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China to let yuan rise, all the world’s economic problems solved

Or so you might think, based on what China’s critics have been claiming up until China’s latest announcement. For nearly the past two years, China peg its currency, the yuan (also called the renminbi), to the US dollar. On Saturday the Chinese central bank revealed that it would end this policy. Prior to this move, […]

This week’s articles of note

“Can Obama shut down the internet?” Daily Beast, by Philip Shenon “The strange and consequential case of Bradley Manning, Adrian Lamo and WikiLeaks,” Salon, by Glenn Greenwald “Inside the dire financial state of the states,” Time, by David Von Drehle “Iran nuclear deal exposing the shifting distribution of power,” Axis of Logic, by Bulent Gokay “Latino […]

Obama: the Gulf between words and deeds

Thumbnail : Obama: the Gulf between words and deeds

Instead of all the dithering, lofty rhetoric and tough talk, the US president should be honest about the need to keep on drilling. Read my spiked article in full here.

Debating nuclear power

In this TED video, Stewart Brand and Mark Jacobson debate the need for nuclear power. The over-reaction to the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 led to a near-halt of the construction of nuclear power plants in the US. Without alternative energy sources like nuclear, the US was more reliant on oil, which eventually led […]

Unfinished business (2): European banks

Thumbnail : Unfinished business (2): European banks

The latest quarterly review of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) compares today’s European sovereign debt crisis with the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The BIS understands the European crisis as similar to the early phase of the credit crunch, in 2007. In a similar vein to the post below about US banks needing to restructure, the BIS […]

Unfinished business (1): US banks

Thumbnail : Unfinished business (1): US banks

In a perceptive “Heard on the Street” column, the Wall Street Journal notes that credit continues to contract, despite government stimulus and Federal Reserve monetary expansion. The Journal says that a more thorough restructuring is needed if the US is to avoid a Japan-style “lost decade”.  Bank loans and leases have fallen by 10.5% since the […]

Democrats can’t count on Obama’s support in mid-terms

The Democrats look like they have a tough time ahead of them for the congressional mid-term elections in November. In the Sunday New York Times Magazine, Matt Bai raised the question of whether President Obama will provide leadership and support for his fellow Democrats. Bai, an astute observer, writes: Obama ran on the notion of […]

This week’s articles of note

“America’s right: the risks of “Hell no!”, The Economist “‘The time we have is growing short,'” The New York Review of Books, by Paul Volcker “Crisis analysis: views from a non-risk manager,” Risk Professional, by Michael J. Panzner “The end of men,” The Atlantic, by Hanna Rosin “The death and life of the book review,” […]

“Team America” goes to South Africa

(Hat tip: Marbury)

“Addicted” to gadgets?

There’s been much written lately about the impact of electronic gadgets on our everyday lives. First, there have been reviews and articles about Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. Second, the New York Times ran a long feature on Monday called “Hooked on gadgets, and paying a mental price”. I […]

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