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The Paris Climate Change Summit

Like an ostrich which hides its head in the sand when confronted by danger some politicians in the past few decades chose to emulate the bird rather than confront the dangers to humankind posed by climate change. The UN summit on this subject at Copenhagen in 2009 failed to...

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Greenland’s Rare Earth Minerals – December 15, 2013

It may be recalled that I had issued a report previously on November 30, 2011 ­­­regarding rare earth metals.  This report is an update of that report regarding a commodity, which has assumed increasing importance for the developed world because of the widespread demand there for these minerals. China...

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Drone Technology – October 15, 2013

The international news media primarily focuses on U.S. drone attacks as a counter-terrorism measure in Yemen, Afghanistan, the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and Somalia.  The U.S. claims significant success in eliminating the senior leadership of al-Qaeda and its affiliates, but that is not the whole story.  Official reports tend to downplay...

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Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan – October 1, 2013

A major development in Kazakhstan has been the production of the first oil in an area called Kashagan this month.  The Kashagan field, according to the Financial Times, is one of the world’s largest and is estimated to hold as much as 35 billion barrels of oil.  A seven-member...

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Climate Change – August 15, 2013

Yesterday’s news on Pakistan highlighted fears of serious floods overwhelming the cities of Sialkot, Peshawar, and Nowshera. Sialkot was spared the “Biblical flood” (the phrase used by Ban ki-Moon when he toured devastated areas in southern Pakistan), which engulfed Pakistan in 2010, while Peshawar and Nowshera were inundated and...

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Oil Futures – July 15, 2013

The Financial Times has recently published an analysis of oil futures which will have a significant bearing on global politics and economics particularly after 2023. This report has picked up some salient features about the future of the global oil industry in the next decade based on the Financial...

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Obama-Xi Summit – June 15, 2013

The recently concluded Obama-Xi summit was a welcome departure for both sides from the pomp and protocol which usually accompanies such events. It gave Obama and Xi a chance to take each other’s measure in the unconstrained environment of the Sunnylands estate in California. Some kind of an accommodation...

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Current US Economic Indicatiors – June 1, 2013

After navigating the tremendous recession of 2008, the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the United States today is in better economic shape. This report contains a summary of the views of two American writers who have analyzed the economic indices which reflect, at least in part,...

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Terrorist Bombing at the Boston Marathon – May 1, 2013

It was not at all surprising that the bombs planted at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last month, would arouse strong emotions in America. The US apart from the 9/11 atrocity has been mostly inured from a repetition of such events.  Three innocent spectators including an 8...

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Economic Situation in the United States – April 15, 2013

David Stockman a former Republican congressman from Michigan was President Reagan’s budget director from 1981 to 1985. Having been selected for this important position at a young age he was considered somewhat of a budget prodigy. Recently he has authored a book under the caption “The Great Deformation: the...

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Digital Disruption – April 1, 2013

James McQuivey is an executive at Forrester Research a business advisory firm whose book Digital Disruption has apparently attracted considerable attention in the business community. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has reviewed it with the reviewer posing the question, “Is the age of the big corporation over?”  McQuivey argues...

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Poland, Economic Prospects – February 15, 2013

Last year I had submitted a report on bright economic prospects in Poland. Recent analysis tends to confirm this continuing upward trend. While most of the European Union (EU) countries were affected by the global crisis of 2008, Poland was an exception in that it avoided a recession. According...

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The Caret Group on Some Current Issues – February 1, 2013

Columnist David Brooks writing recently in the New York Times has quoted Oswald Spengler the German philosopher (well known for his controversial 1918 book Decline of the West ) as having advised European leaders that they could either be global military powers or pay for their welfare states, but...

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The Economist’s Books of the Year – December 15, 2012

The following is a selection from 67 books chosen by The Economist as the best books of 2012. The wide ranging fields covered, a veritable tour d ’horizon of intellectual endeavor, were Politics and current affairs; Biography and memoirs; History, Economics and Business; Science and Technology; Culture, society, sport...

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Focus on China – December 1, 2012

Napoleon had famously remarked nearly 200 years ago, “Let China sleep, when she awakes the world will be sorry.” The Communist giant has certainly woken up, but whether this is a disquieting development for the rest of the world remains to be seen. What is becoming clearer is the...

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Some thoughts on the US Presidential Election -November 15, 2012

The two-year presidential extravaganza finally ended on November 6 with the resounding victory of the incumbent, who thus staved the ignominy of being a one term President. Though both Obama and Romney had a high academic pedigree-Harvard- Obama, barring a lackluster performance in the first debate, outshone his opponent...

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Investing in real estate in Australia -October 15, 2012

According to a CIA World Fact report:  “In recent decades Australia has transformed itself into an internationally competitive market economy. It boasted one of the OECD’s fastest growing economies during the 1990s, a performance due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s”. Here are some more...

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Recent Developments in the Middle East -September 1 2012

While civil war rages on in Syria with no end game in sight, two countries which have seen momentous developments recently are Egypt and Iran — both countries by virtue of their size, population and resources stand out for their importance in the region. These developments are likely to...

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Debate on Issues in Modern Capitalism -August 15 2012

This is the second and concluding report on the Capitalism debate. Charles Murray a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute has recently contributed an interesting expose´ in the Wall Street Journal under the caption “Why Capitalism has an image problem.” Murray opines that Capitalism has lifted the world out...

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Current thoughts on Capitalism -August 1, 2012

In one of its recent issues The Economist suggests that “most policymakers and economists believe that the rich Western economies have suffered a mechanical malfunction. With the right monetary, fiscal and regulatory tools, the growth machine will whirr into life. Others think the West’s true malaise is not mechanical...

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Investment opportunities in Myanmar -July 15, 2012

Many people are probably not aware that the military rulers of Burma changed the country’s name to Myanmar in 1989. Myanmar (or Burma as it was then known) came under British control in 1824. This lasted till the country gained independence in 1948. Military rule has been all pervasive...

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Discussion on drones and cyber-warfare -July 1 2012

American officials claimed on June 5th that a CIA drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal belt had killed Al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, the Libyan Abu Yahya al-Libi. Some confusion was subsequently caused, almost certainly deliberately, by a Jihadist website showing al-Libi giving a speech in which he spoke inter alia about...

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The 3rd Industrial Revolution – May 15, 2012

As students of economics are well aware, the Industrial Revolution which The Economist in an important recent commentary has dubbed “the first industrial revolution” began in late 18th century Britain. With the invention of the Spinning Jenny and the Arkwright Frame, the textile industry was brought under the rubric...

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On Emerging Nations – May 1, 2012

Ruchir Sharma is yet another person of South Asian extraction (following Liaquat Aahmed and Vijay Vaitheeswaran) whose book Breakout Nations has received favorable notice in the mainstream press.  Sharma is the head of emerging market equities at Morgan Stanley Management.  Interestingly, his views run counter to the conventional wisdom...

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United States’ Economic Future – April 15, 2012

With the demise of the Soviet Union many international affairs analysts had predicted that the 21st century would be dominated by one superpower: the United States. Such Panglossian ideas have in the past few years been tempered by views embracing the opposite end of the spectrum, namely that the...

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Energy Issues – April 1, 2012

It is no secret that with gasoline prices at or near $4 per gallon, the minds of American consumers, politicians and analysts are once again focused on ways to cope with the ever increasing demand for oil. This is not only an American but is now a worldwide phenomenon....

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A Nation’s Most Valuable Resource – March 15, 2012

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has recently cited the example of Taiwan, as a country which is virtually bereft of natural resources and yet has developed into one of the world’s foremost economic powerhouses.  It has achieved this by exploiting the talent, energy and intelligence of its 23...

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Turmoil in Syria – March 1, 2012

What the commentators refer to as the Arab Spring is in the process of transforming the political and economic landscape of the Middle East which in our era of globalization and its concomitant- interdependence- is of global importance particularly to energy deficient regions. A wave of popular revolts has...

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Current Debates on Capitalism – January 31, 2012

The Western world has faced a debilitating economic crisis since 2008 which has sapped confidence in the West’s way of doing business. Bill Clinton wrote a hopeful op ed in the Financial Times  recently  suggesting that as our world and economies evolve, economic leaders have to rethink the relationship...

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The Arab Spring and Its Portents – January 15, 2012

There was little advance warning that the suicide of a street vendor in Tunisia towards the end of 2010 would have led to the end of Ben Ali’s long and dictatorial rule. The Tunisian example was followed by other Arab countries when their peoples came out in the street...

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Bright Economic Prospects in Poland – December 15, 2011

In my previous reports on Malta and Singapore, I had highlighted how these small countries had achieved impressive economic growth ahead of their neighbors and, largely based on this performance had become a magnet for foreign investors. The current report on Poland examines a country in the European Union...

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Importance of Rare Earth Metals – November 30, 2011

It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that the availability of oil has been the driving engine of 20th century industrial progress. The imperative necessity for economically advanced countries to secure uninterrupted oil supplies, especially from the Middle East, to maintain and augment their economic well being has...

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Singapore as an Investment Haven – August 31, 2011

Singapore and Malaya were British colonies of imperial Britain since the 19th. century. Apart from its strategic importance as a gateway between South East Asia and the Pacific Ocean countries (China and Japan) the geographically small island of Singapore was an economic backwater when the British left Malaya in...

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S & P Downgrade: It’s Aftereffects – August 14, 2011

Soon after the debt ceiling impasse had been resolved, the Standard and Poor rating agency’s downgrade of US debt liability from its triple A rating to AA+ has unsettled stock markets world wide. The gyrations have been compared to a roller coaster but seem to be settling down now....

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Investment Opportunities in Malta – July 31, 2011

I visited Malta twice in the early seventies, as a diplomat stationed in Rome, as the Pakistan Embassy in Italy enjoyed concurrent accreditation with Malta. I found it to be an attractive modern country. English is widely spoken. The Maltese are forward looking and progressive in their outlook. It...

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Debt Ceiling Impasse – July 15, 2011

The Obama Administration and the Republicans are currently “deadlocked” over the imperative need to raise the $14.29 trillion borrowing limit by the August 2 deadline. It is worth recalling that Congress has raised the limit a number of times in past years. While the media is making much of...

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