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.
OPEC and the scope for meaningful intervention
OPEC’s informal gathering in Algiers on September 28 has sent a signal to the international community that the organization can still act coherently. For the first time since 2008, OPEC announced a coordinated production cut. Market forces are at work to limit the impact of this intervention, however, even if it is successfully implemented. .
Beijing’s maritime militias add to growing instability in the China Seas
Territorial waters disputes in East Asia have led to an arms race in the region. Military expenditure by East and Southeast Asian nations has risen by almost 90 percent between 2005 and 2015. A striking feature of the evolving geopolitical game is the increasing use of civilian maritime militias; at this point, China is positioned to win this lesser-arms race.
What is India’s growth rate?
India's growth rate has shot up over the past two years, after the country's statistical office changed its methodology. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's opponents argue that the figures are too good to be true. The reality is a bit more complicated, but there is no question that flaws in the statistics could be giving policymakers the wrong signals.
Italy’s referendum and the specter of instability
On December 4, Italians will go to the polls in a referendum on amending their constitution. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said he will resign if the changes are rejected. A win for the opposition could be seen as a populist turn for this highly indebted country, bringing instability domestically and uncertainty about the fate of the eurozone.
Buhari faces multiple crises in Nigeria
Nigeria is in crisis. Its recession is biting hard, while new separatist groups continue to spring up in the Niger Delta and sabotage oil infrastructure. So far, President Muhammadu Buhari's attempts to address these problems have only made them worse. What will happen if Africa's largest country continues on its downward spiral?
QE has failed. What comes next?
Eurozone economies have been subjected to expansionary monetary policy for almost five years, and the easy-money approach has failed to jump-start demand and ignite growth. As central bankers begin to face this reality, they may have to choose between shoring up government indebtedness and letting banks go bust, or giving bankers a chance to operate and letting governments default. Which will they choose?
The Balkans’ future: unions vs. multiethnic states
The redrawing of national borders and creation of multiethnic states ended the bloody ethnic wars of the late 20th century in the Western Balkans. But two decades later, this model is under strain. One way to extend its life could be through regional unions that reconnect the dispersed Serbian and Albanian nations.
An unholy tax saga: Apple and the European Commission
The European Commission put itself on a shaky legal ground when it resorted to unfair competition charges to frame its attack against a tax deal between Ireland and Apple Inc. Disturbingly, the commission also has resorted to blatantly populist rhetoric to justify its action against a profitable company.
Central European states face dual fiscal challenge
By the beginning of the next decade, Central European countries will face two tough fiscal challenges. First is the risk of losing access to generous EU funds, which today support infrastructure investments. Second is the fiscal burden of health-care spending, which will rise rapidly as their populations age. These problems can be solved with gradual reform and careful planning – things that can rarely be counted on in politics.
Gabon’s despair and France’s postcolonial strategy
Francophone countries in Africa have had trouble implementing democracy. Gabon, where a former dictator's son has just won a second term as president in a controversial election, is the poster child for this disease. Why does this happen? Part of the answer lies in France's postcolonial geopolitical strategy. Is there any hope? For ordinary Gabonese, that appears unlikely.