The bond-equity allocation of the Norwegian sovereign fund

By Espen Henriksen - Knut Anton Mork in

The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund (the GPFG or, colloquially, ‘the Oil Fund’) is the world’s largest at more than $850 billion.1 A committee appointed by the government (‘The Mork Committee’) presented its recommendations today on the composition of the strategic reference portfolio.2 ‘The Norway Model’ The management of the GPFG has some clearly visible attributes: rigorous, […]

What will happen when China’s future is today?

By Kerry Brown in

Visions of a great future have played a huge role in China’s past, particularly since the rise of the communists and their victory in 1949. Mao Zedong’s thinking had a utopian strand from the very start, married as it was to progressive ideas about human, political and social perfectibility. Society was marching towards a future […]

Newsletter – October 2016

By Allston Mitchell in

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month Maged Mandour looks back at the 2011 Egyptian revolution; Ryan Suto opines on America’s outdated special relationship with Saudi Arabia; Sergio Carrera and Aikaterini Drakopoulou look at the profound political, legal and ethical costs of reducing refugee flows. The EU-Turkey Statement shows how the political shenanigans indulged in […]

Whose revolution?

By Maged Mandour in

The mass protests that erupted in Egypt in 2011, and their aftermath, were dubbed ‘a revolution’ by both opponents and proponents. The label, on the one hand, has been used to discredit the protests; described as a destructive force that is the reason for the abysmal state of the Egyptian economy. On the other hand, […]

America’s Outdated Relationship with Saudi Arabia

By Ryan Suto in

Like other longstanding American relationships in the Middle East, the ties between Washington and Riyadh have nothing to do with human rights or democracy. The alliance rests mostly on two key factors: natural resources and regional stability. First, in addition to being the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the House of Saud is the […]

Unsafe Turkey, unsafe Europe

By Sergio Carrera - Aikaterini Drakopoulou in

The marked increase in refugee flows from Turkey to Greece and subsequently to other EU Member States during the second half of 2015 and first months of 2016 triggered a political tornado – with political manoeuvres shifting between European institutions and member state authorities. In an attempt to control continuing flows, cooperation with Turkey has […]

Mosul, the next target

By Paul Rogers in

The Syrian city of Raqqa is regarded as the operational headquarters of ISIS. But Mosul, the second city of Iraq, is far more populous. And ISIS’s rapid expansion from 2013 culminated there, when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the existence of an Islamic caliphate in Mosul’s chief mosque on 4 July 2014. ISIS propaganda greeted this […]

The Mariinsky Ballet

By Valentina Bonelli in

A ballet company is a living organism made up of a number of factors: history, culture, economics and also an element of fate. This is particularly true of the Mariinsky Ballet of St Petersburg which, for better or for worse, has been significantly affected by all of these factors. The company had a glorious beginning, […]

Tiberius and his Villa at Sperlonga

By Ludovico Pisani in

Sperlonga is just a few hundred kilometres south of Rome, between the towns of Gaeta and Terracina. The Emperor Tiberius chose this site for his summer residence: a beautiful natural setting right on the sea. Signs of human life have been found dating from the Upper Palaeolithic era and according to tradition, this is the […]

Colombia and the plebiscite: the peace that wasn’t

By Juan Gabriel Tokatlian in

After 52 years, four months and five days of an armed conflict that has left more than 8 million victims, Colombians rejected in a plebiscite (50.2% vs. 49.7%) the commitment to peace agreed by the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). How are we to understand such a paradoxical and unexpected […]

How quantitative easing works

By Marco Di Maggio, Amir Kermani, Christopher Palmer in

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke famously quipped in 2014 that QE “works in practice, but it doesn’t work in theory”. Central banks around the world seem convinced; among others, the ECB, the Bank of England, and the Bank of Japan have recently expanded their large-scale asset purchasing programmes (LSAPs) to stimulate their economies. In […]

Newsletter – September 2016

By Allston Mitchell in

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month we have the Vice President of Bolivia Álvaro García Linera expounding his belief that revolutions come in waves. We publish his address to the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires; René Lefort, the author of “Ethiopia. An heretical revolution?” explains that there is every […]

A flashpoint in South Asia?

By L K Sharma in

Pakistan and India are engaged in a war of words at the highest level. Unusually provocative statements have been made by the two Prime Ministers. The area of contest and conflict has been widened. The TV channels in the two countries beat the war drums every night. Pakistan queered the pitch when it saw India […]

The ‘Ethiopian Spring’

By René Lefort in

The Ethiopian leadership remains in denial. The long meetings of its ruling bodies have culminated in a report on 15 years of national “rebirth”, in which it awards itself good marks, while acknowledging the existence of a few problems here and there. Nonetheless, the odd warning signal may be heard – though very seldom – […]

The ebbing Latin American tide

By Álvaro Marcelo García Linera in

I would like to reflect on what is happening, on what I see happening in the continent. We are facing a historical turning point. Some are talking about a throwback, about restorers moving forward. The truth is that in the last twelve months, after ten years of intense progress, of territorial diffusion of the progressive and […]

Lorca: 80 Years in a Mass Grave

By Allston Mitchell in

«Dadle café, mucho café!» When José Valdés Guzmán, the Gobernador Civil of Granada phoned General Queipo de Llano in Seville to ask him what was to be done with the prisoner Federico Garcia Lorca, the general’s reply was unequivocal. The café in question was not coffee – Quiepo de Llano was in fact referring to […]