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Berlusconi Wins, Italy Loses

WSJ: China will use its economic might in new and troubling ways. FT: Germany must lead the European Union to recovery. Telegraph: The euro project was too ambitious from the start.

China will use its economic might in new and troubling ways

Jongryn Mo, a professor at the Graduate School of International Studies at Yonsei University, writes in the Wall Street Journal that China’s actions regarding its exports of rare earths to Japan marks a shift in how it uses its economic might to influence political matters. The global community should recognize that this may continue, and it should not be reliant on China’s economy.

QUOTE: For now, the rare earth case resembles earlier incidents in so far as trade appears to be returning to normal only a few months after the trouble started. But it should raise some serious questions on both sides moving forward.

Germany must lead the European Union to recovery

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, former German foreign minister, and Peer Steinbrück, former German minister of finance, write in the Financial Times that Germany must lead the European Union into taking strong action to decisively end its economic problems.

QUOTE: The required solution is a combination of a haircut for debt holders, debt guarantees for stable countries and the limited introduction of European-wide bonds in the medium term, accompanied by more aligned fiscal policies.

China and WikiLeaks both challenge the current world system

Columnist Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times that both the rising nation of China and a “rising collection of superempowered individuals” are posing a challenge to the world system.

QUOTE: A stable world requires that we learn how to get the best from both and limit the worst; it will require smart legal and technological responses.

Americans want a return of domestic manufacturing

Columnist Harold Meyerson writes in the Washington Post that to build America’s prosperity, the Obama administration must make policies that encourage companies to manufacture their goods in the United States.

QUOTE: Americans are fearful, rightly, about the decline of their country's economic leadership, and they see the offshoring of manufacturing as a primary cause of that decline.

More trans-Atlantic cooperation is needed to boost innovation

William E. Kennard, the US ambassador to the European Union, writes in the International Herald Tribune that the Obama administration and European Union should do more to boost trans-Atlantic cooperation. The United States and Europe need policies that support innovation.

QUOTE: Innovation is a holistic process that cannot be supported by top-down government policies alone; it must also be driven from the bottom up with businesses and communities leading the way.

The euro project was too ambitious from the start

Former economics editor Edmund Conway writes in London’s Daily Telegraph that if the eurozone collapses, the debate will be on whether its death was inevitable or due to the financial crisis.

QUOTE: As economically logical as it might have been, the euro project was simply overambitious and unrealistic.

It’s time to account for America’s spending overseas

Mike Honda, a US congressman from California, writes in the Los Angeles Times that the United States has failed to provide the necessary oversight and accountability as it has spent billions of dollars on the war in Afghanistan. He argues that an independent office should monitor America’s spending overseas.

QUOTE: We cannot afford to continue overseas relief and reconstruction efforts in an ad-hoc fashion, spending billions of taxpayer dollars under "emergency" pretexts with too few conditions and too little coordination, transparency, oversight and evaluation.

China’s efforts to polarize the global community are dangerous

Columnist Frank Ching writes in the China Post that China has recreated the semblance of the Cold War over the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony by forcing other countries to choose between supporting it or the West. He argues that this is very dangerous.

QUOTE: By depicting the issue as a struggle over values — alleging that the West is trying to foist its values on China and other countries — Beijing is turning this into another ideological battle.

Berlusconi fails Italy’s economy

Tito Boeri, professor of economics at Bocconi University, Milan, writes in Project Syndicate that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has survived a confidence vote. But his government has failed to make the structural reforms necessary to promote potential output and growth. Furthermore, the government was not honest with the people about the extent of the economic problems in the country.

QUOTE: The disappointment of the majority of Italians with Berlusconi’s rule will be even larger when they realize that this government never presented the facts as they are.

India and China must join together and look at the wider region

Siddharth Varadarajan writes in the Hindu that India and China both face similar challenges as leading Asian powers. Rather than continue their confrontational approach, they should join together and focus their energy on pooling their resources to improve the wider region.

QUOTE: Broadening the regional and global agenda is the best way to move away from the rancor that the boundary question has started to generate. Sixty years have already elapsed without it being settled. Waiting a few more years should not be a problem for either side.