The Top Risks Facing the World in 2017 (jdargis)
Every year, Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the Eurasia Group, releases a report on the top risks facing the globe. Bremmer focused much of his report last year on America's inward turn, a turn that he says is going to be felt tangibly throughout the world in 2017.
Forecasting Intelligence: Review of 2016 (James W.)
My third prediction was that Britain would narrowly vote to leave the European Union (EU) in the Brexit referendum. Whilst the refugee crisis wasn’t as bad as I feared at the beginning of the year, the broader issue of the migration crisis, the question of future Turkish membership and concerns about the impact on jobs and local public services was central to the referendum debate. As it turned out, I was correct in forecasting that these concerns, along with a broader anger over the loss of sovereignty to Brussels, would tip the British electorate to vote for a narrow Leave victory.
Russia Will Roar In 2017 (Tiffany D.)
Russia has been on the outs with the global community since the Crimea crisis — a crisis, as I’ve written before, that the West cast in the wrong light for its own needs. Under the Obama administration, America pressed hard to slap Russia around as punishment for reclaiming Crimea from Ukraine. The U.S. and Europe (largely under pressure from the Obama team) imposed economic sanctions on Russia, prompting Putin to retaliate with his own sanctions.
Thing is, much of Europe was never really fond of the sanctions — and that’s according to the various people I have talked to in Europe and in Russia as part of my travels over the last two years.
In 2017, we know that this historic accident isn’t working out for many people. The Center for Retirement Research currently estimates that about 52 percent of households are “at risk of not having enough to maintain their living standards in retirement” with “the outlook for retiring Baby Boomers and Generation Xers far less sanguine than for current retirees.” The Economic Policy Institute says just under half of households headed by someone between the ages of 32 and 61 have nothing saved for retirement.
Herbert Whitehouse was one of the first in the U.S. to suggest workers use a 401(k). His hope in 1981 was that the retirement-savings plan would supplement a company pension that guaranteed payouts for life.
In an interview with Richard Kreitner in the Nation, Skowronek said he believes we are coming to the end of one of his cycles, a conservative political order that began with Ronald Reagan, continued with George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and was resisted by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. That leaves Trump as another Carter, who will try and fail to paper over the deep divisions plaguing Republicans. The Trump-as-Carter thesis is obviously comforting to liberals, as a disjunctive Republican presidency presumably means a transformative Democratic one is soon to come. That’s not the only possibility, however. There is a chance—a remote one, to be sure—that Donald Trump will remake American politics.
It’s not just pipeline gas that’s surging either. Russia’s burgeoning LNG exports also saw a 1.1 percent rise during 2016, to 14.69 billion cubic meters, according to government reports this week.
In fact, Russian LNG has been picking up speed even in the past few weeks, with December exports up 10.8 percent, to a total 1.47 billion cubic meters.
The researchers simulated a Dust Bowl-style drought on modern crops to see how they’d react, and the results are pretty alarming. The researchers estimate that yield losses would be around 50 percent worse than during the drought of 2012, and that with each degree (Celsius) the temperature rises, yields decrease by another 25 percent. This is a big deal; these are bankruptcy and starvation percentages.
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