Last week’s summit between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in was as close to breathtaking as it gets in international relations. In the space of a few months, the world went from trepidation about a possible nuclear confrontation
After a year of hemming and fulminating, President Trump finally unleashed the trade war that he had been promising since his campaign — and indeed for years before that. The stock market tanked on the news, and the commentariat exploded, with the bulk of the response negative.
“Dow plunges 391 points as fear grips markets.” A headline from two days ago? Try two years ago. Jan. 15, 2016, to be precise. The last time stocks exhibited the sharp sell-off — followed by an equally sharp run-up — that characterized the past few days. Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down about 1,600 points, the largest intraday point-drop ever,
Now that President Trump has declared his asking price for a DACA deal includes $25 billion for a wall, here’s a speech Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) could give at any point in the current debate:
As the Trump administration prepares to take a tougher trade stance on what it sees as unfair Chinese trade policies, China has signaled that it won’t accept such measures lying down, saying it will “resolutely safeguard” its economic interests.
As congressional Republicans prepare to pass their tax bill , the Federal Reserve is about to say goodbye to Janet Yellen as chair. She’s had a good run: The United States and the world recovered from the financial crisis; steady, if unspectacular, growth resumed. Yet now the Fed is in an unusual spot as Jerome Powell takes over.
It’s no secret that the People’s Republic of China is nearing completion of a decades-long project to reassert itself as a global force. Whether it’s via the “One Belt, One Road” initiative to spend billions on infrastructure spanning Africa and Asia, its formation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
The recent dustup over whether the Trump administration should withdraw the United States from the NAFTA accord cast the ongoing power struggle inside the White House in sharp relief. The conflict, often characterized as a duel between Steve Bannon and his ilk (nationalists) and Jared Kushner and his crew (“globalists,” according to Bannon), isn’t necessarily the choice we would want: who would pit wealthy elites against “burn baby burn”
Donald Trump’s election has been greeted by a considerable portion of the country with panic. Large swaths of commentators have described his victory as a potential disaster for the nation — placing a “xenophobic racist” and “clown” in the Oval Office. One Hillary Clinton supporter outside her hotel in New York the morning after the election said, “I’m feeling physical pain. I’m shocked. I’m sad.”
We now have something like consensus: The rise of Donald Trump portends the end of the Republican Party as we know it. As longtime GOP operative and commentator Steve Schmidt said last week, “The Republican Party has an outstanding chance of fracturing.” Trump’s opponents, inside and outside the party, are united in the belief that he has almost single-handedly undone an institution founded on the eve of the Civil War that has lasted for more than 150 years and has immeasurably shaped the United States.
CHINA’S ECONOMY, long a source of global dynamism, is changing into a source of instability. Growth, still rapid by international standards, is gradually decelerating, as a nearly three-decade-old investment- and export-led strategy delivers diminishing returns. Yet the Communist Party, beholden to — or composed of — interest groups that benefit from the status quo, has not shifted decisively toward more reliance on consumer demand and investment by private firms. Instead, Beijing continues to goose short-term growth with loans to bloated state-owned banks and industries.
Listen to President Obama, and you’ll hear that job growth is stronger than at any point in the past 20 years, and — as he said in his final State of the Union address — “anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.”
CHINESE PRESIDENT Xi Jinping has a problem related to his nation’s growing demand for high-quality food and other agricultural products. In December 2013, Mr. Xi declared a strategic goal for China: to seize “the commanding heights in biotechnology,” in areas such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It must “not let large foreign companies dominate the agricultural biotechnology product market,” he said. However, China is still years behind the United States and Europe in research and development.
China was poised to make its largest-ever investment in the United States this past week, after the Chinese insurance group Angbang topped Marriott in a bidding war for the Starwood hotel chain. The offer was extremely attractive: $14 billion in cash. But a chorus of skeptics urged Starwood to say no.
The economy is a mess. It’s one thing many Americans and political candidates of all stripes seem to agree on. While it may be somewhat less of a mess than five years ago, the thinking goes, the current administration and Congress have done little to address the crushing challenges faced by large swaths of the American public.
Toward the end of her Nov. 14 confirmation hearing to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen faced a question from Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) about the effect of years of easy-money policies at the Fed: “Here’s what I’m saying. . . . I think the economy has gotten used to the sugar you’ve put out there. And I just worry you’re on a sugar high.” Yellen, who has been vice chair of the central bank since 2010, was not given time to address the charge, but her prominent role in supporting such policies gives us a strong sense of her answer.
When President Obama unveiled his $3.77 trillion budget, a key selling point relied on a somewhat arcane economic indicator: the ratio of federal debt to GDP (the goods and services the nation produces). How much debt can the nation manage?
Welcome to the next chapter of the endless debt debate. The release of a Congressional Budget Office report on the next 10 years of the U.S. economy ends a brief lull in Washington. As we return once again to our regularly scheduled program of “Crisis and Impasse,” let’s take a moment to consider the following heretical idea: We have no debt problem.
Two things seem certain in modern presidential campaigns: Candidates will spend more time attacking each other than offering constructive alternatives, and one or both will attack China.In 1992, Bill Clinton accused President George H.W. Bush of coddling Chinese dictators. In 2004, John F. Kerry assailed “Benedict Arnold CEOs,” and by extension their allies in President George W. Bush’s administration, for shipping jobs to China.
When President Obama sits down next week with Chinese leader Hu Jintao in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the two are likely to cover the familiar terrain that has marked relations between their nations: the global economy, currency and trade disputes, carbon emissions and the upcoming Copenhagen summit, and, of course, Taiwan.
A hundred years ago, London would have made sense as the spot where the world's leaders should gather, as they will this week, to grapple with a spreading economic crisis. The city was the early 20th century's nexus of finance and power, and Britain straddled the globe as the only true superpower. But we're in the 21st century now, and the G20 heads of state should not be plotting in the shadow of Big Ben. They should be sitting across from Mao's Tomb, near the Forbidden City, in the meeting halls off Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
The only good things to come of 9/11, some say, are a greater consciousness of and a keener sensitivity to Islamic history, religion and culture. If that is so, the education has been slow and painful in the past six years, made all the more difficult by the gruesome reality of the Iraq war.
Washington Post Review of Peace Be Upon You.
Some presidents shape their times more than others. The 1830s are known as the Age of Jackson, but few people think of the 1920s as the Age of Harding. The 1960s and 1970s were too dynamic and cacophonous to be defined by any one person, but Lance Morrow suggests that they were marked by three men who occupied the Oval Office during these years: John F. Kennedy, whose sudden death transformed him into an icon of progress and optimism; Lyndon B. Johnson, who managed to represent both the best of us with his commitment to civil rights and the worst of us with his mismanagement of the war in Vietnam; and Richard M. Nixon, whose fateful involvement with the Watergate break-in ended the proverbial innocence of America.
Washington Post review of Chester Alan Arthur.
When many people think about the March on Washington 40 years ago this week, and the civil rights movement in general, the images that remain strongest are of Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of grass-roots activists who took to the streets, organized protests and fought county by county in the South to force change.
Washington Post Review of The Last Campaign.
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