OKAVANGO Delta, Botswana, (a few years ago) - That was the end of the week-end in the Okavango Delta, in Northern Botswana. It was a beautiful and mild African Winter day. Past midday the sun was high in the sky and quite warm. From the camp we drove in the open Land Rover to the landing strip […]
WASHINGTON – Thanks to hydraulic fracturing, the United States has increased its oil production quite significantly in the last few years. Still, America imports about 50% of the 18 million barrels of oil it consumes every day. For the month of February 2014 the US imported 255 million barrels of oil, at a cost of $ 27.8 billion.
WASHINGTON – Supposedly “Abenomics” is economic shock therapy aimed at ending Japan’s decades of slumber. Abenomics is about devaluing the currency in order to energize exports. It is about encouraging stock market investments, eliminating barriers to economic activities, while at the same time increasing consumption taxes in order to contain the gigantic national debt. Some things have worked. […]
WASHINGTON – China’s incredible economic development story is coming to an end. This does not mean disaster. It means return to a normal level of growth for a developing country. Forget about 10% and even 7%. It is going to be 4 or 5%, still more than OK but no longer gravity-defying.
WASHINGTON – Russia has an easy game in Eastern Ukraine. It does not have to invade the country, this way possibly provoking US reactions. It can just continue to fuel chaos by sending in more agents and special forces, (without insignia on their uniforms of course), while paying local ethnic Russians, so that they will continue their […]
WASHINGTON – So Greece is back? We are told that the very first attempt to sell new Greek debt went spectacularly well. Eager investors were lining up and –surprise– there is hardly any risk premium. Greek ten 10 year bonds not too long ago came with a choking 40% interest. Now it is less than 6%. […]
WASHINGTON – Effective deterrence is essentially about two key components working in combination: 1) Having the tools to inflict immediate and irreparable devastation on an adversary who crosses a line 2) The unquestionable will and ability to do so at a moment’s notice, if and when the line has been crossed. For example, a Russian invasion of Eastern […]
WASHINGTON – The governments of the vulnerable Baltic States feel uneasy these days. They look at Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea, followed by American and European protests, a few token economic sanctions and….little else. They look at large numbers of Russian troops and other military assets now close to the Ukraine border, and they see […]
WASHINGTON - The Financial Times published a piece extolling the fact that people in rich countries live longer. This is a good thing, the article proclaims, and a “sign of progress in terms of both health care and welfare systems“.