Bank robbers are now and then caught because banks, insurance companies, or robbed personalities promise rewards for the arrest of criminals. In the past, Hollywood took the lead in dreaming up such scenarios. But in early August, the U.S. State Department offered a $10 million reward for information leading “to the identification or location of any person, who works with or for a foreign government for the purpose of interfering with U.S. elections through certain illegal cyber activities”.
China’s economy keeps recovering from the coronavirus pandemic-led crisis through the third quarter of 2020, as revealed by the numbers of August activity. Its GDP grew by 3.2% in the second quarter, after falling by 6.8% in the first quarter, in both cases as compared from a year before. It is now the only major economy expected to exhibit growth this year. Successful containment of the pandemics has allowed it to be first-in-first-out relative to others.
Turkey is flexing its muscles in the Eastern Mediterranean in a dispute ostensibly about energy resources. The dispute has triggered fears of conflict between old rivals Turkey (80 million inhabitants) and Greece (10 million inhabitants). The situation is serious enough for German foreign secretary Heiko Maas to warn that “the least spark can lead to catastrophe”—even war between NATO partners and neighbors. Ankara seems ready to impose its growing naval power, while Athens is ready to defend its maritime rights and several thousand islands against Turkish intrusion.
Profondément préoccupée par les niveaux alarmants de propagation et de sévérité du Coronavirus, l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) annonce, le 11 mars 2020, que la Covid-19 a atteint le niveau de pandémie. Pour contenir la propagation du virus, la vie sociale et économique est pratiquement paralysée : Selon l’Agence internationale de l’Energie (AIE), environ un tiers de la population mondiale a fait l'objet de confinement complet ou partiel entre février et la mi-mai, et quasiment toute la main-d’œuvre mondiale a été touchée d’une manière ou d’une autre par les mesures de confinement.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly meets this week (Sept. 22-29) to celebrate its 75th anniversary and address significant global challenges. There is no shortage of them: a global pandemic, a devastating economic crisis, an unprecedented explosion in the number of refugees, and the beginning of a new normal of growing conflicts between the United States and China in the dispute for global hegemony.
« Passionate, Black, visionary »
Ana Paula Barreto talks about serious matters with great calm, taking time to reflect before answering questions, from New York. Born in Jardim Angela, a poor area of São Paulo, considered as the most dangerous neighbourhood in the world by the United Nations in 1996, she remembers the violence of the favelas. She doesn’t want to reduce her childhood « in a joyful family » to « the ugly », but one of her strongest memories is seeing the bodies of people murdered during the week-end, on her way to school on Monday mornings. At a young age, Ana Paula Barreto realized that her « community was lacking the conditions and opportunities to have a dignified life ». She decided that she would be an « agent of change, promoting social and racial justice ». In one of the most unequal societies in the world, she reminds that « 54 % of the population is of African descent, but we are very invisible in decision-making circles, universities and politics ».
U.S. stock and corporate bond markets performed extraordinarily well from the March financial shock caused by covid-19 to the end of last month. Then, three consecutive weeks of decline in the three major stock market indexes have been followed this week by a global slump attributed to fears of new lockdowns. A period of disconnect of financial markets with the underlying real economy has culminated in a revelation of the former’s high dependency to Federal Reserve policies.
If America votes Donald Trump out of office in November, will he go? Just a few days ago (Sept. 13), one of Trump’s closest political friends, Roger Stone, publicly suggested to the President that if the votes should go against him, he should alert the military, ready to defend his power, and arrest opponents including the Clintons or Microsoft boss Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame. Stone was sentenced in February 2020 to 40 months in jail for witness tampering, making false statements and obstruction, but Trump pardoned his buddy, and to thank his savior Stone now pushes Trump to call martial law. It seems unthinkable but the President has declared repeatedly in public that he might not accept the result of the November 3 election. Trump has argued that only fraud, the manipulation of votes sent by mail, could result in his loss.
“Fathom the incredible, create the crazy”
His warmth comes as naturally as his strong sense of empathy, obvious from the first encounter. No coincidence there: since his childhood, Kheston Walkins has a “fascination with the human brain” and its infinite possibilities. He spent time reading Encyclopedias and dictionaries when he was a child, rather than novels and history books. His mother, a teacher, “exchanged her sleep for our survival”, he says about his family, which has no scientific background.
Latin American and Caribbean economies need help, but organizations like the IDB are also stretched thin.
With Latin America and the Caribbean potentially facing years of difficulties due to the pandemic and related economic crises, attention has shifted to what multilateral institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) might do to help. There’s no doubt they can play a crucial role in preventing another lost decade in the region. But these institutions will also face limitations because of capital constraints and other factors.