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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

Iran
1970s Oil Crisis Redux or Oil Price Rout?

It has been four weeks since a major military attack on critical oil facilities in Saudi Arabia shocked the world and very little has happened to suggest such an event couldn’t happen again. That beg…

Some Motorists Ran Out of Gas Such as This Man in Portland and Had to Stand in Line with a Gas Can During the Fuel Crisis in the Pacific Northwest.

October 8, 2019

Cybersecurity
Ctrl + Shift + Delete: The GDPR’s Influence on National Security Posture

While the GDPR's "right to be forgotten" expands personal data privacy rights, it could complicate intelligence agencies' data collection efforts by allowing terrorists to request to have social medi…

A 3D-printed Twitter logo is seen in front of a computer screen on which an Islamic State flag is displayed

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 8, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
A New Challenge to Confront: Rising Illicit Drug Use

New research suggests that African policymakers focused on the future have yet another pressing issue to add to their already full plate: A study released on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting and funded by the European Union indicates that Africa will be the site of the world’s largest increase in illegal drug use over the next few decades.

A recovering drug addict receives his dose of methadone at a Medication Assisted Therapy clinic run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) at Karuri Level 4 hospital in Kiambu, Kenya October 3, 2019.

October 8, 2019

Americas
Free Trade Is Expanding, Just Not With the U.S.

Deals forged by countries accounting for more than one-third of global output leave America on the outside.

Representatives of members of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal wave as they pose for an official picture after the signing agreement ceremony in Santiago, Chile March 8, 2018.

October 11, 2019

United States
Happy 244th Birthday to the U.S. Navy!

The U.S. Navy turns 244 years-old this weekend. On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress commissioned two ships, each with eighty sailors, “for intercepting such transports as may be laden with …

U.S. Navy

October 7, 2019

NAFTA
Democrats Are Right to Insist on Better Enforcement Provisions in the USMCA

Are the provisions of the Trump administration’s rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—set forth in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) enforceable? As written, the…

USMCA Signing

October 3, 2019

Somalia
Diplomatic Progress in Somalia

The re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia, is welcome news to many who have worked on U.S. policy issues in the Horn of Africa for decades. It represents not just a positive step in strengthening bilateral relations, but also a victory over those who would prioritize risk-aversion  ahead of the actual work of diplomacy

Italian and Somali security forces are seen near armored vehicles at the scene of an attack on an Italian military convoy in Mogadishu, Somalia September 30, 2019

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)