Muslim Extremism and Globalisation

A call for higher wages 

The bomb that exploded in Stockholm, killing 123 people and injuring another 265, is the latest example of extreme Islamic terrorism under the auspices of ISIL. The 32-year old female suicide bomber was reported to hail from Lancashire and to have been trained in Syria. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven insisted the country’s openness to other civilisations and the December 2014 cross-party consensus on freezing out Sweden Democrats, the populist anti-immigration party, were not under threat.


Dear Reader, was your first reaction on reading the paragraph above, “Oh my God, how did I miss …

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Geopolitics and a Muslim narrative

Why there is nothing inherently wrong in deflation

The mountain guide promised us three things as we faced climbing Wildspitz, at 3,800 metres Austria’s second highest mountain, in glacial winds. That the glacier we were going to traverse on the way there in our skis-on-skins was flat. That there would be a Group A, determined to make it to the top, and Group B, those who couldn’t take it anymore and could quit with honour, to be lead down the mountain by the second ski guide. That it would be easy to climb, roped together with ski boots and crampons.…

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From Ethiopian emperors to CEOs

Companies to sell, companies to buy

Emperor Tewodros, who reigned over much of Ethiopia for a decade from the mid-1850s, was a visionary leader. His star rose as he unified a great deal of the country, abolished the slave trade, looked to undermine the excessive power of the Church and was vocal in his disapproval of battlefield mutilations.

Yet as the years wore on, excessive power, a sense of God-inspired destiny and probably some mental imbalance, lead him to become a monster of massacres and murders, as detailed in a gripping book on his reign titled The Barefoot Emperor, …

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Why Putin is heading off the world stage

The energy paradox

The events of the last few months have set in train Vladimir Putin’s disappearance from the world stage. The only uncertainty is how long it will take, whether it will be months or years. It will happen due to unintended consequences – a concept first analysed in 1936 by American sociologist Robert Merton – of his Crimean annexation.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in the memoir about his years serving under Presidents Bush and Obama, notes that during the Cold War Soviet interests were taken into account to avoid military conflict. However, “when Russia was weak …

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A Tale of two Balls: UK vs PIMCO

Lessons from WWII as Russia conquers Crimea

Who is more influential? In the left corner sits Ed Balls, potential Chancellor of the UK if the Labour Party makes it into power in the 2015 election. On the right, his brother Andrew Balls, Deputy Chief Investment Officer at PIMCO, which controls $2 trillion worth of bonds.

Even assuming Ed B. makes it into power, his brother wins hands down. The UK government spends around £720 billion a year and most of it is already earmarked. Chancellors – pace all the kerfuffle around budget announcements – can only affect policy at the …

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The Tale of a Whale

The precariousness of JP Morgan Chase

The New York tourist sitting next to me with the map of London spread out on his lap asked where he could find the London Whale. Seriously. Unlike the London Eye, I told him, the London Whale was a human being, albeit a metaphorical landmark.

The London-based JP Morgan Chase trader’s nickname derived from his large positions in the credit market, which in the summer of 2012 resulted in the bank declaring a $5.8bn loss. It subsequently faced major fines from both the UK and US regulators for, among other things, its lax supervision …

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