Featured Articles Archive

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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). 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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? 

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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? 

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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?  

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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?

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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? 

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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. 

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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? 

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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. 

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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. 

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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?

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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? 

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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?

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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?

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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? 

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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? 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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? 

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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China & North Korea: A Historically Tense Alliance Built On Necessity

China & North Korea: A Historically Tense Alliance Built On Necessity

Date: 19 April 2013

China & North Korea’s relationship can be traced back to more than a thousand years; and just like today, the relationship between China and North Korea has always been one of mutual necessity. Nonetheless, a rift now appears to be emerging between the long-time allies. North Korea's continued use of a threatening posture, if it fails to gain concessions and shows China's inability to influence its smaller neighbour, may ultimately be seen by China as detrimental to its own interests.

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Margaret Thatcher’s Economic Legacy: A Divided Nation

Margaret Thatcher’s Economic Legacy: A Nation Divided

Date: 18 April 2013

The funeral of former British PM Margaret Thatcher saw a nation divided in hatred and love for one of the most iconic world leaders of modern times. While, Inner London today is one of the richest parts of the entire European Union, in the North of England there are towns still with persistently high levels of unemployment due to Thatcher’s past policies.

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Curse Of The Black Gold – How Oil Exporters Reach Financial Collapse: Gail Tverb

Curse Of The Black Gold – How Oil Exporters Reach Financial Collapse: Gail Tverberg

Date: 17 April 2013

Although oil often provides an abundance of riches to producing nations, declining production capabilities, coupled with the volatility of oil prices, can lead some exporters down a road to financial collapse. Egypt, Syria, Yemen and the former Soviet Union have – at one point or another – struggled to re-adjust their economies at times of lower production, while Venezuela now appears set to fall under the same trap.

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Tunisia: Africa’s New Energy Hotspot?

Tunisia: Africa’s New Energy Hotspot?

Date: 16 April 2013

Until recently, Tunisia was considered to be a minor league and relatively underexplored venue in Africa's rapidly expanding oil & gas scene. This situation has quickly changed with new bid rounds and forced relinquishments creating an opportunity for new companies to come in.

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Will China Succeed In Its Self-Imposed Revolution?: Michael Pettis

Will China Succeed In Its Self-Imposed Revolution?: Michael Pettis

Date: 15 April 2013

In a system in which almost all the growth is driven by increases in investment, and in which an increasing share of investment is being wasted on factories, bridges, real estate, airports, and other projects that have little or no economic value, rising debt can be a very worrying problem since the ability to service that debt is rising much more slowly than the debt. But if Beijing wants an economic revolution without soaring debt, what exactly are they going to do?

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Racing Against Time: Will Asia Grow Old Before Getting Rich?

Racing Against Time: Will Asia Grow Old Before Getting Rich?

Date: 12 April 2013

A large proportion of Asian countries are currently at the top of the working-age population hump. For them, the window of opportunity to prepare for an older population will close within the next decade. But how can Asian countries take advantage of this window of opportunity? They can start by reforming retirement income provision systems, especially given the retreat of traditional family support.

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The Search for Growth in a Multi-Speed World: Mohamed El-Erian

The Search for Growth in a Multi-Speed World: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 11 April 2013

The last few years have highlighted the declining potency of long-standing growth models. Today, some of the biggest world economies struggle to create ample, well-paid and secure jobs amid a secular re-alignment of the global economy. This is a challenge that will not be met easily or quickly. And, when it is met, the process will most likely be partial and uneven, accentuating differences and posing tricky coordination issues at the national, regional, and global levels.

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How India Dented Big Pharma’s IP Monopoly: Arjun Jayadev & Joseph Stiglitz

How India Dented Big Pharma’s IP Monopoly: Arjun Jayadev & Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 10 April 2013

The pharmaceutical industry has for years consolidated profits by advocating a stronger and ever inequitable global intellectual-property regime. The Indian Supreme Court’s refusal to uphold the patent on a blockbuster cancer drug, though only a small reversal for the Big Pharmas, sets a good precedent for other developing countries and frees up money and resources that can contribute to growth and poverty reduction efforts. 

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Central Banks Cannot Fix Europe’s Solvency Crisis: Michael Pettis

Central Banks Cannot Fix Europe’s Solvency Crisis: Michael Pettis

Date: 9 April 2013

Except for lower debt refinancing costs, the fundamentals of peripheral eurozone economies have not improved in the last six months. At best they are unchanged, but they are probably worse. The region’s crisis continues to be just a liquidity crisis as far as policymakers are concerned – and not caused by problems in the “real” economy. But is peripheral Europe really suffering primarily from a liquidity crisis? When do we call it a solvency crisis?

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Japan’s Gamble on Growth: Joseph Stiglitz

Japan’s Gamble on Growth: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 8 April 2013

Despite persistent deflation and tepid economic growth, things are looking up for Japan under the new Prime Minister. Shinzo Abe’s Keynesian-inspired reform programme is essentially a replay of what Takahashi Korekiyo achieved in the 1930s, when Japan escaped the Great Depression with a triple-barrelled blast of monetary, fiscal and structural stimulus. 

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Emerging Markets Heading For Stagflation-Lite?

Emerging Markets Heading For Stagflation-Lite?

Date: 4 April 2013

With many of the world’s major emerging economies now moving towards a stagflation-lite situation, where inflation sticky at high levels but with growth decelerating or stagnant, can leaders find the correct policy response?

 

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The Global Economy’s Myriad Of Challenges: Nouriel Roubini

Assessing The Global Economy’s Myriad Of Challenges: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 2 April 2013

Following the 2008 financial crisis, it is almost inconceivable to think that America today represents the greatest hope for the global economy. Yet, with Europe struggling to restore growth, China facing a hard landing if critical structural reforms are postponed, and emerging markets turning more and more towards state capitalism, the U.S. is in the best relative shape among the world’s largest economies – even if this fact in itself presents risks.

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Germany’s Dangerous Gamble On The Cyprus Bailout: George Friedman

Germany’s Dangerous Gamble On The Cyprus Bailout: George Friedman

Date: 28 March 2013

Since announcing the Cyprus bailout on March 25, the European Union, and by de facto Germany, have been keen to emphasise the uniqueness of Nicosia’s situation – downplaying a repeat for any other eurozone nation. The question, of course, is whether foreign depositors in European banks will accept that Cyprus was one of a kind. Indeed, we must ask ourselves why the Germans would have created this risk in the first place.

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New Leadership, New China?: Dan Steinbock

New Leadership, New China?: Dan Steinbock

Date: 26 March 2013

In his inaugural address last Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke about the "Chinese Dream", in which the mainland will restore its role as the largest economy worldwide. But unlike their predecessors, Xi and his fellow leaders can no longer rely on double-digit growth, or China’s old growth models. What China truly needs is a two-phase political transition, economic and financial reforms, and a geostrategic recalibration in Asia.

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Cyprus Bailout: Centre Of A Power Struggle Over Natural Gas?

Cyprus Bailout: Centre Of A Power Struggle Over Natural Gas?

Date: 25 March 2013

If government estimates are accurate, Cyprus may be sitting on an amazing 60 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – enough to cover 40 percent of the European Union’s gas supplies. The complication however comes in that Russia, a strong ally of Cyprus, is already Europe’s largest supplier of natural gas; and neither Russia nor the European Union are willing to give up their “pawn” in an ongoing energy struggle.

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Central Bank Policies: On Borrowed Time? – Mohamed El-Erian

Central Bank Policies – On Borrowed Time?: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 22 March 2013

Expansionary central bank policies have, in recent months, helped investors shrug off troubling political uncertainties in order to spark a recovery in global financial markets. Nonetheless, some have called the market rally “one of the most unloved” in history – as any fresh geopolitical shock or political breakdown could negate central bank efforts’; and send financial markets once more down a spiral.

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Why Renewables Can’t Fix Our Energy Woes: Gail Tverberg

Why Renewables Can’t Fix Our Energy Problem: Gail Tverberg

Date: 21 March 2013

Despite its merits, the cost of renewable energy, in its current state, means that it is unlikely to become a viable primary energy source anytime in the near future. At best, renewable energy will serve only as a “fossil fuel extender”; though even then, renewables could eventually reach a limit.

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Is The US-Israel ‘Marriage’ Breaking Up?: George Friedman

Is The US-Israel ‘Marriage’ Breaking Up?: George Friedman

Date: 20 March 2013

As domestic issues continue to weigh heavily on the minds of American and Israeli leaders, the foundations for their alliance have gradually withered ahead of Barack Obama’s first visit to Israel as president this week. There has therefore been a very real, if somewhat subtle shift, in the U.S.-Israeli relationship. Neither party is what it once was; and in the end, each has its own fate, linked by history to each other but no longer united.

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Why Shale Will Not Solve Peak Oil: Dave Summers Interview

Why Shale Will Not Solve Peak Oil: Dave Summers Interview

Date: 19 March 2013

This where we stand, and it's a fairly bleak view: Peak oil is almost here, and nothing new (with the possible but unlikely exception of Iraq) is coming online anytime soon and while the clock is ticking – forward movement on developing renewable energy resources has been sadly inadequate. In the meantime, the idea that shale reservoirs will lead the U.S. to energy independence will soon enough be recognized as unrealistic hype. There are no easy solutions, no viable quick fixes, and no magic fluids. 

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Cyprus Bailout: The Death Of National Sovereignty?

Cyprus Bailout: The Death Of National Sovereignty?

Date: 18 March 2013

At less than 0.25 percent of the eurozone's GDP, Cyprus’s economy has long been thought to be too small to pose a systemic threat to the region. Yet, with its latest bailout package, agreed upon by EU officials on Saturday, the tiny nation is now at the centre of an existential storm: where countries are surrendering their sovereignty in favour of solvency.

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Hugo Chavez’s Legacy: A Socialist Economy In Disarray

Hugo Chavez’s Legacy: A Socialist Economy In Disrepair

Date: 14 March 2013

When examining the Venezuelan economy, there is no doubt that the poor did rather better under Chavez's regime than they had done under, what Chavez termed, "the rotten elites" that had ruled the country in the two decades prior. However, Chavez’s legacy, to any economically literate person, is to have bequeathed Venezuelans an economy that could hardly be in more of a mess. 

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High Oil Prices' Heavy Burden On Government Debt: Gail Tverberg

High Oil Price's Heavy Burden On Government Debt: Gail Tverberg

Date: 13 March 2013

Recently, the growth of most types of US debt has stalled. The major exception however is governmental debt, which is still growing rapidly. In our current circumstances, the US is reaching its debt limit mainly because of a specific resource limit — lack of inexpensive oil.

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The Comedian Cometh: Why Beppe Grillo’s Success Is No Laughing Matter

The Comedian Cometh: Why Beppe Grillo’s Success Is No Laughing Matter

Date: 11 March 2013

On Sunday, Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement announced its intentions to lead Italy's next government, though it reiterated that it would not agree to any alliances. Throughout his campaign, Grillo has successfully articulated the angst of the well-educated, yet under-employed or unemployed; but can his rhetoric now turn into something more substantial for Italy?

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Will Europe’s Unemployment Crisis Spark A Return For Fascism? : George Friedman

Will Europe’s Unemployment Crisis Spark A Return For Fascism? : George Friedman

Date: 8 March 2013

Fascism had its roots in Europe, during the 1920s and 1930s, in massive economic failures in which the financial elites failed to recognize the political consequences of unemployment. While history may not repeat itself so neatly, the emergence of new political parties speaking for the unemployed and the newly poor could lead to governments who enclose their economies from the world and manage their performance through directive and manipulation.

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Will the Transatlantic Free Trade Pact Materialise?: Mohamed El-Erian

Will the Transatlantic Free Trade Pact Materialise?: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 7 March 2013

The promise of freer transatlantic trade is potentially transformational and comes at a time when the West is increasingly dragged down by short-term disruptions and continued policy inertia. But its implementation prospects are far from promising - its challenges highlight how the proposal is subject to the dulling forces of 20th century mindsets and institutions that are too slow to adapt to 21st century challenges and opportunities. 

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Russia’s Return To The Middle East: Rebirth Of A Superpower?

Russia’s Return To The Middle East: Rebirth Of A Superpower?

Date: 6 March 2013

The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s saw Russian embark on a strategic retreat from the Middle East, with a dramatic decline in both its presence and influence. But recent events, particularly in Syria and Libya, suggest that Russia may be regaining its past standing – not just in the region, but also as a major global player.

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Europe’s Austerity ‘Cure’ Will Never Work: Joseph Stiglitz

Europe’s Austerity ‘Cure’ Will Never Work: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 5 March 2013

While Europe’s leaders shy away from the word, the reality is that much of the European Union is in depression. Indeed, it will now take a decade or more to recover from the losses incurred by misguided austerity policies – a process that may eventually force Europe to let the euro die in order to save itself.

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Towards A Global Carbon Tax – A Better Way To Fight Climate Change?: Jeffrey Sac

Towards A Global Carbon Tax – A Better Way To Fight Climate Change?: Jeffrey Sachs

Date: 4 March 2013

The European Union Emissions Trading System was the world’s first large emissions trading scheme, which required industrial emitters to purchase a permit for each ton of CO2 emissions. However, with permits’ prices plummeting in the midst of Europe’s economic slowdown, a new global strategy is now required to combat climate change. Each region of the world should introduce a tax on CO2 emissions that starts low today and increases gradually and predictably in the future.

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Asia’s New FDI Deal – Why China Isn’t Losing Its Investment Appeal: Dan Steinboc

Asia’s New FDI Deal – Why China Isn’t Losing Its Investment Appeal: Dan Steinbock

Date: 28 February 2013

Although the latest FDI figures by China’s Ministry of Commerce may appear disappointing, the truth is there has been an intensifying relocation of investments from China’s 1st and 2nd tier cities to other parts of China and across Southeast Asia. Asia’s new FDI “deal” is a regional win-win story – whereby emerging Asia can benefit from the low-cost advantages that China once enjoyed, while China shifts from manufacturing to high-value services.

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Moody’s Blues: Why The UK Downgrade Is Meaningless

Moody’s Blues - Why The UK Downgrade Was Meaningless: Marc Chandler

Date: 27 February 2013

Last Friday, the U.K. lost its much-treasured AAA rating, after Moody’s downgraded its sovereign debt on the back of poor economic growth forecasts. But while the timing of the downgrade was surprising, the move itself was long anticipated – and is unlikely to see the government, nor investors, change their opinions for the future.

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12 Reasons Why Globalisation Is A Major Problem: Gail Tverberg

12 Reasons Why Globalisation Is A Major Problem: Gail Tverberg

Date: 26 February 2013

Globalization seems to be looked on as an unmitigated “good” by economists. Unfortunately, economists seem to be guided by their badly flawed models; they miss real-world problems. In particular, they miss the point that the world is finite. We don’t have infinite resources, or unlimited ability to handle excess pollution. So we are setting up a “solution” that is at best temporary.

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Junior Oil Companies: Making It Big In Canada? – Aroway Energy Interview

Junior Oil Companies: Making It Big In Canada? – Aroway Energy Interview

Date: 25 February 2013

Junior oil companies may not have the reach, nor the resources, of major oil firms, yet some still manage to turn up massive profits – thanks to the economic principle that the management of small oil & gas properties are run more efficiently and profitably by small companies. In Canada, the junior oil & gas sector is thriving, particularly as more companies turn away from risky overseas venture and plant their feet firmly in homeland soil.

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Housing Bubble 2.0? – The US Government Has Yet To Learn Its Lesson

Housing Bubble 2.0? – Why The US Property Market Is Headed For Another Crash

Date: 21 February 2013

U.S. house prices have risen for the past year, provoking calls that the market has stabilised; But American investment broker Peter Schiff – the famous ‘Dr Doom’ who accurately predicted the 2007 crisis – says the correction is temporary and he predicts big falls to come as the U.S. economy stagnates and interest rates rise.

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G-20: Leading The Charge Against Immoral Corporate Tax Practices?

G-20: Leading The Charge Against Immoral Corporate Tax Practices?

Date: 20 February 2013

While media attention at the recent G-20 summit focused on the foreign exchange market and the possibility of ‘currency wars’, something far more important was developing in Moscow: The real news from the G-20 meeting is the formal beginning of a process that could very well lead to the largest substantial change in the international corporate tax system in almost a century.

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Global Rebalancing for Sustainable Growth: Michael Pettis

Global Rebalancing for Sustainable Growth: Michael Pettis

Date: 19 February 2013

In 2012, we saw the end of what some call the first stage of the global financial crisis. Most of the deepest problems have been identified and market reforms are underway to ensure that economic imbalances reverse themselves. But whether the imbalances reverse in an orderly or disorderly manner will depend on political decisions, decisions that will set the stages for future growth or future stagnation. 

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Asian Sovereign Bonds: The New ‘Safe Havens’?

Asian Sovereign Bonds: The New ‘Safe Havens’?

Date: 18 February 2013

As U.S. and European markets continue to sputter amid the global economic uncertainty, emerging market bonds in Asia have been quietly gaining favour as alternative safe havens – with relatively strong security, yet attractive yields. Experts however are worried whether a massive surge of money may end in a crash; though, for the moment at least, Asian sovereign bonds are showing surprising resilience.

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A New Era For Russia’s Energy Strategy?

A New Era For Russia’s Energy Strategy?

Date: 14 February 2013

Russia presently holds the world's largest proven reserves of natural gas and continually alternates with Saudi Arabia as the top oil producer. Throughout history, the country's energy sector periodically has strengthened and weakened. Managing this cycle has been a centerpiece of Russia's domestic and foreign policy since czarist times. This historical burden now rests on Vladimir Putin's regime.

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Can Space-Inspired Pipeline Leak Detection Technology Save The Oil Industry?

Can Space-Inspired Pipeline Leak Detection Technology Save The Oil Industry?

Date: 13 February 2013

Growing environmental concerns has meant that oil and gas pipelines are no longer being built as rapidly as they used to be. A new remote-sensing technology, with research beginning in space, however aims to detect dangerous leaks in pipelines quickly and efficiently. The clincher: This technology is not only affordable; it saves money and could eventually save the industry.

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Returning The Reserves: Why Japan Must Focus On Consumption Not Investment

Returning The Reserves: Why Japan Must Focus On Consumption Not Investment

Date: 11 February 2013

Despite recent rhetoric by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Japanese economy remains in dire straits – with ‘Abenomics’ simply the past LDP neo-Keynesian policies on steroids. The time is right for Japan to redistribute its reserves back to its people. Not utilizing the reserves now is like not opening the umbrella in your hand when you are in a downpour.

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Should Traders Heed Bill Gross On Gold?

Should Traders Heed Bill Gross On Gold?

Date: 10 February 2013

In recent interviews, Bill Gross, the legendary co-founder of Pimco and manager of the world's biggest bond fund, has stated his belief that gold will do well in 2013. That Gross, renowned as the “Bond King”, would pick gold as the year’s best buy over a bond is very telling about what he expects for the future; but investors remain unconvinced.

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Can Egypt’s Elite Plug Its Growing Credibility Gap?: Mohamed El-Erian

Can Egypt’s Elite Plug Its Growing Credibility Gap?: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 7 February 2013

In the past, a growing gap between what Egypt’s governing elites delivered and the population’s legitimate aspirations would have been addressed by imposing further repression. The new Egypt will not allow this. The empowerment of ordinary Egyptians has fundamentally changed things. Egypt’s political elites do not have unlimited time, and current economic trends are making the need to act increasingly urgent.

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The Davos Disappointment – Growing Complacency in a Leaderless World?: Joseph St

The Davos Disappointment – Growing Complacency in a Leaderless World?: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 7 February 2013

Despite the global economy’s myriad of problems, leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, particularly those from Europe, seemed more interested in celebrating the euro’s survival, rather than in tackling long-term concerns. Over the last 25 years, our world has moved from one dominated by two superpowers to being dominated by just one, and now to a leaderless, multi-polar world. While we may talk about the G-7, or G-8, or G-20, the more apt description is G-0.

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Has ‘Partial Intervention’ In Syria Failed?

Has ‘Partial Intervention’ In Syria Failed?

Date: 6 February 2013

Unlike recent military interventions in Mali or Libya, the West and its Middle Eastern partners have chosen to pursue a middle-ground approach in Syria by providing logistical aid to the various Syrian rebel factions, rather than intervening directly. This method of ‘partial intervention’ is likely to have long-term consequences for foreign powers, and particularly for Saudi Arabia.

 

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Google vs. Newspapers: How France May Have Saved An Entire Global Industry

Google vs. Newspapers: How France May Have Saved A Dying Industry

Date: 5 February 2013

Few gave French President Francois Hollande any chance of success when he met with Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt about compensating French media organisations for links on the Internet giant’s search engine.  But on February 1, the two parties reached a compromise solution, which may have resounding repercussions for the future of newspapers – and journalism in general – worldwide.

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Guarded Optimism At The Gates Of Myanmar

Guarded Optimism At The Gates Of Myanmar

Date: 4 February 2013

The opening of the once-reclusive country has been met with a flood of interest from the international community. Downtown Yangon is teeming with foreigners keen to get a piece of the rapidly expanding economic pie. But teething problems are visible as Myanmar still lacks a strong regulatory framework to manage its transition.

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Obama – The Harbinger Of A New Era For Politics In America?: Jeffrey Sachs

Obama – The Harbinger Of A New Era For Politics In America?: Jeffrey Sachs

Date: 1 February 2013

At his second inaugural address on January 21, U.S. President Barack Obama promised more progressive politics for America – shifting away from the Reagan-era policies, led by corporate special interests, over the last three decades. And while it is too early to declare the start of a progressive new era for American politics, more government activism may help to address America’s – and the world’s – most urgent challenges, including building the infrastructure for a sustainable future.

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Turkey: The Big Winner In The Mediterranean Shale Game?

Turkey: The Big Winner In The Mediterranean Shale Game?

Date: 31 January 2013

The Mediterranean has joined the shale game, but as most of Europe's Mediterranean countries drag their feet, all eyes are on Israel, Turkey, and Algeria. For Israel, it will be a slow road without the majors. For Algeria, it's full speed ahead, in theory—but the foreign interest is just dabbling for now due to a lack of shale infrastructure. For Turkey, the situation is more promising thanks to a renewed interest by the majors and a near-perfect blend of good governance and attractive fiscals.

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North Korea’s Brilliant Bluff – Why Kim Still Holds All The Trump Cards: George

North Korea’s Brilliant Bluff – Why Kim Still Holds All The Trump Cards: George Friedman

Date: 30 January 2013

For years, North Korea has been using nuclear tests as an existential ‘threat’ against its neighbours and the United States. Yet despite the nation’s weak economy and technologically inferior military, successive leaders have somehow managed to manoeuvre themselves into powerful bargaining positions with the world’s superpowers. The North Korean strategy is simple and ingenious: by portraying itself as weak, yet ferocious and crazy, international players are unable to predict the result of any engagement – allowing the North Korean regime to survive another day.

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10 Reasons Why High Oil Prices Are A Problem: Gail Tverberg

10 Reasons Why High Oil Prices Are A Problem: Gail Tverberg

Date: 29 January 2013

Oil prices are expected to remain high this year, especially with the high cost of extraction involved in obtaining more tight oil and oil from other unconventional sources. If the cost of oil continues to rise, what further damage will be done to consumers, businesses and economies?

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5 Major Geopolitical Risks Facing Commodity Markets In 2013

5 Major Geopolitical Risks Facing Commodity Markets In 2013

Date: 28 January 2013

On January 14, Deutsche Bank published their 2013 market outlook in which they identified several geopolitical hotspots to worry investors and businesses. They include a wide range of developed and less developed economies, many of which are key producers of commodities and/or a key link in product supply chains. If something goes awry in any of these hotspots what will be the impact on commodities?

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Trillions of Dollars Missing from China’s Economy: Michael Pettis

Trillions of Dollars Missing from China’s Economy: Michael Pettis

Date: 25 January 2013

The history of developing countries suggests that most countries fail in the reform and adjustment process precisely because the sectors of the economy, not to mention individuals, that have benefitted from the distortions are powerful enough to block any attempt to eliminate those distortions. But it is certain that not everyone in China is confident that Beijing will be able to force through the reforms that are widely accepted as necessary without a serious fight, as reports suggest that nearly 6 trillion dollars left the economy illicitly over the last decade.

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Kenya’s Oil: The Hottest Energy Prospect In Africa?

Kenya’s Oil: The Hottest Energy Prospect In Africa?

Date: 24 January 2013

Kenya has become the hottest oil and gas venue in East Africa since big discoveries were made in the country's virgin oilfields last April. All eyes are on Kenya in 2013 to see how quickly – and economically they can develop those discoveries into production.

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The 5 Biggest Risks To The Global Economy In 2013: Nouriel Roubini

The 5 Biggest Risks To The Global Economy In 2013: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 22 January 2013

While chances of a perfect economic storm in 2013 are low, the global economy still faces major risks this year – especially as fiscal austerity continues to spread to more advanced economies, leading to an increased risk of a hard landing in China and the threat of war in the Middle East. Any one of these risks alone will also be enough to stall the global economy and tip it into recession.

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Are Financial Markets Depressed or Repressed?

Are Financial Markets Depressed or Repressed?

Date: 21 January 2013

Financial repression results from policies that allow governments to fund their borrowing through imposing costs on others – increasingly seen across global financial markets from Japan’s asset purchase programme to the European Central Bank’s outright market transactions. By artificially lowering the cost of debt below what would prevail in a free market, quantitative easing has been called a “stealthy default” by PIMCO, one of the largest bond investors in the world. 

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Global Warming: The Greatest Threat To Arab Economies?

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat To Arab Economies?

Date: 18 January 2013

The World Bank has produced a massive 450 page report on the potentially devastating impact climate change is likely to have on Arab countries. This matters to everyone and not just from the standpoint that we should all empathize with and seek to relief suffering. The harsher the conditions get, the more restive and radical the populations of Arab states are likely to become, with hugely destabilizing consequences for all of us.

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Land Grabbing: 21st Century Colonialism?

Land Grabbing: 21st Century Colonialism?

Date: 17 January 2013

The pace of land grabbing in the developing world is accelerating fast. Foreign governments, financial institutions and corporate giants have combined to create a neo-colonial expansion, which has disastrous consequences for the local populations, as well as the environment.

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The Time To Re-Engage North Korea Is Now: Dan Steinbock

The Time To Re-Engage North Korea Is Now: Dan Steinbock

Date: 15 January 2013

In the West, North Korea’s recent missile launch has been framed as still another example of nuclear blackmail. The launch, the counter-productive international sanctions, the mounting nuclear threats and Kim Jong-un’s call for “radical turn” suggest a new diplomatic opportunity for Washington and Beijing alike and it should be seized now.

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America’s Energy Boom & Its Impact On The Global Economy – James Kwak Interview

America’s Energy Boom & Its Impact On The Global Economy – James Kwak Interview

Date: 14 January 2013

As we begin a new year we wanted to take a look at the current energy landscape and see what the future holds for the global economy, America's oil and gas boom, whether renewables will continue to be a favourite amongst investors and whether we should be focusing more attention on conservation and energy efficiency rather than our continuous effort to increase supply. 

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The Fastest Growing Economies in 2013

The Fastest Growing Economies in 2013

Date: 11 January 2013

As the European Union mulls another year of economic stagnation and the United States a year of lacklustre and uncertain economic recovery, will emerging markets take the lead in global economic recovery? 

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A Major Oil-Led Recession In 2013?: Gail Tverberg

A Major Oil-Led Recession In 2013?: Gail Tverberg

Date: 10 January 2013

The relationship between oil shocks and global recessions is one that has been strongly established for decades. Since World War II, 10 out of 11 recessions in the U.S. were preceded by a sharp increase in the price of oil, while an increase in gasoline prices is often seen to cause a decrease in consumer spending, leading to an economic decline in the process. Worryingly, global conditions suggest that another oil-led recession may be on the way – one that may prove to be a long-term threat to the global economy.

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The Return Of Abenomics: A New, Old Hope For Japan’s Economy?

The Return Of Abenomics: A New, Old Hope For Japan’s Economy?

Date: 9 January 2013

The ascent to power of the Democratic Party of Japan marked the end of Japan's one-party state, dominated by the Liberal Democratic Party since 1955. However, the DPJ was unable to address the challenges Japan faced, was internally unstable, and spent scarce political clout to support a controversial retail sales tax increase – ensuring the subsequent return of the LDP and Shinzo Abe in the 2012 general election. Given a second chance, how will the LDP fare?

 

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Could Europe’s Social Crisis Overshadow Its Economic Woes In 2013?: George Fried

Could Europe’s Social Crisis Overshadow Its Economic Woes In 2013?: George Friedman

Date: 7 January 2013

For close to three years, the primary focus of European leaders has been to solve the region’s banking and sovereign debt crisis, which have caused a serious weakening of the economy and created massive unemployment in some countries. The same leaders however faces a larger problem in 2013: how to manage the social unrest across the continent as a direct consequence to the [mis]handling of the economic crisis.

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Will Politics Dominate The World Economy In 2013?: Mohamed El-Erian

Will Politics Continue To Dominate The World Economy In 2013?: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 4 January 2013

How politics and economics interact nationally and globally is one of the important questions for 2013 and beyond. There are three scenarios: good economics and effective politics provide the basis for a growing and more cooperative global economy; bad economics interact with dysfunctional politics to ruin the day; or the world muddles through, increasingly unstable, as a tug of war between economics and politics plays out, with no clear result or direction.

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China Will Struggle To Wean Its Addiction To Investment-Led Growth: Michael Pett

China Will Struggle To Wean Its Addiction To Investment-Led Growth: Michael Pettis

Date: 3 January 2013

According to an IMF study released late last year, there is now strong evidence that China has been over-investing significantly over the last decade – leading to sustained economic growth rates at the expense of a suppressed consumption base. But even as China embarks on a new era of economic rebalancing, any attempt to reduce its reliance on investment-led growth may cause severe economic repercussion, while doing nothing may also lead to further financial fragility.

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Why Even The Shale Boom May Not Prevent $200 Oil: Interview With Chris Martenson

Why Even The Shale Boom May Not Prevent $200 Oil - Interview With Chris Martenson

Date: 2 January 2013

Despite booming oil production in North America on the back of the shale revolution, many industry forecasts still expect oil prices to remain above $100 a barrel in 2013 – the third consecutive year that oil prices have gone above the triple digit mark. And with the world economy still struggling to recover from numerous crises, any geopolitical difficulty, particularly in West Africa or the Middle East, may easily cause the price of oil to double – with dire effects on the struggling world financial system.

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Did Malthus Get It Right After All?: Gail Tverberg

Did Malthus Get It Right After All?: Gail Tverberg

Date: 27 December 2012

In 1798, British economist Thomas Malthus predicted that a continued population would strip the earth of its resources and eventually lend itself to famine and poverty. While his predictions have not materialised, at least not yet, his work and concept of scarcity and sustainability has many relevant lessons for us today as our world population of 7 billion struggles to cope with the increasing demands for food and fuel. 

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The Broken BRIC: India Faces Economic Challenges

The Broken BRIC: India Faces Economic Challenges

Date: 26 December 2012

India has been labelled the weakest nation in the so-called BRIC alliance, evidenced by foreign investors forsaking the country for more promising emerging markets. Restrictive policies and slow infrastructure investment saw India grow at one of its slowest pace in 2012 and credit ratings agencies have signalled that India could be downgraded to junk status if nothing is done to restore its economic health. Overall, 2012 has been rough in terms of economic and political developments but are there better days ahead? 

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The Five Most Promising Oil & Gas Plays In 2012

The Five Most Promising Oil & Gas Plays In 2012

Date: 24 December 2012

2012 has been a stellar year for oil and gas. From East Africa to North America, new technology, major new discoveries, an unparalleled appetite for exploration and a metamorphosing perception of risk have changed the playing field. We're looking at potential rather than existing production, and here are our Top 5 picks for this year:

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A Risky New Era For Central Banking?: Mohamed El-Erian

A Risky New Era For Central Banking?: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 20 December 2012

The political paralysis over economic growth in several developed nations have effectively forced central banks to embark on a shift from their conventional monetary policies. But, the best that central banks can do for now is to buy time, while waiting for other policymaking entities to get their act together; and the new paradigm shift may present the greater risk of loss of credibility and political independence for institutions that are critical to well-managed economies.

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How Shale May Change The Future Of Geopolitics: Robert D. Kaplan

How Shale May Change The Future Of Geopolitics: Robert D. Kaplan

Date: 20 December 2012

The coming of shale gas will magnify the importance of geography. Countries that have considerable shale deposits will be better placed in the 21st century competition between states, and those without such deposits will be worse off – marking a new determinant in international power relations.

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Cyprus: More Worrisome Than Greece?

Cyprus: More Worrisome Than Greece?

Date: 18 December 2012

For more than a year now, Cyprus has been shut out of international capital markets after its banks suffered huge losses from their exposure to Greece. And while its finance ministry claimed on Tuesday that they had secured enough money to cover its immediate financial needs, the country’s long-term finance future remains in doubt – unless it can formalise an agreement to secure a credit line of up to 17.5 billion euros from its euro partners and the IMF.

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Another Eurozone Crisis In 2014?: Nouriel Roubini

Another Eurozone Crisis In 2014?: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 18 December 2012

The tail risks of a Greek exit from the eurozone or a massive loss of market access in Italy and Spain have been reduced for 2013. But the fundamental crisis of the eurozone has not been resolved, and another year of muddling through could revive these risks in a more virulent form in 2014 and beyond.

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America’s Real Freedoms: by Jeffrey D. Sachs

America’s Real Freedoms: by Jeffrey D. Sachs

Date: 17 December 2012

America has now suffered around 30 shooting massacres over the past 30 years, including this year’s deadly dozen; each a gut-wrenching tragedy for many families. Today, America’s real freedoms depend on sane public policy and the bloodbath in Newtown is the latest reminder that it is time to stop feeding the US’ gun frenzy. 

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The Mystery Of Apple’s Crashing Stock Price

The Mystery Of Apple’s Crashing Stock Price

Date: 13 December 2012

Since reaching an all-time high of $705 during trading on September 21, Apple Inc’s stock price fell to  $529 on December 10 before recovering to $539 on December 12. Are Apple’s shares really sliding towards a ‘Death Cross’, as some analysts have claimed, or is there a pragmatic explanation behind the drop in stock price of the world’s most valuable company?

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The Shale Boom: Separating The Hype From Reality – Interview With Michael Levi

The Shale Boom: Separating The Hype From Reality – Interview With Michael Levi

Date: 12 December 2012

There’s been plenty of talk about potentially radical US foreign policy changes as a result of the shale boom. While one shouldn’t expect any dramatic US foreign policy move away from the Middle East, factors are influencing a greater focus on Asia. Only one thing is certain in this transforming world: The shale boom is real and the implications are many and difficult to predict.

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Has the Chinese Economy Bottomed Out?: Michael Pettis

Has the Chinese Economy Bottomed Out?: Michael Pettis

Date: 11 December 2012

The big news in the last few weeks has been the relatively positive economic data suggesting that Beijing could be in for a rebound. However, the “relief” data tell us nothing about the health of the underlying economy. In fact, growth rates in China will continue to slow dramatically in the next few years and if there are temporary lulls, as there must be, these do not represent any sort of bottoming out at all. 

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Resolving India’s Entrepreneurial Paradox: The Key To Start Up The Economy?

Resolving India’s Entrepreneurial Paradox: Key To Starting Up The Economy?

Date: 10 December 2012

Despite its sizeable youth population, some fear that India’s much touted demographic dividend is on the verge of going horribly wrong – that the economy may not produce enough jobs to absorb the fast-growing labour force, leaving millions of young people feeling bitter and betrayed. To make matters worse, a recent Gallup study found that Indians are simultaneously the LEAST and MOST entrepreneurial people in Asia – with many Indian youths possessing strong entrepreneurial traits, though few actually wanted to start their own businesses.

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Egypt’s Energy Situation: Why Integrated Policies Are Needed For The Future

Egypt’s Energy Situation: Why Integrated Policies Are Needed For The Future

Date: 6 December 2012

Egypt’s energy sector, specifically its electricity, oil and natural gas subsectors, is a large, important and promising part of the national economy. Egypt faces the challenges of growth in population, energy demand, and the energy production needed to meet its modern development goals. The economy is energy-intensive, especially the manufacturing and tourism components that together represented about 25 percent of GDP in recent years.

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High Hopes: Does Legalised Marijuana Have A Future?

High Hopes: Does Legalised Marijuana Have A Future?

Date: 5 December 2012

The American states of Colorado and Washington have gone beyond the decriminalising policies in place in European countries like the Netherlands and Portugal by becoming the first modern jurisdictions to legalise marijuana – with far-reaching legal, social and economic repercussions.

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Europe Trapped In Economic War Of Attrition: Mohamed El-Erian

Europe Trapped In Economic War Of Attrition: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 4 December 2012

Underlying tensions between European countries are gradually emerging as austerity measures imposed by richer economies exacerbate already painful recessions among indebted nations. But while the ECB has managed to stave off an outright economic war between its members for the time being at least, economic peace remains elusive – as long as the governments continue to dither and bicker over long-term solutions.

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US Power Grid Vulnerable To Just About Anything

A Powerless America?

Date: 3 December 2012

As Washington hunts ill-defined al-Qaeda groups in the Middle East and Africa, and concerns itself with Iran's eventual nuclear potential, it has a much more pressing problem at home: Its energy grid is vulnerable to anyone with basic weapons and know-how.

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Is BP Playing Russian Roulette For Arctic Oil?

Is BP Playing Russian Roulette For Arctic Oil?

Date: 30 November 2012

BP’s quest to drill for oil in Russia’s arctic region has thus far been a roller coaster ride of corporate cobwebs and political power plays. Yet despite facing incredible difficulties in pursuing Russian ventures, BP is clearly convinced that the stakes are high enough and the likely returns strong enough to make the hassle worthwhile.

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Catalonia’s Calls For Independence – Can Parallels Be Drawn With Gaza?

Catalonia’s Calls For Independence – Can Parallels Be Drawn With Gaza?

Date: 29 November 2012

Barcelona (in Catalonia) and Gaza (in Palestinian territories) may be roughly 3,000km apart, yet the independence movements rising from both regions share similar roots; The idea of romantic nationalism has driven their inhabitants to challenge the legitimacy of their ruling state, demanding liberation and the right to their own authentic nationalism.

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Fighting Climate Change – Why Current Solutions Don’t Work: Gail Tverberg

Fighting Climate Change – Why Current Solutions Don’t Work: Gail Tverberg

Date: 28 November 2012

World leaders seem to have their minds made up regarding what will fix world CO2 emissions problems. Their list includes taxes on gasoline consumption, more general carbon taxes, cap and trade programs, increased efficiency in automobiles, greater focus on renewables, and more natural gas usage. Unfortunately, we live in a world economy with constrained oil supply. Because of this, the chosen approaches have a tendency to backfire if some countries adopt them, and others do not. But even if everyone adopts them, it is not at all clear that they will provide the promised benefits.

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Polluters Must Pay In ‘The New Era Of Responsibility’: Jeffrey Sachs

Polluters Must Pay In ‘The New Era Of Responsibility’: Jeffrey Sachs

Date: 27 November 2012

In a momentous verdict last week, BP was ordered to pay the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history for its role in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. However, while polluters are increasingly being held accountable for their crimes in the developed world, many global companies continue to enjoy relative impunity for environmental damage caused in poorer countries: as exhibited by the lack of reparation in the Niger Delta.

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Mexico’s Economic Risks: Will Ending Cartel Violence Prove An Impossible Task?

Mexico’s Economic Risks: Will Ending Cartel Violence Prove An Impossible Task?

Date: 26 November 2012

Despite a deepening slowdown across Latin America, Mexico, the region’s second largest economy, is still headed for an annual growth rate of nearly 4 percent this year – more than double the expectation for rival Brazil. In order to sustain this growth however, Mexico now needs to not only reform its labour, financial and energy laws; but to put an end to its drug cartel violence, which has had a dampening effect on outside investment and tourism.

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Liberia's Historic Struggle To Escape The Resource Curse

Liberia's Historic Struggle To Escape The Resource Curse

Date: 23 November 2012

Liberia is a nation rich with natural resources including iron ore, gold, diamonds, natural rubber, vast forest for logging and timber harvesting, and vast agriculture land for ensuring food security. Yet like many of their African counterparts, who are equally rich in natural resources; corruption, global volatility and the “Dutch Disease” have left the country under the spell of the Resource Curse – turning Liberia from one of the fastest growing economies in the world, to one of the poorest and underdeveloped.

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Why Shale Gas Will Be The Next Bubble To Burst: Interview With Arthur Berman

Why Shale Gas Will Be The Next Bubble To Burst: Interview With Arthur Berman

Date: 22 November 2012

The "shale revolution" has been grabbing a great deal of headlines for some time now. A favourite topic of investors, sector commentators and analysts – many claim we are about to enter a new energy era with cheap and abundant shale gas leading the charge. But on closer examination the incredible claims and figures behind many of the plays just don't add up. 

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In Asia, Is the RMB Displacing the Dollar?: Michael Pettis

Is the RMB Displacing the USD in Asia?: Michael Pettis

Date: 21 November 2012

What are the odds of the renminbi displacing the dollar, and does China want the yuan to become an international reserve currency? Besides the fact that being a major reserve currency would require the complete liberalisation of the capital account and a flexible financial system largely independent of government control, with clear and enforceable rules, it would also put China’s economy at the mercy of countries that want to turbo-charge growth by running large trade surpluses. Beijing, it appears, isn’t eager to accept any of these conditions.

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The Global Stock Market Rally Is Over…& The Worst Is Yet To Come: Nouriel Roubin

The Global Stock Market Rally Is Over... & The Worst Is Yet To Come: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 20 November 2012

Equity markets around the world have begun on to fall once more – after enjoying a brief rally that started in July – as consumers, firms, and investors become more cautious and risk-averse. Given the seriousness of the downside risks to growth, the latest correction may prove to be a bellwether of worse to come for the global economy and financial markets in 2013.

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Why America Won’t Attain Energy Independence Anytime Soon: Gail Tverberg

Why America Won’t Attain Energy Independence Anytime Soon: Gail Tverberg

Date: 19 November 2012

In its latest World Energy Outlook released last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted, among other things, that the U.S. would overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by 2020; and become a net oil exporter around 2030. This forecast however may be unrealistically optimistic, as oil prices must rise at an alarming rate to meet the increasingly expensive production cost.

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What Obama’s Re-Election Means To The China Business Community

What Obama’s Re-Election Means To The China Business Community

Date: 16 November 2012

The re-election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States has been met with mixed reactions among China’s business community. While some welcome the continuity it brings to US-China trade relations, others fear that more bilateral economic disagreements may arise in Obama's second-term.

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The Faux French Socialist & The Reawakening Of Europe’s ‘Genuine Left’

The Faux French Socialist & The Reawakening Of Europe’s ‘Genuine Left’

Date: 15 November 2012

François Hollande’s rise to power in France was supposed to herald the re-emergence of Left-wing politics in Europe. But with the French Socialist Party now falling in line with the neoliberal austerity agenda, other ‘Genuine Left’ parties across Europe have begun to gain greater prominence, particularly in Greece where austerity policies remain deeply unpopular.

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High-Risk Investing Is The New Trend In Energy: Interview With Andrew McCarthy

High-Risk Investing Is The New Trend In Energy: Interview With Andrew McCarthy

Date: 14 November 2012

Historically, energy companies have been less than keen to invest in areas such as Sudan, Iraq and Yemen – where political and social instability down the years often spelled danger for both infrastructure and personnel. Today however, with political risk no longer limited to just developing countries, more and more energy companies, particularly the junior oil and gas companies, are venturing into Africa and the Middle East – creating an opportunity for risk comparison with so-called “safer investments”.

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The Rise of the Asian Financial Powerhouse

The Rise of the Asian Financial Powerhouse

Date: 13 November 2012

Asia, as a whole, has witnessed tremendous growth in the past decades and city-states such as Hong Kong and Singapore have since joined the ranks of advanced economies. Asian giants are not only home to the largest number of millionaires in the world; Asian millionaires are also becoming increasingly wealthier. With US and European economics stuck in doldrums, could it be Asia’s turn to shine now? 

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What Obama’s Victory Means for Asia

What Obama’s Victory Means for Asia

Date: 12 November 2012

The Obama Administration has made major shifts towards Asia. During his first term, Obama’s foreign policy understood that the best way to manage a fast-growing China is not to contain it, but to ensure that the United States remains aligned with the other Asia-Pacific nations. Yet, there are also misgivings across the region about how exactly the United States intends to manage the crucial China relationship and anxieties about whether China and the United States might drift or be led into unwanted conflict, threatening regional prosperity centred on the growing strength of the Chinese economy.

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The End Of Cheap Oil & Its Impact On Financial & Energy Security: Gail Tverberg

The End Of Cheap Oil & Its Impact On Financial & Energy Security: Gail Tverberg

Date: 9 November 2012

Historically, many of the world’s major financial crises have been, in some way, connected to the cost or supply of oil. Though numerous countries around the world are now attempting to reduce their oil consumption, the end of “cheap oil” will continue to have ramifications on financial & energy security, particularly in countries such as Greece, Spain, Egypt and India.

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Bernanke’s Great Deception: Is The Federal Reserve Waging A War On Savers & Pens

Bernanke’s Great Deception: Is The Federal Reserve Waging A War On Savers & Pensioners?

Date: 8 November 2012

The Federal Reserve’s strategy of holding interest rates near zero to spur the economy has had its share of critics – especially since it caused a massive transfer of wealth from savers to spenders, while many middle class pensioners, who were relying on fixed interest returns, have been forced out of "safe" investments and into riskier investments. Yet, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is now attempting to redefine what we mean by “savings”, so as to continue dishing out ultra-low interest rates, while savers are made to suffer. 

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Is Pakistan’s Nuclear Security On The Verge Of A ‘Meltdown’?

Is Pakistan’s Nuclear Security On The Verge Of A ‘Meltdown’?

Date: 7 November 2012

Pakistan’s nuclear program is a source of national pride and identity. But with concerns growing over the security of its nuclear weapons – especially the threat of theft by terrorists – can Pakistan still maintain the growth of its nuclear program, without provoking action from the U.S. and, most notably, India?

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The 'Forgotten' Financial Crisis – Why Governments Must Resolve Main Street’s Cr

The 'Forgotten' Crisis – Why Governments Must Now Resolve Main Street’s Credit Crunch: El-Erian

Date: 5 November 2012

The world is now in the midst of two financial crises: On the one hand, the sovereign debt crisis has rightfully been hogging the headlines as well the attentions of government policymakers; Yet at the same time, declining access to credit for small-to-medium-sized households and businesses has eroded societies’ integrity, productive capabilities, and ability to maintain living standards. With governments doing little to address the private credit debacle, has ‘Main Street’ been left to fend for itself?

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The Problem with ‘Static’ Development Models: by Michael Pettis

The Problem with ‘Static’ Development Models: by Michael Pettis

Date: 1 November 2012

With a shift in economic strategy comes a radical change in the relationship between underlying growth variables and their impacts on growth. Instead of making predictions and estimations extrapolated from previous forecasts – the problem with most development and growth models – a better and more meaningful understanding of China, and other emerging or international markets for that matter, can be achieved if research and analyses were conducted in a grounded and sound manner.

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Behind The Narrow Margins Of Victory In US Presidential Elections: George Friedm

Behind The Narrow Margins Of Victory In US Presidential Elections: George Friedman

Date: 31 October 2012

American presidential elections have historically been close affairs; with just four presidential candidates in the past have receiving more than 60 percent of votes across the electorate. But while the American electorate may appear to be deeply and persistently divided, the reality is that most elections are simply elections of relative indifference.

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Australia’s Resource Boom: From Blessing To Curse

Australia’s Resource Boom: From Blessing To Curse

Date: 30 October 2012

Over the last decade, the Australian economy has experienced a boom on the back of the rise of Asia – with Chinese demand for Australian commodities in particular spurring economic growth. Yet, with emerging market growth in Asia having now slowed down, Australia’s abundance of resources is transforming from being a blessing to a curse. 

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An Alternative Theory For The World’s Limited Oil Supply: Gail Tverberg

An Alternative Theory For The World’s Limited Oil Supply: Gail Tverberg

Date: 29 October 2012

Ever since Mankind first began using crude oil for its energy needs, economists and analysts alike have brought forward numerous theories to forecast the lifecycle of oil supplies, both on a local and global scale. But with oil demand, oil prices and economic problems continuing to grow worldwide, are some of the more prominent theories of the past – including Hubbert’s peak oil theory – outdated?

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Is Affordable Energy a Myth? – Interview with Ed Dolan

Is Affordable Energy a Myth? – Interview with Ed Dolan

Date: 26 October 2012

Oil and energy prices have fluctuated so erratically in the last several years, affected by the constant threat of war and exacerbated by the global economic turmoil. As energy prices continue on its long-term upward trend, many wonder if affordable energy is really just a myth. 

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Breaking the Inter-Generational Poverty Curse: Jeffrey D. Sachs

Breaking the Inter-Generational Poverty Curse: Jeffrey D. Sachs

Date: 25 October 2012

To break the cycle of poverty, a country needs to invest in its people. Governments have the unique role to play to ensure that all young members of a generation – the poor children as well as rich ones – have a chance. Yet many societies around the world fail to meet the challenge of ensuring basic health and a decent education for each generation of children. 

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The Missing Link in Japan’s Lost Decades

The Missing Link in Japan’s Lost Decades

Date: 24 October 2012

The Japanese economy crashed in the late 1980s and annual growth has since averaged 0.8 percent – despite the Bank of Japan’s zero interest rate strategy. For two decades, the Japanese economy was characterised by meagre growth, unemployment and persistent deflation, forcing businesses in Japan to slash costs and add value to their production. Comparisons have been made, increasingly, between America’s stagnant economic growth and Japan’s lost decade, and in this light, it is worthwhile revisiting the lessons from Japan. 

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Obama Battles to Become First $1 billion President

Obama Battles to Become First $1 billion President

Date: 23 October 2012

President Obama’s fundraising campaign is set to raise US$1 billion and that does not even include the massive ads funded by the Super PACS. Meanwhile, in Washington, the billions spend on lobbying rises ever year. The result is a conservative political system stifled by the influence of big business elites.

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Will a Weaker RMB Necessary Aid the Chinese Economy?: Michael Pettis

Will a Weaker RMB Necessarily Aid the Chinese Economy?: Michael Pettis

Date: 22 October 2012

As part of China’s adjustment process, it is a virtual certainty that domestic growth will slow significantly for many years. However, many analysts argue that by boosting China’s export competitiveness abroad, a weaker RMB will provide some relief from the sharp expected slowdown associated with rebalancing. But such claims are invalid: China’s export competitiveness will deteriorate no matter what Beijing does to the currency. Why? 

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Asia Moving Beyond Manufacturing, to Innovation

Asia Moving Beyond Manufacturing, to Innovation

Date: 19 October 2012

Gone are the days of cheap labour in Asia. Asia is moving beyond being a manufacturing hub of the world to its next stage of growth driven by innovation. But can Asia, as a whole, successfully navigate a shift away from localising products to wealth creation via innovation, invention and intellectual property?

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Big Oil’s Influence on US Politics

Big Oil’s Influence on US Politics

Date: 18 October 2012

Energy and taxes have come up as important topics in this year’s race to the White House. From energy independence to tax breaks for the oil industry, affordable gas prices and environmental protection – these are the issues that can and will affect the vote. But with Big Oil working behind the scenes and funding U.S. politicians, the industry’s influence on politics cannot be underestimated.

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Making Sense of China’s Mixed Signals

Making Sense of China’s Mixed Signals

Date: 17 October 2012

The Chinese economy is no longer blistering hot but it has been sending out mixed signals about its state of health. From deteriorating manufacturing output and falling prices to unexpected rebounds the following month, how can we make sense of Chinese contradicting economic reports?

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Can We Learn To Live With Higher Oil Prices?: Gail Tverberg

Can We Learn To Live With Higher Oil Prices?: Gail Tverberg

Date: 16 October 2012

Higher oil prices tend to cause numerous social and economic problems. However, some countries have been able to cover up these problems through a variety of financial techniques. But with oil prices continuing to climb, can the economy continue to adapt to these prices?

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Hard To Be Easing – Why QE3 Cannot Prevent A Fiscal Drag: Nouriel Roubini

Hard To Be Easing – Why QE3 Cannot Prevent A Fiscal Drag: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 15 October 2012

The US Federal Reserve’s third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, has many observers arguing that the effects on risky assets could be greater than in previous rounds. But, despite the Fed’s commitment to aggressive monetary easing, QE3's effects on the real economy and on US equities could well be smaller and more fleeting.

 

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Is A New US Foreign Policy Doctrine Emerging?: George Friedman

Is A New US Foreign Policy Doctrine Emerging?: George Friedman

Date: 12 October 2012

In the aftermath of its disastrous invasion of Iraq back in 2003, the U.S. has learnt critical lessons on the consequences of intervention, which has led to the emergence of a new foreign policy doctrine based on 'reality'. As demonstrated by its actions in Libya, Syria and possibly Iran, the U.S. now appears to have entered a period in which it has moved from military domination to more subtle manipulation; and more importantly, they have begun to allow events to take their course.

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Do Biofuels Still Have A Future In The US? – Interview With Jim Lane

Do Biofuels Still Have A Future In The US? – Interview With Jim Lane

Date: 11 October 2012

Following record droughts across the United States, the benefits of the ethanol subsidy were once again hotly debated; and biofuels in general found themselves generating quite a few unflattering headlines. But as always the mainstream media overreacted and we wanted to help put the record straight as to whether biofuels are an expensive folly or if they really do offer an affordable source of liquid fuel that can help us lower our reliance upon gasoline.

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Is There Any Credibility Left In China’s Bull Case?: Michael Pettis

Is There Any Credibility Left In China’s Bull Case?: Michael Pettis

Date: 10 October 2012

In order to argue that we will not see a sharp slowdown in Chinese growth, it is not enough to claim that some expert or institution has predicted that Chinese growth will not slowdown. Neither can we hold on to the argument that China has enough savings in its coffers to bail itself out of a crisis. Nor can we assert that Beijing leaders cannot tolerate growth below 8 percent, so of course growth will not drop below 8 percent. As greater evidence for the bear camp surfaces, China bulls need stronger justifications for their positions or risk losing credibility.

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Asia’s Fortunes Intricately Intertwined with Europe’s Fate

Asia’s Fortunes Intricately Intertwined with Europe’s Fate

Date: 8 October 2012

Although European leaders are scrambling to avoid a cataclysmic economic fallout, Asia is now eyeing Europe’s prospects with nervousness and suspicion. Asian markets, in particular China, are increasingly frustrated and impatient with the lack of clear policy and rescue direction from European leaders. With Asian exports declining amid a global demand slump, what impact could a eurozone breakup have on Asia? 

 

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The “Curse” Of Competition: How The US Can Abolish Quasi-Monopolies In The Econo

The “Curse” Of Competition: How The US Can Abolish The Quasi-Monopolies In The Economy

Date: 4 October 2012

Apart from the problems stemming from the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. economy is now also being weighed down by little monopolies, or quasi-monopolies, which reduce economic efficiency, slow economic growth, and reduce the average income of every U.S. household. Can the U.S. government once again unleash the “curse” of competition on businesses, in order to revitalise the economy?

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Is The World’s Addiction To Meat Sustainable?

Is The World’s Addiction To Meat Sustainable?

Date: 2 October 2012

The western addiction to meat products is spreading to Asia with unsustainable consequences for the world’s water supply. With the population booming, we have to reduce our consumption of water-intensive livestock, or billions of mouths will go hungry by 2050.

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The Power of Qatar’s Money: How A Tiny Nation Can Wield Large Influence In The M

The Power of Qatar’s Money: How A Tiny Nation Can Wield Large Influence In The Middle East

Date: 1 October 2012

Qatar may be one of the smallest nations in the Middle East (both in population and land area), but its immense wealth – stemming from its natural gas reserves – has made it one of the biggest geopolitical players in the region. Amid the conflicts in Egypt, Libya and Syria, the ever-extending influence of the Qatari Riyal has ensured that the nation’s interests are always protected, both at home and abroad.

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The China-Japan Rivalry Renewed: Will The Geopolitical Balance In Asia Shift Onc

The China-Japan Rivalry Renewed: Will Asia's Geopolitical Balance Shift Once Again?

Date: 28 September 2012

Forty years after China and Japan first commenced normalized diplomatic relations, a group of islands – known as Diaoyu and Senkaku respectively – is now threatening to reignite past rivalries, including both nations’ claims to geopolitical power in the region. Behind the dispute lies several considerations, including handling internal and international political relationships, which  both countries must now resolve in order to avoid a military conflict.

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Piecing Together The ‘Ideal Economy’ – What Policies Should A Model Nation Have?

What If The ‘Ideal Economy’ Existed?: Jeffrey Sachs

Date: 27 September 2012

 What if you could create an ‘ideal’ or ‘model’ economy simply by copying and adapting the best economic policies from around the world? Although no country in the world is likely to ever come close to achieve this (in the near future at least), emulating policies that have worked elsewhere and then reconfiguring them for local conditions can see greater sustainable growth – and speed the path to national improvement at home.

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The Great East African Dream: Economic Integration For A Better Future

The Great East African Dream: Economic Integration For A Better Future

Date: 25 September 2012

Despite possessing massive potential in natural resources, individual states within East Africa remain too small, and too fragmented, to fully utilise these resources in the global arena, without being exploited by larger and more developed economies. The hope of citizens as such lies in an East African Federation and, further down the line, a fully-integrated African state.

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Can Syria’s Rebels Overthrow Assad? – Interview With Jellyfish Operations

Can Syria’s Rebels Overthrow Assad? – Interview With Jellyfish Operations

Date: 24 September 2012

As rebels attempt to regroup in advance of a new strategy to overpower Assad, and Western powers try to start from scratch with a new rebel formation that is presumably devoid of Salafi Jihadists, the US is calling on third party, non-state actors to arm the rebels in order to avoid becoming embroiled in a geopolitically sensitive conflict just ahead of presidential elections. As attentions turn to the chaos breaking out across the Middle East and North Africa (and even further afield), what chance do the rebels have of pushing Assad to his limits? 

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London: Backseat Or Centre-Stage Role In RMB Internationalisation?

London: Backseat Or Centre-Stage Role In RMB Internationalisation?

Date: 20 September 2012

China is already the world’s second largest economy but its currency, the renminbi, is barely traded internationally. Unlike reserve currencies such as the US dollar, and despite China's emerging position as a global economic powerhouse, the Chinese currency is hardly used in international trade and scarcely held by foreigners. This is gradually changing but the City of London is probably being optimistic if it thinks it can grab a significant portion of that trade.

 

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Could a Commodity Market Crash be Imminent?: Michael Pettis

Could a Commodity Market Crash be Imminent?: Michael Pettis

Date: 19 September 2012

Commodity prices swelled in the last decade – mostly on the back of insatiable demand from China. Yet, if you exclude China, global demand for commodities like steel, for example, grew only 2 percent per year in the last twenty years, implying that China accounted for almost all the increase in global demand in the last two decades. With a China slowdown and rebalancing on the cards, could a subsequent commodity market crash be imminent?  

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To Russia With Love: Opportunities From Russia’s Accession To The WTO

To Russia With Love: Opportunities From Russia’s Accession To The WTO

Date: 18 September 2012

At a difficult time for the world economy, Russia, the world's sixth largest – and third fastest growing major – economy has opened up for trade. After 19 years of negotiation, Russia finally received membership to the World Trade Organisation on August 23rd 2012 – opening up major new trading opportunities in the process. What are some of the impact and opportunities emanating from Russia’s WTO membership?

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America’s Mirage in Libya: Why The Anti-Islamic Film May Be Covering Up The True

America’s Mirage In Libya: Why The Anti-Islamic Film May Be Covering Up The True Cause Of Violence

Date: 17 September 2012

The deaths of US envoy to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other American diplomats in a rocket attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, has placed a made-in-America, anti-Islamic, amateur film in the global spotlight. But though the movie has been identified by politicians as the root cause of violent anti-U.S. protests across the Arab world, the true reason for the clashes can actually be tied back to past U.S. intervention strategy.

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Calling The Bluff On The Visa & MasterCard Antitrust Settlement

Calling The Bluff On The Visa & MasterCard Antitrust Settlement

Date: 13 September 2012

What would have been the largest class-action lawsuit in US history was set to go to trial this month. The defendants, Visa and MasterCard, were being sued by practically every merchant in America for alleged fee-fixing. Some estimates pegged the damages to be in the tens of billions. Instead, the defendants may have averted Armageddon with a settlement proposed back in July. But is it just a “stunning giveaway” as Senator Durbin claims?

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The Economic Repercussions Of An Israel-Iran War

The Economic Consequences Of An Israel-Iran War

Date: 12 September 2012

An Israeli invasion of Iran could provoke a spiralling in oil prices with catastrophic consequences for the world economy, as well as unpredictable political repercussions throughout the Middle East. Yet, Israel continues its dangerous game of brinkmanship.

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Hedge Funds Laid Bare: How New Regulations Are Forcing Hedgies To ‘Open Their Ki

How New Regulations Are Forcing Hedge Funds To ‘Open Their Kimonos’

Date: 11 September 2012

For the first time ever last month, U.S. hedge funds, with assets of more than $5 billion, were forced to complete a 42-page Form PF providing details of methodologies, the sort of assets they hold, the sort of assets they are short-selling and details of their equity investors and borrowings; And while hedge fund managers have complained that trading and strategic secrets may be leaked to rival firms, the new regulations also cast a new light on what was a highly-secretive, and influential, industry.

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Why Oil Prices Stay High – Interview With James Hamilton

Why Oil Prices Stay High – Interview With James Hamilton

Date: 10 September 2012

What is the global energy situation today? Is our energy future one of falling prices and plentiful supply or should we prepare for declining supply and sky-high prices? To give readers a real understanding of where we are, Oilprice.com was fortunate enough to speak with the world's leading energy economist, Professor James Hamilton. 

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Why Personality, And Not Policies, Should Determine Elections: George Friedman

Why Personality, And Not Policies, Should Determine Elections: George Friedman

Date: 7 September 2012

During any election, most political observers would want to see candidates engage in intense debate over policy issues, with matters of personality and character being pushed to the background. But in some ways, a candidate’s character may actually be more important than his policies when he assumes a country's leadership; while the idea that you should vote for a leader based on his policy intentions could be inherently flawed.

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Will Congress Dithering Condemn Future Generations Of Americans?: Mohamed El-Eri

Will Congress Dithering Condemn Future Generations Of Americans?: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 6 September 2012

According to the latest polls, public support for the U.S. Congress is now at a record low, with few believing that its members can overcome a prolonged period Of congressional paralysis & polarization . What if members of the US Congress, now returning from their summer recess, were to receive a “back to school” memorandum from concerned citizens? At a minimum, it should call on Congress and the president to converge on a multi-prong, multi-year policy initiative that makes simultaneous advances in six critical areas.

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Why Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns Should Matter – And Not Just To Americans: Joseph

Why Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns Matter To Not Just Americans: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 5 September 2012

Mitt Romney may not be a tax evader, but he certainly is a tax avoider on a grand scale. And the problem is not just Romney; writ large, his level of tax avoidance makes it difficult to finance the public goods without which a modern economy cannot flourish – and weakens the bonds of trust that hold a society together.

 

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Bearish BRICs: Have the BRIC Nations lived up to the Hype?

Bearish BRICs: Have the BRIC Nations lived up to the Hype?

Date: 4 September 2012

Over the past decade, very few countries can claim to have matched the economic success of those of the BRICs. Ever since the term ‘BRIC’ was born in 2001, the bloc has grown rapidly – now accounting for almost a quarter of the world’s total economic output. Nevertheless, as the eurozone crisis has shown, the bloc is not immune to a weakening global economy; and the outlook for the BRICs is now uncertain. Have the BRIC nations lost their momentum?  

 

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Are Bad Habits Stifling Africa’s Economic Potential?

Are Bad Habits Stifling Africa’s Economic Potential?

Date: 3 September 2012

Ever since the start of their post-colonial era, problems such as corruption, poor governance, ethnic divisions and poor infrastructure have continued to haunt several African economies in their quest for sustained economic growth. Can these issues be overcome and will Africa live up to its promise?

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Low-Cost Innovation: Waves Of Change From India?

Low-Cost Innovation: Waves Of Change From India?

Date: 30 August 2012

READER SUBMISSION – Nearly two years after the Indian government declared that this was the Indian “Decade of Innovation,” the country is now emerging as one of the world’s hotbeds for low-cost and frugal ideas. Can India continue on its vision of innovation; and what can the rest of the world learn from this era?

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China's Unruly Debt Woes: Michael Pettis

China's Unruly Debt Woes: Michael Pettis

Date: 29 August 2012

What is the biggest fear hanging over China? Slowing external demand? Could it be the imbalances in its domestic economy? Or the country’s real estate bubble? While these threats are real and challenging nonetheless, debt is China’s most worrying, not to mention understated, problem. As we saw very clearly in the last two years in Europe, debt crises are often downplayed and sneak up on us when we least expect it.  

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Britain’s Massive Pension Debt: An Impossible Dilemma For The Government?

Britain’s Massive Pension Debt: An Impossible Dilemma For The Government?

Date: 28 August 2012

By 2040, the U.K.’s debt-to-GDP ratio is likely to reach over 400 percent if the government chooses to continue on its present path. But even as the present government attempts to scale back on a number of welfare benefits – particularly pension benefits – to reduce its debt, public opposition means that they must seek other alternatives; and try to strike a balance between the nation’s debt and public welfare.

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The World Needs an Era of Great Social Change: Jeffrey D. Sachs

The World Needs an Era of Great Social Change: Jeffrey D. Sachs

Date: 23 August 2012

Our generation urgently needs to spur another era of great social change. This time, we must act to save the planet from a human-induced environmental catastrophe. Sustainable development is a generational challenge, not a short-term task, and governments, civil society, universities and even corporations have the potential to become agents of change. 

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The Might Of Thorium: Is India About To Lead The Next Global Energy Revolution?

The Might Of Thorium: Can India Lead The Next Global Energy Revolution?

Date: 22 August 2012

Since 1951, the Indian government has somehow managed to fail every single attempt to reach its annual target of increasing the nation’s electricity production capacity. But while the nation continues to struggle with crippling blackouts and power shortages, an energy plan, conceived during the 1950s, may fundamentally alter the nation’s, and quite possibly the world’s, energy future.

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Fixing China’s Economic Imbalances: Michael Pettis

Fixing China’s Economic Imbalances: Michael Pettis

Date: 21 August 2012

Recent economic data has shown that China is slowing down. The question is: Should we attempt to revive growth in the world’s second largest economy? Perhaps not. As it is, China bulls have been late in recognising the unhealthy implications of China’s imbalances and, more often than not, have failed to understand that rebalancing cannot occur unless accompanied by a rise in real interest rates and a subsequent fall in investment and growth levels. 

 

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Delaying A Eurozone Breakup Will Only Make Matters Worse: Nouriel Roubini

Delaying A Eurozone Breakup Will Only Make Matters Worse: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 16 August 2012

Germany and the ECB are now relying on the hope that large-scale liquidity will buy time to allow the adjustments needed to restore growth and debt sustainability in the eurozone periphery. But, if a eurozone breakup can only be postponed, delaying the inevitable would merely make the endgame worse – much worse.

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How Will Scottish Independence Affect Its Energy Future? – Interview With Alex S

How Will Scottish Independence Affect Its Energy Future? – Interview With Alex Salmond

Date: 15 August 2012

By 2014, Scottish voters may have the chance to end the country’s 307-year intermarriage with England and the United Kingdom at a referendum for independence. The growing belief right is now that Scotland has the economic capacity to go it alone, particularly as they have an abundance of oil and natural gas reserves. Yet even so, the Scottish government is still keen to become the green energy capital of Europe, with more investments placed in renewable energy.

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Why ‘Rogue’ UK Bankers Can’t Escape US Regulators

Why ‘Rogue’ UK Bankers Can’t Escape US Regulators

Date: 14 August 2012

In the wake of the recent spate in scandals involving British banks, the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is now predictably making all the right noises about prosecuting miscreant bankers. Yet legal experts on both sides of the Atlantic argue that the SFO is too weak to live up to its promises; and say that the more aggressive U.S. system could be a far likelier source of prosecutions.

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Kenya’s Slow & Painful Path To Vision 2030: A Result Of Human Failure?

Kenya’s Slow & Painful Path To Vision 2030: A Result Of Human Failure?

Date: 13 August 2012

READER SUBMISSION –By 2030, Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, hopes to become a “middle-income country providing a high quality life to all its citizens”. Yet while the government’s Vision 2030 plan is strong in ideology and rhetoric, it neglects to compensate for the true problem in the country: human failures such as endemic corruption, poor governance, and low productivity. 

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Is France’s Socialist Fairytale Unravelling?

Is France’s Socialist Fairytale Unravelling?

Date: 10 August 2012

French President François Hollande may have achieved a remarkable series of political victories – at home and in Europe – since his election in May, but his pre-election promises are now threatening to destroy Europe’s second-largest economy. Under Hollande, France is now headed for a 400 percent debt to GDP ratio; and even if it were somehow, incredibly, manages to reverse course and embrace the most stringent austerity, it would still hit 200 percent debt to GDP by 2040.

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Will Argentina’s Energy Aggression Isolate The Nation?

Will Argentina’s Energy Aggression Isolate The Nation?

Date: 8 August 2012

Angering Spain by seizing and nationalizing a majority of Repsol's shares in YPF and ramping up the rhetoric over the Falkland Islands as exploration deals promise to make the territory a major oil player overnight, Argentina is making few friends in the fossil fuels industry these days. Sam Logan, owner of the Latin America-focused private intelligence boutique, Southern Pulse, speaks to Oilprice.com about the politics of populism behind Argentina's energy aggression.

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Can Africa Break Its Resource Curse?: Joseph Stiglitz

Can Africa Break Its Resource Curse?: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 8 August 2012

Resources should be a blessing, not a curse; yet contrary to common sense, resource-rich countries in Africa have tend to experience less economic growth in the long run than those deprived of natural riches. The new discoveries of natural resources in several African countries – including Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Mozambique – thus raises an important question: will these newly enriched countries be able to avoid the “resource curse”? 

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Obama vs. Romney – Does It Really Matter To The Economy?: Mohamed El-Erian

Obama vs. Romney – Does It Really Matter To The Economy?: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 7 August 2012

Regardless of who wins the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, the next American president will only have limited room for manoeuvre on economic policy. The real choice as such should concern the social policies that accompany a broadly similar set of economic measures; and, here, the differences between the candidates are highly consequential.

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The Search for America’s Growth Engine:  Stephen S. Roach

The Search for America’s Growth Engine: Stephen S. Roach

Date: 3 August 2012

America has typically relied on its domestic market for economic growth, with consumer spending accounting for some 70 percent of annual GDP growth. Given the strong likelihood that US consumers will remain weak for years to come, America’s growth agenda needs to focus on getting more out of the other 30 percent. But can this be done? 

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The Dangerous New Era Of Climate Change: Jeffrey Sachs

The Dangerous New Era Of Climate Change: Jeffrey Sachs

Date: 2 August 2012

For many years, the risk of climate change was widely regarded as something far in the future, a risk perhaps facing our children or their children. But recent global events suggest that we have now entered a new and very dangerous era of global climate shifts, one that corporate lobbies and media propagandists are still attempting to deny.

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Will Austerity Make Inequality Worse? : Ortiz & Cummins

Will Austerity Make Inequality Worse? : Ortiz & Cummins

Date: 1 August 2012

The latest international data show that unaffordable food, pervasive unemployment, and dwindling social support threaten global recovery and the world's population. Yet the world remains fixated on austerity and cost-cutting measures to boost recovery, which in turn has disproportionately affected the poor and put access to public goods and services under growing pressure.

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The Trouble With Market-Less Bubbles: Robert Shiller

The Trouble With Market-Less Bubbles: Robert Shiller

Date: 31 July 2012

Speculative bubbles, or market bubbles, have often been seen as the cause of financial crises. But, before we conclude that we should rein in the markets, we need to consider the alternative: that bubbles are actually social epidemics that could arise even in the absence of financial markets.

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Is The Great State Debate Outdated? : Kermal Dervis

Is The Great State Debate Outdated? : Kemal Dervis

Date: 30 July 2012

Throughout history, economists and policy makers have often clashed over the role of the government in the economy. Even today, this debate continues; but despite the realities of twenty-first-century technology and globalisation, it is still conducted largely as if governance and public policy were almost exclusively the domain of the nation-state.

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America’s Economic Recovery Is A ‘Fairy Tale’: Nouriel Roubini

America’s Economic Recovery Is A ‘Fairy Tale’: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 27 July 2012

Though many optimists now believe that a combination of lower oil prices, rising auto sales, recovering house prices, and a resurgence of U.S. manufacturing can refuel America’s economic recovery, the reality is the opposite: For five key reasons, the U.S.’s economic growth will slow further in the second half of 2012 and be even lower in 2013 – close to stall speed.

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London 2012: Has Money Killed The Olympic Spirit?

London 2012: Has Money Killed The Olympic Spirit?

Date: 26 July 2012

The Olympics is no longer all about sport, but rather a corporate jamboree for the elite super-rich. The same pattern repeats itself every time as host nations are forced to follow the International Olympic Committee’s rulebook.

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Post-Libor – Why Bankers Now Face A Crisis Of Legitimacy: Simon Johnson

Post-Libor – Why Bankers Now Face A Legitimacy Crisis: Simon Johnson

Date: 24 July 2012

Unlike other recently ousted bank CEOs, Barclay’s Bob Diamond was a banker supposedly at the top of his game. Nevertheless, Diamond met his (figurative) demise after he forgot that the continued existence of any bank with a large balance sheet depends largely on maintaining a good relationship with regulators. The Libor scandal though is only the beginning: Although banks still remain powerful on the surface, their legitimacy continues to crumble.

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Why Global Economic Growth Is Not A Zero Sum Game: Michael Spence

Why Global Economic Growth Is Not A Zero Sum Game: Michael Spence

Date: 23 July 2012

All countries cannot gain a greater share of global aggregate demand at the same time. But what may look like a zero-sum game is not: if countries increase productivity with the aim of boosting their tradable sectors' relative productivity and growth potential, this will increase incomes and accelerate growth in global demand. 

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Post-Arab Spring: Can The Arab World Revolutionise Their Economies?

Post-Arab Spring: Can The Arab World Revolutionise Their Economies?

Date: 19 July 2012

Across the Middle East and North Africa, the political uncertainty surrounding the Arab Spring has led to some economic systems being destabilised. Yet amid this backdrop, Arab nations now have the opportunity to reinvent their economies, with growth, employment, and higher living standards seen to be critical for their future.

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Rethinking The East Asian Miracle: Andrew Sheng & Xiao Geng

Rethinking The East Asian Miracle: Andrew Sheng & Xiao Geng

Date: 18 July 2012

Almost two decades ago, the World Bank published its landmark study “The East Asian Miracle,” analyzing why East Asian economies grew faster than emerging markets in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere. But it is necessary to re-assess economists' focus on these countries' formal rules and governance structures.

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Winners & Losers In The New Global Economy: Dani Rodrik

Winners & Losers In The New Global Economy: Dani Rodrik

Date: 17 July 2012

The current economic climate is likely to produce deep disparities in economic performance over the long-term. Ultimately, while some countries will be far more adversely affected than the other, those that do (relatively) better will share three key characteristics: relatively low public debt, strong domestic demand-led growth and a robust democracy.

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Jim Rogers On The Best Investment Opportunities In The World: Interview

Jim Rogers On The Best Investment Opportunities In The World Right Now: Interview

Date: 13 July 2012

World markets appear to be hovering over a precipice as Europe's sovereign debt crisis, slowdowns in India and China and further bank downgrades threaten to send stocks and commodities down even further. Falling oil and gas prices may offer some respite to consumers but are they enough to help the economy or are they a symptom of deeper problems? To help Oilprice.com look at these issues and more, we are joined by the well-known investor, adventurer and author Jim Rogers. 

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The Euro’s Silver Lining – Why The Doomsayers Are Wrong: Norbert Walter

The Euro’s Silver Lining – Why The Doomsayers Are Wrong: Norbert Walter

Date: 11 July 2012

Crises are usually defined by sustained economic decline, high and long-term unemployment, poverty, rampant inflation, a precipitous fall in the exchange rate, fiscal deficits, high borrowing costs, and political dysfunction. But only a handful of "misery indices" are present in Europe today, and the region’s strengths should be able to overcome them.

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Can Europe Learn From Their Own Past Crises?: Harold James

Can Europe Learn From Their Own Past Crises?: Harold James

Date: 10 July 2012

Summer crises are a familiar feature of European history – and of financial history. Often, addressing some technical issue was not enough to resolve a major political problem, which is true today as well, with Europe’s current crisis reflecting exactly the same mixture of elements, each requiring a very different type of solution.

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Will The Next Economic Disaster Be A Cyber Crisis?: Kenneth Rogoff

Will The Next Economic Disaster Be A Cyber Crisis?: Kenneth Rogoff

Date: 9 July 2012

The dependence of modern economies on large-scale computer systems presents a new age risk to the global economy. Unfortunately, as the 2008 financial crisis demonstrated, most politicians are still congenitally incapable of making difficult choices until the risks actually materialize.

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Why Obama’s Job Plan Trumps Romney’s: Laura Tyson

Why Obama’s Job Plan Trumps Romney’s: Laura Tyson

Date: 6 July 2012

With US unemployment still above 8 percent, jobs have become a major focus in the presidential campaign. But, while President Barack Obama’s proposals are convincing, none of Mitt Romney’s would do much in the near term – and some could prove counterproductive.

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China Sceptics on the Rise: Michael Pettis

China Sceptics on the Rise: Michael Pettis

Date: 5 July 2012

In the seven years since Beijing promised with increasing urgency to rebalance its economy, China has unfortunately managed to rebalance externally without rebalancing internally. China’s growth has been propelled by state-driven domestic investment, rather than consumption, and despite the availability of cheap capital and socialised credit risks, loan demand and investment levels remain low. Is it any wonder the number of China sceptics is on the rise? 

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Can The Eurozone Be Rescued In Time? : Mohamed El Erian

Can The Eurozone Be Rescued In Time? : Mohamed El Erian

Date: 3 July 2012

The eurozone crisis might break European leaders’ inherent resistance to compromise, collaboration, and common action. But the longer they bicker and dither, the greater the risk that what they gain in willingness will be lost to incapacity.

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Fukushima Fallout: Does Nuclear Energy Still Have A Future?

Fukushima Fallout: Does Nuclear Energy Still Have A Future?

Date: 2 July 2012

The fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 has forced a global rethink over the future of nuclear energy. Today, some countries have outright rejected any further use of nuclear power, while others continue to pursue the energy source for economic reasons. How has the events at Fukushima affected the development of the nuclear power industry, and what is the global outlook for industry?

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The World Needs A New Trade Pact: Robert Zoellick et al.

The World Needs A New Trade Pact: Robert Zoellick et al.

Date: 28 June 2012

A new WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement would benefit all by increasing developing countries’ capacity to trade, strengthening the WTO’s development mandate, and boosting global economic growth. Indeed, such an agreement could be a down payment on WTO members' commitment to linking trade and development.

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Turkey’s Gamble On An Independent Kurdistan: A Play For Iraq's Oil?

Turkey’s Gamble On An Independent Kurdistan: A Play For Iraq's Oil?

Date: 27 June 2012

Since 2003, Turkey has long fretted whether a sovereign Kurdistan could lead to social unrest within its own borders – especially given Turkey’s native Kurd population. Yet with Ankara’s recent announcement of a series of bilateral deals with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, everyone's first question now is why would Turkey want to align itself with an Iraqi Kurdish leadership that is clearly making a play to create a sovereign Kurdish state?

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Online Privacy: The Human Cost To Google’s Relentless Pursuit For Your Data

Online Privacy: The Relentless Pursuit For Your Personal Data

Date: 26 June 2012

Despite growing public concern, companies such as Google and Facebook continue to demonstrate an insatiable desire to gather and market our personal information to advertisers. Today, these companies are even able to manage our online identities by creating the equivalent of an ID card for the Internet.

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Who Watches The Financial Watchdogs In The UK?

Who Watches The Financial Watchdogs In The UK?

Date: 25 June 2012

The recent appointment of John Griffith-Jones, the senior partner of KPMG, as chairman-designate of the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. is troubling. Rather than properly investigating the causes of the banking and financial crisis, dealing with the culprits, and instituting fundamental reforms, the U.K. government’s appears set to just bury the truth and paper over the cracks in the hope of a recovery.

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Volatile Growth in a Globalised Economy: Michael Pettis

Volatile Growth in a Globalised Economy: Michael Pettis

Date: 21 June 2012

Globalisation was the buzzword for several years before the global economic crisis hit. Globalisation brought about promises of increased connectivity, growth, greater transfer of knowledge and wealth. Yet, recent economic drama shows that the process of globalisation brings about higher volatility, making the world economy a lot more vulnerable to contagion and external shocks. Have we been wrong? Will globalisation go bankrupt? 

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Countdown to Rio+20 – Will Sustainable Development Become An Impossible Dream?

Countdown to Rio+20: Will Sustainable Development Become An Impossible Dream?

Date: 18 June 2012

The future of the planet is at stake in Rio. Without a real and lasting solution that recalibrates our current economic thinking at a systemic level, the scale and pace of change could soon push the planet past critical thresholds and make sustainable development everywhere an impossible dream. Yet with just days to go to the summit, many today are speculating about just how many world leaders will show up and what kind of agreements will be reached.

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Why Eurozone Scare-Mongering Appeals To The Worst In Us

Why Eurozone Scare-Mongering Appeals To The Worst In Us

Date: 15 June 2012

READER SUBMISSION – No one knows for sure what’s going to happen in Europe. But to suggest that a disorderly exit in Greece is inevitable, followed by the almost certain exit of Spain and Italy, seems hugely irresponsible given what’s at stake in Europe.

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Countdown To Rio+20 – Going Green From The Grassroots: Elinor Ostrom

Countdown To Rio+20 – Going Green From The Grassroots: Elinor Ostrom

Date: 14 June 2012

We have never had to deal with problems of the scale facing today’s globally interconnected society. But decades of research demonstrate that a variety of overlapping policies at city, subnational, national, and international levels is more likely to succeed than are single, overarching binding agreements.

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The Challenge Of Reforming The Global Financial System: Paul Volcker

Reforming The Global Financial System: Paul Volcker

Date: 7 June 2012

The global financial system is in desperate need of reform. But in the absence of international consensus on some key points, any reforms will be greatly weakened, if not aborted. Is there a single, coherent approach to resolving the problem?

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Will Politics Prevent The US Military From Going Green?

Will Politics Prevent The US Military From Going Green?

Date: 4 June 2012

The US Defense Department consumes more energy than any other department or sector in the country, spending around $20 billion annually by some estimates; but ambitious plans to make it the nation's green leader have been swept under the rug over budgetary concerns that smack of campaign politics.

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The Bane Of Spain: How The Property Market ‘Broke’ The Economy

The Bane Of Spain: How The Property Market ‘Broke’ The Economy

Date: 1 June 2012

The crisis growing within Spanish banks at the moment appear to have its roots in the country’s property market. Some 80 billion euros worth of loans by Spanish banks to the country's broken construction and real estate sectors are now considered near worthless – being at serious risk of default – while  the drying up of credit also means that fewer people are able to afford homes.

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Why Foreign Aid Skeptics Are Wrong: Jeffrey Sachs

Why Foreign Aid Skeptics Are Wrong: Jeffrey Sachs

Date: 31 May 2012

In 2010, global donor aid for low-income countries reached $26.9 billion, leading to major successes in public health and saving millions of lives. Yet, there are still some who would have you believe that all the funds are going to waste, and that aid-supported programs should be halted immediately.

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Co-opting Cooperatives In The Modern Economy: Mahmoud Mohieldin

Co-opting Cooperatives In The Modern Economy: Mahmoud Mohieldin

Date: 29 May 2012

The cooperative movements, which began in the 1800s, have sometimes struggled to live up to their ideals. Some fall victim to bad politics, weak governance, or mismanagement, while others are exposed to risks stemming from over-concentration. But as we search for innovative solutions to today’s development challenges, we should consider what the cooperative movement can offer and figure out how to facilitate the spread of cooperatives’ best practices while avoiding their common pitfalls.

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Spain in Pain: Why Leaving the Euro Is The Lesser of Two Evils: Michael Pettis

Spain in Pain: Why Leaving the Euro Is The Lesser of Two Evils: Michael Pettis

Date: 28 May 2012

As recently as six months ago, one didn’t discuss in polite company in Madrid the possibility that Spain would leave the euro and restructure its debt.  The prospect was unthinkable and like many unthinkable things it could not be discussed. But perhaps things have changed.  If responsible policymakers, advisors, the press, and public intellectuals are indeed discussing and debating the future of the euro now, a real and open debate about Spain’s prospects will quickly move the consensus towards abandoning the euro.

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Google Gone Green: Can The Company Be An Advocate For Renewable Energy?

Google Gone Green: Can Google Be An Advocate For Renewable Energy?

Date: 25 May 2012

As a major consumer of energy, Google’s recent efforts to go green are seen as a welcome step by the environmental advocates, who see the Internet giant as an important future player in the renewable energy industry. But can Google really capitalise on its momentum and become an influential figure in energy policy?

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Is It Worth Keeping The Pirates At Bay?

Is It Worth Keeping The Pirates At Bay?

Date: 23 May 2012

With the advent of the Internet, major movie and record studios have been demanding extensions to copyright laws in order to preserve outdated business models. But copyright law can do little to protect them and they need to move with the times and embrace the new technologies.

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A Global Health Care Remedy – Why We Must Fix High Drug Prices: Joseph Stiglitz

A Global Health Care Remedy – Why We Must Fix High Drug Prices: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 22 May 2012

The pharmaceutical industry today is a broken intellectual-property regime, which holds back on the development and availability of cheap drugs for the sake of profit maximisation. But it doesn’t have to be this way. An international effort by the World Health Organisation may now represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to remedy a long-standing and egregious inequity in health care.

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Advice for Goldman Sachs Social Media Manager

Advice for Goldman Sachs Social Media Manager

Date: 18 May 2012

How would you like a job in Social Media? You'll get to use Facebook and Twitter every day. Instead of being blocked from the online world’s most popular leisure activity, you’ll be positively encouraged! Get paid to surf, socialize and evangelize. The perfect job for most post generation Y’ers. Position yourself at the forefront of an industry with explosive growth and rapidly solidifying long-term opportunities…

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Can Hollande Change the Balance of Power in Europe? : Zaki Laidi

Can Hollande Change the Balance of Power in Europe? : Zaki Laidi

Date: 17 May 2012

With François Hollande’s defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel has virtually no support left in the eurozone. As the world looks for signs that Europe’s new power duo can overcome political difference and work together to save the euro, almost all European governments are counting on Hollande to change the balance of power. Will he succeed? 

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What the West Can Learn From Islamic Banking

What the West Can Learn From Islamic Banking

Date: 16 May 2012

Across the Middle East and South-East Asia, Islamic financial institutions hold aggregated assets estimated to be worth $50 billion. To some, this cash-rich sector represents a huge opportunity for growth and investment. But perhaps, what Islamic banks can really offer is a set of guiding principles that can enhance financial stability, four years after the crisis. 

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12 Predictions for the Chinese Economy: Michael Pettis

12 Predictions for the Chinese Economy: Michael Pettis

Date: 15 May 2012

The future of the global economy remains shrouded in mystery. Whether the crises in the United States and the eurozone will improve remains to be seen. While the latest economic data from China largely points to a soft landing, until the Chinese economy rebalances, it will not emerge from its own domestic crisis. In fact, China will be the last major economy to emerge from the global crisis.  

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Thanks For Your Continued Support!

Thanks For Your Continued Support!

Date: 14 May 2012

October 2011 saw significant changes in the global economy. In the U.S., the Occupy Wall Street movement was reaching its peak and was gradually inspiring similar movements across the world; while in Libya, former dictator Muammar Gaddafi had been caught and killed as he hid in a drain just outside his birthplace in Sirte.  Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou stunned the world on October 31st when he called for a national referendum on the new European Union debt deal – a plan which was subsequently cancelled just days later and led to Papandreou’s resignation. EconomyWatch.com too had been in the process of change.

 

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Silver Lining In The Greek Tragedy

Silver Lining In The Greek Tragedy

Date: 11 May 2012

Greece may not be the basket case that the rest of Europe seems to believe it is. Against the bleak picture commonly propagated by the media, the Greek state actually possesses numerous positive factors in its economy, including: a massive amount of real estate, and huge savings that can be generated simply by shrinking its public sector.

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Sympathy For The “Devil” – Why The Bernanke Bashing Is Uncalled For: Raghuram Ra

Sympathy For The “Devil” – Why The Bernanke Bashing Is Uncalled For: Raghuram Rajan

Date: 10 May 2012

Ben Bernanke is a marked man. Ever since he was appointed as the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve in 2006, Bernanke has been a constant target for criticism – with some progressive economists now blaming him for not doing enough for the economy. But while the man is not without flaw, Bernanke has actually gone further than any other central banker in recent times in attempting to stimulate the economy through monetary policy.

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Europe’s Man-Made Disaster – An Austerity Tragedy: Joseph Stiglitz

Europe’s Man-Made Disaster – An Austerity Tragedy: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 9 May 2012

Europe’s single-minded focus on austerity is a result of a misdiagnosis of its problems; and the fact that so many economies are vulnerable to natural disasters only makes the man-made disaster of austerity all the more tragic. Accordingly, the pain that Europe, especially its poor and young, is suffering as a result of its leaders’ willful ignorance of the lessons of the past is entirely unnecessary.

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Europe Must Seize Its Opportunity With Hollande: Martin Schulz

Europe Must Seize Its Opportunity With Hollande: Martin Schulz

Date: 8 May 2012

François Hollande’s victory in the French presidential election is a fresh chance for Europe. It should spell the end of a policy oriented exclusively towards austerity, which has paralyzed our economies and divided the EU, and should not scare anyone – certainly not the financial markets.

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Can Corporations Overcome Asia’s Digital Media Challenge?

Can Companies Overcome Asia’s Digital Media Challenge?

Date: 7 May 2012

The advent of digital and social media has presented new opportunities for corporations in Asia. But in a region that possesses a diverse range in cultures, identities and languages, many companies have been struggling with a holistic approach for their digital strategy, which has ultimately led to corporate disaster.

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Banking Breakdown – Why The Basel Accords Failed: Stefano Micossi

Banking Breakdown – Why The Basel Accords Failed: Stefano Micossi

Date: 3 May 2012

The Basel Accords were introduced to protect consumers from bad banking practices; yet somehow they managed to exacerbate the 2008 financial crisis even further – causing a sharp drop in drop in GDP and employment, while the sharp sell-off in assets ensured further declines. Why did the Basel accords fail so miserably and what can be done to ensure better regulation of the banking industry?

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Spain’s Pain: Will The Spanish Banking System Collapse?

Spain’s Pain: Will The Spanish Banking System Collapse?

Date: 3 May 2012

Spain’s banking system is in a fragile state. Already, bad property loans are threatening to bring the system down like a house of cards, while international pressure means that the government has little manoeuvrability to support the system if further disruptions occur. Needless to say, the Spanish government is desperate to have the banking sector solve its own problems without a bailout from either the state or the EU. But will this be possible?

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Germany Has No Choice But To Save Europe: Mohamed El-Erian

Why Germany Has No Choice But To Save Europe: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 2 May 2012

Ultimately, there can be no strong Germany without a stable eurozone; no stable eurozone without a strong Germany; and no global economic stability without both. Germans might not like their choices, but refusing the responsibility of leadership is one option that Germany does not have.

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America Needs To Rethink Its Priorities With China: Stephen Roach

America Needs To Rethink Its Priorities With China: Stephen Roach

Date: 30 April 2012

The United States fixation with the Renminbi has distracted the government from far more important economic issues in its relationship with China. Rather than vilifying China as the principal economic threat to America, this relationship should be recast as an opportunity – especially when the opportunities of market access far outweigh the currency threat.

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Behind The Fracking Divide In The UK

Behind The Fracking Divide In The UK

Date: 30 April 2012

Local communities in the U.K. may still be against hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, but the government has once again proven that its interests are more closely aligned with investment bankers in the City of London than those forced to live with the consequences.

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The YPF Takeover Will Not Solve Argentina’s Energy Problems: Alieto Guadagni

The YPF Takeover Will Not Solve Argentina’s Energy Problems: Alieto Guadagni

Date: 27 April 2012

Argentina’s decision to nationalise YPF – a subsidiary of Spanish energy company Repsol – has been met by international disapproval; though the Argentine government insists that the move had been necessary in order to meet its energy needs. Yet this may not turn out to be the case, particularly with investment in exploration greatly reduced.

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How the Luxury Market Defied the European Crisis

How the Luxury Market Defied the European Crisis

Date: 26 April 2012

We are living in times of austerity: Economies all over the world are experiencing slower growth, and half of the eurozone economies are expected to shrink this year. In fact, not one major European country is expected to grow over 1 percent. Yet, the luxury market has managed to thrive despite all odds and it is showing no sign of slowing down. How can that be? 

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The Free-Riding Problem In A Multipolar Global Economy: Jeffrey Sachs

The Free-Riding Problem In A Multipolar Global Economy: Jeffrey Sachs

Date: 24 April 2012

The global economy is shifting from a unipolar world, led mainly by the US, to a truly multipolar world, in which the US, the EU, the BRICS, and some smaller powers carry substantial weight. But while this shift means that no single country or bloc can now dominate the others, the major powers have seemingly become unwilling to assume global leadership, especially its financial burdens. Rather, they all just want a free ride at the others’ expense.

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Will Africa’s Wet Dreams Turn Into A Nightmare?

Will Africa’s Wet Dreams Turn Into A Nightmare?

Date: 23 April 2012

Scientists have discovered a vast reservoir of groundwater located within Africa, which is said to contain a hundred times the amount of water found on the continent’s surface. But while the news has already sparked excitement across the once water-scarce continent, this joy will be short-lived unless global leaders exercise moral and social responsibility.

 

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Greed On Speed: The Sins Of High-Frequency Trading

Greed On Speed: The Sins Of High-Frequency Trading

Date: 19 April 2012

High-frequency trading has been in existence since 1999; thought it only caught the public’s attention after the “Flash Crash” in 2010 – when high-frequency liquidity providers were found to have withdrawn from the market, resulting in increased volatility and inflated asset price bubbles. But does speed-trading, as it is sometimes called, deserve its bad reputation or does it really create a “mirage of liquidity”?

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Europe’s Economic Honeymoon Is Over: Nouriel Roubini

Europe’s Economic Honeymoon Is Over: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 18 April 2012

The honeymoon for the ECB's new president Mario Draghi has turned out to be brief. The trouble is that the eurozone has an austerity strategy, but no growth strategy – and, without that, all it really has is a recession strategy that makes austerity self-defeating, because, if output continues to contract, deficit and debt ratios will continue to rise to unsustainable levels.

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The Illusion Of Choice In Libertarian Paternalism: Raghuram Rajan

The Illusion Of Choice In Libertarian Paternalism: Raghuram Rajan

Date: 17 April 2012

Libertarian paternalism, or “soft paternalism”, is a political philosophy which states that government can nudge citizens into making decisions that are good for themselves, while offering complete freedom to individuals to make up their own minds. The problem is that the semblance of choice is an illusion, because individuals do not consciously think through their decision.

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Why the Eurozone Must Stop Blackmailing the IMF: Simon Tilford

Why the Eurozone Must Stop Blackmailing the IMF: Simon Tilford

Date: 16 April 2012

What nerve the eurozone has. On one hand, it prides itself as a highly successful and integrated sovereign currency bloc that lives within its means. Yet, at the same time, eurozone members vehemently insist that the IMF is obliged to support debtor nations within the Union. European policymakers need to realize that they cannot have it both ways, and the eurozone needs to stop blackmailing the IMF, whose obligation lies with the wider international community. 

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How China Can Rebalance Its Economy: Michael Pettis

How China Can Rebalance Its Economy: Michael Pettis

Date: 12 April 2012

China’s economy is grossly imbalanced, and for years many academics have been talking about an imminent rebalancing. For now, it is clear is that China’s rebalancing act will not be automatic. Rich as China may be, weaknesses in China’s economic model will constrain the options Beijing can take. But the bigger question is, does China have the political will to address this problem? 

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America’s Perverse Control Over The World Bank: Joseph Stiglitz

America’s Perverse Control Over The World Bank: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 11 April 2012

Rumours suggest that the US is likely to insist on maintaining the perverse selection process in which it gets to pick the World Bank’s president. But while Jim Yong Kim may be a good candidate, no single country should effectively decide who gets the job. Should America continue to insist on controlling the selection process, it is the Bank itself that would suffer. 

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Emerging Markets Need A Higher-Education Rethink: Shaukat Aziz

Emerging Markets Need A Higher-Education Rethink: Shaukat Aziz

Date: 10 April 2012

The rise of emerging markets to prosperity and global influence will be short-lived unless the challenges to longer-term economic growth are addressed. But, a massive increase in the number of competent and motivated leaders and professionals will be needed in order to overcome these challenges head-on. A major transformation of tertiary education in emerging markets is thus a fundamental condition of sustainable growth.

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The World Bank Needs To Reform In A Changing World:  José Antonio Ocampo

The World Bank Needs To Reform And Adapt To A Changing World Order: José Antonio Ocampo

Date: 9 April 2012

In order to be a bank that serves the world’s needs and addresses global challenges, the World Bank needs internal reforms congruous to a changing world order. To find relevance, the World Bank needs to be a truly global institution with a special responsibility vis-à-vis the world’s poorest countries and a commitment to helping middle-income countries face their own challenges. 

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Can Consumers & Taxpayers Be Saved From The Bonus-Crazed Financial Sector?

Can Consumers & Taxpayers Be Saved From The Bonus-Crazed Financial Sector?

Date: 5 April 2012

In recent years, Michel Barnier, the EU commissioner for the internal market and services, has tried to oversee regulatory reform for the financial sector towards serving the society. But, the biggest obstacle to his progress, according to Barnier himself, is financial lobbying that has a clear vested interest in the status quo and neutralising reforms.

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Will Second-Best Solutions Lead To A Second-Rate World? : Mohamed El-Erian

Will Second-Best Solutions Lead To A Second-Rate World? : Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 5 April 2012

The global community will face two important decisions in Washington, DC this month; they must decide on how to proceed with the European debt crisis as well as on whom to pick as the next World Bank president. Yet, complacency, coupled with rigid practices, could very well mean that the best decisions will not be made, and the world will instead be forced to settle for second best.

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Egypt’s Populist Problem – The Downside Of The Revolution: Mohsin Khan

Egypt’s Populist Problem – The Downside Of The Revolution: Mohsin Khan

Date: 3 April 2012

Egypt’s political transition has had deep economic consequences. Though the country is now free of a repressive and tyrannical regime, the economy has entered into a steep decline, which threatens the main goals of the revolution. What’s more, Egyptian politicians now favour populist rhetoric; and unless the upcoming presidential elections can lead to economic stabilization and revival, Egyptians’ hard-won political gains may well be lost.

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With Kim's Nomination, The US Finally Awakens To A New Reality: Jeffrey Sachs

With Kim's Nomination, The US Finally Awakens To A New Reality: Jeffrey Sachs

Date: 2 April 2012

Until now, the United States had been given a kind of carte blanche to nominate anyone it wanted to the World Bank presidency. That is how the Bank ended up with several inappropriate leaders, including several bankers and political insiders who lacked the knowledge and interest to lead the fight against poverty. But the nomination now of Jim Yong Kim could be a breakthrough for the US, and most importantly, the World Bank.

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The Student Loan Debt Time Bomb

The Student Loan Debt Time Bomb

Date: 30 March 2012

Student debt is growing at an alarming rate. At the end of 2011, total student loan debt crossed the $1 trillion mark, a level that is higher than the sum of all credit card debt in the United States. Already, this category of debt has been likened to the subprime crisis, raising worries that a potential delinquency crisis could find its way into the wider economy. 

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China’s Obsession With Stability: Stephen Roach

China’s Obsession With Stability: Stephen Roach

Date: 29 March 2012

Given centuries of turmoil in China, today’s leaders will do everything in their power to preserve political, social, and economic stability. That is why they removed Bo Xilai, the powerful Party Secretary of Chongqing, just before a major conference that attacked the economic model that he personified.

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America’s Full Recovery Is Not Yet Guaranteed: Mohamed El-Erian

America’s Full Recovery Is Not Yet Guaranteed: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 28 March 2012

Having reduced the risk of a relapse into recession, the US economy is now able to move on its own power, albeit gingerly. Consequently, the question on most people’s minds today is whether the US economy is ready not just to walk, but also to run and sprint. But the US faces a new problem: that the sense of relief now can – and probably will – be taken too far.

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Bailouts Alone Will Not Solve Europe’s Fiscal Problems: Leszek Balcerowicz

Bailouts Alone Will Not Solve Europe’s Fiscal Problems: Leszek Balcerowicz

Date: 27 March 2012

Bailouts appear to be the medicine du jour prescribed across Europe for debt-stricken nations. Large-scale purchases of government bonds by the ECB also seem to be the only focus of creditors and political leaders. But the true key to resolving the eurozone crisis actually lies in properly structured reforms in the ailing countries.

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Dead End Economics: The Curse Of Neoclassical Thinking

Dead End Economics: The Curse Of Neoclassical Thinking

Date: 26 March 2012

Neoclassical economics has led us into a cul-de-sac. Although alternatives do exist, neoclassical thought has been so deeply entrenched into our finance ministries, economics departments, banks and other financial institutions, until a widespread belief has now materialised: that fictions like “perfect markets” and “efficient market hypothesis” are real.

 

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Will The Arab Spring Cause Israel’s Natural Gas Supply To Run Dry?

Will The Arab Spring Cause Israel’s Natural Gas Supply To Run Dry?

Date: 23 March 2012

Egypt supplies nearly 40 percent of Israel’s natural gas needs. Yet the cordial relationship, which both governments once enjoyed, has since broken down. To make matters worse, populist sentiments emanating from the Arab Spring are now calling for Cairo to revoke all sales of natural gas across their border. 

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Papal Impropriety: The Dark Secrets Of The Vatican Bank

Papal Impropriety: The Dark Secrets Of The Vatican Bank

Date: 22 March 2012

The Vatican Bank has been plagued by corruption and criminality ever since it was established in 1942. Yet this is hardly a surprise, given that no bona fide legal system is currently in place to ensure check and balances for the bank of God.

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The Fear Premium Is Driving High Oil Prices: Nouriel Roubini

The Fear Premium Is Driving High Oil Prices: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 21 March 2012

The world is afraid. Increasing concerns about a military conflict between Israel and Iran has created a “Fear Premium”, which has seen the price of oil soar to nearly $125 per barrel – even as the global oil supply remains plentiful and demand appears to have lowered. Now, as the drums of war grow louder, oil prices could rise in a way that will most likely cause a US and global growth slowdown or, worst still, another outright recession.

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How China Can Address Its Economic Challenges By 2030: Justin Yifu Lin

How China Can Address Its Economic Challenges By 2030: Justin Yifu Lin

Date: 20 March 2012

In the next 20 years, China will face serious economic challenges: Rising inequality, environmental degradation, external imbalances, as well as an aging society, all present major risks to China’s future. With the nation heading for an inevitable slowdown, can its government provide long-term solutions to its short-term problems?

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The World Bank, Debt, and The Middle Kingdom’s Middle-Income Trap: Michael Petti

The World Bank, Debt, and The Middle Kingdom’s Middle-Income Trap: Michael Pettis

Date: 16 March 2012

China’s woes do not stem directly from the fact that its local governments are struggling to repay its bank loans. After all, it has been correctly argued that the Chinese government can afford to, and will most likely allow the debt to ‘roll over’ to the country’s main balance sheet. But the key problem here is two-fold: China’s debt is rising and it will eventually blow up. Secondly, China needs to identify and ensure that its long-run engine of growth works, given the weak links that exist in China’s socio-economic model. 

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Japan’s Enduring Resilience: Lessons For The Rest Of The World

Japan’s Enduring Resilience: Lessons For The Rest Of The World

Date: 13 March 2012

One year ago, Japan was ravaged by an earthquake and tsunami disaster that not only destroyed homes and infrastructure, but also led a nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Yet today, the country can take heart that so many of its people, children in particular, are alive because of its early-warning systems, safety drills, and a strong emphasis on disaster-risk reduction.

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China’s Economic Puzzle: Why The Bears & Bulls Just Can’t Agree

China’s Economic Puzzle: Why The Bears & Bulls Just Can’t Agree

Date: 12 March 2012

There have been wildly different opinions about China's economic prospects in recent years. While plenty of investors remain very bullish about China, others express doubt about China’s economic future – with some even betting on a major financial catastrophe to happen anytime soon. Why are there two distinct camps on China’s economy and are there statistics to support either side?

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How to Improve Your Credit Without Using a Credit Card

How to Improve Your Credit Without Using a Credit Card

Date: 9 March 2012

Having a good credit score is very important for your financial future, so if you find out that your credit score is poor, it’s time to make some changes. The key to improving credit is to start making sound financial choices, which means that frivolous spending with a credit card needs to stop. 

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Can A Fiscal Devaluation Solve Europe’s Macroeconomic Imbalances?

Can A Fiscal Devaluation Solve Europe’s Macroeconomic Imbalances?

Date: 8 March 2012

The eurozone crisis has exposed the deep disparities in competitiveness among European economies. Southern European countries, in particular, are lagging far behind other European nations such as Germany and France. But while Europe needs to address the two macroeconomic imbalances – external and fiscal –at the heart of that crisis, such a solution does not require a euro breakup or a major austerity-induced recession.

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Breeding The Culture of Greed: Behind Big Banking Bonuses In The UK

Breeding The Culture of Greed: Behind Big Banking Bonuses In The UK

Date: 7 March 2012

Despite losing billions in 2011, bailed-out British banks, including Lloyds and RBS, continued to pay out millions in bonuses to its top executives. The government has also thus far refused to step in, while public pressure mounts on the executives and politicians. Why are big bonuses still a prevalent part of banking culture and is there really nothing we can do?

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The Asian Argument For Austerity: Stephen Roach

The Asian Argument For Austerity: Stephen Roach

Date: 6 March 2012

With Europe on the brink of recession and recovery in the US finally getting some traction, the case for fiscal consolidation appears increasingly weak. But the case becomes stronger when one considers Asian countries' path from crisis in the late 1990's to astounding growth and prosperity today.

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Can The World Bank Rediscover Itself? : Jeffrey Sachs

Can The World Bank Rediscover Itself? : Jeffrey Sachs

Date: 5 March 2012

The World Bank’s central mission, when it was established in 1944, was to reduce global poverty and ensure that global development was environmentally sound and socially inclusive. However, since then the Bank has only served as an extension of US foreign policy and commercial interests. 

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The Price of India’s Nuclear Ambitions: People's Lives?

The Price of India’s Nuclear Ambitions: People's Lives?

Date: 2 March 2012

After being in denial for years, India’s Department of Atomic Energy finally admitted last month that the deaths of some employees and their dependents at the Kalpakkam nuclear site were caused by multiple myeloma, a rare form of bone marrow cancer linked to nuclear radiation. Will this news put a damper on India’s plans to broaden their nuclear power capabilities?

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Will The World Bank Make The Right Choice?: Devesh Kapur & Arvind Subramanian

Will The World Bank Make The Right Choice?: Devesh Kapur & Arvind Subramanian

Date: 1 March 2012

With Robert Zoellick departing in June as President of the World Bank, the Bank requires a new selection process that will enable it to choose the most qualified person, regardless of nationality. More importantly, it needs to identify the qualifications needed to run the Bank at a time when its role must be adapted to far-reaching global changes. 

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Legitimacy In Limbo: Why Maldivians Remain Unconvinced By Their New Government

Legitimacy In Limbo: Why Maldivians Remain Unconvinced By Their New Government

Date: 28 February 2012

In a democracy, the main source of a government’s political legitimacy should be the public – through elections and the nation’s constitution. But on 7th February 2012, Maldives’ first ever democratically elected president was overthrown in a coup; and while the present government insist that the political change was peaceful and legitimate, few Maldivians are convinced – particularly as government officials themselves remain uncertain over the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power.

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Capitalism On Strike – Why Corporations Are Hoarding Cash: Mark Spitznagel

Capitalism On Strike – Why Corporations Are Hoarding Cash: Mark Spitznagel

Date: 28 February 2012

Corporations, today, are holding the largest amounts of cash, relative to assets and net worth, ever recorded. The velocity of money (the frequency at which money is spent, or GDP relative to base money) also continues to plunge to historic lows. But why are companies deciding to hoard cash, when more capital investment is needed to stir economic growth?

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It Is Time For A Flat Tax System In Europe

It Is Time For A Flat Tax System In Europe

Date: 27 February 2012

Over the last two decades, European policy makers have imposed restrictive fiscal policies on member states. They have concentrated on the design of fiscal rules and the structure of budgetary processes but they have never thought of introducing a new tax system able to reduce unemployment and increase investments. Only one tax system could eliminate all the growth-related problems without generating side effects on domestic expenditure: a flat tax system.

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The Price of Inaction – Why We Are Paying For Our Own Mistakes: Raghuram Rajan

The Price of Inaction – Why We Are Paying For Our Own Mistakes: Raghuram Rajan

Date: 24 February 2012

It is easy to blame politicians for our current economic woes, but do the public have to bear some of the blame as well? As Axel Weber would say, policymakers simply do not have the public mandate to get ahead of problems, especially novel ones that seem small initially, but, if unresolved, imply potentially large costs. What then should the public do to overcome this?

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Is Greece Still Headed Down A Dangerous Dead-End Path? : Mohamed El-Erian

Is Greece Still Headed Down A Dangerous Dead-End Path? : Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 22 February 2012

Greece may have reached a last-minute bailout deal with its debtors, but the country has been saddled with harsh austerity measures and debt conditions, which leaves serious doubt on their ability to recover and avoid default in the longer term. , In key respects, Greece is facing today what Argentina faced in August of 2001. Unless Europe reflects on Argentina's experience, the parallels with Greece may end up including financial meltdown, a deep output collapse, and social and political turmoil.

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How Will The Latest US Sanctions on Iran Affect Africa’s Largest Economy?

How Will Oil Sanctions On Iran Affect Africa’s Largest Economy?

Date: 22 February 2012

The latest round of US sanctions on Iran has left many countries scrambling for new sources for oil. South Africa, who receives nearly 25 percent of its need from Iran, is no different. Yet for South Africa, the situation is further complicated due to its long ties with Iran. Additionally, as the only the nation in the world to have voluntarily surrendered its incipient nuclear weapons program, South Africa could be a crucial player in Iran’s nuclear talks.

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Bring Sustainable Development Back into Mainstream Economics!

Bring Sustainable Development Back into Mainstream Economics!

Date: 21 February 2012

The world needs a new paradigm for sustainable development. With economies teetering, ecosystems under siege, and inequality soaring, the world needs to act now to ensure our sustainable development. But how do we begin to tackle the massive challenge of retooling our global economy, preserving the environment, and providing greater opportunity and equity, including gender equality, to all?

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Paradise Lost: Has Democracy Gone To Hell In The Maldives?

Paradise Lost: Has Democracy Gone To Hell In The Maldives?

Date: 20 February 2012

On February 7th 2012, Mohamed Nasheed, Maldives’ first ever democratically elected president was deposed from his post after a coup led by his predecessor Maumon Abdul Gayoom forced him to resign at gunpoint. What are the implications of Nasheed’s resignations to the Maldives, as well as to democracy in general?

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Should We Care About Income Inequality, Now That It Is Killing The Economy?

Should We Care About Income Inequality, Now That It Is Killing The Economy?

Date: 17 February 2012

In the last few years, the debate on socioeconomic inequality has received greater media attention and academic interest, especially after last year’s Occupy Movement. However, governments across the world have been slow to enact real changes to address the rising epidemic. Income disparities have the potential to upset social equilibriums, and when that happens, the economic recovery might inadvertently be stalled.

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How Regulatory Initiatives Are Driving the Growth of Dim Sum Bonds

How Regulatory Initiatives Are Driving the Growth of Dim Sum Bonds

Date: 16 February 2012

Over the past few years, the development of RMB (Chinese Yuan) denominated bonds issued offshore (generally referred to as “Dim Sum bonds” in the capital markets) has seen exponential growth. We examine the drivers of this growth and how the market has developed and benefitted from regulatory influences and market participation.  

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Iraq: Mixed Opportunities, Messy Outlook? (Part II: Not Quite A Dreamland Yet)

Iraq: Mixed Opportunities, Messy Outlook? (Part II: Not Quite A Dreamland Yet)

Date: 15 February 2012

In part two of our feature on the Iraqi economy, we look at how the downfall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and the subsequent introduction of the US, managed to shape Iraq’s oil industry and political scenario. Finally, we ask what the Iraqi government needs to do to ensure the nation’s future, particularly with the fate of its citizens at hand. 

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Can Capitalism Outlive Its Treacherous Impostor? : Saifedean Ammous & Edmund Phe

Can Capitalism Outlive Its Treacherous Impostor? : Saifedean Ammous & Edmund Phelps

Date: 13 February 2012

The modern “capitalist system” cannot be considered as true capitalism. Rather, this corrupted version is more akin to corporatism, which chokes off the dynamism that makes for engaging work, faster economic growth, and greater opportunity and inclusiveness. The time though could be right for capitalism to once again carry its true meaning, rather than the one attributed to it by corporatists seeking to hide behind it and socialists wanting to vilify it.

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Just What Is Russia’s Fracking Agenda In Bulgaria?

Just What Is Russia’s Fracking Agenda In Bulgaria?

Date: 10 February 2012

Last month, the Bulgarian National Assembly voted to impose an indefinite ban on shale gas exploration and extraction in Bulgaria using hydraulic fracturing or other similar technology. But new evidence have emerged that may suggest some form of covert Russian influence in the matter. 

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Iraq: Mixed Opportunities, Messy Outlook? (Part I: The Road To Entrapment)

Iraq: Mixed Opportunities, Messy Outlook? (Part I: The Road To Entrapment)

Date: 8 February 2012

The Iraqi economy has gone through a roller coaster of changes for the last sixty years. In the first part of our analysis, we explore how Iraq fundamentally changed from an agricultural-based economy to one that relied solely on oil. We also question how this reliance on oil shaped the aftermath of Iraq’s economy and society after the Iran-Iraq war as well as the first Gulf war.

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How Can Virgin Money Shake Up the UK's Banking Sector?

How Can Virgin Money Shake Up the UK's Banking Sector?

Date: 8 February 2012

There is a new bank on UK's High Street. While Virgin Money has been around since 1995,the company only came into serious prominence when it finalised the deal to acquire troubled bank Northern Rock on the 1st of January this year. But will the deal to take over Northern Rock be a good result for the public who bailed out the bank during the financial crisis? And what impact will Virgin Money have on the UK's banking sector?

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Ensuring Sustainable Development Is A Matter Of Human Decency: Jeffrey Sachs

Ensuring Sustainable Development Is A Matter Of Human Decency: Jeffrey Sachs

Date: 7 February 2012

Sustainable development means inclusive economic growth that protects the earth’s vital resources. Yet achieving it will be a matter not only of technology, market incentives, and appropriate regulations; we must embrace sustainable development as a common commitment to decency for all human beings, today and in the future.

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How Will China’s Connectivity Revolution Transform The Nation? : Stephen Roach

How Will China’s Connectivity Revolution Transform The Nation? : Stephen Roach

Date: 6 February 2012

The pace of China’s Internet revolution has been breathtaking. Since 2006, the number of Internet users in China has more than tripled to 485 million, while the cost of connectivity is also expected to fall sharply as China’s Internet penetration rate continues to grow. But while it is always easy to get carried away with the numbers, the real change in China concerns the implications of connectivity, and not just its scale.

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Germany Will Make An Example Of Greece: George Friedman

Germany Will Make An Example Of Greece: George Friedman

Date: 3 February 2012

Germany is caught in a dilemma. On the one hand, while the Germans cannot afford austerity in troubled states due to the resulting decline in demand for German goods, cannot simply tolerate Greek-style indifference to fiscal prudence as well. In dealing with other countries such as Spain or Italy, Germany must now show with Greece that there are consequences to not complying with the orderly handling of debt without default.

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Into The Belly Of The Beast (Part II – Goldman Sachs & The European Crisis)

Into The Belly Of The Beast (Part II – Goldman Sachs & The European Crisis)

Date: 2 February 2012

In part two of our feature on Goldman Sachs, we look at Goldman’s networks of power in Europe and consider the ways in which Goldman is using the same dangerous financial products, which caused the 2007 crisis, to bet against Europe’s floundering economies whilst governing, or advising those countries. Finally, we ask what can be done to reduce Goldman’s power.

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The Keynesian Formula Will Not Solve Our Fundamental Growth Problem: Raghuram Ra

The Keynesian Formula Will Not Solve Our Fundamental Growth Problem: Raghuram Rajan

Date: 1 February 2012

The current economic crisis demands solutions. But while most government officials, central bankers, and Wall Street economists have subscribed to the standard Keynesian formula for recovery, the potential results from this step simply paper over much of the real problems to the economy and create an illusion of normalcy. (Attached Video: Raghuram Rajan on Risks to the Global Economy)

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Unclogging The Global Credit Crisis: Mohamed El-Erian

Unclogging The Global Credit Crisis: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 31 January 2012

The world faces a nasty credit problem. Far too often, companies and households with access to credit tend not to need it; while those who do, are not able to receive it. If this situation is left unattended, it might lead to a gradual, and then accelerated, renewed deleveraging of the economic system. How then can we unclog the global economy’s choked credit pipes?

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Who Will Win The War Over Financial Regulations?

Who Will Win The War Over Financial Regulations?

Date: 30 January 2012

As the world continues to clamp down on untamed speculative finance, disagreements between nations, global banks and financial institutions are likely to intensify. At the same time, the financial sector, and its lobbyists, will be doing all they can to adulterate, block or water down any reforms. Can any of the reforms stick, or will they ultimately have the perverse effect of increasing, and not decreasing, financial instability?

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With Her Debt in Tow, Where is China Heading? : Michael Pettis

With Her Debt in Tow, Where is China Heading? : Michael Pettis

Date: 27 January 2012

China’s success story is one that would certainly go down the chapters of economic history. While the West firefights its debt crisis, many fail to realize that China too has her own fair share of debt. The overinvestment theory has gained greater attention from academics and politicians alike, and China is now looking to boost internal consumption as its engine of growth. However, unless Beijing has new tricks to cover its losses, her bad debt will put downward pressure on consumption growth. 

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Into The Belly Of The Beast (Part 1: How Goldman Sachs Went From Boy Scouts to B

Into The Belly Of The Beast (Part I - How Goldman Sachs Became The Most Hated Bank On Earth)

Date: 26 January 2012

Goldman Sachs is the bank everyone loves to hate. In the first of our two-part investigation into the bank, we ask why they emerged as the biggest winners in the financial crisis. We also look at how they lobbied the US Government to reduce banking regulations, how they acquired massive fortunes by selling sub-prime mortgages, and how they deceived their clients by betting against the products they sold.

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Egyptians Will Not Settle For An Incomplete Revolution: Mohamed El-Erian

Egyptians Will Not Settle For An Incomplete Revolution: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 25 January 2012

Exactly one year ago, as the World Economic Forum convened in Davos, Egyptians took to the streets in a relatively peaceful protest to overthrow a regime that had ruled over them with an iron fist for 30 years. Today, their revolution is, unfortunately, incomplete and imperfect, but make no mistake: Egyptians will finish what they started.

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Enter The Dragon Year – How Will Asia Fare? : Haruhiko Kuroda

Enter The Dragon Year – How Will Asia Fare? : Haruhiko Kuroda

Date: 23 January 2012

The Year of the Dragon could be a challenging time for Asian countries as uncertainties – from within and without the region – are growing rapidly. As such, a calm, sensible, and prudent approach is needed to ensure Asia’s steady economic and development transformation.

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Can The Growth of Emerging Markets Outpace Developed Markets?

Can The Growth of Emerging Markets Outpace Developed Markets?

Date: 19 January 2012

While there remains much optimism in the potential of emerging markets, the truth is their economies are still largely dependent on the performance and health of developed markets. By most accounts, emerging markets are export-driven, and highly sensitive to currency movements and commodity prices. Given the weak slim chance of global recovery this year, what is the fate of emerging markets?

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Think 2011 Was Bad? 2012 Is Set To Be Even Worse: Joseph Stiglitz

Think 2011 Was Bad? 2012 Will Be Even Worse: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 17 January 2012

The pragmatic commitment to growth that one sees in Asia and other emerging markets today stands in contrast to the West’s misguided policies, which, driven by ideology and vested interests, almost seem to reflect a commitment not to grow. As a result, global economic rebalancing is likely to accelerate, almost inevitably giving rise to political tensions.

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Coal Comfort: Will Pakistan’s Latest Energy Project Flourish or Flop?

Coal Comfort: Will Pakistan’s Latest Energy Project Flourish or Flop?

Date: 16 January 2012

Pakistan faces a desperate need for more energy. As such, officials are now pinning their hopes on an underground coal gasification project that they hope will be able to power the country for the next 30 years. But will the country’s lack of knowledge and expertise, coupled with inept crony management, threaten to snuff out their latest efforts?

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The Future Of Oil Prices In 2012? It’s Anyone’s Guess

The Future Of Oil Prices In 2012? It’s Anyone’s Guess

Date: 13 January 2012

There is a remarkably wide spread of views among professional oil analysts concerning oil prices in 2012. While some factors, such as shale gas, could potentially push prices down, the situation in Iran for instance threaten to send the price of oil soaring. Still, despite the uncertainty, there appears to be a consensus-anticipated range among analysts. Or at least for now it seems.

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Coming Soon to a Bank Near You: The End Of Free Consumer Banking

Coming Soon to a Bank Near You: The End Of Free Consumer Banking

Date: 12 January 2012

Many of us are familiar with the basic services that banks provide. In simple, straightforward cases, banks keep our money and pay an interest on it, while providing the convenience of cash withdrawals along their network of ATMs. But are consumers benefitting from their banks, or are they really ripped off by hidden bank charges?

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The Future of Renewable Energy in Africa: Promising or Precarious?

The Future of Renewable Energy in Africa: Promising or Precarious?

Date: 9 January 2012

In 2011, the total investments in renewable energy in Africa rose from $750 million in 2004 to $3.6 billion. By 2020, this sum is expected to grow to $57 billion – a staggering 1,583 percent increase in nine short years. Will Africa be able to do what it takes to ensure its energy future?

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Are Corporate Values Still Relevant, or Clichéd?

Are Corporate Values Still Relevant, or Clichéd?

Date: 6 January 2012

Google has it. Microsoft, too, has it. Virgin, eBay and many other successful companies, they all have it. Corporate values, that is. While the term ‘corporate values’ has lost its buzzword status in recent years, it remains a key foundation of great businesses. Cliché or not, corporate values help businesses stay true to themselves, and more than anything else, it’s the vision of a great company. 

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Will New Us Sanctions On Iran Cost The President His Job?

Will New U.S. Sanctions On Iran Cost The President His Job?

Date: 5 January 2012

Tensions are high between the West and Iran. Over the weekend, United States President Barack Obama imposed new financial sanctions that would directly affect Iran’s oil export market. Very swiftly, the European Union announced that it will ban the import of all Iranian crude, a big blow to Iran since that represents almost 20 percent of its export market. How will Iran react, and what implications does this have for the oil market, and geopolitical security? 

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China vs. India – Is Either Economy At Risk? : Stephen Roach

China vs. India – Is Either Economy At Risk? : Stephen Roach

Date: 4 January 2012

Both China and India depend heavily on the broader economic global climate. The fear is that if China and India fall, Asia would be at risk, and it would be hard to avoid a global recession. Yet fears of hard landings for both economies are overblown, especially regarding China.

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Will India’s National Solar Mission Shine?

Will India’s National Solar Mission Shine?

Date: 3 January 2012

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is a major government initiative in India that aims to promote ecologically sustainable growth for the country, while addressing India’s energy security challenges. But, disputes between the private and public sectors threatens to cast a dark shadow over the project. Will India’s National Solar Mission get its chance in the limelight? 

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Taiwan: Another Fukushima In The Making?

Taiwan: Another Fukushima In The Making?

Date: 30 December 2011

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, countries around the world have been re-evaluating their nuclear power facilities. Just like Fukushima, Taiwan’s nuclear power reactors are fairly old, with all six of its existing reactors built near fault lines. Will there be a turnaround in Taiwan’s commitment to nuclear energy?

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Europe’s Policy Problem: Balancing Austerity With Economic Growth

Europe’s Policy Problem: Balancing Austerity With Economic Growth

Date: 29 December 2011

Since the eurozone debt crisis crisis erupted in Greece almost two years ago, EU leaders have failed to propose a solution that balances austerity and economic growth, without which confidence in the euro cannot be restored. Perhaps European policymakers should look to Argentina for the answer.

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Fix The Enterprises, Fix The Economy: Henry Mintzberg

Fix The Enterprises, Fix The Economy: Henry Mintzberg

Date: 28 December 2011

An economy is simply an accumulation of transactions involving goods and services, mostly carried out by business enterprises. Their behaviour is what matters, and this can be adequately perceived only on the ground, where the behaviour occurs – where an economy is built, where it breaks, and where it must be fixed.

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A New Economic Disorder – When Old Western Powers & Emerging Markets Clash: Moha

A New Economic Disorder – When Old Western Powers & Emerging Markets Clash: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 27 December 2011

The world has turned upside down. All of a sudden, “rich” countries were the ones running large deficits, while “poor” countries ran surpluses – accumulating large stocks of external assets, including financial claims on Western economies. At first glance, this could seem to reflect what advocates of a new international economic order had in mind. But appearances can be misleading, and, in this case, they are misleading in a significant way.

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Green growth or de-growth: What is the best way to stop businesses destroying th

Green growth or de-growth: What is the best way to stop businesses destroying the biosphere?

Date: 22 December 2011

The world’s major 3,000 corporations are responsible for a third of global environmental damage, but economists are divided in their views of how to stop them polluting. Some say government regulation, allied to promoting the business case, is the answer. But other experts say we need a new type of capitalism, which allows our economies to stop growing, or even to shrink.

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Václav Havel: A Life in Truth : Jeffrey D. Sachs

Václav Havel: A Life in Truth : Jeffrey D. Sachs

Date: 22 December 2011

The world’s greatest shortage is not of oil, clean water, or food, but of moral leadership. With a commitment to truth – scientific, ethical, and personal – a society can overcome the many crises of poverty, disease, hunger, and instability that confront us. Yet power abhors truth, and battles it relentlessly. So let us pause to express gratitude to Václav Havel, who died this month, for enabling a generation to gain the chance to live in truth.

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Disruptive Innovation: Fuelling The Growth Of Emerging Markets : Javier Santiso

Disruptive Innovation: Fuelling The Growth Of Emerging Markets : Javier Santiso

Date: 21 December 2011

The decade for emerging markets has come. It is not an understatement that there has been a major shift in global powers following the financial storm that started almost 5 years ago. Despite the storm, emerging markets have already captured 40 percent of world GDP. Looking ahead, a lesser-known revolution – theorised: disruptive innovation – will see to the exponential growth of emerging markets in the next decade. 

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China’s 2012 Outlook: The Bad News about the Reserve Cut

China’s 2012 Outlook: The Bad News about the Reserve Cut

Date: 20 December 2011

We’ve heard both sides of the debate of how China’s economy will land. Some have predicted a soft landing, others the contrary. At the same time, many others have said 2012 will be the year of the Europocalypse and the final mile for China’s economic boom. But what does the Chinese Central Bank feel about 2012, and what can we infer from the Bank’s recent reserve cut? 

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Iraq Desperately Seeking Investors as the US Withdraws

Iraq Desperately Seeking Investors as the US Withdraws

Date: 19 December 2011

Is the United States leaving Iraq for good, or are they leaving them in the lurch? As Iraqis celebrate the departure of the last American convoy, Iraq’s security and economy remains extremely vulnerable. President Obama has said that Iraq will grow faster than India and China, but can, and will Iraq warm up to economic cooperation with the United States? 

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Russia’s Roulette: Will Moscow Risks Its Relationships With The US & Europe?

Russia’s Roulette: Will Moscow Risk Its Relationships With The US & Europe?

Date: 15 December 2011

Russia appears to be playing a dangerous game in its relationships with the US and Central Europe. Moscow’s strategy involves using crises with the United States to create uncertainty in Central Europe and to make the Europeans uncomfortable over perceptions that the United States has forced Russia to act the way it is acting. But, if Moscow takes its aggressive moves too far, it could spark a backlash from both sides.

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Could A Gulf War III Erupt Between Iraq And Kuwait Over Oil?

Could A Gulf War III Erupt Between Iraq And Kuwait Over Oil?

Date: 14 December 2011

Though more than 20 years have passed since Saddam Hussein led Iraq in invading Kuwait, eventually sparking the First Gulf War, conflicts over the two countries over the 10 oil fields that spread across the Iraqi-Kuwaiti frontier still remain. Once again, both countries are throwing accusations at each other, with Iraqis complaining that Kuwaitis have been “stealing” their oil, while Kuwait alleges that Iraqi companies are extracting oil from Kuwaiti oil reserves. Will there be a third Gulf War?

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Europe’s Summit To The Death: Kevin O’Rourke

Europe’s Summit To The Death: Kevin O’Rourke

Date: 13 December 2011

The recently concluded European Union Summit only proved one thing: that Europe’s leaders were still in denial about the true causes of the eurozone’s problems, and thus were unable to resolve them. The proposed fiscal stability union may indeed prevent a collapse in the short run – though that is far from certain – but treaty negotiations outside the EU framework, and the ratification procedures that will follow, are a recipe for even more uncertainty when Europe needs it least.

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Mexico’s Big Fracking Decision: Pesos, Power or People?

Mexico’s Big Fracking Decision: Pesos, Power or People?

Date: 12 December 2011

According to a recent EIA report, Mexico is now sitting on very large natural gas fields that could allow it to end gas imports and could give it energy independence. But in order to unleash the natural gas, Mexico will have to utilize the process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, which has numerous environmental risks. What will the Mexican government do?

 

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UK’s Alarming Apathy Towards Its Banking Sector’s Criminality

UK’s Alarming Apathy Towards Its Banking Sector’s Criminality

Date: 9 December 2011

The UK’s financial regulatory bodies have shown a surprising "hear no evil" attitude to criminality in its banking and financial sector. At times, the financial regulators almost seemed to want to pretend that criminality and fraud didn't, or couldn't exist in the domain they are supposed to police. Unless this issue is addressed, London risks losing its mantle as a world leading financial centre.

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Clarity Ahead?

Citizens of Europe to Bear the Cost for Damages They Didn’t Cause: Raghuram Rajan

Date: 8 December 2011

As the indebted eurozone countries scramble to find ways to raise liquidity or risk default, contagion threatens to spread across the continent and the globe – an unfortunate reality of globalization and the interdependency of economic and financial markets. However, the pain is for citizens across Europe to bear, for they will inherit a national debt.

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Crikey! Can Australia Afford To Go Solar?

Crikey! Can Australia Afford To Go Solar?

Date: 6 December 2011

Australia, like all modern economies, needs an assured supply of energy to function effectively. Presently, coal generates about 80 percent of Australia's electrical energy output; but as external sources of fossil fuels continue to decline, a shift to renewable energy sources is needed. But the costs for such a move, particularly to solar power, are high. What are Australia’s alternatives?

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Shanghai, Nanjing Road

China’s New Wave of Economic Immigration

Date: 2 December 2011

Since China opened up its doors to the world a few decades ago, we’ve witnessed what has been a remarkable Chinese growth spurt. Today, China has the second largest economy in the world, the largest bank by market capitalization, and also the largest population of 1.34 billion in the world. As its economy continues to run full steam ahead, it is unsurprising that China is grappling to contain a massive influx of foreigners, both skilled and unskilled, who want a slice of its growing economic pie. 

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Asia’s Wake-Up Call – Is The Export-Oriented Model Dead? : Stephen S. Roach

Asia’s Wake-Up Call – Is The Export-Oriented Model Dead? : Stephen S. Roach

Date: 30 November 2011

The US’s and Europe’s woes should be ringing alarm bells across Asia. Although many believe that the region can shrug off almost anything that the rest of the world dishes out, the crises in both regions have intensified Asia’s vulnerability to external shocks. This is Asia’s second wake-up call in three years, and this time the region needs to take the warning seriously.

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Can The “Wild Beast of Finance” Be Tamed?

Can The “Wild Beast of Finance” Be Tamed?

Date: 29 November 2011

The re-regulation of derivatives has been a subject of enormous debate. After the US government completely deregulated over-the-counter derivatives back in 1999-2000, many critics argued that the complexity and lack of transparency in the market amplified the problems of the 2008 financial crisis. However, proponents say that the flexibility of OTC derivatives provide for financial innovation and user customization. As such, should the “wild beast of finance” be tamed, and more importantly, can it even be tamed in the first place.

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How Technology Is Revolutionizing Services: Jeffrey D. Sachs

How Technology Is Revolutionizing Services: Jeffrey D. Sachs

Date: 29 November 2011

The costs of services need no longer be linked to the cost of goods. A sharp decline in the costs of health care, education, and other services is now possible, thanks to the ongoing revolution in information and communications technology. Consequently, the world’s economies, both rich and poor alike, have much to gain from accelerated innovation in the information age.

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Kazakhstan’s Extraordinary Rise To Power In The Energy Game

Kazakhstan’s Extraordinary Rise To Power In The Energy Game

Date: 28 November 2011

In 2011, Kazakhstan's oil exports ran at 1.74 million barrels per day. The total value of the nation’s oil exports have also risen by 112 times in the last 20 years, with the nation now exporting over $54.086 billion worth of oil in this year. But despite being one of the world’s rising oil exporters, Kazakhstan has also begun diversifying its energy exports to nuclear resources as well, with the nation now becoming the world’s largest producer of mined uranium.

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Forget Finance, Europe’s Next Crisis Will Be Political In Nature: George Friedma

Forget Finance, Europe’s Next Crisis Will Be Political In Nature: George Friedman

Date: 28 November 2011

The European Union project is facing its biggest test. Regardless of whether the next immediate European crisis is focused on Spain or Italy, it follows that by mid-decade, Europe’s political landscape will have shifted dramatically, with new parties, personalities and values emerging. As such, the real question, therefore, is not how the financial crisis works out. It is whether the European project will survive.

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Toronto Financial District

How Did Canada Turn Its Debt Crisis Around In 6 Years, 20 Years Ago?

Date: 25 November 2011

Back in 1992, Standard and Poor’s downgraded Canada’s triple A credit rating to AA+ amid concerns over its fiscal health. But in just six years, the budget was balanced and Canada won its prized AAA rating back within a decade. How did they do it, and what can the United States, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Hungary and many other indebted nations learn from Canada?

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Why We Need A Rethink of Development Aid: Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Why We Need A Rethink of Development Aid: Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Date: 24 November 2011

Over the last 25 years, the share of poor people in developing countries has been cut by half, while impressive development successes have been witnessed in countries once thought beyond help, thanks to effective developmental aid. But, while these results are promising, much remains to be done.

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Tensions Brew In The Caspian Sea With Russia’s Latest Move

Tensions Brew In The Caspian Sea With Russia’s Latest Move

Date: 24 November 2011

Since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the nations that border the Caspian Sea – namely Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan – have quarrelled over how to properly divide its waters. With as much as 250 billion barrels of recoverable oil, 200 billion barrels of potential reserves and 9.2 trillion cubic meters of recoverable natural gas, at stake, tensions have risen over recent moves by Russia to develop its offshore resources.

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The Shifting Sands of Power In The Middle East: George Friedman

The Shifting Sands of Power In The Middle East: George Friedman

Date: 23 November 2011

As the US readies itself for a complete withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year, the rest of the Middle East have also been preparing for this eventuality. The dynamics between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Israel could determine the future of the region as Washington’s influence becomes increasingly distant and irrelevant.

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Cuba’s Gradual Revolution: Will Capitalist-Style Reforms Save The Socialist Nati

Cuba’s Gradual Revolution: Will Capitalist-Style Reforms Save The Socialist Nation?

Date: 22 November 2011

On November 10 2011, Cuba’s Communist Party implemented free market-like reforms to the nation’s property market, by finally allowing Cubans to buy and sell property on their own. These reforms have been met by both optimism and scepticism from within the Cuban and international community, as doubts remain over their long-term future. How will these reforms affect Cuba, and how should the rest of the world react?

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Nuclear Power

Barely A Year After Fukushima, IEA Says: Embrace Nuclear

Date: 21 November 2011

The latest report from the IEA is not going to please environmentalists. Accordingly, the IEA admonishes governments for not fully embracing renewable energies – including nuclear energy. But to be fair, there is a desperate need to focus on nuclear power if we are to meet growing energy demand. The only question then that remains is whether governments have the cash and political will to consider embracing nuclear. 

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The 12 Fastest Growing Economies For 2012

The 12 Fastest Growing Economies For 2012

Date: 18 November 2011

The year 2011 has been a roller coaster ride of sorts.It began with the Tunisians toppling their authoritarian regime, which we soon realized was a catalyst for what many have labelled the “Arab Spring.” What we then saw was unprecedented – the power of collective action inspiring a suppressed generation across the Arab nations. Egypt disposed of their dictator Hosni Mubarak. Libya experienced a hostile armed struggle for months, before Muammar el-Qaddafi was eventually captured by rebels.

 

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America’s New “Pacific Offensive” – A Strategy To Contain China: Sanjaya Baru

America’s New “Pacific Offensive” – A Strategy To Contain China: Sanjaya Baru

Date: 17 November 2011

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a multilateral free trade agreement that aims to further liberalise the economies of the Asia-Pacific region. While the economics of the TPP is important, the strategic component is even more so. This is the second leg of America’s new “Pacific offensive,” aimed at offering nations in the region an alternative to excessive and rapidly growing dependence on a rising China.

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Europe’s New Technocracy: Superseding Democracy And Force Feeding Austerity

Europe’s New Technocracy: Superseding Democracy & Force Feeding Austerity

Date: 17 November 2011

In just one month, both Greece and Italy have made dramatic changes to their governments. The technocrats are now in charge, with the governments from both nations seeing fit to appoint un-elected officials into power in a desperate attempt to deal with their respective crises. But are we heading down a slippery slope towards a “banker’s coup” in the heart of Europe?

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The Endgame For The Eurozone Has Begun: Nouriel Roubini

The Endgame For The Eurozone Has Begun: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 16 November 2011

Germany and the ECB have less power over the eurozone's peripheral countries than they seem to believe. If they continue to insist on concentrating all the pain of economic adjustment in the periphery, the monetary union’s slow-developing train wreck will accelerate as peripheral countries default and revert to national currencies.

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Fracking Hell: Hydraulic Fracturing Confirmed As Cause For Increased Earthquakes

Fracking Hell: Hydraulic Fracturing Confirmed As Cause For Increased Earthquakes In US

Date: 16 November 2011

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it is otherwise known, is the process by which pressurized water is used to fracture rock layers thus releasing petroleum, natural gas, or other substances so that they can be extracted. While oil and gas companies have taken out very expensive media campaigns to promote the benefits of the technology, genuine concerns have emerged over its environmental and ecological impact. 

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Sorry “99%”, There Is No Quick Fix For Inequality: Raghuram Rajan

Sorry “99%”, There Are No Quick Fixes For Inequality: Raghuram Rajan

Date: 15 November 2011

Reading some economists, it might seem that the answer to all current problems is to tax the richest 1 percent and redistribute to everyone else. But if governments tax their rich more, they should do it with the aim of improving access and opportunity for all, rather than as a punitive measure to rectify some imagined wrong.

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Flat-Lining The Flat Tax: Mitchell Orenstein

Flat-Lining The Flat Tax: Mitchell Orenstein

Date: 15 November 2011

The US does not need an experiment with a flat tax. A careful study of countries that have embraced a flat tax system demonstrated three main pre-conditions that required a flat tax; none of which the US has. Adopting a flat tax would only confirm what many suspect but hope is not true: that America is broke, desperate for inward investment, incompetently governed, and increasingly ruled by a self-regarding oligarchic elite.

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Will Germany Regret Going Non-Nuclear?

Will Germany Regret Going Non-Nuclear?

Date: 14 November 2011

The fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster left the entire world running scared. Germany, for instance, announced that they would be shutting down all of its 18 nuclear power plants by 2022, choosing to rely on renewable energy sources and traditional coal-fired plants in the future instead. But the cost of utilising renewable energy sources will be great. Apart from having to actually invest into the technology, Germany could also face opportunity losses that would harm its long-term economic planning.

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Europe’s Woes Stem From A Crisis Of Nationalism: George Friedman

Europe’s Woes Stem From A Crisis Of Nationalism: George Friedman

Date: 11 November 2011

The European Union was formed by high-minded elites who believed that closer economic integration and interdependence between nations would result in fewer military conflicts that stemmed from nationalism.  However, the financial crisis that has engulfed the continent has since revealed the fault lines to the EU’s system – one that replaces military conflicts with economic ones. As such the ongoing crisis in Europe should not be seen as a crisis about the euro, or even a crisis about economics. Rather, it is actually a crisis about nationalism.

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The Grand Charade Of UK’s Most Dangerous Banker

The Grand Charade Of UK’s Most Dangerous Banker

Date: 10 November 2011

Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond surprised many this month when he admitted on a lecture broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Today that banks had done a “poor job” of explaining how they contribute to society and that many people had failed to notice how the banks had changed since the 2008 financial crisis. But while Diamond’s statements appear reconciliatory, much of what he said was cosmetic, window-dressing, and lacking in real substance. Has “the most dangerous man in Britain” changed his spots or has this been all one grand charade?

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A Global Transcendence of Change – What The 99% Really Want: Joseph Stiglitz

A Global Transcendence of Change – What The 99% Really Want: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 9 November 2011

Across the world, protestors are agitating for change. On one level, the protesters are asking for little: a chance to use their skills, the right to decent work at decent pay, a fairer economy and society. Their hope is evolutionary, not revolutionary. But, on another level, they are asking for a great deal: a democracy where people, not dollars, matter, and a market economy that delivers on what it is supposed to do.

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Egypt’s New Wind of Change

Egypt’s New Wind of Change

Date: 8 November 2011

 

Wind power may currently only contribute to less than 1 percent of Egypt’s energy output, but most experts believe that it has the potential to meet the nation’s energy needs. The largest bottleneck thus far to expanding Egypt’s wind power facilities, though, has been in securing funding for the development. But with the overthrow of the Mubarak government coupled with newer, and more ambitious plans for the industry, there is renewed optimism for a wind-powered revival in the country.

 

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America’s Unhealthy Obsession With The Idiot Box: Jeffrey D. Sachs

America’s Unhealthy Obsession With The Idiot Box: Jeffrey D. Sachs

Date: 8 November 2011

The US is a nation of vidiots – idiots raised through an unhealthy diet of television and mass propaganda. Ever since America’s love affair with the television set began in the early 1960s, there has been a slow but gradual atomisation of the American society, thanks to the propagation of corporate and political propaganda.

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A New Russian Empire: What Exactly Is Putin Planning?

A New Russian Empire: What Exactly Is Putin Planning?

Date: 7 November 2011

If Russia has its way, a Eurasian Union (EuU) will be formed by 2015 – comprising of Russia and many of its former territories under the old Soviet Union regime. The EuU, while not a recreation of the Soviet Union, is a representation of a new Russian empire that will serve the nation’s strategic and economic needs; even at the expense of a new confrontation with the US.

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Europe’s Old Bank Business Models Are Obsolete: Gene Frieda

Europe’s Old Bank Business Models Are Obsolete: Gene Frieda

Date: 6 November 2011

Eurozone’s outsized banks are highly leveraged and dependent on large quantities of wholesale debt. According to Barclays Capital, the 15 largest banks increased their returns on equity by 58 percent between 1998 and 2007, with 90 percent of the gain coming from higher leverage. However, returns have since collapsed. While this collapse will not result in a Lehman Brothers-scenario, the collapse does reflect an obsolescence in the banks’ business models, which could eventually result in further misfortune.

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Oil Rig

Oil Claims in South China Sea: Will International Law or Force Prevail?

Date: 3 November 2011

 

Several nations are contesting the South China Sea’s offshore resources. China has stepped out to warn that it is not to be provoked, while countries like the Philippines and Vietnam are hoping that international law would provide some backing for its claim to oil. But no one is raising any eyebrows; after all billions in oil profits are at stake here. 

 

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Men in Shadows, Who Are They?

The Blame Game: If The Banks Didn’t Cause The Financial Crisis, What Did?

Date: 3 November 2011

For a few years now, the banking industry has shouldered much of the blame for the massive financial crisis that is threatening the health of the global economy, while many others have been quick to point out the glaring lack of financial regulation. But, interestingly, there is now a growing awareness of what is known as the “shadow banking system” and findings have shown that they may have been the ones who caused the crisis after all. 

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Nobel Prize Winners

Reclaiming Economics As A Moral Science

Date: 3 November 2011

Many believe that science is about innovation that can improve the living conditions of humanity. For decades, the study of economics was conceived and taught as a “moral science,” until the fateful day Cambridge University decided to categorize economics under the school of “social science.” One of this year's Nobel Prize winner for economics is a keen advocate of efficient markets, a school of thought that has contributed much to the current financial meltdown. In light of the current economic crisis, we wonder: What has economic science done for humanity?

 

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Capital-Account Regulations: Will The G-20 Get It Right?

Capital Controls & Currency Wars: Will The G-20 Get It Right?

Date: 2 November 2011

In April this year, the IMF published a preliminary set of guidelines for capital controls that would impose a “code of conduct” for governments that wished to regulate the flow of capital in and out of their capital accounts. It was hoped that these regulations would ensure that nations involved in currency intervention would not go out of hand. But while the IMF’s proposed code was a step in the right direction, much of it has eventually been proven to be a misguided effort.

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America’s China-Centric Blame Game Is Absurd: Stephen S. Roach

America’s China-Centric Blame Game Is Absurd: Stephen S. Roach

Date: 1 November 2011

China-bashing in the US has now reached unprecedented levels. While China does account for 42 percent of America’s trade deficit, few realise that the US actually also runs deficits with 87 other countries. At the same time, most of the US problems stem from within the country. Blaming China for all of the US problems will only serve to deflect attention away from those truly responsible for perpetuating the greatest saving shortfall in history.

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Even Israel's High-Tech Sector Struggles to Make Solar Power Cost Effective

Even Israel's High-Tech Sector Struggles to Make Solar Power Cost Effective

Date: 31 October 2011

As a consequence of the global recession that began in 2008, prices for photovoltaic solar panels worldwide have receded. The failure of the US federally subsidized company Solyndra, for instance, has also put a damper on the solar power industry as governments start to question their support for alternative energy companies. How has this affected Israel, where energy imports remain a major topic of concern to the government?

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Can The Financial Stability Board Live Up To Its Name? :Olin Wethington

Can The Financial Stability Board Live Up To Its Name? :Olin Wethington

Date: 31 October 2011

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) was formed in the midst of the global financial crisis in order to coordinate urgent international regulatory-reform efforts and ensure greater financial stability and global consistency of rules. Yet today, the FSB continues to be criticised as simply a product of a political statement, lacking the legal standing to enforce or implement any of its mandates. What more can be done to strengthen the role of the FSB?

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Waking Up From The Nightmare On Wall Street

Waking Up From The Nightmare On Wall Street

Date: 28 October 2011

We, as a collective society, have to shoulder some of the blame for financial crisis as we essentially allowed Wall Street and our policymakers to run the global economy into the ground while we slumbered in blissful ignorance of their misdeeds. But while we have stirred from our slumber, as evident through protests such as Occupy Wall Street, our true awakening will only come when we acquire the knowledge required to fully comprehend the issues.

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Is Occupy Wall Street Bringing Back “Real” Capitalism?

Is Occupy Wall Street Bringing Back “Real” Capitalism?

Date: 27 October 2011

Modern capitalism, as we know it, is a sick and distorted perversion of its true origins. Since the 1980s, the form of capitalism that has dominated western economies has been one where large corporations and most financial institutions are able to privatize their gains whilst socializing their losses. The recent Occupy Wall Street movement, as such, isn’t so much as a retaliation against capitalism, but rather against its modern incarnation.

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The American Economy is In Danger of Stalling: Mohamed El-Erian

The American Economy Is In Danger of Stalling: Mohamed El-Erian

Date: 25 October 2011

Stall speed is a terrifying risk for an economy like that of the US, which desperately needs to grow robustly. However, The private sector alone cannot and will not counter the risk of stall speed. What is desperately needed is better policymaking. But US policymakers are at an impasse, and unless they can break this impasse, the greater the risk for the US economy.

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Chief Planning Officer for Bhutan, Exclusive Interview With EconomyWatch

Development, But At What Price? Lessons from the Happiest Place in Asia

Date: 25 October 2011

At last month's UN General Assembly, Bhutan's Prime Minister denounced what he called a “monster of a consumerist market economy” that “enslaves humanity and thrives on the insatiable nature of our greed,” urging instead for an alternative form of economic governance that shies away from the indulgent emphasis on GDP. EconomyWatch spoke to Bhutan’s Chief Planning Officer, Mr. Karma Galay, and found out exactly what the nation sees as a viable and sustainable form of alternative development.

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Is Monsanto Using Us As “Human Guinea Pigs”?

Is Monsanto Using Us As “Human Guinea Pigs”?

Date: 21 October 2011

Nearly all research into GM foods is funded by Monsanto, or other bio-tech companies, meaning truly independent data is rare. Some scientists claim only GM foods can feed the world’s booming population, but others say we are only using people as “human guinea pigs”.

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Appetite For Self-Destruction: Have Rating Agencies Lost The Plot?

Appetite For Self-Destruction: Have Rating Agencies Lost The Plot?

Date: 20 October 2011

If Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s had a decent public relations consultant he/she would advise a calm period of low profile, or, in other words, the exact opposite strategy to the headline-chasing frenzy that appears to have gripped all three agencies. It is as if they are desperate to get the message across that hey, they’re not afraid of downgrading anything any more. But simply firing out downgrades cannot undo the damage they did to themselves prior to the financial crisis when they were happily dishing out AAA ratings to rubbish securitized packages of mortgages.

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Why Inequality Will Only Lead To Our Downfall: Nouriel Roubini

Why Inequality Will Only Lead To Our Downfall: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 19 October 2011

Any economic model that doesn’t properly address inequality will eventually face a crisis of legitimacy, as today's global protests are now demonstrating. Unless the relative economic roles of the market and the state are rebalanced, the protests of 2011 will become more severe, eventually harming long-term economic growth and welfare.

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The Libyan Fallout – Lessons For Global Sovereign Wealth Funds: Efraim Chalamish

The Libyan Fallout – Lessons For Global Sovereign Wealth Funds: Efraim Chalamish

Date: 18 October 2011

The Libyan Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund in which Muammar el-Qaddafi’s regime allegedly stashed and misused Libya’s oil wealth, has cast a dark shadow on SWFs all across the world. While no one should infer from the Libyan case that other SWFs are riddled with corruption and conflicts of interest, there are critical issues that are applicable to global corporations and funds.

 

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SOS – The Eurozone Can No Longer Save Themselves: Raghuram Rajan

SOS – The Eurozone Can No Longer Save Themselves: Raghuram Rajan

Date: 17 October 2011

The eurozone crisis is now a global crisis. If the crisis cannot be resolved quickly, the entire world will suffer. Despite the global implications, the eurozone continues to try and rely on itself to solve its woes. This is a recipe for trouble. The eurozone should suppress any wounded pride, acknowledge that it needs help, and provide quickly what it has already promised. 

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Mubarak's Trial

Mubarak’s Legacy of Debt: Saifedean Ammous

Date: 14 October 2011

Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade long reign in Egypt has had frightening consequences on its economy. Especially in the wake of the European debt crisis, the extent and impact of Egypt’s public debt has become impossible to ignore. Here, Ammous makes a compelling case about public debt servicing costs and liability on behalf of a people experiencing severe economic, political and social problems.

 

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Wen Jiabao and Angela Merkel

Can China Alone Save the Eurozone?

Date: 13 October 2011

China is under pressure to bailout European countries facing debt crises. It is in the interest of China to save the eurozone, but China so far seems reluctant to extend a helping hand. As governor of the Chinese central bank, Zhou XiaoChuan told the IMF, it is still too early for China to intervene – which is probably code for “If you think we are buying euros or even euro bonds on any kind of scale while you are in this mess, think again.”

 

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Cairo Riots

Riots in Cairo: Eyewitness Account – Reva Bhalla

Date: 12 October 2011

 

The sectarian rioting that broke out in Cairo October 9 is a painful reminder of the obstacles in the way ahead of elections that are scheduled to begin in November. Reva Bhalla provides an eyewitness account of the violence that unfolded and discusses the new phase in a post-Mubarak Egypt. 

 

 

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Time Turner

Undoing the Bankruptcy of Capitalism: Joseph E. Stiglitz

Date: 11 October 2011

To cure the economy, we need to understand exactly what ails it. An accurate diagnosis is just as important as a proper prescription. As Stiglitz argues, the economic problem we have is more severe than most people realize and the shocker is this: Austerity will not cure it. 

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Should Dexia Be Bailed Out Again?

Dexia Breakup Woes: What Happens During A Bank Bailout: Peter Zeihan

Date: 10 October 2011

In 2008, France, Belgium and Luxembourg jointly stepped in with €150 billion of guarantees to tide over Dexia after it ran into financing difficulties. Today, the three nations are once again bailing out the embattled Dexia, with the Belgian state buying Dexia’s local unit for €4 billion. 

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Missing the Mark

Solutions to the Eurozone’s Problems Miss the Mark: George Friedman

Date: 7 October 2011

The economic crisis in the eurozone is, without doubt, mammoth. On a more optimistic note, central bankers and governing authorities seem to have reached a consensus on how to tackle the economic problems: by giving banks and countries money, defaults can be avoided. But this does not address the fundamental dilemma of Europe, nor does it show a concerted understanding of Europe’s underlying political complexities. 

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Strikeout! A Triumvirate of Failure: Bernanke, Obama and Trichet

Strikeout! A Triumvirate of Failure: Bernanke, Obama and Trichet

Date: 6 October 2011

6 October 2011. In the course of the past few days, three leading figures attempted to redirect the attention of the markets by giving positive speeches about economic plans for their country/region. Yet all three failed miserably as the markets responded worse than ever. The big lesson from the three speeches is clear. The markets are no longer in the mood to tolerate political pap. They want substance, or else!

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Myths Debunked: Why China Will Have A Soft Landing: Stephen S. Roach

Myths Debunked: Why China Will Have A Soft Landing: Stephen S. Roach

Date: 5 October 2011

 5 October 2011. Too much has been said about the state of the Chinese economy. While it has largely powered through the thick of the global financial crisis – China’s economic strength in fact buoyed much of the world’s economy during the meltdown – many doubts have also been raised about the outlook for the world’s second largest economy. 

 

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Globalisation Demands Better, More Effective Governments: Jeffrey D. Sachs

Globalisation Demands Better, More Effective, Governments: Jeffrey D. Sachs

Date: 3 October 2011

Economic globalization has, of course, produced some large benefits for the world, though it has also created major problems that need to be addressed. These problems demand a similar global response, which must first be built from individual governments. For years, the world’s government has got it wrong: in order for governments to operate effectively, the role of government needs to be modernized, in line with the specific challenges posed by an interconnected world economy.

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Brain Maze: Inside The Mind

Inside The Mind Of The UBS 'Rogue' Trader

Date: 30 September 2011

 30 September 2011. There have been many rogue traders in the course of financial history. Bernard “Bernie” Madoff operated the world’s largest Ponzi scheme and was sentenced to 150 years behind bars in June 2009. One would imagine that a recent precedent in Madoff would deter financial fraudsters from striking again, at least for a while. Apparently not.

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Africa Rising: Can “The Dark Continent” Outshine Its Former Colonial Masters?

Africa Rising: Can “The Dark Continent” Outshine Its Former Colonial Masters?

Date: 29 September 2011

29 September 2011. He who laughs last laughs best. For decades, European countries were the colonial masters of Africa, dividing the continent at their own whim and exploiting the abundant resources available for their own purposes. Yet today, there has been a paradigm shift where African nations are now leading the world in economic growth and can more hold their own against their ex-colonial masters.

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Red Gold

Antidote To Afghanistan's Opium Addiction: Red Gold

Date: 28 September 2011

Despite being contrarian to Islamic beliefs, opium production is one of the biggest industries for the war-torn country. Afghanistan alone is responsible for supplying more than 90 percent of the world’s opium, the raw material for manufacturing heroin to drug addicts all across the globe. Myanmar, trails in second place. 

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How Much Longer Must We Wait Before Eurozone Leaders Take Action?

Can The Eurozone Be Saved Or Is It Too Big To Bail?: Yannos Papantoniou

Date: 26 September 2011

 26 September 2011. The massive contagion spreading across euro zone countries have morphed into an urgent problem for policy makers. Some claim the euro is too big to fail, others assert that it is too big to bail. The pros and cons of proposed solutions have been debated endlessly without gaining much headway. But one thing is clear: Something must be done to help the stricken economies. 

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Are Vickers Proposals Moving Banks In The Right Direction?

Vickers' Banking Reforms: Yay or Nay?

Date: 23 September 2011

 23 September 2011. Sir John Vickers recently unveiled the Independent Banking Commission’s proposed reforms for the United Kingdom’s bloated and dysfunctional banking sector. In the 358-page article, neither the words “ethics” nor “ethical” are mentioned once. Is it any wonder that many have lambasted the report as a “total waste of time”?

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Women For Change

Women At Work: Moving Towards Parity

Date: 22 September 2011

Earlier this month, the former CEO of Yahoo! was unceremoniously removed by the company board, via a telephone call. Many have questioned and wondered if it had anything to do with the fact that Carol Bartz is a woman; if the termination could have been better handled if Bartz were a male. 

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The Road To Recovery Is No Easy Climb

Remedies For An Ailing Economy - How To Avert A Crisis: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 20 September 2011

 20 September 2011Global markets are in unchartered territory. A series of austerity measures have been announced, but the news coming out from Europe and the United States continue to bear the same consistent note of pessimism. The risks ahead are not a double-dip recession, but a severe contraction that could lead to Great Depression II. But can it be prevented?

 

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Persistent Unemployment – Stemming From A Lack of Confidence? : Roger Farmer

Persistent Unemployment – Stemming From A Lack of Confidence? : Roger Farmer

Date: 19 September 2011

19 September 2011. Unemployment in the US has remained above 9 percent for 22 of the last 24 months. While some are supporting additional stimulus, others are calling for UK-style austerity. With Nobel-prize winning economists on either side of the debate, the public is rightly confused. But would either of these approaches really reduce unemployment effectively?

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Takeover Turmoil: Problems Pile Up For The Bank of America

Takeover Turmoil: Problems Pile Up For The Bank of America

Date: 16 September 2011

16 September 2011. In 2008, the Bank of America (BoA) purchased Countrywide Financial for US$4 billion. However, in the aftermath of the housing bubble bust, the purchase of Countrywide has already brought losses in excess of US$30 billion to BoA – forcing BoA’s CEO, Brian Moynihan to sell an equivalent amount of assets in an attempt to right the ship. But, this was not an isolated incident. The wreckage of such deals has littered banking history in recent years. 

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The Inflation Solution – More Harm Than Good? : Raghuram Rajan

The Inflation Solution – More Harm Than Good? : Raghuram Rajan

Date: 14 September 2011

14 September 2011. The obvious solutions to economic stagnation have been tried and have failed. Clearly, more innovative ideas are needed to reinvigorate the economy. The latest proposed solution making its round have been to use a sharp, contained bout of inflation as a way to reduce debt. While it may seem like an attractive solution at first glance, there is cause for concern.

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Haven and Hell: Norway’s Looming Economic Dilemma

Haven and Hell: Norway’s Looming Economic Dilemma

Date: 13 September 2011

 13 September 2011. The Norwegian economy has thus far shown remarkable resilience to the global financial crisis. The Norwegian krone is seen as a reliable currency, while many investors consider Norway as a “safe haven” to park their cash. Yet, the surge in the value of krone may lead to economic problems in the future. Will Norway’s “safe haven” status negatively impact its economic health?

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The G-20 Must Get Its Act Together: Gordon Brown

The G-20 Must Get Its Act Together: Gordon Brown

Date: 12 September 2011

The G-20 lost it way after 2009 when its member states abandoned efforts to coordinate global economic policies for national solutions. Going alone though has reached its limits. The way forward to sustained growth and employment is not through a flurry of one-off national initiatives, but rather through global policy coordination.

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A Decade of Hurt – The Economic Legacy of 9/11: Joseph Stiglitz

A Decade of Hurt – The Economic Legacy of 9/11: Joseph Stiglitz

Date: 9 September 2011

The events of September 11 2001 forever altered the course of human history. Till today, Americans continue to bear the bulk of the cost for the tragedy – both economically and socially. However in the aftermath of 9/11, it has been disheartening to note that a large portion of the cost could have been avoided.

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Goldman Sachs Is Betting Against The Euro

The Secret Goldman Sachs Report: Eurozone Collapse And How To Profit From It

Date: 8 September 2011

Goldman Sachs recently released a report, State of the Markets – Long and Short Risk Strategies, that is currently making its way around the Internet. Originally intended as a private report for its institutional clients, Goldman makes suggestions on how to profit from a downturn. More importantly, is the euro really bound for a crash?

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Less Government, Less Problems: Belgium, 450 Days Later

Less Government, Less Problems: Belgium, 450 Days Later

Date: 7 September 2011

7 September 2011. Belgium has not had a government in over 15 months. Yet their economy somehow managed to outperform those of the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Finland, and Switzerland in the last quarter of this year. Are government worthless or is this just another abnormality?

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Investing in Iraq: Ingenious or Insane?

Investing in Iraq: Ingenious or Insane?

Date: 6 September 2011

 6 September 2011. Iraq’s economy is recovering fast. Despite ever-present threats to its political, social and economic stability, the IMF still expects its GDP to grow by 12.5 percent in 2011 – largely on the back of increased oil exports, and high energy prices – after growth of just 1 percent last year. So, is this the right time to invest in Iraq?

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Paradox of Thrift: Hoarding Cash In Corporate America

Paradox of Thrift: Hoarding Cash In Corporate America

Date: 1 September 2011

Companies like Google and Apple are holding on to nearly US$2 trillion on their balance sheets. Yet, financial institutions need to address the need to balance liquidity requirements and the pursuit of revenue growth. So why are companies holding on to such large amounts of cash?

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Blowing in the Wind: Europe’s Energy Debate

Blowing in the Wind: Europe’s Energy Debate Has Stalled

Date: 31 August 2011

 31 August 2011. The future of energy in Europe is trapped in a political quagmire. As a result of the political bickering among opposing views in European parliaments, little is being done to address the energy problems for the future. Will a compromise be reached?

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Life After Gadhafi – The Challenges Ahead : Scott Stewart

Life After Gadhafi – The Challenges Ahead : Scott Stewart

Date: 29 August 2011

29 August 2011. As the remnants of the Gadhafi regimes is slowly washed away, the National Transitional Council (NTC) now faces tough decisions and challenges in order to rebuild the country from scratch. While it is too early to predict the future of Libya, the NTC must address fault lines that have already emerged.

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Banking’s New Frontier – The Quest For Borderless Networks: Jan Schildbach

Banking’s New Frontier – The Quest For Borderless Networks: Jan Schildbach

Date: 26 August 2011

26 August 2011. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, many expected Western banks to abandon their foreign interests and refocus on their domestic markets. Yet today, the presence of foreign banks in local markets is much greater overall than it was a few years ago. According to a new report by Deutsche Bank Research, banks’ cross-border business – direct or via branches or subsidiaries – has now broadly stabilized. As such, the outlook for cross-border banking is positive.

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Fasting, Not Fighting, For Change: The Case of Anna Hazare

Fasting, Not Fighting, For Change: The Case of Anna Hazare

Date: 25 August 2011

Evidently, the medium is the message. The act of self-immolation by 26 year-old Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia was the catalyst that brought about what is today known and referred to as the Arab Spring. Despots and autocratic rules who had held on to power for decades have been unceremoniously ousted after mass demonstrations and violent protests. Over in India, one man by the man of Anna Hazare is starting a non-violent process of change. 

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Marx was Right – Capitalism is on a Self-Destructive Path: Nouriel Roubini

Marx was Right – Capitalism is on a Self-Destructive Path: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 23 August 2011

23 August 2011. Karl Marx was right, it seems, in arguing that globalization, financial intermediation run amok, and redistribution of income and wealth from labor to capital could lead capitalism to self-destruct. However, socialism is clearly not the answer as well. With the world seemingly destined for another economic crisis, what can be done to prevent a Great Depression 2.0?

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China's Ghost Towns: Overdevelopment in the Real Estate Market

China's Ghost Towns: Overdevelopment in the Real Estate Market

Date: 22 August 2011

Some say that the best expression of excess capacity and overdevelopment in China is its real estate market. With nominal interest rates going at a pittance, stringent capital controls and volatility in China’s equity markets, there seems to be no real alternative outlets for the nation of savers (China saved 50% of its GDP in 2010) and it is therefore no huge wonder that investors have turned to real estate as investment options. 

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Europe’s Last Hope – Will Germany Step Up? : George Soros

Europe’s Last Hope – Will Germany Step Up? : George Soros

Date: 18 August 2011

18 August 2011. Time is running out for the eurozone. Unless a euro-bond regime of one kind or another can be reached, the euro will break down. As the EU’s largest and best-rated economy, Germany has a critical role to play in Europe’s future. But the Germans are not willing to accept any level of responsibility. Till the day they do, Europe is headed towards a breakdown of the euro that will precipitate a banking crisis beyond the control of global financial authorities.

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Dominoes of Doom – The Political Economy of the Global Financial Crisis: George

Dominoes of Doom – The Political Economy of the Global Financial Crisis: George Friedman

Date: 17 August 2011

17 August 2011. Politics and economics are intrinsically linked. For classical economists, it was impossible to understand politics without economics or economics without politics. Accordingly, the current global economic crisis can also be best understood as a crisis of political economy. The evolution of the crisis across the US, Europe and China has one overriding theme: the relationship between the political order and economic life.

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Thunder Road: Sparking a Revival for the Electric Car

Thunder Road: Sparking a Revival for the Electric Car

Date: 12 August 2011

12 August 2011. The electric car industry is experiencing a revival. Electric vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster, are returning to production after being scrapped just a few years ago. Today, the Nissan’s Leaf has sold out while General Motor’s Volt has been back-ordered for six months. What has sparked the renewed interest in the electric car, and what does the future hold for the industry?

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Sino-American Power Play: Why China Has to Buy US Debt

Sino-American Power Play: Why China Has to Buy US Debt

Date: 11 August 2011

Last week, credit ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) downgraded U.S. debt from a stellar AAA rating by a notch to AA+. The move sent financial markets in panic mode as investors grappled and tried to comprehend the severity and extent of the United States’ ability to finance its bills. China, who holds a massive amount of U.S. Treasuries, wasted no time in letting known their impatience and displeasure, criticizing Washington's “addiction to debts” and inability to “live within its means”. 

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Fiscal Fallacies – The Root of All Sovereign Debt Crises: Amar Bhidé & Edmund Ph

Fiscal Fallacies – The Root of All Sovereign Debt Crises: Amar Bhidé & Edmund Phelps

Date: 10 August 2011

10 August 2011. During the 1970s, Former Citibank Chief Executive Walter Wriston famously declared that countries would never go bust or bankrupt. Governments also started to borrow large sums of money in order to fuel their spending, while lenders continued to provide these governments with a seemingly endless source of funds. Eventually, government debts grew to such insurmountable proportions that countries today are now faced with the distinct possibility of a default or even bankruptcy. How can we address the structural issues that threaten to consume the global economy?

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Hope Floats in America’s Polarized Political Climate: Raghuram Rajan

Hope Floats in America’s Polarized Political Climate: Raghuram Rajan

Date: 8 August 2011

9 August 2011. The US media are full of ordinary Americans venting their rage these days at the incompetence and immaturity of their politicians. But the last-minute agreement to raise the debt ceiling is proof that the politicians did what they were sent to Washington to do: represent their constituencies and compromise in the interests of the country as a whole.

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The No-Win Greek Debt Buyback Trap – Lessons from Ecuador: Eduardo Levy-Yeyati

The No-Win Greek Debt Buyback Trap – Lessons from Ecuador: Eduardo Levy-Yeyati

Date: 8 August 2011

A recurrent characteristic of Europe’s debt-crisis debate is a Latin American precedent. But, while many highly indebted Latin American countries conducted debt buybacks in the late 1980’s the most relevant experience with debt buybacks is a more recent and far less studied case: Ecuador in 2008. What lessons Greece can learn from these debt buybacks and what can they expect if they go down the same route?

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China is Sick of US Hollow Promises and Reckless Government: Stephen S. Roach

China is Sick of US Hollow Promises and Reckless Government: Stephen S. Roach

Date: 3 August 2011

 4 August 2011. The Chinese admire America’s economic dynamism, but they have lost confidence in the US government and its dysfunctional economic stewardship. The debate over the debt ceiling and the budget deficit is the last straw, and China's own shift away from export-led growth implies an end to its limitless demand for US government securities.

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EconomyWatch Exclusive: FOX Business Expert on the US Debt Crisis

EconomyWatch Exclusive: FOX Business Expert on the US Debt Crisis

Date: 2 August 2011

What does everyone need to know about the debt crisis and how can you beat the bad economy? FOX Business Network stocks editor and reporter Elizabeth MacDonald has been closely monitoring the debt crisis currently enveloping the United States. It’s an issue that extends beyond the US and one with many complexities, MacDonald takes time to weigh in and break it down in this exclusive interview.

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Afghanistan is Broke, US Drowning in Debt – So What About a War Ceiling?

Afghanistan is Broke, US Drowning in Debt – So What About a War Ceiling?

Date: 2 August 2011

With all the debate in the United States over raising its debt ceiling, politicians and lawmakers are once again fighting over national spending. Democrats are sore that the US$2.4 trillion in savings will not include any mandated tax increases, while the Republicans are worried about the US$350 billion cut in the defense budget. Why is the United States perpetually policing the world at the expense of the American people and global markets?

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Comparing India to The World

Comparing India to The World

Date: 1 August 2011

1 August 2011. One out of 6 people in the world live in India. But just how big is India? And how can we think about the country and its economy when its population and GDP varies so vastly from state to state? One way would be to look at the size of each state, in relation to its GDP and population. But what would the numbers really mean? Another way would be to compare each state to a country, revealing India's fundamental problems.

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Elitist Nonsense - Shattered by Paul Krugman

Elitist Nonsense - Shattered by Paul Krugman

Date: 29 July 2011

29 July 2011. Who really got us into this mess? In Wall Street, in the City, in the corridors of Whitehall and Washington DC, and in the Berlaymont Building, it's quite common for the general public to be blamed. The Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has written a New York Times column that does a great job of puncturing such nonsense. Read what he has to say about the real causes of the financial crisis.

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Small Economies, Big Trouble: Kemal Derviş

Small Economies, Big Trouble: Kemal Derviş

Date: 28 July 2011

28 July 2011. On paper at least, few would consider Greece to be a systemically significant economy. Yet today, the country is at the centre of a crisis that threatens to engulf the entire European Union. But the case of Greece is not unique. In 1997, another relatively small economy, Thailand, was at the epicentre of the Asian Financial Crisis. How can small economies cause such big problems? By Kemal Derviş.

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Europocalypse - Are The Days of The Eurozone Numbered?: Nouriel Roubini

Europocalypse - Are The Days of The Eurozone Numbered?: Nouriel Roubini

Date: 27 July 2011

27 July 2011. The fate of the eurozone is ominous. As the debt crisis in Greece continues to spread and infect other eurozone nations such as Italy and Portugal, the euro-zone appears to be teetering on the brink of collapse. This is its last stand, says Nouriel Roubini, chairman of Roubini Global Economics and professor of economics at New York University's Stern School of Business. According to Roubini, “the status quo is no longer sustainable. Only a comprehensive strategy can rescue the eurozone now.”

 

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China’s Shady Accounting Practices and Bad Apples

China’s Shady Accounting Practices and Bad Apples

Date: 26 July 2011

Last week, Chinese officials uncovered five fake Apple stores in the southwestern city of Kunming, and suspended two of the faux outfits. When in China, equity markets are not spared from allegations of false accounting practices and fraud either. Sino-Forest Corporation was the latest company from China to characterize what is fast becoming a truism: for Chinese companies listed abroad  short selling through reverse takeovers can prove to be immensely profitable. The key question then is can, or should investors believe the numbers from Chinese companies?

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