Political risk must-reads
Political risk must-reads
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 Tragedy of Argentina: A Century of Decline” — the Economist
Last month, the Argentine peso saw its value depreciate by more than 20 percent. But 100 years ago, after 43 years of consecutive GDP growth of 6 percent annually, Argentina was considered a leading land of opportunity. What changed after World War One? Where is the country headed now?
“Al-Qaeda Rebels in Syria Tell Christians to Pay up or Die” — Aryn Baker, Time
ISIS, an extremist Islamist group that even mainstream al Qaeda has disassociated from, is in control of Raqqa, a northern Syrian city. They have left Christians in their jurisdiction with a painful choice: pay up, convert, or face death. The payment scheme, which is scaled based on income level and the value of gold, is part of ISIS’s attempt to create an Islamic kingdom with laws that date back to the time of Mohammad.
“Has the Venezuelan Government Helped or Hurt the Country’s Poor?” — Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post Wonkblog
As the street calms in Venezuela, it looks more likely that Nicolas Maduro will remain in power…for now. The economic realities are grim, with a national economy in crisis, and an official inflation rate of 56 percent.
“For Rich, ’13 Was Good for Making, and Spending, Money” — Julie Creswell, New York Times
Over the last decade, the register of billionaires climbed 80 percent (to 1,682). And last year was particularly kind to the uber-rich. In a survey of the world’s 0.1 percenters, only 4 percent said that they wound up worth less over the course of 2013.
“India’s Election by Mind-Blowing Numbers” — Suryatapa Bhattacharya, WSJ blog
An estimated 100 million extra voters are eligible to vote next month, compared to India’s last general election. There are an estimated 814.5 million eligible voters. Eleven million people will help conduct the polling and make sure it runs smoothly.
“NASA Photo Shows North Korea Kept in the Dark at Night”– Sean Breslin, The Weather Channel
North and South Korea’s power consumption is night and day. Astronauts on the International Space Station have taken a night image of North and South Korea that puts the two countries’ energy usage into stark relief. South Korea’s per capita power consumption is 10,162 kilowatt hours. North Korea’s is 739.
Lastly, are you curious if you’ve got the first name of a Democrat or Republican? This database will let you know how your first name ranks.