Opinion

Ian Bremmer

Political risk must-reads

By Ian Bremmer
June 28, 2013

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

Must-reads

Spanish frustration with Germany grows as austerity bites” – Tobias Buck, Financial Times

What a difference a year makes. A little more than a year ago, Spaniards dubbed Angela Merkel their most admired leader in Europe. Now she ranks below the leaders of France, Italy and the UK. What’s causing the shift in sentiment?

The Coming Arctic Boom” – Scott G. Borgerson, Foreign Affairs

With great melting comes great opportunity. Between the summers of 2011 and 2012, the portion of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice shrank by an area the size of Venezuela. In the past thirty years, Arctic sea ice has lost half its area and three quarters of its volume. Who stands to gain as new sea lanes open and natural resources become accessible? 

We need to talk about Kevin—again” – The Economist

In Australian politics, we’ve seen old fashioned political jockeying in the grudge match between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd. What can we expect from Rudd in his second stint as prime minister?

Brazil’s protesters sick of corruption” – Carlos Alberto Montaner, Miami Herald

38 percent of Brazil’s GNP ends up at the government’s disposal. That’s a higher percentage than Canada, Spain or Switzerland—and Brazilians get a lot less from their government in return. No wonder Brazilians are protesting — as Montaner notes, “Brazilians pay first-world taxes, but get third-world services.” 

Report: China’s UAVs Could Challenge Western Dominance” – Wendell Minnick, DefenseNews

Can China’s unmanned combat aerial vehicles end up rivaling their American and Israeli counterparts? If China sells to countries where Israel and the United States don’t do business, it may not have much competition at all.

Crackdown on shadow financing caused cash crunch, says China” – Kathrin Hille, Financial Times

Over the past five years, the overall credit to gross domestic product ratio in China has increased from 120 percent to nearly 200 percent. Is the recent cash crunch the effect of Beijing’s efforts to curb this trend?

Bonus

Who has the audacity to call Vladimir Putin “Ostrich Legs”? If you’ve been searching for a comprehensive list of George Bush’s pet names for other people, look no further. If even a fraction of these are true, thank you, Wikipedia.

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