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February 28, 2020

South Korea
The Real Obstacles to the Return of Tourists to North Korea’s Mount Kumgang

Has the time come for South Korean tourists to return to Mount Kumgang?

An employee enters a room at a hotel in Mount Kumgang resort in Kumgang, North Korea, on September 1, 2011.

April 20, 2012

Trade
Morning Brief: Affluence Correlates with Test Scores

The Brookings Institution released a report on the correlation between income inequality and school quality. Schools in more affluent areas are likely to have higher average test scores, and housing …

Parents and education advocates demonstrate on the steps of New York's City Hall for higher progressive taxes to close funding shortfalls in education. (Mike Segar/Courtesy Reuters)

March 17, 2009

Financial Markets
"Concentrations of risk, plagued with deadly correlations"

The FT’s Gillian Tett makes a simple but important point: AIG’s role in the credit default swap market meant that a lot of risk that the bank regulators thought had been dispersed into many strong ha…

January 7, 2020

China
What Motivates Chinese Peacekeeping?

China’s unusual status as a top contributor of both funds and troops to the UN's peacekeeping program has stirred suspicion that Beijing uses the peacekeeping program to protect its economic assets a…

Chinese peacekeepers participate in an oath-taking rally before leaving to join the United Nation peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, in Yuxi, Yunnan province, China May 10, 2019. (Wong Campion/Reuters)

December 15, 2011

Defense and Security
Guest Post: Linda Robinson on the End of the Iraq War

Members of the U.S. Air Force board a plane at al-Asad air base in Iraq before flying to the United States. (Mohammed Ameen/courtesy Reuters) I woke up this morning to an email inbox full of news al…

Members of the U.S. Air Force board a plane before flying to the U.S., at al-Asad air base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar November 1, 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Oct. 21 that American troops would fully withdraw from Iraq by year-end, as scheduled under a 2008 security pact between the two countries. Picture taken November 1, 2011. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen

October 9, 2019

Taiwan
$130+ Billion in Undisclosed Foreign Exchange Intervention by Taiwan's Central Bank

Based on the profits and losses disclosed by Taiwan’s central bank, it appears that its true FX exposures exceed its disclosed foreign exchange reserves by USD 130bn, and perhaps by as much as USD 20…

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October 8, 2019

Taiwan
Could Taiwan’s Commercial Banks Cover the Lifers' Hedging Need? (Part 4)

Who is on the other side of the massive ($250 billion) hedging need of Taiwan's life insurance industry? The local banking system covers at most a quarter of the life insurers hedging need, and forei…

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October 4, 2019

Taiwan
Shadow FX Intervention in Taiwan: Solving a 100+ billion dollar enigma (Part 3)

This is the third post in a series* on Taiwan's life insurers and their private & sovereign FX hedging counterparties. It’s the product of a collaboration with S.T.W**, a market participant and frien…

Shadow FX Intervention in Taiwan: Solving a 100+ billion dollar enigma (Part 3)

July 1, 2019

China
China’s Bizarre May Intervention Numbers

With the Osaka Xi-Trump summit producing an indefinite "truce" that halts further escalation (at least for now), there is every reason to expect the yuan to remain stable. The intervention proxies (s…

China’s Bizarre May Intervention Numbers

July 28, 2008

Monetary Policy
Beware: Correlation doesn’t always mean causation ... London doesn’t just handle petrodollars

Capital flows through London are often taken as a proxy for petrodollars. Bloomberg’s Daniel Kruger, for example, argues that the buildup of Treasuries (and I would assume Agencies) in the UK ref…

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