Showing posts with label Economic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Economic. Show all posts

25 June 2018

Next Steps in the Merger of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative

By: Gregory Shtraks
Source Link

On June 9th, 2018 the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held its annual summit at the Chinese seaside city of Qingdao. The past three summits have been preoccupied with the impending membership of India and Pakistan, but now that the two are full members, the focus has shifted. Both pre- and post-summit statements suggest that one of the highlights of the conference was the unveiling of concrete steps towards the merger of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The initial merger of the two organizations was announced in May of 2015, just four months after the EAEU’s launch, but there has thus far been little visible progress of integration. Still, over the last three years the EAEU and BRI have gradually evolved and the announcement of actual projects can be seen as a victory for both China and Russia.

The Eurasian Economic Onion: Many Layers, Few Nutrients

23 June 2018

Limiting Foreign Investment to Protect U.S. Economic Security: Business Implications

By John Taishu Pitt

On May 23, 2018, legislation to reform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) was passed in the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. There has been broad bipartisan support for the proposed legislation which would reform CFIUS to expand its jurisdiction. While many support the reform to fill the gap in oversight pertaining to foreign direct investment (FDI) into important U.S. sectors, others have raised the broader concern that the increased restrictions may send the world a message that the U.S. is closed for business — especially in light of the Trump administration’s increased unilateral protectionism.

20 June 2018

How Many Countries Are There in the World in 2018?


This Partner Perspective, originally published in 2011, was updated in January 2018. With the permission of Political Geography Now, we have also included supplementary graphics and photographs curated by Stratfor's Creative Department. Interested in learning more about where the countries listed below are heading this year? Check out our 2018 Annual Forecast.

The United States Economy Is Doing Well—Here's Why

Samuel Rines
Source Link

Attempting to parse the U.S. economy is not a simple task due to often competing or contradictory data points. Often, it is useful to take a step back and reassess where the U.S. economy currently sits, and what that means about the potential future of the economy. However, it does not take long to understand the current state of the U.S. economy this time around. While it is highly volatile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDPNow tracker puts U.S. gross domestic product growth at a 4.5 percent quarterly annualized increase. This is a significant acceleration from the previous sub-three percent first quarter. Can this estimate be trusted? Probably not. After all, the GDPNow indicator projected the relatively disappointing first quarter to grow at more than five percent in February.

11 June 2018

Brazil Loses Its Appetite for Economic Reforms

Protests and strikes against President Michel Temer's administration, which have exposed the political consequences of Temer's economic liberalization reforms, could continue if fuel prices remain high. Right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who has been running on a "law and order" agenda, could benefit from the disorder caused by these protests and Temer's perceived inability to deal with them. Social upheaval and the need to find a unity candidate ahead of the October general election will force Brazil's political establishment to slow the pace of economic and trade liberalization reforms in the next quarter.

10 June 2018

THE SUCCESSES AND LIMITATIONS OF RUSSIA’S ECONOMIC STRATEGY


The Kremlin’s basic economic strategy is to trade efficiency and growth for political control and a tight rein on Russia’s strategic sectors. Russia’s economy has faced substantial difficulties since 2013, although it is once again performing reasonably well and there is no basis for believing that sanctions will force a change in Moscow’s foreign policy. Confronted with sanctions, low oil prices and reputational risks as a result of its foreign-policy actions, the Russian government responded to the economic crisis of 2014 without pursuing major economic reforms. The Kremlin eschewed potentially disruptive economic policies beneficial for growth but detrimental to the regime’s primary bases of support in favour of cutting budget deficits, reducing public spending and maintaining – and even expanding – political control over the economy. More widely, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approach since coming to power has been similar, heavily prioritising macroeconomic stability in managing the economy.

Spain’s Uneven Success Story

By Jacob L. Shapiro

By all accounts, Spain should be a European success story. As recently as 2012, the country was teetering on the edge of economic meltdown. Its economy contracted by 3 percent that year. Unemployment climbed to over 20 percent, on its way to a staggering 27 percent by the following year. A banking sector collapse was averted only by a 51 billion euro ($60 billion) bailout package from the European Stability Mechanism that June. There was real fear in Europe that Spain might be the next Greece.

8 June 2018

Italy, Spain: Two New Governments Threaten the Eurozone's Stability


Italy and Spain are the third and fourth largest economies in the eurozone, respectively, which means that political and economic turbulence in Rome and Madrid can have an impact on the entire currency area. In our annual forecast, we said the Spanish government would be weak, and that Italy presented the main source of risk for the eurozone. Both countries appointed new governments on the same day, introducing challenges that align with both our assessments.

What Happened

5 June 2018

Italy’s debt bubble pop heard around the world

By DAVID P. GOLDMAN 

Former IMF economist Carlo Cottarelli speaks to the media after being asked by Italy's President Sergio Mattarella to form a new government, after efforts by two populist parties to form a coalition collapsed. This is not a drill. This is the real thing. The giant popping sound you hear is Italian government debt evaporating. The yield on Italian government two-year notes has risen by nearly 3 full percentage points this month, from around -0.35% at the beginning of May to about 2.5% this morning, in response to a populist rebellion by Italian voters. For Italy, that portends disaster: with government debt at 130% of Gross Domestic Product, the additional interest cost at higher yields amounts to 4% of GDP.

28 May 2018

Is cultural knowledge more important than language skills?


Learning the local language might seem an obvious goal for anyone moving abroad. But in an increasingly globalised world, whether this is an effective use of time is increasingly up for debate. Having an adaptability to different communication styles or socialisation norms are perhaps as much or more important Growing numbers of multinationals and start-ups are adopting English as their official company language, even if they’re not based in an English-speaking nation. And internationally, millennials seem to have a much higher tolerance for using the global language than older generations, meaning it’s potentially easier to socialise with young locals by speaking English than in the past. The British Council estimates that by 2020, two billion people will be using it, well over a quarter of the world’s population.

23 May 2018

Building a reliable database of the Indian economy

Sudipto Mundle
Source Link

The ministry of statistics and programme implementation (Mospi) is often in the news for all the wrong reasons. It is criticized for the poor quality of data, gaps in the data or delays in the release of data. However, several initiatives are progressively putting the database of the Indian economy on a much firmer footing than in the past. The results should begin to show by the end of this year. The data on employment and unemployment has been the subject of much controversy lately. Generating data on employment for a country like India, with its dualistic structure, is particularly challenging. Over half the labour force is still dependent on agriculture, where the rhythm of production follows the weather cycle with long periods of seasonal unemployment between crops. Further, thanks to the high pressure of population on land and continuing land fragmentation, the phenomenon of what economists call underemployment or “disguised unemployment” is widespread. To illustrate, a family of five people may be cultivating a tiny plot of land which actually requires only two people working full-time. Everyone is underemployed and the production may be no more than what two people could have produced, i.e., zero productivity for the three superfluous workers.

Macron's Foreign Policy Ambitions Meet France's Realities


The current global context gives France an opportunity to try to shape the European Union according to its needs, and to elevate its role in global affairs. But France still depends on key allies, such as the United States and Germany, to achieve many of its foreign policy goals. France will push to increase the European Union's military and economic autonomy, but its dependency on allies, and factors beyond its control, will limit its room for action. Since taking office a year ago, French President Emmanuel Macron has pursued a busy foreign policy agenda, pushing for greater European integration; visiting the United States, China and India, as well as more than two dozen other countries; authorizing airstrikes in Syria; intervening in a political crisis in Lebanon; and trying to preserve France's influence in its former African colonies. Macron's foreign policy goals — to reform the European Union according to France's views, while elevating France's influence on global affairs — follow France's strategic interests, which are simultaneously European and global.

The world's biggest economies in 2018

Rob Smith
Source Link

The United States has the largest economy in the world at $20.4 trillion, according to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which shows the US economy increased from around $19.4 trillion last year. China follows, with $14 trillion, which is an increase of more than $2 trillion in comparison to 2017. Japan is in third place with an economy of $5.1 trillion, up from $4.87 trillion a year previously.

22 May 2018

Society needs a reboot for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Murat Sönmez,
Source Link

Society’s operating system needs an upgrade. The model we have been using is simply not up to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A new era is unfolding at breakneck speed. It has huge potential to address some of the world’s most critical challenges, from food security, to reducing congestion in big cities, to increasing energy efficiency, to accelerating cures to the most intractable diseases. But it also raises a host of social and governance issues that need addressing.

13 May 2018

Where Guns Are Sold Through The Darknet

by Niall McCarthy
Source Link

Ordinary citizens and whistleblowers often find refuge in this obscure part of the internet in order to protect their privacy rights. However, the very privacy the darknet affords is also being put to more sinister uses, especially crime such as illegal drug and arms trafficking. The latter is estimated to be worth anywhere between $1.7 to $3.5 billion, equivalent to about 10 to 20 percent of the legal arms trade. Unsurprisingly, all sorts of guns are finding their way onto the darknet from pistols to high-powered assault rifles.

Infographic Of The Day: The Future Of Batteries


There's no doubt that the lithium-ion battery has been an important catalyst for the green revolution, but there is still much work to be done for a full switch to renewable energy.

12 May 2018

The battle of the gas-sucking mega giants is set to begin

By Chris Baraniuk
Source Link

Off the coast of Western Australia, a battle between mega giants is unfolding. The combatants involve the world's biggest semi-submersible platform, the longest sub-sea pipeline in the southern hemisphere, and the largest floating facility ever built. They're all there for the same reason: natural gas - and they're hoping to start drawing it up this month. As several countries begin to move away from coal as an energy resource, this alternative fossil fuel, which produces 50% less carbon dioxide for every unit of energy generated, is increasingly in demand in our energy hungry world. Consumption is forecast to rise to 177 trillion cubic feet (tcf) or 5,012 billion cubic metres by 2040, up from 124tcf in 2015, says the US Energy Information Administration.

11 May 2018

The Billion Dollar Bank Job


At 8:45 in the morning on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, Zubair Bin Huda, a director at Bangladesh’s central bank, entered the 30-story, concrete-and-glass headquarters in Dhaka. Bin Huda, slim and soft-spoken, with a thin black mustache and beard, rode an elevator to the ninth floor and eventually walked into the back office of the Accounts and Budgeting Department’s “dealing room,” the most restricted area of the building, accessible to only a handful of employees.

2 May 2018

Infographic Of The Day: Longest Roads In The World


If you're looking for the road trip of a lifetime, consider a road spanning the entire Americas, circling Australia's coast, or covering India's mainland.


29 April 2018

The world’s biggest economies in 2018

Rob Smith

The United States has the largest economy in the world at $20.4 trillion, according to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which shows the US economy increased from around $19.4 trillion last year. China follows, with $14 trillion, which is an increase of more than $2 trillion in comparison to 2017. Japan is in third place with an economy of $5.1 trillion, up from $4.87 trillion a year previously.