Business

Greece Looks to Avoid a Third Bailout

Greece is raising the prospect of debt relief with international lenders as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced a primary surplus of 1.5 billion euros as proof the country’s battered economy will begin to rebound this year.   Samaras said, however, he is keen to avoid a third bailout that may contain additional austerity measures, which he has repeatedly rejected, and …

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Large Dams Don’t Make Economic Sense: Study

The wave of new mega dams under construction globally is economically unviable, according to Oxford University researchers who have found such projects typically cost nearly twice as much as first estimated and rarely finish on time.   The findings are based on a study of 245 dams built in 65 countries since 1934, making it the most comprehensive analysis since a slew …

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Unravelling Zimbabwe’s “Food Crisis”

Is there a food crisis in Zimbabwe? The UN says 2.2 million people will be in need of food assistance until the end of March, based on a 2013 government-led joint survey by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC). But the government is now questioning those findings.   The Zimbabwean media have reported extensively on the seeming tug-of-war. But an IRIN investigation …

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Obama’s Budget Resets the Fiscal Debate

President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2015 shifts the political conversation toward our most urgent national problem: creating jobs and growing the economy. This should have been our political system’s primary focus for the past several years, but Congress instead allowed itself to get sidetracked by a misguided focus on austerity and debt. Presidents cannot control the economy, and President Obama does …

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Saudi Arabia to Become Oil Importer by 2030

According to “BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2013”, in 2012- Saudi Arabia had the second largest crude oil reserve (265.9 billion barrels) and the largest producer (11.53 million barrels per day) in the world. However, in mid-2012, a Citigroup analysis had been widely reported in the international media, which forecast that by 2030, Saudi Arabia will have no oil …

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Asian Giants Look to the Energy-rich Arctic

In recent years, the U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that the polar north may hold up to 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil resources*—potentially as many as 160 billion barrels—and as much as 30 percent of the world’s untapped natural gas supplies.   With climate shifts in the Arctic raising temperatures and reducing sea-ice coverage, the region has become …

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Venezuela and the “Curse of Oil”

With attention focused on dramatic events in Ukraine, another anti-despotic uprising at the other end of the earth has not received the media treatment it deserves. And yet the struggle in this second battlefield for freedom, Venezuela, could have a greater impact on reshaping international politics. Democratic change in Venezuela could reverse the Leftist-autocratic trend that started in Latin America …

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Indonesia Needs Confidence in Economic Integration

Indonesia has benefited significantly from opening up to trade and investment. It responded without hesitation to plummeting revenues from oil exports in the early 1980s with sweeping reforms to reduce tariffs, non-tariff barriers, red tape in customs clearance and procedures for obtaining business permits. These reforms spurred the expansion of light-manufacturing industries and helped the economy reach a steady rate of …

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What Baucus’ Departure Means for US Trade Agenda

The departure of Senator Max Baucus to be the US ambassador to China is a major blow to the US trade agenda.   First elected in 1978 and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee since 2007, Baucus led a panel with broad jurisdiction over tax policy, health care and international trade agreements, and was instrumental in the passage of the …

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The Battle for Water

There is a popular, tongue-in-cheek saying in America — attributed to the writer Mark Twain, who lived through the early phase of the California Water Wars — that “whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over.” It highlights the consequences, even if somewhat apocryphally, as ever-scarcer water resources create a parched world. California currently is reeling under its …

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