Transport of empty containers a thing of the past

It is estimated that 25% (2.5 million TEU) of all containers shipped by road, rail or inland shipping are empty. The 'transport of air' is not only expensive and inefficient, it also impacts the environment more than necessary. InlandLinks, the port of Rotterdam's online intermodal platform, has developed an application to substantially reduce the transport … Continue reading Transport of empty containers a thing of the past

Much Bigger Than The Shutdown: Niall Ferguson’s Public Flogging Of Paul Krugman

by Ralph Benko While America was distracted by the theatrics of the government shutdown and threat of default something of much greater importance occurred.  Niall Ferguson undertook a public flogging of Paul Krugman. Krugman’s horns now forever will show under his dislodged faux halo. For this the world will prove a safer, and much more … Continue reading Much Bigger Than The Shutdown: Niall Ferguson’s Public Flogging Of Paul Krugman

Mexico’s Zetas Are Not Finished Yet

By Scott Stewart and Tristan Reed During the question-and-answer portion of our quarterly Mexico Security Monitor webinar, we were asked a question pertaining to the current status of Los Zetas. The question was something to the effect of: "Some Mexican media outlets and analysts claim that Los Zetas have been dismantled as an organization and … Continue reading Mexico’s Zetas Are Not Finished Yet

Brazilian long-term challenges remain, says OECD

Brazil has moved up the ranks of the world’s largest economies while making economic growth ever more inclusive. Renewed economic dynamism will allow it to continue converging with more advanced economies and ensuring that disadvantaged groups share in the benefits of future growth, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of Brazil. The report points … Continue reading Brazilian long-term challenges remain, says OECD

U.S. Foreign Policy from the Founders’ Perspective

By George Friedman Last week I discussed how the Founding Fathers might view the American debt crisis and the government shutdown. This week I thought it would be useful to consider how the founders might view foreign policy. I argued that on domestic policy they had clear principles, but unlike their ideology, those principles were … Continue reading U.S. Foreign Policy from the Founders’ Perspective

Details of the EU-Canada trade deal

Canada and the European Union last Friday reached a political agreement on the key elements of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) after months of intense negotiations between EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht and Canadian trade Minister Ed Fast. It will be the first free trade agreement between the European Union and a G8 … Continue reading Details of the EU-Canada trade deal

The Government Shutdown as The Cruz ‘Crisis’: Dangerous Opportunity

by Ralph Benko The government “shutdown” properly should be called “the Cruz Crisis.” This indeed is a crisis in the Chinese nuanced sense. The Chinese character, weiji, usually is translated  “dangerous opportunity.” Actually it means “precarious pivot  point.”  That describes perfectly where Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) stands… and has pushed the Republican Party.  Ted Cruz has made himself the point  … Continue reading The Government Shutdown as The Cruz ‘Crisis’: Dangerous Opportunity

Top 100 EU regulations cost the UK economy £27.4 billion a year

EU leaders will meet in Brussels this week to discuss ways to improve growth and competitiveness across Europe. Ahead of this meeting, Open Europe has published a list of the 100 most costly EU regulations to the UK economy. Using data from the UK Government’s impact assessments of these rules, Open Europe estimates that the top … Continue reading Top 100 EU regulations cost the UK economy £27.4 billion a year

A tycoon bites the Dutch dust

Lebanese-Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim appears to have lost a major battle in his bid to control Dutch telecoms firm KPN, as he has cancelled his América Movil company’s announced bid for a majority of the telecom firms shares. It its statement of October 16th, América Movil blamed KPN’s obstructive and non-cooperative stand. As we noted … Continue reading A tycoon bites the Dutch dust

As Brazil’s protests become a fading memory, the presidential campaign seems increasingly “old school”

By Arnout Nuijt It’s been months now since we saw a completely unpredicted, rare and wild explosion of mass demonstrations and protests against the authorities in Brazil. The protests were not aimed directly at Dilma’s present PT-led government, but at all parties, state governments as well as municipalities, in short Brazil’s corrupt and inefficient political … Continue reading As Brazil’s protests become a fading memory, the presidential campaign seems increasingly “old school”

Japan, C Europe show fastest employment growth

The OECD area employment rate – defined as the share of people of working-age who are employed – was 65.1% in the second quarter of 2013, 0.1 percentage point higher than in the previous quarter. This was still 1.4 percentage points below the level recorded in the second quarter of 2008, the quarter preceding the … Continue reading Japan, C Europe show fastest employment growth

The 1% that Can Fix the State

by Ralph Benko “The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” – Ernest Hemingway, Notes on the Next War: A Serious Topical Letter The transition from total … Continue reading The 1% that Can Fix the State

The U.S. Debt Crisis from the Founders’ Perspective

By George Friedman The U.S. government is paralyzed, and we now face the possibility that the United States will default on its debt. Congress is unable to resolve the issue, and President Obama is as obstinate as the legislators who oppose him. To some extent, our political system is functioning as intended -- the Founding … Continue reading The U.S. Debt Crisis from the Founders’ Perspective

G20 inflation slows to 3.0 % in August 2013

Annual inflation in the G20 was 3.0 % in the year to August 2013, down from 3.2 % in the year to July 2013. The G20 aggregate reflects diverging patterns among the world’s largest economies. India, Argentina, Indonesia and Turkey experienced the highest annual inflation rates (equal to or above 8.0 %) in August 2013, … Continue reading G20 inflation slows to 3.0 % in August 2013

Emerging Europe and Central Asia on the rebound

Economic growth in the Emerging Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region suffered during the global financial and Eurozone crises but has started to rebound, with projected modest growth rates of 2.2. percent in 2013 and 3.1 percent in 2014, World Bank officials said at a press briefing during the 2013 World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings. However, … Continue reading Emerging Europe and Central Asia on the rebound

Foreign Direct Investment Flows to Latin America Rose by 6% in the First Half of 2013

Foreign direct investment (FDI) to Latin America displayed moderate growth in the first half of this year, compared with the year-earlier period in 2012, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The 13 countries of the region that provided data received 102.951 billion dollars, which was 6% higher than the … Continue reading Foreign Direct Investment Flows to Latin America Rose by 6% in the First Half of 2013

Peru, Panama are Latin America’s fastest growing economies

Latam forecasts go from rates at or below 1 percent for Jamaica and Venezuela, to Asian-style growth rates of 5.5 and 8 percent for the two best performers in the region in the past decade, Peru and Panama, respectively. Reassuringly, a good number of mid-sized Latam countries (such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, … Continue reading Peru, Panama are Latin America’s fastest growing economies

Intercultural communication? Just be yourself

By Arnout Nuijt Many, many years ago, he was “my first Mexican”, the diplomat who came to visit us at our office. He never knew it, but he taught me the risks of cultural profiling, the generalisations and assumptions we make of the world’s different cultures and their ways of doing business, aka intercultural communication. … Continue reading Intercultural communication? Just be yourself

The Republican Civil War: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

By Ralph Benko Open warfare has broken out inside the GOP (the Grand Old Party - the Republicans, ed) between Tea Party  Insurgents and the Republican Party Regulars.  It revolves around  tactics, more than policy.  It’s an old-fashioned power struggle. The Insurgents’ protagonist is charismatic freshman U.S. Senator Ted  Cruz. Behind him are a handful of powerful Insurgent … Continue reading The Republican Civil War: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

The Roots of the Government Shutdown

By George Friedman In general, Stratfor deals with U.S. domestic politics only to the extent that it affects international affairs. Certainly, this topic has been argued and analyzed extensively. Nevertheless, the shutdown of the American government is a topic that must be understood from our point of view, because it raises the issue of whether … Continue reading The Roots of the Government Shutdown

Once Made in Rotterdam: Netam electric vehicles

Now and then Rotterdam Week will focus on historic innovative industries in the greater Rotterdam region. In a first of this series, we take a look at the Netam-L-Car. During the German occupation of the city, in 1941, the Netam company (aka NV Nederlandsche Tank-Apparaten en Machinefabriek “Netam”) developed a number of electrically propelled vehicles … Continue reading Once Made in Rotterdam: Netam electric vehicles

Philippines to outperform other Asian economies

Developing East Asia is growing at a slower pace but the Philippines expects to buck this trend in the next three years, says the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Economic Update. The positive forecast for the Philippines is attributed to strong private consumption on the back of vibrant remittances, continuing expansion of business process outsourcing … Continue reading Philippines to outperform other Asian economies

Africa tourism set for high growth, new jobs, and more investment than other regions

Sub Saharan Africa’s tourism industry is set to spur more economic growth for the continent and directly employ 6.7 million people by 2021, according to a new World Bank report. The report—Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Growth and Improved Livelihoods—says that tourism accounted directly or indirectly for one in every 20 jobs in Sub … Continue reading Africa tourism set for high growth, new jobs, and more investment than other regions

Moody’s downgrades Petrobras as it turns 60

As  Petrobras turned 60 years old on October 3rd, Moody's Investors Service downgraded its global foreign currency and local currency debt ratings to Baa1 from A3. The downgrade reflects Petrobras's high financial leverage and the expectation that the company will continue to have large negative cash flow over the next few years as it pursues … Continue reading Moody’s downgrades Petrobras as it turns 60

U.S. and Iranian Realities

By George Friedman U.S. President Barack Obama called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week  in the first such conversation in the 34 years since the establishment of the  Islamic Republic. The phone call followed tweets and public statements on both  sides indicating a willingness to talk. Though far from an accommodation between  the two countries, … Continue reading U.S. and Iranian Realities

South Africa: IMF urges firm reform

South Africa’s economy has made important strides over the past two decades. Rising income levels have resulted in declining poverty rates, and strong institutions and policy frameworks have contributed to macroeconomic stability and greater integration with the global economy. However, in recent years the country’s structural problems that are holding back growth and job creation … Continue reading South Africa: IMF urges firm reform

The Gold Standard is no fairy tale

by Ralph Benko Once upon a time — September 17th — Reuters published a delightfully preposterous blunderbuss of a blog. It served up a one-sided attack on conservatives.  It did so as part of what it calls The Great Debate. Well, a debate has two sides. This was A Great Soliloquy. Here’s the side Reuters … Continue reading The Gold Standard is no fairy tale

Stratfor’s Fourth Quarter Forecast

First, the issue everyone is talking about -- a developing rapprochement between U.S. and Iran. We've long said that Iran and the U.S. would eventually come to an agreement, but the timeline that both sides have set is ambitious with a number of potential pitfalls that will need to be watched closely. This quarter, both … Continue reading Stratfor’s Fourth Quarter Forecast

OECD sets out roadmap for Colombia membership

The OECD set out a clear path for Colombia’s accession to the Organisation, reinforcing its commitment to further extend its global membership to include more emerging economies. The 34 OECD Members approved on 19 September a Roadmap to accession for Colombia establishing the process and setting out the terms for Colombia’s future membership. This follows … Continue reading OECD sets out roadmap for Colombia membership