Does Syria Matter?

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee gave its blessing to President Obama’s plan to take limited action against the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons against its own people.   A full Senate vote is expected in the next few days and will likely pass.  Barring any hiccups in the House, the bombs could start falling as […]

The Nicaragua Canal: China’s Secret Motive

I first saw the Panama Canal in action in 2002.  Though nearly 90 years old at time (and soon to be 100 years old at time writing), it was an impressive piece of engineering to behold even by modern standards.  A series of locks lifts ships 85 feet above sea level and then lowers them [...]

Review: The Revenge of Geography

“The present, as permanent and overwhelming as it can seem, is fleeting,” writes Robert Kaplan in the introduction to The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate.   “The only thing enduring is a people’s position on the map.” As a country built with a spirit of [...]

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The Greek Debt Crisis In Historical Perspective

With Greece again roiling world financial markets, it can be useful to step back and get an historical perspective.  Greece has been here before, and if history is any guide this will not be the last time.…

Military Spending by Country

With outstanding U.S. debt fast approaching 100% of GDP and budget deficits continuing to yawn stubbornly wide, the next president and congress will have some unpleasant decisions to make.  Spending will have to be cut.  But from where? Social Security and Medicare will come under debate, as will most discretionary spending.  But the elephant in [...]

Blood in the Streets: Finding Value in Turkish and Israeli Telecom

World stock markets soared on Wednesday after a German court gave its blessing to the EU sovereign debt bailouts.  The Dow finished the day 275 points higher, and the standby safe havens—Treasuries and gold—fell sharply. As much as I’d like to believe that the gut-wrenching volatility that plagued us throughout

If You Think Ben Bernanke is Unpopular…

If you think that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is unpopular, consider the tragic case of Takahashi Korekiyo, who served as Bank of Japan governor from 1911-1913 and as finance minister and prime minister in the 1920s and 1930s. Gillian Tett recounts his story in the Financial Times. In the first

The Graying of the Great Powers

Neil Howe, who previously co-wrote several groundbreaking books on demographic trends with William Strauss (Generations, The Fourth Turning, Millennials Rising), published a new book in 2008 with Richard Jackson: The Graying of the Great Powers: Demography and Geopolitics in the 21st Century. We consider Howe’s prior work with Strauss to

The Post-American World

Book Review of Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World Fareed Zakaria, Editor of Newsweek International and host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, has emerged in recent years as one of America’s best minds in current events and world politics. His recent book, The Post-American World, touches on several issues near and dear

Changing Global Demographics: China's Little Emperors

That China’s One Child Policy will eventually wreak havoc on China’s economy will come as no surprise to my readers.  I have written for years that China will find it impossible to sustain a viable domestic consumer economy when the younger generation is, due to the simple math of one