Falling on deaf ears
As the factions on the ground grow hungrier for forces and weapons from neighboring countries, the international community is coming to the conclusion that it must step in to impose a political solution.
Syria is flirting with the growing specter of sectarian massacres. Meanwhile, leaders watching numbly from outside are realizing that one of the victims of this war may turn out to be our very notion of modernity.
The war in Syria poses a problem for the US and Europe because intervention would most likely serve to bolster the jihadists. Meanwhile, the more Russia is called on to put pressure on Assad, the more influence it gains in the region.
Why the economy needs fat ducks
Looking back at the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, economists have tried to understand the factors that caused such a perfect storm and how to guide international regulatory reform in order to prevent another such crisis.
The financial system is back in business and picking up steam after having taken a beating by a host of converging disasters. What lessons have been learned that could keep it from crashing again?
Lending money for profit used to be simple business. Things get complicated when banks need to circumvent certain restrictions. In the wake of the financial crisis, this is clearer than ever.
Despite calls for reform, the financial system has maintained more or less the same degree of freedom as before the crisis. This has been a conscious decision by realistic leaders who recognize both the benefits of risk taking and the hazards of regulation.
What appeared to be an unequivocal victory against tyranny has morphed into an arduous and still unaccomplished process full of hurdles, disappointments and hopes. The difficulties of creating a new form of government have been made harder by the desire for revenge.
Germany has long been expected to dominate. Now, after an uncharacteristic slump, the European powerhouse is back on top, showing that the Rhine model is effective not only in industry, but also on the pitch.
Is Germany to blame for Southern Europe’s misery? Not at all. A number of factors are the cause, and Germany, if anything, has served as an example of how an economy should adapt to changes.
The prospect of future membership in the EU is proving to be an effective incentive to burying the hatchet for both Serbia and Kosovo. In the end, economic benefits outweigh the perceived benefits of holding a grudge.
A historic breakthrough in the Balkans between Belgrade and Pristina has increased the likelihood of stability in Europe. Without the prospect of EU membership in the future, the agreement reached may never have gotten off the ground.
As the US and EU begin working on a free trade agreement, it will also be wise to allow for freer movement of labor – especially highly skilled labor. Establishing a Migration Council to expedite matters would be in the interest of both parties.
With the election of a Brazilian as the new head of the WTO, everyone is trying to figure out what the implications for the multi-layered web of free trade agreements that span the globe will be.
The flourishing of Chinese megacities will inevitably create business opportunities for Europe. Efforts to match businessmen from both sides can lead to economic growth combined with environmental awareness.