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Currency Battle: Who's to Blame?

IHT: Europe needs a missile defense. GlobalPost: Geopolitical instability replaces recession woes. Japan Times: India-China relations grow increasingly contentious.

The US will win the currency battle

Columnist Martin Wolf writes in the Financial Times that the United States will win any global currency battle because it can print more dollars and thereby either inflate prices around the world or force nominal exchange rates up.

QUOTE: Unfortunately, the impact will also be higgledy piggledy, with the less protected economies (such as Brazil or South Africa) forced to adjust and others, protected by exchange controls (such as China), able to manage the adjustment better.

Europe needs a missile defense

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary general of NATO, writes in the International Herald Tribune that Europe faces threats, and NATO should build an affordable missile defense for Europe.

QUOTE: Over 30 countries have or are acquiring missiles that could be used to carry not just conventional warheads, but also weapons of mass destruction. Some of those missiles can already reach European cities, and the problem will only get worse.

China tries to calm Europe’s fears of its influence

Journalist Antoaneta Becker writes in the Asia Times that China’s increased involvement in Europe has led to mixed responses, with some considering it a boost to debt-ridden nations and others seeing it as a threat.

QUOTE: During his week-long tour of European capitals, Premier Wen Jiabao spearheaded an intensive Chinese diplomacy seeking to win skeptics and defuse fears of Beijing's growing international clout.

Geopolitical instability replaces recession woes

Columnist Michael Moran writes in GlobalPost that as the recession recedes and the global economy begins to recover, geopolitical instability has been spreading around the world, particularly in Asia. He says there is now a “minefield of volatility.”

QUOTE: From the Mediterranean to the heights of the Himalayas to the oil-rich Pacific seabed, Asia’s rising powers have resurrected long dormant border conflicts.

Use tax reform to boost production and growth

Jon Kyl, a US Senator from Arizona and the Republican Whip, writes in the Wall Street Journal that the US Congress must use the right tax reform to encourage production and thereby boost the economy.

QUOTE: Comprehensive tax reform, if done properly, would shift much of the economic decision-making back to the private, free market and away from government control.

Europe and the US deserve blame for the currency battle

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the IMF and a professor at MIT Sloan, writes in Project Syndicate that the current battle over currencies has mostly been blamed on China and the International Monetary Fund. But he argues that Europe deserves blame for not reforming global economic governance and the United States for years of political mismanagement.

QUOTE: The “currency wars” themselves are merely a skirmish. The big problem is that the core of the world’s financial system has become unstable, and reckless risk-taking will once again lead to great collateral damage.

India-China relations grow increasingly contentious

Harsh V. Pant, who teaches at King's College, London, writes in the Japan Times that after years of trying to keep relations healthy, India is now acknowledging that its relationship with China is becoming increasingly contentious. China and India now have deep divisions concerning foreign policy and civil-military relations.

QUOTE: As India grows powerful and gets courted by other major powers, especially the US, the Chinese perceive that a strong reaction to Indian foreign-policy overtures would be enough to deter India from strongly countering China's moves.

Big money influencing American elections in big ways

Columnist Tim Rutten writes in the Los Angeles Times that big business and wealth may have a greater impact on the upcoming US elections than ever before. Wealthy groups using money from unknown sources have had the opportunity to spend “limitlessly and secretively.”

QUOTE: To an extent not seen in generations, companies and wealthy investors with a naked economic interest in influencing election results are pouring money into races.

US, Russia must restart nuclear talks

Madeleine Albright, former US secretary of state, and Igor Ivanov, former Russian foreign minister, write in the Financial Times that the United States and Russia should restart their failed nuclear talks. They argue that Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev must push their nations to get back on track.

QUOTE: By pursuing these ideas the US and Russia can cement their improved relationship, give new impetus to efforts to curb nuclear proliferation, and help build a safer and more secure world – even as we await the ratification of New Start.

China’s response to Nobel award proves the award’s merits

Columnist Frank Ching writes in the China Post that China’s very response to Liu Xiaobobeing awarded the Nobel Peace Prize has proved to the international community exactly why he deserved the award.

QUOTE: China's reaction has been to censor news of the award, round up supporters of Liu and put his wife under house arrest. By these actions, the government has condemned itself and justified the decision to honor Liu as “the foremost symbol of this wide-ranging struggle for human rights.”