Asia

Does Dubai Matter? Ask Ireland.
November 30, 2009

Presumably the rulers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are currently locked in negotiations regarding the exact terms that will be attached to a “bailout” for Dubai World. We’ll never know the details but if, as seems likely, the final deal involves creditors taking some sort of hit (perhaps getting 75 cents in the dollar, at the end of the day), does that matter? Dubai probably has around $100bn in total liabilities, if we include off-balance sheet transactions, so total credit losses of $30-50bn need to be assigned. The direct effects so far seem small. HSBC leads the pack, in terms of exposure, but

Palin Meets with the Grahams!
November 23, 2009

In news that is sure to warm the hearts of every American, the Charlotte Observer has a report today about Sarah Palin's meeting with Billy Graham and his son, Franklin. "He's followed her career and likes her strong stand on faith," said son Franklin Graham, who was present for the 2 1/2-hour get-together.

Shake up the Foreign Policy Team?
November 23, 2009

Les Gelb thinks Obama's trip to Asia was a flop, and that the time would have been better spent on a Hawaii vacation. He also wonders whether, after a couple of foreign trips with little to show for them, Obama's foreign policy team is serving him well: First, the trip’s limited value per day of presidential effort suggests a disturbing amateurishness in managing America’s power. On top of the inexcusably clumsy review of Afghan policy and the fumbling of Mideast negotiations, the message for Mr.

Worth Reading
November 20, 2009

CO2 emissions in East Asia are growing faster than GDP. Why have gold prices soared despite low demand? Krugman and Delong on whether Obama should worry about the carry trade. Our continuing housing problems. 40% of gov't debt will be refinanced in the next year.

Today At TNR (November 20, 2009)
and
November 20, 2009

Democrats Think They Can Win the Climate Debate by Playing up National Security Concerns. They’re Wrong. by Bradford Plumer A Suggestion for Obama in 2014: End the Drug War, by John McWhorter Werner Herzog’s ‘Bad Lieutenant’: Making a Schlocky Movie This Good Is Harder Than it Looks, by Christopher Orr How Can We Start Rebuilding America? Let’s Start With This Program. by William Galston Did We Expect Too Much From Obama’s Trip to Asia?

Global Warring
November 20, 2009

For years, advocates of climate-change legislation have struggled to find a sales pitch that will sway even the most hardened of skeptics. Polar bears, green jobs, urgent pleas to think of the grandkids … none of them have quite done the trick. But recently, a new argument has come to the fore: the national security case for cutting carbon emissions. At a hearing in October, Senate Democrats invited military leaders and strategists to speak about both the dangers of America’s oil dependency and the potential for rising temperatures to create new security threats around the globe.

Barack Obama and Foreign Policy by Biography
November 19, 2009

The Washington Post writes today about the limits of Obama's biography in foreign policy. The paper's story notes that Obama talked extensively about his biography and personal experiences in Asia, then asks: But is his biography-as-diplomacy approach beginning to show its limits? Obama does not fly home with any big breakthroughs or any evidence that he has forged stronger personal ties with regional leaders.

Obama in Seoul: My Problem with Foreign News
November 19, 2009

I used to be the foreign editor of In These Times in Chicago. I didn’t particularly enjoy the job, because I have never been fascinated with the world outside of the United States. I am not sure whether I could find Honduras or Liberia on a map, and I have never mastered the current spelling of Chinese names.

Afghanistan Troop Decision This Week?
November 17, 2009

Could be: Obama returns from Asia on Thursday. "There is a sense" that he has made up his own mind. A source who closely follows AfPak professionally and has been right about such things in the past thinks Thursday is the day. And I know that a certain high-level military official abruptly scratched a planned overseas trip this week for reasons unstated. Hmmm....

Today At TNR (November 12, 2009)
and
November 12, 2009

Inside the Obamacare Laboratory: Have Democrats Learned the Right Lessons from Massachusetts? by Jonathan Cohn Previewing Obama’s Asia Visit: Why He Has a Rare Chance to Improve U.S.-Japan Relations, by R. Taggart Murphy TNRtv: The Jew-Hating, Gay-Bashing Westboro Baptist Church Comes to New York. Oh Boy. by Benjamin Birnbaum and Ben Eisler Should We Be Worried About the Changing Demographics of Unions? by John B. Judis Don’t Let Abortion Destroy Health Reform--Millions of Americans Will Be Far Better Off Than They Are Now, by E.J. Dionne Jr. Are People Flocking to ‘Dirty’ Cities?

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