Japan’s America Policy: Shrewd and Risky

In a small group, on-the-record meeting with Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae just days before Prime Minister Abe’s Washington visit, I was able to glean some insight into not only Japan’s goals for the trip, but its long-term strategy for getting more from the US than it wants to give as well. Success is by no […]

Credit Bubbles Redux

Central banks insist that there is no credit bubble. But like politicians, where a central banker denies something vigorously and repeatedly, it is usually true. To resurrect the global economy from the Great Recession, central banks implemented a policy of ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing (“QE”) to restore growth. The policy relies, in part, […]

Sounding the Alarm on Japan

I just returned from ten days in Japan and boy, I’m worried. The country is facing major challenges on at least four critical fronts: the economy, demographics, energy, and national security. This “quad-fecta” is truly a crossroads for a country ill prepared to address any one of them, let alone all of them. I had […]

How a Coordinated IEA SPR Release Could Enable Russia Energy Sanctions

I read a nice report today from Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and the owner of Economonitor, Roubini Global Economics (RGE), called “Russia-Ukraine Crisis and Its Implications for Global Energy Markets,” and it gave me an idea: America should export crude to IEA member states who agree to energy sanctions on Russia and participate in […]

Capital Liberalization and Inequality

Inequality, which has drawn a great deal of comment and analysis following the publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has sometimes been seen as a byproduct of increased international trade. But now other international economic linkages are being investigated. The International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, has acknowledged the need to take distributional consequences into […]

G-20 Meeting – Let There Be Growth!

The G-20 Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Sydney in February 2014 provided a convivial winter break for the global economic elite. Travellers from the Northern Hemisphere could enjoy the Southern summer. Everybody could escape domestic political traumas, spending a few days amongst peers in luxury paid for by taxpayers. They could bask in the slavish adulation […]

Who Are The World’s Top Energy Companies?

Platts publishes an annual Top-250 Energy Companies list while Forbes puts out its own top-25 biggest oil and gas producers list, and in 2013 many of Forbes’ biggest companies do not show up on Platts’ list. The overall picture speaks to the burgeoning diversity and multiplicity of dynamics at play in the global energy sector. […]