Congress Set to Finally Approve IMF Reforms

WASHINGTON: The massive $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill presented to lawmakers Tuesday night contains provisions for new funding and governance reforms at the International Monetary Fund. The House could vote as early as Thursday on the package, which is expected to pass. Approval is also likely in the Senate and President Obama’s signature is assured. The president pushed hard for the IMF deal, calling it vital … Continue reading Congress Set to Finally Approve IMF Reforms

A Look at Cuba Before Normalization Takes Hold

HAVANA, CUBA: In light of the historic thaw in US Cuban relations announced on December 17th, three items stand out from a four-day visit to Havana:  1/ Cuba’s economy is a disaster in desperate need of reform. 2/ The communist party retains its tight grip and political change is a long way off. 3/It is likely to be months before normalized bi-lateral relations produce real … Continue reading A Look at Cuba Before Normalization Takes Hold

Poland’s Extraordinary Transformation

WASHINGTON:  Twenty-five years ago this autumn two remarkable events took place in Washington. On September 27th, 1989 in the musty embassy ballroom of the Polish People’s Republic on upper 16th Street, Leszek Balcerowicz, finance minister in the new non-communist government, outlined a plan to transform Poland’s economy from communism to capitalism. Shock therapy would be launched in three months. Balcerowicz’s message was breathtaking.  Prices would … Continue reading Poland’s Extraordinary Transformation

Greece..Economy Stabilizing

Thessaloniki: In the short-term more protests are coming. On November 6th, about the time the troika of Greece’s creditors arrives, a 24-hour general strike is planned. There will be more complaints that citizens have endured too much austerity and can’t take more. They’re wrong; much more needs to be done. Greeks desperately need the structural reforms that will boost competition and bring down the high … Continue reading Greece..Economy Stabilizing