Klein's Commentary

Go beyond the headlines

Asia Slowdown Hits Vietnam

You can’t argue with growth, until it slows, and slower it goes in parts of emerging Asia. Countries like Vietnam, long believed immune to the troubles of industrialized nations are now in the throes of their own domestic economic downturn. The culprit turns out not to be currency speculators or international financial institutions demanding draconian…

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Muslims Didn’t Kill U.S. Diplomats in Benghazi

First came anger. Anger at the images of the burning consulate. Anger at the senseless loss of life, at those who rioted, and the few who killed. On the anniversary of Sept. 11th that brought tragedy to so many, now more Americans were caught in the crossfire of a fight that never ended. Then came…

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CNN Commentary- Why China Needs a PR Makeover

The China Central Television building in Beijing towers over everything around it. As a marvel of design, two sloping pillars meeting at an odd angle in mid-air, the construction seems to defy gravity. And yet, for all its external modernity, China’s main mouthpiece to the world – and the censorship regime that it helps underpin…

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Re-Thinking China’s Rise – Real Estate

For many years now proponents of China’s endless rise, and its ever expanding real estate sector, point to a stream of workers flowing into cities as the world’s largest rural-to-urban migration unfolds. Stephen Roach, former head of Morgan Stanley Asia and now at Yale makes the argument quite succinctly in an August 29th Project Syndicate…

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CNN Commentary: Has the UN Lost Its Peacekeeping Mandate?

Now that Kofi Annan has stepped down from his position as U.N. Arab League Envoy to Syria and peacekeeping troops are being removed from the country one has to wonder – does the United Nations have any role to play in conflict resolution? The reality is that the Annan Plan, which supported an interim government…

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The Decline of the Rest

A popular economic theme made the rounds not so long ago that featured prominently in a series of “end of the west, rise of the rest” predictions. It went something like this. Emerging Asia, now an independent source of world growth driven by their expanding middle class no longer relied on the collective “west” for…

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South China Sea First Test for U.S. Shift – Business Insider Article

Tensions are rising again in Southeast Asia as competing claims over the resource rich South China Sea push closer to boiling point. One would hope that countries in the region would take concerted action. That hope would be misplaced. An increasingly militarized land and sea grab continues despite calls for peaceful resolution. With the U.S. in full Asian tilt,…

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Why Syria Matters

After months of skirting around the diplomatic edges of a year and a half old Syrian crisis the U.S. finally drew a red line.  If chemical weapons enter the conflict the U.S. will act with force. That prompted two of Assad’s last remaining benefactors to step up their rhetoric against greater U.S involvement in a civil…

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What Really Ails America This Election Season

The internet is abuzz with criticism of Niall Ferguson’s factually-challenged rebuke of President Obama’s performance in the latest Newsweek cover story. His views include a steady stream of slanted statistics circulating these days (which is not to say there aren’t reasonable criticisms out there). But that’s nothing new for the historian turned pundit. Consider his…

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Reading (and Misreading) China’s Economy

A wave of articles and data have come out in the last few weeks on the current and future state of China’s economy. Like the Beijing air, there’s nothing clear about what’s going on in the world’s second largest economy, let alone where China may end up by year’s end. Sometimes it’s all blue skies,…

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