Growth, recessions, fiscal policy, monetary policy, currencies and global business deals. GIS experts provide forecasts and potential scenarios for all of the economic trends that shape geopolitics.
Carlos Ghosn and the rigor of the Japanese state
The surprise arrest of Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is superficially a tale of personal greed and clashing corporate cultures. But drill deeper and the more significant takeaway is what the case reveals about the Japanese approach to law and the power of the state. That is why Mr. Ghosn’s fate could have an impact on Japan’s international standing and foreign investors.
GIS Dossier: Governance in Africa, the case of three countries
Three sub-Saharan African countries, all with decades-long, devastating civil wars behind them. Two are populous and large, well-endowed in natural riches, while one is a small, landlocked nation with no particular resources. Which one is Africa’s poster child of economic and developmental success today? This GIS Dossier examines why the longtime leaders of these three countries delivered such widely differing results for their societies.
Opinion: Property rights and the challenges of transplanting institutions
Since the time of Adam Smith, economists have understood that the wealth or poverty of nations hinge on the quality of their institutions. Political, economic and social rules of the game can be inclusive, offering opportunities for prosperity to all, or extractive, protecting the rents of a few. But the international effort to introduce one such rule – formal property rights – shows that even simple changes can have complex and unwelcome effects in alien cultural settings.
Integrating a half-empty Balkans into the EU
Citizens of the Western Balkans are entering the European Union much faster than their countries. As a result, the region’s depopulation is accelerating, driven by high unemployment, poor governance, rampant corruption, rising crime and unclear prospects for the future. The most desired destination is Germany, which welcomes emigrants as a much-needed supplement to its workforce. However, the geopolitical consequences of a half-empty Balkans may be disturbing.
Italian gold and populist publicity
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has revived a five-year-old proposal to use his country’s gold reserves to bring down the budget deficit. The idea is problematic for several reasons – but that is not the point. Mr. Salvini is likely using this controversial plan to make headlines and burnish his populist credentials ahead of the European Parliament elections. While he may take the gold idea further, his real goal is to enlarge and lead a pan-European alliance of euroskeptics.
GIS Dossier: Vietnam defends its independence
Vietnam, with its more than 3,400-kilometer coastline on the South China Sea, its growing economy and its large military, is a linchpin of Southeast Asia. It also lies at the crux of global powers’ interests in the region. So far, it has managed to maximize its independence, but rapidly changing geopolitical dynamics in the region threaten to undermine its strategy. This Dossier reviews GIS experts’ analysis of and predictions for this emerging regional leader.
Big government means high taxes
There is a growing myth that the rich are not paying their fair share in taxes and that the middle class is therefore overtaxed. This is not the case. High-income taxpayers across the OECD pay more than their share of the national income. The blame for heavy tax burdens in Western democracies lies squarely with the voters, who have consistently chosen larger government.
President El-Sisi’s Egypt: Quietly rebuilding economic strength
Following his 2013 coup d’etat that was sternly criticized in Washington and European capitals, Egypt’s former defense minister, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, was elected the country’s president by an overwhelming margin. After five years in charge of the most populous Arab country, Mr. El-Sisi has accumulated a predictably shoddy record on human rights but a surprisingly strong one as an economic reformer and agent of stability in the turbulent region.
Opinion: Venezuela’s endless endgame
Bankrupt and in an economic freefall, Venezuela has become the scene of a humanitarian drama. The opposition is finally unified and appears close to being able to push the die-hard Chavista regime out. Much of the outside world, including Latin America, Europe and the United States, is eager to help, but the devil, as always, is in the detail.
Chinese trade data ring a bell
The latest batch of Chinese trade figures shows an unexpected decline in exports and imports. On the surface, the data can be dismissed as a statistical blip caused by importers reacting to Sino-American trade tensions. Drill down a little deeper, however, and one begins to see bigger problems for China’s economy.