The AIG case illustrates an important paradox that looms again in today’s European debt crisis. Like regular insurance, credit-default swaps offer a way to spread risks, and standard thinking in economics holds that “risk sharing” of this kind should make individual banks safer, and the entire banking system more stable. It isn’t true, though, at [...]
If the European Union was created as a counterweight to the United States, the EU looks ever-increasingly as if it was modeled on the Soviet Union.
There is no “inconvenient” opposition party in the EU Parliament, where legislation is drafted and passed into law that must be obeyed by the British people.
Neither the British [...]
Could Occupy Wall Street be America’s Arab Spring? the China Daily asked gleefully before going on to argue the Arab Spring was in fact “objectively non-existent.” (China’s leaders have opposed the uprisings in the Middle East every step of the way, perhaps seeing a
Reporting from Beijing — In a country with zero tolerance for public displays of disaffection, the 77-year-old retired doctor went very public with her anger over the demolition of her property in a booming Shanghai neighborhood: She stripped naked on the steps of a courthouse.
This might well be called the season of discontent in [...]
Dawa Tsering, a monk in his thirties from Kardze Monastery in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prececture in Sichuan, set fire to himself on the morning of October 25, becoming the 11th Tibetan to have self-immolated since March 2009, and the tenth since March of this year.
My point is that when you look back on the history of past civilizations, a striking feature is the speed with which most of them collapsed, regardless of the cause.
The Roman Empire didn’t decline and fall sedately, as historians used to claim. It collapsed within a few decades in the early fifth century, …
Despite government budget pressures and international rhetoric about disarmament, evidence points to a new and dangerous “era of nuclear weapons”, the report for the British American Security Information Council (Basic) warns. It says the US will spend $700bn (£434bn) on the nuclear weapons industry over the next decade, while Russia will spend at least $70bn [...]
Two of the Middle East’s dictators, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, want to form a united front against NATO ally Turkey for what they see as dangerous meddling in regional affairs.
Believing that it has blunted Saudi Arabia’s influence in the Middle East, Iran is now turning its focus [...]
The pressure the United States and the West is bringing to bear on Iran to keep it from acquiring nuclear weapons is all for naught. Not only does the Islamic Republic already have nuclear weapons from the old Soviet Union, but it has enough enriched uranium for more. What’s worse, it has a delivery system.
Longstanding tensions over the value of the Chinese currency now seem on the verge of breaking out into action.