Global economy strengthening but significant risks remain
The global economy will strengthen over the coming two years, but urgent action is still required to further reduce unemployment and address other legacies from the crisis, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook.
“Advanced economies are gaining momentum and driving the pick-up in global growth, while once-stalled cylinders of the economic engine, like investment and trade, are starting to fire again,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
Read more: http://www.oecd.org/newsroom/global-economy-strengthening-but-significant-risks-remain.htm
Better Life Index
There is more to life than the cold numbers of GDP and economic statistics. The trick is deciding what actually makes for a better life, and how to measure progress.
Economic growth is not an end in itself – the point of growth is to deliver better lives for people across society. It was already becoming clear in the years before the crisis that GDP alone was not good enough– during the boom years inequality was widening in most OECD countries, and more money didn’t seem to be making people happier. But what else should we be measuring to get the full picture?
Read more: http://www.oecd.org/forum/issues/
With China Deal, Russia Stands at Centre of Energy Geopolitics??
On 21 May, Russia’s Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) finally agreed to a deal for the supply of gas to China, following years of negotiations. The deal represents a major breakthrough, and will have serious impacts on both regional and global patterns of gas trade and energy security.
According to Gazprom CEO Alexi Miller, the contract with China is worth $400 billion, and is supported by preferential tax regimes on both sides. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has promised investment of $55 billion for exploration, production and pipeline construction, and $20 billion of investment is expected from China. More broadly, however, the deal is the first step towards very large scale gas exports from Russia to Asia.
What drove Putin to make a compromise? Due to the Ukraine crisis, Russia was in a delicate situation, needing to show that Russia’s strategic partnership with China is solid enough to ease the pressure of isolation from the US and EU. It was a priority for Putin, and the compromise was the minimum price he had to pay.
Read more: http://www.chathamhouse.org/media/comment/view/199646
What Do the European Union Election Results Mean?
Douglas J. Elliott
We learned five important things from the elections to the European Parliament whose votes are still being counted this morning: 1. Protest parties critical of the status quo in Brussels did very well, as expected... but not well enough to upset the fundamental balance of power in Brussels; 2. The elections may slow the movement of power to the Parliament; 3. The Italian government was substantially bolstered by the results; 4. The French and UK governments were weakened a bit; 5. Most other governments avoided serious new problems.
Protest parties critical of European institutions did very well, as everyone knew they would. This is mostly bad news, as these parties often espouse radical views that smack of fascism, old-style communism, or racism and should not have a place at the center of a modern Europe.
Read more: http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2014/05/26-eu-election-results-elliottd