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Egypt: Europe’s Economic Cousin by Michael Tanner

Egypt: Europe’s Economic Cousin by Michael Tanner | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Much of the attention, both within Egypt and in the outside world, is being focused on issues such as the role of political Islam, crime, political openness, and the rivalry between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood. Yet there has been relatively little discussion of the issue that may ultimately have the most long-lasting impact on Egypt’s future — the need for economic reform.

 

• Egypt: Europe’s Economic Cousin by Michael Tanner http://t.co/WTUCobWT

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A Crisis of Confidence [in Egypt's economy] by David Schenker

A Crisis of Confidence [in Egypt's economy] by David Schenker | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The situation in Egypt is increasingly dire. Political uncertainty and an absence of physical security have scared away tourists and investors alike as local capital has taken flight. With unemployment and inflation up, consumer confidence is down and the mood is dour. Since the February 2011 revolution, the state’s foreign reserves have dwindled from $36 billion to less than $15 billion and are falling at a rate of $600 million a month. Cairo has been using its reserves to defend the pound but a continued drop in reserves will result in currency devaluation or hyperinflation, a devastating prospect for a state where more than 40 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day.

 

• A Crisis of Confidence [in Egypt's economy] by David Schenker http://bit.ly/I3ZM28

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Short Supply, Not Middle East Tensions, Push up Oil Prices by David P. Goldman

Short Supply, Not Middle East Tensions, Push up Oil Prices by David P. Goldman | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

"Right now the key thing that is driving higher gas prices is actually the world's oil markets and uncertainty about what's going on in Iran and the Middle East, and that's adding a $20 or $30 premium to oil prices," President Obama said March 23. But the problem is not risk, but supply. When demand increases, we observe in Chart 3, prices trend to rise faster than demand, because supply is relative inelastic (it can't quickly expand to meet additional consumption). The only way to reduce gas prices is to drill for more oil.

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Israel’s gas diplomacy by Lawrence Solomon

Israel’s gas diplomacy by Lawrence Solomon | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Focus on Israel and it appears to be a tiny isolated country surrounded by a sea of hostile Arab nations. Zoom out, though, and it is the Arab nations that are revealed to be isolated, increasingly surrounded by age-old adversaries, most of which have growing ties to Israel. With Israel’s hydrocarbon assets continuing to grow, and with Israel’s military and intelligence assets remaining dominant in the region, Israel’s periphery diplomacy has emerged as one of the country’s remarkable achievements.

 

• Israel’s gas diplomacy by Lawrence Solomon http://natpo.st/yfbn3t

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Kramer on FB: Turkey, global power? Show me

I’m reading this gusher in Der Spiegel, and I hit this line: “Turkey, disparaged only a few years ago as the ‘sick man on the Bosporus,’ has since established itself as a global power.” Global, no less. But then elsewhere I read this: “The brand value of Turkey’s top 100 firms does not even equal half of the brand value of US computer giant Apple.” Could someone please define “global power”?

 

• Kramer on FB: Turkey, global power? Show me http://on.fb.me/ItkUgs

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Arab diets: Feast and famine, The Economist

Arab diets: Feast and famine, The Economist | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Between 15% and 25% of Arab children under five are too short for their age and between 5% and 15% are underweight. Almost half of pregnant Egyptian women are anaemic, reflecting an iron deficiency often caused by poor diets. Yet a survey in 2006 reckoned that 30% of Egyptian adults were obese. Obesity estimates for Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were even higher: between 35% and 45%.

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