Sep 19, 2011

China's historic rise (or slowdown)

Is China on the brink of eclipsing the United States as the world’s economic megapower, with the yuan taking over from the dollar as the global currency, and China able to exercise financial, military and political hegemony? Or is China’s economic growth about to ...

Sep 7, 2011

Shockwaves from the West

A nervous calm has returned to the streets of England after last month’s widespread riots, arson and looting across London and other cities sent shockwaves around the world. As far away as Japan people were asking if Britain was safe any more, and one ...

Sep 7, 2011

Is China's economic miracle a mirage?

Doubts are beginning to be heard about how sustainable is China’s economic miracle, particularly the relentless emphasis on exports and investment spending by hundreds of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and local governments. Beijing, of course, has its supporters, including banker turned academic Stephen Roach, non-executive ...

Sep 5, 2011

Japan in a European club?

Hitherto unknown and self-styled “loach” Yoshihiko Noda must learn to swim in an ocean of problems as Japan’s new prime minister of the year. He has more than a plateful of domestic issues, but he should also realize, as his predecessors forgot, that Japan ...

Aug 22, 2011

Apple core of capitalism

For a few hours this month Apple, once regarded as a maverick upstart company, became the world’s biggest company by stock market capitalization, until Exxon Mobil again seized the title. Some bullish analysts predict that if stock markets recover their confidence Apple could become ...

Aug 18, 2011

Obama risks 'junk status'

Standard & Poor’s controversial decision to downgrade the credit rating of the United States from AAA to AA-plus brought an instant angry riposte from President Barack Obama that “We’ve always been and always will be a Triple-A country.” But it is time for Obama ...

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 ...