Feb 18, 2011

Oil prices and social unrest

HONG KONG — The resignation of Hosni Mubarak after a 30-year reign as modern-day pharaoh of Egypt has demonstrated the nervous and potentially combustible connection between oil and politics in the Middle East. As soon as Mubarak quit after weeks of demonstrations, oil prices ...

Feb 9, 2011

'Shoganai' won't save Japan

HONG KONG — It’s official. Japan, which economists and other pundits predicted 20 years ago was heading to the very top of the global league by about now, has in terms of 2010 gross domestic product slumped to No. 3. The U.S. is No. ...

Jan 27, 2011

Facing the specter of famine

SINGAPORE — In India, a potentially huge economic and social crisis is in the making, involving extensive rewriting of recipe books to exclude a favorite ingredient. Onions are in short supply and their prices have risen by 80 percent, too expensive for many Indians ...

Jan 21, 2011

Facebook and dark matter

HONG KONG — News that Goldman Sachs has taken a $450 million stake in Facebook in a deal that puts a $50 billion valuation on the fledgling company raises interesting and somewhat troubling questions beyond the immediate gawping and jaw-dropping headlines that a spotty-faced ...

Jan 19, 2011

Hu's momentous U.S. visit

HONG KONG — The pomp and circumstance marking President Hu Jintao’s arrival in Washington could define a dangerous moment in relations between the United States and China. Political hype and pressures could easily poison the atmosphere and prevent progress on the proliferation of business, ...

Jan 14, 2011

Global coordination task falls to French schmoozer

HONG KONG — Pity French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and be careful what you wish for. Sarkozy has taken over as the president of the once-cozy Group of Eight developed economic powers as well as the Group of 20 countries, which combines the club of ...

Jan 4, 2011

Indian elephant too slow for the Chinese dragon

HONG KONG — The visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Delhi in December underlined the importance and immense diversity between the world’s two once-and-future superpowers. Neighbors China and India, home to 35 percent of the planet’s population, are the great hope for future ...

Dec 30, 2010

Obama's seven headaches

HONG KONG — Supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama are greatly cheered by notable victories in the final days of Congress before Christmas: the repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law concerning homosexuals serving in the military, and the ratification of the New ...