Search our archive

Low interest rates, secular stagnation and debt

By Claudio Borio - Piti Disyatat in Economics and Finance, June 20, 2014

Real interest rates have fallen to historic lows, and some economists are concerned that an era of secular stagnation has begun.

Is ISIS on the March in Iraq?

By Aaron Edwards in Politics, June 18, 2014

The remarkable resurgence of Sunni-fundamentalist violence in Iraq has taken the west by surprise, yet it is a symptom of the long-evident inability of the Shia-led government there to exercise authority impartially.

Ramblings from Baghdad

By Jaffar Al-Rikabi in Politics, June 14, 2014

One thing this is definitely not about: the wishes of the Iraqi people. Local Sunni citizens who are the alleged beneficiaries of these rebels are not polled – they are merely brainwashed, bribed, expelled, beaten, or killed.

John L. Sullivan Fights America

By Christopher Klein in Features, June 12, 2014

In 1883, the Irish-American heavy-weight boxing champion John L. Sullivan went on a tour of the USA offering a prize to any person who could last four rounds with him in the ring. A true story of how the railroads and the popular press made Sullivan into America’s first sports superstar.

Let Them Eat Carbon

By Michael Klare in Environment,

Like Big Tobacco, Big Energy targets the developing world for future profits. The fossil fuel companies—producers of oil, coal, and natural gas—are similarly expanding their operations in low- and middle-income countries where ensuring the growth of energy supplies is considered more critical than preventing climate catastrophe.

Saudi Arabia-Iran: resilient animosity?

By Kanchi Gupta in Politics, June 6, 2014

Cautious conciliatory overtures between Riyadh and Tehran indicate that the realities of the regional power balance might outweigh long-standing hostilities and differences on political and religious ideologies.

Geological Shifts

By Peter Arnott in Features, June 3, 2014

Scottish playwright Peter Arnott continues his chronicles of the lead-up to the referendum for Scottish independence and finds that Scotland’s elite is as reluctant to renounce its sense of entitlement as Westminster is to let go of Scotland. Whatever the final result, a fundamental shift of sovereignty is under way in Scotland

Quo vadis, Europe?

By Zygmunt Bauman in Features,

Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds, Zygmunt Bauman explains that Europeans, like most other inhabitants of the planet, are currently facing the crisis of ’politics as we know it’ – a state of “interregnum” – as the great Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci described a time in which the old is already dead or dying, but the new has not yet been born.

Narendra Modi: Pragmatist or Ideologue?

By Rajan Menon in Politics, May 29, 2014

Indian Prime Minister Modi is a well-known Hindu nationalist. On foreign policy, he seems more likely to show his pragmatic side. But the major changes will likely be on the home front.

The Cost of Justice in Japan

By Anthony Head in Features, May 28, 2014

When the legal authorities finally decided to reopen a 1966 murder case in which the young boxer, Iwao Hakamada, had been sentenced to death, the DNA tests showed that the evidence against him had been fabricated. After decades on death row, he has finally been released.