Opinion articles

Paris III provides some relief but debt situation still perilous

Paris III provides some relief but debt situation still perilous

Reading Time: 3 minutes The exuberant Paris III conference provided $7.6 billion in concessional pledging; certainly, a positive outcome as concessional loans—loans with flexible terms for the borrower—are more favorable than market borrowing in terms of debt service cost. The donors pledged $1.3 billion in private sector loans reflecting their concern that the sector has been constrained by stringent

Middle East coming out as top spot for emerging markets

Reading Time: 3 minutes So, you are an emerging markets investor, or concerned about the volatility in the US or European markets. If you have worries about a slowing of Chinese investments, or you believe a global financial bubble is about to burst, you may want to consider pouring some of your assets into the number one emerging market

The battle for the South

Reading Time: 4 minutes The battle is on for hearts and minds in South Lebanon. Taking advantage of the devastating Hizbullah-Israel war last summer, the government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora is hoping to undercut Hizbullah’s traditional dominance of the border district through a two-pronged approach of external financial assistance and international diplomacy. The former is being conducted through

US presidential race heats up

Reading Time: 3 minutes For the first time since 1952—since Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the White House—neither the incumbent president nor his vice president is in the running for the top job in the country. George W. Bush will have served two terms, making him constitutionally ineligible, and Vice President Dick Cheney? Well, realistically, his chances of being

Dollar not what it used to be

Reading Time: 3 minutes The US dollar may still be king in terms of foreign-exchange reserves and denomination of international transactions, but the American currency is no longer absolute monarch of the global economy. The yawning US trade deficit and a huge overhang of debt denominated in greenback are causing concern regarding its reserve currency status. Since the middle

The so-called Iranian threat

Reading Time: 4 minutes According to a recent Zogby poll, George W. Bush jumped ahead of Ariel Sharon this year as the world leader Arabs like least. Perhaps Bush owes his remarkable surge to the fact that the former prime minister was in a coma for all but two weeks of 2006. This same poll that surveyed respondents on

The last dance

Reading Time: 2 minutes Last month saw the cream of the world’s leaders, businesspeople, economists and experts meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss today’s most pressing issues. And they are plentiful as they are urgent: poverty, climate change, trade barriers, famine and disease, to name a few. But as the world works together against malaria,

Saddam Hussein: 1937-2006

Reading Time: 8 minutes In February 1991, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, visited Tehran and met with Iran’s president, Ali Akhbar Rafsanjani. Neighboring Iraq figured high in the conversation. The US and its allies had just launched the ground war to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation forces, this coming three years after the end of the disastrous Iran-Iraq

The year that brought globalization to the Arab World

Reading Time: 3 minutes Since the current wave of global change accelerated after the end of the Cold War, mention of globalization has tended to upset Arabs. However, 2007 could be the year that the Arab World really moved closer to the rest of the globe. Politically, this was evident in the Annapolis conference, where — under watchful American

Days of decision for damascus

Reading Time: 3 minutes Few Syria observers ventured a guess at the New Year as to what the coming 365 days may hold for the country. The region’s topsy-turvy politics is the primary reason, but so is a trait unique to Syria: its seeming inability to set targets and meet them. The final date of the June 2005 Baath