Featured Articles Archive

In pharmaceuticals and health care, Cuba dispels the 'third-world' myth.

Where Cuba Punches Above its Weight

Date: 22 March 2016

As the first US president visits Cuba in 88 years, many Americans hope that Barack Obama’s trip will lead to a normalisation of relations with Cuba, opening the Caribbean nation up to the American values of liberty, free trade and democracy. Cuba undoubtedly has its problems, as numerous articles attest.

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Could Trump's protectionist policies lead to a trade war?

Hawley-Smoot-Trump?

Date: 22 March 2016

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s protectionist prescriptions have led to renewed speculation about whether trade wars are on the horizon.

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The ANC has gone sideways and is now a huge Zuma-Gupta mess.

South Africa's Zuma-Gupta Connection

Date: 22 March 2016

Even that family, if people feel it has to be brought to book, structures must do that, the officials must call them and talk to them and give them a marching order not through shouting outside because all of us in the NEC [African National Congress National Executive Committee] have our small skeletons and we don’t want to take all skeletons out because hell will break loose.

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A former Prime Minister and jailed deputy make an unlikely force in Malaysia.

Unlikely Malaysian Dynamic Duo Team Up to Oust Najib

Date: 22 March 2016

The unthinkable is happening in Malaysian politics. Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad and his jailed former deputy Anwar Ibrahim have joined hands in a seemingly impossible alliance to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak. Never before in Malaysian history have such sworn enemies buried their hatchets for a common cause.

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Australia's investment opportunity in Indonesia is there for the taking.

Australia Should Pounce on Indonesian FDI Opportunities

Date: 22 March 2016

It has been more than 20 years since former Australia Prime Minister Paul Keating declared that ‘no country is more important to Australia than Indonesia. If we fail to get this relationship right, and nurture and develop it, the whole web of our foreign relations is incomplete’. What has changed since then and what progress has been made?

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Brexit fears are increasing as things go wrong for Cameron.

The Brexit Club

Date: 22 March 2016

An ill-conceived strategy undermined by mismanagement and bad fortune is increasing the risks that the UK votes to leave the EU in June.  Nearly everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for UK Prime Minister Cameron.

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Yield spreads are problematic for measuring inflation.

Using Breakevens over Spreads

Date: 22 March 2016

Until last September, the Federal Reserve seemed to play down the market-based measures of inflation expectations, preferring the surveys that showed views were anchored.  At the September 2015 FOMC meeting where the Fed had been expected to tighten until the August turmoil, officials cited among other considerations, the decline in market-based measures of inflation expectations.

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The terror attacks in Brussels cast a pall over the markets.

Markets Stabilize after the Brussels Attacks

Date: 22 March 2016

A series of attacks at Brussels airport and metro casts a pall over the market.  The attacks come as Europe prepares what for many will be a long holiday weekend.  Gold, the dollar and yen seem to have been the beneficiaries.   Bonds are generally firmer and equities lower.  However, in late morning activity in London, the markets began stabilizing.

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Journalism is reinventing itself to survive in the digital age.

Journalism Fights Back Against the '0s and 1s'

Date: 21 March 2016

On Saturday, March 26, the Independent will publish its last edition in print. The Independent on Sunday sold for the last time on March 20. The distinctive El Pais of Madrid has announced that it will take “a step from paper to digital”. The Guardian with a huge online readership, shrinking print sales and sizeable losses plans to shed 250 jobs, of which 100 will be journalists.

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Happiness is challenging traditional measures like GDP.

If You're Happy and You Know It, Ditch Your GDP

Date: 21 March 2016

Denmark reclaimed its place as the happiest country in the world, according to the latest annual World Happiness Report. Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland followed in quick succession at the top, while Benin, Afghanistan, Togo, Syria and Burundi languished at the bottom.

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Is Cuba even ready to join the global community?

Paving the Way Forward, Ready or Not

Date: 21 March 2016

President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba in nearly 90 years as he set off on a three-day trip to the island nation on Sunday, the latest step in a thaw in relations that began in December 2014.

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India and Pakistan's leadership has economic barriers to break down.

Can 'Economic Gravity' Pull India and Pakistan Together?

Date: 21 March 2016

South Asia is one of the least economically integrated regions in the world. At 5 percent, trade shares among South Asian neighbours are lower than trade shares among Sub-Saharan African economies. This is largely because the region’s two biggest players — India and Pakistan — do not have normalised economic relations.

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Should ASEAN countries more strongly push democracy and human rights?

Southeast Asia's Looming Authoritarianism Threat

Date: 21 March 2016

In recent years, Southeast Asia has experienced what are, if viewed in historical perspective, three ‘miracles’: economic growth, the disappearance of mass atrocities, and efforts to promote regional peace and community building.

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India-Pakistan trade suffers from political tension, among other things.

SAFTA Not Working Like NAFTA

Date: 21 March 2016

Pakistan’s trade with India leaves much to be desired. The volume of bilateral trade is very low, ranging between only 2 to 3 percent of each country’s total trade, and is concentrated in a few commodities.

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Great concern remains for Brazil and South Africa.

In the EM Space, Concern Remains High for Brazil and South Afirca

Date: 21 March 2016

EM ended the week on a mixed note after posting strong post-FOMC gains. The bounce in risk seems likely to continue this week, with little on the horizon to derail it. Specific country risk remains in play, however, with heightened political concerns in Brazil and South Africa.

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Technical indicators point to dollar weakness, but it's relative.

Additional Dollar Weakness Would Not Surprise

Date: 20 March 2016

The US dollar had a difficult week.  The price action after the ECB meeting had undermined the technical tone, and the dollar took another leg down after the FOMC moved closer to the market expectation by reducing the number of rate hikes the median official thinks would be appropriate this year from four to two.

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Internet-based companies as gatekeepers undermine net neutrality.

'Zero Ratings Plans' Could Undermine Net Neutrality

Date: 18 March 2016

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made net neutrality the law of the land and pledged to enforce it when it issued its “open Internet order” 13 months ago. That ruling barred Internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating against certain types of traffic or creating pay-to-play fast lanes.

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