The BRICS bank

By John Weeks in Economics and Finance

For many years, various officials of governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America have urged the creation of a ‘development’ bank that they would control. On Tuesday 15 July, those hopes become a reality in Forteleza, Brazil, with the formal creation of the New Development Bank by the leaders of the so-called BRICS group of […]

Long-term damage of the Argentinian debt ruling

By Jeffrey Frankel in Economics and Finance

US federal courts have ruled that Argentina is prohibited from making payments to fulfil 2005 and 2010 agreements with its creditors to restructure its debt, so long as it is not also paying the few creditors that have all along been holdouts from those agreements. The judgment is likely to stick because the judge (Thomas Griesa, […]

German Brazilians in Southern Brazil

By Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere in Travel Writing

Since 2009 it is even being taught at several schools. However despite these efforts to preserve German culture, as far as soccer is concerned, they are 100% Brazilian. Well, at least until 8 July. Without the palm trees, the forest between Reitersberg and Theewalt (Tea Forest) could be a forest in Germany. It should have […]

Newsletter – July 2014

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to this month’s issue of  The Global Dispatches. We have Sergii Leshchenko, Deputy-Editor-in-Chief of Ukrainska Pravda on Ukraine’s new President Petro Poroshenko, economists ClaudioBorio and Piti Disyatat on secular stagnation and debt, Jaffar Al-Rikabi in Baghdad waiting for the arrival if the ISIS, Christopher Klein on John L. Sullivan,  the Irish-American heavy-weight boxing champion who […]


By Geoffrey Heptonstall in Arts and Culture

When the essayist Anne Fadiman was asked if she would like to be part of something new called civilisation she agreed. What else was she to say to a question like that? To begin with she did not understand the Library of Congress journal Civilization was looking for its first editor. Gandhi famously quipped that […]

Sweet Talking in Ukraine

By Sergii Leshchenko in Politics

For four months, Ukraine has been in a state of undeclared war. First, the Kremlin used its soldiers to annex the Crimean peninsula. Now it is openly sending mercenaries from the depressed regions and republics of the Caucasus into the Donetsk and Luhansk regions; military hardware as well. Confirmation that the militants were being armed […]

Jonathan Faces the North

By Africa Confidential in Politics

The deepening security crisis in northern Nigeria and along the borders with Cameroon and Niger has galvanised more attention internationally than in Abuja. Last week, it was Britain’s turn to hold a security conference on northern Nigeria. It invited an impressive group of diplomats and security experts. Many also attended the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, […]

Low interest rates, secular stagnation and debt

By Claudio Borio - Piti Disyatat in Economics and Finance

Today, the US government can borrow for ten years at a fixed rate of around 2.5%. Adjusted for expected inflation, this translates into a real borrowing cost of under 0.5%. A year ago, real rates were actually negative. With low interest rates dominating the developed world, many worry that an era of secular stagnation has […]

Is ISIS on the March in Iraq?

By Aaron Edwards in Politics

In his essay A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq (2003), the late Christopher Hitchens observed how al-Qaeda’s “means, its ends, and its ideology all consist of the application of fanatical violence and violent fanaticism, and of no other things”. It was, he brooded, “partly a corrupt multinational corporation, partly a crime family, […]

Ramblings from Baghdad

By Jaffar Al-Rikabi in Politics

18:30 Baghdad time, June-13-2014 I have been in Iraq for around three weeks now, mainly in Baghdad. My greatest fears prior to the national elections, of a violent onslaught on innocent citizens and on the fragile Iraqi democratic state, is being realized before my eyes: later than I expected, but to a much more frightening […]

John L. Sullivan Fights America

By Christopher Klein in Features

This article was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. If you wish to reuse it please see: ======================================== A dense ocean of humanity lapped up to the doorstep of John L. Sullivan’s gilded liquor palace. Heads craned and tilted as hordes of Bostonians attempted to steal a passing glance […]

Let Them Eat Carbon

By Michael Klare in Environment

In the 1980s, encountering regulatory restrictions and public resistance to smoking in the United States, the giant tobacco companies came up with a particularly effective strategy for sustaining their profit levels: sell more cigarettes in the developing world, where demand was strong and anti-tobacco regulation weak or nonexistent. Now, the giant energy companies are taking […]

Saudi Arabia-Iran: resilient animosity?

By Kanchi Gupta in Politics

One of the main policy agendas of Iran’s president Rouhani’s government is ‘constructive engagement’ with all six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif visited Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the UAE. President Rouhani’s visit to Oman resulted in a historic gas pipeline agreement between the two states. Despite Rouhani’s calls […]

Newsletter – June 2014

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

  This month we publish Glaswegian playwright Peter Arnott’s second essay on the Scottish Independence debate; Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds, Zygmunt Bauman explains that Europeans, like most other inhabitants of the planet, are currently facing a crisis of ’politics as we know it’; Anthony Head on the recent release of […]

Geological Shifts

By Peter Arnott in Features

Signal Rock At the bottom end of Glencoe, a car journey down which in any weather partakes of both the sublime and the terrible, is an underdeveloped and underwhelming tourist attraction which goes by the name of Signal Rock.  You reach it by a cleared pathway down and into the Forestry Commission planted woods a […]

Quo vadis, Europe?

By Zygmunt Bauman in Features

In studying the set of fateful departures occurring in Europe three centuries ago, the eminent historian Reinhart Koselleck introduced a metaphor of climbing up to a yet unmapped and un-reached mountain pass. But as you try to reach that pass far up, you can only guess what sort of sight will open to you once […]