Separating Politics from International Law

Analyses of state responses to the South China Sea arbitral award often frame the issue as a binary choice between a rules-based or power-based approach to international relations. However, states are unlikely to view the matter this way, because international law is not autonomous from politics.

Japan's Myanmar Bet Payoff

After over 20 years of sanctions and international pariah status, Myanmar has begun to come in from the cold. It has taken the 2010 elections, a new ‘civilian’ president and the by-elections of early 2012 to convince the international community that the transition to democracy is ‘real’.

Playing the Central Bank Odds

Yellen's presentation at Jackson Hole today is the highlight of the week.  It also marks the end of the summer for many North American and European investors.  It may be a bit of a rolling start for US participants, until after Labor Day. However, with US employment data next Friday, many will return in spirit if not in body. 

Is ASEAN Sinking in the South China Sea?

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) judgement on the South China Sea ruled that there is no legal basis for Chinese ‘historical rights’ within its claimed nine-dash line. China did not accept the judgement and has instead continued its maritime and aerial activities in the region.

Post-Yellen, Trading Incentives to Resume Next Week

The US dollar remains mostly within the ranges seen yesterday against the major currencies. The market awaits fresh trading incentives and the end of the summer lull, which is expected next week.  The Jackson Hole Fed gathering at which Yellen speaks tomorrow is seen as the highlight of this quiet week.  

Arguing Against Kocherlakota's Argument

Former Minneapolis Fed President Kocherlakota, and now a professor at the University of Rochester used this Great Graphic in a recent Bloomberg column.

Kocherlakota was a dove when he was at the Fed and remains dovish.  He is concerned that the US economic performance is, as he says, not what it seems.  By this, he means it is weaker than the GDP figures suggest.  He acknowledges the US has grown faster than the other high-income economies.  He dismisses it because the US population has also grown faster, but the participation rate has not.

The Complex Nature of a Nuclear Pledge

Barack Obama began his presidency with a dramatic gesture, which captured the world’s imagination and won him the Nobel Peace Prize. Speaking in Prague in 2009, he declared that the United States would work towards abolishing nuclear weapons. Since then, for over seven years, nothing has happened. Now that might be about to change.