Debate: What China’s new Silk Road means for Europe
In a debate last month in Warsaw, politicians, bankers and businessmen considered the implications for Europe of China's Belt and Road Initiative – likely to be Eurasia's largest infrastructure project in this century. It is both an economic opportunity and a portent of growing Chinese preeminence on the continent.
Olympic spending and democratic accountability
Rich, Western nations are less and less eager to host the Olympics. Dictatorships and countries with weak democracies are more than willing to take them on, however. That is because democratic societies have become aware of the costs, and their representatives are more accountable. Leaders in countries where freedoms are restricted see a chance to buff their image, and do not have to answer to the people.
A new Euro-Atlantic strategy for the Western Balkans
The European Union and the United States are again paying attention to the Western Balkans, trying to keep the region firmly within the EU and NATO orbit. But Angela Merkel’s ambitious plans for economic development will hinge on overcoming traditional animosities – especially the conflict between Serbia and Albania over Kosovo and Greek-Macedonian tensions – which have allowed Russia to reassert its influence.
Opinion: Trumponomics is worth a second look
President Donald Trump’s economic program is perceived by many as a recipe for disaster. But its most questionable, protectionist elements – such as the border adjustment tax – are unlikely to be implemented or could bring completely unexpected benefits. And the new administration’s plans for infrastructure and deregulation should bring positive effects.
Europe’s future depends on investment in innovation
Europe has become very risk averse, focusing on protecting the privileges that have already been accumulated. Regulations meant to provide protection in case of failure sometimes go too far, limiting upside potential. This exchanges freedom for security, and blocks creativity and innovation. But only innovation can help Europe maintain its global competitiveness.
Mixed forecast for Latin America’s economies
Latin America has been slower to rebound after the financial crisis than most of the world. Now, however, some countries in the region seem poised to make progress. Their ability to participate in the global economic expansion will vary. Some, such as Argentina, Peru and Mexico are in a position to benefit. Others will struggle to gain traction.
Sovereign wealth funds and preserving oil wealth
Sovereign wealth funds have become an important tool for stabilizing the economies of oil and gas producers. In well-governed countries with strong institutions, they can substantially mitigate long-term risks. But in some developing states, the depletion or mismanagement of such funds could pose a serious threat.
Productivity is no free lunch
Europe is worried about low and declining productivity growth. Most politicians and experts have a simple solution: more high-tech investments and more education, especially for young people. But it is questionable whether this proposed fix is realistic or will bring about the desired outcome. The educational visions that...
China’s overseas coal investments challenge climate goals
In recent years, rich Western countries and international financial institutions have adopted policies to restrict the construction of new coal power plants overseas. However, China has now risen to become the largest global provider of public financing for such projects – and is powering full steam ahead. Though they contradict Beijing’s global climate obligations...
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 ...