from Ian Bremmer:

The hope and beauty of a North Korean stalemate

By Ian Bremmer
March 30, 2012

President Obama’s recent trip to South Korea may have gained attention for his “open mic” slipup with outgoing Russian President Medvedev over missile defense, but that’s just a media distraction from the importance of Obama’s visit to the Korean peninsula. After Kim Jong Il’s death in December, the U.S. took an early lead in negotiations with North Korea doing so because Obama and his team thought it could be an easy diplomatic win. With the promise of aid and food, the U.S. could let new leader Kim Jong-un quietly drop the consistently belligerent stance the country has taken in what passes for its foreign policy.

from Global Investing:

The haves and have-nots of the (energy) world

February 24, 2012

Nothing like an oil price spike to bring out the differences between the haves and have-nots of this world. The ones who have oil and those who don't.

from Global Investing:

The missing barrels of oil

February 24, 2012

Where are the missing barrels of oil, asks Barclays Capital.

Oil inventories in the United States rose sharply last week, with demand for oil products  such as gasoline at the lowest in 15 years and crude stockpiles at the highest since last September. Americans, pinched in the wallet, are clearly cutting back on fuel use.

from Global Investing:

Interest rates in emerging markets – - harder to cut

February 9, 2012

Emerging market central banks and economic data are sending a message -- interest rates will stay on hold for now.  There are exceptions of course.

from Breakingviews:

Korean spending spree sets right tone

January 4, 2012

By Wayne Arnold
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from Breakingviews:

China could be North Korea’s ally of last resort

December 29, 2011

By Wayne Arnold
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from Ian Bremmer:

Fallout is just beginning in North Korea

By Ian Bremmer
December 21, 2011

By Ian Bremmer
The opinions expressed are his own.

There are many surprising things about Kim Jong-il’s sudden death, not the least of which is that it took two days for the rest of the world to hear about it. Yet most surprising is the sanguine reaction of the global and especially the Asian markets. On Monday, or actually Sunday as we now know, the world woke up to its first leaderless nuclear power. Coming as close as anyone could to filling his seat was his youngest son, who is in his late twenties. There’s no way these facts were accurately priced into markets that took just a relatively minor dip as a first response. The news from North Korea appears to have been taken far too lightly, and just a few days out, it’s disappearing from the front pages.

from Breakingviews:

Dear Leader’s death may prize open hermit state

December 19, 2011

By John Foley (The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

from Photographers' Blog:

The truce village of Panmunjom

December 3, 2011

By Lee Jae-won

South Korea is surrounded by the sea on all sides but one. The country is virtually an island as it is bordered to the north by reclusive North Korea.

from Global Investing:

Japan fires latest FX wars salvo; other Asians to follow

October 31, 2011

Emerging central banks that sold billions of dollars over the summer in defence of their currencies might soon be forced to do the opposite. Japan's massive currency intervention on Monday knocked the yen substantially lower not only versus the dollar but also against other Asian currencies.  The action is unlikely to sit well with other central banks struggling to boost economic growth and raises  the prospect of a fresh round of tit-for-tat currency depreciations. Already on Monday, central banks from South Korea and Singapore were suspected of wading into currency markets to buy dollars and push down their currencies which have recovered strongly from September's selloff.  The won for instance is up 6.9 percent in October against the dollar -- its biggest monthly gain since April 2009.  The Singapore dollar is up 4.5 percent, the result of a huge improvement in risk appetite.