Category Archives: Countries

Impressions of India

India remains a mys­tery to me. I spent two weeks in south­ern India in Jan­u­ary, in Chen­nai and Ker­ala. It was the first time I had vis­it­ed any part of the coun­try although, in the past decade I’ve spent some time in all of the states that bor­der India bar Nepal. I expect­ed to find […]

No spring for shiite Syria

Robert Fisk’s unsen­ti­men­tal analy­sis of Assad’s strengths As long as Syr­ia can trade with Iraq, it can trade with Iran and, of course, it can trade with Lebanon. The Shia of Iran and the Shia major­i­ty in Iraq and the Shia lead­er­ship (though not major­i­ty) in Syr­ia and the Shia (the largest com­mu­ni­ty, but not […]

Zoellick on China’s choices

A dis­cur­sive account by Greg Sheri­dan in The Aus­tralian of a con­ver­sa­tion with World Bank Pres­i­dent Robert Zoel­lick on, among oth­er things, China’s devel­op­ment conun­drum and the growth of emerg­ing economies as an anti­dote to pes­simism. Zoel­lick has a team of World Bank econ­o­mists work­ing close­ly with the Chi­nese lead­er­ship to help them move on […]

Standard and Poor’s reasons

It’s dif­fi­cult to argue with the Stan­dard & Poor’s assess­ment of the U.S. fis­cal out­look, or with their down­grade of the U.S. long-term sov­er­eign cred­it rat­ing: We low­ered our long-term rat­ing on the U.S. because we believe that the pro­longed con­tro­ver­sy over rais­ing the statu­to­ry debt ceil­ing and the relat­ed fis­cal pol­i­cy debate indi­cate that […]

Professional services reform in Italy

The Berlus­coni gov­ern­ment has announced a pack­age of emer­gency mea­sures to lib­er­al­ize the Ital­ian econ­o­my that includes a “con­sti­tu­tion­al” change to speed up the lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of pro­fes­sion­al ser­vices. The mea­sures includ­ed a plan to amend the con­sti­tu­tion to make a bal­anced bud­get manda­to­ry, a sec­ond con­sti­tu­tion­al change that would force “closed pro­fes­sions” to lib­er­alise ser­vices, […]

The limits of WTO litigation

Good sense from a for­mer Chair of the WTO Appel­late Body.

It is in the best inter­est of both coun­tries to con­tin­ue nego­ti­at­ing on the cur­ren­cy issue rather than resort­ing to lit­i­ga­tion at the WTO. On this issue espe­cial­ly, lit­i­ga­tion should be the last resort.” Extract from James Bac­chus in the WSJ

Alhougth I’m sure a lot of trade law geeks like me would like to see Arti­cle XV lit­i­gat­ed, nev­er­the­less … just to see what it means.

Another small step

But it’s impos­si­ble to ignore the sig­nif­i­cance of this con­tin­u­ing inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of the rem­min­bi.

Although it has no short-term impli­ca­tions for the full con­vert­ibil­i­ty of the ren­min­bi, the announce­ment pro­vides bal­last to the vol­ley of polit­i­cal sig­nals Bei­jing has been send­ing in recent months over its dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the US dol­lar.” Extract from Finan­cial Times