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Stories by the author

Russia Counting the Cost of Adventure in Ukraine

At the time of writing, events in the Ukraine had taken a rather dramatic turn. Russia had sent a 270 vehicle "aid" convoy to the Ukraine claiming that it is providing humanitarian assistance with the aid of the Red Cross. Red Cross spokespersons were saying that the Russians had barely mooted the project with them and they were certainly not on board, or not yet, anyway.

Huge Obstacles in $400 Billion Russia China Gas Deal

 With its economy flat lining and being held up by oil and gas exports, Russia desperately needs to increase the scale of those exports. On the face of it the massive $400 billion deal Russia signed with China on 21 May, for a 30 year gas supply contract, looks just the ticket to deliver that increase over the long haul. However, the deal has a number of non-trivial obstacles to overcome, chief of which are disagreements between China and Russia over pricing and the difficulty Russia may find in funding the required pipeline.

Will Turkey Ever Join The EU?

The EU – whose most powerful members manifestly do not want to extend EU membership to Turkey – is once again going through the ritual of reconsidering the country's application for membership. There are huge pluses and glaring minuses involved in any future Turkish membership; this dance still has a long way to run, it seems.

Is The US Responsible For China’s Military Build-Up?

The scale of China’s military build-up has raised flags among Western alarmists. Yet the focus of the military spending appears to be oriented more towards defending China's periphery, rather than any expansionist plans. In fact, one common argument is that China’s growing military power is only meant to counter the force of the U.S., which has been increasing its presence in the region.

US Labour Crisis: Where Have All The Good Jobs Gone?

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.

EU Steps Up Battle Against Money Laundering

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?

Fighting Climate Change – Is The EU Cap-And-Trade Model On Verge Of Failure?

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.

Will The Portuguese Finally Lose Patience And Demand A Euro Exit?

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?

Can Latin America Seize Its “Golden Decade”?

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.