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    By: The Conversation | Date: 18 Dec 2014

    The restoration of full diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, announced simultaneously by Barack Obama and Raúl Castro yesterday, is a huge political breakthrough. The benefits to the Cuban economy, however, will be more gradual. Read more

  • By: East Asia Forum | Date: 18 Dec 2014

    Last Sunday’s general election in Japan has returned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its ally, the New Komeito, with a two-thirds majority in the lower house of the Diet. That the LDP would get a majority of seats was expected, as various polls had shown since Abe unexpectedly announced snap elections in November. Now the LDP holds 291 seats and New Komeito 35 in the 475-seat lower house. Read more

  • By: East Asia Forum | Date: 18 Dec 2014

    ‘Benghai’ was changing. Returning to my old office, my home for ten years of fieldwork in rural China, it was clear something was amiss. Gone was the grizzled caretaker, listlessly following his mop around the ground floor of the four-storey building. In his stead was a bank of impossibly cheerful uniformed women in their early twenties. Their smiles could signify only one thing: real estate. Read more

  • By: Marc Chandler | Date: 18 Dec 2014

    The EU Summit starts today. There are three important issues: Russia, Juncker's investment scheme, and Greece. Read more

  • By: Marc Chandler | Date: 18 Dec 2014

    Over the last week, Colombia (+9.5%), Mexico (+1.9%), and Chile (+0.1%) have outperformed in the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, while Hungary (-9.6%), Turkey (-7.3%), and Russia (-5.8%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -1.0% over the past week while MSCI DM fell -0.2%. Read more

  • Debt is the fatal disease of republics, the first thing and the mightiest to undermine governments and corrupt the people.
    Wendell Philips
    He who controls the money supply of a nation controls the nation.
    James A. Garfield
    The moment that government appears at market, the principles of the market will be subverted.
    Edmund Burke