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The Trans-Pacific Partnership: where economics and power politics collide

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been praised as a breakthrough in international free trade efforts. It has also been heavily criticised, seen as merely a smokescreen for increasing American influence in the Asia-Pacific region and the reach of its corporations. However, it is also a fascinating example of how political and economic rivalries can overlap.

The Great Deformation

David Stockman’s ‘The Great Deformation’: doomsday ramblings or insightful criticism of modern financial systems? Hungy reads to find out.

U.S. debt ceiling under scrutiny

“I have a more fundamental question. Why do we have a debt limit in the first place?”

More than two years have elapsed since former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, expressed this sentiment – and it is still a question that begs answering.

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Replacing Bernanke: who should be next head of the Federal Reserve?

Note: This article was written before the recent changes in candidacy. Nevertheless, it provides a valuable analysis of important factors to consider when evaluating candidates’ credentials.

On September 15 Lawrence Summers unexpectedly withdrew as a candidate for the next Federal Reserve chairman. His letter to Barack Obama stated, ‘I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interests of the Federal Reserve, the Administration, or ultimately, the interests of the nation’s ongoing economic recovery.’ Janet Yellen now faces competition from new candidate Donald Kohn or, some have speculated, an as-yet unnamed economist.

Whether you love or loathe him, there is no question that Ben Bernanke in his last eight years as chairman of the United States Federal Reserve has had his work cut out for him.

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Nuclear Deterrence and Profit Maximisation

In October 1962, the world watched on anxiously as the US and the USSR became precariously poised on the verge of mutually assured destruction during a confrontation known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. This tense 13-day period is considered by many as the point during the Cold War in which the two superpowers came closest to full scale nuclear warfare.

So why didn’t they?

And how is this relevant to economics?

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The rise of China & the decline of the US: Debunking the myth

The global financial crisis reignited the debate of continued US hegemony, particularly when countries like China are experiencing long periods of strong economic growth. Interestingly, the Global Language Monitor found that the “Rise of China” is the “most read-about news story of the 21st century,” even surpassing the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Iraq War, the election of Barack Obama, and the British royal wedding. After all, China’s economy is growing at 9%, while the US “reels from economic recession, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and massive budget deficits.” (Beckley, 2011)

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