World

Catalonia Votes to Secede from Spain

Catalonia is geographically a small part of Spain. But it is a wealthy region of 7.5 million people in the relatively isolated north-eastern Spain and separate culture. And they have declared independence from Spain. In what has been declared an illegal referendum by the Spanish government, Catalan officials said that 90% of those who participated  Sunday, voted for independence. 42% of eligible ...

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Oil for China – Massive Economy, Massive Energy Hog

China is the largest country on planet Earth and one whose economy is one of the fastest growing over the past couple of decades with growth rates reaching as high as 14%. This bodes well for this powerful but still third world nation as it engages more and more of its population into its booming tech and manufacturing sector. In ...

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Canada – Standing on Thick Ice

Over the past several years, prices for Canadian real estate have appreciated dramatically; generating concerns of a bubble that was giving an unsustainable lift to an economy that should properly be considered to be in the mire. These concerns have naturally been articulated with frequent comparisons to the recent catastrophic real estate bust in the US. The performance of the ...

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Military Exercises in the Baltic and Russian Arms Sales

Every four years Russia stages a large multi-day national military preparedness exercise in different strategic regions of the vast country. The strategic regions are East, Central, Caucasus and West. Russia will hold these exercises this year in its West or Baltic Region. Zapad means West in Russian. Hence the maneuvers have come to be called the Zapad maneuvers. The Baltic ...

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NAFTA – Plenty of Room for Improvement

Thousands took to the streets on August 16, 2017, protesting that NAFTA is a horrible treaty designed to let the world’s richest companies entrap Mexicans into sweatshop industrial labor. In Detroit? No, in Mexico City. NAFTA, unfairly or not, is widely perceived as a means for Big US Agriculture, heavily subsidized by US taxpayers, to access 127 million Mexican consumers, ...

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Brazil – Tomorrow Still Just a Day Away

Earlier this week (August 23), Brazil announced an ambitious plan to privatize ownership of some 57 state-owned assets in hopes of raising R$44 billion (about $13 billion US$.) Among the assets to be sold are fourteen airports, eleven electric transmission lines, and fifteen port terminals. Assuredly with advance notice of the government’s fiscal shape-up plan, S&P earlier this month removed ...

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Inflation and Deflation – Going Steady

On August 11th, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a global organization made up of 34 member countries with democratic governments and market economies, published its report on annual inflation rates for member countries. Globally, inflation remains muted with an annualized rate of 2.3 percent expected for 2017, up from 0.6% in 2016 and 1.1% in 2017. Deflation, ...

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The Other Korea

North Korea has a land mass and population roughly equivalent to New York State and a nominal GDP roughly equivalent to greater Buffalo (i.e. Erie County). Its main exports are 19th-century staples, iron ore and coal. South Korea has a smaller land mass, but twice the population and a GDP roughly equivalent to all of the Empire State. Among its ...

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Hyperinflation Destroying Venezuela

Inflation tearing up Venezuela

We hear words like “inflation” all the time, but what does that word really mean for the people of Venezuela? Venezuela is currently ranked as the worst economy in the world. The country struggles with severe food and medicine shortages, political turmoil, violence, and drug trafficking. As we have argued in several past articles, the crisis in Venezuela is the ...

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