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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 government intervention and high debt can be a good thing. These policies have been tried before and failed. Worse, they can end up limiting freedom.
Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
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 Iran’s rise is cause for concern, the question is what options a U.S.-Arab-Israeli alliance might have.
Maghreb & the Middle East
The mountainous border between India, China and Pakistan is a dangerously underestimated trouble spot that could wreak havoc between Asia's two emerging superpowers.
South & Southeast Asia
Politicianal 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 crisis of epic proportions. These days, policies of abundant money
supply and unrestricted debt promise trouble for the developed countries.
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.
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.
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. A hard Brexit will cause a lot of disruption, but it could also offer an opportunity for a new start in politics on both sides of the English Channel.
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.
Countries are due to sign a United Nations pact on migration next week. However, its global, one-size-fits-all approach is dangerous. It risks many unintended consequences, including mass migration for welfare benefits and huge burdens on destination countries. Migration remains an important problem to be solved, but the answer is not to create yet another global bureaucracy.
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 during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.