The Buzz

King of the World: Why the Almighty US Dollar Dominates

Rumors of the dollar’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Its status as the world’s reserve currency is not under siege. In many ways, it is under less pressure than it has been in quite some time. Most recently, the Yuan or RMB has been cited as a possible replacement. Before that, it was the Euro threatening to dethrone the dollar. And before the Euro, it was the Yen. Yet there never seems to be any real, tangible shift in the global trading system.

Beware the Hong Kong Democratic Time Bomb

There is unrest on the streets of Hong Kong as thousands of pro-democracy campaigners clash with police over Beijing’s decision to curtail democracy in the Special Administrative Region (SAR).  The present turbulence is the latest stain on China’s implementation of the “one country, two systems” doctrine, and offers both a reminder of China’s troubled history as well as a glimpse into the country’s future political developm

Chinese Subs Lurk Under the Indian Ocean: Cause for Concern?

The visit of the Chinese Type 039 Song class submarine to Colombo, Sri Lanka, earlier this month passed with little notice, but it's the first time one of the People's Liberation Army-Navy's (PLA-N) diesel-powered submarines has emerged in the Indian Ocean, and its a rare PLAN submarine visit to a foreign port. Naturally, this visit, and an Indian Ocean patrol by a Chinese nuclear submarine at the start of this year, is prompting discussion about the expanding reach and capability of China's navy.

China's Self-Created Demographic Disaster Is Coming

China is missing out on its biggest economic asset: its people.

Economist Nicholas Eberstadt estimates that, even if Beijing were to eliminate its one-child policy today, Chinese economic growth would still decline in the 2020s, because the next generation’s working-age population is already so markedly small.

Since implementation in 1979, the one-child policy has reduced China’s population by an estimated 400 million people. In addition to creating a gender imbalance, numerically favoring men over women, the policy also skewed the age demographic.

Is Australia's Economy Headed for Trouble?

I don’t often write about Australia, partly because Australian politics are so stable and the country such a solid partner for the United States, but also because Australia has for twenty years basically avoided the ups and downs of the world economy. Alone among rich nations, Australia was basically unaffected by the global economic and financial crises of 2008-9 and the country also has not faced the kind of long-term economic slowdown challenges that confront Europe, the United States, and Japan.