August 17, 2017

Tesla, Other Tech Giants Scramble for Lithium as Prices Double

(Photo by Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine
Follow, Creative Commons License)

Driven by the rise of battery gigafactories and game-changing Powerwall and energy storage businesses, the world now finds itself at the beginning of a lithium super cycle that is all about securing new supply, much of which is poised to come from lithium superstar Argentina. Read More »

$85 Crude Oil By Christmas – An Interview With Mike Rothman

(Photo by SMelindo, Creative Commons License)

While Saudi Arabia has been burning through $12-$15 billion per month from its financial reserves to fund government spending through this period, it seems the policy is that the path to a much higher price and higher revenue will come about by allowing for a prolonged low price. Read More »

Is the American Dream Dead?

The American dream has taken a bit of a beating lately. (Photo by, Creative Commons License)

The Conversation Editor’s note: This article kicks off our collaboration with Point Taken, a new program from WGBH that premieres Tuesday, April 5 on PBS and online at The show will feature fact-based debate on major issues of the day, without the shouting.   The American Dream that has existed in this country for over 50 years is on ... Read More »

Can Asia Break Free of Great-power Dynamics?

A boy hold Chinese and American flags in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Eric Pesik, Creative Commons License)

US policymakers underestimate China’s power and resolve and assume that China would not risk the economic costs or military risks of a confrontation with the United States, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Read More »

Realizing the Potential of India–Pakistan Trade

A staff at the Wagah Cargo Inspection Terminal checks a Pakistani truck arriving from India. (Photo by Asian Development Bank, Creative Commons License)

The complete liberalization of trade between India and Pakistan will be a long and arduous process, but granting NDMA status to India would be a good start. Read More »

Breaking Sri Lanka’s Economic Gridlock

Despite growing signs of economic stress on multiple fronts policy attention has stayed stubbornly focused on politics since the presidential elections in January 2015. (Photo by McKay Savage, Creative Commons License)

The sharp drop in oil prices is helping to turn around Sri Lanka’s external current account, but remittance earnings are being hit hard, while export earnings remain in negative territory. The impact of global developments is only one side of the story. More compelling is the government’s capitulation to reform inertia. Read More »

Are China and the EU on a Collision Course?

Workers rights protests in Strasbourg, France. (Photo by The S&D Group in the European Parliament, Creative Commons License)

The future of the EU–China trade relationship will be substantially impacted by a debate over whether China should be granted ‘market economy status’ (MES) this year. Read More »

Electric Car War Sends Lithium Prices Sky High

Salt flats in Bolivia. (Photo by psyberartist, Creative Commons License)

Demand for lithium will continue to rise throughout the year--and beyond--spurred by the rise of battery mega/gigafactories and a burgeoning energy storage business that will change the way we live. Read More »

Bangladesh Starts Contract Farming in Africa

(Photo via The Financial Express)

Bangladesh is turning to Africa to grow food to feed its population. Bangladeshi companies have acquired more than 80,000 hackers land for ‘contract farming’ in Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania in recent months. Read More »

IMF Reform Agenda Good News for Asia

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde holds a press conference April 16, 2015 at the IMF Headquarters in Washington, DC. (IMF Staff Photo/Stephen Jaffe, Creative Commons License)

The global financial safety net needs reform. It is too small, too fragmented and too unresponsive. Reforming the safety net would benefit the Asian region provided the IMF takes a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of this fragmentation. Read More »