EU Prime Ministers Beat a Path to The Hague

This month, The Hague has become the destiny of choice for European prime ministers and presidents embarking on a pilgrimage to placate, woo, mollify or pay homage to Saint Mark – the self-anointed patron of the frugal. In his impressively

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Islamic Development Bank Deploys Sukuk to Counter Corona Impact

Respond, Restore, and Restart. That is how the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) aims to tackle the economic fallout of the corona pandemic. The group has set aside $2.3 billion for its Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme. The funds are

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Saying No to China

What had originally been announced as a series of conferences followed by a high profile summit in Leipzig to seal and celebrate a landmark investment agreement between the European Union and China, was downgraded to an online chat between EU

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South Africa and the Struggle for Reform

Widely considered a bellwether for emerging market sentiment, South Africa’s rand has been on a dizzying rollercoaster ride, seesawing on currency markets as traders try to match fact with perception and decipher the country’s true predicament. On 11 June, the

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Japan Opens the Money Spigot

Once upon a time, Japan was said to pose a menace to the economic hegemony of the industrialised countries of the West. Current US criticism of Chinese trade practices and currency manipulation echo the acerbic disputes between Washington and Tokyo

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Europe: Fig Leaves to Save Spain and Italy

Looking to score without breaking a sweat, European politicians of almost every ideological persuasion often turn on ‘Brussels’, assigning blame to the union for every conceivable domestic ill and castigating it for their own failings. Unable to put up a

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Austerity Arrives in the Kingdom

For the first time in living memory, the Saudi government has embarked on a major austerity drive. Early June, state workers saw their generous cost-of-living allowance abruptly cancelled. Capital expenditure on iconic mega projects has been put on hold as

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Hold the Bulls: US Recovery Marred by Uncertainty

Early June, the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research formally declared a recession – the first since 2009. The US economy reached its apex in February and all but imploded in the weeks and months

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Argentina Looks Good, Brazil Not So Much

Argentina has defaulted on its public debt – again. The country is familiar with the script that follows and unlikely to be intimidated by upset creditors. In fact, Argentina is seen blazing a trail for other countries grappling with debt

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Resistance Is Futile as Berlin Backs EU Solidarity

For the third time in her 15-year reign, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has sprung a major surprise and taken the lead whilst others dither. In 2011, she renounced nuclear energy and fossil fuels, promising to put Europe largest economy on

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