Economy
Struggling to Switch Gears, China Stalls

Struggling to Switch Gears, China Stalls

Following the financial crisis of 2008, the global superpowers adopted near-zero interest rates and currency devaluation in hopes that these would rev up their economies. Lower interest rates boost investment and weaker currencies increase exports— like giving a little gas when attempting to jumpstart your car. As the value for one currency decreases, however, others...
Reinventing the Wheel: Uber Diplomacy

Reinventing the Wheel: Uber Diplomacy

Uber’s premise is simple: “Tap the app, get a ride.” In just a few years, Uber Technologies Inc. went from mobile app to global phenomenon— completely reimagining what urban transportation can achieve in the twenty first century. With humble beginnings, Uber was once known as UberCab— a ride-hailing mobile app launched in 2009 by entrepreneurs...
Balance of Power in Southeast Asia: Vietnam’s Strategy

Balance of Power in Southeast Asia: Vietnam’s Strategy

Southeast Asia is economically booming, with a flood of foreign investment and a 5 per cent growth rate expected for 2016. A slowing Chinese economy does not even seem to break this good momentum. Politically however, things are not so positive. Southeast Asia is buying considerable amounts of weapons in its increasingly tense regional environment....
Could the F-35 Finally Make its Way to Singapore?

Could the F-35 Finally Make its Way to Singapore?

Singapore’s acquisition of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II has shifted from an unlikely possibility to a plausible probability in recent months. The F-35 is being touted as a state-of-the-art fifth generation fighter, described as only second to the U.S. Air Force’s prized F-22 in air-to-air capabilities and the best in air-to-ground abilities. While many...
Putting the Dam in Damocles: Iraq's Largest Dam at Risk of Collapse

Putting the Dam in Damocles: Iraq’s Largest Dam at Risk of Collapse

On 10 June 2014, the Islamic State (IS) occupied Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Since then, ethnic and religious minorities have been prosecuted while IS institutes its bloody and bizarre interpretation of Islamic law. However, IS may not actually be the biggest threat in the vicinity of Mosul. Upstream of Mosul itself, the Mosul dam...
Tales from the Bottom of the Barrel: What’s Happening to Oil?

Tales from the Bottom of the Barrel: What’s Happening to Oil?

The story of global commodities cast a dark shadow over much of 2015 and this gloominess looks likely to continue in 2016. The price of crude oil has fallen from $105 per barrel in June 2014 to a meager $31 in February 2016. This represents more than a 70 per cent drop in less than...
Angus Deaton: Who is he and Why Does he Matter?

Angus Deaton: Who is he and Why Does he Matter?

On 12 October, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (colloquially just the Nobel Prize) for 2015 to Angus Deaton. Broadly, committee awarded Deaton the prize for his work revolving around three central questions: how do consumers distribute their spending among different goods,...
The Beginning of the End for Putinism

The Beginning of the End for Putinism

In the centre of Donetsk, the capital of the rebel-controlled territories in eastern Ukraine, the authorities have recently taken the unprecedented step of installing three massive portraits in the main square of the former Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin.  The portraits are adorned with a quote from the former tyrant declaring, ‘Our cause is just. The...
Butterflies and Bubbles: A Review and Forecast of Global Markets

Butterflies and Bubbles: A Review and Forecast of Global Markets

Ever since the last financial crash in 2008, we have successfully avoided another big financial tumble, and have had a relatively strong bull market since then. However, in the words of London based State Street Executive Vice President Michael J Wilson, it has been a very unloved bull market, as everyone is weary of being...
7 – 1: A tale of Brazil’s climbing inflation and anaemic growth

7 – 1: A tale of Brazil’s climbing inflation and anaemic growth

Similar to the stochastic improbability of saving a penalty, a 7-1 victory for Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup was equally surprising; as exhilarating or disappointing as it may have been, it was clear that Brazil’s team of awaited legends-to-be had cracked under its immense pressure. Though it was not only Brazil’s players who...
The Eurozone’s Achilles Heel

The Eurozone’s Achilles Heel

On 25 January 2015 Greece ushered in the New Year with the election of the leftist SYRIZA party to parliament. All eyes are now on Greece and her new Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, in hopes that he will compromise and continue austerity reforms in light of his country’s increasing national debt. Recently, however, Tsipras has...
Buy on the Rumour, Sell on the Fact

Buy on the Rumour, Sell on the Fact

No one expected the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) sudden announcement that it would no longer hold the Swiss franc at a fixed exchange rate with the euro. Panic ensued in the world of central banking. On 14 January, the euro was worth 1.2 Swiss francs; a day later, its value had fallen to 0.85 francs...