Spotlight on Geopolitics

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When elites expire

It has been almost a century since O. Spengler heralded the decline of the West. Apart from a 30-year hiatus between 1945 and 1975, this decline has become irreversible, a development even Samuel Huntington was forced to acknowledge. One of the most telling symptoms of the west’s fall from its former pre-eminence is its citizens’… » read more

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Mopping up after Sarkozy

François Hollande, the French president, is currently back from a state visit to China. Hollande hopes to expand trade in Asia, as France’s current account deficit has reached 75 billion euros, a third of which is with the Middle Kingdom. His task has been made difficult by the recent history of French-Chinese relations. In 2008,… » read more

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Today’s predator class

The days of Cyprus as an offshore banking centre for rich Russians or Britons are well and truly over. All things considered, however, the 30 billion dollars held by them in Cypriot bank accounts is a paltry amount next to the 20 trillion dollars held by Western corporations and individuals in some 60 fiscal havens.… » read more

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In the ’50s, the fear of depression had prompted Americans to resort to military capitalism, leading to the creation of the military-industrial complex they are now downsizing. The lesson, however, was apparently lost in Asia : a MIC is relatively easy to set up, very expensive to run and exteremely difficult to dismantle. With the… » read more

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At the latest annual forum in Davos, someone came up with the bright idea of including inequality, a growing concern in the west, on the agenda of the gathering. Naturally, the subject stood no chance of being discussed, as participants claimed to be haunted by the spectre of uncertainty and economic stagnation instead (Time). The… » read more

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EU: going for broke

The 2012 global economic results highlight the unique counterperformance of the European Union among its major trading partners. According to the end of year statistics published by The Economist, even countries like Japan and the United States have managed growth rates of 2 percent or above. The average growth rate for the ASEAN countries reaches… » read more

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The day after the close of the presidential election in the US has marked the start of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), whose agenda is that electing China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, and his new Politburo colleagues. Incumbent president Hu Jintao leaves behind a country whose GDP has quadrupled under… » read more

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The voter enthusiasm which had swept Barack Obama to office in 2008 has cooled into apathy in 2012. Over the past four years, the economic situation of the African-American and Latino communities, as well as that of young college graduates, has deteriorated markedly. In a recent op-ed, Reuters columnist Joel Kotkin notes that as a… » read more

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As the European holiday season draws to a close, I suspect that many EU leaders are loath to return to work. A lack of appetite, given the current economic context, would be perfectly justified. Leading economists on both sides of the Atlantic have noticed that neither austerity measures (the EU’s case) nor monetarist remedies (the… » read more

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