Europe/Middle East

  • US vs. Russia: The ‘Game’ In Syria Has Only Just Begun

    US vs. Russia: The ‘Game’ In Syria Has Only Just Begun

    The crisis in Syria has quickly morphed into a U.S.-Russian confrontation. Russia's goal is to be seen as an equal of the United States, while Obama must tackle both domestic and international sentiment to dispel doubts about America’s preeminent global status.

    In the wake of President Barack Obama's change of tack from a strike on Syria, the threat of war has not dissolved. It has, however, been pushed off beyond this round of negotiations. 

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  • Behind Syria’s Crisis: How Oil & Gas Limits Led To Civil Unrest

    Behind Syria’s Crisis: How Oil & Gas Limits Contributed To The Civil Unrest

    The Syrian civil war has been ongoing since 15 March 2011. Though the roots of the conflict are political by nature, Syria’s depleting oil and gas reserves also played a major role in sparking the unrest: When oil exports dropped, the government suddenly found itself unable able to pay for programs that had been placating its citizens to some degree.

    In my view, oil and gas resource limits are major contributors to the conflict in Syria. This is happening in several ways:

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  • Greece Poor Homeless Elderly

    No Way Back – Why Europe Is Doomed To Face A ‘Lost Decade’: Dan Steinbock

    Although recent market data have pointed to possible signs of recovery, the European debt crisis is still nowhere close to going away. What’s more, during the past half a decade, prosperity levels have stagnated or fallen so dramatically across Southern Europe – that even if the region would ultimately recover, it will be a far different Europe from what we’ve known from the past.

    BRUSSELS - The second quarter GDP figures for the Euro-area economies indicated growth, for the first time in 18 months.

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  • EU-Italy Lock

    Europe’s Weakest Link: Why Italy Could Reignite The European Crisis

    Europe’s recent economic figures have sparked hopes of a gradual recovery. Yet several unresolved issues still remain on the horizon – with none larger than the current political situation in Italy, the region’s fourth largest economy, whose government may very well collapse as early as next month.

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  • Will The Portuguese Finally Lose Patience And Demand A Euro Exit?

    Will The Portuguese Finally Lose Patience And Demand A Euro Exit?

    A painful austerity drive under Portugal’s 78 billion euro EU-IMF bailout has pushed the country into its worst recession since the 1970s, where unemployment has risen to 18 percent of the total working population. Several analysts have suggested that the country is headed for a second bailout in 2014, but how much more will the Portuguese tolerate before they demand a euro exit?

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  • Is Ireland Proof That Austerity Works?: Mohamed El-Erian

    Is Ireland Proof That Austerity Works?: Mohamed El-Erian

    People on both sides of the austerity debate are trying to position Ireland as the poster child for their case. This tug-of-war illustrates the complex range of arguments in play – and highlights why conclusive economic policymaking is proving so elusive.

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  • Are Sanctions Against Iran Counterproductive?: Gail Tverberg

    Are International Sanctions Against Iran Counterproductive?: Gail Tverberg

    The Obama administration in June introduced its ninth set of international sanctions aimed at driving Iran’s oil sales to a halt. If we are very lucky, the United States’ stepped up financial pressure could get Iran to back down on its nuclear weapons programme. But if we are less lucky, we may find ourselves with spiking oil prices.

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  • Iran: New Leader, New Hope?

    Iran: New Leader, New Hope?

    Winning a stunning victory in the country’s six-way presidential race, Iran’s new leader Hassan Rouhani has vowed to integrate Tehran into the international community, bolstering hopes for better relations with the West. A skilled negotiator and a moderate, Rouhani’s election could be the best news in many years for the future of the whole region – for Iran, its economy, the nuclear standoff, as well as diplomatic relations with Israel.

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  • Did Germany Force The Eurozone Into The Debt Crisis?: Michael Pettis

    Did Germany Force The Eurozone Into The Debt Crisis?: Michael Pettis

    As monetary policy across the eurozone was made to fit German needs, excess German liquidity – accumulated from years of trade surpluses and policy controls – was easily exported into Spain and other peripheral European countries which all saw their trade deficits expand dramatically.  In fact, the subsequent imbalance became so large that it led almost inevitably to the European crisis in which we are today.

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  • Resurgent Russia: An Economy in Transition, Dysfunctional but Intact

    Resurgent Russia: An Economy in Transition, Dysfunctional but Intact

    Russia has no shortage of talent, technology or resources. The country’s top managers and functionaries are well accustomed to navigating their way through political and bureaucratic storms, and the sheer size of the country and natural endowments of oil and gas cement Moscow’s position in economic and diplomatic spheres. So why is their economy in such a state of dysfunction?

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