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Articles in Economics News

Hyperinflation Strikes Iran

By Nicholas Baldo | October 5, 2012 | 3 Comments

The world’s next hyperinflation episode appears to be underway in Iran, with potentially far-reaching political consequences. Officially, Iran pegs its currency—the rial—at 12,260 to the dollar. In early 2012, black market exchange rates began to diverge sharply from the 12,260 peg, eventually hovering at nearly double the official rate.

Honduras Moving Ahead with Private Cities

By Nicholas Baldo | September 26, 2012 |

To most development economists, the key to economic success lies in the creation of good institutions, be they schools, corruption-free agencies, or the like. In 2010, the New York University Business School economist Paul Romer made quite a splash in the field by arguing that in countries where good institutions are lacking, new “charter cities” should be built and run by outside entities under their own laws as semi-sovereign entities.

Argentina’s Mounting Economic Troubles

By Martin W. Lewis | | One Comment

Economic pressures and uncertainties are again mounting in Argentina. Moody’s recently downgraded the country’s credit rating, and on September 24 the International Monetary Fund threatened it with sanctions if it does not produce “acceptable” economic data by December. The Argentine government has been accused for the past year of manipulating its economic reports to hide its true rate of inflation.

The U.S. Drought and the South American Farming Boom

By Martin W. Lewis | August 24, 2012 |

The drought in the U.S. farm-belt is having major repercussions in South America, as farmers in the region seek to take advantage of high commodity prices. As reported in BloombergBusinessweek, Argentine farmers hope to harvest as much as 31 million tons of corn (maize) in early 2013, which would smash their previous record of 22 million tons.

In Unrecognized Somaliland, Berbera Comes to Life

By Nicholas Baldo | August 11, 2012 | One Comment

Today Berbera is a city of about 100,000 located on the coast of Somaliland, an unrecognized state occupying the northern portion of Somalia. As the only sheltered seaport on the South shore of the Gulf of Aden, Berbera’s economic fate is thoroughly entwined with that of Somaliland.

The Poor State of Child Services in Nunavut

By Chris Kremer | August 8, 2012 | One Comment

The far northern Canadian territory Nunavut has recently instituted health and social services reforms in response to high rates of child abuse and mortality.

Kenya’s New Superhighway

By Nicholas Baldo | August 7, 2012 |

In recent years, the crippling traffic congestion around Nairobi has prompted calls for higher capacity roadways to knit the region together. Kenya’s first superhighway, which links Nariobi to the city of Thika 42 kilometers to the Northeast, was recently completed to much fanfare.

A New Panama Canal? Or Two?

By Nicholas Baldo | July 11, 2012 | 4 Comments

As traffic through the Panama Canal rises, Nicaragua and Costa Rica examine alternatives in a charged political atmosphere.

Mining in Yukon

By Chris Kremer | July 4, 2012 |

Yukon, Canada’s westernmost territory, has few people but generates much mining revenue.

Gabon to Drop China as Its Mining Partner?

By Martin W. Lewis | June 14, 2012 | One Comment

Unsatisfied with the current arrangement, Gabon is again in the process of renegotiating with its Chinese partner. Rumor has it, however, that it would like to drop China altogether and instead turn the project over to a major international mining firm, most likely the Anglo-Australian leviathan BHP Billiton. Brazil’s Vale and France’s Eramet are also mentioned as possibilities, but it is significant that Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba visited BHP Billiton iron-ore facilities in Australia this April

Iceland to Export Electricity to Britain?

By Martin W. Lewis | June 7, 2012 |

Iceland is by far the world richest country in terms of per capita renewable energy. 81 percent of Iceland’s total energy needs are derived from renewable sources, mostly geothermal and hydroelectric, as is 100 percent of its electricity. As a result of its abundant resources, electrical power in Iceland is cheaper than anywhere else in Europe.

Debt Issues and Russian Investments in Guyana

By Martin W. Lewis | June 5, 2012 | 4 Comments

Stabroek News recently reported that Russia would write-off $50 million in debt to the government of Guyana. Debt write-offs for the impoverished South American country are nothing new. In 1999 alone, Guyana successfully negotiated $256 million in debt forgiveness.

Alaska’s Energy Economy and the Japan Connection

By Martin W. Lewis | May 19, 2012 |

Alaskan newspapers recently announced that their state had just been surpassed by North Dakota as the second largest oil producer in the United States (after Texas). The announcement sparked discussions about why Alaska’s production is falling while that of North Dakota is booming. Whatever the reasons, the geographical transformation of the U.S. oil industry over the past few years has been pronounced, occurring too rapidly to be noted by many top reference sources.

Recent Initiatives in Russia’s Booming Diamond Business

By Martin W. Lewis | May 4, 2012 |

Rio Tinto, the British-Australian mining giant, recently announced that it would begin investing in Russian diamond extraction, forming a partnership with the Russian firm Alrosa. Alrosa, 90 percent of which is owned by the Russian government, is now the world’s largest diamond miner, having surpassed De Beers in 2011.

Problems Surrounding the Oil-Boom in Northwestern North Dakota

By Martin W. Lewis | May 1, 2012 |

North Dakota is a sparsely settled state that has seen its population languish for decades. Home to 680,845 people in 1930, North Dakota held only 672,591in 2010. Currently, however, the state is experiencing a rebound, most notably in its oil-rich northwestern corner. Workers are flowing into Williston (population 14,716 in 2010), the main town in Bakken Formation region, which has oil reserves estimated at some 18 to 24 billion barrels.

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