Klein's Commentary

Go beyond the headlines

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World Politics Review Article: The Crisis of the Global Middle Class

The Arab Spring uprisings were fueled by the rising expectations of a nascent middle class in the face of opportunity that for too long had been denied. Tunisia’s uprising was in essence a middle class awakening, with the fight for economic opportunity replacing political ideology as the principal force shaping the future of fragile nations….

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CNN Article – North Korea’s New Leader

Will Kim Jong-un’s Leadership be Music to U.S. Ears? Synopsis: Disney characters dancing on stage, women wearing short skirts, and a country’s new leader making speeches, smiling, and glad-handing military officers. In most places around the world, that’s nothing unusual. But for North Korea, it marks a sea change in image if not quite reality….

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Radio Australia Interview on Myanmar Economy

Can Burma’s economy cope with sudden influx of foreign investment? With the relaxation of western sanctions Burma, foreign business interests are pouring in, eager to take advantage of what the resource-rich, strategically located country can offer. Can Burma’s economy cope with the sudden influx of foreign investment? But there are those, including opposition leader Aung…

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ASSK

Foreign Affairs Article – How Not to Invest in Myanmar

(Re-printed from the original article here) Since Aung San Suu Kyi’s parliamentary election victory last April, Asian and Western businesspeople have flocked to Myanmar (also known as Burma), eager to take part in the re-emergence of a regional economic power. Over the last several months, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and, as of May, the…

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Tokyo Cafe

Blog Series: The Middle Class – Engine of Innovation

Consider this: The greatest inventions of the modern age— from the light bulb and the telephone to antibiotics, airplanes and the computer— were all made possible by the purchasing power of the middle class. Without this market much of what has redefined the way people live today would never have been successfully developed. While early…

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Good Times Gone Bad
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Blog Series: Rebuilding the Global Middle

Part I: Good Times Gone Very, Very Bad – It seems like a quaint folk tale told to schoolchildren. Study, work hard, and you too can live happily ever after. The American Dream, each generation better off than the last meant true upward mobility. Skills rather than birthright defined success. It’s been the mainstay of…

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South China Sea

Tensions Rising Again in South China Sea

The ASEAN Regional Forum meets in Phnom Penh, Cambodia against the back-drop of increasingly militarized territorial disputes in the South China Sea. “Combat-ready” patrols by Chinese ships, Vietnamese military overflights of the Spratly’s, and the Philippines seeking U.S. reassurance that their Mutual Defense Treaty remains intact all point to rising risks of confrontation. In perhaps…

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Global Economic Downturn Gathers Pace

Wishful thinking aside, the global economy appears more fragile than ever. After promising signs earlier this year of sustained (if not accelerating) U.S. growth, new employment figures continue to disappoint with a mere 80,000 new jobs for June (see “The Jobs Week That Wasn’t” for longer term implications.) The IMF revised growth estimates down to…

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The Week That Was (and Wasn’t)

Walking Backwards into the Future – In a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling upholding President Obama’s healthcare bill the U.S. finally joined the rest of the developed world of 60 years ago with universal coverage. China joined the space world of 50 years ago with a successful orbital docking mission, including a safe return to earth of…

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Financial Deception, Not Just for Wall Street Anymore

Were the financial mess in Europe not enough to make people wonder about the health of the global economy another banking scandal erupted, this time in the UK. Collusion on bank-to-bank lending rates first discovered at Barclay’s are now suspected across a number of other banks. Not only do these rates directly impact financial performance,…

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