The global crisis has pushed trade reforms off -- or at least to the edge of -- the political radar screen. But shying away from improving the trade system in these tough economic times seems a little like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
A few days after the first sunrise of 2012 kissed the shores of Latin America, it is natural to ask: What does the New Year hold for the region's economies, especially with Europe still under stress?
Too old-fashioned? Or, is there a take-away here? Well, let's take a look.
All signs point to 2012 witnessing an acceleration of the negative economic and fiscal metrics that plagued advanced and major emerging economies in 2011.
The Fed's bail-out was not $1.2 trillion, $7.77 trillion, $16 trillion, or even $24 trillion. It was $29 trillion. That is, of course, the cumulative total. But even the peak outstanding numbers are bigger than previously reported.
Since the onset of the global economic crisis, policymakers and media pundits have resisted using the "D" word, instead preferring terms such as the "Great Recession."
The world's financial system is so tightly linked, so tightly coupled, that semi-random events halfway around the world with zero real economic impact on anything American can still crash our economy.
A year ago I published "10 Big Themes for 2011" -- related to how the digital revolution changes business and society. It's helpful to review what actually occurred. Below are my projections and some 20-20 hindsight editorializing.
Next year will see elections in the U.S. and France, a leadership handoff in China and the return of Putin to the Russian presidency. Candidates will be tempted to pander by telling their constituents they can ignore their global responsibilities. But the publics know better.
Global food prices remain high and volatile, affecting the poorest countries the most. For millions who are already vulnerable, events like the droughts in the Horn of Africa add to their hardships while continued market turmoil increases uncertainty in the global economy.
Italy needs a renaissance. Thankfully, that's an idea they are familiar with.
While Americans and other citizens from wealthy nations have exercised their democratic right to assemble and publicly express their dissent, the most adversely affected masses are conspicuously silent.
The first casualty of war is truth, they say. The first casualty of debt is the poor and middle classes, and that is a truth that's just becoming visible.
In the 12 months to June, over RMB 600 billion poured into China from short-term lending by nonresidents to Chinese corporations. These developments are worrying for four broad reasons.
Once again the G-20 must act to prevent a devastating slide into a deep contraction, if not depression, and avoid a damaging retreat into protectionism and competitive devaluation.
The beauty of Europe is its rich diversity of language and cultures, so why are all these politicians and overpaid, unelected bureaucrats trying to force some ghastly vision 'of such' on us all?