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December 28, 2017

United States
Kohl 1989 Ten World Figures Who Died in 2017

I wrote yesterday about ten Americans who died in 2017 who helped shape U.S. foreign policy during their lifetimes. But Americans are not the only ones who influence world affairs. Below are ten worl…

June 21, 2017

Europe
Where Does Italy’s Bank Recapitalization Stand?

Italy is making real progress now. But completing the recapitalization of Monte and the restructuring of the two Veneto banks may not be quite enough.

May 31, 2017

China
China pays more than other similarly-ranked countries on its government debt Downgraded China Doth Protest Too Much

Moody’s recently downgraded China’s credit rating from Aa3 to A1, on expectations that the country’s debt stock—already over 250 percent of GDP—will rise further with slowing potential growth. Chines…

October 17, 2017

United States
Chinese steel factory The U.S. Trade Deficit: How Much Does It Matter?

President Trump has made reducing the U.S. trade deficit a priority, blaming trade deals like NAFTA, but economists disagree over how policymakers should respond.

October 13, 2017

Nigeria
Biafra-Nigeria-Secession-Kanu Powerful Rhetoric Gives Insight Into Biafran Independence Narratives

The still unknown whereabouts of Namdi Kanu, a leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has led to public exchanges that provide insight into the mindset of at least some of Biafra's support…

April 27, 2017

China
China's NPLs have risen PBoC Spins China’s Bad-Loan Data

In a recent speech at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York, People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Yi Gang reassured his audience on the level of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the Chinese banking se…

April 6, 2017

China
RMB Globalization, Once "Unstoppable," Heads Into Reverse RMB Globalization, Once "Unstoppable," Heads Into Reverse

    “The globalisation of the [Chinese RMB] seems remorseless and unstoppable,” the Economist pronounced in April 2014.  A year later, a research-grant foundation asked me (Benn) to review …

March 1, 2017

European Union
Trump’s NATO Spending Demands Will Spur an EU Deficit Battle Trump’s NATO Spending Demands Will Spur an EU Deficit Battle

    President Trump and Defense Secretary Mattis are putting unprecedented pressure on European NATO members to boost military spending, threatening to reduce America’s support for the alli…

February 7, 2017

Monetary Policy
Why Does the Fed Keep Lowering Its Unemployment Threshold? Why Does the Fed Keep Lowering Its Unemployment Threshold?

For years, Fed watchers have been getting antsy as unemployment falls toward NAIRU—the Fed’s estimate of the bound below which inflation rises.  But as shown in the graphic above, each time unempl…

January 19, 2017

Financial Markets
Mini Mac Trumps the Big Mac

The “law of one price” holds that identical goods should trade for the same price in an efficient market.  But how well does it actually hold internationally? The Economist magazine’s famous Big Mac …