Kevin Rafferty
For Kevin Rafferty's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
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 factor.
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 damage, saying that...
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 would...
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.
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 earthmoving event that wakes up Japan's politicians to set...
Mar 13, 2011
Business must take longer view or stand by to bury capitalism
HONG KONG — Big business must get rid of its stock market-driven fixation with short-term results and institute deep and far- reaching reforms if it wants to ensure the survival of capitalism. This plea comes not from an isolated academic in an ivory tower but from Dominic Barton, global managing...
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 the biggest economy in the world, edging...
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 monster that is preventing India from fulfilling...
Feb 27, 2011
Beijing in Washington's footsteps
HONG KONG — The so-called financial leaders of the Group of 20 nations propped up this month's agreement in Paris against a fluffy set of economic indicators that may lead to their taking concerted action to head off a future potential global economic crisis. But it would be unwise to hold your...
Feb 22, 2011
Red Devils and moneyed 'untouchables' of soccer
HONG KONG — The front cover of the report by the respected audit and consulting concern Deloitte is dramatic and eye-catching: It consists of just a picture of a fedora hat reminiscent of the 1930s and, above it, a stark headline, "The Untouchables."
Feb 20, 2011
Flights of fancy: making sense of airfares and ancillary charges
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 dropped, but quickly...
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.
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 to afford as part of their daily...
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 Harvard dropout...
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, economic...
Jan 17, 2011
Film 'Peepli live' outstanding as a spotlight on shortcomings
HONG KONG — One of the hot topics among India's chattering classes is when their country will surpass China and become the fastest growing country in the world.
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 old economic powers with the up and coming new...
Jan 10, 2011
A plea to the prince for a practical way to Harmony
HONG KONG — Many years ago, on my second day working in London, I was invited to take tea with Prince Charles in Buckingham Palace. About half a dozen journalists met the young prince who was about to embark on his royal duties but who clearly hadn't a clue about how the rest of the world lived...
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.


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