The stock of capital flowing into emerging markets has doubled from $4 trillion to $8 trillion since the Lehman Crisis, chasing a catch-up growth story that looks tired and has largely sputtered out in Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
Much of the money has gone into debt, with falling economic returns. This is the next shoe to drop in the festering saga of global imbalances. All it will take is a gear-shift by the US Federal Reserve and the inevitable dollar surge that follows. It was the Volcker Fed that set off Latin America’s defaults in the early 1980s. It was the mighty dollar that set off Mexico’s Tequila crisis, and then the East Asian chain-reaction in the 1990s. Continue reading
With about half of the country still suffering from extreme drought, farmers and businesses in the Western United States are looking at another hot, dry summer.
And the country’s water risk is a lot worse than most assessments suggest, according to a recent study from the Columbia University Water Center. Continue reading
Republican US lawmakers are taking steps to bar the United States from sharing classified missile defense technology information with Russia, draft legislation that was amended in the US Congress Wednesday shows. Continue reading
Several power utilities say they face a barrage of cyber attacks on their critical systems, a report by two Democratic lawmakers found echoing warnings from the Obama administration that foreign hackers were trying to bring down the U.S. power grid. Continue reading
The quicksands of the Arabian Desert are notorious for swallowing up anyone trying to control the area. Historically, that’s what happened to Turkey, Britain, France, Russia and the US. Sooner or later, all discovered that instead of dominating the Middle East, they ended up being dominated by the region’s never-ending problems.
And that may also be the fate of China, the latest power to be lured by the idea that it has to engage in Middle-Eastern diplomacy. Unless decision-makers in Beijing are thoroughly prepared for what awaits, they will also find that the region can absorb all their energies, and usually for no practical effect. Continue reading
Country relations in Asia are getting to the boiling point in regards to China. What we’re seeing within the region is an arms race to protect itself against the communist giant, and it’s not just the Philippines. For example, Japan seems to be silently going nuclear and going on the offensive to protect its disputed territory. Within the next ten years, we could see a situation where all countries within the Asian giant’s reach become strong enough combined that China will have no choice but to go on a ‘charm offensive’ and unite the continent under its political/military/economic umbrella rather than go to war with every neighbor. Having done this, combined with the United States suiciding itself from within and becoming more unreliable as a partner each day, it will have effectively taken out America’s hegemony in the Asia Pacific without having to go to war with it. However, because that nobody has a crystal ball (that works), a war or skirmish in the future shouldn’t be dismissed.
MANILA – Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday announced a US$1.8-billion (S$2.26b) military upgrade to help defend his country’s maritime territory against “bullies”, amid an ever-worsening dispute with China.
The announcement came on the same day that the Philippines filed a protest with China over the “illegal and provocative” presence of a Chinese warship and two other vessels at a Filipino-claimed shoal in the disputed South China Sea. Continue reading
Global finance chiefs may have denounced it, but that has not stopped Japan joining other central banks in driving its exchange rate lower. With Australia and South Korea forced to respond, will the Asia-Pacific region be the main battleground in a global currency war? Continue reading
Taliban insurgents recently vowed to carry out new “infiltration” attacks aimed at killing and demoralizing U.S., allied, and Afghan military forces as part of the spring military offensive, according to U.S. officials.
The expected increase in what the Pentagon calls “insider” attacks by Taliban sympathizers or infiltrators followed an April 27 statement by the Islamist terror group. Continue reading
Chinese hackers who breached Google’s servers several years ago gained access to a sensitive database with years’ worth of information about U.S. surveillance targets, according to current and former government officials.
The breach appears to have been aimed at unearthing the identities of Chinese intelligence operatives in the United States who may have been under surveillance by American law enforcement agencies. Continue reading
As we reported last month, on April 2, the United Nations General Assembly voted 153-4 to pass the Arms Trade Treaty, with the United States voting in favor and several countries abstaining. The vote in the General Assembly pushed the treaty process forward after negotiations twice failed to deliver on the goal of developing the treaty by consensus. The Obama Administration is expected to sign the treaty soon after it is opened for signature on June 3.
According to a May 16 Amnesty International article, a senior US diplomat–Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman–has confirmed the U.S. government will be quick to sign the new treaty. According to the article, Countryman said on Wednesday that the United States would sign the ATT “in the very near future.” Continue reading
Another Gertz article with the same subject as a previous post:
Russia is engaged in a major buildup of both nuclear and conventional missile defense systems at the same time Moscow is seeking legal limits on U.S. missile defenses, according to U.S. officials.
The Russian military is developing and deploying an array of new and modernized anti-missile interceptors that are part of a strategic doctrine that calls for defending against what Moscow believes to be an increasing threat posed by offensive ballistic missiles, said U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports.
Additionally, the Russians are upgrading the SH-08 nuclear-tipped anti-missile interceptors that have been deployed around Moscow for more than two decades. Continue reading
DAYTON, Ohio — A new report said urgent action should be taken to reduce the U.S. military’s dependence on foreign suppliers for raw materials, parts, and finished products needed to defend the nation.
“Remaking American Security: Supply Chain Vulnerabilities & National Security Risks Across the U.S. Defense Industrial Base,” was authored by retired Brigadier Gen. John Adams and commissioned and funded by the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a domestic industry advocacy group that’s a partnership between U.S. manufacturers and the United Steelworkers union. Continue reading