Longitude # 58
The Russian presence in Syria has not only changed the calculus on the ground, it has also upended the political power balance in the region. Now all hopes are contingent on how Putin decides to play his hand.
These are extraordinary economic times, when old formulas have proven ineffective and politicians are loath to experiment with new approaches. In this context, central banks have become lightening rods
Redefining the EU
The European Union is facing several crises at once. In the face of what risks becoming a perfect storm, the EU is trying to regain lost momentum. In the processes more fissures keep coming to light.
Europe feels the need to become a fortress against an unmanageable wave of migration. However, imperiling the achievements resulting from a border-free Europe could be worse. A combination of vigilance and innovative technology might secure the compromise.
The generation of Americans coming of age today has become a political force to be reckoned with. Bernie Sanders, in particular, is riding the wave as he shines a spotlight on concerns over growing wealth inequality. But can he do anything about it?
The prospect of either Trump or Sanders winning their parties’ nominations would signal an anti-establishment turn in US politics. What this means could generate the noise for an eerie soundtrack that risks drowning out the rhetoric of change.
The vacuum left by American leadership is being filled by Putin, and all those weary of the stalemate in Syria are content. But the Middle East has historically been a spider web for foreign powers.
Local, regional and external factors weave a very complex fabric in the ongoing strife throughout the Middle East. A comprehensive solution will require all actors to accept some form of accommodation.
Libya is split in two, and the Islamic State has filled the gap between opposing governments. If no reconciliation is found in the near future, much of North Africa will be facing the risk of falling to jihadist forces.
The world’s markets watch China through statistics of growth, production and consumption. And yet, underlying the economy is a very particular mindset that developed over thousands of years and has recently faced revolutionary change.
Global health threats
Concerns about the Zika virus and the danger it poses to pregnant women has the international community geared for action. The quick reaction, before any link has been proven, is largely due to the criticism about the slow reaction to the recent Ebola outbreak.
Only about 1% of the world population is German. However, 48% of the mid-sized world market leaders come from Germany – as well as the term “hidden champions.”
The sudden drop in oil prices has significant implications for oil extraction and, consequently, on carbon emissions.