The Egyptian army has only one card left to play. Western journalists and other true believers in the promise of the Arab Spring may be shocked by the suggestion that Egypt may be headed to war with Israel in the not-too-distant future. But as the country implodes, war has become the easy way [...]
The current situation in Venezuela — under the Chavez-designated heir and proclaimed winner of a tainted election Nicolás Maduro — is similar to, and no less untenable than, that of the Soviet Union at the time of Chernenko.
The misallocation of resources brought about by price and foreign exchange controls, the wasting of [...]
* Defence minister ousted after corruption scandal
* Serdyukov broke codes of honour and patronage
* Kremlin rivalries and web of patronage persist
“The number of violations, and we are talking about violations everywhere, was so great that his presence was no longer acceptable,” former Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on the [...]
China’s leaders are not happy with the state of their armed forces. The critics include many irate generals and admirals. These complaints tend to be made in private meetings. But so many people attend these meetings that details do eventually get out to the general public. Since these leaks do not represent official policy, they [...]
Neither view is entirely accurate. The real hero of Russia’s rescue was oil. The dramatic rise in the average Russian’s income has been a consequence not of Putin’s policies but of oil prices. The price of oil when Putin came to office was $27 a barrel. From that point, it began an almost unbroken rise [...]
Throughout China’s dynastic history, keeping mistresses was not only tolerated, but actually had the official seal of approval from the men at the top. The country’s emperors maintained legendary harems of concubines, as did noblemen, wealthy merchants and anyone seeking to enhance their social status. Indeed, the country’s most famous classic novel, Dream of the [...]
The resource curse has gone global.
For years, oil wealth was mostly a danger to those, paradoxically, who possessed it. Resource-rich Middle Eastern countries, and their labor-exporting neighbors, failed for decades to invest adequately in their people or to diversify their economies. A massive influx of oil receipts and worker remittances discouraged investment in sectors [...]
South Africa is following the path of Zimbabwe. The future does not look bright.
My current supervisor in the actuarial department of an insurance company in the pacific northwest is from South Africa.
Why did he leave?
The crime is getting so out of hand that it is intolerable to many people.