Political risk must-reads
Political risk must-reads
By Ian Bremmer
Eurasia Groupâ€™s 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 viaÂ @EurasiaGroupÂ orÂ @ianbremmer.
The economics of people on the move
â€śImmigration Is Changing Much More Than the Immigration Debateâ€ť — Ben Casselman,Â FiveThirtyEight
As the U.S. deals with the recent spike in child migrants, immigration from Asia has surpassed immigration from Latin America in recent years. How can we explain the disconnect between perception and reality in the countryâ€™s immigration debate?
â€śThe real reasons U.S. banks are getting out of the remittances businessâ€ť — Tim Fernholz, Quartz
Banks are retreating from the remittance-transfer business, in part due to increased risk and regulation. But the biggest reason? Shrinking profit margins. Non-banking competition has pushed the cost of transferring funds from 7.21 percent of sum five years ago, to 5.78 percent this year.
â€śOut of Africa: Mobile phone banking surges in EMâ€ť — Irene Madongo, Financial Times
In an effort to reach the estimated 2.5 billion “unbanked” people living throughout the developing world, the amount of live mobile-money services increased 22 percent from 2012 to 2013. In at least nine African countries, there are more mobile-money account holders than traditional bank customers. But this is no longer just a Sub-Saharan story: services are rapidly expanding into Latin America as well.
â€śImmigrants From Latin America and Africa Squeezed as Banks Curtail International Money Transfersâ€ť — Michael Corkery, New York Times
In 2012 alone, Mexico received $51.1 billion in remittances from the United States. But a U.S. crackdown on the financing of terrorist and drug trafficking activities has been driving banks to scrap their low-cost money transfer services. How will this affect the future of remittance payments to Latin America and Africa?
â€śThe High Stakes of Putinâ€™s New Passport Policyâ€ť — Artem Nikitin, Kommersant via Worldcrunch
The economies of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan rely on remittances from Russia for over 30 percent of their GDP. Meanwhile, 3.3 million Ukrainians visited Russia last year, most of them for work. How will Russiaâ€™s push for new passport requirements affect its neighbors?
China as a heavyweight
â€śWhy China Will Reclaim Siberiaâ€ť — Frank Jacobs, New York Times
Along the Sino-Siberian border, 6 million Russians face nearly 90 million Chinese. Despite Moscowâ€™s claim that â€śThe earth along the Amur was, is and always will be Russian,â€ť itâ€™s not inconceivable to imagine China reclaiming a territory it lost only a century and a half ago. For socioeconomic reasons, Siberians might even be more at home under Beijingâ€™s sphere of influence.
â€śThereâ€™s No Partnership in Pivotâ€ť — Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy
If the U.S. truly pivots to Asia, it may have to do so without its biggest ally: Europe. China is now the EUâ€™s second largest trading partner, a large source of FDI, and a loyal arms customer. What does a rising China mean for the traditional Trans-Atlantic partnership?
â€śChina Rethinks the Death Penaltyâ€ť — Mara Hvistendahl, New York Times
It is widely believed that China legally executes more people annually than the rest of the world combined. The Supreme Peopleâ€™s Courtâ€™s recent decision to overturn the death sentence of a woman who murdered her husband signifies a change in the communist regimeâ€™s policy. Is the state becoming more merciful, or simply evolving to reflect popular Chinese opinion of capital punishment?
â€śIsis mobile wallet changes name to end confusion with Islamic Stateâ€ť — Middle East Eye
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has made headlines by declaring a caliphate and simplifying its name to â€śIslamic State.â€ť Isis Mobile Wallet, a mobile payments app backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, will follow suit with their own rebranding strategy.