Apr 19, 2011

More than cocoa at stake in helping out Ivory Coast

Looking at the scenes of bloodshed and looting, and the terrified flight of thousands of people, as Alessane Outtara took over as president, it is hard to imagine that only 25 years ago the Ivory Coast was the sparkling jewel of sub-Saharan Africa. The ...

Apr 3, 2011

Yen for a new global currency

HONG KONG — A growing feeling that the dollar has had its day is still being spoiled by the lack of a ready alternative and by inertia and lack of global political vision or leadership. China’s unwillingness to assume international responsibilities is another important ...

Mar 29, 2011

Unrequited hope for Kan

OSAKA/LONDON — More than two weeks after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a horrendous tsunami and crippling damage to a major nuclear plant in northeast Honshu, it is as if Japan is still sleeping through a raging nightmare. Initially, economists tried to play down the ...

Mar 23, 2011

Minister is economical with economic truth

HONG KONG — Japan’s economy supremo, 72-year-old Kaoru Yosano, clad in his regulation ministerial “Action Man” powder-blue boiler suit and heavy gumboots ready to spring into emergency mode instantly, claimed last week that the damage to the country’s economy from the earthquake and tsunami ...

Mar 20, 2011

The Vatican circles the wagons

HONG KONG — The abrupt — and underhanded — sacking of a key lay Catholic official by Vatican clerics raises disturbing questions about where Pope Benedict XVI is taking the Roman Catholic Church. That the official is the only woman leading a major Catholic ...

Mar 17, 2011

Japan's immense challenge

HONG KONG — Prime Minister Naoto Kan rightly called it the worst disaster to hit Japan since World War II. But the question now for Japan is whether the massive earthquake and tsunami that smashed the country on Friday can prove to be the ...

Mar 9, 2011

How big is China's economy?

HONG KONG — There was much fanfare last month when Beijing reported that China had overtaken Japan to become the second biggest economy in the world. But this celebration was bogus — because the reality is that in real terms China has already become ...

Mar 6, 2011

Corruption tarnishes shiny India

HONG KONG — Corruption in India has become so public and pervasive that the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been forced to take action on two blatant abuses. The problem is that corruption is only one highly visible part of a hydra-headed ...