Political risk must-reads

March 22, 2013

Eurasia Group’s weekly selection of essential reading for the political risk junkie – presented in no particular order. As always, feel free to give us your feedback or selections by tweeting at us via @EurasiaGroup or @ianbremmer.

The theme of this week’s must-reads is the U.S. domestic picture – whether it’s immigration, the federal deficit, gay marriage, or the 2016 presidential election.

Is it too early for 2016 polls?” – Micah Cohen, FiveThirtyEight blog, New York Times

As soon as the 2012 presidential election wrapped up, some pollsters turned their attention to 2016. Too soon? Perhaps not. 

Own goal: America’s immigration rules are the opposite of what it needs” – The Economist

Today there are just 140,000 green cards per year that are tied to employment and investment. That’s the same quota as in 1990, even though the US population has grown dramatically since. In 2011, just 6 percent of all green cards were handed out “for hard-nosed economic reasons.”  

Politicians and gay marriage: profiles in calculation” – Alexander Burns, Maggie Haberman, and John F. Harris, Politico

Will March 2013 be remembered as the month when the political calculus on gay marriage fundamentally shifted?  What’s the underlying cause of the shift? What does it mean for policy – and for politicians – going forward?

The politics of misperception” – Garance Franke-Ruta, The Atlantic

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the US is on track for the smallest federal budget deficit since 2009. But at 5.3 percent of GDP, the 2013 deficit would still be larger than in all but one year between 1947 and 2008. This article highlights three aspects of the US financial picture that the American public routinely misunderstands.

A BRICS bonus 

BRICS development bank may take years” – Anita Powell, Voice of America

Can a BRICS development bank work? Or are the interests and priorities of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa simply too divergent?

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