Economy Business and Finance News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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?  Read more

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.   Read more

Israel’s Natural Gas Future: A Promising Land?
Israel’s Natural Gas Future: A Promising Land?
Date: 5 April 2013

The first gas has started flowing from Israel's supergiant Tamar gasfield in the Levant Basin. Where it will go will redraw the Mediterranean energy map and the geopolitics that goes along with it.  Read more

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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Rumours Of The Death Of The BRICS Are Greatly Exaggerated: Dan Steinbock
Rumours Of The Death Of The BRICS Are Greatly Exaggerated: Dan Steinbock
Date: 3 April 2013

As a result of monetary expansion and fiscal stagnation in the advanced world, the BRICS countries are no longer immune to the debt crises that have plagued the developed economies. But contrary to what the critics may believe, the BRICS, as an alignment, are not headed towards demise.  Read more

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.  Read more

France & Germany – Building A Path To A Low-Carbon Future: Jeffrey Sachs
France & Germany – Building A Path To A Low-Carbon Future: Jeffrey Sachs
Date: 1 April 2013

The surest bet on the future of energy is the need for low-carbon energy supplies; And while early movers, such as France & Germany, may pay a slightly higher price today for these strategies, they and the world will reap long-term economic and environmental benefits.  Read more

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.  Read more

Gender Equality: Key To Wealth & Happiness in Nordic Countries
Gender Equality: Key To Wealth & Happiness In Nordic Countries
Date: 27 March 2013

The Nordic nations have gone much further down the road to gender equality than anywhere else in the world. By comparison, some of G8 nations, especially France, Italy and Japan, have a lamentable record. But few countries are emulating the Nordic models.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

Will Europe’s Austerity Lead To Another Great Depression?: Dan Steinbock
Will Europe’s Austerity Lead To Another Great Depression?: Dan Steinbock
Date: 14 March 2013

Until recently, Brussels has supported primarily front­load austerity measures. When President Hoover tried similar policies in 1930s America, a severe recession morphed into a devastating Great Depression. Is Europe following in the footprints?  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

Europe’s ‘Sacred Cow’: Should The Common Agricultural Policy Be Culled?
Europe’s ‘Sacred Cow’: Should The Common Agricultural Policy Be Culled?
Date: 12 March 2013

Despite recent cuts in Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy, the CAP still consumes 38 percent of the EU budget and sustains a romantic vision of agriculture that is out of kilter with the highly technological requirements of modern farming.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Monetary Mumbo-Jumbo? – 10 Problems With Quantitative Easing: Nouriel Roubini
Monetary Missteps? – 10 Concerns About Quantitative Easing: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 1 March 2013

Central banks worldwide today are utilising unconventional monetary policies, such as quantitative easing, to jump-start growth in their anemic economies. But if such policies remain in place for too long, their side effects could be severe – and the longer-term costs very high.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

The Return Of Fixed Exchange Rates: A Costly 	Response To ‘Currency Wars’?
The Return Of Fixed Exchange Rates: A Costly Response To ‘Currency Wars’?
Date: 22 February 2013

The ongoing depreciation of currencies in advanced economies has forced several emerging countries to empty their foreign reserves in order to maintain exchange rates. Is this policy sustainable in the long-term; and why are countries willing to fix their exchange rates despite the risk of their reserves running dry?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

Limits To Growth – Do Higher Oil Prices Cause Lower Wages?: Gail Tverberg
Limits To Growth – Do Higher Oil Prices Cause Lower Wages?: Gail Tverberg
Date: 15 February 2013

As high oil prices continue to increase costs for businesses and governments worldwide, downward pressures may cause a reduction in jobs and wages. The result is a mismatch between what citizens can afford, and the cost to manufacture and transport product.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Will 2013 Mark The Start Of A New, More Dangerous Currency War?: Mohamed El-Eria
Will 2013 Mark The Start Of A New, More Dangerous Currency War?: Mohamed El-Erian
Date: 23 January 2013

Unlike the old days, the threat of a looming currency war will not be directly related to trade imbalances and balance-of-payments crises. Rather, the main driver has been major central banks’ pursuit of experimental measures – in order to compensate for policy inadequacies and political dysfunction elsewhere.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Will America’s Middle-Class Crisis Diminish Its Global Superpower Status?: Georg
Will America’s Middle-Class Crisis Diminish Its Global Superpower Status?: George Friedman
Date: 16 January 2013

Besides its economic and social implications, the persistent decline of the American middle-class also poses a significant geopolitical threat: Can the U.S. really maintain its status as a global superpower when half of the country is either stagnant or already losing ground to the rest of the world?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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?   Read more

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.  Read more

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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The Global Economy’s Dangerous Myopia – Are We Ignoring Our Future Crises?: Jose
The Global Economy’s Dangerous Myopia – Are We Ignoring Future Crises?: Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 8 January 2013

As global leaders continue to deal with their economies’ immediate problems, long-term issues such as global warming, inequality and poverty are being compromised – with potentially dangerous ramifications. Although today’s crises undoubtedly warrant immediate action, we should be asking whether we are responding in ways that will exacerbate our long-term problems.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Year of Disruption: Does Online Boom Spell Doom for Traditional University Model
Year of Disruption: Does Online Boom Spell Doom for Traditional University Model?
Date: 27 December 2012

The internet has already revolutionised the working environment, the music industry, the media and shopping habits. It now appears likely that it is on the cusp of transforming the world of higher education with radical consequences for the future of higher education in both the developing and the first world.  Read more

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.   Read more

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?   Read more

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:  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

How China Beats The US At Energy Leveraging: Gail Tverberg
How China Beats The US At Energy Leveraging: Gail Tverberg
Date: 13 December 2012

Countries like China and India, which leverage their oil use to a greater extent with more coal use are less affected by a rise in oil prices. This is another reason why jobs are moving to China and India, and away from the US.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

One Month Later – How America Can Rebuild Itself Post-Elections: Joseph Stiglitz
One Month Later – How America Should Rebuild Itself Post-Elections: Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 7 December 2012

After a hard-fought campaign, it seems that not much has changed in American politics. Rather, the main cause for celebration has been that America has avoided policies that would have pushed it closer to recession and increased inequality further.  Read more

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.  Read more

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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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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”.  Read more

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?   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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?  Read more

Can Women Take The Lead In Disaster Risk Reduction? – An Indian Perspective
Can Women Take The Lead In Disaster Risk Reduction? – An Indian Perspective
Date: 6 November 2012

READER SUBMISSION - Natural disasters devastate the lives and livelihoods of millions of people and cause substantial loss to the economy. A proper disaster risk management framework would enable the affected population, especially women, in taking immediate and correct steps in emergency situations.  Read more

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?  Read more

Mitt’s Misguided Beliefs – Why The World Faces Greater Risks Under A Romney  Pre
Mitt’s Misguided Beliefs – Why The World Faces Greater Risks Under A Romney Presidency: Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 2 November 2012

The world has a lot riding on the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. Overwhelmingly, non-US citizens favour Barack Obama’s re-election over a victory for his challenger, Mitt Romney – and for good reason.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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?  Read more

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.   Read more

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.   Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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?   Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Can The Global Economy Recover From Its “High-Priced Fuel Syndrome”?: Gail Tverb
Can The Global Economy Recover From Its “High-Priced Fuel Syndrome”?: Gail Tverberg
Date: 9 October 2012

Governments and economists around the world have not figured out that what the world economy is suffering from, to varying degrees, is “high-priced fuel syndrome“. With the world now running short of cheap energy, especially cheap oil, are countries still able to fund their energy needs without breaking their budgets?  Read more

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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Monetary Delusions – Why Added Liquidity Alone Will Not Revive The Economy: Jose
Monetary Delusions – Why Added Liquidity Alone Will Not Revive The Economy: Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 5 October 2012

Central banks on both sides of the Atlantic took extraordinary monetary-policy measures in September, sending stock markets soaring. But politicians – and markets – in both Europe and America are mistaken if they believe that monetary policy can restore economic growth and boost employment.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

Can Game Theory Explain America’s Political Paralysis Over Its “Fiscal Cliff”?:
Can Game Theory Explain America’s Political Paralysis Over Its “Fiscal Cliff”?: Mohamed El-Erian
Date: 2 October 2012

The need to address America's fiscal situation has just been magnified by a warning from Moody’s that the US could lose its top credit rating if Congress fails to make progress on medium-term fiscal reforms. But why didn't the imposition of a "fiscal cliff" in 2011 succeed in focusing US politicians' minds?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

How Energy Consumption, Employment & Recessions Are Interlinked: Gail Tverberg
How Energy Consumption, Employment & Recessions Are Interlinked
Date: 26 September 2012

The ties between energy consumption, economic growth and the labour market are now closer than ever before. But as countries begin to hit their peak in any one of these categories, can this relationship be changed in order to ensure a more sustainable economy?  Read more

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.  Read more

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?   Read more

Libyan Lessons – Did The West Underestimate The Arab Spring Fallout?: George Fri
Libyan Lessons – Did The West Underestimate The Arab Spring Fallout?: George Friedman
Date: 21 September 2012

The killing of four U.S. diplomatic personnel in Libya has exposed the consequences of the Arab uprisings. In Libya, NATO simply didn't understand or care about the whirlwind that it was unleashing. One can only hope that a similar scenario will not happen in Syria.  Read more

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?    Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

Global Economy On The Verge Of Crashing Into ‘Brick Wall’: Nouriel Roubini
Global Economy On The Verge Of Crashing Into ‘Brick Wall’: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 14 September 2012

Worldwide, political leaders are putting off the economic reforms needed to avoid a painful, if not catastrophic, endgame. But, as everyone kicks the can down the road, the can is getting heavier and, in the major emerging markets and advanced economies alike, is quickly approaching a brick wall.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

Is The Saudi-Iran ‘Cold War’ About To Heat Up?
Is The Saudi-Iran ‘Cold War’ About To Heat Up?
Date: 31 August 2012

Saudi Arabia has gone on the offensive against Iran to protect its interests.  Their involvement in Syria is the first battle in what is going to be a long bloody conflict that will know no frontiers or limits.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.    Read more

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.  Read more

Why Low Oil Prices May Actually Be Bad News For The Global Economy: Gail Tverber
Why Lower Oil Prices May Actually Be Bad For The Global Economy: Gail Tverberg
Date: 27 August 2012

Higher oil prices may be a drag on oil importing economies, but exceedingly low oil prices can also be a signal of recession. If oil prices and the rate of oil supply growth keeps ratcheting downward, another global depression could occur, one that may be even more severe to 2008-2009.  Read more

MAD For Oil: Will US Sanctions On Iran Lead To Mutually Assured Economic Destruc
MAD For Oil: Will US Sanctions On Iran Lead To Mutually Assured Economic Destruction?
Date: 24 August 2012

Iran has been pushed into a corner and is fighting for its life. The safest weapon in its arsenal is an economic strategy; and it is the one point where the United States is vulnerable.    Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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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Banking Crimes: Out-of-Court, Out-of-Jail, And Out-of-Order?
Banking Crimes: Out-of-Court, Out-of-Jail & Out-of-Order?
Date: 20 August 2012

Out-of-court settlements, such as the one involving Standard Chartered announced recently, do little to alter bankers' behaviour or to put the global financial system on sounder footing – and may even promote financial crime.  Read more

Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012: A Model For America To Emulate?
Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012: A Model For America To Emulate?
Date: 17 August 2012

READER SUBMISSION – As America’s largest trading partner, Canada’s economic fortunes are intimately tied to those of the United States. Yet thanks to a largely domestic-focused economic action plan, Canada has demonstrated remarkable economic resilience to the global financial turmoil.  Read more

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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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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”?   Read more

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.  Read more

Will August Be A Decisive Turning Point For The Eurozone Crisis? : Kemal Dervis
Will August Be A Decisive Turning Point For The Eurozone Crisis?: Kemal Dervis
Date: 6 August 2012

August has been a dangerous month in European history, but this year it could be the turning point for the eurozone – and perhaps for the world economy. That depends on whether – and how – the European Central Bank makes good on official pledges to do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro.  Read more

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?   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Fiscal Fallacies – How Developed Economies Get Stuck In A Policy Trap: Jeffrey F
Fiscal Fallacies – How Developed Economies Got Stuck In A Policy Trap: Jeffrey Frankel
Date: 25 July 2012

Over the years, politicians in advanced economies have tended to favour fiscal expansion during economic booms and austerity during recessions. But while a pro-cyclical policy is understandable from a political perspective, it also explains why these economies are rarely prepared for a crisis and why they eventually face so much difficulty recovering.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

The Eurozone Exposed – How Europe Can Avoid A Prolonged Depression: Stefano Mico
The Eurozone Exposed – How Europe Can Avoid A Prolonged Depression: Stefano Micossi
Date: 20 July 2012

At their meeting at the end of June, European leaders acknowledged for the first time the multiple dimensions of the crisis, accepting that austerity – putting everyone’s house in order – will not suffice. What is still missing, however, is recognition of the need for greater flexibility on fiscal-consolidation efforts.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Why Merely Addressing Inequality Will Not Restore Growth: Raghuram Rajan
Why Merely Addressing Inequality Will Not Restore Growth: Raghuram Rajan
Date: 16 July 2012

As a reformed Europe starts growing, parts of it might experience US-style inequality. But Europe would be far worse off if it were to avoid serious reform and lapse, Japan-like, into egalitarian and genteel decline.  Read more

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.   Read more

The Curse Of The Treasure Islands: How Tax Havens Are Sinking Europe’s Economy
The Curse Of The Treasure Islands: How Tax Havens Are Sinking Europe’s Economy
Date: 12 July 2012

EU states lose an estimated €1 trillion in potential revenue every year from tax evasion and avoidance activities. Much of this amount, it turns out, has been squirreled away to offshore tax havens – known otherwise as “treasure islands”. Can anything be done to recoup these losses?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?   Read more

The Euro’s Survival Is Still In Doubt: Joseph Stiglitz
Europe’s Flawed Economics – Why The Euro’s Survival Remains In Doubt: Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 4 July 2012

The EU summit, held in Brussels last week, managed to bring about some much needed, albeit temporary, relief for the euro. Nevertheless, Europe's leaders have once again failed to address the region’s fundamental weaknesses and confidence in Europe’s periphery is now waning.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

America’s False Recovery – Why The US Is Not Immune To The Global Downturn: Step
America’s False Recovery – Why The US Is Not An Oasis Of Prosperity: Stephen Roach
Date: 29 June 2012

The U.S.’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis has led to widespread hope that America has the capacity to stay the course and provide a backstop for the rest of the world in the midst of the euro crisis. But a closer analysis of America’s recent economic growth suggests that the economy may be even more vulnerable to foreign crises than before.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

The Increasing Threats to Global Energy Supplies – An Interview With Jellyfish
Are Global Energy Supplies In Jeopardy? – An Interview With Jellyfish
Date: 22 June 2012

As global energy supplies come under increasing attack by non-state actors and private energy holdings become key targets of political maneuverings and criminal activities, Oilprice.com discusses the nature of the growing threat and how to reverse the risk with "smart power."

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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?   Read more

A Global Perfect Storm – Why The World Faces An Economic Crisis In 2013: Nouriel
A Global Perfect Storm – Why The World Faces An Economic Crisis In 2013: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 20 June 2012

A global perfect storm is brewing. Across the world, dark, lowering financial and economic clouds are now looming over the economy, with the eurozone cloud set to be the largest to burst. Indeed, the global economy in 2013 could be a very difficult environment in which to find shelter.  Read more

Can Rio+20 Pass Humanity’s Ultimate Test? : Jeffrey Sachs
Can Rio+20 Pass Humanity’s Ultimate Test? : Jeffrey Sachs
Date: 19 June 2012

Twenty years have passed since the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992; yet today, the world is still marked by a complete failure to implement any of the three great treaties signed during that historic conference. Is Rio+20 doomed to a similar outcome?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

The Broken BRIC – Why India’s Economy Is Underperforming: Raghuram Rajan
The Broken BRIC – Why India’s Economy Is Underperforming: Raghuram Rajan
Date: 13 June 2012

Major emerging-market economies around the world are slowing, for reasons both shared and unique. Hardest to understand, though, is why India, where annual GDP growth has fallen by five percentage points since 2010, is underperforming so much relative to its potential.  Read more

World In Denial – Why The Eurozone’s Woes Are Worse Than We Think: Christopher T
World In Denial – Why The Eurozone’s Woes Are Worse Than We Think
Date: 12 June 2012

When the truth is unimaginable, human psychology finds an alternative reality in which to dwell. That describes the global situation today, when the entire planet seems to be in denial about what is about to occur in the eurozone.  Read more

Inequality Has Exposed The ‘American Dream’ As A Myth: Joseph Stiglitz
Inequality Has Exposed The ‘American Dream’ As A Myth: Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 11 June 2012

Growing inequality in the U.S. is not only killing the economy, but it threatens to undermine the nation’s values and identity. America today can no longer regard itself as the land of opportunity that it once was, with equality of opportunity less evident than in Europe.  Read more

Why America’s Recovery Will Remain Sluggish: Mohamed El-Erian
Why America’s Recovery Will Be Sluggish: Mohamed El-Erian
Date: 8 June 2012

Though six factors now suggest that US economy is slowly and steadily healing, a lot more needs to happen – indeed, urgently – to restore America's traditional vigour and vitality.  Read more

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?  Read more

When Will The $1 Trillion Student Debt Bubble Burst?
When Will The $1 Trillion Student Debt Bubble Burst?
Date: 6 June 2012

Steep rises in the cost of higher education, especially in the US and the UK, have been accompanied by the declining value of degrees, leading some commentators to predict that the student bubble is about to deflate.    Read more

Why Europe Needs Smarter Energy Taxes: Hans Eichel & Yannis Palaiokrassas
Why Europe Needs Smarter Energy Taxes: Hans Eichel & Yannis Palaiokrassas
Date: 5 June 2012

As the economic-policy debate in Europe and around the world shifts from fiscal austerity towards measures aimed at stimulating growth, smarter taxation will be essential to getting the balance right. That means focusing on energy and carbon taxes, which have a much less negative impact on economic activity.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Can Asia Overcome Its Vulnerability To The European Crisis? : Stephen Roach
Can Asia Overcome Its Vulnerability To The European Crisis? : Stephen Roach
Date: 30 May 2012

With the exception of Japan, the rest of Asia came through the 2008 financial crisis with relatively little damage. But for the second time in less than four years, the region now faces another major external demand shock, which could turn a mild recession into something far worse.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

Greece’s Fallacious Four – The Main Culprits Of The Greek Tragedy: Mohamed El-Er
Greece’s Fallacious Four – The Main Culprits Of The Greek Tragedy: Mohamed El-Erian
Date: 24 May 2012

With a traumatic implosion – economic, financial, political, and social – now taking place in Greece, we should expect heated debate about who is to blame for the country's deepening misery. There are four suspects – all of them involved in the spectacular boom that preceded what will prove to be an even more remarkable bust.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Greece Must End Its Doomed Marriage With The Eurozone: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 21 May 2012

Greece’s exit from the eurozone appears to be inevitable. Still, like a doomed marriage, it is better to have rules for the impending divorce so as to make separation less costly to both sides.  Read more

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…  Read more

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?   Read more

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.   Read more

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.    Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?   Read more

Black Ice: The Dangerous Race For Oil At The Top Of The World
Black Ice: The Dangerous Race For Oil At The Top Of The World
Date: 25 April 2012

The world’s biggest oil and gas companies are competing for the enormous reserves of natural gas and oil in the Arctic, but the ecological and economic consequences of a major oil spill would be catastrophic.  Read more

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.  Read more

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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Can Islamic Finance Repair The Modern Financial System?: Andrew Sheng & Ajit Sin
Can Islamic Finance Repair The Modern Financial System?: Andrew Sheng & Ajit Singh
Date: 20 April 2012

From humble beginnings in the 1990’s, Islamic finance has become a trillion-dollar industry. And, despite scepticism regarding accommodation between Islamic and global finance, leading banks are buying Islamic bonds and forming subsidiaries specifically to conduct Islamic finance.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

Troubled Waters: Has The India-Pakistan Water Conflict Reached A Boiling Point?
Troubled Waters: Has The India-Pakistan Water Conflict Reached A Boiling Point?
Date: 13 April 2012

For years, the Indus River has brought water (and life) to both India and Pakistan. But today, the river now stands at the centre of a water conflict between the two South Asian neighbours, which threatens to escalate into violence. Is a water war between India and Pakistan imminent, and what is China’s role in the whole thing?  Read more

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?   Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

A United Kingdom Divided: Scottish Independence & Its Repercussions
A United Kingdom Divided: Scottish Independence & Its Repercussions
Date: 4 April 2012

A Scottish vote in favour of independence in a referendum would end the country’s 307-year intermarriage with England. But it would also have huge economic, political and psychological repercussions for the whole of the UK.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

Zimbabwe’s Descent Into Darkness: Robert Mugabe & The Energy Crisis
Zimbabwe’s Descent Into Darkness: Robert Mugabe & The Energy Crisis
Date: 19 March 2012

Zimbabwe consumes more energy than it can produce; and in order to meet this energy shortfall, the country has been importing energy from its neighbours. But what happens when Zimbabweans can no longer pay for their energy, and how did the country get into this situation in the first place?  Read more

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.   Read more

Inequality In Retrospective – The Hidden Effects Of The Income Gap: Raghuram Raj
Inequality In Retrospective – The Hidden Effects Of The Income Gap: Raghuram Rajan
Date: 15 March 2012

The everyday inequality that most Americans face has deep pernicious effects, which go beyond the typical arguments discussed during the “1% versus 99%” debate. But while these effects are fairly unknown, they still play a role in our daily lives and can even affect policy decision-making.   Read more

International Sanctions May Ruin Myanmar’s Opportunity For Change: Joseph Stigli
International Sanctions May Ruin Myanmar’s Opportunity For Change: Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 14 March 2012

Political change in Myanmar has been numbingly slow for a half-century, but a new leadership is trying to embrace rapid transition from within. However, the country is now being held back by the international sanctions that were imposed before its leaders turned away from authoritarianism and isolation.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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?  Read more

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.   Read more

The 4 Biggest Downside Risks To The Global Economy: Nouriel Roubini
The 4 Biggest Downside Risks To The Global Economy: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 29 February 2012

While recent developments seem to suggest some positive news for the global economy, there are at least four downside risks that could materialize this year – undermining global growth and eventually negatively affecting investor confidence and market valuations of risky assets.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

Can Football Kick Its Addiction To Debt?
Can Football Kick Its Addiction To Debt?
Date: 23 February 2012

Spiralling wages and transfer fees have submerged Europe’s football teams in billions off debt, and the sport’s governing body seems helpless to do anything about it.

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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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.    Read more

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.   Read more

Europe’s Fate Rests In The Hands Of The ECB: Mario Blejer & Eduardo Levy Yeyati
Europe’s Fate Rests In The Hands Of The ECB: Mario Blejer & Eduardo Levy Yeyati
Date: 14 February 2012

The ECB's recent decision to lend unlimited funds to eurozone commercial banks at very low rates acknowledges the need to address a core drawback in the euro-architecture: the ECB itself. However the banks use the money, it is now clear that the eurozone’s future will be determined largely by the ECB.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

Euro-oddity – The ECB’s Peculiar Stance On Greece’s Debt: Joseph Stiglitz
Euro-oddity – The ECB’s Peculiar Stance On Greece’s Debt: Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 9 February 2012

There are several explanations for the ECB’s insistence on a "voluntary" restructuring of Greece's sovereign debt, none of which speaks well for the institution. Indeed, as we have seen elsewhere, institutions that are not democratically accountable tend to be captured by special interests.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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)  Read more

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?  Read more

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?  Read more

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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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Disaster Economics – Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure: Justin Yifu Lin & Ap
Disaster Economics – Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure: Justin Yifu Lin & Apurva Sanghi
Date: 20 January 2012

Natural disasters are inevitable, but at every level we have the power to ensure that they do not become unnatural tragedies. According to a recent report released by the World Bank and the United Nations, an ounce of prevention in planning for disasters is worth a pound of cure. So prevention pays, if done right. And that means getting incentives right.  Read more

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?  Read more

Beware The Bounce – Why The US Economy Is Still In Trouble: Nouriel Roubini
Beware The Bounce – Why The US Economy Is Still In Trouble: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 18 January 2012

Recent favourable macroeconomic data has suggested that the US economy could be back on track. But the recent uplift in the economy only hides more fundamental problems, and the US still remains in the early stages of a deleveraging cycle.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

Food Waste Fiasco: Breaking The Gordian Knot Of The World’s Food Supply
Food Waste Fiasco: Breaking The Gordian Knot Of The World’s Food Supply
Date: 11 January 2012

1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally every year. While carelessness is the main source of blame for food waste in the developed world, the annual food waste in developing countries often comes down to poor infrastructure development and post-harvest losses.  Read more

Innovate Or Else! Why Global Finance Needs A Supply Chain Revolution: Andrew She
Innovate Or Else! Why Global Finance Needs A Supply Chain Revolution: Andrew Sheng
Date: 10 January 2012

As the 2008 financial crisis showed, a simple banking system based on collecting retail savings to fund the credit needs of borrowers has evolved into a highly complex – and global – supply chain. To restore trust and adapt to the growing needs of new markets, financial leaders must re-engineer it.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.   Read more

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?   Read more

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.  Read more

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?   Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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?   Read more

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?   Read more

A Fragile And Unbalanced Global Economy In 2012: Nouriel Roubini
A Fragile And Unbalanced Global Economy In 2012: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 15 December 2011

2012 will be a bumpy year for the global economy: recession in Europe, anemic growth at best in the United States, and a sharp slowdown in China and in most emerging-market economies. To paraphrase Bette Davis in All About Eve, “Fasten your seatbelts!”  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Fake Highs, Real Risks: The Dangers of “Legal” Synthetic Drugs
Fake Highs, Real Risks: The Dangers of “Legal” Synthetic Drugs
Date: 7 December 2011

Powerful and unpredictable synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine, and other illegal substances, are leaving a trail of paranoia, hallucinations and death across the US.  Read more

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?  Read more

Europe’s Currency Conundrum – What Can Save The Euro Now? : Joseph Stiglitz
Europe’s Currency Conundrum – What Can Save The Euro Now? : Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 6 December 2011

It is increasingly evident that Europe’s political leaders, for all their commitment to the euro’s survival, do not have a good grasp of what is required to make the single currency work. Public-sector cutbacks today do not solve the problem of yesterday’s profligacy; they simply push economies into deeper recessions.  Read more

Why The IMF Must Stay Out Of Europe’s Crisis: Mario Blejer & Eduardo Levy Yeyati
Why The IMF Must Stay Out Of Europe’s Crisis: Mario Blejer & Eduardo Levy Yeyati
Date: 5 December 2011

Europe, it seems, is determined to resolve its problems using other people’s money. But there are at least three reasons why the IMF should resist this pressure, and abstain from increasing its (already extremely high) exposure to Europe.  Read more

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.   Read more

The Almighty Dollar – Are We Entering A Post-USD World? : Sanjeev Sanyal
The Almighty Dollar – Are We Entering A Post-USD World? : Sanjeev Sanyal
Date: 1 December 2011

Even if China replaces the US as the world’s largest economy within a decade, a global anchor currency can be more resilient than the economic and geopolitical dominance of its country of origin. That is why the dollar will most likely remain the dominant global currency long after the US has been surpassed.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Rich Nations, Poor People: The Cause of Rising Poverty In The Western World
Rich Nations, Poor People: The Cause For Rising Poverty In The Western World
Date: 23 November 2011

Poverty rates are on the rise in the Western world, as recession, rising fuel costs and austerity cuts to social welfare benefits, take their toll on the most vulnerable people. But rather than trying to alleviate the problem, most continue to perpetuate the cycle even further.  Read more

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.  Read more

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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?  Read more

Understanding Uncertainty – A Framework For The Global Economy: Mohamed El-Erian
Understanding Uncertainty – A Framework For The Global Economy: Mohamed El-Erian
Date: 21 November 2011

The mounting problems that continue to plague the US and the eurozone has left many people worried. These problems have also led to numerous paradigm shifts that could potentially alter the face of the entire global economy. With uncertain times ahead, what we can do is to monitor developments, learn from them, and ultimately adapt.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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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.  Read more

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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.  Read more

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Dirty Oil, Dirty Tactics – The Keystone XL Pipeline: Jody Williams & Desmond Tut
Dirty Oil, Dirty Tactics – The Keystone XL Pipeline: Jody Williams & Desmond Tutu
Date: 10 November 2011

If the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Alberta, Canada to the Texas coast, goes forward, it would spell disaster for efforts to combat climate change. But defenders of the pipeline are using dirty tactics to promote dirty oil. If these tactics succeed, the very future of our planet could be at stake.   Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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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Capitalism’s Pallbearers: The Companies That Run, & Could Eventually Destroy, Th
Capitalism’s Pallbearers: The Companies That Run, & Could Destroy, The Global Economy
Date: 2 November 2011

Systems analysts have shown that a “super entity” of interconnected transnationals dominate the world economy. Their political power is such that even politicians fear the consequences of breaking their monopoly. But unless something can be done, the whole system is a ‘house of cards’ that could collapse at any moment.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Economic Bogeymen Are Threatening Our Long-Term Recovery: Jomo Kwame Sundaram
Economic Bogeymen Are Threatening Our Long-Term Recovery: Jomo Kwame Sundaram
Date: 24 October 2011

Despite the need for strong and sustained fiscal stimulus in many countries, today's political leaders seem to be held hostage by financial interests and associated media, ideologists, and oligarchs. As a result, the main threat that now confronts us is not public debt or inflation but rather a downward economic spiral.  Read more

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”.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

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.   Read more

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.   Read more

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.   Read more

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!  Read more

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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EconomyWatch Exposé: Europe’s Far Right – Fuelled By Islamophobia?
EconomyWatch Exposé: Europe’s Far Right – Fuelled By Islamophobia?
Date: 4 October 2011

4 October 2011. Europe’s increasingly vocal and powerful Far Right parties have swapped a racist agenda for an Islamophobic one, moving them closer to the mainstream, where anti-Muslim views are commonplace among conservative commentators and politicians.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

Divided We Fail – The World Needs Quick And Collective Action: Christine Lagarde
Divided We Fail – The World Needs Quick And Collective Action: Christine Lagarde
Date: 27 September 2011

27 September 2011. A crisis of confidence envelops the global economy today. Too much debt is denting confidence – in turn holding back spending, investment and job creation. In these circumstances, we need collective action for global recovery along four main policy lines: repair, reform, rebalancing, and rebuilding.  Read more

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. 

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”?

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.    Read more

The 21st Century Slave Trade: A Cacophony of Lies, Abuse, and Incompetence
The 21st Century Slave Trade: A Cacophony of Lies, Abuse, and Incompetence
Date: 21 September 2011

21 September 2011. Human trafficking is a global industry worth $32 billion and places millions of vulnerable people from poor countries in servitude, but the number of successful prosecutions is still pitifully small.   Read more

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?

 

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?  Read more

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.   Read more

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Banking’s Biggest Dilemma – Stability or Competition? : Xavier Vives
Banking’s Biggest Dilemma – Stability or Competition? : Xavier Vives
Date: 15 September 2011

15 September 2011. The banking sector faces a continuous trade-off between competition and stability. Too much competition increases instability and the risk of systemic failure, but too little competition will also have dire consequences for consumers and investors. What is the balancing point?  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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?  Read more

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?  Read more

Post-Disaster Japan – A Fresh Beginning or A False Dawn? : Heizo Takenaka
New Morn or False Dawn? - Japan's Rare Opportunity For Change: Heizo Takenaka
Date: 5 September 2011

The scale of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March was far greater than even the authorities’ worst nightmare scenarios foresaw. Now, nearly half a year after the crisis, Japan has a rare opportunity to undertake the comprehensive reforms that have been postponed for too long.   Read more

The Pursuit of Happiness – Will Economic Objectives Stand in the Way? : Jeffrey
The Pursuit of Happiness – Will Economic Objectives Stand in the Way? : Jeffrey D. Sachs
Date: 2 September 2011

The mad pursuit of corporate profits is threatening us all. To be sure, we should support economic growth and development, but only in a broader context: one that promotes environmental sustainability and the values of compassion and honesty that are required for social trust.  Read more

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?  Read more

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?  Read more

Unprecedented US Consumer Weakness Encapsulated By Just One Number: Stephen S. R
Unprecedented US Consumer Weakness Encapsulated By Just One Number: Stephen S. Roach
Date: 29 August 2011

30 August 2011. The US economy – and the global economy – cannot get back on its feet without the American consumer. But never before in the post-World War II era has the American consumer been so weak for so long. One number, in particular, highlights the problem.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.   Read more

Premature Speculation: The Arab Spring Cannot Be Considered as Democracy’s Fourt
Premature Speculation: The Arab Spring Cannot Be Considered as Democracy’s Fourth Wave. Yet.
Date: 24 August 2011

24 August 2011. The Arab world is changing. The fall of the autocratic regimes – particularly in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – has led many political analysts to label the Arab Spring as the start of a new fourth wave of democracy. However, political change need not necessarily mean democratic change. As such, talks of a fourth wave may be premature.  Read more

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?  Read more

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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.   Read more

Anarchy in the UK: The Socio-Economic Factors Behind The London Riots
Anarchy in the UK: The Socio-Economic Factors Behind The London Riots
Date: 19 August 2011

19 August 2011. Socio-economic factors, including poverty and high unemployment rates, were major factors behind this month’s rioting across England, but politicians and many journalists persist in branding the rioters “thugs” and “wild beasts”  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

Diseased and Dangerous – The US and Europe’s Grand Debacle: Joseph Stiglitz
Diseased and Dangerous – The US and Europe’s Grand Debacle: Joseph Stiglitz
Date: 16 August 2011

16 August 2011. There has been much concern about financial contagion between Europe and America. But the real problem stems from another form of contagion: bad ideas move easily across borders, and misguided economic notions on both sides of the Atlantic have been reinforcing each other.  Read more

Hope in Adversity – Fighting Famine in the Horn of Africa: Jeffrey D. Sachs
Hope in Adversity – Fighting Famine in the Horn of Africa: Jeffrey D. Sachs
Date: 15 August 2011

15 August 2011. Once more, famine stalks the Horn of Africa, where more than ten million people are fighting for survival, mainly pastoralist communities in the hyper-arid regions of Somalia, Ethiopia, and northern Kenya. But the current crisis could yet mark the start of regional recovery and development.  Read more

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?   Read more

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”.   Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

Doomed for Disaster – America’s Dangerous Debt Deal: Michael Mandelbaum
Doomed for Disaster – America’s Dangerous Debt Deal: Michael Mandelbaum
Date: 5 August 2011

5 August 2011. The painfully negotiated US budget legislation that Barack Obama signed on August 2 has three major flaws. One offsets the other, and the third threatens what America needs most in the coming years: economic growth.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

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?  Read more

“Dirty Digger”: Murdoch’s News of the World Phone Hacking Scandal
“Dirty Digger”: Murdoch’s News of the World Phone Hacking Scandal
Date: 25 July 2011

25 July 2011. The phone-hacking scandal which has engulfed Rupert Murdoch’s News International has changed the rules of the game for politicians, police and media, and may yet impact the Government’s relations with the UK’s powerful financial sector. Ongoing investigations by London’s Metropolitan Police have revealed at least 3,700 cases of phone hacking by journalists at the 168-year-old tabloid News of the World newspaper. But that’s only half the story.  Read more

How the Rich are Spending in 2011
How the Rich are Spending in 2011
Date: 22 July 2011

A study by American Express and Harrison Group shows that global spending on luxury goods is set to increase by nearly 8 per cent to US$359 billion in 2011. Rich shoppers are driving an increase in consumer spending and according to Moody’s Analytics, 5 per cent of the richest households account for 37 per cent of consumer spending. For nearly two years, households clamped down through the economic slump, exercising utmost restraint and discernment in their purchases. However, that is all changing in 2011. Find out how the rich are spending today.  Read more

The Trouble with the Singapore Workplace
The Trouble with the Singapore Workplace
Date: 21 July 2011

21 July 2011. Now let's get this right: Singapore is a great place to do business. It's the gateway to Asian economies and where businesses big and small base themselves to trade with the rest of South East Asia - and the world. But as much as Singapore prides itself in being the best place for business in Asia, underneath the sparkling facade of its Central Business District and well-dressed, well-spoken and good-looking frontline representatives lies fundamental practices - that just aren't right. So what is wrong with Singaporean businesses?  Read more

Dream on
The Fundamental Flaws of Capitalism – Why We Never Learn: Joseph E. Stiglitz
Date: 20 July 2011

20 July 2011. The 2008 global financial crisis was meant to be a wakeup call for policymakers around the world. Yet, in the aftermath of one of the worst financial crises ever, policymakers continue to adopt failed policies and weak strategies that threaten to curtail recovery efforts. Joseph E. Stiglitz writes about how the US and Europe – considered to be the bastions of western capitalism – are bound for economic failure if they choose to undertake “another costly experiment with ideas that have failed repeatedly.”  Read more

Stock Market Mergers: Steady Marriage or Failing Long Distance Relationships?
Stock Market Mergers: Steady Marriage or Failing Long Distance Relationships?
Date: 19 July 2011

19 July 2011. When Deutsche Boerse wanted to merge with the London Stock Exchange in 2004 there was an outcry. When the LSE wanted to merge with TMX the Canadians got into a knot. When NASDAQ and ICE (the Intercontinental Exchange) decided, in April this year, to launch a hostile counter bid for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Euronext in the teeth of an agreed Deutsche Boerse  bid. At the time of writing, the London Stock Exchange’s bid for the Toronto Exchange TMX, which most people, including the LSE and TMX, thought was a done deal, had just collapsed. Why are exchanges all round the world looking to partner up, even if the partner is a continent away?  Read more

The European Union’s Catalogue of Failures
The European Union’s Catalogue of Failures: George Soros
Date: 18 July 2011

18 July 2011. On 1 November 1993, the European Union was formally established with the Maastricht Treaty – a culmination of a vision that began over 50 years ago when a small group of European politicians recognised the need for greater European integration to combat the wave of extreme nationalism that devastated the continent during World War II. Yet today in the face of a deepening debt crisis, Europe stands divided. George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management, warns that unless a Plan B is adopted, Europe faces “incalculable consequences.”  Read more

Is Corporate Regulation Protecting Consumers or Making Life Harder?
Is Corporate Regulation Protecting Consumers or Making Life Harder?
Date: 15 July 2011

15 July 2011. Organizations today can both create and manage risk on a global scale. Their capacities to manage risk however, vary enormously. Risk regulation is often a crisis response and focus on macroeconomic stability, fair competition and consumer protection – but how much regulation is too much and when does it eliminate more important activities?  Read more

Yingluck Shinawatra: Thaksin’s Shadow Puppet?
Yingluck Shinawatra: Thaksin’s Shadow Puppet?
Date: 14 July 2011

14 July 2011. Thailand is about to inaugurate its first female Prime Minister. Yingluck Shinawatra led her Pheu Thai party to victory in July's general election winning 265 seats, and giving her party a majority vote in the 500 member parliament. Ms Yingluck prepares herself to lead Thailand out of its political standstill that began in 2006 when her brother, Thaksin was ousted in a military coup. However she's widely considered by many as Thaksin's proxy and expected rule the nation with her brother's motivations. So do her proposed policies resemble to her brother's during his 2001 – 2006 administration?  Read more

The Statue of Liberty
Human Mobility and Economic Development: Why Migration Makes Sense
Date: 13 July 2011

Politicians from advanced economies today face a conundrum on whether to restrict or welcome migrants and foreign workers. While an influx of foreign workers may provide economic benefits to a country, there have been societal concerns over the possibility of an increase in social problems, a lack of social integration, and also the threat that foreign workers bring to local employment. But according to Ian Goldin and Geoffrey Cameron, migration is in everyone’s interest. The long term benefits associated with global migration and human mobility are simply too large to ignore and should not be left in the hands of politicians.  Read more

Is China Heading For An Economic Slowdown?
Is China Heading For An Economic Slowdown?
Date: 12 July 2011

Last week, Beijing released its June inflation and national trade account figures, with data suggesting that the government’s current measures to cool down its economy may be inadequate. In a bid to cool surging inflation, the Chinese central bank raised key interest rates for a third time this year. Benchmark rates for one-year loans were raised by 25 basis points to 6.56 per cent. So, is China necessary showing signs of an economic slowdown?  Read more

How Will Lagarde Lift The IMF and The World Economy?
Times of Trouble: Can Christine Lagarde Lead the IMF Through its Toughest Period?
Date: 11 July 2011

11 July 2011. To most regular observers, the appointment of Christine Lagarde as IMF’s Managing Director came as no surprise. Lagarde had been seen as the overwhelming favourite to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn and was duly elected despite calls for a candidate from an emerging economy. However, the challenges for Lagarde are great. While Lagarde may undoubtedly have the credentials to run one of the world’s most influential financial organisations, doubts will remain over her actual ability until she proves herself worthy of the role. Former IMF Chief Economist Raghuram Rajan believes that Lagarde arrives at a pivotal, but extremely challenging, period for the IMF wherein her success, or failure, may have a deep impact for the world economy.  Read more

South Sudan
South Sudan: From Nationhood to Statehood
Date: 8 July 2011

8 July 2011. On 9th July 2011, the nation of South Sudan will finally become a State. Having been part of the Republic of Sudan for more than five decades, the South Sudanese population will now have the opportunity to govern and fend for themselves – albeit in a region mired in conflict and uncertainty.Though immeasurable challenges lie ahead, the people are optimistic.

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United:Cameron and Obama are struggling to get their derailed economies on track
The UK & The US: Same Problems, Different Results
Date: 6 July 2011

7 July 2011. Over the past decades the UK has shadowed the US in seeing growing inequalities of income, declining social mobility and rises in mental illness. But the UK is still demonstrably better off on most measures of social cohesion and social capital.  Read more

Does the US Monetary System Work?
Does the US Monetary System Work?
Date: 6 July 2011

6 July 2011. Joseph J. DioGuardi, a CPA and former Congressman who represented Westchester County, New York, for two terms (1985-1989), is a public advocate for fiscal responsibility as the leader of Truth In Government. He speaks exclusively to EconomyWatch about the what is not working in the US monetary system and the potential risks the US and rest of the world faces if something doesn't change.   Read more

Should Wall Street Be So Sure About Greece Deal?
Should Wall Street Be So Sure About Greece Deal?
Date: 5 July 2011

Wall Street hit its biggest four-day rally last week amid optimism that Greece will avoid default. The Dow Jones Industrial average was up 153 points, S&P’s 500 Index went up 13 points – even our Consumer Confidence Index registered optimistic activity in the US after a long period of pessimism. But is the US celebrating too soon?

 

 

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China’s Ageing Population: Will the Country Grow Old Before It Gets Rich?
China’s Ageing Population: Will the Country Grow Old Before It Gets Rich?
Date: 4 July 2011

4 July 2011. China is one of the top fastest growing economies in the world, and some economists believe China will overtake the US with a larger GDP in a matter of a few years. Last year, the number of millionaires in China grew 12 percent, and while the US still has the most millionaires – they’re 15 years younger in China.  But with life expectancies high in China and an already aged population, economists are asking: Will China get old before it gets rich?  Read more

The global oil market has become a large sea that generates its own storms
High Oil Prices: Caught in a Sea of "Vicious Cycles"
Date: 30 June 2011

1 July 2011. Recently, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced its intentions to release nearly 2 million barrels of oil per day into the market over the next month so as to boost supply and drive down prices. Naturally, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) didn’t take too kindly with that decision. President Mohammad Aliabadi declared, “the market is under normal conditions. Supply and demand are desirable. There is no additional need for supply in the market." Although the IEA’s decision appears to be justified, particularly with the loss of Libyan and Yemeni oil, oil prices have been barely affected and still remain fairly high.  Read more

Corruption & Money: The Language of FIFA
Corruption & Money: The Language of FIFA
Date: 29 June 2011

30 June 2011. Everyone knows Fifa is corrupt, but the world football’s governing body is a Papal institution, with the power to excommunicate any opponent. This threat is one of several reasons why Fifa’s power is untouchable, and it remains unaccountable. IT seems as long as Blatter is bringing in money for Fifa – and they have a $1.2 billion surplus – there’s not that much concern in most countries about the corruption.  Read more

Can Food Prices be Stabilized?
The Great Food Price Balancing Act
Date: 29 June 2011

29 June 2011. Rising food prices affect everyone. Some demographic groups – namely the poor – are affected more than others. As food prices continue to be highly volatile, Jeffrey Frankel asks; can food prices can be stabilized? And asserts that speculators could potentially act as “detectors of change” or “stabilizing forces”.  Read more

Can Germany Continue to Drive The Euro-zone Economy?
Money Matters: Why Germany Wants to Keep the EU Together
Date: 28 June 2011

28 June 2011. The Euro-zone is faltering. Bogged down by the ails of the PIIGS, the Euro-zone is fragile and susceptible to a potential economic meltdown.With Greece heading towards an inevitable default, despite the recent announcement of a second bailout in just over a year, the word on the street is not about whether the other Euro-zone countries would once again leap to Greece's rescue when this happens but rather on whether Greece would eventually be kicked out of the Euro-zone – a potential precursor to a dissolution of the Euro-zone.   Read more

Rising Oil Prices Drive Green Initiatives
Rising Oil Prices Drive Green Initiatives
Date: 27 June 2011

27 June 2011. Chief Financial Officers across the US are responding to greener solutions to combat the problem of the rising cost of fuel, with over half increasing their telecommuting and teleconferencing, a recent survey has found. The findings reflect a clear need for CFOs to react and adapt to the changing environment.  Read more

Money Advice from The World’s Filthy Rich
Money Advice from The World’s Filthy Rich
Date: 24 June 2011

It’s already June. Where has the year gone? For some who’ve made personal finance and investment goals to grow rich this year or increase your company profits by tenfold your New Year resolution for 2011 – you might start to hear that countdown clock to 2012 ticking already. Forget those passé get-rich-quick schemes of the 90’s. If you’re stuck in a mid-year rut, here’s some money advice from the world’s filthy rich to inspire.  Read more

The Long and Winding Road to Recovery
The Long and Winding Road to Recovery
Date: 23 June 2011

23 June 2011. The IMF recently updated its economic forecasts for the global economy – predicting a two-speed recovery process whereby emerging economies would experience strong economic growth whereas most advanced economies face an uphill battle to stimulate growth and avoid stagnation. As the world proceeds on a path of recovery, Olivier Blanchard, José Viñals, and Carlo Cottarelli of the IMF explains why this path is fraught with difficulties and what needs to be done in order to ensure a smoother global recovery.  Read more

Illegal Bookies, Match Fixing & Asian Gangs
Illegal Bookies, Crooked Players & Asian Gangs
Date: 22 June 2011

22 June 2011. Illegal gambling exists everywhere, but in Asia its present on a different scale compared to anywhere else. Asian gangs not only corrupt their own leagues, but have infiltrated every major football tournament, and several international cricket teams. David Smith investigates the secret world of illegal sports gambling and match fixing in this week’s expose.  Read more

Asia: On the brink of a digital revolution
Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin Bets Big on Asian Internet
Date: 21 June 2011

21 June 2011. EconomyWatch speaks to Reza Behnam, former Managing Director of Yahoo South East Asia and founder of ADZ - an online advertising marketplace - about his vision for ADZ as well as the technology scene in Asia. Besides getting backing from the Singapore government, Reza has also secured a star investor: Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook. We discover Asia is on the precipice of a new digital age - with entrepreneurs such as Reza and investors such as Eduardo paving the way forward.  Read more

Eurozone Divorce Imminent: Nouriel Roubini
Eurozone Divorce Imminent: Nouriel Roubini
Date: 20 June 2011

20 June 2011. In his latest article – The Eurozone Heads For Break Up – published in the Financial Times, Roubini expresses his belief that current policies adopted by European nations has not and will not resolve the Eurozone’s fundamental problems of competitive and economic divergence. The Eurozone, in its present form, is thus on a path to separation. By Nouriel Roubini  Read more

The House Always Wins: World Casino Takings
The House Always Wins: World Casino Takings
Date: 17 June 2011

17 June 2011.Casinos are glamourized, popularized and highly addictive. In America alone, problem gambling affects more than 15 million people. And the economics of it all? Well according to PriceWaterHouse Coopers, the global casino industry is predicted to be worth $120 billion in 2011, up from $100 billion in 2007.And the Asia Pacific region is leading the growth, growing at a rate of 15 percent per year, compared to 2 percent growth in Europe and 7 percent in the US. Follow the money in this report on world casino revenues.
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A Tale of Two Indias With One United Goal
A Tale of Two Indias With One United Goal
Date: 16 June 2011

16 June 2011. It has become rather cliché to describe India as a land of contrasts. After all, in a land of more than 1.2 billion people, with hundreds of languages, and a history that dates to over five thousand years, there are bound to be contrasts that have emerged along the way. Still, India is often characterised by the degree of contrasts that exist within the country. In fact, the government and the people of India have come to accept, and even embrace this profile. As one Indian netizen puts it, India is a country with unity in diversity…all are undoubtedly united by one sole feeling of ‘being an Indian'.  Read more

Unemployment and Low Wages Paint Bleak Picture for US Workers
Unemployment and Low Wages Paint Bleak Picture for US Workers
Date: 15 June 2011

15 June 2011. Shareholder profits have risen steeply in the US at the same time as wages have spiralled downwards. So many Americans are now out of work, or only able to find part-time work, that the business-owners are calling all the shots. Weak employment protection laws and low trade union membership complete a bleak picture for the American worker.  Read more

Josef Ackermann: The Most Dangerous Banker in the World
Josef Ackermann: The Most Dangerous Banker in the World
Date: 14 June 2011

14 June 2011. Ackermann emerged from the panic of 2008 after pledging 8.5 billion Euros to bailout a big German bank on the brink of collapse. He is at the centre of more power circles than any other banker in the Continent. And he’s helping shape Europe’s economic and financial future. From advising politicians and policy makers on the Greek debt crisis to economic relations in Europe and the ECB’s future. Make no mistake, Ackermann’s allegiances lie with the banks. More bailout money and more austerity on the other hand means: buying time without hope of recovery.  Read more

Bitcoins: The Politics of A Virtual Currency
Bitcoins: The Politics of A Virtual Currency
Date: 13 June 2011

13 June 2011. Bitcoins have been described as “the digital currency of the future” – a new global phenomenon that threatens to challenge all preconceived notions of currency and currency exchange. Worldwide interest in Bitcoins has started to grow almost exponentially in the past few of months. But can a virtual currency work and more importantly, how?  Read more

Who's Hungry? Outrageous Food Prices Screw Everyone Except...
Who's Hungry? Outrageous Food Prices Screw Everyone Except...
Date: 9 June 2011

10 June 2011. Since the second half of last year, global wheat prices have more than doubled according to the World Bank, and prices of corn, sugar and oil have skyrocketed. The Cereal Price Index soared a shocking 69 percent from May 2010 to May 2011. On average, the Food Price Index averaged 232 points in May 2011, 37 points higher than May 2010. So who's going to go hungry?  Read more

Not a Good Time to Be an American
Not a Good Time to Be an American
Date: 8 June 2011

9 June 2011. The first results are in, and they will not be great news for everyone. Simply put, it is not a good time to be an American. Last week we launched our crowdsourcing economic indicators experiment, the world's first real-time Consumer Confidence Index from your friendly local global economists at EconomyWatch.com. 48 Americans have given the US a rating of 562 (out of 1,000), broadly meaning that they expect the economy to stay the same. This is down from a confident 756 Mid May. In fact, responses in the last week have been on overage below 500, meaning that most people in the US now believe things will get worse.  Read more

Black Money: The Business of Money Laundering
Black Money: The Business of Money Laundering
Date: 7 June 2011

8 June 2011. Billions of dollars of illicitly-earned money is laundered every year, often through reputable banking systems. One of the most shocking cases involved the Miami-based Wachovia Bank, which admitted responsibility in 2009 for moving $420 billion for account holders thought likely to be involved in the laundering of drug proceeds. Yet the measures taken to control these crimes don’t appear to be working. David Smith looks at the scale of the problem and assesses the far-reaching consequences of money laundering crimes.

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US National Debt Is A Ticking Time Bomb
US National Debt Is A Ticking Time Bomb
Date: 6 June 2011

7 June 2011. Debt is making us poor. As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and former Member of Congress, I say that every citizen has the right to know the real cost of government. I want to make the point, loud and clear, that we are living on borrowed money and on borrowed time. U.S. taxpayers collectively owed $4.5 trillion at the end of 1996 and that each taxpayer owed $45,433. Incredibly, the national debt, subject to the statutory debt ceiling, has since skyrocketed to $14.3 trillion, and so today each taxpayer owes $143,000. Hon. Joseph J. DioGuardi gives us the real picture of US national debt.  Read more

Finding the G-Spot: How Many Economies Ought to be in G-8 and G-20?
Finding the G-Spot: How Many Economies Ought to be in the G-8 and G-20?
Date: 6 June 2011

6 June 2011. Calling the G-8 or the G-20 'irrelevant institutions' is like calling the US economy 'flawed'.

The whole world knows it - and has been saying it for years.  However, what really makes the G-8 or the G-20 stand out as a lightning beam for criticism is the exclusivity of their respective summits as well as the reserved statuses for the core members of the group. The organisations have also generally justified their rigid stance in membership by stating the need for “effectiveness and continuity of its activity”. Is ensuring continuity really more important than staying relevant or being more representative of the global economy?  Read more

Seven Questions to Ask Before Refinancing Your Mortgage
Seven Questions to Ask Before Refinancing Your Mortgage
Date: 2 June 2011

3 June 2011. House prices in the US are crashing again. With 18 million households across the country on the verge of defaulting on their mortgage, how will the fall in house prices affect your mortgage? Refinancing can be a great way to save money, if you do it right. But a bad refinance can put you in a situation where the only person benefiting is the loan officer.  Read more

Financial Services Execs Wowed by Channel Innovation
Financial Services Execs Wowed by Channel Innovation
Date: 1 June 2011

2 June 2011. The impact of regulation and cloud technology dominated talks at the recent Financial Services Technology Summit in Germany – but BBVA’s channel integration efforts stole the show. Delivering tailored, geo-localised services to account holders will be an essential element in retail banking during this decade, and BBVA demonstrated how it has embraced this strategy, underpinned by robust analytics tools and a CRM system capable of delivering significant business value. “It needs to be about giving the customer the right information, at the right time, in the right format,” explained Luis Uguina, BBVA’s Chief Mobility Officer.  Read more

The World's Richest Family - You Didn't Know About (Part 2)
The World's Richest Family - You Didn't Know About (Part 2)
Date: 31 May 2011

1 June 2011. The Rothschilds are the most famous banking family in history. In the 19th century they lent money to Kings and Governments and funded both sides in the Napoleonic wars. They once saved the Bank of England from collapse with their own money. But how did they come to be so fabulously wealthy? In this two-part feature we first look at their rise from the ghettoes of Frankfurt, and then in part two we ask why they have been accused of everything from deliberately starting wars, to assassinating presidents and controlling the entire global financial system.  Read more

Seize Corrupt Indian Assets: Proposed Lokpal Bill
Seize Corrupt Indian Assets: Proposed Lokpal Bill
Date: 30 May 2011

31 May 2011. The threat of serving a jail sentence doesn’t seem to deter corrupt officials anymore according to activists in New Delhi. After all, he can enjoy the ill-gotten gains after his sentence. Now, a drafting committee agreed to confiscate and liquidate assets obtained through corruption under the proposed Lokpal bill. So will seizing India’s corrupt assets deter corruption - or if corruption continues in India, could it affect the countries’ growth and continued success?  Read more

Consumer Confidence Index: Real-Time, Global, Crowdsourcing the Future
Crowdsourcing the Future: Introducing Global Real-Time Consumer Confidence Tracking
Date: 30 May 2011

30 May 2011. It was the 26th September, 2008. Hank Paulson, then US Treasury Secretary, had got down on one knee to Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the House, and begged her to support his Bailout of the Too-Big-To-Fail Banks. At that moment we knew that consumer and business confidence around the world would plummet.  We already knew that, almost as one, our clients' confidence would tumble. Projects would be put on hold, downsized or cancelled. It was a matter of business survival for us to understand just how bad it would be, but the data was painfully slow in coming. I kept asking myself, what is the point of having a forward indicator when it takes so long to get the data?

Now we are taking a small step to fix that problem, by introducing the Global, Real-Time Consumer Confidence Index.

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The World's Worst Credit Cards
The World's Worst Credit Cards
Date: 26 May 2011

27 May 2011. Credit card companies are battering consumers across the board with monstrous fees, high interest rates and disappearing rewards. If you signed up for a credit card in the past year, the chances are - you've been ripped off. Your interest rate might have gone up, had your credit limit reduced, or your credit card issuer gutted your rewards. Analysts say: it's only going to get worse. Still, you may be able to get a good deal, as long as you don't chose these cards singled out by experts for being the world's worst credit cards.

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The Cost & Politics of Economic Inequality
The Cost & Politics of Economic Inequality
Date: 26 May 2011

26 May 2011. There’s a Chinese proverb that goes “If the world was fair, all my fingers would be the same length”. Work that one out. Or try working out why there is so much economic inequality, and the disparities are growing. The funny thing is, if all the money in the world was distributed equally, everyone would have $10,000 a month to live on. In this era of fast growing economic advancement and increased global wealth, why is economic inequality on the rise?  Read more

The World's Richest Family - You Didn't Know About
The World's Richest Family - You Didn't Know About (Part 1)
Date: 25 May 2011

25 May 2011. The Rothschilds are the most famous banking family in history. In the 19th century they lent money to Kings and Governments and funded both sides in the Napoleonic wars. They once saved the Bank of England from collapse with their own money. But how did they come to be so fabulously wealthy? In this two-part feature we first look at their rise from the ghettoes of Frankfurt, and then in part two we ask why they have been accused of everything from deliberately starting wars, to assassinating presidents and controlling the entire global financial system.  Read more

Social Media in Singapore Politics: It’s Serious Business Folks!
Social Media in Singapore Politics: It’s Serious Business Folks!
Date: 24 May 2011

24 May 2011. Despite winning 81 out of 87 seats in parliament, the PAP has recognised the need to reconnect with the local population. However, based on social media sentiments, this looks to be an increasingly hard task. Singapore is growing into a true democracy, and freedom of speech is finally here. So how will Singapore’s political system and economy change in the next five years?  Read more

The State of Unemployment: Worst Cities for Unemployment Benefits
The State of Unemployment: Worst Cities for Unemployment Benefits
Date: 23 May 2011

23 May 2011.Unacceptable unemployment figures is the top concern of EconomyWatch readers, and who’s to blame them? The US, as well as other countries hit badly by the 2008 financial crisis continue to struggle bringing unemployment levels back to pre-crisis levels. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of people remain jobless and financially crippled with no sight of light at the end of the tunnel. However some argue, reliance on unemployment benefits is playing a role in the bills to cap benefits. Are they right?  Read more

A Dozen Alarming Consumer Debt Statistics
A Dozen Alarming Consumer Debt Statistics
Date: 21 May 2011

21 May 2011. In the US, consumers and households are dangerously in debt. Even after the catastrophic financial crisis in 2008, it seems in 2010 lessons from past mistakes have not been learned and taken on board. The Federal Reserve is looking at $2.4 trillion in unsecured debt. And the numbers just keep rising. Check out these dozen alarming consumer debt statistics.

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The Economics of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Allegations
The Economics of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Allegations
Date: 20 May 2011

20 May 2011. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you probably already know the tale of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (often referred to in the media as DSK), the now EX Managing Director of the IMF. By now you would have also heard about the sordid details of what allegedly happened in a New York hotel room, or about DSK’s reputation and history as a womaniser, or even about how the whole incident was a conspiracy to undermine DSK’s presidential bid in France. Here at EconomyWatch.com however, we only care about one thing – whether DSK’s scandal and subsequent resignation has had any impact on the global economy.  Read more

What Will Make the Great Financial Crisis Look Like Child's Play? The Next One:
What Will Make the Great Financial Crisis Look Like Child's Play? The Next One: Gordon Brown
Date: 18 May 2011

19 May 2011. In 2008, when we were hours away from ATMs running out of money, small businesses being unable to pay their staffs, and schools and hospitals closing down through lack of cash flow, it felt as if the crisis of the century was upon us. But if the world continues on its current path, the historians of the future will say that the great financial collapse of three years ago was simply the trailer for a succession of avoidable crises that eroded popular consent for globalization itself. Read more from Gordon Brown.  Read more

Security Still Top Priority for Finance Execs
Security Still Top Priority for Finance Execs
Date: 17 May 2011

In the wake of the recent Sony PlayStation hack, Amazon EC2 outage and Epsilon data theft, information security is once again back in the news – for all the wrong reasons. The web has become a playground for hackers and malcontents eager to phish, defraud and steal wherever and whenever they can. Policing this landscape is a logistical nightmare, and battle lines are being drawn and redrawn many thousands of times a day – which perhaps hints at why many of us are still uncomfortable with the idea of storing sensitive data in third-party environments.  Read more

US Military Spending: For War or Peace?
US Military Spending: For War or Peace?
Date: 17 May 2011

The United States has unquestionably been the most formidable military power in recent years. Its spending is the principle determinant of world military spending – a figure that reached $1.6 trillion in 2010. Generally, US military spending has been on the rise. Recent increases are attributed to the so-called War on Terror and the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions. Today, the US accounts for just under half of world military spending. The baseline budget, however, shows a continued increase, albeit at a seemingly lower rate. But why are the numbers for US spending so much higher than what was announced as the budget for the Department of Defense?  Read more

Sorry Dr Friedman, You Are Wrong – the Middle East Has Fundamentally Changed
Sorry Dr Friedman, You Are Wrong – the Middle East Has Fundamentally Changed
Date: 15 May 2011

16 May 2011. Thirty two years ago, as a nine year old boy, I said Bye Bye Basra. Now here I sit, all these years later, on the other side of the world, with Saddam dead and buried close to five years already. And yet, that old specter of fear still haunts me. I still worry. Should I really write this article? Might it come back to haunt me or – worst still – my family one day? Unless you have lived through an oppressive regime, you may never know what that fear is like. That is the real change that has taken place in the Middle East. Its citizens have broken out of the mental ghetto they have been consigned to, and the world will never be the same again.

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The Raw Deal: Personal Loans
The Raw Deal: Personal Loans
Date: 12 May 2011

You know, I’ve heard about personal loan offers and promotions but never looked into one. This week I wondered, what’s the difference between a personal loan, a cash loan and a plain ‘ole credit card (apart from the fact that you don’t want a cash advance at 18 percent compounding interest on your Visa thank-you-very-much). And, when should I use a personal loan over a cash loan or credit? Find out the raw deal when it comes to personal borrowing in this week's personal finance missive.  Read more

Higher Eurozone Interest Rates May Be a Foreign Investment Trap
Higher Eurozone Interest Rates May Be a Foreign Investment Trap
Date: 11 May 2011

12 May 2011. One of the positives of raising interest rates is that they attract foreign capital. On the surface, this makes complete sense. If U.S. rates are near zero and the European Central Bank raises its main rate to 1.25%, the current level, then anyone with a few functioning brain cells can see there is more cash to be had on European money markets than in America. In fact, after hinting at more rate hikes to come, European central banking brainiacs might have even hoped for a rise in foreign investment as a pleasant side effect of increased lending costs. That may never happen.

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The Value of Commodities Can Go Down As Well As Up...
The Value of Commodities Can Go Down As Well As Up...
Date: 11 May 2011

11 May 2011. No sooner had we breathlessly reported April’s record highs for gold and silver, at over $1500

and close to $50 per troy ounce respectively, than commodities stage a ‘flash crash’, startling

investors and traders alike. Last week silver slumped to below $35 and even gold lost 3.6%.

 Alice Briggs, EconomyWatch Investment & Markets writer sums up the latest in commodities and the ripple effects of Osama's death.

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Outlook for China Technology Investments
Outlook for China Technology Investments
Date: 9 May 2011

Last month Warren Buffett invested in BYD, an electric car company in China. So does this mean we should all jump on the China tech investment bandwagon? At the end of Q1 2011, China even overtook the US in green investments. According to a study led by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Chinese investment in clean energy soared by more than 50 percent in 2009 to reach $34.6 billion, far more than any other country in the Group of 20 major economies. Franck Nazikian, the founder of CHINICT shares his thoughts on Technology and Investments in China with EconomyWatch.  Read more

World Corruption Special Report
World Corruption Special Report
Date: 8 May 2011

9 May 2011. Iraq and Afghanistan sit near the top of a list of the world’s most corrupt nations despite years of occupation by Anglo-American forces and more than $1 trillion of US taxpayers’ money having been spent on the two nations since 2001. The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from the Berlin-based watchdog rated Somalia, with a score of 1.1 out of 10, as the world’s most corrupt nation, closely followed by Afghanistan and Myanmar with scores of 1.4, and Iraq on 1.5. This special report on world corruption uncovers the stories behind the most corrupt capitals of the world.  Read more

Drug Capitals of the World
Drug Capitals of the World
Date: 5 May 2011

6 May 2011. Afghanistan, which produces 90% of the world’s heroin, as well as the largest share of cannabis resin, could stake a claim as the “drug capital of the world”. But, in reality, there are many “drug capitals” when it comes to drug consumption and production. Naturally, most of the poison is consumed in richer nations, while it's produced in poorer countries. The picture, however, is complicated and ever-changing. Follow the drug trade around the worlds' drug capitals in this expose by EconomyWatch journalist, David Smith.  Read more

Your Daily Bread is Goldman Sachs’ Hottest Commodity
Your Daily Bread is Goldman Sachs’ Hottest Commodity
Date: 5 May 2011

In a shocking report by Frederick Kaufman that has been featured on  Foreign Policy, the role of Goldman Sachs and its Wall Street cohort in creating the food crisis has been revealed. Frederick uncovers the 1991 scheme where Goldman bankers lead by Gary Cohn created a derivative that tracked 24 raw minerals; including coffee, cocoa, cattle, corn, hogs, soy and wheat, and how that scheme was then manipulated to raise food commodity prices. Each element was given a calculated investment value and is now known as the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI). Follow the money trail and find out why your groceries are getting more expensive.  Read more

Who Are These Pesky Speculators?
Who Are These Pesky Speculators?
Date: 3 May 2011

4 May 2011. By clicking on this story, you may be a speculator if you thought this information might add value to your knowledge base, or your bank account. The only risk is your time. Oil and other market speculators basically act in the same way, except they are willing to take monetary chances in exchange for higher profits. For some reason, many politicians and much of the public currently despise that mentality. Betting on the future generally receives the stamp of immorality when elected officials and consumers come out on the losing end. President Barack Obama and the European Union both recently announced plans to hound evil profiteers.

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The Economics of Osama's Death
The Economics of Osama's Death
Date: 3 May 2011

3 May 2011. When Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center on 9/11 nearly ten years ago, they sought to achieve two separate effects. The first was obvious – causing the death of human lives. The second however was symbolic in nature. By attacking America’s symbol of economic might, Osama bin Laden was foreshadowing his true desires – to significantly hurt the US economy. Three years later, Osama released a videotape where he explicitly stated his intentions to bankrupt the US. “We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy…and it all shows that the real loser is you. It is the American people and their economy.  Read more

The Economics of the Royal Wedding
The Economics of the Royal Wedding
Date: 30 April 2011

30 April 2011. No one seems to really know the real cost of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s Royal Wedding that took place in Westminster yesterday – but they’re taking a good guess. Some reports put the cost as high as £50 million, and nothing lower than £30 million. That’s still under the £70 million it cost Charles and Di to tie the knot in 1981. The extra bank holiday was expected to cost the country £5 billion in lost production according to the CBI.  Read more

Want to Start Blogging? Here’s What I’ve Learnt…Part 1
Want to Start Blogging? Here’s What I’ve Learnt…Part 1
Date: 29 April 2011

29 April 2011. Always wanted to blog successfully but didn't know where to start or how to really pull it off? In this five-part How-To Blog Guide, Andrea Edwards, managing director of SAJE; a Singapore-based strategic communications consultancy focused on professional writing and content development (and more) gives you inside her blogosphere and imparts her valuable knowledge, experience and tips for blogging success.  Read more

3D Printing: A Money Goldmine?
3D Printing: A Money Goldmine?
Date: 27 April 2011

28 April 2011. Since 2003 3D printers have been on the rise, and over time, their costs declined. The technology is a form of additive manufacturing where 3D objects are created – and are more affordable and user friendly than other additive manufacturing technologies. The products allow developers to print parts and assemblies made from several materials with different properties in a single process.

   Read more

The Return of the Rater
The Return of the Rater
Date: 26 April 2011

27 April 2011. Standard and Poors' decision to cut its outlook for US debt to “negative” came as a surprise to many market watchers. The unprecedented move has reaffirmed the role rating agencies have in determining the prospects of national economies, much to the chagrin of many politicians. One main reason the S&P's pessimism rattled markets was its novelty.

Since it began issuing reports on the outlook for US bonds in 1989, the agency had not once suggested it could lower the “AAA” rating of the world's largest economy. Now S&P warns the chances the US will lose its bulletproof credit vest are one in three over the next two years.  Read more

Shock and Au: Hedging Against Fear
Shock and Au: Hedging Against Fear
Date: 25 April 2011

26 April 2011. The original ‘money’, gold has always been highly valued for its brilliance, malleability and purity. King Croesus is credited with the invention of the first gold coins, which remained a primary currency across the globe right up until the beginning of the 20th century. The ancient kings succeeding him were also probably responsible for the very first cases of inflation after they began adding lead to gold coins – enhancing the royal money supply but simultaneously reducing the coins’ value. In times of war, pestilence and political instability, gold has been jealously hoarded as protection against the vicissitudes of life.  Read more

Why Is Iran Not in the G20?
Why Is Iran Not in the G20?
Date: 25 April 2011

25 April 2011. Iran is one of the largest economies in the world - if the G20 is made up of the top 20 world economies, then Iran should be part of the group. But even countries such as Spain and the Netherlands who are also among the top 20 economies are excluded from the group. However, unlike Iran they are nevertheless invited to G20 summits. So will Iran ever be invited to join the G20?

There is a common misconception that G-20 members should be the twenty largest economies in the world. However the composition of the group has not changed since its inception in 1999. This has attracted controversy and criticism from the international community.  Read more

A Dozen Shocking Personal Finance Statistics
Date: 23 April 2011

A Dozen Shocking Personal Finance Statistics  
Are You Careless With Your Cash? You’re Not Alone.
Credit: emdot

23 April 2011. Let’s face it, we all have our bad money habits that border on shameful from time to time. But would you be more shocked to find out that as you “buy now and worry later” on your credit card – hordes of others are doing the same? We’re all trying to get out of debt, but only end up burrowing deeper into it. It’s time for some eye-opening credit card and debt statistics and take stock of your finances and control of your financial destiny.

This Easter weekend, check out these 12 shocking personal finance statistics and tell us where you fit in the big picture.  Read more

Hong Kong Jobless Thanks To Minimum Wage Law
Date: 21 April 2011

Hong Kong Jobless Thanks To Minimum Wage Law
Michael Chan, Chairman of Fast-Food Giant Cafe de Coral:
Will issue a profit warning if the hourly rate proposed by the unions became law.
Credit: For91days

21 April 2011. Hong Kong's unemployment rate has fallen to an all time pre-crisis low of 3.4 per cent, the Census and Statistics Department announced this week. Critics blame Hong Kong’s first minimum wage law for job losses. "In view of the still strong economic performance and positive hiring sentiment in the corporate sector, the unemployment rate is likely to remain at low levels in the near term," said Matthew Cheung, Hong Kong's labour secretary. But he warned the city would "remain vigilant in monitoring any economic and employment implications.

Hong Kong’s US$3.61 minimum wage bill was passed amid growing concerns over the income gap – and is now being blamed for job losses among thousands of low-paid workers. Hong Kong's half elected, half appointed legislature passed the minimum-wage bill in July 2010 that will take it effect on 1 May 2011.But is minimum wage good for any economy?  Read more

The Euro Zone's Inbuilt Flaw: Rising Rates Punishes the Weak
Date: 19 April 2011

The Euro Zone's Inbuilt Flaw: Rising Rates Punishes the Weak
Fastest Euro Zone Price Rise in 3 Years
Credit: jurjen_nl

20 April 2011. Are all nations in the European Union created equal? The European Central Bank seems to think so. And is hiking interest rates by a quarter of a percent signaling a “return to normal standards,” according to Ewald Nowotny, member of the ECB Governing Council and governor of the Austrian National Bank. The ECB raised interest rates this month for the first time since July 2008.

Policymaker Nout Wellink said the bank neded to remain “very alert” on inflation dangers to avoid falling behind the curve. However ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said he does not see alarming signs of second-round inflationary effects.  Read more

The Cost of Corruption in India
Date: 18 April 2011

Anna Hazare is one of India's well-acclaimed social activists. The 73-year old fasting Gandhian was a former soldier in the Indian army.  Anna is well known and respected for salvaging a hopeless village ridden by drought, alcoholism and poverty. He inspired the state government to implement the ‘Model Village’ scheme as part of its official strategy.

However while Anna Hazare’s supporters celebrate the victory of the people, we wonder; how did he prompt thousands of people to join his fight-through-fast and change the minds of local Indian government authorities against corruption?  Read more

China Luxury Market
China Luxury Market
Date: 17 April 2011

Since China's inflation is the hottest topic in the world political economy today, this seems a good time to look at the dynamics of China's luxury market. Especially so as many people other than long-time "China bust" folks are now starting to say inflation will require China's national government to slam on the brakes. Indeed, it may do so with such force, the world's strongest economy since the Black September 2008 meltdown will, finally, not just slow down, but have to swerve sharply to avoid a total crash. So this MAY be the proverbial "last irony", but, if so, at least we did it BEFORE everything in China came grinding to a halt ;-) Or not.  Read more

Credit Card Bill: $3725.65. No Unfair Fees: Priceless.
Date: 16 April 2011

Credit Card Bill: $3725.65. No Unfair Fees: Priceless.
Beat The Banks At Their Own Game
Credit: reallyboring

16 April 2011. Banks and credit card issuers have long been under the spotlight for mercilessly adding unfair fees and charges to your monthly credit card statements. The fees and charges seem small and don’t bother most people: $12 cash advance fees, $20 in merchant fees and $7.95 monthly subscription.

Buried in your already maxed-out total, last year’s holiday expenses and piling interest rate charges – all you’re really hoping to do is shave the debt down. The monthly credit card repayments only ever seem to take care of the interest charges and mounting fees.

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High-Tech Investment Frenzy, Then and Now
Date: 14 April 2011

High-Tech Investment Frenzy, Then and Now
Webvan - Tech Favorite Crashed & Burned 10 Years Ago:
Lesson Learned or Shape of Things To Come ???
Credit: Thomas Hawk

While Internet capital pools today are far greater than 2000, the stock market is not glutted with offerings. In 1999, there were 308 tech IPOs - in 2010, just 20. Tech start-ups today are real businesses — not just eyeballs and clicks. Facebook has fast-growing revenue and Groupon, profitable since June 2009, is on track for billions in revenue this year. In 1999, 248 million people were online, less than 5% of world’s population. Today one in three people globally equal two billion users. “In those days, you had tiny companies going public that hardly had a business plan. And now you’re talking only a few companies — that are already global with revenues.” Still, with only a few perceived “winners,” some investors must be choosing losers or paying too much: “When you see the valuations bandied about — I do think, boy, these better be really special.”  Read more

Israel: The Saudi Arabia of Shale Oil ???
Date: 13 April 2011

13 April 2011. Well-informed sources say Israel has world's third-biggest oil shale deposits after US & China: "We estimate the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of oil. To put that in context, Saudi Arabia has proven reserves of 260 billion barrels." But oil shale mining is condemned by environmentalists as a dirty, energy- & water-intensive process. An Israeli company, IEI, believes its technique will be cleaner by separating oil from shale rock some 300m below ground. Water will be a by-product of its process, not consumed in large volumes. IEI estimates marginal cost of production will be $US35 - 40 / barrel, cheaper than ~ $US60 / barrel to extract crude from places like the Arctic -- & compares with $US 30 - 40 / barrel in deepwater oilfields off Brazil. "The Israeli deposits have been known about, but never listed, because it was assumed there was no appropriate technology." Now, there may be.  Read more

BP's Dudley Screws Up Russian Arctic Oil Deal
BP's Dudley Screws Up Russian Arctic Oil Deal
Date: 12 April 2011

12 April 2011. Last week, an arbitration tribunal indefinitely blocked a BP share-swap agreement with state-owned oil company Rosneft. The ruling indicates how seriously BP's American CEO, Robert W. Dudley misread Russian politics - despite the fact he headed a separate / private / and VERY lucrative for BP joint venture with a different group of billionaires there from 2003 - 08. Apparently they didn't like their partner canoodling with the hated state-owned competitor. So they went to an arbitration panel when the Rosneft deal was announced, saying it breached their own shareholder agreement with BP in the partnership called TNK-BP. To the surprise of few, except apparently Dudley, they won. Now the Rosneft deal is suspended, just in time for BP's annual stockholder meeting on Thursday. Fun.  Read more

New UK Bank Rules: US Looks Even More Pathetic
New UK Bank Rules: US Looks Even More Pathetic
Date: 10 April 2011

11 April 2011. As Wall Street successfully mobilizes its lobbying muscle with Congress and the Obama regime to fight off further "regulation" - and any real implementation of what weak rules do exist - in the UK the battle is just starting over how best to manage financial institutions considered 'too big to fail'. Today, a volley will be fired at UK's politically and economically powerful financial sector by a government-backed commission, expected to propose UK's largest banks separate trading from deposit-taking functions. That goes further than so-called / self-styled / alleged US financial "reforms", which, typically and predictably, almost totally blur the line between speculative trading and traditional banking services. At least the UK will have the US model for what not to do.  Read more

Bank Account Mergers: Yours, Mine or Ours?
Bank Account Mergers: Yours, Mine or Ours?
Date: 8 April 2011

8 April 2011. You can be in a relationship and still be single, financially. Couples in long term and serious relationships who put off marriage for their careers and a myriad of other reasons, don’t think twice about neglecting to discuss joint financial arrangements – or bank accounts. Even though one of the most common causes of a relationship breakdown it turns out, is: money.

So, where do you start? What are shared and joint finances in a relationship all about – and what do you need to do, and know to protect yourself? After all, you’ve worked hard to earn your money, invest it and maintain a squeeky clean credit rating and record. One wrong move, by either party could wreck both of you financially.  Read more

Trying to "Hide" Food Stagflation
Trying to "Hide" Food Stagflation
Date: 7 April 2011

7 April 2011. Stagflation -- paying more and getting less -- has hit the world food industry big-time. But you won't necessarily notice it. Because food companies are "hiding" it by downsizing their packages while maintaining -- or even raising -- their prices. Don't be fooled. Chips are disappearing from bags, candy from boxes and vegetables from cans. As an expected increase in the cost of raw materials looms for late summer, consumers are beginning to encounter shrinking food packages. With unemployment still high, companies in recent months have tried to camouflage price increases by selling their products in tiny and tinier packages. So far, the changes are most "visible" at the grocery store, where shoppers are paying the same amount, but getting less - but only if you look really hard to see them.

 
China 5-Year Plan: All Prosperity to the People !!!
China 5-Year Plan: All Prosperity to the People !!!
Date: 6 April 2011

6 April 2011. The central focus of China's new 5-year economic plan is its shifting economic base away from manufactured exports toward one rooted in demand for goods and services by increasingly affluent consumers. That is crucial to Communist Party’s central aim: keeping allegiance of a society that wants a bigger share of national prosperity. Raising living standards appears to be government’s main priority, calling growth of domestic demand “a long-term strategic principle”. Environmental protection, energy conservation and technology are also allotted ambitious goals. And for the first time, government will place a cap on total energy use.  Read more

Global Natural Gas Explosion: Clean, Cheap Product / Costly, Destructive Process
Global Natural Gas Explosion: Clean, Cheap Product / Costly, Destructive Process
Date: 4 April 2011

5 April 2011. As the world watches in horror at the unfolding Fukushima nuclear disaster, it forces a new look at an on-going technological revolution in the least environmentally destructive fossil fuel -- natural gas. The fruits of this natural gas revolution may not be long in coming on-line, especially given the seemingly unstoppable rise in the price of oil. In many parts of the world, geologists are now testing the ground for natural gas trapped in shale (shale gas), sandstone (tight gas) or coal seams, gas that has been largely unreachable in the past. Using a technology called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a sort of controlled earthquake, companies are now bringing the gas to the surface all over the globe. But the process can be ecologically brutal.  Read more

Fukushima Highlights Russia "Safe Nuclear" Marketing
Fukushima Highlights Russia "Safe Nuclear" Marketing
Date: 4 April 2011

4 April 2011. Although Chernobyl remains the calamity by which all subsequent nuclear accidents will be measured, the ad hoc device that avoided a meltdown - so-called core-catchers - are now a design feature of the newest reactors Russia’s state-owned nuclear power company, Rosatom, sells globally. Inventor of the "core catcher" expresses what may sound like a jarringly opportunistic sales pitch: Chernobyl was the hard-earned experience that made Russia the world’s most safety-conscious nuclear proponent: “The Japanese disaster will give the whole world a lesson. After disaster, a burst of attention to safety follows.” Opportunistic or not, in recent years, Russian nuclear industry has profited handsomely by selling reactors in emerging markets, including China & India — whose insatiable energy appetites keep them wedded to nuclear, despite vows to proceed more cautiously in light of Japan disaster.
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GE's $14.2 Billion Legal Tax Avoidance Further Sign of US Decay
GE's $14.2 Billion Legal Tax Avoidance Further Sign of US Decay
Date: 1 April 2011

1 April 2011. General Electric reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion in 2010, with $5.1 billion of the total from US operations. Its American tax bill? ZERO. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion. Low taxes are nothing new for G.E. It's been cutting the percentage of its US profits paid to the IRS for years, resulting in a far lower rate than even other multinational companies. Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks with innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm, including former officials from not just Treasury, but also the IRS and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.  Read more

Japan Supply Chain Worries Now Hit Many US Sectors
Japan Supply Chain Worries Now Hit Many US Sectors
Date: 31 March 2011

31 March 2011. Businesses in a number of industries are trying to adapt to a new reality. No longer can they count on reliable access to critical supplies, prompting frantic phone calls, contingency planning and product redesigns. Film and television producers, along with the companies that support them, for example, are scrambling to stock up on commercial-grade videotape. A major supplier, the Sony Corporation, closed its factories in Japan. Many studios say they face no shortage now, but there is a fear of one soon — and that is all it takes to put companies on edge. “Folks everywhere know there will be a shortage and are buying as much as they can”

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Ex European Central Bank Chief Economist: What Kind of Euro ???
Date: 30 March 2011

Ex European Central Bank Chief Economist: What Kind of Euro ??? 
Otmar Issing, Former Chief Economist, European Central Bank
Credit: INSM

30 March 2011. Otmar Issing, 74, was chief economist of the European Central Bank from 1998 to 2006. Prior to his position at the ECB, Issing worked as a senior economics advisor to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl before taking a senior management position at Deutsche Bank, where he ultimately became chief economist. "As soon as public money is spent, private investors must also be involved and relinquish portions of their claims or agree to extending maturity dates. It is part of the market economy that those who buy securities and collect higher interest rates for doing so should carry part of the risk when something goes wrong. Taxpayers shouldn't always be footing the bill."

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Japan Radiation's Latest Casualty: World Shipping
Date: 28 March 2011

Japan Radiation's Latest Casualty: World Shipping
Yantian Container Port, Shenzen:
Strict Radiation Screening If Anywhere Near Japan
Credit: Bert van Dijk

28 March 2011. Fearing radiation's potential impact on crews, cargo and vessels worth tens of millions, some of world’s biggest container shipping lines have restricted or barred ships from ports in Tokyo Bay. China is starting to require strict radiation checks on ships arriving from Japan. In California Friday, the first ship to reach Port of Long Beach since the earthquake was boarded and scanned for radiation by Coast Guard and federal customs officials before being allowed to dock. Big southern Japanese ports, like Osaka and Kobe, are still loading and unloading cargo. But the Tokyo Bay ports of Tokyo and Yokohama are normally Japan’s two busiest, representing as much as 40 percent of its foreign container cargo. If other shipping companies join those already avoiding Tokyo Bay area, delays in getting goods in and out of Japan will only worsen.  Read more

Japan Electricity Losses: Summer Without Air Conditioning ???
Date: 24 March 2011

 Japan Electricity Losses: Summer Without Air Conditioning ???

Long Hot Sweaty Summer for Japanese Workers ???
Credit: lowerincase

24 March 2011. Current capacity of Tokyo Electric Power Company [TEPCO] is less than half theoretical capacity. Because of air conditioning, peak summer electricity demand is a third higher than off-peak spring and autumn. So turn off the air-conditioning, you say? Easier said than done. When outside temperature is 35°C and humid, life in a modern office building without air-conditioning is intolerable. Plus factories producing silicon wafers and luxury cars cannot cope with wild fluctuations in temperature.  Thus the Japanese consumer will be asked to sweat to keep offices purring and factories humming, since it is conceivable Japan will not have sufficient capacity to cope with peak demand for years to come.  Read more

Global High-Tech Supply Chain Shaken by Japan Crisis
Date: 23 March 2011

Global High-Tech Supply Chain Shaken by Japan Crisis
Silicon Wafers:

Crucial Link in Global Hi-Tech Supply Chain
Credit: pengo-au

23 March 2011. In many ways, modern global supply chains mirror complex biological systems like the human body. They can be remarkably resilient and self-healing, yet at times quite vulnerable to some specific, seemingly small weakness — as if a tiny tear in a crucial artery were to cause someone to suffer heart failure. Day in and day out, global flow of goods routinely adapts to all kinds of glitches and setbacks. A supply breakdown in one factory in one country is quickly replaced by added shipments from suppliers elsewhere in the network. Sometimes, the problems span whole regions and require emergency action for days or weeks. But the disaster in Japan presents a first-of-its-kind challenge.
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World Auto Supply Reeling From Japan Disaster
Date: 22 March 2011

World Auto Supply Reeling From Japan Disaster
Toyota's Gas-Electric Hybrid Prius v:
NOT Coming To A US Showroom Any Time Soon
Credit: Toyota UK

21 March 2011. Since catastrophe struck Japan, car makers that rely on its factories are concluding their operations will be affected more severely — and longer — than initially hoped. “This is a serious situation, with potential to affect many markets, including the Americas,” says Nissan's US head. Of particular concern to Toyota dealers is the gas-electric hybrid Prius, assembled only in Japan, that has experienced a surge in US demand. A vehicle pricing and sales web site says uncertainty about Prius availability has already caused the average price customers are paying to soar by about $1,800 since the earthquake: “There’s so much uncertainty. The supply-chain problem is much more dramatic than automakers are portraying. Even if they were able to come online in two weeks, which I think is wishful thinking, there’s a couple hundred thousand units to make up already, and nobody knows how long this is going to last.”  Read more

Japan Disaster & Global Markets: "Nobody Knows Nuthin'"
Date: 21 March 2011

Japan Disaster & Global Markets: "Nobody Knows Nuthin'"
"Past Performance Is No Guarantee of Future Success"
Credit: Euronews

21 March 2011. Assessing the impact of the current crisis in Japan proves once again that economists and other self-styled experts have not solved the “tragedy of the commons,” the quandaries that arise when many people, acting in their own self-interest, create a threat to the common good. However imperfectly, though, markets WILL pass judgment, despite an unusually uncertain outlook. Investors, like everyone else, should understand today's world is a risky place. “You need to use a whole range of approaches to understand the market in a situation like this, and you need to be humble.” And, perhaps, accept an unpleasant reality: the next -- so called / alleged / but all-too-predictable -- black swan is definitely out there somewhere.

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Bahrain Intervention Highlights Saudi - US Strains
Date: 18 March 2011

Bahrain Intervention Highlights Saudi - US Strains
Saudi-Led Sunni Forces Enter Bahrain on Monday
Credit: bahrainmujaz

18 March 2011. Even before Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain Monday to quell an uprising it fears might spill across its borders, US officials were increasingly concerned its stability could be threatened by regional unrest, succession politics and resistance to reform. So far, oil-rich Saudi Arabia has successfully stifled public protests with a combination of billions of dollars in new jobs programs and an overwhelming police presence, backed by warnings from the foreign minister to “cut any finger that crosses into the kingdom.” Monday’s action, in which more than 2,000 Saudi-led troops from gulf states crossed the narrow causeway into Bahrain, demonstrated the Saudis were willing to back their threats with firepower. The move created another quandary for the Obama administration, which obliquely criticized the Saudi action without explicitly condemning the kingdom, its most important Arab ally.

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Global, Japan Insurance Industries Rocked By Tsunami, Nuclear, Other Disasters
Date: 17 March 2011

Global, Japan Insurance Industries Rocked By Tsunami, Nuclear, Other Disasters
Who Will Pay ???
Credit: Loco Steve

17 March 2011. Japanese insurance companies, global insurers and reinsurers, hedge funds and other investors in so-called "catastrophe bonds" are all expected to bear a portion of losses likely to exceed $100 billion. Greatest uncertainty surrounds contamination from nuclear accident prompted by earthquake and tsunami. Operators of nuclear plants in Japan are required to buy liability insurance thru Japan Atomic Energy Insurance Pool, an industry group. But they are required to buy coverage of only about $2.2 billion for liabilities, and pool does not sell coverage for earthquake damage or business interruptions, suggesting it will be up to Japanese government to bear the brunt of those costs. Stocks of some US life and health insurers with operations in Japan sank on Tuesday, responding to Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s warnings that risk of radiation exposure had worsened. “What makes today’s natural disaster so extraordinary is that 4 of the 5 costliest earthquakes and tsunamis in the past 30 years have occurred within the past 13 months”  Read more

Japan Elite Faces Growing Credibility Gap
Date: 16 March 2011

Japan Elite Faces Growing Credibility Gap
Fukushima Disaster Melting Down Public Confidence Too
Credit: tula_7755

16 March 2011. After days of confusion over responsibility, constant downplaying and cover-up of danger from both Tokyo Electric Power Company and his own government, Premier Naoto Kan now wants to get things under control. But it may already be too late. Fear is mounting among Japanese, and their trust in Tokyo's announcements is dissipating quickly. The world is now seeing the Japanese habit of trying sweep accidents under the carpet -- out of shame and a sense of group loyalty or corporate spirit. "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down," is not just a Japanese proverb, but a rule the country's children learn very young. This time too, it seems, no one in power in Tokyo has had enough confidence to tell the entire truth.
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Japan Tsunami Costs, Lessons for US and EU‏
Date: 14 March 2011

Japan Tsunami Costs

Tsunami Only Start of Japan's New Problems
Credit: enciclopediapt

14 March 2011. Japan was probably more ready than any other society for a cascading series of inter-locking natural & man-made disasters. Yet confronted by nature's force, there was little even a well-prepared country could do. Sadly, the terrible events of last few days & those perhaps to come are likely to WORSEN chronic economic problems Japan has faced since 1989, not least due to a perverse RISE in value of the yen. In that paradox lie important lessons for the other stagnating advanced economies, the US & EU. But whether they're ready to learn those lessons remains gravely in doubt.  Read more

The 10 Richest People on the Planet: Where All that Stimulus Money Went
The 10 Richest People on the Planet: Where All that Stimulus Money Went
Date: 11 March 2011

11 March 2011. As Michael Moore recently pointed out, America is not broke, it is just that the rich are getting richer. Everyone else faces stagnating or declining incomes – if they are lucky enough to have a job. Ten to twenty percent unemployment levels have come to feel normal in many advanced economies. So, if you are wondering where all your bailout and stimulus tax dollars have gone, it is a fair bet to think that a good chunk of it has gone to the growing list of billionaires. Forbes, compilers (and cheerleaders) of the annual rich list, has announced that the number of billionaires has increased by 214 to a record 1,210.  Read more

Would Apple Ever Have Been Created in Singapore?
Date: 9 March 2011

Could Apple Be Created in Singapore? Steve Wozniak

iWoz: Culture Shiok in Singapore. Credit: tsevis

10 March 2011. Singapore is well known around the world for its efficiency, success and cleanliness. It’s a place of ongoing progress and growth in the global economic arena and a hub for multinational organizations expanding their reach to in South East Asia. But what about innovation and creativity?  Read more

Oiling the Wheels: When Oil Prices Bite
Date: 8 March 2011

Oiling the Wheels: When Oil Prices Bite

The Colonel: More Excuse than Cause. Credit: EnemyKe

8 March 2011. The world is entering an oil supply crunch because the demand for oil is increasing so rapidly, global oil production can't keep pace with the level of demand. As demand exceeds supply in the midst of political turmoil and crisis in oil producing countries, prices are escalating.  The price of oil has risen sharply in the last few months and today Brent crude sells for just under $116 a barrel following OPECs plans to boost oil output.

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While Turkey’s Economic Star Rises, Sarkozy’s France Finds Irrelevance
While Turkey’s Economic Star Rises, Sarkozy’s France Finds Irrelevance
Date: 5 March 2011

5 March 2011. It was not that long ago that Turkey was the Sick Man of Europe, the ragtag remains of the Ottoman Empire struggling with inflation and military corruption, while France was a dynamic economy and one of the pillars of the global diplomatic sphere. In a way, those roles have been reversed. France’s President, Nicolas Sarkozy, went abroad not on a diplomatic mission but a domestic one. His speech in Turkey was designed to appeal to right-wing Islamophobic French voters, causing considerable offence to his hosts. The Turks, meanwhile, have got their economic house in order, and are becoming a pivotal power in the Middle East and Central Asia, leading some to call for the ‘BRIC’ countries to be renamed the ‘BRICT’.

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India Union Budget 2011: The Net Effect for Indians and India Inc
India Union Budget 2011: The Net Effect for Indians and India Inc
Date: 1 March 2011

1 March 2011. India’s 2011 Union Budget was announced yesterday by Finance Minister Pranab Muhkerjee. The good news: no big changes in headline rates of taxation. The bad news: no big changes on outstanding reforms. However, Mukherjee continues to show commitment to reforms. Indians counting on a budget rich in new opportunities were sorely disappointed, although those in corporate India may come off happy – things might not be any better, but they haven’t gotten any worse.  Read more

Corporate Domination of US Supreme Court
Corporate Domination of US Supreme Court
Date: 24 February 2011

24 February 2011. During the 5 terms John Roberts has been Chief Justice, the percentage of both business cases on Supreme Court docket and pro-corporate decisions has grown visibly. Roberts court ruled for business 61 percent of the time, compared with 46 percent in last 5 years of Rehnquist court. A key factor in pro-corporate surge has been US Chamber of Commerce. Chamber now files briefs in most major business cases. In the last term its side won 13 of 16 cases. Six of those were decided with a majority vote of five justices, of which five favored the Chamber. One was infamous Citizens United, in which Chamber successfully urged court to guarantee what it called “free corporate speech” by lifting restrictions on campaign spending. Chamber spent tens of millions in 2010 midterm elections, mostly to help Republican candidates. As head of Chamber's litigation unit puts it, “there has been a return on investment, not to sound too crass”  Read more

Western Joint Ventures in China
Western Joint Ventures in China
Date: 22 February 2011

23 February 2011. Hot growth has boosted valuations and increased competition for acquisition of Chinese companies, often not so interested in being acquired, prompting some MNCs to see joint-ventures as good way to enter China economy. Many foreign executives prefer large, well-established Chinese partners. Yet that hasn’t necessarily benefited joint ventures, typically because "partners" didn’t share strategic or commercial interests. MNCs emphasize profitability, even when growth is slow, while Chinese stress growth, even without profitability. MNCs should pair with local companies that explicitly share their strategic goals. This doesn’t eliminate large, well-established Chinese companies. But it does open the door to faster-growing, privately owned and smaller firms that bring strong commercial mind-set & tangible business assets to joint venture.
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India Telecom Scandal Highlights Systemic Problems
India Telecom Scandal Highlights Systemic Problems
Date: 22 February 2011

22 February 2011. India's telecom scandal reveals a small group of powerful conglomerates fighting for resources and projects in mining, land, infrastructure, cellphone spectrum. Scandal shows incestuous world of journalists, corporate lobbyists and politicians, reinforcing the view of Indian economy dominated by small, tightly connected elite. Growth depends increasingly on selling whole swaths of state-directed economy to private sector, whose capital and expertise are critical as India embarks on massive infrastructure upgrade. “Even as government cedes control over large parts of economy, its graft-ridden approach to privatization will leave long-lasting scars holding India back from reaching its potential. Open corruption and rising stark disparities in wealth are volatile mix that will affect social stability if benefits of growth don’t filter down.” Asia Development Bank warns: “India could evolve toward oligarchic capitalism, in which market and political power of major corporations will slow long-term growth”
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Leonardo Farkas: Unconventional Mine Owner Riles Chile Elite
Leonardo Farkas: Unconventional Mine Owner Riles Chile Elite
Date: 21 February 2011

21 February 2011. Former piano bar singer gained global fame by giving families of trapped Chilean miners donations of $10,000 each — before rescuers saved them. He has become the nation's most prominent philanthropist, contributing millions to help needy Chileans, earthquake victims there and Haiti. While that has endeared him to the country’s poor, public nature of gift giving and outsize personality have made him enemies among the buttoned-down Chilean elite: “Business people here don’t like me too much. I don’t think I fit in.” It does not help he is openly critical of Chile’s upper class: “The rich people in Chile are very stingy, all over South America.” So when he flirted with running for president in 2008, his populist appeal made him one of the most feared rich men in Chile.  Read more

Wall Street's Blatant Derivatives Conspiracy
Wall Street's Blatant Derivatives Conspiracy
Date: 17 February 2011

17 February 2011. Economy Watch has long been concerned with the destructive power of derivatives -- and their STILL yet-to-be-fully-felt impact on the world political economy -- ever since their explosion onto the scene during the global financial meltdown of Black September 2008. This lengthy but fast-paced story will give even those familiar with the derivatives nightmare a brutally clear idea of why we consider them so dangerous -- and also why the REALLY Too-Big-To-Fail bankers just won't let them go. If you get scared and / or disgusted reading this, don't worry -- such reactions are PERFECTLY normal.

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Ant Tribe: China University Grads Not Finding Jobs
Ant Tribe: China University Grads Not Finding Jobs
Date: 16 February 2011

16 February 2011. In 1998 Chinese academia produced 830,000 graduates. Last May, it was more than six million and rising. Despite robust growth, the economy doesn't generate enough good professional jobs to absorb highly educated young adults. Many bear inflated expectations of parents, who emptied bank accounts to buy them education presumed to guarantee "the good life." Supply of graduates in accounting, finance, computer programming now seems limitless, so value has plunged. Between 2003 and 2009, average starting salary for migrant laborers grew 80 percent. During same time, starting pay for college graduates was flat, though if inflation taken into account, their wages actually fell. “College essentially provided them with nothing” For government fixated on stability, situation is major cause for concern.
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Yunus: Re-Orienting Micro-Credit for People, Not Profit
Yunus: Re-Orienting Micro-Credit for People, Not Profit
Date: 15 February 2011

15 February 2011. At EconomyWatch, we consider micro-credit a key issue in one of our main concerns: the impact of world political economy on ordinary people's lives. We have looked at the situation from the perspective of those promoting micro-credit for profit, the specific problems for-profit micro-finance has caused in India, and the growing resentment towards the "industry" world-wide. Here, Bangladeshi Muhammad Yunus, the "founder" of micro-credit, via his Grameen Bank, talks about the problems of micro-credit today, and the most effective means to solve them -- first and foremost, effective / intelligent / EMPATHETIC government regulation.  Read more

Serengeti Highway Pits Economy vs Eco-System
Serengeti Highway Pits Economy vs Eco-System
Date: 14 February 2011

14 February 2011. Every spring, in Serengeti National Park, two million wildebeasts, zebras and gazelles march north in search of food: the Great Migration, is one of most spectacular assemblies of animal life on earth. But Tanzania president Jakaya Kikwete plans a national highway straight through the park, bisecting the migration route and possibly sending thick streams of overloaded trucks and speeding buses through the traveling herds. Scientists and conservation groups paint a grim picture of what could happen next. But rural people "not only want the highway, we've been praying for it for years", hoping it will bring: cheaper goods; faster access to hospitals; better connection to towns; and a higher chance of someday getting electricity and cellphones. It's hard to argue with either side.  Read more

Buying Western Players for "Team China"
Buying Western Players for "Team China"
Date: 10 February 2011

10 February 2011. Foreign direct investment reflects a country’s economic muscle. The UK owned 45 percent of world FDI in 1914; US share peaked at 50 percent in 1967. Today China, including Hong Kong and Macau, has just 6 percent. Inevitably it will rise. Listed Chinese firms, largely state-controlled, already among world’s biggest, account for 10 percent of global stock market value. Huge cash reserves will spur deals too. Today it is recycled into rich countries via sovereign-wealth funds and central bank, which act as bond-buying portfolio investors. But China WILL diversify, a shift accelerated by its political aims. Yet deals are often tricky, due to cultural differences and the role of the Chinese state. There have been great successes - and disasters  Read more

New Bubble in Silicon Valley ???
New Bubble in Silicon Valley ???
Date: 9 February 2011

9 February 2011. Ten years after dot-com bust taught Wall Street and Silicon Valley investors that what goes up doesn't go up forever, a growing number of entrepreneurs and a few venture capitalists are starting to wonder if hi-tech start-ups are headed toward another bust. Chief evidence is how VCs and established companies are clamoring to give money to new firms, including those with only shred of an idea. They are piling into me-too start-ups imitating popular Web sites that already received financing. Social shopping, mobile photo sharing and new social networking "ideas" are finding it easy to attract investors because no one wants to miss the next big thing.

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The New "Great Game" in Central Asia
The New "Great Game" in Central Asia
Date: 8 February 2011

8 February 2011. Central Asia is an eternal hot spot of world history. 19th century Britain and Russia engaged there in the "Great Game," a bitter struggle over natural resources and strategic bases. Today's board involves 5 ex-Soviet Republics: Kyrgyzstan; Kazakhstan; Tajikistan; Uzbekistan; and Turkmenistan, all with major conflicts internally and between each other. Former players Russia and UK are joined by key new ones: US, Iran and China. The region is critical to future energy supply of Europe, China & India. While the current Game is far from over, at this point,  China looks like the best bet. It isn't suspected of religious agitation, like Shiite Iran, or playing military and political power games, like US and Russia. It seems to want only to engage in trade with, and secure the resources of, this ever-vital region.  Read more

Island in Senegal Kept "Afloat" by Wages from Spain
Island in Senegal Kept "Afloat" by Wages from Spain
Date: 7 February 2011

 

7 Feb 2011. As the issue of "dignity" becomes more pronounced in the struggle now under way in Egypt, consider Niodior: an African village that exists simultaneously in Senegal, where families endure heart-rending poverty, & in southern Spain, where the sons who have somehow managed to make the perilous journey there live together in a replicated version of their home. In general, they work illegally, but the money they send home is crucial for the survival of their families. The agricultural town in which they live, Roquetas de Mar, is a laboratory for the EU's foreign, economic and development policies at one and the same time.

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Rating Agencies De-Stabilize Shaky World Political Economy
Rating Agencies De-Stabilize Shaky World Political Economy
Date: 3 February 2011

3 February 2011. By David Caploe PhD, Chief Political Economist, EconomyWatch.com. Of many key topics underanalyzed by so-called Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, among the MOST significant is role of credit rating agencies, supposed guardians of financial world's integrity. We have already analyzed in depth the mysteries of & structural problems created by ratings agencies. So while no surprise, still disturbing to see how alleged protectors of global investment "honor" & safety now making three currently difficult situations worse: decades-long stagnation in Japan; financially desperate US states; & rampant socio-economic inequality fueling the people power movement sweeping the Arab world.  Read more

China Coal Demand Stokes Global Trade, Environmental Conflicts
China Coal Demand Stokes Global Trade, Environmental Conflicts
Date: 2 February 2011

2 February 2011. In the EU and US, coal seems past its prime, but growth and shifts in coal exports to China are rising. Seaborne trade in thermal coal rose to 690 mn tons in 2010, up from 385 in 2001. Price rose from $40 to $60 a ton 5 years ago, to high of $200 in 2008, by end 2010 selling $120 per ton. Perennial coal ex-porter til 2009, 1st year of net imports, China's total imports for 2010 expected up to 150 mn tons. Tho plentiful domestic supplies, its coal is low grade with impurities. Coal from the US tends to be low in sulfur, allowing power plants to burn more without exceeding pollution limits. China’s coal also inland, while factories are coastal, thus cheaper to ship coal from US, Canada, Australia. But conflicts between trade imperatives & environmental concerns are growing fast & nasty in all those countries.  Read more

Micro-Finance Industry ‘Blood Suckers’ Encounter Growing Global Hostility
Micro-Finance Industry ‘Blood Suckers’ Encounter Growing Global Hostility
Date: 1 February 2011

1 February 2011. The hostility toward microfinance is a sharp reversal from praise and goodwill that's been showered on it in last decade. Philanthropists and investors poured billions into non- and for-profit microlenders, one of whose goals was to reduce by half the number of people in extreme poverty. Attention helped the sector reach more than 91 million customers, mostly women, with loans totaling more than $70 billion, by the end 2009. Done right, these loans have helped some build sustainable livelihoods. But rapid growth — in India, some firms are growing at a rate between 60 - 100 percent per year — has made these loans much less effective. Most borrowers are not escaping poverty and a sizable minority are getting trapped in often deadly debt spiral. Some industry officials acknowledge the sector needs to reform itself: “We in microfinance have to make it easier for politicians to support us. Instead of unsupported claims, we need to impose on ourselves the discipline of transparency about poverty reduction.”  Read more

Oil-Rich Polarizing Venezuela: Emigration-Immigration Puzzle
Oil-Rich Polarizing Venezuela: Emigration-Immigration Puzzle
Date: 31 January 2011

31 January 2011. Venezuela is an immigration puzzle. While large numbers of the middle class leave, 100s of 1000s of foreign merchants and laborers arrive. Opposing tides reflect country's increasing polarization. Government of Hugo Chávez has declared “economic war” on “bourgeoisie,” expropriating more than 200 private businesses in 2010 — including banks, cattle ranches and housing developments. At other end of economic spectrum, many new immigrants arrive on tourist visas and overstay their visits, drawn by incomes higher than some of Venezuela’s neighbors and broad array of social welfare programs for poor championed by Chávez government. “One can live w a little bit of dignity here, at least enough to send money home now and again”  Read more

Top Ten Global Solar Trends for 2011
Top Ten Global Solar Trends for 2011
Date: 27 January 2011

27 January 2011. President Obama made a big deal of economic potential of solar and other clean energy in State of the Union speech. 2010 was boom year for solar industry, due largely to govt subsidies in Europe, especially Germany and Italy. But these are set to fall in 2011, so he'll need to put some muscle where his mouth is and offer help to a NEW kid on the block like solar and not just already-established corp interests, ie, Wall St / insurance / Big Pharma. His record isn't promising so far. But maybe he'll happily surprise us & bring some change in which people actually can believe.  Read more

Huawei: Giant China Telcom Moves Into US Market
Huawei: Giant China Telcom Moves Into US Market
Date: 26 January 2011

26 January 2011. Telcom giant Huawei is China’s 1st truly home-grown multinational, world’s 2nd-largest telcom equipment supplier after Sweden's Ericsson. With government backing, has sewn up major deals in Asia, Africa, Latin America. In Europe, has outmaneuvered Ericsson to supply equipment to big carriers. It has struggled, tho, to break into US, largely due to security concerns. Even hint of Huawei presence has generated reaction in DC. Its success a result of heavy R&D spending, where Chinese corporations usually weak. But Huawei has 17 global research centers, including Dallas, Moscow, Bangalore and Silicon Valley. Of company’s 96,000 employees, nearly half in R&D.  Analysts say its spectacular rise is model for other Chinese companies seeking to compete globally.

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Reliance "Family Tower" Highlights Mumbai Wealth Gap
Reliance "Family Tower" Highlights Mumbai Wealth Gap
Date: 25 January 2011

25 January 2011. 27-floor tower is new family home of India’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani, son of founder of Reliance, India's biggest & most powerful company. Even in Mumbai, where residents bear daily witness to stark extremes of wealth and poverty, it is so spectacularly over the top, the city’s already elastic boundaries of excess and disparity are stretched to new dimensions. But it is only one of many high-rises insulating rich from the teeming metropolis below. “This is a gated community in the sky. It reflects how the rich are turning their faces away from the city.”  Read more

Brutal Home Foreclosure Laws Aid Spanish Banks
Brutal Home Foreclosure Laws Aid Spanish Banks
Date: 24 January 2011

24 January 2011. At 20 percent, Spain has highest unemployment rate in euro zone, with real estate prices dropping. Approximately 1.4 million Spaniards face potential foreclosure. For most of them, the fine print in deals they agreed to years ago is catching up with them. Not only are Spanish mortgage holders personally liable for full amount of loan, but throw in penalty interest charges plus tens of 1000s in court fees, and people can end up facing a mountain of debt. Bankruptcy is not an answer, as mortgage debt is specifically excluded. “Effectively, you can never get rid of this debt”  Read more

US Bailout Banks "Securities Lending": WE Win Together - You Lose ALONE
US Bailout Banks "Securities Lending": WE Win Together - You Lose ALONE
Date: 20 January 2011

20 January 2011. Too big to fail banks not only create & sell investment products, but also bet on, and often against those products, putting banks’ interests at odds with their clients. JPMorgan Chase has a deal for mutual & pension funds that oversee many Americans’ savings: Heads, we win together. Tails, you lose — alone. How? Funds lend the bank some of their stocks & bonds, in return for cash that banks then invest. If trades do well, bank takes a cut of profits. If they do poorly, the funds absorb ALL losses. This is "securities lending," a thriving practice today, even though investments linked to it were decimated in Black September 2008. Clients were not warned of risks and say banks breached their fiduciary duty. So far, several banks have lost client lawsuits. Even so, securities lending has rebounded strongly, with a combined value of $2.3 trillion now out on loan, compared with $2.5 trillion in 2007. This quick revival raises concern whether banks & their pension customers have learned ANY lessons.

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Investing in China No Easy Task - Literally
Investing in China No Easy Task - Literally
Date: 19 January 2011

19 January 2011. While companies may dream of sales to 1.3 bn Chinese, getting start-up money into China is hard. Foreign corps can't convert a single dollar into renminbi [RMB] without prior approval from local branch of Commerce Ministry. If investment is in industry prohibited for foreign investment like agriculture or publishing, no go. But if proposed investment is not restricted & < $300 million, can be approved by cities or provinces. Anything larger must go to Ministry in Beijing. Once investment approved & business license issued, company needs approval from State Administration of Foreign Exchange to convert investment into RMB. Only then can it open local bank account & start spending, which presents a Catch-22: companies need to invest RMB to get approvals, but cannot spend RMBs until they have approval to invest. There are 3 ways they might do that ...  Read more

Legal Outsourcing Brings US / UK Attorneys to India
Legal Outsourcing Brings US / UK Attorneys to India
Date: 18 January 2011

18 January 2011. India’s legal outsourcing industry has grown from experiment to mainstream part of global law business. Cash-conscious Wall St banks, mining giants, insurance firms & industrial conglomerates hiring lawyers in India for document review, due diligence, contract management etc. To win new clients & take on more sophisticated work, firms in India are actively recruiting experienced Western attorneys, who are coming as US / UK law firms contract. Legal outsourcing corps mushroomed to > 140 by end 2009 from 40 in 2005. 2010 revenue at India’s legal outsourcing firms ~ $440 mn, up 38 % from 2008, & should surpass $1 bn by 2014. “This is not a blip, this is a big historical movement”  Read more

Global Oil & Gas: A Libyan Perspective
Global Oil & Gas: A Libyan Perspective
Date: 17 January 2011

17 January 2011. Since 1968 when Dr. Shokri Ghanem took a post at Libya’s Ministry of Petroleum, he has maintained a high profile in Middle East energy scene. An economist, professor, and a veteran of both the oil industry & public sector, he currently chairs Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC). Director of OPEC’s research division from 1993 to 2001, Ghanem also led its secretariat for 3 years. He then returned to Libya, where he was prime minister before returning to the energy sector. In this interview, he discusses the future of energy pricing, the relation between oil and natural gas, the operation of national oil companies, and their changing relationship with the international oil majors.

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China Housing Inequality: Ordos - Wealthy Mongolian Ghost Town
China Housing Inequality: Ordos - Wealthy Mongolian Ghost Town
Date: 13 January 2011

13 January 2011. Strange dynamics of China property scene seen in Ordos, resource-rich city w huge reserves of coal & natural gas, a fast-growing economy & real estate market so hot virtually every house for sale is immediately bought. Just one thing missing in extravagant new central district - people. Analysts estimate could be as many as a dozen other Chinese cities just like it - sprawling ghost towns. Why? Because land auctions are vital source of income for cities & provinces. But national govt, fearing inequality & social unrest, wants to rein in soaring prices that fuel inflation, even as ambitious local officials promote new megacities. And if govt-run banks balk at loaning to developers, underground, gray-market lenders are only too happy to step in. Is a crash coming?


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Obama In Tucson: Will He Seize The Moment ???
Obama In Tucson: Will He Seize The Moment ???
Date: 11 January 2011

11 January 2011. By David Caploe PhD, Chief Political Economist, EconomyWatch.com. Monday, we called for Pres Obama to use horrible Arizona murders to claim legacy of Martin Luther King & take three steps. Most readers liked idea, but doubted anything like that would happen. Then, Tuesday, NY Times - quietly - reported he wd, in fact, do first thing we proposed: go to Tucson to meet w victims & their families at a memorial service. Will he now take next two steps: give the speech of his life, combining hope of "I Have A Dream" w incisive courage of "A Time To Break Silence" - & then use that speech as guide for sustained campaign vs hate-filled right-wing rhetoric that legitimates violence? We can only wait, watch & hope he does resurrect the best American political traditions of Lincoln, FDR & King  Read more

Darker Side of For-Profit Indian Micro-Credit
Darker Side of For-Profit Indian Micro-Credit
Date: 10 January 2011

11 January 2011. India’s rapidly growing private microcredit industry under attack, as almost all borrowers in Andhra Pradesh, one of its largest states, have stopped repayment, supported by politicians who accuse industry of earning outsize profits on backs of the poor. Indian banks put up to 80 percent of money lent & are increasingly worried about serious losses. Crisis could reverberate worldwide. Initially work of nonprofits, tiny loans to poor once seemed promising path out of poverty for millions. Foundations, venture capitalists, World Bank have used India as petri dish for FOR-profit “social enterprise” seeking to make money AND fill social need, now operating in Africa, Latin America & other parts of Asia. But for-profit microfinance has led some corps to lend at exorbitant interest rates without regard for ability to repay, doubling annual revenues, but sparking wide anger amidst reports of rising suicides

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Arizona Murders: Obama's Chance for Martin Luther King Moment
Arizona Murders: Obama's Chance for Martin Luther King Moment
Date: 10 January 2011

10 January 2011. By David Caploe PhD, Chief Political Economist, EconomyWatch.com. Shocking events in Arizona give Obama chance to follow path of Martin Luther King: First, being physically present at murder site, showing whole world - esp spiritual children of Reagan - he rejects openly & forthrightly violent & hate-filled rhetoric that inspired evidently disturbed young gunman. Then, he needs to give speech of his life, combining hope of "I Have A Dream" w incisive courage of April 67 "Beyond Vietnam - A Time To Break Silence" Finally, needs to make speech center of on-going campaign vs forces that have promoted this kind of hateful action. If so, has chance to break from corporate mediocrity so far & join FDR, Lincoln & King in embodying best, not worst, of American values.

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