An assessment of the state of the world economy

By Olivier Blanchard in Economics and Finance

What has struck me the most as I was writing the foreword to the April World Economic Outlook is the complexity of the forces shaping macroeconomic evolutions around the world and the resulting difficulty of distilling a simple bottom line. Let me develop and expand. Two deep forces are shaping these evolutions over the medium […]

Review: Gazdanov’s ‘The Spectre of Alexander Wolf’

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture

This short novel by the Russian emigré writer, Gaito Gazdanov, takes you by the scruff of the neck with the very first lines and does not let you go until the suspense has been drained from you on the very last page. ‘Of all my memories, of all my life’s innumerable sensations, the most onerous […]

Murder in Lombard St: The Commercial War of 1379

By Amedeo Feniello in Features

August 1379: a man has been murdered near Lombard Street in London. The victim, only recently arrived in the city, is a Genoese ship owner and merchant named Giano Imperiale. Bearing letters patent from the King of England , Edward III, Giano had rented a house in St Nicholas Acon Lane, just off Lombard Street […]

The coming defaults of Greece

By Charles Wyplosz in Economics and Finance

When thinking about Greece’s dilemma, two facts from Reinhart and Rogoff (2009) research are highly relevant: * Defaults on public debts are pretty mundane events; and * Greece is historically the world’s leading serious defaulter. What makes the coming event interesting is that it will be the first time that a default occurs within a […]

A case that blew the lid off the World Bank’s secret courts

By Jim Shultz in Politics

There’s an international awakening afoot about a radical expansion of corporate power — one that sits at the center of two historic global trade deals nearing completion. One focuses the United States toward Europe — that’s the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) — and the other toward Asia, in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Both would […]

Obama’s Triple Crown

By John Feffer in Politics

It was only a couple years ago that I was bemoaning Obama’s failure to fulfill his promise to resolve major confrontations in the world diplomatically. “Smart power,” in the Obama lexicon, had largely been window dressing on the same old exercise of hard power — the widespread drone strikes, the surge in Afghanistan, the intervention […]

China’s new silk roads tie together 3 continents

By Brian Eyler in Environment

China recently unveiled an action plan for its controversial One Belt, One Road initiative to link its economy with the rest of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.  Known as the ‘new silk roads’, it combines new infrastructure networks of roads, railway lines, ports to strengthen trade, investment, and people-to-people cooperation. The initiative will […]

Deflation: Transferring Wealth to Rentiers

By Ann Pettifor in Features

Deflation, as we have already seen, involves a transference of wealth from the rest of the community to the rentier class and to all holders of titles to money; just as inflation involves the opposite.  In particular it involves a transference from all borrowers, that is to say from traders, manufacturers, and farmers, to lenders, […]

Yemen: seeds of conflict, ground of transition

By Prince Hassan of Jordan in Politics

During the many crises that have engulfed the Arab region from the occupation of Iraq in 2003 to the latest upheaval in Yemen,  a consistent theme of my analysis has been to emphasise the limitations of that much-touted panacea, “a political solution”. The proposition has gathered increasing force over the years: in those lands of […]

Newsletter – April 2015

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month Professor of Medieval History Alessandro Barbero examines a defining moment in European history, the Battle of Poitiers in 732 AC when Charles Martel defeated the “wali” of al-Andalus; Oleguer Sarsanedas, explains that Spain appears to be heading towards an evolved party system in which the big players will […]

Elections in Argentina

By Fabián Rodríguez in Politics

With more than 40 million inhabitants Argentina is South America’s second biggest economy. For many years, the country operated as a virtual laboratory for the implementation of explicit neoliberal policies, a process interrupted only at the beginning of the present century by widespread public protest. Now, after 12 uninterrupted years of progressive governments, it faces […]

Tunisia, bridging the gulf

By Francis Ghilès in Politics

The murderous attack on foreign tourists visiting the Bardo museum in Tunis on 16 March 2015 has made clear in the worst possible way how crucial is the fate of Tunisia to the wider region. Both the death-toll, twenty cruise-ship visitors from six nations and a local policeman, and the location – the museum is […]


By Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere in Features

“Newroz has been celebrated for roughly 5000 years in these lands” said Gülnaz Beyaz, an Ezidi woman in traditional dress who came all the way from Germany to participate in the Mesopotamian New Year’s festivities in Diyarbakir (Kurdish: Amed). Later on 21 March, co-mayor Fırat Anlı of Diyarbakır, the biggest city in Turkey-Kurdistan and the […]

What Europe needs is an EIIB, not an AIIB

By François Godement in Economics and Finance

If Europe’s actions are watched from heaven, they must indeed bring some puzzlement. Here is a continent that is engaged in a prolonged drive to balance its public budgets, and is therefore starved for major investments – such as the infrastructure (transport, energy, telecommunication, alternative energy) needed to achieve better European integration and security. Here […]

Netanyahu’s Victory Is Just as Bad as It Looks

By Mitchell Plitnick in Politics

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has scored a dramatic victory, far outpacing the pre-election and exit polls. The consequences for Israelis, Palestinians, and the rest of the world could be very grave. This surprising result undoubtedly came about because of some combination of the pollsters simply being wrong and Netanyahu’s last-minute tactics, which included some […]

Greece and the European Neoliberal Cage

By Dimitris Pavlopoulos and Yiorgos Vassalos in Politics

SYRIZA’s victory in the Greek elections of 25 January raised a wave of hope across Europe.  The dominance of the austerity-oriented conservative and social democratic parties was at last challenged by the victory of a leftist anti-austerity party, signalling a possible change of course in Europe. But one month into a SYRIZA-led administration, the prospects […]