The Xi-Li Era: Transition in Two Phases

An abbreviated version of the author’s “China under Xi-Li,” China-US Focus, March 18, 2013 In the coming years, China can expect economic and financial reforms, international recalibration, and gradual political transition. Unlike former president Hu Jintao and premier Wen Jiabao, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang can no longer rely on double-digit growth, or China’s old […]

Flying to Ankara

By now all of us know about that Mediterranean island called Cyprus, forced to declare bankruptcy by its European brethren. Its Finance Minister, Michalis Sarris and President Nicos Anastasiades flew all over Europe including Russia for the best deal they could find to save their financial sector. That sector was built partially over the years on laundering ill-gotten gains by […]

Is the music about to stop again?

Yep, at least according to the Central Bank of Turkey: Jeremy Irons’ character in the movie Margin Call, the CEO of an investment bank, reveals at one point why he “earns the big bucks”: “I’m here for one reason and one reason alone. I’m here to guess what the music might do a week, a […]

Peña Nieto’s Public Security Mirage and The Perils of Diversion

One of the key failures of President Calderon’s efforts against organized crime was the lack of an effective communications strategy. Calderon embarked on a highly complex “war” against organized crime but consistently failed to inform Mexican citizens of the justifications for fighting. When a country goes to war, the government needs to continuously keep the […]

Economic Data Shows Underlying Weakness

As the markets have rallied over the last couple of months one of the primary “hopes” by mainstream analysts, economists, and even the Fed, has been the hope that the economy will begin to show real signs of life.  While the continued injections of monetary liquidity have inflated asset prices to previous peaks; unfortunately the same cannot […]

Cyprus Reopens for Business: Now What?

The banks in Cyprus reopened today, with severe capital controls in place.  Withdrawals by residents are limited to €300 per day; local businesses are limited to a maximum of €5,000 per day.   Cross-border credit card transactions are limited to €5,000 per month, and border controls prevent travellers from taking more than €1,000 in bank notes […]

Doubles or Triples All Round?

Today’s second revision to gross domestic product in the final quarter of 2012 left the quarterly change unchanged at a fall of 0.3%. Consumer spending was revised up, to show an increase of 0.4%, from 0.2%, but overall investment fell by 0.2% and the deficit on net trade rose to £6 billion, from £5.3 billion […]

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