason for India’s status as top spender on arms imports. But there are other factors at work too.  Read more

The New Geopolitics Of Risk
The New Geopolitics Of Risk
Date: 23 April 2014

The Cold War has not made a comeback. Rather, the geopolitics of new risks is taking off. The Ukraine crisis is just a tip of the iceberg.  Read more

Can Asia Tackle Its Inequality Problem?
Can Asia Tackle Its Inequality Problem?
Date: 22 April 2014

While emerging Asia continues to achieve a stunning performance in poverty reduction, the gap between rich and poor keeps widening too. How sustainable is this poverty reduction in the face of rising inequality?  Read more

Why Central Asia Needs Economic Integration
Why Central Asia Needs Economic Integration
Date: 21 April 2014

Central Asia has for centuries been seen as a neglected Russian “backyard,” but international interest in the region has increased over the last two decades because of its vast stores of energy and natural resources. But to achieve a brighter future the region must pursue economic integration.  Read more

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