Klein's Commentary

Go beyond the headlines

Death by a Thousand Dialogues

The currency of diplomacy is conversation and there’s no shortage of that commodity. A host of international gatherings took place recently including the G20 in the beach-side resort of Los Cabos, Mexico and the Rio +20 Environmental Summit in Brazil. Others have finished without the usual fanfare including the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue which…

Continue Reading

Euro In or Euro Out?

A wave of relief greeted overseas markets last night after Greece’s second round election results came in. New Democracy (a pro-bailout party) won approximately 30% of the vote, narrowly defeating Syriza (anti-bailout) with 27%. Initial sentiment favored the stability of the European Union and the Euro as its currency. Optimism quickly faded as more practical…

Continue Reading

Are ETFs the New CDOs?

As if the wizards of finance hadn’t done enough already. Remember when collateralized debt offerings (CDOs) entered common usage? Mortgages were sliced up, repackaged, and re-sold into “synthetic” products barely resembling the underlying property on which they were supposedly based. Sounds a lot like how bologna is made. When the housing market went bust CDOs…

Continue Reading

The Jobs Week That Wasn’t

Bad news on U.S. employment numbers last week (a paltry 69,000 new jobs) left many wondering how long it might take for this economy to reach escape velocity from a slow burn. A scrappy little California start-up, SpaceX, made it to the international space station and back. What’s taking the rest of the country so…

Continue Reading

The Diplomat Article: The Rise of Global Feudalism

In April 2007, New Century Financial Corporation filed for what was then a little noticed bankruptcy protection. Their mortgage-backed securities had become worthless and by summer Bear Stearns began liquidating hedge funds. Come autumn, Britain’s fifth largest mortgage lender Northern Rock was on the ropes propped up by the Bank of England. The rest is…

Continue Reading

Decline of the West, Rise of the Rest? Think Again

We’re four years past the 2008 financial crisis when Lehman Brothers failed, millions of home owners went under and economic recovery was but a doe-eyed dream. Meanwhile all three of the world’s main engines of growth, the U.S., Europe and Japan are still mired in tepid recovery, if not reversing course altogether. Remember when the…

Continue Reading

Klein/Cukier Foreign Affairs article mentioned in the Financial Times

Financial Times columinst David Pillig discusses Asia’s over reliance on exports and my co-authored Foreign Affairs article with Kenn Cukier. Asia will struggle to escape its export trap, David Pilling, June 25 2009 “As a forthcoming article by Brian Klein and Kenneth Cukier in the journal Foreign Affairs points out, Asia’s export-dependent economies – with…

Continue Reading

1 2 3