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Governance

Iran’s Regional Revolution

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Iran’s Regional Revolution

When President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Baghdad March 2 for the first visit by an Iranian head of state since 1979, Iraq’s political delegation greeted him with open arms. Some even offered hugs (ChiTrib). Yet a cold shoulder by the United States may set the post-meeting tone. Washington made no secret of its desire for a quick and quiet visit by Ahmadinejad. Iraqi officials told Newsweek on February 26 the Iranian president would not take part in any talks with coalition leaders; Washington was even less eager to strike up conversation


By CFR, USA.


Governance Policy Resource.


Russia’s Economic Pipeline

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Russia’s Economic Pipeline

Russia’s next president, Dmitri Medvedev, is a businessman. Before entering politics, Medvedev worked at a timber company, then sat on the board of a major Russian paper producer. He is currently the chairman of Gazprom, the energy giant that is Russia’s largest company and the world’s leading producer of natural gas. Some analysts, like CFR’s Stephen Sestanovich, say Medvedev’s business background may explain why Russian President Vladimir Putin seems so keen on him.


By CFR, USA.


Governance Policy Resource.


The Nightmare Scenario

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The Nightmare Scenario

Global markets seem increasingly spooked by a drumbeat of bad news. New U.S. housing data shows single-family home prices have fallen about 9 percent in the last year, and declines are accelerating (CNN). Despite steep rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says are likely to continue (PDF), the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 10 percent from October 2007 highs. World markets, too, are feeling the pain amidst concerns over rising inflation and worries that U.S. banks might hold substantially more bad debt than analysts initially thought.


By CFR, USA.


Governance Policy Resource.


Brazil’s Energy Windfall

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Brazil’s Energy Windfall

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, boisterous and riding high just one year ago in his quest to spread a “socialist revolution” throughout Latin America, has quieted as that effort has ground to a halt. In December, Chavez’s bid to change his country’s constitution was voted down. An ongoing oil nationalization dispute with ExxonMobil, which threatens to freeze billions of assets (AFP) in Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, has raised questions about the sustainability of the country’s oil output. Most recently, major oil and gas discoveries off the Brazilian coast promise to substantially shift the balance of power in Latin America, chipping away at Venezuela’s energy hegemony.


By CFR, USA.


Governance Policy Resource.