Showing posts from July, 2009

Waiting for Obama Waiting for Obama By Leon Hadar Posted: July 29, 2009 IT IS A FAMILIAR STORY: Israel and its global patron had a strong and unshakable relationship. Few could remember a time when the bond between the two countries was not close. And key to the partnership was the two countries’ close cooperation in containing the threat of radical Middle Eastern regimes and movements. Following years of political turbulence and economic troubles, however, an historic election produced a major electoral realignment in the patron state. A freshly elected and very popular president took dramatic steps to transform his nation’s foreign policy, especially towards the Middle East. He withdrew military forces from an occupied Arab country and went to great lengths to improve ties with other countries in the region. In the face of this historic change, Israel grew increasingly worried about whether the new president would continue maintain

G-2 summit: what each wants from the other

Business Times - 29 Jul 2009 G-2 summit: what each wants from the other US wants China to keep financing its massive debt; China wants to see its US holdings safe By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT AS FOREIGN policy experts debate the nature of the evolving international system in the aftermath of the Cold War era's bipolar structure and against the backdrop of growing challenges to American unipolarism, some pundits have been promoting the concept of an emerging Sino-American duopoly in global affairs - a Group of Two (G-2). In such a scheme, the two global military and economic powers - the US and the People's Republic of China - could manage their complex and multifaceted relationship that is bound to be a major factor in determining the fate of the world in the 21st century. Chinese and American officials have rejected the notion that their governments are interested in forming such a global duopoly that would exclude other global players and allow them to impose their

Bernanke: a matter of credibility

Business Times - 28 Jul 2009 Bernanke: a matter of credibility With anti-Fed sentiment growing, investors are waiting for Obama to decide if he wants Bernanke to continue at the Fed By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT FOR more than a year now, the US central bank has been pumping a huge amount of money into the economy - expanding its loans in the form of currency swaps with foreign central banks and directing lending to US banks - in order to get it moving again. And there are some signs that this policy is generating the conditions for an economic recovery. Indeed, reflecting a bullish moment on Wall Street, better-than-expected corporate results and housing sales propelled stocks last Thursday, left the Dow and S&P 500 at more than eight-month highs and the Nasdaq at a more than nine-month high (although stocks slumped after that on Friday, as unsatisfactory quarterly results from Microsoft, and American Express gave investors a reason to draw back after the Thursd

Time for cool Obama to get real hot, tough and dirty

Business Times - 23 Jul 2009 Time for cool Obama to get real hot, tough and dirty By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT HE has been described as cool, calm and collected; so poised and so composed. He has the grace of Fred Astaire and the refinement of Cary Grant, the most elegant man to occupy the White House since 'Jack' Kennedy. He is the 'No-Drama' Barack Obama, who eats right, exercises regularly and shoots hoops in between ridding the world of a few Somali pirates. Remember when the Commander-in-Chief's skills were put to the test when he was doing an interview with CNBC television and a pesky fly started buzzing around, interrupting the proceedings, and zeroing in on the president? Without missing a beat, Mr Obama, revealing his impressive hand-eye coordination and employing the reflexes of a ninja warrior, waited for it to land on the back of his left hand, and pow! . . . down came his right hand on the fly, handily dispatching the pest to a better world. B

Obama losing support over economic policies

Business Times - 14 Jul 2009 Obama losing support over economic policies His popularity is falling even among independents and voters who helped him win election By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT US PRESIDENT Barack Obama returns to Washington this week from a week-long global tour that had taken him to Moscow (where he tried to repair US relationship with Russia) and to Italy (where he attended a summit of leaders of the world's major economies). Then he went to Ghana, in sub-Saharan Africa, the continent where his Kenyan father was born, and where he was welcomed by enthusiastic crowds, 'as if his arrival were a long-awaited homecoming', as The New York Times put it. But unfortunately for Mr Obama, he was not going to be greeted with the same degree of warmth on his arrival in Washington. The political honeymoon with Congress, the media and the American people that the new president seemed to be enjoying since his inauguration is clearly over. Obamania may still be a