Lebanon’s ramshackle state and the last vestiges of public services are falling apart. President Michel Aoun's election at the end of October has done little to end the country's political paralysis, as Hezbollah continues to block the formation of a new government. Unless it relents, the next stop may be partition.
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.
Market economies, regulation and crony capitalism
The global economic crisis arose in the world's most highly regulated sector – the financial industry. That is certainly no coincidence. When government intervention and easy money meet big banks, the result is cronyism – the furthest thing from genuinely free markets.
Angola’s dependence on oil exacts toll as 2017 elections loom
Since the end of Angola’s civil war (1975-2002), oil production in the country has rapidly increased. Production more than doubled between 2004 and 2008, from 800,000 to 1.7 million barrels per day, stabilizing at around 1.8 million bpd in 2015. Oil revenues alone injected an estimated $470 billion into Angolan state coffers between 2002 and 2014. But the recent dr...
Central Europe is headed for turbulence, not Putinization
Recent political developments in Hungary and Poland have been interpreted as portending a reversal of westernization. If history is any guide, this perception is wrong. It is true that the region appears headed for institutional turbulence that could foster growing political and economic volatility. But a more serious upheaval is virtually precluded by the region’s...
Europe weighs its options to deal with troubled banks
European banks are in bad shape, and shareholders and bondholders are feeling the heat. With governments and regulators still groping for a solution, various options have bubbled to the surface. Summary <i>Three main responses have been proposed to Europe’s banking crisis: 1) more stringent regulation and ...
Japan’s closed door to immigrants heralds population decline
Japan faces a daunting demographic challenge. Both the general populace and the working-age population are graying and rapidly decreasing in size. In recent years, the number of deaths has outpaced the number of births by around 300,000 per year. If the country’s birth rate remains constant, this figure will continue to rise by tens of thousands annually. ...
Special Report on Colombia: a country on the mend
Over the past few years, Colombia has been one of Latin America’s economic success stories. Now, as the civil war that ravaged it for 50 years finally approaches a negotiated end, the country is looking forward to collecting a vast peace dividend. Projections for 2015 and 2016 place Colombia among the fastest growing nat...