Sudan seems to bring out a perverse diffidence in both the Obama administration and the international community. This is especially clear in their response to a growing body of evidence that atrocities are being committed in South Kordofan, a border state in what is now Northern Sudan. Indeed, the more proof that accumulates about the targeted destruction of the African Nuba people, the less the White House and the U.N. seem inclined either to speak out forcefully or to announce a course of action. U.S.
On Sunday, in the first national elections in four years, Thailand’s voters decisively backed the populist Puea Thai Party, delivering an apparently crushing blow to Thailand’s establishment—urban elites, the military, and the powerful royal family. The establishment had backed the Democrat Party, which took power in the wake of a palace-backed coup in 2006 that deposed Puea Thai’s predecessor, another party run by business tycoon and then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the first Thai politician to truly court the votes of the poor.
This is no time for gloating, neither for Americans nor for Europeans. For both sides are in deep economic trouble, only in different ways. The U.S. runs the worst deficit (as share of GDP) since World War II, and yet Keynesianism to the max won’t budge the unemployment rate—pace Professors Krugman and Stiglitz. What does fall is the dollar and the price of real estate, a double-whammy if ever there was one. The euro, meanwhile, may be rising, at least against the greenback, but the common currency, now ten years old, is about as stable as was Confederate script back in the Civil War.
Can Foreign Investment Revive U.S. Manufacturing?
June 20, 2011
Amid growing concerns over Greek debt and the probability of another economic slowdown, the administration quietly launched SelectUSA last week, an initiative designed to attract foreign direct investment to the United States. While announced at a Business Roundtable event, SelectUSA went relatively unnoticed by the media, far less so than the highly-publicized National Export Initiative of 2010. However, this does not mean that foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States is less important than growing U.S.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund released its annual World Economic Outlook, this year entitled, “Tensions from the Two-Speed Recovery: Unemployment, Commodities, and Capital Flows.” The two speed recovery emerges from the different post-crisis status in developed countries and emerging markets. While the United States and Europe are facing the prospect of slowly recovering employment and growth, emerging and developing economies are expected to grow by 6.5 percent this year. Developing countries are gathering mass in the world economy faster than expected.
U.S. Metros: Open for Business Despite Everything
April 08, 2011
Whether or not the federal government shuts down this weekend, I have an announcement: U.S. metropolitan areas are open for business and striving innovatively to create jobs and transform the economy. How do I know it?
Small Urban Manufacturers Make it in the U.S.A.
February 11, 2011
Last year, my then-six-year-old daughter went through a period of being enamored by all things made in China.
2011--The Year of the U.S. Economic Comeback?
January 14, 2011
Jim O’Neil, an economist at Goldman Sachs and the man who coined the acronym “BRICs” (standing for Brazil, Russia, India, and China) and thereby promoted those countries to the forefront of U.S. and European consciousness, is now saying that the year 2011 is “the year of the U.S. comeback.” Now, it’s true, analysts at investment banks make a lot of lousy predictions. And as our last “MetroMonitor” showed and as everyone in touch with reality already knows, the U.S. economy is still struggling.
How to Increase U.S. Exports
July 28, 2010
In the national conversation on trade policy, it’s rare to get beyond exchange rates and trade agreements. While these are certainly important topics in their influence on the volume and balance of trade, the focus relegates the debate to federal policy and misses a myriad of opportunities at the state, local, and metropolitan level to promote exports. So what do exports look like on the ground level?
What the Wikileaks Tell Us About Pakistani Loyalties
July 27, 2010
Leslie Gelb, the former head of the Council on Foreign Relations and a current columnist for the Daily Beast, looked at the 90,000 USG document dump on WikiLeaks, and focused on the issue that matters most: Pakistan. “To put the issue somewhat melodramatically,” he wrote, “the United States is giving ‘moderate’ Pakistanis and the Pakistani military billions of dollars yearly in military and economic aid, which allows Pakistani military intelligence to ‘secretly’ help the Taliban kill Americans in Afghanistan, which will drive America out of Afghanistan and undermine U.S.