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Economics Blog Aggregator

    Geostrategy

  • International Political Economy Zone

    China Buys Europe Cheaply, Pirelli Edition

    Presumably, ChemChina will get the risque Pirelli calendar too* [*NOTE: The IPE Zone being a family-oriented blog, pictures from the 2015 calendar aren't included here, though you can view them yourselves, of course.] The weak euro currency has meant that many things in the eurozone are dirt cheap in comparison to what they were just a year ago. It goes without saying that some of Europe's prestige brands can be had for a song, one of them being the Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli. The firm certainly needs no introduction. It has been the sole supplier of tires in Formula One for the last five years, bolstering its famous name in the performance segment of the automotive supplier industry.And of course, we all know who the prospective buyers are: the cash-laden C...more

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    Star Trek reboots to give us simple stories, the cartoons we like.

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  • Informed Comment

    A Game-Changer in Syrian War? al-Qaeda-led Factions take Idlib

    By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) – The provincial capital Idlib, a city of 165,000 in the old days and administrative center of the northwestern Idlib province, appears to have fallen completely to a Muslim fundamentalist coalition spearheaded by Ahrar al-Sham (Free Men of Syria) and the al-Qaeda affiliate, the Support Front (Jabhat al-Nusra). Most of the Idlib countryside has long been in rebel hands, and some of it was held by pro-Western, relatively secular-minded forces until last fall, when they were preyed upon and defeated by the Support Front, which is loyal to Ayman al-Zawahiri’s core al-Qaeda (responsible for the 9/11 attacks). Although the forces taking Idlib were a coalition of rebel groups, Free Men of Syria, which is known to have been...more

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  • Informed Comment

    ISIL, Yemen, Syria: Drought, Climate Change and new Wars

    By David Reed | (Foreign Policy in Focus) – Natural resource scarcity poses a far broader challenge to prosperity and national security than traditional military threats. The U.S. intelligence and security communities grapple on a daily basis with the pressing reality that natural resource scarcity and global climate change pose direct threats to U.S. prosperity and national security. There is, perhaps, no clearer example than the sustained incursion of Chinese navy ships, fishing fleets, and oil rigs over the past five years into the territorial waters of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and other countries of the South China Sea. China’s claim of a “historical right” to those areas was based on the “nine-dash line” issued in 1947 a...more

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  • Informed Comment

    French Firm Pulls Out of Jerusalem Cable Car Project

    by IMEMC News | – France-based utility giant Suez Environnement said Wednesday that, because of political sensitivities, it has decided not to take part in a cable car project linking West Jerusalem to the annexed Eastern sector. The project, run by the Jerusalem city council, has stoked controversy over the Israeli cable car’s planned route, which passes through parts of mostly Palestinian East Jerusalem, according to the PNN. “To avoid any political interpretation, Suez Environnement has decided not to take part in this project,” it said. Suez said its involvement in the project was limited to a feasibility study carried out by engineering firm SAFEGE, one of its subsidiaries. “SAFEGE fulfilled a contract for Jerusalem municipality b...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Relax, Oil Prices: There's Really Very Little Chance of Anyone Closing Bab al-Mandab, Let Alone the Houthis

    NASA photo: Bab al-Mandab with Perim IslandOil prices are rising steeply due to the Saudi and allied attacks on Yemen. Business reporters in particular may be fueling this with articles like this one and this one, suggesting that if the Houthis take over Yemen they could block the Strait of Bab al-Mandab, a critical choke point for the passage of much of the world's oil. Like the Strait of Hormuz to the east, this is a critical international passage that technically lies within the territorial waters of the neighboring states. And like the Strait of Hormuz, whenever tensions rise, people start worrying about a closure of the Strait. Egypt has explicitly cited this as a reason for its joining the Saudi coalition (though there are doubtless monetary reasons too). But ther...more

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Should Korea Partner Japan for 2018 W Olympics?

    Korea would save $$$ partnering Japan in hosting certain events, but it probably won't. The out-of-control costs of hosting Olympic events is a well-worn trope by now. Unfortunately for South Korea, it's now its turn to feel the financial burn for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. It was originally meant to promote development outside the overcrowded capital of Seoul, but like most of these Olympics, the costs are soaring and the local government officials don't know where to find the money to complete venues amid cost overruns. Actually, the IOC has become increasingly mindful of this phenomenon and recently passed a new provision allowing the co-hosting of the Olympics:For years the International Olympic Committee ignored the rising costs and indebtedness asso...more

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    The GOP budget shows us the New America that lies ahead

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    A Tale of New America: a judge burns the Constitution

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    "The Breathtaking Beauty of Yemen"

    In a 40-year career of dealing with the Middle East from Morocco to the Gulf, one of my few regrets is that I have never had the privilege of setting foot in Yemen.But as that country with so rich  a history descends into war, here's a wonderful slideshow;"The Breathtaking Beauty of Yemen." Do yourself a favor and look it over....more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Sudan and the Saudi Coalition: Cooling to Iran, Warming to KSA

    Some are expressing surprise that Sudan is contributing aircraft and even ground troops  to the Saudi-led coalition bombing the Houthis in Yemen. Sudan has relatively few good friends in the region, and in the past has been one of the rare Sunni Arab countries to maintain friendly relations with Iran. (Oman, which is partly Ibadi, also does, but is not actively participating in the coalition.) Sudanese President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court, though Egypt has welcomed him on visits in the past and this week he visited King Salman in Saudi Arabia. Gulf press reports have said that Sudan has deployed either two or three aircraft to the coalition, and there are also reports that it has offered ground troops.Interpreting this as "Sudan chang...more

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  • Moneybox

    Why Would Companies Ever Think a Campaign Like #AskSeaWorld Is a Good Idea?

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  • Moneybox

    Marijuana Is Changing the Workplace. Here’s How Employers Should Deal With It.

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  • Moneybox

    How to Make Americans Love the “Death Tax”

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  • The World

    Smart Reads 27 March 2015

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  • The Arabist

    The war in Yemen (in 1963)

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    And Vietnam's Largest Foreign Investor is...Samsung

    Making mobiles for the Man in Vietnam, AKA Samsung.Unbeknownst to many, Vietnam has, in a number of respects, become the "Republic of Samsung." As labor costs in China have gone up as its development continues apace, it was inevitable that MNCs would move on to countries with relatively skilled workers and more competitive wages. Today's case in point is the Korean electronics behemoth Samsung. How reliant has Vietnam become on Samsung? The Nikkei Asia Review points out that Samsung subsidiaries are three of the four largest foreign investors in Korea; these subsidiaries account for about a fifth of all Vietnamese exports; and a slowdown in global smartphone sales could tip Vietnam into a trade deficit [!] If you're a Marxist, you'd say it's Korean imperialism:[T]he Vie...more

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  • The World

    Saudi – Iran power struggle lays the region to waste

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    2015 NCAA Tournament

    I filled out a number of brackets this year, most forecasting the University of Kentucky to win the men's college national basketball championship. Unfortunately, I think that was and is the safest prediction.Here are my only two entries in (different) pools that return cash from my friends and/or colleagues. I entered some other national competitions with microscopic chances of winning money from large prize pools. My chances in those pools is now essentially zero and was never very high. I did pick against Kentucky in some of those. Typically, I picked Arizona over UK since they are viewed as the nation's second best team.This entry features Arizona in the Final Four. Also, I had West Virginia beating Maryland and Michigan State beating Virginia. I inaccurately had Lo...more

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  • The World

    Smart Reads 26 March 2015

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  • Macro and Markets

    Greece and the Politics of Arrears

    Greece is running out of money. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s meeting this week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken some of the toxicity out of the conversation for now, but cannot mask Greece’s current collision course with its creditors. Committed to a platform on which it was elected but that it cannot pay for, and with additional EU/ECB financing conditioned on reform, the Greek government is likely to run out of money in April (if not before). If past emerging market crises are any guide, the decisions that it will then confront about who to pay and who not to—the politics of arrears—will present a critical challenge to the government and likely define the future path of the crisis. Most analysts continue to argue that a deal that allows...more

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  • The Arabist

    Egyptian Christians pretend to be Muslim to survive ISIS attack in Libya

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  • The Arabist

    Links March 14-20 2015

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  • Achenblog

    Why ‘The Great Gatsby’ is the Great American Novel

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  • China Matters

    July 17, 2012: The Day America Exited the 9/11 Era…By Entering an Alliance with Al Qaeda

    I note with interest that Thomas Friedman, the premier moral imbecile of American journalism, is spitballing the idea of using ISIS to roll back Iran.Friedman is still an outlier.  The moderate voice in hawkish Middle East policy today, on the other hand, belongs to analysts calling for supporting al Qaeda as the preferred US asset against Iran and, for that matter, ISIS.This marks a sea change in American Middle East public punditry and a sign that the United States has moved beyond the 9/11 era, in which our national policy and indeed our national identity was largely defined by getting those AQ bad guys who had knocked down the World Trade Center, blown a hole in the Pentagon, and killed over 3000 Americans on a single day in 2001.Now, the oppose-Iran obsession...more

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Spring Break Dog Blogging

    These photos were taken in nearby Tyler Park on Saturday, March 7:Paddy was wearing a jacket, but the 9" snow Louisville received on March 4-5 was already melting.This photo was taken basically in the same spot, one week later on Saturday, March 14, just before University of Louisville's spring break began Monday the 16th:Incidentally, the temperature on the 15th was in the mid-70s.Visit this blog's homepage.For 140 character IR and foreign policy talk, follow me on twitter.Or for basketball, baseball, movies or other stuff, follow this personal twitter account. ...more

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  • Achenblog

    A year later, BICEP2 astronomer is upbeat as he hunts for elusive Big Bang signal

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Greenhouse Gas Regulations

    A little over a week ago, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell wrote an op-ed piece arguing that state governments should not write standards for implementing new EPA regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. McConnell notes almost in passing that these regulations are "probably illegal," even though the regulations seem pretty clearly to be authorized (if not required) by the Supreme Court in a 2007 ruling. Essentially, the Bush administration tried to ignore greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, but their position was inconsistent with the law. The case dealt with vehicle emissions, but power plants are obviously an even bigger source of the gases.In December 2009, the EPA Administrator found:...that the current and pr...more

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    Realistic Appraisal of Russia's Policy Isn't Tantamount to a Putin Apologia

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  • China Matters

    Twilight of the CCP…AND Shambaughism?

    I’ve resisted weighing in on l’affaire Shambaugh—David Shambaugh’s blunt WSJ op-ed declaring that “the endgame of Chinese communist rule has now begun” thanks to Xi Jinping’s predilection for tight control instead of political reform as a response to China’s looming troubles—because there’s really no useful response to his thesis except “Interesting prediction of the future…but predicting the future of China accurately is notoriously difficult.”However, there is one point I think is worth raising, is How does U.S. government PRC policy reflect, contradict, or address Shambaugh’s views?David Shambaugh, after all, is the most heavily credentialed China-watcher in the biz.  If he says the CCP is headed for collapse, how does that affect th...more

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  • China Matters

    The West’s Historical Amnesia, Moral Collapse, and Criminal Culpability in Syria

    Today the Guardian in its trademark handwringing fashion is marking the fourth anniversary of the Syrian conflict: 200,000 dead, 3.5 million refugees.  The Guardian should also commemorate three and a half years of bloodshed, destruction, and misery inflicted upon Syria by the United States, the EU, and the GCC—make that murder, war crimes, and collective punishment IMO--much of it enthusiastically endorsed by the Guardian and its media brethren.Think I’m exaggerating?  But first read the piece (reproduced below) that I wrote in November 2011, when it was clear that the domestic uprising was headed for defeat and the West and GCC faced the crucial choice whether to let Assad cobble together some reconciliatory process…or try to bring him down with ...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    Ukraine’s IMF Program Sets Stage for Debt Restructuring

    The IMF yesterday approved a four-year, $17.5 billion arrangement for Ukraine, their contribution to a $40 billion financing gap that they have identified over that period. A further $15 billion is to come from a restructuring of private debt, with formal negotiations expected to begin soon. The rest is expected to come from governments and other multilateral agencies. An ambitious array of reforms—including to fiscal and energy policy, bank reform, and strengthening the rule of law—are laid out, signaling a dramatic break from past governments. These measures are expected to set the stage for recovery: output falls 5 ½ percent this year before 2 percent growth returns in 2016, inflation will average 27 percent this year and then decline, while the current account ...more

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  • Achenblog

    Uplifting thoughts about Doomsday

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  • Macro and Markets

    The Meaning of Ukraine’s IMF Deal

    While today’s headlines focus on the truce agreement between Ukraine and Russia, a significant economic milestone was achieved yesterday with the IMF’s announcement that its staff has reached agreement with the government on a new four-year program. The Fund’s Board will likely consider the program next month. Whether or not the truce holds, the program is the core of western financial support for Ukraine. Is it enough? The program is for $17.5 billion, representing about $6 billion in new IMF financial commitments. This is somewhat misleading, because this amount is spread over four years, as compared to the two years remaining in the existing program it replaces. It appears that the amounts the IMF will disburse this year are broadly comparable to what they wer...more

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    Arming Ukraine Would Be Folly

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    Kissinger's "World Order"

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  • The Moor Next Door

    New World Politics Review Piece

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Farewell

    In memoriam: Gary S. Becker, 1930-2014. The Becker-Posner blog is terminated. Richard A. Posner

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  • The Moor Next Door

    The Army and the Status Quo

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  • The Moor Next Door

    RND Sketch

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Sabbatical Notice

    Starting this weekend, we will be taking a one-month sabbatical from blogging. We will resume at the end of that period.

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker

    The US embargo of Cuba began in 1960, a year after Fidel Castro turned this island toward communism. It was extended to food and medicines in 1962, the same year as the showdown with Russia over the installation of missiles there. The embargo has prevented American companies from doing business with Cuba, and discouraged tourism to Cuba. The American government also tried with quite limited success to prevent other countries from trading with Cuba. In general economic embargoes are undesirable because they interfere with free trade among countries. Yet a case could be made for an embargo against Cuba. Castro not only allowed Russian missiles to be installed in Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida, but was also actively trying to interfere in other countries by sending troop...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    Can the F-35 Replace the A-10?

    by Nickolai Sukharev  One of the big decisions the United States Air Force has considered over the last few months is whether to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet as a cost saving measure while developing and procuring the F-35A Lightening II. Given the Budget Control Act caps on Pentagon spending and the need to better allocate funds, officials have expressed their preference to prioritize multi-mission platforms in the inventory. But the problem is that the F-35A is not a replacement for the A-10’s close air support. The reason is simple: it lacks comparable capabilities despite a higher operating cost. Given the constrained budgetary environment, the comparative cost to maintain and operate the two aircraft should be a decisive consideration. The A-10 is a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    After Geneva Talks A Consensus on Moving Forward

    By Homa Hassan The two-day round of P5+1 negotiations with Iran just concluded in Geneva and Western diplomats are carefully reviewing a detailed proposal presented by Iran. As this proposal is being reviewed ahead of the follow-on meetings in November it is important to look at what the realistic prospects of a deal will look like. Going into this week’s talks, a number of commentaries came out attempting to set negotiations up for failure. However, it is widely agreed that a negotiated solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear program is the best way to achieve a sustainable solution and a recent survey of reports and recommendations from bipartisan think tanks and high-level experts demonstrates a broad consensus on how to approach negotiations a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    TPP, TTIP and Getting America's Competitiveness Back on Track

    By Marcela Heywood Last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia marked further progress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and set an ambitious goal to finish negotiations by the end of the year. Although the U.S. government shutdown – and President Obama’s absence in Bali – did not hinder the trade talks, it did call America’s credibility into question. Government shutdown could threaten both TPP and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations by displaying uncertainty in U.S. economic and foreign policy priorities. Congress needs to reach an agreement and prioritize TPP and TTIP, as they are necessary policy initiatives to boost American competitiveness, stimulate the economy, and exert soft power to cr...more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Why US Financial Hegemony Will Endure

    Will and I have a piece, now ungated, over at a fantastic new online magazine called Symposium. Our article translates much of the main points of our Perspectives Piece (co-authored with Thomas and Andy Pennock) for popular consumption. We are also blogging over there this week in support of the article. Please do check out our writing this week on the magazine's website, as well as the other great content on the site....more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Foreign Direct Investment, Human Rights, INGOs

    One of the major areas of underdeveloped research within political science is the interaction between non-state actors. From an international political economy perspective, the literature has largely ignored the interaction of various non-state actors that are growing in importance, and its effects on different forms of trade. In a recently published article "Avoiding the Spotlight: Human Rights Shaming and Foreign Direct Investment" by Colin Barry, Chad Clay and Michael Flynn, they lay the foundation for examining this interaction. They examine the interaction between non-state actors (INGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) and the extent to which private actors' choices to invest in countries are affected by the reputational costs of doing business in those...more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Verizon, Vodafone, and Measuring FDI

    Recently back from APSA in Chicago, I've been reflecting on the state of our knowledge about FDI (or perhaps more accurately, cross-border management stakes in enterprises). That, and working on my dissertation, applying for academic jobs, and teaching. Oh, and telling everyone who'll listen about my Optimus Prime sighting on Michigan Ave.Anyway, I find a post-conference review of the discipline is generally a good way to consider potentially fruitful lines of new inquiry. In my experience, the quality of papers at conferences can be rather hit-or-miss. This generally fits into my view of conferences as important sources of external deadlines for getting drafts done as well as interacting with other scholars in more informal settings such as the hotel bar/lobby/over-cro...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Why Defining Terrorism Matters

    This is a guest post by Karolina Lula, a PhD student at Rutgers-Newark.---------------The terrorism industry has grown exponentially since 9/11.  Whenever a terrorist attack occurs, a plethora of terrorism scholars eagerly spoon out their collective wisdom.  The chance to be included in the over-caffeinated media spotlight justifies decades cooped up in small offices pouring over data. In a certain respect, terrorism scholars mirror their subject.  They both love an audience.              Despite their growing presence in the media, academics fail to persuade others about what terrorism is in the first place.  Language evolves and academia is only one source of influence.  T...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Planning to be Shocked

    One of the most repeated, and most dubious, axioms about strategy is the notion that being proactive is wiser than being reactive, and that reactivity is something we should be allergic to. In the words of Briain's foreign secretary William Hague, 'the nation that is purely reactive in foreign policy is in decline.' Likewise, written into the folklore of the US foreign policy establishment is the notion that the 'strategic shocks' that struck America - such as Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor or 9/11 - happened because Washington was passively sleeping. A quick read of Presidential speeches on the anniversary of that attack shows how powerful the creed of active vigilantism lives on, even if it doesn't power all of America's day to day behaviour.Never mind that a...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Quick Note

    If you haven't been seeing any posts for a few months, that's because we moved to http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/. Some readers have informed us that the redirect may not be behaving for some subset of RSS feed readers. If that's the case, you can subscribe to the new feed at http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/?feed=rsshttp://whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/?feed=rss...more

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  • Political Animal

    Wednesday's Mini-Report

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  • Political Animal

    The need for partisan cover

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  • Political Animal

    House rebuffs Boehner, scraps F-35 Jet Engine Program

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Richard Wood Richard Wood

Richard has published papers on wages policy, the taxation of financial arrangements and macroeconomic issues in Pacific island countries. Views expressed in these articles are his own and may not be shared by his employing agency. He is the author of How to Solve the European Economic Crisis: Challenging orthodoxy and creating new policy paradigms