After months of threatening to undo the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Donald Trump once again opted to extend the deal by waiving economic sanctions on Iran. This was the “last chance,” he declared in a Jan. 12 statement, “to either fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw.”
LONDON Energy prices are booming, but the inflationary impact from high oil is not so clear-cut.
LONDON Bond yields around the world are rising as the pieces of the inflation jigsaw fall into place: a booming world economy, high and rising oil prices, strong corporate capex spending and the lowest unemployment rates in years, even decades.
In recent weeks, Iran has again been in the throes of an uprising. Signs of the regime change America had long hoped to see are on the horizon. In the unlikeliest cities — once the strongholds of the conservatives — Iranians have taken to the streets, demanding, not just reform, but a referendum.
Two men of the right were pulled from pedestals this past week: one, American, for being a source; the other, British, for having been a columnist. Their rationalizations and attempts at exculpation raise the question: does journalism operate in a space increasingly divorced from sober fact and judgment? Is most of it being enfolded, ever more completely, into entertainment or political intolerance?
Europe’s currency union - not so long ago on its sickbed - has started the year in rude health. The winning streak looks set to continue since economic confidence in the euro area is at its highest for almost two decades, but it will have an unwelcome side-effect. The more the euro zone economy thrives, the less pressure there will be on European politicians to take steps to prevent future crises.
Last year Kim Jong Un shocked the world with the unexpected speed of his nuclear missile development, his brutal crackdown on apparent rivals and suspicions that he ordered the assassination of his half-brother with a chemical nerve agent. This year, the North Korean leader is opening January with a diplomatic offensive – but that doesn’t mean a change of strategy.
China’s rise over the last generation has been impressive, with the country moving from the periphery to the center of the global system, and climbing from impoverished backwater to a position of substantial wealth and power. But the strategic environment in which China’s “lay low” approach to international affairs has helped to make it the world’s second-largest economy is changing – and a broader backlash against China is beginning.
Iran and Russia have made no secret of their mutual desire to sideline the United States in the Middle East. “Our cooperation can isolate America,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Vladimir Putin during the Russian president’s recent visit to Tehran. Putin, for his part, has praised the Moscow-Tehran relationship as “very productive.”
LONDON Hedge funds have kicked off 2018 with their biggest bet ever on the euro rising, a clear vote of confidence in the single currency but, with positioning so stretched, one which could backfire in the near term.
The views expressed by the authors in the Commentary section are not those of Reuters News.