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December 1, 2017

South Africa
Mugabe-Zuma-Zimbabwe-South-Africa-President Mugabe Falls as Zuma Struggles to Hold on

Will Zuma be able to continue his control of the ANC party machinery at the December party convention? If he can, then Dlamini-Zuma will probably win the party leadership, buying Zuma the ability to fill-out his presidential term, which ends in 2019.

October 30, 2017

China
Former Chinese president Hu Jintao, Chinese President Xi Jinping and former Chinese president Jiang Zemin raise their hands as they take a vote at the closing session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing, China. The Four Traps China May Fall Into

One dominant theme of President Xi Jinping’s political report at the 19th Party Congress is China’s national rejuvenation. China was described as a “great power” or a “strong power” 26 times in his s…

February 16, 2018

North Korea
KCNA Avoiding War With North Korea

The U.S. military is prepared for a number of contingencies with regard to North Korea, but the best path forward is diplomacy aimed at denuclearization.

February 15, 2018

United States
Trump’s Tax Success Is at the Expense of His Trade Agenda Trump’s Tax Success Is at the Expense of His Trade Agenda

It looks like a combination of tax cuts and spending increases will raise the U.S. fiscal deficit by about 2 percentage points of GDP (that’s the number Krugman used; Goldman’s US economics team puts…

February 15, 2018

Europe
“Doom Loop” Binding Weak Banks and Sovereigns Still Haunts Europe “Doom Loop” Binding Weak Banks and Sovereigns Still Haunts Europe

One important reason no one talks about Puerto Rico leaving the “dollar zone” is that the island’s banks have minimal exposure to its government’s debt. There is thus no need even to consider int…

February 13, 2018

South Africa
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (left) and President Jacob Zuma stand at the opening of Parliament in Cape Town. Jacob Zuma’s Undoing

The scandal-plagued leader’s removal could set the party of Nelson Mandela on a path toward reestablishing South Africa as a role model for the rest of the continent.

February 12, 2018

China
The Belt and Road Initiative Didn't Quite Live up to its Hype in 2017 The Belt and Road Initiative Didn't Quite Live up to its Hype in 2017

China's balance of payments data doesn't show any material increase in the pace of offshore lending.

February 12, 2018

Immigration and Migration
A U.S. Border Patrol agent keeps watch along the fence next to the U.S.-Mexican border in Calexico, California, February 2017. The U.S. Immigration Debate

Comprehensive immigration reform has eluded Congress for years, moving controversial policy decisions into the executive and judicial branches of government.

February 9, 2018

Vietnam War
Tet Offensive Lessons From the Tet Offensive

Last month marked the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Tet Offensive. Yesterday I had the good fortune to discuss the lessons of Tet with three experts on the Vietnam War, Frances FitzGerald,…

February 7, 2018

United States
Do Not Overlook the December Trade Data Do Not Overlook the December Trade Data

The increase in the non-oil trade deficit in December should be getting more attention. It matters more than the year-over-year rise in the 2017 trade deficit.