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Archive for the tag “reforms”

Saudi Arabia Must Prepare For The Post-Petroleum Order

What’s the larger picture of Mohammed bin Salman as a reformer? The prince is trying to prepare Saudi Arabia for a post-petroleum order, in theory by unlocking competitiveness and creativity. His plan is detailed in Vision 2030. It includes reducing the number of royal family members on the government payroll. It also increases domestic tourism—based on the premises that the under-thirty generation has fewer resources to travel abroad for entertainment and tourism, and a desire to keep Saudi money within the kingdom.

Read Here – The National Interest

Asia’s Strongmen Aren’t Strong Enough

Across Asia, the world has supposedly been witnessing the return of the strongman. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been grasping more and more control in his own hands since claiming power in 2012. Two years later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India and President Joko Widodo (known as “Jokowi”) in Indonesia won office by selling themselves as forceful economic and political reformers.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Why Saudi 2030 Isn’t Iran 1963

On the surface, the similarities between 1960s Iran and modern Saudi Arabia seem self-explanatory. Like Saudi Arabia today, Iran in the Pahlavi era was ruled by a monarchy with a close (but complicated) relationship with the United States. Indeed, Tehran and Riyadh would go on to become the “twin pillars” of Nixon’s strategy for keeping the Soviets out of the Middle East.

Read Here – The National Interest

China’s Pain Points

Here are some of China’s economic pain points: bloated state-owned companies; banks with rising bad loans and local governments drowning in debt; massive overcapacity in the property market; bad investment in the wrong places.

Read Here – Bloomberg

India’s Modi Faces An Existential Choice


In the ultimate analysis, the Bihar election turns out to be a referendum on Modi himself. The single resounding message is that the Modi government’s lackluster performance is steadily eroding the overall credibility of the prime minister and his party.

Read Here – Asia Times

Revealed: The Great Chinese Economic Transition Is Here

If China is indeed making the transition it has long said it wishes to make, it would look like what we are now seeing. Both the IMF and the World Bank have in recent months pointed to compelling evidence that the transition is well under way, and it’s one of which they heartily approve. It’s remarkable that last year consumption growth in China contributed more to GDP growth than did the growth of investment. Remarkable, too, that half of the overall growth of output was contributed by services rather than by heavy industry.

Read Here – The National Interest

Selling Off The State In China

The good news is Xi is changing tack. Rather than just tossing more stimulus at the economy and stocks, he’s redoubling efforts to reform the inefficient and opaque state-owned enterprises at the root of so many of China’s vulnerabilities. In other words, Xi is finally working to strengthen China’s foundations rather than papering over the cracks. The bad news is that Xi could just as easily be making things worse.

Read Here – BloombergView

Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Bombshell

President Maithripala Sirisena’s sudden indisposition during the New Year holidays had politicians on both sides of the House considering a potentially serious constitutional bombshell. The possibility of the Rajapaksa family making a come back, not just as members of parliament, but even as political masters of the country till 2021 has emerged a real possibility. Mahinda Rajapaksa could return as president through an entirely legal process.

Read Here – Economynext

A German Empress No More

So Merkel-Land is looking at stasis, thanks to too much chumminess among the parties. In the next four years, we won’t be seeing any more magazine covers celebrating Angela I as “queen” or “empress” of the Continent.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Will The Third Plenum Bring More Gaige Kaifang To China?

So what is likely to come out of the party meeting? There will probably be few specifics about what shape individual policies may take. But there will be no dearth of broad statements by top leaders, including Party Secretary Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, laying out long-term goals for the country.

Read Here – BusinessWeek

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