Thursday, 14 July 2016
Deterrence. It’s the coldest of the Cold War terms and suddenly, like an old piece of meat left in the back of the freezer, it’s been thawed, reheated and put back on the Canadian military menu. At the recent NATO Summit in Warsaw, Canada announced it will lead one of the four new NATO battle groups based in the Baltics and Poland, sending up to 500 soldiers, six CF-18s and a frigate to Latvia. The cost will be about $385 million over three years. Senior government officials repeatedly described the new force as a “deterrent message” to a “new and rising Russia.” It is a serious contribution to a serious threat and has been widely and rightly supported. It puts Canada in the same league as the U.S., the U.K. and Germany in this mission. The problem is, no one appears to know what, exactly, a modern message of deterrence really means.
Wednesday, 6 July 2016
After a lull since the publication of the final text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU) at the end of February, CETA is now back in the news.
Tuesday, 5 July 2016
The surprise outcome of the UK’s EU membership referendum is in some ways analogous to the ‘Taper Tantrum’ (the correction in financial markets following Ben Bernanke’s May 2013 suggestion that the US central bank was contemplating reducing its rate of security purchases). This column looks at whether the Brexit Surprise has had analogous effects on emerging markets. Emerging economies felt a strong negative impact that was larger and more widespread than in the case of the Taper Tantrum. Where the Taper Tantrum was mainly a financial shock, the Brexit Surprise is evidently perceived as having real as well as financial consequences.
Tuesday, 5 July 2016
In 1967, U.K. Prime Minister Harold Wilson declared devaluation wouldn’t diminish the “pound in your pocket.” Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont admitted he was heard “singing in the bath” after sterling’s link to the deutsche mark was severed in 1992, sending the currency tumbling. If history is any guide, Brexit leader Boris Johnson’s assurance that the negative consequences of withdrawal from the European Union are “being wildly overdone” will prove off-base too.
Monday, 4 July 2016
The outcome of the British referendum to renounce membership in the European Union has left at least four disasters in its wake: a leadership vacuum in the United Kingdom, uncertainty about the future of European unification, a crisis in democratic traditions on both sides of the North Atlantic, and a burgeoning backlash against economic globalization. How can the damage be contained?
Friday, 24 June 2016
How many times have you read that globalization cannot be stopped? That only ever was true in the most abstract sense. Curiosity will continue to drive humans with means to see the world, and greed always will motivate companies to push into new markets. But the “official” globalization of free-trade agreements and other multinational arrangements always could be stopped by politics.
Thursday, 23 June 2016
As the Brexit debate rages on, the two sides agree on one thing: the enormous economic, political and social implications of the vote that will weigh on the future of the UK. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has called the vote “the most important decision for Britain since 1945” and warned about a “long, agonizing process of disengagement” that would result from an Out vote, with “seismic” economic implications.
Friday, 17 June 2016
I have resisted writing about the U.S. Republican Party’s nominee for president. This decision likely cost me some Twitter followers. Misogyny and xenophobia get people tweeting. For publishers, editors and reporters, Donald Trump was Miracle Gro for their digital audiences. Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy released a study on June 13 that shows Trump received an unusual amount of coverage in 2015 for a candidate with such miniscule poll numbers. Other estimates suggest the ink, pixels and airtime devoted to Trump amount to more than $2 billion in free advertising. As a result, the mainstream press is obliged to report objectively on proposals such as refusing visas to all Muslims.
Wednesday, 15 June 2016
With interest rates at all-time lows and central banks buying everything that moves, the world is awash with credit. Yet, paradoxically, a dangerous shortage of international liquidity is putting the global economy at risk.
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
Fresh off the high from the G-7 economic summit in Sendai, Japan, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau pointed to renewed interest in pursuing a spot in the recently launched Asian International Investment Bank – a China-spearheaded global development bank focused on the Asia Pacific region.