Why Brazil Could Be the New Britain

Over the last few days, I've been talking with our Rio correspondent, Mac Margolis, about the future of Brazil, which has been one of the winners in the global financial crisis.

Russia Enters Its Lost Decade

Oil may be up, but Russia, strangely, is down. Commodities prices, on which Russia's economy is ever dependent, have been rising for the past several months, leading some economists to predict a return to 3 percent growth (from the current negative-10 percent) by next year, and even higher figures in the future.

Will Oil Help Or Hinder the Recovery?

With oil prices on an unprecedented roller-coaster ride over the last year, our senior reporter Matthew Philips caught up with energy guru Dan Yergin, to talk about what effect petro-prices will have on the recovery.

Who Says Financial Innovation Is Dead?

You can't hold a good banker back, it seems. I had to laugh when I read the cover of the FT this morning, with a story on how Goldman Sachs, Barclays and others are finding ways to soften the burden of the new capital requirements being imposed on them in the wake of the financial crisis.

The Super Rich Are Down But Not Out

This latest financial crisis and global recession has been unique in all sorts of ways – from its length and depth, to the fact that almost nobody has come out unscathed.

Which Country Has the Most Debt?

Public debt is rising at its fastest rate since World War II, as nearly all major governments seek to stimulate their shaky economies. Who's most at risk from the ballooning debt bubble?

Fading Dragon

The word in Asia is that Hong Kong may be a has-been. In April, Chinese officials announced they want Shanghai to become a global financial center by 2020.

Chinalco and Rio Tinto -- An Unhappy Ending

Beijing lost a fair bit of face yesterday when Chinalco, a Chinese state-backed aluminum company, was forced to walk away from a $19.5 billion offer to purchase a large chunk of Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto.

Is Hong Kong a Has-Been?

That's a big question here in Asia at the moment, not only because the city recently announced a dismal negative 7.8 percent GDP growth thanks to the financial crisis, but also because its days as Asia's financial capital may be numbered.

Could Huawei Go All the Way?

For the last few months, there's been a lot of talk about how the financial crisis will be an opportunity for strong emerging market companies with good balance sheets to undercut their Western competitors and gain global market share, ultimately building the sort of name brands that are still owned mostly by Western blue chips.

New Growth in China's Pearl River Delta?

Down in southern China, in the Pearl River Delta, the world's biggest manufacturing hub, everyone is trying to figure out how to move beyond manufacturing (at least, the dirty low-end kind).

Made In China

I'm spending the week in Guangdong, the southern-most province of China and the first to open up to outsiders in the 1980s. It's the world's factory, where most of the stuff that's Made In China gets made – and that's why I'm here, on an East-West Center fellowship studying the effects of the financial crisis in Asia.

Japan: The World's Worst Economy

When the financial crisis first began, one big worry was that China would be hit hardest amongst the Asian countries because of its huge dependence on exports to the West.

The W-Shaped Economic Recovery

When it comes to grading the economy, most professors would probably award a C-. But the letters bandied about now when macroeconomists congregate are L, U, V and W.

Will the Recession Make the World Smaller?

That's the premise of a new book by a longtime source of mine, Jeff Rubin, the former chief economist for CIBC World Markets in Canada. I remember back when oil spiked to $147 in July of 2008, I interviewed Rubin about how nosebleed oil prices would change the world.

Funny Numbers

Economic statistics might seem a dry topic, but it's actually full of colorful anecdotes. We hear a lot, for example, about how hard it is to gauge what's going on in the ever-important Chinese economy because economic reality and the numbers to support it are basically made up by Beijing.

Political Fallout from the Great Recession

On yet another endless Asian flight (it seems to take 6 hours to get anywhere out here), I read an interesting piece in the McKinsey Quarterly by Robert Wright, an economics professor at NYU's Stern School of Business.

The Poor Get Poorer

While Americans are worried about dips in their 401Ks, Asians are increasingly worried about more important things, like feeding their families, as the global recession continues to play out.

Attention Drivers: Gas Prices Will Stay Low

Last summer's gas price spike ($4 a gallon and beyond) helped push the U.S. further into recession. So, now that oil prices are starting to move higher, with lots of smart folks predicting another peak in the next year or so, should we worry about higher prices at the pump again?

China Rising, and Rising, and Rising

I'm still here in Hawaii for one more day, hearing Asian economic experts talk about the impact of the financial crisis on the region. To me, one really interesting fallout of the crisis is how quickly the Chinese are turning their relative economic power into political power.

The Asian Century

Pretty much every bit of economic data that comes across my desk these days seems to back up the idea that we're very quickly headed for the Asian century.

Goods and People Are Moving, But Money Isn't

That leaves capital -- and that's where the news gets grim. Despite the market's positive reaction to financial stress tests, banks haven't loosened the taps on loans, especially cross-border loans.

Paris Just Got Cheaper

Taxes are going up in most parts of the world as governments struggle to pay for the financial crisis, but one place they are going down is in French restaurants.

Will Europe Ever Catch Up?

Europe, as it turns out, lags behind the US in all key indicators by an average of 24 years. That means that the U.S reached current EU levels of performance way back in the 1980s.

Stress Tests: What To Expect

Whatever the case, it's clear the banking sector as a whole won't be in great shape. As Capital's analysis shows, even after Treasury injected some $200 billion into ailing banks in the last quarter of 2008, tier 1 capital (that's the good kind) only rose by about $20 billion.

Shanghai Surprise

In this week's cover of Newsweek International, we explored whether Shanghai is the new Detroit. Now, I'm beginning to wonder if it may soon be the new Wall Street.

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