Politics follow the money – the ECB’s fate
History contains many examples of what happens when politicians gain control over the currency. Few of them end well.
Do we need Boris Johnson?
British Conservatives must pick a new prime minister from two candidates: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt. With the United Kingdom’s political leadership paralyzed and relations with the EU at an impasse, an enfant terrible might be the better choice.
Inconsistent policies on Ukraine
The European Union has decided to prolong its ineffective sanctions on Russia. That’s hardly surprising, since no one has come up with any new solutions. Moreover, some countries, like Germany, make a strong stand for sanctions while at the same time supporting other initiatives – like Nord Stream 2 – ...
Social Democracy: Goodbye and thank you!
The absorption of social democratic ideas into Europe’s mainstream has made its continued existence as an organized movement superfluous. As recent elections have shown, the unmet demand for political ideas and representation is appearing on the center-right of the political spectrum, among Christians, conservatives and supporters of free markets.
The value of data
If information is the raw material that will fuel 21st-century business, then it must have some value. Yet people give away their personal data to companies for free. And though governments have created complicated regulations to protect users, they themselves forcibly extract an increasingly large amount of information from their ...
Challenges for Kiev
Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s defeat of Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine’s presidential election had more to do with the economics than relations with Russia. While resolving the conflicts in Crimea and the Donbas region will help boost economic growth, streamlining and cleaning up Ukraine’s bloated and partially corrupt bureaucracy will be the president-elect’s ...
Theresa May and the continental side of Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May is taking the blame for a debacle that is not of her making. But even now, in the shadow of a hard Brexit, the damage can be contained if cooler heads prevail on the other side of the Channel.
Foreign meddling in elections: a form of ‘alternative truth’
Apparently, the president of the United States is not going to be charged with cooperating with the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. An in-depth investigation has found no proof that any collusion occured. The talk in Europe that the Kremlin is hell-bent on corrupting the electoral process here ...
A choice for economies: Freedom or socialism
Some say the global economy is slowing down due to Brexit and the U.S.-China trade dispute – but these developments are not the real dangers. Far more insidious is the trend toward increased government influence in economies and large public debts. Yet, even many economists have adopted the notion that ...
Changing scenarios in the Middle East maze
As Iran becomes stronger and more assertive in the Middle East, two blocs – pro- and anti-Iran – are beginning to take shape. This was exemplified by two high-profile summits in mid-February: one led by the U.S. in Warsaw, and the other in Sochi between Russia, Turkey and Iran. Although ...
Potential conflict between Asian giants
The mountainous border between India, China and Pakistan is a dangerously underestimated trouble spot that could wreak havoc between Asia's two emerging superpowers.
Planning the economy
Political interventions rather than markets are causing economic crises in the world. Misguided attempts to centrally plan and manage the complex transactions of millions of different players are bound to produce unexpected results. In 2007-2008, politically inspired intervention in the housing market in the United States caused an international financial ...
Europe stands to be the biggest loser of the INF Treaty’s ending
The U.S. has announced officially that it walks away from the 1987 treaty banning intermediate- and shorter-range nuclear weapons, removing a cornerstone of the existing arms control system. The chances of it being replaced with a better, multilateral agreement involving China and a handful of other nuclear powers appear to ...
Fake problems, real dangers
The hysteria over inequality continues to grow, with calls for higher taxes and more regulation. None of that will achieve what should be the real goal, however: reducing poverty. To do that, entrepreneurs and innovators need to be freed from burdensome red tape and interventionist governments reined in.
The logical response to failed interventions
Far from showing ignorance, the decision to withdraw troops from Syria may be a sign the U.S. has learned from a long history of Western failure in the Middle East.
Brexit: An unnecessary problem
British Prime Minister Theresa May finds herself in a tough spot on Brexit: Brussels is unwilling to make more concessions, but the British Parliament looks unlikely to accept the current agreement. It didn’t have to come to this, but a lack of pragmatism on both sides has brought us here. ...
An offense to common sense and EU principles
The EU’s international trucking business, now dominated by highly competitive companies in Central Europe, can be disrupted by Brussels’ ham-handed attempt to shield cargo movers in countries with high minimum wages. The issue has political ramifications for the EU as well.
Mounting tension in Asia
Pressure is building in relations between the U.S. and China, especially after the recent APEC summit. However, the heightened rhetoric used there could give both countries a chance to climb down and come to a deal. Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping will have a perfect opportunity to do so ...
The lessons from the last 100 years of Central Europe’s history
The emergence of new nation-states from World War I was hailed as a triumph for self-determination, but the destruction of democratic empires that held them previously hardly brought peace and prosperity to the continent, especially Central Europe.
Potential benefits of the U.S.-China trade dispute
Past U.S. administrations have shied away from standing up to China on trade. Donald Trump’s tough stance has put Beijing in a tough spot, and it is likely to bite the bullet on a deal. A face-to-face meeting between the country’s two leaders this month could initiate a process of ...
The perpetual war
The truce brokered by Turkey and Russia in northwestern Syria has prevented a slaughter of the remnants of the Syrian opposition forces and scores of hapless civilians. This highlights the pragmatic attitudes of the two powers that have assumed key roles in the Syria conflict. The danger of a larger ...
Brazil’s presidential elections: An omen for Europe?
Europe is more developed and stable than Brazil, but its citizens also have strong reasons to feel let down by the mainstream political forces. An increasing number of voters here may, just like so many Brazilians, support radicals in the hope of opening a path for badly needed reforms.
The next EU elections: Justified concerns, but for the wrong reasons
Europe’s dysfunctional political system has created a deep rift between centralized governments and their citizens. Trying to marginalize new parties that express this discontent will only make the problem worse.
Brexit: holding out hope for pragmatism, and a miracle
Last week’s Salzburg negotiations were embarrassing for anyone holding out hope that European leaders might take a practical approach to Brexit negotiations. Even though maintaining the free movement of goods, services and capital, while losing the free movement of people is preferable to none of the above, EU decision makers ...