The Bangladesh coalition government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed’s AL remains broadly stable. It also maintains a narrow lead over the opposition BNP in opinion polls despite weeks of labor unrest and political violence that have begun to take a toll on the economy. AL’s attempts to enhance its electoral advantage by rallying secular voters behind the war-crimes prosecutions of top Islamist figures will heighten domestic tensions.
People’s trust in government erodes when there is no genuine rule of law to limit the power and scope of the ruling elite. The latest breach of trust in China is the discovery that more than 40 percent of the rice supply in Guangzhou was tainted with cadmium, a toxic metal. The socialist idea that “power resides in the people” is a mantra without substance.
When companies must spend money to comply with an ever-increasing flood of federal regulations, they need to make cuts in other areas. This usually means holding off on job creation or even cutting their existing work force and employee hours. What does it cost American businesses to comply with excessive federal regulations? The Competitive Enterprise Institute puts the figure at $1.8 trillion a year.
If Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke steps down next year, his successor may be Janet Yellen. In a recent statement, she indicated that unemployment should become the priority for the Fed. It seems reasonable to want to aim all our policy guns at this plague. But many things that seem reasonable on the surface sometimes appear dead wrong after looking into them more closely.
While inflation seems to be on everyone’s mind these days, misconceptions abound. Few concepts in economics are as misunderstood as inflation. This article examines several commonly-asked questions about inflation, and other key questions people should be asking.
Everyone loves a tiger. Powerful, elegant – yet tricky to manage. Ireland was the Celtic Tiger during the boom of the 'zeros. But now, many economists are looking at the characteristics of a tortoise – slow, controlled, non-violent — as possibly more attractive. Is this the new Ireland?
The possibility of Cyprus becoming the Achilles Heel of the eurozone and causing its eventual downfall has been heightened by the botched resolution to its payments crisis. This comes at a time of increased regional risk aversion as the eurozone’s plight has re-emerged on investors’ radars with Germany (and other, strong countries) seemingly more reluctant to offer blank checks.
The two-stage municipal elections held in October 2012 were closely watched as a gauge of the effect of a notorious vote-buying scandal on the popularity of the main governing PT. In that regard, the results suggest that the PT remains in a strong position to retain control of the presidency in 2014.
Today we are faced with government debates about the importance of managing national debt. The President’s State of the Union Address did not show a strong movement towards debt reduction. Those of us who worry that growing debt can and will lead to another economic crisis in the U.S. often point toward U.S. fiscal policy performance relative to that of other countries.
President Barack Obama won his budget pound of flesh in the “fiscal cliff” showdown. Taxes on the “rich” are going up. But that hasn’t solved Washington’s deficit crisis. Nor would approval of the new taxes that he proposed help avoid the impending budget sequester.
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