A strange thing happened in Afghanistan this month. The Taliban outlawed poppy cultivation. On the surface, that decision would appear to be a bold, counter-narcotic move. Many argue that the policy will send the fragile Afghan economy further down the drain. Or will it?
Legislation now in play in Washington aims to provide as much as $52 billion in loans, guarantees, and other incentives to technology companies for retrofitting US-based chip manufacturing. That seems logical, if not politically expedient, at a time when US households are being deprived of consumer goods because of a global chip shortage.
We are responsive to the view that a pandemic ends when people say that it ends. Despite the more casual attitude toward Covid-19 in diverse geographies, statistics remain sobering, at least here in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control, some 120,000 people died directly from Covid-19 in the first three months of 2022.
The war in Ukraine has jolted Colombia, at least economically. We are struck by news that Bogota is trying to accelerate coal output, as well as identify mining surpluses, to fill at-hand and oversized shortfalls in Europe, including Ukraine. Colombia is one of the world’s top-ten producers of coal. In recent years, the industry there
The existential threat to Egypt that is harbored in higher food prices is more than a topic for debate. Abu Dhabi just announced that it is backstopping Cairo with some $2 billion in investment, an approach that seems more palatable than a hastily-assembled aid package. The Gulf nation is purchasing shares in Egyptian companies
The biggest university endowment in the world is Harvard at near $53 billion; the largest one in Japan is Osaka University with investible holdings at almost $4 billion. Other major universities in Japan, such as Waseda or Keio, run even smaller endowments. Surprisingly, the elite University of Tokyo manages only about $120 million in reserves.
Peter Paul Rubens is one of the masters of seventeenth century painting. Known for fluid depictions of religious and mythological characters, Rubens is an essential part of the collection at the Prado and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other cornerstone museums. We were intrigued when one of his notable works, “Portrait of a Lady” was scheduled
In financial lore, IPOs are supposed to be a risk-free investment, especially in India. Strong stock-market momentum after the Covid-induced collapse of early 2020 attracted fresh institutional interest. Many of India’s startup jewels are replicas, up to a point, of successful tech companies elsewhere. The Indian heritage of using frugality to overcome
Investors may want to rethink their outlook for the hospitality industry. Rather than a not-to-be-missed recovery story for the cycle ahead, we see prospects as riddled with caveats and uncertainties. One challenge is realigning the conventional view that the sector is almost always a workhorse for portfolio and direct investors.
Before the pandemic, venture capitalists largely ignored trends in farm technology. A common view was that the sector did not lend itself to the sort of monetization framework seen in ride-hailing or e-commerce businesses, among other ideas. That convention may finally be a Silicon Valley relic.
The international outcry over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been so great that the major Hollywood studios had little choice but to abandon the Russian market, at least temporarily. The race to the exit was started by Disney, with Warner Brothers, Sony, and Paramount following suit. Other media-related departures include
China has a healthcare-infrastructure problem. Its workforce of doctors and nurses, as well as its network of clinics and hospitals, are woefully inadequate for a population of 1.4 billion. The state aims to avoid the upheaval associated with a rampant, nationwide Covid-19 outbreak, whether sparked by Omicron or a now-unknown variant.