Global capitalism isn’t working for the American middle class. That isn’t a headline from the left-leaning Huffington Post, or a comment on Glenn Beck’s right-wing populist blackboard. It is, instead, the conclusion of a rigorous analysis bearing the imprimatur of the U.S. establishment: the paper’s lead author is Michael Spence, recipient of the Nobel Prize in economic sciences, and it was published by the Council on Foreign Relations.
What are the lessons the world’s dictators are drawing from the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East? The most obvious and the most depressing is to shoot first and ask questions later. As in Tiananmen in 1989, and Tehran in 2009, the lesson of Bahrain and Syria — at least so far — is that regimes that have the will and the political unity to crack down on protesters can stay in power. (That bitter conclusion, by the way, is one reason the battle in Libya is so important: if Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s brutal repression of his own people works, autocrats around the world will have more evidence of the efficacy of massacre.)
At 2:15 p.m. tomorrow, on Wednesday, April 6, Chrystia Freeland will interview World Bank President Robert Zoellick in Washington, D.C. In this video, Reuters Financial Blogger Felix Salmon and Reuters Editor-at-Large Chrystia Freeland discuss what they think the World Bank's role should be in the uprisings in the Middle East and in supporting countries run by dictatorships versus helping the poor in undeveloped countries.
Below are Mohamed El-Erian’s responses to questions asked by readers during the March 31 Reuters Newsmaker interview with Global Editor at Large Chrystia Freeland. An earlier set of questions and answers can be found here.
Conventional wisdom has it that the Internet is dumbing us down and making politics more partisan. Sound bites are more effective than substance. The punditocracy that shapes these truisms is, needless to say, pretty certain they apply most powerfully to people in the hinterland, especially those with a history of voting for the right.
Below are Mohamed El-Erian's responses to questions asked by readers during the March 31 Reuters Newsmaker interview with Global Editor at Large Chrystia Freeland.
As Chrystia threatened at the end of her interview with Mohamed El-Erian today, we’ve compiled all the questions our readers submitted via the Newsmaker blog and Twitter and e-mailed them to him. El-Erian will be flying to Europe tonight after he finishes up his business in New York, and while we do hope he gets a little sleep, we also hope he stays up long enough to answer all of your questions. We’ll post his answers right here once we receive them.
To Mohamed El-Erian, the world’s major reserve currencies — the dollar, the euro, and the yen — are a bit like your dirty laundry; every shirt is dirty, but compared to the alternatives, they historically have been the “cleanest dirty shirts.” El -Erian thinks that arrangement will not last forever. He tells Chrystia that a long-term trade that PIMCO likes is a long position in the currencies of the successful emerging markets — the clean shirts — funded by the currencies of the U.S., the EU, and Japan.
Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon has previously written that “if you wanted to put a face to the famous bond vigilantes, it would probably feature that famous moustache” of PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian. Well, this morning Chrystia sat down with this famous bond vigilante for an hour-long Thomson Reuters Newsmaker interview and asked him why PIMCO decided to dump all of its holdings of U.S. government bonds earlier this month. Here’s what he had to say:
Fresh off of last week’s announced bid for T-Mobile, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson sat down with Chrystia following a breakfast this morning at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He explained why this deal is good for his shareholders: