Rana Foroohar

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Give Us Our Coffee and Arugula

Of course, the one other thing that people won't skimp on is coffee and tea -- around 70 percent or more of people around the world say they haven't cut their caffeine spend, and don't expect to. Frugal may be the new chic, but we all still need a pick me up.

The Return of Political Risk

That may now be changing, according to the folks at Eurasia Group. I recently had lunch with Eurasia's head, Ian Bremmer, who pointed out how irrelevant the old "BRICs" term to describe high growth emerging economies is, when at least one of the three letters (R for Russia) is endanger of falling out of out of the acronym altogether thanks to recession related economic and political turmoil.

The End of Mutual Funds?

Stewart isn't the only one bashing Cramer. In the March/April 09 Yale Alumni magazine, Yale's brilliant chief investment officer David Swensen blasts not only Cramer but most of the fund industry too: "Look at Fidelity and Schwab with their full-page advertisements.

The Financial Crisis Hits Education

I wonder what effect this will have on student diversity in coming years. It's certainly going to put pressure on those much lauded Ivy league programs to offer free tuition to lower and even middle income students -- Harvard had announced a free ride to students who come from families earning $60,000 or less annually a few years back.