International Economics: Pre-U Economics
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International Economics: Pre-U Economics
A collection of articles relating to the 'international' elements of Economics and relating to the Pre-U syllabus
Curated by Graham Watson
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Is free trade always the answer? | Business | The Guardian

Is free trade always the answer? | Business | The Guardian | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
As Brexit talks continue, we answer the key questions on the free flow of goods
Graham Watson's insight:

Is free trade always the answer? 

 

Depends upon the question. However, this very visual Guardian briefing piece looks at a number of trade related issues: why trade is beneficial, the nature of protectionism, and whether or not trade deficits matter. 

 

A good introduction to the topic.

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Why the Private Sector is Key to Growth in MENA

A new report from the World Bank, IFC, and the World Economic Forum explores how the governments in the Middle East and North Africa can create  jobs for youth.

Graham Watson's insight:

Interesting International Finance Corporation video looking at the competitiveness of Arab nations, which highlights the need to re-orientate the economy away from unsustainable public sector employment in favour of increased emphasis on the private sector as the key engine of both competitiveness and job creation. 

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Japan's economy rebounds in the second quarter

Japan's economy rebounds in the second quarter | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the second quarter of the year, figures show.
Graham Watson's insight:

Japan rebounds - as growth returns to the Japanese economy in the 2nd quarter of the year, and the annual rate of growth reached 1.9%.

 

This is an unusual state of affairs for the Japanese economy, having experienced nearly two decades of stagnant growth. 

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Chinese exports grow despite US tariffs, but forecasts for world trade revised down

Chinese exports grow despite US tariffs, but forecasts for world trade revised down | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Chinese exports increased last month despite tariffs imposed by the US, but the trade war still led forecasts for global gross domestic product (GDP) to be revised down.
Graham Watson's insight:

Really interesting little footnote to all the ongoing trade dispute material out there; as yet there doesn't seem to have been that much of an effect upon export values. However, think about this - isn't it an application of the J-curve - in that any reaction of export/import volumes is likely to be long-term because of the inelasticity of demand for exports and imports. 

 

But will there be a reaction in the longer term? We shall see. 

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Heatwave in Europe set to push up UK food prices | Business | The Guardian

Heatwave in Europe set to push up UK food prices | Business | The Guardian | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Wheat and vegetable crops are struggling throughout the continent with price rises on the way
Graham Watson's insight:

Always time for a bit of D&S. This time in agricultural markets. 

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China warns of tariffs on imported US goods worth $60bn | Business | The Guardian

China warns of tariffs on imported US goods worth $60bn | Business | The Guardian | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Beijing retaliates against Trump’s threatened tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports
Graham Watson's insight:

Retaliation - the name of the game as the ongoing trade war develops.

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The country built on trade barriers

The country built on trade barriers | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Brazil's protectionist policies have fostered national champions - but the walls are coming down.
Graham Watson's insight:

Here's an interesting alternative view of tariffs, looking at whether a protectionist approach played a part in enabling the Brazilian economy to grow, or whether it had a deleterious impact, and the effect of reducing tariffs on the Brazilian economy. 

 

The defence of tariffs in this instance is that they were introduced to protect 'infant industries'. To what extent is this a justification for their introduction.  

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Trump threatens higher tariffs on Chinese imports

Trump threatens higher tariffs on Chinese imports | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Import tariffs the US is preparing on $200bn of goods from China may be higher than expected.
Graham Watson's insight:

Here we go again. The Americans are thinking about increasing tariffs on imports of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.

 

Just remember: easy to win.

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What happened to the boy who chased away the lions?

What happened to the boy who chased away the lions? | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
As a child, herder Richard Turere invented a device to stop lions killing cattle but who benefited?
Graham Watson's insight:

Technology, development and proof that Africans are some of the best engineers on Earth - however, this also looks at the lack of support for young entrepreneurs in Kenya too. 

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Google's Loon brings internet-by-balloon to Kenya

Google's Loon brings internet-by-balloon to Kenya | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The network of balloons travels by predicting the speed and direction of winds in the stratosphere.
Graham Watson's insight:

Technology? Innovation? Development? 

 

This story is bizarre - but Google's sister company Loon is partnering with Telkom Kenya to bring internet connections to remote Kenyan villages via balloons.  

 

However, there are suggestions that it might give the group monopoly power because it might create a culture of dependency. 

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Did you know - using a clean cookstove can protect your health?

In Nepal every year, household air pollution caused by cooking over smoky, traditional stoves and fuels kills about 23,000 people. This includes some 1,400 children under the age of five. Using a clean stove protects your health and makes cooking safer, faster and easier.

Graham Watson's insight:

This WHO clip looks at the importance of clean cooking stoves and their adoption in Nepal, where they've caused 23,000 deaths per annum, is a good thing. The move from coal, wood and dung towards gas stoves has saved lives and reduced the length of time women spend cooking. 

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EU signs its biggest free trade deal with Japan

EU signs its biggest free trade deal with Japan | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The agreement is a challenge to the increasing protectionism employed by US President Donald Trump.
Graham Watson's insight:

At a time when the US is espousing greater protectionism, it's a pleasant surprise that the EU and Japan have signed a large free trade deal that should bring economic benefits to both economies. Of course, quite what effect it will have on Britain, post-Brexit, is anyone's guess. 

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Trump tariffs will hurt global growth, IMF warns

Trump tariffs will hurt global growth, IMF warns | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The group says trade disputes are the 'greatest near-term threat' to the world economy.
Graham Watson's insight:

The IMF joins the OECD in stating the bleedin' obvious...

 

Apparently, a trade war will be bad for global growth.

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How serious is Turkey's lira crisis and what are the implications? | World news | The Guardian

How serious is Turkey's lira crisis and what are the implications? | World news | The Guardian | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The options as the country’s economic growth displays the classic signs of overheating
Graham Watson's insight:

Larry Elliott with an article looking at the global implications of the ongoing Turkish lira crisis. The Turkish economy is likely to slip into recession, but will it spark speculative activity as investors target other currencies. 

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Q&A: Why is the Turkish lira in freefall and should we worry? | World news | The Guardian

Q&A: Why is the Turkish lira in freefall and should we worry? | World news | The Guardian | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
As the currency plunges holidays in Turkey get cheaper but markets fear of contagion
Graham Watson's insight:

Just a heads-up, the fall in the value of the Turkish lira is headline news - and the Guardian, briefly looks at why. 

 

The issue is not just one that affects Turkey - which it does, and you should be able to think about the macroeconomic consequences for the economy - but has implications for other emerging markets too, and from a broader perspective these might prove to be of greater import. 

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Giant shipload of soya beans circles off China, victim of trade war with US | Business | The Guardian

Giant shipload of soya beans circles off China, victim of trade war with US | Business | The Guardian | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Peak Pegasus became unlikely hit on Chinese social media as it tried to beat tariff deadline
Graham Watson's insight:

A microcosm of the ongoing trade war - a vessel called the Peak Pegasus is circling off the coast  of China, having been unable to unload its cargo of soya beans. The reason for this is because it failed to unload prior to the first round of tariffs and ever since then it's been stuck in limbo, waiting to see how the situation will develop. 

 

Easy to win, apparently.

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US sets date for additional $16bn in tariffs on China products

US sets date for additional $16bn in tariffs on China products | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The duties will start on 23 August and are part of a broader round of US tariffs on $50bn worth of goods.
Graham Watson's insight:

And so it goes - another round of retaliation.

 

Easy to win, apparently.

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In another financial crisis we would have far less wiggle room | Larry Elliott | Business | The Guardian

In another financial crisis we would have far less wiggle room | Larry Elliott | Business | The Guardian | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
After the 2008 meltdown, there is limited scope for monetary policy, nations are divided and populism is on the rise
Graham Watson's insight:

Larry Elliott's in pessimistic mood in today's Observer, suggesting that we wont have the policy instruments available to deal with any possible future financial crisis.

 

He see four main constraints on the policy environment: a lack of wiggle room in monetary and fiscal policy, and less chance of international co-operation too. Factor in the rise of populism and you could be forgiven for thinking that we're doomed.  

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The early victims of Trump's trade war

The early victims of Trump's trade war | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
A look at the sectors most affected by the global trade war so far.
Graham Watson's insight:

This article looks at the distributional effects of the ongoing US-China trade war - who wins, who loses and the ratcheting up of tariffs by both sides. 

 

Easy to win, apparently. 

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Why the US-China trade dispute has experts worried

Why the US-China trade dispute has experts worried | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The world's two biggest economies are at loggerheads, amid concerns tensions might escalate.
Graham Watson's insight:

The BBC World Service looks at the US-China trade war. Let's gloss over the utterly inappropriate verb used to describe China's actions towards the US and the description of the President as a "brilliant businessman".

 

What is the outcome likely to be? Good? For who? For anyone? It depends upon who you listen to - but the vast majority of commentators don't think that the trade war will be beneficial.

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Pakistan's Imran Khan set to seek £9bn bailout from IMF

Pakistan's Imran Khan set to seek £9bn bailout from IMF | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Pakistan is reportedly preparing to seek up to $12bn (£9bn) from the International Monetary Fund after Imran Khan takes office, in a bailout that could curb his public spending pledges.
Graham Watson's insight:

The election of Imran Khan in Pakistan is a big story - however, he inherits a company in need of an IMF bailout and this might have implications for his spending plans, curbing them. 

 

Of more prurient interest, of course, is the fact that Imran used to be married, albeit briefly to a former SouthToday weather presenter, Reham Khan.

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The impact of trade tariffs on two US firms

The impact of trade tariffs on two US firms | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Some firms have raised prices to shield them from the impact of tariffs, but others are under strain.
Graham Watson's insight:

This article looks at the adverse effects of Trump's tariffs on American firms - and given that some of them seem to be Trump supporters, there's a simple response.

 

It serves you right!

 

However, it is interesting to see that the effect on inflation isn't expected to be marked - given the response of US firms who face retaliatory tariffs.

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IMF warns Ireland faces economic hit from 'no deal' Brexit

IMF warns Ireland faces economic hit from 'no deal' Brexit | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Ireland’s economy could suffer most among the rest of the EU if there is no Brexit deal, the IMF says.
Graham Watson's insight:

The IMF earning the big bucks once again - by predicting that a 'no deal' Brexit is going to have adverse effects upon the Republic of Ireland. 

 

Who would have thought it?

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Unlikely partners? China and Israel deepening trade ties

Unlikely partners? China and Israel deepening trade ties | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Israel may be a big ally of the US, but it is moving ahead with ever more business deals with China.
Graham Watson's insight:

More news of freer trade - hurrah - this time it's Israel and China, unusual bedfellows perhaps. However, there's been a sizeable increase in business between the two and mutually beneficial too. 

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China files complaint to WTO over Trump's $200bn tariff plan | Business | The Guardian

China files complaint to WTO over Trump's $200bn tariff plan | Business | The Guardian | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Move comes less than a week after US president escalated trade dispute with new threats
Graham Watson's insight:

Let retaliation commence - the Chinese file a complaint to the WTO after the latest round of American tariffs. Easy to win, remember. 

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