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Economia e Finanza

Syria's Crisis and the Global Response

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What is the status of the situation in Syria?

Syria's civil war continues unabated in early 2013 amid an enduring international deadlock over how to mediate the two-year-old conflict that has killed more than sixty thousand people and displaced some seven hundred thousand more, according to the United Nations. In recent weeks, the United States and its allies have expressed heightened concern over allegations of chemical weapons being used in clashes near Aleppo. If such use is confirmed, President Obama has said it would represent a "game-changer" in U.S. involvement in the civil war. The unrest has also proved a magnet for global jihadists, including al-Qaeda-linked groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, fighting for the establishment of an Islamist state.

Currency Wars: This Time, Is It for Real?

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In his presidential campaign in 1928, Herbert Hoover promised to help impoverished farmers by increasing tariffs on agricultural products; after the election, he also asked Congress to reduce tariffs on industrial goods. In April 1929, well before Black Thursday, U.S. Representative Reed Smoot, a Republican from Utah, introduced a bill that passed the House in May. The bill increased agricultural and industrial tariffs at levels that had not been seen for a century. This was a relatively benign beginning of what would become one of the most tragic policy measures of the 1930s. Within a few months of the bill being passed in the Senate as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, other countries in response raised their own trade barriers, which started a vicious circle of contracting world trade flows and economic activity, and rising unemployment from 1930 to 1933.

What Military Threat Does North Korea Pose?

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It is impossible to say whether the recent threats from North Korea constitute a clear and immediate danger or whether the strong threats are just bluster in order to extract food aid and technical assistance from the international community. 

From football to military might, how Qatar wields global power

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Sometimes, it seems that all stories now connect to Qatar. Last week, it was David Beckham signing for the super-rich club Paris Saint-Germain, owned by the Qatar Investment Authority. Earlier last month, it was revealed that al-Jazeera, the hugely powerful Qatari broadcaster, was launching in America, where it was once known as "terror TV". Why has this tiny Gulf state – the richest country in the world per capita, largely thanks to natural gas – become so active, so attention-grabbing?

European Central Bank Monthly Bulletin

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Based on its regular economic and monetary analyses, the Governing Council decided at its meeting on 7 February to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged.

The Pope of Japanese Finance

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TOKYO – While the world focuses on the gathering of cardinals in Rome to choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, a similar conclave is underway in Tokyo to choose the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) next governor. And, as with the deliberations at the Vatican, politics, not doctrinal debate, is underpinning the decision-making process in Japan.

Mexico Breaking Good

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MEXICO CITY – For a glimpse of the average American’s understanding of the relationship between the United States and Mexico, one only has to watch the critically acclaimed television series Breaking Bad. Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a few hundred miles from the border, the series chronicles the rise and fall of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who becomes a methamphetamine tycoon.

The Sequester Will Be Good for the Economy

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Politicians, pundits and economists are all forecasting horrific impacts on the U.S. economy as sequestration hits Friday. The basis for this view is the standard — Keynesian — claim that spending cuts slow economic growth, perhaps even causing a recession.

Cyprus Needs to Find a Quick Debt Fix

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What to do about Cyprus?

Newly elected President Nicos Anastasiades wasted no time setting out his stall for negotiations on a possible €17 billion ($22.14 billion) bailout required before the country runs out of money in June: "I want to be absolutely clear. Absolutely no reference to a haircut on public debt or deposits will be tolerated. Such an issue isn't even up for discussion," he told Parliament on his first day in office.

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Federal Reserve Bank


U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis