Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has taken to advocating a 25 per cent “surcharge” – he refuses to use the more descriptive term of “import tariff” – on goods from China as a way of bringing the Chinese leadership to heel over currency reform. So potentially dangerous and out of character is this idea that when I first read it, I assumed he was being ironic. But sometimes the cleverest of people can also be the most stupid, and he’s now said it so often that you have to believe he’s serious.
As Iranians begin a New Year (Nav Ruz) on March 21, their quest for regime change has stalled, and a nuclear state is foreseeable, even if atomic weapons may not be inevitable. As Iran’s leaders have demonstrated for 31 years, decisions are all about staying in power on their own terms.
While history will remember the 20th century for the nuclear arms race, the 21st century might be remembered for the missile defense arms race. About 20 countries now possess missile defense systems, but more than 40 states are expected to have them by midcentury. In fact, by 2050 an entire coordinated system will appear of ground-based, sea-based, air-based and possibly even space-based missile defense elements.
No place in Europe has clung to an anachronistic, airbrushed image longer than Switzerland. The country’s oddly entrenched reputation for pristine and inviolable “neutrality” has left it ostensibly so removed from the normal give-and-take of international politics that for many Americans the place could pretty much be summed up with the sugary, beyond-politics appeal of Nestlé chocolate.
LAST week, Canadian MPs stood up for the rights of indigenous peoples all over the world, sending the European Union a signal by tucking into seal for dinner. The Inuit people of the Canadian Arctic have always hunted seal for flesh and fur, but a year back European Union officials had the hide to ban imports of both because of the cruelty involved in taking the animals’ lives.
During the Cold War, it was largely the strategy of containment that dominated our thinking – the notion that military force, or more importantly, the threat of military force was best applied in preventing the spread of communism through nuclear deterrence and/or conventional alliances. So came our nuclear triad, and the theory of mutually assured destruction, and the advent of NATO.
During World War II, we followed a doctrine very much akin to that used by Gen. Grant in the Civil War – attrition of the enemy force. To accomplish this, however, we needed also to attack the enemy population’s will to fight. And so came the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima and Nagasaki – on and on. Farther back in our past, we could go, from the trench warfare of World War I to the limited conventional war we fought against Spain in 1898, to the unconventional wars we fought against the Barbary Pirates in the early 1800s.
A year ago the world came together in London to fight back against the global recession. A year on, it is not the G20′s political leaders of the world we are hosting – but you, the business and investment leaders of the world.
Today is not about a partnership of governments, or a partnership of international business – but a partnership of international business and government. About how together we can lock in recovery and grasp the opportunities of the future.
Numerous Republican state attorneys general announced Friday that they are prepping to file a federal lawsuit protesting the so-called “deem and pass” procedural maneuver and coverage mandates in the health care bill.
BEIJING – Lin Xiuying believes her daughter bled to death after being gang-raped two years ago by a group of thugs that had ties to the police in their southern Chinese town.
For more than a year, the illiterate mother appealed to various government departments in Fujian province’s Mingqin county, pleading for someone to take a closer look at the death of 25-year-old Yan Xiaoling that police blamed on an ectopic pregnancy.
Recall that the bill raises taxes substantially. Some of these tax hikes are the explicit tax increases on capital income to pay for the insurance subsidies. Some of these tax hikes are the implicit marginal rate increases from the phase-out of the insurance subsidies as a person’s income rises. Both of these would be expected to reduce GDP growth.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Democratic and Republican members of the Rules Committee sparred Saturday over the substance and procedure for a mammoth health care bill as the House of Representatives headed toward a Sunday vote on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — As the Senate Banking Committee prepares to begin rewriting the rules of banking next week, President Barack Obama on Saturday urged lawmakers to create a powerful, consumer financial protection advocate as part of the broader bank-reform effort that would include mortgages and credit cards.
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Caterpillar Inc. (CAT 59.37, -0.40, -0.67%) said the proposed overhaul of the U.S. health-care system could increase its costs by $100 million, signaling disquiet in corporate America about the controversial plan.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — There’s fresh evidence that the Federal Reserve is moving away from emergency assistance to U.S. banks: The central bank has pulled the plug on temporary exemptions that allowed six lenders to engage in transactions with broker-dealer affiliates.