European Union

2016 Ended: Saying Goodbye To A Roller-Coaster Year

The importance of information grew exponentially and 2016 will be remembered as a year of information wars. No information sources are fully trusted anymore. Internet has become a battlefield where information wars are waged to influence large masses of people and a considerable number of world leaders.

Italy Urges Europe To Begin Censoring Free Speech On The Internet

“Post-truth in politics is one of the drivers of populism and it is one of the threats to our democracies,” Pitruzzella told the FT. “We have reached a fork in the road: we have to choose whether to leave the internet like it is, the wild west, or whether it needs rules that appreciate the way communication has changed. I think we need to set those rules and this is the role of the public sector.”

The Rich Got Richer In 2016 - $237 Billion Richer!

While Warren Buffett did best of all the billionaires in 2016, he was far from alone. As Bloomberg reports, thanks to the Trump rally, the rich got a lot richer in 2016 - $237 billion richer to be exact - but the biggest fortunes on the planet whipsawed through $4.8 trillion of daily net worth gyrations in 2016.

Frontrunning: December 29

  • Russia's Putin says Syrian government, opposition sign ceasefire deal (Reuters)
  • Snap’s IPO Pitch to Tout Service as ‘the Next Facebook’ (WSJ)
  • What History Has to Say About the Economy Trump Will Inherit (BBG) - zero mentions of the word "debt"
  • Trump tax reforms could depend on little-known 'scoring' panel (Reuters)
  • Debbie Reynolds Dies a Day After Daughter Carrie Fisher (BBG)
  • U.S. appeals court rejects SEC's use of administrative law judges (Reuters)

The EU Vs. The Nation State?

The question remains, however, why any nation would want to throw out its sovereignty to institutions that are fundamentally unaccountable, that provide no mechanism for reversing direction, and whose only "solution" to problems involves arrogating to itself ever more authoritarian, rather than democratically legitimate, power.

Frontrunning: December 28

  • Crude Rally Lifts Commodity Currencies; Bonds Rise: Markets Wrap (BBG)
  • Kerry Plans Middle East Speech as Israel Moves to Ease Tension (BBG)
  • Japan Looks to Smooth Over Past as New Threats Arise (WSJ)
  • Israel backs off East Jerusalem settlements (Reuters)
  • House Flipping Makes Comeback as Home Prices Rise (WSJ)

Who Wants To Keep Gas Flowing Through Ukraine And Why?

It is hard to see the position being taken by Poland - and by those in solidarity with Warsaw over this matter (or who are clearly urging that country to embark on such initiatives) - as anything but a deliberate attempt to jeopardize Europe’s energy security...

Exit, Hope & Change - The Obama Post-Mortem

By now, anyone in this country still of sound mind knows that Barack Obama presided through eight years of remarkable continuity - of changeless conditions that left a great many hopeless. As the days of his tenure dwindle, what do we make of the departing 44th president?

A Loser's Malice: What's Behind Obama's Attacks On Putin

Relations between Russian president Vladimir Putin and US president Barack Obama are poisoned and irretrievably damaged. It’s therefore a good thing that Obama is leaving office on 20 January. Bad US-Russian relations are of course nothing new. Since the Anglo-American war against Iraq in 2003, the US-Russian relationship has been headed downhill. For Obama, it appears that everything has gotten personal.