Business

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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Medical Tourism in Asia Goes Under the Knife

Medical tourism in Asia is booming. People from both Asia and the West are being attracted to cities and ‘hubs’ of medical excellence in a number of countries, such as Malaysia, Thailand, India, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. This tourism is a reversal of medical travel’s historic trend of being from low- to high-income countries. But the travel for cheaper treatments, …

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Crude Oil: Production Cost $2, Market Price $100!

The IEA in its ‘World Energy Outlook 2008’ articulates that it costs between US$6 and US$28 to produce a barrel (bbl) of crude oil (in 2008 dollars) in the Middle East and North Africa. The range of production cost for other conventional fields is between US$6 and US39 per bbl. However, the production costs of deep/ultra-deep-water oilfields varies between US$32 …

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Let the Malaysians Eat Cake?

Nearly two and a half centuries ago Marie Antoinette, on hearing the French people were short of bread, supposedly said: ‘Let them eat cake’. It was a callous remark, and became a symbol of the French aristocracy’s isolation from the people they governed, a schism that shortly thereafter descended into the brutality and violence of the French Revolution. Antoinette was …

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How Will the Farm Bill Affect Americans

Every five years (or so), Congress passes a massive package of agriculture-related legislation known simply as the Farm Bill. This year’s model (which is actually a bit late—the previous version expired in 2012) is responsible for nearly $1 trillion in government spending over the next decade. It might be easy to assume the Farm Bill (which passed the House last …

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Verdict Worsens Pakistan’s Energy Woes

Energy supply is a pressing concern in Pakistan as frequent crippling power outages are not only stunting its economic activities, but have caused a constant public outcry in recent years.   The issue was one of the core agendas in the general elections held last year in the violence-hit country.   The December 2013 verdict of the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) …

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Drop in Global Arms Sales

Sales of arms and military services by the largest arms-producing companies totaled $395 billion in 2012, showing a 4.2 percent decrease in real terms compared to the companies in the Top 100 for 2011. The new data on international arms production launched January 31 by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Sweden’s  at the Munich Security Conference.   Arms sales …

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Can Afghanistan’s Economy Grow?

At the turn of the century Afghanistan was economically comatose. The arrival of international forces in 2001 also marked the start of unprecedented international support. After 12 years of conflict, Afghanistan remains a burden for the international community.   The day is approaching when Afghanistan will have to stand on its own. To do that, Afghanistan will need to adapt …

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Why Keep American Crude Oil at Home

Over the past five years, the United States has experienced an astounding energy transformation. We are producing more oil—and using less—due to advances in drilling technologies and more-efficient vehicles, as required under the modern fuel-economy standards developed by the Obama administration. The increase in domestic oil supply, combined with the decline in demand, has also led to a significant decrease …

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