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World economy: 13 for 2013 (part 2)

This is part 2 of Mark's thirteen suggestions (in no particular order) of things to look out for in the global economy this year. Part 1 is here. 5. China's growth prospects We spent quite a lot of 2012 on The Interpreter debating China's growth outlook, wondering whether last year's

World economy: 13 for 2013

It feels like a long time since we had a boring year in the world economy. Financial crises, debt crises, food crises, natural disasters, geo-economic power shifts, social upheaval and revolution have all shaped and reshaped the economic environment in recent years.  So will 2013 change the

Putting the heat on credit rating agencies

Dr Daniel Woker is the former Swiss Ambassador to Australia and now a Senior Lecturer at the University of St Gallen. Following a path-breaking Australian court judgment against Standard & Poors (S&P), Stephen Grenville, in a blog post on 14 November, notes how credit rating agencies (CRAs), 'by

New Zealand beer diplomacy

Thanks to the folk at the Asia New Zealand Foundation for alerting me to this world exclusive from Beer & Brewer Magazine. It's the New Zealand Foreign Ministry's reply to an FOI requests asking for 'a list of every New Zealand beer brand served at each New Zealand Embassy, High Commission or

Is the G20 agenda too big?

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. Mark Thirlwell is Director of the Lowy Institute's International Economy Program and a G20 Studies Centre Fellow. Is the G20 agenda expanding too widely at a time when its top priority should be on reinvigorating global

More on why economic policy fails

  Unemployment in Ireland, Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal. The above graph (h/t RCW and Early Warning) reminds us that the policy failures Stephen Grenville described in his piece earlier today are, above all, an enormous human tragedy. But there's slightly Brechtian subtext to Stephen's

Video: Address by Fiji president and PM

Jenny Hayward-Jones' post of last Friday referred to a joint address by Fiji President Nailatikau and  Prime Minister Bainimarama responding to the draft constitution prepared by the Constitutional Commission. Here's a video of that address: (H/t Stuck in Fiji MUD

Why economic policy fails

It was not pre-ordained that the economies of Europe, the US, and the UK would perform as poorly as it they have over the past two years. There were better policy options available which would have lowered unemployment (currently close to 8% in the US and the UK, and nearly 12% in Europe),

Fiji: Bainimarama disappoints again

Fiji's military leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has done it again. He surprised everyone last year by opening up what appeared to be a genuine process of consultation on a new Fiji constitution and engaging Professor Yash Ghai, one of the world's foremost constitutional experts, to Chair the

From privateers to a private navy

Simon Palombi is a Research Associate at the Lowy Institute. Earlier this week, Simon Murray, the chief of global commodities trading firm Glencore, announced the creation of a private navy funded by a consortium of UK businessmen under the company name Typhon. This private navy will use a 10,

Skyfall: Bond takes a neocon turn

I realise it's slightly late to be reviewing the latest Bond caper, but I saw Skyfall over the festive season, and since I haven't yet seen any reviews that tackle one particular political aspect of the film, I thought I would raise it. Some spoilers follow, so I'll put the remaining text below

TV trailer: 1600 Penn

The fact that the new sitcom 1600 Penn is being screened at the White House tells you that it probably won't be too cutting, and indeed, the trailer is far from screamingly funny and looks a bit derivative. Pass

In defence of the IMF: At least it's consistent

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre.  IMF Chief economist Olivier Blanchard recently confirmed that he was 'right about being wrong' in underestimating the effect of fiscal tightening on European economic growth. When he first suggested, in the IMF's October

Economic forecasting: Broken models

Economists are the butt of much mirth about their forecasting ability, but the recent performance may be getting beyond a joke. Failing to predict the precise outcome is one thing: being consistently wrong in the same direction is harder to explain, and very unhelpful for the policy-making

Welcome to 2013

Welcome to 2013 and welcome back to The Interpreter for another year of international policy blogging, which is supposed to start today. I say 'supposed' because your editor forgot his age last weekend and hurt his back while trying to move a fridge. Please be patient for the next few days

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