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October 11, 2019

Cybersecurity
Cyber Week in Review: October 11, 2019

Top Chinese AI firms added to export blacklist; Iranian hackers target 2020 campaigns; uncertain future for Libra cryptocurrency; U.S. companies confronted by Beijing’s censors on Hong Kong; and Twit…

 A fan is seen wearing a LeBron James jersey with an NBA logo covered by a Chinese national flag sticker during the game.

October 10, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
Rich People and Wealth in Africa

Rich people are everywhere, and they can have something to say about the level of economic development in their home countries. Afrasia Bank and New World Wealth have just published the 2019 Africa Wealth Report, which includes North Africa and African island states in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It identifies the continent’s six wealthiest cities, defined as total individual private wealth—equities, real estate, businesses—less liabilities. They are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Cairo, Lagos, Durban, and Nairobi.

Visitors walk past a reception with an electronic board displaying movements in major indices at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange building

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

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

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 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 4, 2019

Election 2020
Election 2020 Foreign Policy Roundup: William Weld Answers Twelve Questions

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld has become the sixteenth presidential candidate—and the first Republican challenger—to answer the Council on Foreign Relations’ candidate survey. His answer…

Former Governor William Weld answers questions in New York after a Sept. 24 debate.

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)

October 4, 2019

Taiwan
Shadow FX Intervention in Taiwan: Solving a 100+ billion dollar enigma (Part 2)

Large-scale purchases of foreign bonds have become the central flow sustaining Taiwan’s massive current account surplus and keeping the Taiwan dollar weak. The size of this flow raises the question o…

Shadow FX Intervention in Taiwan: Solving a 100+ billion dollar enigma (Part 2)