Current affairs

Feb 13th 2009

NEW YORK - A year ago, I predicted that the losses of US financial institutions would reach at least $1 trillion and possibly go as high as $2 trillion.

Feb 12th 2009

You'd think that the results of November's election -- coupled with the collapse of the economy -- would begin to make Republican lawmakers question the consequences of their blind commitment to right wing economic orthodoxy.

Feb 12th 2009

In the end, it does not matter all that much that Bibi Netanyahu is going to be Israel's next prime minister. I don't see much (if any) real differences between him and Ehud Barak or Tzipi Livni.

Feb 11th 2009

TEL AVIV- "The voters", said Binyamin Netanyahu in his strange victory speech, during Israel's bizarre post-election night, "have spoken." And so they have, in a multiplicity of self-contradictory voices.

Feb 11th 2009

War and violence always have a direct effect on elections. Wars account for dramatic shifts in voter preferences, and radical leaders and parties often poll much higher after a round of sharp violence than in normal times.

Feb 11th 2009

JERUSALEM - Israel's election is a victory for centrism and national consensus. Indeed, that is the key to understanding not only the vote count, but also Israeli public opinion, the next government, and its policies.

Feb 10th 2009

CAMBRIDGE - Two years ago, Barack Obama was a first-term senator from a mid-western state who had declared his interest in running for the presidency. Many people were skeptical that an African-American with a strange name and little national experience could win.

Feb 10th 2009

To make serious progress toward a final status agreement between Israel and the
Palestinians, George Mitchell must first work on restoring confidence in a peace
process that years of havoc and destruction have all but destroyed. To that end,

Feb 8th 2009

Peter Berkowitz's essay in the latest issue of the Weekly Standard provides good insight into what I think is the strategic irresponsibility of those in Israel's leade

Feb 6th 2009

The crisis in journalism has, during the past few months, reached meltdown proportions.

Feb 5th 2009

When I got stopped by the police in downtown Bordeaux for running a red light last week, I was thinking "Don't you cops have anything better to do ?" But the words that came out of my mouth were a lot more conciliatory, something like "Sorry, I thought it was green."

Feb 4th 2009

NEW YORK - For 15 years, I have attended the World Economic Forum in Davos. Typically, the leaders gathered there share their optimism about how globalization, technology, and markets are transforming the world for the better.

Feb 4th 2009

From his first Middle East tour as President Obama's special envoy, George
Mitchell must have found that not much has changed since his 2001 report. During
his previous mission on the origins of the Second Intifada, Mitchell concluded

Feb 3rd 2009

JERUSALEM - Europe's vocation for peacemaking and for international norms of behavior is bound to become the base upon which Barack Obama will seek to reconstruct the transatlantic alliance that his predecessor so badly damaged.

Feb 3rd 2009

Sunday's enthronement of Russia's first patriarch since the fall of the Soviet Union, Patriarch Kirill, was a moment of some reflection for those present.

Feb 2nd 2009

BERKELEY - When an economy falls into a depression, governments can try four things to return employment to its normal level and production to its "potential" level. Call them fiscal policy, credit policy, monetary policy, and inflation.

Feb 1st 2009

BANGKOK - A friend recently asked a seemingly naïve question: "What is money? How do I know I can trust that it is worth what it says it is worth?" We learn in introductory economics that money is a medium of exchange. But why do we accept that?

Jan 30th 2009

Watching President Obama's interview on Al-Arabiya this week was striking in multiple respects, not the least of which, of course, was that an American president actually did an interview with an Arab network with a largely Muslim viewing audience -- and did it in the f

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