Review: Managing Country Risk

March 18, 2012 by

The world is full of risks. Whether an average citizen on the streets in Cairo or a CEO of a Fortune 500 country, the international system is a dynamic place, which is often defined by risk. “Managing Country Risk”, by Daniel Wagner who has had years of experience in cross-border risk management, is a “must have ready” reference and reality guide for any trader, investor, lender or NGO considering any cross-border activity.

The Politics of Narendra Modi

February 9, 2012 by

For past few months, Narendra Modi has been mentioned as the next Prime Minister in India in the event of the ruling UPA coalition government is not in a position to form a unity government due to its involvement in several cases of corruption. India, led by Prime Minister Manmoham Singh, has not mollified his critics and addressed the allegations of corruption against his administration. Although Modi’s name has been appearing frequently since the Godhra case of 2002, his increasing popularity suggests that he might be the suitable choice for the prime ministership.

Is Russia’s game in Syria worth playing?

February 9, 2012 by

On February 7, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Foreign Intelligence Service Director Mikhail Fradkov traveled to Damascus to help stabilize the situation in Syria by encouraging democratic reforms. The substance of President Dmitry Medvedev’s letter, which they delivered to Bashar al-Assad, was not disclosed, but experts point to the highly delicate nature of the Russian officials’ mission.

An African Spring in Senegal?

February 8, 2012 by

For more than a year, opposition supporters in some of sub-Saharan Africa’s more repressive countries have hoped that the wave of pro-democracy protests will spread south from Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. By and large, the wait has been in vain. There is some irony in that the latest candidate mooted for “people power” is Senegal, one of the few African countries with a genuine democratic tradition in the post-independence era. Senegal has strong institutions, and is the only country in west Africa never to have suffered a military coup.

Sixty Years of Elizabeth II: An Ideal Queen in a Flawed Monarchy

February 7, 2012 by

Sixty years ago, on February 6, Queen Elizabeth II was proclaimed sovereign of the Commonwealth following the death of her father King George VI. Her Majesty is the oldest monarch in Europe, and in just three years she will surpass the reign of Queen Victoria, who ruled the British Empire for 63 years. Health permitting, in the spring of 2024 she could become the world’s longest reigning monarch, breaking the record set by Louis XIV, the Sun King, who occupied the French throne for over 72 years.

The Elephant in the Room is Spain, Not Italy

February 6, 2012 by

Another day and the markets remain fixated on whether Greece comes to a “voluntary” arrangement with its creditors. The key word is “voluntary” because the myth of “voluntary compliance has to be sustained so that those deadly credit default swaps avoid being triggered. But let’s face it: Greece is a pimple. If the rest of the euro zone could cut it lose with a minimum of systemic risk, Athens would have long gone the way of Troy.

US Employment Growth Shows Fiscal Policy Matters

February 3, 2012 by

US Q4 2011 GDP growth was slightly disappointing, and the mix was terrible as the growth was mostly due to inventories. I took issue with that report, arguing that the weakness was due to statistical distortions in the government spending data and the PCE services data. With that disappointing Q4 GDP report, expectations for quite weak economic growth in this year’s first half were encouraged.

Balancing on the Verge of Iran War

February 2, 2012 by

Those who hoped that the IAEA visit to Iran would open the door to resuming talks on Tehran’s nuclear programs must be disappointed. Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency spent three days in Iran, whose news agency published only a few short notices about their visit. The Vienna-headquartered IAEA called the talks a success and said another group of its experts would soon go to Tehran.

Imran Khan: A Cricketer turned politician

February 1, 2012 by

As of late, Imran Khan, the former cricket player for the Pakistan national cricket team, and the founder of the political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is very much in news not only in Pakistan but also around the world. As a famous cricketer, Imran Khan is well known, but his new incarnation as a social and political reformer committed to the cause of social, economic and political development and an agenda of access to education, elimination of corruption, end of the military-mullah nexus and the establishment of real democracy in Pakistan and also ensuring restructured relations with the United States, are some of his cause celebs.

Rights Groups Denounce Duvalier Ruling, U.S. Urges Appeal

February 1, 2012 by

International and local human rights groups Tuesday strongly denounced the ruling by an investigating judge in Haiti that former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier should not face charges for massive human rights abuses committed during his 15-year reign, from 1971 to 1986. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling.

IAEA Delegation Arrives in Iran to Discuss Nuclear Program

January 29, 2012 by

A delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Iran to discuss the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear program, the Iranian media reported on Sunday. Iran’s Envoy to the IAEA Ali Ashgar Soltanieh said last week that a delegation of the UN nuclear watchdog would visit Iran on January 29-31 “to negotiate and discuss issues raised by the IAEA.”

Movement by Islamists in Bangladesh

January 29, 2012 by

A foiled coup in Bangladesh illustrates the level of inward reach of Islamists even within certain elements of the Bangladeshi army. The key players involved in the nefarious design were a group of middle level army officers, described as “religiously fanatic”, along with some of their retired colleagues, non-residents and the banned Islamist organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, considered an ISI proxy in Bangladesh.

China’s Economic Clout and Nuclear Expertise Invades Saudi Arabia

January 19, 2012 by

Ever since the end of World War Two, the U.S. has come to regard Saudi Arabia as almost its exclusive oil producing enclave. In February 1945, after the Yalta Conference with Soviet General Secretary Iosif Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, on his way home U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud met aboard the New Orleans-class heavy cruiser U.S.S. Quincy in the Suez Canal’s Great Bitter Lake.

The aura of inevitability

January 18, 2012 by

Some presidential election campaigns will end here in South Carolina. The candidate or candidates will come to the realisation that they cannot win the Republican nomination, that their vision of America has not been accepted by the majority, and that despite the hopes and dreams, the hands shaken and the interviews given, that it is finally over. Jon Huntsman has already left the field, lacking money and supporters, his “ticket out of New Hampshire” not even good for a week.

Thought Leadership Forum on Authoritarian States

January 18, 2012 by

The School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University is holding what promises to be a thought provoking and informative forum ahead of the launch of the Journal’s Fall/Winter 2011 issue, “Inside the Authoritarian State”. The forum, Thought Leadership Forum on Authoritarian States, will examine the mechanics behind authoritarian regimes and how these regimes and states interact with the international system.

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