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International Economies

22 articles
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China’s Black Market City

In mountainous Wenzhou “the emperor is far away” and the freest of markets reign.

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A Giant Among Giants

As it approaches a public offering, how Glencore—founded by the legendary fugitive March Rich—cornered the market for just about everything by working with dictators and spies.

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KFC's Big Game of Chicken

How KFC brought fried chicken to China and Africa as U.S. sales slumped.

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The Shadow Superpower

The world’s fastest growing economy isn’t China; it’s the “unheralded alternative economic universe of System D” aka the $10 trillion global black market.

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Commodity traders: The trillion dollar club

Who simultaneously did business with the U.S. government, the besieged Syrian regime, and the Libyan rebels last month? The group of 16 trading houses that collectively are “worth over a trillion dollars in annual revenue and control more than half the world’s freely traded commodities.”

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The Non-Scenic Route to the Place We’re Going Anyway

On the current state of the global economy and the inevitable decline of the U.K. and the U.S.:

A decade-long slowdown would accelerate this shift in global wealth and power and would be a grim thing to live through, but from a world-historical perspective it might not be a game-changer: it might just be the non-scenic route to the place we’re going anyway.

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It's the Economy, Dummkopf!

As Europe, led by Greece and Ireland and followed by Portugal and Spain, tumbles towards economic catastrophe, only one nation can save the continent from financial ruin: a highly reluctant Germany.

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A Constant Feeling of Crisis

What it means to be an entrepreneur in Argentina, where economic crashes are a way of life.

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The Hot-Money Cowboys of Baghdad

On the investors betting big on the Iraqi economy, which they believe has nowhere to go but up.

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How to Make Money in Microseconds

How automated ‘execution algorithms’ are taking the world’s markets on a wild ride that few economists can even understand, much less control.

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Why Egypt's Progressives Win

An opinion piece on the structural causes of unrest in Egypt; the business fraternity, globalization, and the fate of Egyptian women.

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When Irish Eyes Are Crying

How a nation went bankrupt. “Ireland’s regress is especially unsettling because of the questions it raises about Ireland’s former progress: even now no one is quite sure why the Irish suddenly did so well for themselves in the first place.”

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Can Europe Be Saved?

How the dream of the Euro became a nightmare.

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North Korea's Dollar Store

Inside Office 39, a state-run counterfeiting operation designed to keep Kim Jong-il flush.

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Being Eaten By the Dragon

Western execs on what it’s like to be taken over by a Chinese firm.

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As Nations Age, a Chance for Younger Nations

The world’s population is rapidly getting older. How China and other countries stocked with young workers are taking advantage.

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Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds

Riots in Athens, the shadowy Vatopaidi monastery, and a quarter million dollars in debt for every citizen. Welcome to Greece.

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Inside the Knockoff-Tennis-Shoe Factory

The number one item confiscated by U.S. customs for four years in a row: fake shoes. As brands continue to crack down, counterfeiters continue to up their game.

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My Kushy New Job

Lessons learned while temping at an Amsterdam coffee shop.

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The Billion-Dollar Shack

A reporter heads to Nauru, a tiny island nation in the Pacific, to track down the hub of a worldwide money-laundering operation—a shack filled with computers, air-conditioners, and little else.

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China Storms Africa

China is securing sub-Saharan Africa’s natural resources at a staggering rate. With the buying spree comes contracts, workers, and of course, politics. (Part 1 of a 6 part series, rest here)