Tuesday, 11 August 2020
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global economy

Offset the compulsory inward investment imposed on foreign defence suppliers by a purchasing government is tolerated as a feature of the market rather than embraced. Tolerance of offset has become increasingly important over the last ten years. Since 1999, 22 countries have introduced formal offset legislation or policies. The scope of offset obligations is also increasing in terms of both the quota required by the buyer and the range of contractors obligated. This helps to explain why the European Commission (EC) and the US Department of Commerce (DoC) view offset as legally and commercially problematic.

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By Stephen D King

Published by Yale (ISBN: 978 0 300 15432 0)

Reviewed by Roger Green, Principal Reviewer, UK Defence Forum

Stephen King is the global chief economist for HSBC and is a member of the European Central Bank Shadow Council.  This is his first book and it is unusual of its genre in that it looks at the Western developed markets from the perspective of the emerging markets, particularly that of China.  It is written in a forthright almost textbook style that is detailed and tightly argued with the benefit of 'trivial' examples.  The reader does not have to be an economist to understand the central message but it would help with some of the more complex ideas that King advances.

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By George Friedman

The European financial crisis is moving to a new level. The Germans have finally consented to lead a bailout effort for Greece. The effort has angered the German public, which has acceded with sullen reluctance. It does not accept the idea that it is Germans' responsibility to save Greeks from their own actions. The Greeks are enraged at the reluctance, having understood that membership in the European Union meant that Greece's problems were Europe's.

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By George Friedman

Financial panics are an integral part of capitalism. So are economic recessions. The system generates them and it becomes stronger because of them. Like forest fires, they are painful when they occur, yet without them, the forest could not survive. They impose discipline, punishing the reckless, rewarding the cautious. They do so imperfectly, of course, as at times the reckless are rewarded and the cautious penalized. Political crises as opposed to normal financial panics emerge when the reckless appear to be the beneficiaries of the crisis they have caused, while the rest of society bears the burdens of their recklessness. At that point, the crisis ceases to be financial or economic. It becomes political.

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By Peter Zeihan

The global recession is the biggest development in the global system in the year to date. In the United States, it has become almost dogma that the recession is the worst since the Great Depression. But this is only one of a wealth of misperceptions about whom the downturn is hurting most, and why.

Let's begin with some simple numbers.

The U.S. recession at this point is only the worst since 1982, not the 1930s, and it pales in comparison to what is occurring in the rest of the world.

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By George Friedman

Three major meetings will take place in Europe over the next nine days: a meeting of the G-20, a NATO summit and a meeting of the European Union with U.S. President Barack Obama. The week will define the relationship between the United States and Europe and reveal some intra-European relationships. If not a defining moment, the week will certainly be a critical moment in dealing with economic, political and military questions. To be more precise, the meeting will be about U.S.-German relations. Not only is Germany the engine of continental Europe, its policies diverge the most sharply from those of the United States. In some ways, U.S.-German relations have been the core of the U.S.-European relationship, so this marathon of summits will focus on the United States and Germany.

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By Lauren Goodrich and Peter Zeihan

Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Russia has been re-establishing much of its lost Soviet-era strength. This has given rise to the possibility - and even the probability - that Russia again will become a potent adversary of the Western world. But now, Russia is yet again on the cusp of a set of massive currency devaluations that could destroy much of the country's financial system. With a crashing currency, the disappearance of foreign capital, greatly decreased energy revenues and currency reserves flying out of the bank, the Western perception is that Russia is on the verge of collapsing once again. Consequently, many Western countries have started to grow complacent about Russia's ability to further project power abroad.

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By Lauren Goodrich

Three interlocking crises are striking Russia simultaneously: the highest recorded temperatures Russia has seen in 130 years of recordkeeping; the most widespread drought in more than three decades; and massive wildfires that have stretched across seven regions, including Moscow.

The crises threaten the wheat harvest in Russia, which is one of the world's largest wheat exporters. Russia is no stranger to having drought affect its wheat crop, a commodity of critical importance to Moscow's domestic tranquility and foreign policy. Despite the severity of the heat, drought and wildfires, Moscow's wheat output will cover Russia's domestic needs. Russia will also use the situation to merge its neighbors into a grain cartel.

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