Economics

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Snapshot,
Mark Blyth and Cornel Ban

Just as Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river, in spite of the warnings of the Roman Senate not to, so has Alex Tsipras, leader of the anti-austerity party, Syriza, decided to try to end austerity in Greece, in spite of Europe’s leaders saying he shouldn’t. Whether Tsipras will succeed is still unclear, but whatever happens, his victory represents a crucial turning point for Europe—a signal that time has run out on austerity policies.

Snapshot,
Eric B. Schnurer

By launching an e-residency program, Estonia is leading the way to a new market—one in which states compete for customers just as businesses do.

Postscript,
Stathis N. Kalyvas

Talk of overturning austerity aside, Greece still needs the last 7.2 billion euro installment of the bailout to cover its financing gap. For the time being, then, the new government will need to abide by the program’s requirements—that is, the very combination of austerity and reform that Syriza has pledged to overturn. This may be enough to break the party.

Snapshot,
David James Gill and Michael John Gill

For today's cash-strapped countries, a strong credit rating can provide a huge advantages. Getting one, however, is not simply a matter of hitting the right benchmarks; it's also an exercise in strategy.

Snapshot,
Eli Berman, Joseph H. Felter, Jacob N. Shapiro

Aid, investment, and job creation don't necessarily bring peace to conflict zones. In fact, aid often fuels violence. Policymakers need smarter development programs to minimize such unintended side effects.  

Snapshot,
C. Fred Bergsten

Obama’s signature international economic initiative is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress have insisted that the TPP forcefully address the manipulation of exchange rates. Here's how to resolve this dilemma.

Snapshot,
Anton Barbashin

Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that the new Eurasian Economic Union will reintegrate the former Soviet states. But the union is nothing more than an illusion—and an unconvincing one at that.

Snapshot,
Robert Muggah

Fragile cities—places where government authority is crumbling and violence runs deep—will be the world's greatest challenge in the coming decades. But turning such cities around is possible. Here's how. 

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab and Robert A. Manning

Following a plunge in the price of oil, Saudi Arabia was expected to cut back its production and help stabilize the market. But in a break with tradition, Riyadh has refused to play ball. That decision will have far-reaching consequences, some of which carry big risks for the Kingdom.

Snapshot,
Nate Schenkkan

What started off as a relatively simple customs union in early 2014 has been transformed by treaty into a single economic space. But expansion has come at the cost of the union’s coherence, and as Russia’s economy spirals into crisis, the prognosis for 2015 is dire.

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