Negative rates, negative reactions

By Mark Cliffe in Economics and Finance

In their struggle to keep up the momentum of economic growth, central banks are turning to negative interest rate policy (NIRP) as their weapon of choice. Amid doubts about the impact of further large-scale asset purchases, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has recently followed the ECB and other European counterparts in imposing negative rates on […]

“Tram 83” by Fiston Mwanza Mujila

By Allston Mitchell in Features

Originally from Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the author he now lives in Graz, Austria.  His debut novel Tram 83 won the Grand Prix du Premier Roman des SGDL and his style has been compared to  Céline, and Hunter S. Thompson and even John Coltrane. Tram 83 was translated by Roland Glasser from the […]

Nationalism Fever Strikes India

By L K Sharma in Politics

The current great debate in India about being national and anti-national has been called by an eminent film-maker a “great comedy”. The situation does seem bizarre. The “anti-nationals” are being asked to leave the country and go to Pakistan. They in turn say that those waving the flags of patriotism want to destroy the idea […]

How a Little Pink Flower Defeated a World Superpower

By Alfred W. McCoy in Features

After fighting the longest war in its history, the United States stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How can this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for 15 years, deploying 100,000 of its finest troops, sacrificing the lives of 2,200 of those soldiers, spending more than a trillion dollars […]

Europe is our battlefield

By Neal Lawson in Features

The pistol has now been fired for so many debates we are so badly prepared for. The future of Britain, the future of Europe, the future of Britain in Europe and maybe the future of both without each other. For once in over 40 years the people of Britain, all of its people, are being […]

A realignment of Irish politics

By Barry Colfer in Politics

In 2008, Ireland became the first Eurozone member to enter recession. Between 2007 and 2010 the economy contracted with a peak-to-trough decline of 12.4% of GDP, and tax receipts fell by 33%. The crisis was precipitated by the bursting of a property bubble, the collapse of the construction industry in which 1 in 9 people […]

The Republican implosion

By Lawrence Rosenthal in Politics

In the year 2000, George W. Bush’s signal political achievement was uniting an already fractious Republican Party behind him and coming within 550,000 votes of Gore-Lieberman in the general election. His father’s re-election campaign in 1992 was undone by a rebellion in the party led by Newt Gingrich. In 1996 Pat Buchanan with his “pitchfork […]

Monthly Newsletter – February 2016

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month we start with a review of the book on the Syrian crisis by Charles Glass an excellent handbook to the crisis by an expert in the field; Robert J. Barro, the Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics at Harvard University talks us through the hot issue of the […]

“Syria Burning” by Charles Glass

By Allston Mitchell in Features

As Patrick Coburn, the eminent Middle Eastern correspondent, states in his preface to the book “: “The war in Syria has long-needed a good book to explain what and why it is happening.”  This is it. Charles Glass’s book takes us from March 2011 when the government cracked down on local demonstrations that transformed into […]

China’s growth prospects

By Robert Barro in Economics and Finance

China’s diminished growth prospects have figured prominently in recent commentaries about global economic conditions and world stock markets (e.g. Frankel 2016).  The general view, with which I concur, is that China will grow in the future at a much slower rate than it has in recent decades.  This growth slowdown will reduce international trade and […]

Writers get bouquets, not brickbats

By L K Sharma in Arts and Culture

The Jaipur Literature Festival passed off peacefully!  The formulaic beginning, used for surcharged political rallies in India, is appropriate for this literary meet because of the ongoing furious debate on the freedom of expression and rising intolerance. For five days, Jaipur saw a large gathering of writers many of whom have been damned as anti-national […]

RIP Astrit Dakli

By Allston Mitchell in Politics


Book review: The Egyptians

By Mariam Ali in Features

On Monday, if you were in Tahrir Square and didn’t know any better, you might have been forgiven for thinking that 25 January in Egypt marked nothing more than ‘police day’, as it did before 2011. People handed roses to security forces who filled the Square, long scrubbed of graffiti. You might have been forgiven […]

Something is rotten in the state of Tunisia

By Francis Ghilès in Politics

This is a country whose government seems unwilling or incapable of conducting desperately needed reforms, and whose economy is flat; where living conditions for the majority have deteriorated since they overthrew their erstwhile dictator, Ben Ali, five years ago. Two of the three engines of growth, tourism and the phosphate/fertilizer industry, have stalled and unemployment […]

The price of oil, China, and stock market herding

By Olivier Blanchard in Economics and Finance

The stock market movements of the last two weeks are puzzling. Take the China explanation. A collapse of growth in China would indeed be a world-changing event. But there is just no evidence of such a collapse. At most, there is suggestive evidence of a mild slowdown, and even that is far from certain. The […]

Turning Down the Heat

By Julian Kirchherr - Karsten Haustein in Environment

The outcomes of the Paris talks have been greeted with great enthusiasm by the global community. Spiegel Online, Germany’s largest news website titled “the miracle of Paris”, Huffington Post, an American blog, even called them “one huge step for mankind”. The World Bank celebrated the talks as a “game changer”. Meanwhile, François Hollande, France’s president, […]