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October 18, 2019

United States
Trump Kills the G7's Legitimacy

Questions of legitimacy have long plagued the G7. The Trump administration's announcement of the Trump National Doral resort as the venue for next year's summit marks a new low.

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to a news conference at the end of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France.

October 18, 2019

Cybersecurity
Cyber Week in Review: October 18, 2019

Huawei redeploys U.S.-linked executives and looks to other markets; U.S. cyberattacks against Iran unveiled; Russian APT involved in 2016 DNC hack still active; United States evaluates election secur…

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.

October 18, 2019

U.S. Foreign Policy
Election 2020 Foreign Policy Roundup: The Democratic Debate, Trade Policy, and the Iran Nuclear Deal

Tuesday night’s debate allotted just twenty-two minutes to foreign policy. It’s doubtful the audience came away from that brief conversation with a deeper understanding of what the candidates hope to…

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren debate during the fourth U.S. Democratic presidential candidates 2020 election debate in Westerville, Ohio, U.S., October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

October 18, 2019

China
China’s EIA Rollback

A decision to remove environmental impact assessment requirements for some Shanghai construction projects embodies a trend of sliding environmental standards as China's economy slows. It also draws q…

Men walk by a construction site, separated by a wall installed with water misting system for dust control, in Shanghai, China April 8, 2019.

October 18, 2019

West Africa
Worrying Trends in Côte d'Ivoire

Several successive years of being one of the world’s fastest-growing economies have made Côte d'Ivoire a darling of investors bullish about Africa. But the country’s strong economic performance has not been matched by political progress in overcoming the divides that drove the country into civil war twice in the last twenty years. With elections scheduled for 2020, many of the same antagonists that featured in those earlier conflicts are jockeying for position, giving observers and citizens an unwelcome sense of déjà vu.

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara of the Rally of the Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) party talks after casting his vote at a polling station during a presidential election in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on October 25, 2015

October 17, 2019

Nigeria
Buhari Orders Land Borders Closed in Long-Running Effort to Boost Rice Production

In August, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered closed Nigeria’s land border with Benin, preventing the import of goods. The move significantly affected trade in foodstuffs. It is part of an effort to tackle smuggling and associated corruption, but also, apparently, to spur the domestic agricultural industry. On October 14, Nigeria ordered closed all of Nigeria’s borders with Benin, as well as those with all other countries, for the same reasons.

A farmer works with rice sprouts on a farm

October 11, 2019

Election 2020
Election 2020 Foreign Policy Roundup: Syrian Kurds, the NBA, and LGBTQ Rights

The big foreign policy news this week was President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops who have been working with Syrian Kurds, effectively greenlighting Turkey’s subsequent invasion of …

People flee Turkish air strikes in Ras al Ain along the northern Syrian border.

October 9, 2019

India
Xi Jinping to India: Mamallapuram Edition

The Indian government announced today that Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit India later this week for an “informal summit” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi beginning October 11. The leader-le…

Modi and Xi in China

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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