As the new Russian state struggles with the transition to a market economy, the need for radical monetary reform becomes increasingly urgent. The choice of reform is crucial, for it will largely determine Russia's future economic performance.
Everyone seems to be wringing their hands about what they fear is an oncoming recession. Indeed, as a sign of the level of the public’s angst, The Economist magazine reports that Google searches related to the word “recession” have surged. If that wasn’t enough evidence of the hand wringing, the Chairman of President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, the respected Tomas Philipson, recently indicated that he was worried about the steady negative drumbeat in the press: that a recession might be just around the corner. Philipson put his finger on the problem when he said, “The way the media reports the weather won’t impact whether the sun shines tomorrow. But the way the media reports on our economy weighs on consumer sentiment, which feeds into consumer purchases and investments.”
The Gregorian calendar has been around since 1582. Even though it is widely used throughout the world, it contains flaws that give rise to confusion and financial miscalculations. The replacement of the Gregorian calendar with the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar(HHPC) will throw confusion and financial miscalculations into the dustbin. One set of problems thrown up by the Gregorian calendar is the so-called “day-count problem.” For example, to determine how much interest accrues on financial instruments— like bonds, mortgages, swaps, and forward-rate agreements—day counts, the number of days interest accrues, are required. With the Gregorian calendar, complexities and anomalies exist that create difficulties, which give rise to day-count problems.
Colombia’s peso is in trouble, again. Against the U.S. dollar, the peso has shed 20% of its value in a little more than a year and 7% in the last month. Like most Latin American currencies, the Colombian peso bobs up and down like a yo-yo, but its long-term trend is one of weakness. Indeed, since August 2014, the peso has lost 45% of its value against the greenback. Talk about a theft!
On August 11, the ticket of Alberto Fernandez and Christina Kirchner crushed the hapless President of the Argentine Republic Mauricio Macri in a primary election. Their victory virtually guarantees that the Fernandez-Kirchner team will occupy the Casa Rosada after the presidential election scheduled for October. For many, including the pollsters, Sunday’s results were a stunner. Not for me. I have been warning for over a year that gradualism, which is Macri’s mantra, is a formula for political disaster. If that wasn’t enough, the Argentine peso is another time bomb that has sent many politicians in Argentina into early retirement.
President Trump has picked a fight with China on trade. This has run the gamut of badgering to the imposition of tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States. And, if that is not enough, the President threatens to lay on more tariffs if China fails to comply with a host of U.S. demands. China will not stand idly by and be beaten with a stick, but will they pull the trigger?
One weapon that China has in its arsenal is rare earths. As the Global Times,a state-owned Chinese newspaper, put it: rare earths are “an ace in China’s hand.” Rare earths cover 17 important elements on the periodic table. And, they are elements in which China occupies a dominant position. Furthermore, the Chinese leadership is well aware of the strategic importance of rare earths. As far back as 1992, Deng Xiaoping stressed that “the Middle East has oil; China has rare earths.”