Topic Category: World

British voters delivered a shock to global markets on June 23rd. with their 52-48 percent vote to leave the European Union. When the turmoil subsides, more sober-minded Brits may come to regret their decision to abandon their four-decade membership in the continental-sized common market.

Topic: World
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The NATO-Russia Council met in Brussels for the first time in nearly two years. “We are not afraid of dialogue,” announced alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Alas, the talks didn’t get very far. Afterward he explained: “it was reconfirmed that we disagree on the facts, on the narrative and the responsibilities in and around Ukraine.” Indeed, he added, “there were profound disagreements.”

Topic: World
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China is not known for its commitment to human rights. While the Chinese people remain much freer than during Mao Zedong’s rule, President Xi Jinping has been cracking down on dissent inside and outside of the Communist Party. For good reason people of good will in America wish to encourage Beijing to better respect its citizens’ civil and political liberties.

Topic: World
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The history of China’s banking system in the first half of the 20th century offers powerful insights into the conduct of monetary policy and the consequences of government intrusion into banking and monetary institutions that are well worth considering today. Monetary economists and monetary historians would do well to study China’s example.

Topic: World
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“Syrians are everywhere,” an aid worker told me. “Everybody is poor now.” Well over a million Syrians are scattered across Lebanon, many in small “tented settlements.” Almost half live in sub-standard housing; many lack fuel and warm clothes for winter. The government spends upwards of $1 billion annually to care for refugees and local residents are losing patience with the influx. Nearly a third of the country’s population is made up of people fleeing one conflict (Syria) or another (Iraq, Palestine).

Topic: World
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The threat Islamic extremism and ISIS in particular poses to security and eventually to longer term business and investment conditions was underscored in November when parts of Paris were attacked by gunmen and suicide bombers. Some 129 people were murdered and hundreds wounded. The Paris incidents were preceded this year by numerous onslaughts.

Topic: World
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American voters face a dizzying array of 2016 presidential candidates — 21 at last count. Their positions on economic issues likely will command voters’ greatest interest. Historically, unless the country is at war, foreign policy has not been an issue of great interest during presidential elections. But this time may be different as two critical issues weigh on the minds of many Americans.

Topic: World
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When Minister Shinzo Abe opted for an early election in December 2014, he did so with the stated aim of affirming his government’s popular mandate to proceed with an ambitious program of reforms dubbed Abenomics. The reforms were designed to lift the economy out of the low gear in which it has been stuck for more than two decades.

Topic: World
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China’s stock markets and currency recently incurred precipitous declines. These problems are reflective of much bigger issues that have allowed many Chinese to confuse a rising stock market with a healthy one — and an economic system with a sustainable one. Moving forward, China’s brand of one-party capitalism will continue to incur inescapable difficulties. What does this mean for the future of China? And how does it impact the United States?

Topic: World
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China’s decision to abruptly devalue its currency against the dollar is being sold as a move toward a more market-determined exchange rate. But it is sure to infuriate those in Congress who have long argued that China is a currency manipulator. When Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Washington, he will face a more hostile Congress, even if the International Monetary Fund supports the new currency arrangement whereby market forces have a greater role in setting the daily central parity for the yuan-dollar exchange rate.

Topic: World
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