How steady are the hands on the steering wheel of Saudi Arabia?  That question prompts an immediate follow-on: Whose hands are we talking about?  There seem to be too many. Notionally, the kingdom is being directed by King Salman, but he is 80 years old and suffering from the physical and ...

At his final United Nations address on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama focused much of his time on what he called “the paradox that defines our world today.” By almost every objective measure, this is the best time in human history be alive. People are richer, safer, healthier, and enjoy ...

In 2013, French economist Thomas Piketty released his book, ‘Capitalism in the 21st Century,’ which observed that the rate of capital return in developed countries is persistently greater than economic growth. In other words, global wealth inequality will inevitably increase unless addressed. Piketty’s conclusions remain contested, but there is little ...

In the study of international conflicts, economic inequality is often identified as one of the key factors contributing towards political instability. Today, as studies identify rapidly rising wealth and income inequality across the world, many have predicted that higher levels of political and economic instability will surely follow. But just ...

Shortly after arriving at the G20 economic summit in Hangzhou China last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would join a long list of U.S. allies who have joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), despite behind-the-scenes warnings from the Obama administration. Today, Japan is the sole ...

When a multilateral bank, based in China, finances an upgrade of slums in 154 cities in Indonesia, do Americans need to be concerned about a new security threat? What if the project is co-financed by the World Bank? And what if China doesn’t even hold veto power in the institution ...

Downward growth revisions for Sub-Saharan Africa over the past year have tended to highlight the continued impact of external stimuli on the sub-region. The IMF’s latest revision cut growth estimates by 1.3 percent to just 3 percent for 2016 – well below the global average in a region which arguably ...

Fear and uncertainty gripped global markets on Friday following the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union. The political turmoil in the UK and the initial uncertain response by EU leaders over the weekend were felt on Monday as sterling plummeted and international markets took a hit. But on ...

Filling the big shoes of a larger than life leader presents special challenges for leadership succession. Under a larger than life leader, the roles and responsibilities of office likely became entangled with the person’s distinctive style. Inheriting an office dominated by a personality creates incentives to both emphasize the legacies ...

On May 26th, leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) met on the Ise-Shima peninsula of Japan to hold their annual economic summit. For Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the event could not have come at a better time. Held in the wake of an historic visit by U.S. President ...

Shinzo Abe is one of the most successful prime ministers in Japanese history if we measure success by longevity alone. His first term in office lasted just one year (2006-2007), but he returned triumphantly in December 2012 and has been the brand face for Japan’s revitalization ever since. The trouble ...

Over the past two decades, Japan's economic growth has been sluggish. Per capita income fell from a level matching the top half of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries in the early 1990s to 14 percent below in 2013 (Figure 1). The collapse of the massive asset price ...

Argentina is throwing itself back into the international economic community, after a 2002 default that thwarted the country’s access to world capital markets. The center-right Macri government, which came to power last December, is moving full speed ahead with economic reforms. And just last month, a U.S. appeals court cleared ...

During his visit to Buenos Aires in March, President Barack Obama praised his Argentinian counterpart and called him “a man in a hurry.” Indeed, many in Argentina and abroad have been surprised by the determination with which Mauricio Macri has implemented reforms to open the economy, remove excessive restrictions, and ...

Argentina’s new government that came to power last year is embarking on major economic reforms. The Cipher Brief spoke with Director of Global Business and Economics at the Atlantic Council Andrea Montanino about what this overhaul looks like and what it means for investment. Montanino is also a former Executive ...

The drop in Russian state revenues has affected Russian military modernization to some extent, though the Russian government has made an effort to insulate the military from budget cuts. Although the 2015 military budget was cut by five percent mid-year, the total allocation was still 25 percent higher than the ...

Egypt’s latest cabinet reshuffle, which Cairo announced last Wednesday, caught many observers both within and outside Egypt by surprise.  But given that four of the ten new ministers hold portfolios that are critical to economic development and investment, the reshuffle likely reflects President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s implicit recognition that Egypt’s ...

The cabinet reshuffle implemented by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi last week aims to reinvigorate Egypt’s floundering economy, explains Dr. Amr Adly of the Carnegie Middle East Center. According to Adly, the individuals appointed by Sisi are “high-profile business people” that maintain “dense connections with business circles in Egypt as ...

Confronted with instability in neighboring Libya, a civil war to its south in Sudan, and an ISIS affiliate taking root in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt’s deteriorating security environment has pushed the country’s economy to the brink. Yesterday’s hijacking of an EgyptAir flight, which comes six months after the downing of ...

Egypt’s economy remains in a dire state primarily due to the fall in global oil prices, which has led to a decline in foreign direct investment in Egypt.  Meanwhile, the region’s unstable security environment has devastated Egypt’s tourism industry, explains Dr. Yeganeh Morakabati and Dr. John Fletcher of Bournemouth University. ...

In an interview with The Cipher Brief last month, former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell said that one of the things he would tell the next president is that “the health of a nation’s economy is the single most important determinant in its ability to protect itself, the single most ...