economy

Secret SOTU

I’ve never met President Obama, never been invited to any White House confabs. I’ve never even been able to sit through one of his speeches. But my office is about six blocks away from the White House. So, like any good Washington pundit who imagines that proximity translates into perceptiveness, I feel entirely qualified to look into the president’s eyes to get a sense of his soul. Here’s what I believe President Obama will be thinking as he reads off the teleprompter.

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The Political Consequences of Stagnation

The Political Consequences of Stagnation

My apologies to T. S. Eliot, but September, not April, is the cruelest month. Before 9/11/2001, there was 9/11/1973, when Gen. Pinochet toppled the Allende government in Chile and ushered in a 17-year reign of terror. More recently, on 9/15/2008, Lehman Brothers went bust and torpedoed the global economy, turning what had been a Wall Street crisis into a near-death experience for the global financial system.

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Does Israel Belong in the Club?

Next month, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is expected to invite Israel to join its 30-strong club of rich, mostly Western countries pursuing a “stronger, cleaner, fairer world economy.” Accession would conclude three years of formal negotiations and almost two decades of lobbying from successive Israeli governments, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman especially keen to align his country with the world’s advanced democratic nations. OECD status will accelerate investment, raise Israel’s credit rating, and strengthen its voice in international affairs.

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Africa and the Economic Crisis

Africa and the Economic Crisis

As the world turns its attention to Afghanistan and President Obama sends additional troops to that volatile region, pivotal events happening in Africa are falling further below the radar. The global economic crisis has brought negative impacts to the continent, such as a dramatic fall in commodity prices, from cotton to iron ore. There has also been a steep decline in remittances, as Africans in the diaspora lose their jobs and homes. And meanwhile, international development funds have cut back on the amount of money they are disbursing. Nevertheless, the financial crisis and economic recession create an opportunity to challenge flawed existing models and assert new strategies for Africa’s economic progress.

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Overhauling Global Finance

The global financial crisis has discredited the financial institutions that played a part in causing it. Discussions of radical alternatives are beginning to flourish, with the world’s governments rushing to consult experts who previously found themselves out in the cold.

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