Longitude #53

October, 2015


China’s unending march

The Chinese correction
by Stefano Cingolani

With much of the world concerned about the recent plunge in China’s stock exchanges, most of the signals indicate that the economy is merely undergoing a market correction that Beijing can manage.

Post-bubble China
Map by Marie Joveneau
China restructures
by Fabrizio Franciosi

As its growth slows down and its stock market faces unprecedented corrections, China is at a watershed.
The policies that drove its economic resurgence are no longer sustainable. The new direction, however, must take into account some common misunderstandings.

Checkpoint Europe

The huddled masses at Europe’s gates
by Christopher Caldwell

The EU is struggling find common ground on how to deal with the growing migrant crisis. A strategy for accommodating the new arrivals should begin by acknowledging that they may never assimilate and thus will risk transforming Europe irrevocably.

EU’s refugees
Map by Marie Joveneau
Schengen held hostage
by Stefano Bertozzi

Over the years political missteps have jeopardized one of Europe’s major achievements: the abolishment of border controls. Now the migrant crisis has laid bare shortcomings in the Schengen Agreement.

Africans bereaved of their future
by Anna Bono

Even though Africa is home to some of the fastest growing, most dynamic economies in the world, Africans are still setting off on the perilous journey to Europe in the hopes of more. The causes are many, and the rationale at times defies logic.


Paying the piper
by Sergio Sirabella

Slowly but surely many of the traditional tax havens for Italians have buckled under pressure to forego their bank secrecy and become more transparent. For this reason Italy’s new voluntary disclosure procedures are looking more and more attractive.


by Stash Luczkiw

Outliers Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are making waves early in the upcoming US presidential elections. Yet their very popularity is a strange testament to how solid the establishment really is.

Middle East

The Syrian conundrum
by Stefano Stefanini

In Syria, where everyone is fighting against everyone else, Russia and the US could cooperate against their common enemy and help end the war. But the danger may be too great to risk a confrontation.

The game changer
by Maurizio Melani

The geopolitical calculus in the Middle East and all over the world is shifting rapidly, especially in Turkey, which is now fighting both the Islamic State and the Kurds.
The Vienna agreement with Iran has caused a general reassessment.

Steps to revolutionary reform
by Shahram Bahadori

Iranian President Rouhani is poised to usher in a new era in the Islamic Republic. With sanctions lifted he must now try to manage a host of domestic problems that could transform Iran from within.

World economy

The oil wars
by Maurizio Stefanini

Wars have been fought for the oil that fuels our machines. But what about the oil that fuels our bodies? There, too, business interests have been vying with each other to become a mainstay in our diet. Yet most people are unaware of the kind of oil they may be eating.

The Orientalist

Making facts on the ground
by Maurizio Molinari

Russia has begun to reinforce the Assad regime in Syria with weapons and troops. Putin’s gambit is both a last ditch effort to keep his ally from losing and an attempt to make Moscow a major player in the Middle East again.

Inside business

Some clarifications about 2025
by Hermann Simon, Danilo Zatta

Everyone is gearing up for Asia to take over as leader of the world, both economically and politically. But a closer look at reality indicates that Transatlantica will still be going strong a decade from now.

Warming bloopers

When the weather forces migration
by Carlo Clini

Severe climate change disrupts societies and creates political instability. In Syria, just prior to the civil war, a prolonged drought forced large segments of the population from the countryside to the city.