Opinion

NEMETHY: Can the Fed engineer a soft landing?

Les Nemethy CEO and founder of Euro-Phoenix Financial Advisors December 12, 2021

If th tightens too far too fast (e.g. tapers bond purchases and hikes rates), stock and bond markets will crash; if it allows the current exceedingly loose monetary policy to prevail, inflation may careen out of control. What will it do?

ING: Hungary’s budget deficit breaks new record

Peter Virovacz is a Senior Economist with ING in Hungary December 9, 2021

Hungary's monthly deficit in November broke an all-time record with a more than HUF1 trillion shortfall. It just shows the strength of the current fiscal thrust.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: War talk weighs on Ukraine’s people sentiment

FPRI BMB Ukraine December 9, 2021

Amid difficult US-Russia diplomatic talks, the prospect of a Russian invasion weighs on the economy and the morale of the population in Ukraine. US intelligence reports as many as 175,000 Russian troops on the border and the people fear a war.

LIIK: Biden meets Putin: What lies behind Russia’s military build-up?

Kadri Liik in Berlin December 8, 2021

The troops that Russia is assembling along Ukraine’s border would be more than able to embark on a full-scale invasion. But is this really Moscow’s intent? What does Putin actually want?

BOOK REVIEW: Growing up amid political upheaval in Albania

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow December 8, 2021

The theme of freedom and what it means to be free runs through Free: Coming of Age at the End of History, Lea Ypi’s powerful memoir of the collapse of communism in Albania.

COMMENT: US expats homeless in Russia

Joshua B Tulgan in Moscow December 7, 2021

The US government recently declared my wife to be homeless. More specifically, it declared my wife’s people - citizens of Russia - to be homeless. The US consulates in Russia are closed, making life hell for US expats resident in Russia.

COMMENT: The West must cut a deal with the Taliban to prevent mass starvation in Afghanistan

Louise Grogan for The Conversation December 7, 2021

The lack of food security in Afghanistan may soon become a threat to the stability of many other countries.

Iran nuclear talks might be heading towards “coma option”

bne IntelIiNews December 6, 2021

Analyst says it might suit all sides to agree outcome in which JCPOA “would all but die”, with the parties to then pretend it was still alive to avoid crisis its official death would spur.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Russia wants to talk about Ukraine, not to Ukraine

FPRI BMB Ukraine December 6, 2021

“We will not be able to stop the war without direct talks with Russia,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an address. But its not going to happen yet. In the meantime Moscow will only negotiate with Washington, without Kyiv's participation.

COMMENT: New rightwing Czech government will have a short honeymoon unless it learns lessons from the past

Albin Sybera in Ljubliana December 3, 2021

Billionaire populist Andrej Babis could make a swift return as president unless the coalition keeps corruption in check and addresses some of the country's worst social problems.

COMMENT: Russia coal mine explosion also highlights environmental tragedy

Anatoli Smirnov and Conal Campbell of www.ember-climate.org/ December 1, 2021

A methane explosion killed 52 people at a coal mine in Siberia on November 25 – the worst accident in a decade. But coal mine methane has a profound impact on the environment too. But fixing the problem could generate hundreds of millions of dollars.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: 20 step plan to de-oligarchize Ukraine

FPRI BMB Ukraine November 30, 2021

On November 24, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers approved a 20-step plan outlining measures for implementing the “law on oligarchs” and the strategy for the development of the justice system in 2022–2023.

NEMETHY: The economic vulnerability of Central European economies

Les Nemethy CEO and founder of Euro-Phoenix Financial Advisors November 29, 2021

The global economy may be characterized as either “everything booms”, where virtually all asset prices have rapidly exploded in value, or steeply rising indebtedness. Which countries in CEE are most exposed to the risk of inevitable rate hikes?

HOMANS: Putin’s Choice – continue invading Ukraine or keep doing what he’s been doing?

Robert Homans in Washington DC November 29, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made clear that he believes Ukrainians and Russians are “one people,” and wants Ukraine to return to the Russkiy Mir. Will he achieve his objective by invading or just wear Ukraine down?

COMMENT: The Romanian political crisis during the pandemic

Alexandru M. Tanase in London November 25, 2021

On November 25 one of Romania’s most controversial and unnecessarily prolonged political crises, with profound economic and social implications, came to an end.

ING: Polish retail sales boosted by low base

Rafal Benecki is the Chief Economist in Poland at ING November 24, 2021

Yearly retail sales in Poland have recovered after a soft third quarter. It's no surprise, given that this time last year the country was hit by COVID lockdowns.

Competitors are motivation, lockdowns are an opportunity

Theo Normanton in Moscow November 24, 2021

As huge swathes of the global population went into lockdown, many retailers faced heavy losses. The trends developing before the pandemic picked up pace, with online shopping and sustainable manufacturing gaining traction.

COMMENT: Let’s admit it: the hybrid war concept is useless

Anna Arutunyan in Moscow November 18, 2021

Watching with dismay the expert coverage of the Belarus-Polish migrant crisis, it occurred to me that we need to retire the hybrid war concept, at least from news coverage. It’s become unhelpful at best and dangerous at worst.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Ukraine facing a potential energy crisis this winter

FPRI BMB Ukraine November 18, 2021

The geopolitical conflict over energy, particularly gas with the impending (though temporarily suspended) certification of Nord Stream 2, is spilling over into the coal and electricity sector, putting Ukraine on the verge of a potential energy crisis

ING: Poland’s current account balance is deteriorating quickly

Leszek Kasek is the Senior Economist in Poland at ING November 17, 2021

Compared to 2020, Poland’s current account balance is set to deteriorate by an equivalent of about 4.5% of GDP in 2021.

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