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A Different Kind of Superpower

CSM: Obama must be ready for the outbreak of conflict in Asia. WSJ: Don’t push Ireland to raise its taxes. Newsweek: Terrorists and politicians turn up the heat in Europe.

Use interventions to fight currency manipulation

Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, writes in the Financial Times that countries that manipulate their currencies affect the global economy. He argues that this should not be tolerated but rather countered by currency intervention.

QUOTE: When China or Japan buy dollars to keep their currency substantially undervalued, the US should sell an equivalent amount of dollars to push back. The IMF should authorize such intervention when necessary, to discipline countries that are violating their obligations by engaging in deliberate undervaluation.

Obama must be ready for the outbreak of conflict in Asia

An editorial in the Christian Science Monitor argues that the recent flare up between China and Japan illustrates that President Obama must be prepared for the possibility of a crisis in Asia.

QUOTE: But until China sees its role as a benign benefactor in Asia, a US president should be ready to check China if it tries to strong-arm its neighbors in an imperialist way or hold them hostage to threats.

China: A different kind of superpower

Joschka Fischer, Germany’s foreign minister and vice-chancellor from 1998 to 2005, writes in Project Syndicate that China will be a different kind of superpower. Its population demands will prevent it from having an “imperial foreign-policy role” like the United States or Russia.

QUOTE: China will become a largely inward-looking superpower, which – precisely for that reason – will pursue its foreign-policy interests in a completely unsentimental manner.

American voters are fed up with Washington

Columnist Clive Crook writes in the Financial Times that the Republicans may do well in the upcoming elections in the United States, but this is not because Americans support them. He argues this is more because voters are disappointed with Democrats and Washington politics in general.

QUOTE: Do not mistake this for an expression of confidence in Republicans. The electorate knows that the president and his veto pen will still be in the White House. The Republicans will have much stronger blocking powers, but will not be in charge. That would seem to suit the country just fine.

Don’t push Ireland to raise its taxes

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal argues that Europe is wrong to pressure Ireland to raise its taxes now that it faces an economic crisis. Ireland should fix its debt trap through spending cuts and economic growth.

QUOTE: Recovery will take time given the depth of the damage to Ireland's financial system, but it will not be helped by a return to the habits of the 1970s and 1980s, when taxes frequently sucked up close to half of Ireland's output and the economy stagnated.

A strong recovery requires entrepreneurship

Columnist Robert Samuelson writes in the Washington Post that job growth depends on entrepreneurship. This is because existing or old companies have high rates of failure, and these jobs must be replaced.

QUOTE: The debate over whether small or big firms create more jobs is misleading. The real distinction is between new and old.

China has already started a trade war

Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect and a senior fellow at Demos, writes in the Huffington Post that a trade war already exists between China and the United States. He argues that China's subsidies violate the World Trade Organization rules.

QUOTE: China subsidizes exports, provides bank loans to industry at zero or negative interest rates, and either bribes or coerces US industry to locate production in China for export but not for China's internal market.

Terrorists and politicians turn up the heat in Europe

Journalists Christopher Dickey and Sami Yousafzai write in Newsweek that Europeans are in a fearful mood, anxious about both the threat of terrorists and the politicians who taunt them. Extremist parties have proven successful at exploiting anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment to gather support.

QUOTE: And because the [anti-burqa] law is aimed against a specifically Islamic custom, jihadists denounce it as an insult to Muslims everywhere, making France an even more tempting target for terrorists.

The US and India need a new global partnership

Evan A. Feigenbaum, adjunct senior fellow for East, Central, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in Business Standard that as India strives to expand its reach and influence in South Asia, it should work with the United States on a new global, strategic partnership.

QUOTE: The ultimate test won't be how many meetings the two governments hold but whether they turn common interests into complementary policies around the world.

IMF should embrace emerging nations

An editorial in the New York Times argues that emerging nations are expressing a strong interest in having more of a say in the deliberations of the International Monetary Fund. The rich G-8 countries have said they want to embrace others, but they now show resilience to giving up some of their influence. The editorial argues that the “newcomers” should be given more power.

QUOTE: Bringing them into the room is the best chance of persuading them to assume the full responsibilities of their new power, and of building a new global consensus.