Aug 12, 2011

Ireland excoriates Vatican over new reports of abuse

In my first few days as editor of The Universe, the leading English-language Catholic newspaper, I had a long conversation with the monsignor who was a member of the board, an adviser to the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, and who wrote a religious “Agony ...

Aug 8, 2011

Debt deal reveals empty toolbox

When President Barack Obama signed into law the bill increasing the debt ceiling to $16.7 trillion, Americans might have breathed a sigh of relief that the danger of default is over — for now (and probably until spring 2013). Although rating agency Standard & ...

Aug 5, 2011

Do we rate state-run companies as heirlooms or dear luxuries?

Conventional wisdom, except in China with its plethora of state-owned enterprises, has become that governments should get out of business. Business knows best how to run things efficiently and to make money, whereas governments tend to tie up enterprise in bureaucratic red tape, or ...

Jul 28, 2011

U.S. dances on debt cliff edge

It was fascinating to watch U.S. President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner make their appeals to the nation in television addresses over their deadlock about whether and how to raise the $14.3 trillion ceiling on U.S. debts before the country runs out ...

Jul 19, 2011

Murdoch's malign empire

The resignation of two key lieutenants of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his own full-page signed apology in British newspapers — “We are sorry for the widespread wrongdoing that occurred” — is clearly a desperate attempt to save his News Corporation group from being ...

Jul 15, 2011

Kissinger blighted millions as U.S. jockeyed for position

Henry Kissinger has distilled many words of wisdom from four millennia of Chinese civilization, and several centuries of Western diplomacy, including almost half a century of personal experience at the sharp end of power politics. He has captured headlines and captivated some of the ...

Jul 6, 2011

Lagarde in the IMF inferno

Christine Lagarde has leaped into a hot job, an inferno, as the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund less than a week after after having been chosen. She has already made several comments, one sensible, another nonsense, and a third that smacks ...

Jun 27, 2011

Japan is losing IMF game, and it isn't keeping score

Yoshihiko Noda, Japan’s finance minister, is increasingly tipped as the frontrunner to take over from Naoto Kan when the prime minister finally bites the bullet and resigns. No one seems to know what Noda stands for, if anything — an impression that was cultivated ...

Jun 24, 2011

Fat, dumb profile-gazers

In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said the United States needed to “out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world” to remain competitive and “win the future.” In his short history, though, Obama has not proved very adept ...

Jun 22, 2011

Pakistan's risky China card

U.S. President Barack Obama’s bold move in ordering the raid on Osama bin Laden’s secret mansion close to the Pakistan military establishment is in danger of backfiring. Islamic terrorist groups have stepped up their murderous atrocities principally against Pakistanis. Influential vocal critics are raging ...