outubro 27, 2010

Como Obama perdeu a sua magia

The real story in this election is not that America has no jobs, that the economy continues to falter or that the national debt continues to balloon. While all three are true and, more importantly, Obama has failed to fix them, it is also true that these conditions existed prior to Obama's election. Yet somehow his personal charisma and captivating charm elevated the electorate.
The real story of campaign 2010 is how boring Obama has become.Obama, who had never run anything except a campaign in his entire life, performed an almost unprecedented conjuring act in 2008, getting the electorate to embrace him regardless of the utter absence of managerial skills.
They believed not necessarily in Obama's capacity to fix America's transient problems but in his ability to focus us on more eternal, upbeat themes like hope, faith and the future. Yet, this time his very presence seems irritating. A man whose oratory lifted him to earth's highest office can't seem to deliver a single uplifting speech.
As a connoisseur of great oratory, I used to love hearing Obama's staccato delivery, perfect timing and mesmeric self-confidence -- the mark of any great speaker -- even as I disagreed with him on many of the issues. But Obama's speeches have now become insufferable, devoid of charisma and personal magnetism. [...]

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outubro 15, 2010

Como parar uma guerra cambial

In recent weeks the world economy has been on a war footing, at least rhetorically. Ever since Brazil’s finance minister, Guido Mantega, declared on September 27th that an “international currency war” had broken out, the global economic debate has been recast in battlefield terms, not just by excitable headline-writers, but by officials themselves. Gone is the fuzzy rhetoric about co-operation to boost global growth. A more combative tone has taken hold. Countries blame each other for distorting global demand, with weapons that range from quantitative easing (printing money to buy bonds) to currency intervention and capital controls.
Behind all the smoke and fury, there are in fact three battles. The biggest one is over China’s unwillingness to allow the yuan to rise more quickly. American and European officials have sounded tougher about the “damaging dynamic” caused by China’s undervalued currency. Last month the House of Representatives passed a law allowing firms to seek tariff protection against countries with undervalued currencies, with a huge bipartisan majority. China’s “unfair” trade practices have become a hot topic in the mid-term elections.
A second flashpoint is the rich world’s monetary policy, particularly the prospect that central banks may soon restart printing money to buy government bonds. The dollar has fallen as financial markets expect the Federal Reserve to act fastest and most boldly. The euro has soared as officials at the European Central Bank show least enthusiasm for such a shift. In China’s eyes (and, sotto voce, those of many other emerging-market governments), quantitative easing creates a gross distortion in the world economy as investors rush elsewhere, especially into emerging economies, in search of higher yields. [...]

Ver artigo no The Economist

outubro 12, 2010

A China oferece apoio financeiro à Grécia

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered Greece a major vote of confidence on a visit to the debt-ridden European nation, saying China will continue to buy Greek bonds and announcing the creation of a $5 billion fund to help Greek shipping companies buy Chinese ships.
The remarks represent some of China's most substantive support for the euro zone amid the region's debt troubles, and reflect the Asian giant's growing willingness to wield its economic clout to obtain wider international influence. Mr. Wen's Athens visit kicks off a week of intensive Chinese-European diplomacy, with the premier heading to Italy and Turkey as well as to summit meetings with European Union leaders in Brussels. "We hope that by intensifying cooperation with you, we can be of some help in your endeavor to tide over difficulties at an early date," Mr. Wen said Sunday in a speech to the Greek parliament. "China will not reduce its euro-bond holdings and China supports a stable euro." China has long had economic interests in Greece, primarily in its shipping industry, and it runs a substantial trade surplus with the European country. China's relations with Greece have come into focus in recent months as Greek officials actively lobbied the Asian nation to support its economy. Athens is desperate for investment as the country claws its way out of a deep recession and a debt crisis that drove it to the brink of bankruptcy in May. [...]

Ver notícia no WSJ

outubro 07, 2010

Primeiro esboço do novo conceito estratégico da NATO

O projeto para o “novo conceito estratégico” da NATO, apresentado pelo secretário-geral da organização na segunda-feira, foi bem recebido, havendo “mais pontos de convergência que de divergência”, anunciou hoje em Bruxelas o porta-voz da Aliança.

James Appathurai lembrou que este primeiro esboço é ainda somente "um ponto de partida", começando agora a ser discutido com os embaixadores dos países membros.

Em conferência de imprensa, no quartel-general da NATO, Appathurai acrescentou que o projeto do «novo conceito estratégico» da Aliança Atlântica vai ainda ser debatido pelos ministros da Defesa e dos Negócios Estrangeiros, a 14 de outubro, antes de ser adotado em novembro, na cimeira de Lisboa.

O porta-voz sublinhou que a forma “inclusiva e transparente” no processo de consulta para a elaboração do documento já “está a produzir resultados”, pois as primeiras reações foram positivas, destacando-se «muito mais pontos de convergência do que de divergência».

Escusando-se a avançar pormenores sobre o conteúdo do documento, que a NATO espera manter "privado" até à cimeira de Lisboa, Appathurai adiantou que o texto tem um cariz bastante político, é curto e claro – apenas 10 páginas (às quais se juntarão depois textos mais burocráticos, sobretudo sobre implantação) -, pois o desejo do secretário-geral, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, foi que o texto fosse “legível” também pelos cidadãos. [...]

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