ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 25/09/2018

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Foreign Policy – Keith Johnson / Trump’s trade war with China could hit energy exports

  • On Monday, the US-China trade war escalated dramatically, with US tariffs going into effect on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. This was immediately countered by Chinese tariffs on $60 billion worth of US exports.
  • The latest round of Chinese tariffs includes a 10 percent tariff on US exports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, the first time Beijing has targeted US energy exports.
  • China, the world’s second-largest LNG market, will probably look to get more energy from other suppliers. Russia is already building a massive gas pipeline to supply China from Siberia, and this month the two countries announced plans to fast-track another Siberian pipeline.
  • “I think these tariffs, and the escalating trade war, are a significant headwind for the next wave of US LNG,” said Jason Bordoff, director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.

South China Morning Post – Lawrence Chung / US risks more China tension with US$330 million Taiwan arms deal

  • The US has proposed a deal to sell US$330 million in arms to Taiwan, in another move that will risk infuriating Beijing and add further tension to strained US-China relations.
  • A commentary by the overseas edition of Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily said the arms deal represented interference in China’s domestic politics and violated China’s sovereignty.
  • “We greatly appreciate that the US government takes note of the national security of Taiwan and its commitments to firmly abide by the Taiwan Relations Act and six assurances [regarding US policy towards the island],” said Alex Huang, spokesman of Taiwan’s Presidential Office.
  • The six assurances, issued by former US President Ronald Reagan in 1982, include the US pledging not to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, not to hold prior consultations with Beijing on arms sales to Taipei, and not to play a mediation role between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Al-Monitor – Julian Pecquet / Briefly: US warns Russia over S-300s for Syria

  • The Trump administration today warned Moscow against its announced plans to move advanced S-300 missile defense systems to Syria after Bashar al-Assad’s forces accidentally shot down a Russian military plane with 15 service members on board.
  • “We’re trying to find every place we can where there’s common ground, where we can work with the Russians. We’re finding lots of places where they’re working against American interests, and we will hold them accountable,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
  • Russia first proposed selling the missile system to Syria in 2013 but postponed the move at Israel’s urging.
  • While Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that yesterday’s about-face aimed to cool “hotheads” that threaten Russian troops, it could hinder Israel’s ability to suppress Iranian support for Hezbollah and increase rather than decrease regional tensions.

Project Syndicate – Lawrence H. Summers / When hindsight is not 20/20

  • There is not even a prima facie case to be made for Rob Johnson and George Soros’s allegations of ineptitude on the part of the Obama administration in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
  • The decision to infuse capital into all banks, rather than doing so selectively, was taken well before the presidential election of 2008, won by Barack Obama. It was a fait accompli from the point of view of the Obama administration.
  • Most of the benefit of mortgage reduction – proposed by Soros at the time – flows to consumers only over time. As a result, careful calculations about the impact of mortgage reductions on aggregate demand (which the Obama administration performed and which Johnson and Soros have not) do not bear out their claims.
  • Johnson and Soros cite the British experience, where banks were given the opportunity to go to the market themselves, in contrast to US Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson’s method of injecting funds. But it is not the case that Britain has avoided slow growth, nor right-wing electoral success.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 24/09/2018

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Foreign Policy – Elias Groll / Trump has a new weapon to cause ‘the cyber’ mayhem

  • In rolling out the administration’s new “National Cyber Strategy,” US National Security Advisor John Bolton said that US President Donald Trump had removed restrictions on the use of offensive cyber-operations.
  • The new strategy replaces these restrictions with a more permissive legal regime that gives the Defense Department and other agencies greater authority to penetrate foreign networks to deter hacks on US systems.
  • Decision-making for launching some attacks will be moved down the chain of command; previously, offensive cyber-operations generally required the approval of the president. Those envisioned in the new policy will include both offensive and defensive actions.
  • The apparent focus on the use of offensive cybertools has some lawmakers worried that it may invite painful retaliation. As one of the most wired global economies, the US is a lot more vulnerable to cyberattacks than many of its potential adversaries.

Brookings – Ben Bernanke / The housing bubble, the credit crunch, and the Great Recession: A reply to Paul Krugman

  • In a recent post, Paul Krugman gave his take on the causes of the Great Recession. His inclination is to emphasize the effects of the housing bust on aggregate demand rather than the financial panic as the source of the downturn.
  • But a broad-based and violent financial panic will affect the behavior of even firms and households not currently seeking new loans. Research has found significant increases in precautionary savings during the financial crisis for both households and firms.
  • Housing-related indicators like house prices and subprime mortgage valuations predict housing starts reasonably well through 2007. But after that, indicators of financial panic, including the yields on non-mortgage credit, are actually better predictors of housing activity.
  • None of this disputes that the housing bubble and its unwinding was an essential cause of the recession. However, if the financial system had been strong enough to absorb the collapse of the housing bubble without falling into panic, the Great Recession would have been significantly less great.

Politico – James Randerson / Jeremy Corbyn: I will listen to members on second Brexit vote

  • UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged to back a second Brexit referendum if members vote for one at his party conference, which began Sunday — although he said his preferred option is still to hold a general election.
  • Eighty-six percent of Labour members are in favor of a public vote on the Brexit deal with Brussels, according to a poll conducted by YouGov.
  • For a referendum to take place on an eventual Brexit deal, Labour would need to win a majority in the House of Commons. A significant number of Labour MPs, with an eye on their pro-Brexit constituencies, are likely to refuse to back it.
  • Also, the two-year Article 50 negotiating process would need to be extended to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU on 29 March next year. That would require unanimity among the EU27 governments.

Financial Times – Shizo Abe / Join Japan and act now to save our planet

  • The international community has taken steps to address climate change with forward-looking and long-term goals. But some countries are still increasing greenhouse gas emissions and emit more than 2bn tonnes annually, according to the International Energy Agency.
  • No alternatives to fight climate change should be excluded. Japan has goals such as creating ultra-high-capacity storage batteries, further decentralizing and digitizing automated energy control systems, and evolving into a hydrogen-based energy society. Japan will host the world’s first ministerial meeting focused on hydrogen energy.
  • In Japan, the volume of electricity generated from renewable sources has increased 2.5-fold in the past four years.
  • Japan will preside over the G20 next year and focus on accelerating the virtuous cycle of environmental protection and economic growth.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 21/09/2018

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The Economist / Why Europe should focus on its growing interdependence with Africa

  • The geopolitical buzzword of the moment is “Eurasia”. Europe and Asia are integrating along old Silk Road routes, especially under China’s Belt and Road infrastructure splurge, yet “Eurafrica” remains relatively little discussed.
  • Those Africans risking the trip north across the Mediterranean today are not the poorest. As African countries gradually prosper, migration will surely increase, not decrease. The number of Afro-Europeans (Europeans with African roots) could rise from 9m at present to between 150m and 200m by 2050.
  • Angela Merkel promotes a “Marshall Plan for Africa”, as a means of reducing migration. That reckons without the fact that economic development will raise migration numbers.
  • There is an alternative “Eurafrica” strategy, writes Stephen Smith, author of “The Rush to Europe”. This is to accept the integration of Africa and Europe. Europe should increase its role as a supporter of, and model for, a multilateral Africa, and create regulated routes for migrants travelling in both directions.

Politico – Miguel Otero-Iglesias / Europe’s two-faced migration reality

  • Migration is a great tool to fight global poverty, and the gains are substantial for host countries too. But, like free trade and finance, it creates winners and losers.
  • If Europe’s political elite doesn’t come up with ways to compensate low-skilled native workers who feel threatened or displaced by migrants, the anti-immigration wave will continue to surge.
  • The most persuasive idea, advocated by the World Bank, is to develop legal channels of migration based on the demand of the job market and better education and retraining systems to cover the displaced local workforce.
  • But for such a scheme to work, borders would need to be better controlled, repatriation agreements further developed and better implemented, and inspections against hiring of irregular workers would have to be more intrusive and widespread.

Foreign Affairs – Annie Sparrow / How UN humanitarian aid has propped up Assad

  • Why have sanctions been so unsuccessful at stopping Assad’s killing machine? A big part of the blame lies with the UN-led humanitarian effort in Syria.
  • UN agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have permitted the Assad regime to take control of the $30 billion international humanitarian response, using donor funds to skirt sanctions and subsidize the government’s war effort.
  • The best estimate is that only between two and 18 percent of UN aid actually reaches needy Syrians. That aid, moreover, rarely goes to those most in need: the Syrians suffering in opposition-held areas, often under siege.
  • The Syrian government’s ability to hijack the most expensive humanitarian effort on record signals a need for the UN to reform its system for providing aid, which defers to sovereign states even when they have declared war on parts of their own population.
  • If the UN cannot radically improve the terms on which it operates in Syria, it should get out, until Assad’s brutal regime no longer imposes itself on the Syrian people.

Foreign Policy – Lyric Thompson & Christina Asquith / One small step for feminist foreign policy

  • On Sept. 21 and 22, Canada will host the first-ever meeting of female foreign ministers, as part of a package of commitments it made to prioritize women’s issues under its G-7 presidency this year.
  • The concept of a feminist foreign policy was first popularized in 2014 by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom. She has described a feminist foreign policy as “standing against the systematic and global subordination of women” and a “precondition” for achieving Sweden’s wider foreign development and security policy objectives.
  • Reactions to Wallstrom’s ideas have ranged from giggling to outright hostility. Even most countries that talk about a feminist foreign policy aren’t really implementing it; they’re simply adding aid programs for women.
  • Criticism should not be answered by ceasing to use the word “feminist”, but rather by fostering a conversation in which gender equality is not presented as a zero-sum battle where men lose and women win. In reality, it is a rising tide that raises all ships.

Washington Post – Amber Phillips & Kevin Uhrmacher / What Democratic control of Congress would mean for Trump

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 20/09/2018

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Politico – David M. Herszenhorn / At EU summit, upbeat mood music on tough issues

  • At a summit in Salzburg to discuss the EU’s two biggest, lingering crises, the leaders could not claim victory on either front. A Brexit deal is still not at hand. On migration policy, they are as divided as ever. Yet the mood is guardedly optimistic.
  • Despite continuing disagreements on Brexit, particularly over Ireland, the contours of a deal on a withdrawal treaty seem to be in sight. European Council President Donald Tusk said he would propose adding a leaders’ summit in mid-November to help clinch the Brexit deal.
  • Politico – Tom McTague / May to EU: No second vote and no Brexit extension
  • The leaders’ conversation on migration did not break any new ground. Most of the leaders weighed in, a senior EU official said, and there was general agreement to continue building partnerships with countries outside of Europe. On the EU’s own migration policy, including the asylum rules known as the Dublin regulation, the conversation only confirmed that sharp differences persist, according to a senior EU official.

Financial Times – Demetri Sevastopulo & Anjli Raval / Trump seeks to replace Iranian oil sources for allies

  • The Trump administration is working to provide alternative sources of oil to American allies that will be affected because of US sanctions on Iran, according to a senior administration official.
  • The US has demanded that all buyers of Iranian oil cut imports to zero. While countries such as South Korea and France have stopped purchases altogether, India and China are still importing Iranian crude at lower levels.
  • Iran’s exports have already fallen significantly, down at least 500,000 barrels a day since May to below 2m b/d, even before US sanctions against the country’s energy sector officially kick in from November. Brent crude is now close to $80 a barrel.
  • Saudi Arabia and Iraq have increased their output the most, to an extent that has forced some barrels into storage on vessels at sea. South Korea, for instance, has replaced Iranian crude with imports from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, but it is also talks with the US to get a waiver.

Euractiv / Russian oil firm seeks payments in euros amid US sanction threat

  • Surgutneftegaz (representing 11% of oil production in Russia) is pushing buyers to agree to pay for oil in euros instead of dollars if the need arises, apparently as insurance against possible tougher US sanctions, according to traders who deal with the firm.
  • Several other oil firms also already have clauses in their contracts allowing non-dollar payments under some circumstances, said four industry sources.
  • The prospect that causes most alarm for Russian firms is inclusion on a Treasury Department blacklist that effectively cuts them off from conducting transactions in dollars, the lifeblood of the global oil industry.
  • To date, Russia’s oil industry has been able to weather Western sanctions. In response to restricted access to Western finance and technology, firms have switched to borrowing from Russian state banks and developed their own technology.
  • In his State of the Union speech on 12 September, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it was “absurd” that Europe pays for 80% of its energy import bill – worth €300 billion euro a year – in US dollars, when only roughly 2% of the EU’s energy imports come from the US.

European Council on Foreign Relations – Pawel Zerka / Fort Trump, fortress Poland?

  • Across Europe, the impression is building that Poland’s latest moves will inevitably lead to a weakening of the country’s solidarity within the EU. But if the country effectively decides to pivot fully to the US, it would not be its fault alone: both sides would be to blame.
  • Polish president Andrzej Duda made an offer to President Trump; effectively packaged as a ‘deal’ perhaps to appeal to his well-known sensibilities. The US president would get a place named after him; a “Fort Trump” to host American troops in Poland on a permanent basis.
  • Both Trump and Duda repeated their strong criticism of the Nord-Stream 2 project, which Germany is still relentlessly pursuing, all while claiming it to be nothing but an economic venture.
  • France, for its part, failed to invite Poland to join the European Intervention Initiative. The French government’s well-known preference for PESCO involving only a small number of countries only added to Poland’s sense of exclusion.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 19/09/2018

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Haaretz – Amos Harel / Putin absolves Israel over Syria strike, but crisis with Moscow reaches all the way to Tehran

  • The incident in the Syrian skies on Monday night has now put Israel in an extremely difficult position with the Russians, and is liable to negatively influence the strategic freedom of action its air force had enjoyed on the northern front until now.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin absolved Israel of  downing the aircraft, saying the incident was a result of a “tragic chain of circumstances.” However, the Russian Defense Ministry spoke of a “deliberate provocation” by Israel, to which Russia reserves the right to respond.
  • Israeli fighter jets attacked Iranian-related targets in Syria. Syrian aerial defenses tried to thwart the Israeli attack and accidently hit a Russian Air Force plane with a Russian-made missile.
  • The practical implications of Putin’s words will be seen over the next two days: Russia could, for example, demand from Israel an even earlier warning before it strikes; it could enforce a no-fly-zone for Israeli fighter jets near its bases in northern Syria; or it could supply Assad’s army with new aerial defense systems it has so far withheld.

South China Morning Post – Lee Jeong-Ho & agencies / Hopes for peace after North Korea’s Kim Jong-un agrees to shut missile site, visit Seoul

  • North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un agreed to dismantle his main nuclear complex if the US takes “corresponding measures”, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said after a landmark meeting between the two leaders in Pyongyang.
  • Moon said Kim agreed to permanently dismantle a missile engine test site and a launch pad in Tongchang-ri in the presence of international experts as a specific step toward denuclearization.
  • The North Korean leader also to promised to visit Seoul “in the near future”, according to a joint statement. A Seoul visit by Kim would be the first by a North Korean leader since the peninsula was divided decades ago.
  • The joint statement also said the two Koreas agreed to seek to obtain the rights to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

Politico – Joshua Posaner / 5 things to know about the European Commission’s German auto probe

  • The European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, slapped Germany’s big carmakers with an-depth emissions-related collusion probe. The investigation affects the three German auto giants Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen, along with VW subsidiaries Porsche and Audi.
  • Brussels alleges that these carmakers conspired to restrict the development of technology that would have reduced harmful emissions from gasoline and diesel engines in their cars.
  • While VW has posted record profits and sales over recent quarters, despite “Dieselgate”, the damage for politicians seen to be backing the industry is beginning to show, not least in the split over whether to push for software or hardware fixes.
  • The German transport ministry said it would not respond to the probe, but Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer tried to shift attention beyond Germany. “I don’t only see German diesel cars on German roads … That is why I call on foreign car manufacturers to make their contribution in the German diesel debate.”

Project Syndicate – Gordon Brown / Europe’s refugee scandal

  • When aid workers reported in April that children as young as ten were attempting suicide in the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, another tragic facet of the refugee crisis was highlighted: 30 million children around the world are currently displaced, many unaccompanied and in appalling conditions.
  • But the challenges these children face extend far beyond the short term. Even if refugee children eventually manage to get somewhere safe, their prospects are bleak, because most will never have a chance to go to school.
  • In Moria, the existing education centers can only cover 500 children per day – less than half the school-age population. And that number may be set to fall: the largest informal education center, run by UNICEF, is set to close in December due to lack of funding.
  • Fewer than half of school-age refugee children worldwide attend school; not even one in four make it to secondary school; and under 1% go on to pursue a higher education.
  • Financial Times – Chris Giles / The effects of EU migration on Britain in 5 charts

Bonus:

  • ABC – Matthew Carney / Leave no dark corner: China is building a digital dictatorship to exert control over its 1.4 billion citizens. For some, “social credit” will bring privileges — for others, punishment.
  • South China Morning Post / Topic: US-China trade war

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 18/09/2018

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South China Morning Post – Zhou Xi & Wendy Wu / Beijing likely to cancel trade war talks after Donald Trump ups the ante with tariffs on US$200 billion of goods

  • After US President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese products, China is likely to cancel its tentative plans to send Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser to Washington, according to a Chinese government source.
  • Trump’s decision to impose fresh 10 per cent tariffs, starting from next Monday, before increasing them to 25 per cent on January 1, marked a significant escalation of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
  • The two sides have already imposed two previous rounds of 25 per cent tariffs on shipments worth US$50 billion a year.
  • Trump has threatened that if China retaliates to the latest measures, as it has promised to do, then the US will impose further tariffs on another US$267 billion worth of Chinese products – effectively covering almost all Chinese exports to the US.

The New York Times – Andrew Higgins & Rick Gladstone / Russia and Turkey announce demilitarized zone in last rebel-held part of Syria

  • Russia’s defense minister said on Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would refrain from launching an offensive on Idlib Province, the last major rebel stronghold, after the presidents of Russia and Turkey agreed to establish a “demilitarized zone” there by October 15.
  • Details of the agreement were not explained, and it was not immediately clear whether the Syrian government was willing to go along with their plan. But the statements by President Erdogan and President Putin raised hopes that Assad would step back.
  • In delaying an assault on Idlib, Russia could be looking ahead, to a time when it wants to present Assad to the world as the war’s winner who should be supported as he rebuilds the country. Such an argument might be less persuasive after a bloody campaign to subdue Idlib.
  • Putin added that all heavy weapons and “radical militants” must “be withdrawn” from the demilitarized area by October 10. By establishing this deadline, Russia may be seeking to demonstrate to the United Nations and others that the rebels do not want a peaceful settlement and must therefore be removed by force, as Syria has wanted to do all along.

Financial Times – Anne-Marie Slaughter / Transform UN entities from hierarchies into hubs

  • If the post-1945 world order is destined to decay, what will replace it? Trump and a host of like-minded leaders have an answer: tear it down and return to a world of unfettered national sovereignty. Holding to the status quo in the face of this challenge is not the answer.
  • The solution is to focus more on people than on states, by making the Sustainable Development Goals a reality. Governments alone cannot achieve them, but networks, coalitions and alliances of governmental and global actors can.
  • The UN can help, but only by transforming its conception and organization of itself. From the secretary-general down, through all its departments, agencies and permanent representatives, UN entities must transform themselves from hierarchies into hubs.
  • We must stop thinking of the UN as a global power centre, full of people who can order others to take action and solve problems. The power of the UN comes from the fact that its many constituent parts have the legitimacy and centrality to bring vast webs of global actors together, move them towards common goals and measure their progress.

Foreign Policy – Stephen M. Walt / Does it matter that Trump is a liar?

  • According to the Washington Post, as of August 1, Trump had made more than 4,000 false or misleading claims since becoming president, an average of roughly 7.6 per day.
  • But does this compulsive lying really undermine Trump’s ability to conduct foreign policy? According to John Mearsheimer, trust is scarce in foreign policy anyway, and therefore most leaders will check up on what a foreign counterpart is telling them before they accept and act upon it.
  • The bottom line is that leaders have little incentive to lie when dealing with foreign powers. However, they have a big incentive to lie when dealing with their own publics—if only to stay popular—and they are much more likely to get away with it, especially when the subject is foreign policy.
  • All in all, Trump’s lies do matter. First, they Americans look dumber in the eyes of the rest of the world, and lose the moral high ground. Second, bad behavior (to include lying) is no longer deterred by the fear of public shame and subsequent discredit. Lastly, other countries may end up resenting his lies, even if all states tend to view one another’s pledges with a certain skepticism anyway.

Brookings / Trans-Atlantic scorecard – September 2018

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 17/09/2018

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The New York Times – Marc Santora & Julian E. Barnes / In the Balkans, Russia and the West fight a disinformation-age battle

  • A referendum, scheduled for September 30, will ask Macedonian voters whether to end a three-decadedispute with Greece by renaming their country North Macedonia.
  • Macedonian and Western officials say there is a flurry of disinformation activity on social media directed by Russian-backed groups trying to stoke fears and depress turnout in a vote that could put this Balkan nation on a path to join the EU and NATO.
  • Western diplomats say that 40 new websites are popping up each day on Facebook to encourage people to boycott the referendum.
  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg: “We see Russia is trying to meddle, to spread disinformation … But Russia is not winning.” Stoltenberg highlighted that opinion polls continue to show majority support for the country’s name change.
  • Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary James Mattis will visit Skopje today in order to show American resolve — even as some Republicans in Washington are increasingly resistant to expanding NATO.
  • Politico – Bruno Maçães / Let the Balkan Great Games begin
  • Euractiv — Hashim Thaçi / For a peaceful border correction between Kosovo and Serbia

The New York Times – Helene Cooper / Fraying ties with Trump put Jim Mattis’s fate in doubt

  • Interviews with current and former US officials over the past six weeks paint a portrait of a president who has soured on his defense secretary, weary of unfavorable comparisons to James Mattis as the adult in the room, and increasingly concerned that he is a Democrat at heart.
  • Over the last four months alone, Trump and Mattis have found themselves at odds over NATO policy, whether to resume large-scale military exercises with South Korea and, privately, whether Trump’s decision to cease implementation of the Iran nuclear deal has proved effective.
  • Trump, two aides said, wants Mattis to be more like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a political supporter of the president.
  • For Trump, getting rid of his popular defense secretary would carry a political cost. Mattis is revered by the men and women of the American military, while moderate Republicans — whom Trump will need in 2020 — appear to trust Mattis as well.

Brookings – David Dollar / US-China trade war has its seeds in the financial crisis

  • After the 2008 crisis, China restored its GDP growth rate very quickly. However, the crisis has had a lasting effect on the Chinese economy and on US-China relations.
  • In many ways, the seeds of the current trade war were sown in the financial crisis. It was always likely that a reforming China would gradually catch up with the United States, but the crisis greatly accelerated the process.
  • The problem for the United States is not that it used fiscal stimulus during the crisis, as China did, but rather that it has doubled down on fiscal stimulus at a time when the economy is running at full capacity. This will put the United States in a weaker position to deal with any new shocks.
  • Aside from the shock to the economy, the crisis was also a shock to faith in the market system. Up until then, China had been on a steady path of opening and reform. Since then, no further reforms of the Chinese financial system have taken place. China’s lost decade of reform is an irritant and an easy distraction from America’s real problems.

Euractiv – Benjamin Fox / The EU’s bank in Africa steps up the action

  • Whether or not Jean-Claude Juncker’s plans for a “partnership of equals” with Africa becomes reality any time soon, the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank will have an ever-increasing role in the continent.
  • The EIB has been steadily expanding its operations in East Africa in recent years, opening a bureau in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa alongside its long-standing office in Kenya.
  • The EIB operates with a network of IFIs/DFIs including the World Bank, African Development Bank, Japan’s JICA as well as European bilateral institutions such as the French AFD and Proparco and the German KfW and DEG.
  • The EU’s External Investment Plan (EIP) promises to leverage €44 billion of investment, predominantly in Africa, by 2020, commitments that may now be stepped up following Juncker’s State of the Union speech last week.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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