Political risk must-reads

June 21, 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.


China Court Ruling Could Threaten Foreign Investments in Country” – Sue-Lin Wong, International Herald Tribune

Many Chinese sectors such as media, finance, and technology are off-limits to foreign direct investment. Variable interest entities (VIEs) have allowed Chinese companies such as Baidu, Sina, and Alibaba to raise billions in foreign capital while avoiding the regulatory hurdles. A new court ruling may make these entities illegal—with severe implications.

Dividing The Nile – Ethiopia And Egypt Spar Over River Dam Project” – Vincent Defait, LE TEMPS/ Worldcrunch

Can ten countries really share one river? An Ethiopian plan to create 6,000 megawatts of hydroelectric power through damming the Nile—enough electricity for 85 million Ethiopians—has neighbors feeling like they’ve been sold down the river.

6 Reasons Why Kim Jong Un Is Screwed” – Sokeel Park, The Atlantic

The difference between the economies of North and South Korea is the biggest of any two neighboring countries on earth. Is North Korea’s system sustainable in the long run? Here are six reasons to think not.

For Many Filipinos, Jobs and the Good Life Are Still Scarce” – Floyd Whaley, New York Times

The Filipino economy outpaced that of any other East Asian country with 7.8% GDP growth in the first quarter.  But is this growth trickling down to ordinary citizens? The country ranks 114th out of 187 countries in the UN Human Development Index. Unemployment rose since last year; many are looking overseas for work or enough food to eat.

Costa Rican Drug Addicts Are Killing Turtles and Conservationists” – Jack Barry, Vice

What can sea turtles tell us about the efficacy of the police force in Costa Rica?

Bonus charts

The Terrifying Math Behind Climate Change, Visualized” – Fast Company

This ominous chart shows the impact of varying levels of carbon emissions.

My Kind of Town, Stink Onions” – Chris Kirk, Slate

Here’s a map of the United States…that uses the original literal meaning of places. Spoiler: “Stink Onions” is Chicago. “New Navel of the Moon” is New Mexico.

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