Topic Category: Economy

Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s coalition government continues to hold together despite tensions generated by the negative impact of austerity-fatigue on popular support for both the prime minister’s PSD and its junior partner, the CDS-PP. The partner’s resolve has been reinforced by signs of economic improvement, including a revival of tourism and exports that have contributed to a downward trend in unemployment and helped keep the deficit-reduction and debt-consolidation programs on track.

Topic: Economy
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The United States is experiencing an energy revolution that is having a tremendous impact on business. Moving forward, this is projected to boost corporate competitiveness, manufacturing output, employment, and exports, as well as household income. And this new “gold rush” is catapulting new American energy to the top of global charts, while continuing to reduce American dependence on foreign energy sources.

Topic: Economy
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Japan experienced stock market, credit and real estate bubbles in the late 1980s, but with more intensity than the U.S. later experienced. Prior to 1990, the Japanese economy and financial system were considered superior to the U.S.' as expressed in several books, such as Japan as Number One (1979). Japanese society was considered more thrifty and conservative than Western societies. In hindsight Japan was not immune to speculative euphoria and bubbles.

Topic: Economy
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Since taking over as president on a permanent basis in 2008, Raúl Castro has undertaken a self-described effort to “save” Cuba’s socialist system by introducing various market reforms. To date, that program has included the establishment of non-agricultural cooperatives, the legalization of private farms and small businesses, the recognition of private ownership of homes (and right to buy and sell), and the relaxation of restrictions on travel outside of Cuba.

Topic: Economy
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When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the LDP were returned to power in late 2012, the victory was attributed less to enthusiasm for the winners than to frustration with the incumbent DPJ. However, the LDP’s comeback was completed at upper-house elections held in July 2013, at which voters registered a clear vote of confidence in the prime minister and his government’s program of monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms that has been dubbed “Abenomics.”

Topic: Economy
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When President Barack Obama nominated Federal Reserve vice chairman Janet Yellen to take over as Fed chairman after Ben Bernanke departs in January, the markets purred a sigh of relief. The Fed’s adherence to ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing to boost risk taking and asset prices is now expected to continue for at least another year and most likely until the end of 2015. This could prove costly.

Topic: Economy
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Since the global recession began in 2008, Europe has struggled. For example, last year the European Union (EU) which is comprised of 27 countries with a consumer base of approximately 500 million, registered -0.2 percent growth. Although its economy has improved, it remains vulnerable. Nonetheless, there is a considerable upside not reflected in these figures.

Topic: Economy
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The average home price in 20 major cities rose 12.1 percent over a 12 month period ending in June, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a leading measure of the U.S. real estate industry. But this trend may be coming to an end as the increase in home prices appears be slowing partly due to rising mortgage rates. But the bigger picture sheds light perhaps on a more difficult issue.

Topic: Economy
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Reacting to the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, which portended a further implosion of banking, The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was enacted in 2010. As this financial catastrophe reaches its third anniversary, a recent bipartisan panel from the American Enterprise Institute characterized the Dodd-Frank Act for what it is: "a failure." This is one forgettable anniversary.

Topic: Economy
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The broad coalition government formed in the aftermath of two snap elections held in May and June 2012 has not held up well under the strain of implementing a painful austerity program demanded by the EU and the IMF as a condition for two packages of bailout loans. The coalition was already leaking support when the Democratic Left, the smallest partner, abandoned the government in protest over the enforced closure of the state broadcaster, ERT.

Topic: Economy
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