German Banks on Top
Overcoming the European Union’s current economic malaise, as almost everyone acknowledges, requires deeper integration, with the first step taking the form of a banking union supervised by the European Central Bank. But Europe’s banking union also requires uniform rules for winding up insolvent financial institutions – and this has become a sticking point.
Why are the Wealthier Healthier?
In 1842, the English social reformer Edwin Chadwick documented a 30-year discrepancy between the life expectancy of men in the poorest social classes and that of the gentry. Today, people in the most affluent areas of the United Kingdom, such as Kensington and Chelsea, can expect to live 14 years longer than those in the poorest cities, such as Glasgow.
EU-India free trade pact will power India's growth
Multiple negotiating rounds, EU-India summits and a number of other technical meetings since 2007, have not been able to iron out differences between the 27-nation bloc and India on the India-EU Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA). With only a "narrow political window" of opportunity left, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma’s recent visit to Europe must be followed closely.
Can the State avoid monitoring Internet?
The report that the US National Security Agency is mining a huge amount of information from the Internet is not surprising. Since 9/11 and the burgeoning growth of the Internet and the social media in the 2000s, the need to access this data has been a major compulsion for the intelligence agencies. The fact that jihadist networks soon proliferated all over the Internet made this even more important.
Europe's clash of Generations
As Europe’s financial crisis goes from acute to chronic, the dispute over who will bear the costs of resolving it is fueling the emergence of a new generation of political movements. In the so-called periphery, political upstarts promise citizens an alternative to austerity. In the eurozone’s “core” countries, they purport to protect taxpayers from relentless demands for debtor-country relief. How Europe’s leaders respond to these new political challengers will determine whether the monetary union stabilizes or fractures.
Misreading the Global Economy
In April 2010, the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook offered an optimistic assessment of the global economy, describing a multi-speed recovery strong enough to support roughly 4.5% annual GDP growth for the foreseeable future – a higher pace than during the bubble years of 2000-2007. But, since then, the IMF has steadily pared its economic projections. Indeed, this year’s expected GDP growth rate of 3.3% – which was revised downward in the most recent WEO – will probably not be met.
Can we Feed the World?
In the 1960’s, the Green Revolution – which included the development of high-yielding crop varieties, the expansion of irrigation infrastructure, and the distribution of modern fertilizers and pesticides to developing-country farmers – bolstered agricultural production worldwide. But chronic hunger remains pervasive, particularly in developing countries, which are affected most by crop shortages and food-price volatility.
Drilling deep for success
This month, the possible start of production at the Johan Sverdrup oilfield off the Norwegian shore was cheered in the international press. In 2010, the Swedish Lundin Petroleum had announced that year’s biggest discovery here. Significantly enough, Lundin found oil less than three metres from where the French explorer Elf Aquitaine, now part of Total, had drilled but failed miserably in 1971. We recall something similar happening with Cairn in Barmer, Rajasthan some years ago.
Why India Slowed
For a country as poor as India, growth should be what Americans call a “no-brainer.” It is largely a matter of providing public goods: decent governance, security of life and property, and basic infrastructure like roads, bridges, ports, and power plants, as well as access to education and basic health care. Unlike many equally poor countries, India already has a strong entrepreneurial class, a reasonably large and well-educated middle class, and a number of world-class corporations that can be enlisted in the effort to provide these public goods.
Indo-Israel Relations and Iran’s Nuclear Question
In the last 20 years or so there has been a remarkable growth in India-Israel relationship, which is all to the good. Criticism that India wants to work on this relationship more behind the scenes rather than giving it full visibility, is not unjustified. This should change. More openness would consolidate the image of independence of our foreign policy.