Search

You searched for:
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Israel this week launched missile attacks against Palestinian security targets in Gaza in retaliation for the bombing of a school bus carrying settlers. Tel Aviv and Washington have blamed Palestinian National Authority President Yasser Arafat for the current crisis, saying he could reduce the violence. In fact, the uprising is a spontaneous revolt against the terms of the Oslo peace process. Far from being undermined by the crisis, Arafat is using it to maximise his political and diplomatic position in the event that negotiations resume. The crisis marks a decisive shift in the Palestinians' conditions for peace with Israel.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Government spending is increasing in the run-up to general elections next month and attempts to liberalise the cocoa trade appear half-hearted. The effectiveness of liberal economic reforms will be constrained as long as Ghana remains vulnerable to fluctuations in the prices of a narrow range of exports. Moreover, anti-corruption measures will lose their bite if they are seen to be directed in part against the government's opponents.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Delegates from 122 countries recently concluded an international agreement restricting the use of persistent organic pollutants. The agreement marks an important step towards eliminating the use of highly toxic and long-lived chemicals that do not break down easily in the environment. However, the significance of the accord extends well beyond its subject area: negotiators managed to find compromises on several issues that have bedevilled other international environmental agreements.
  • Topic: Security, Environment
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: A leaked Shanghai Stock Exchange report has detailed the extent of trading irregularities within China's domestic equity markets. In the primary market, a series of companies have falsified records on profits, assets and even entire businesses in order to publicly issue and list shares. In the secondary markets, insider trading, the spreading of false information, coordinated stock purchases, price ramping and sales of stocks by large institutional investors are common practice. The extent of trading irregularities reflects the government's preference for market growth over regulatory standardisation. This approach is undermining the CSRC's credibility. Unless regulatory practices are tightened, institutional investors will not have the maturing effect on markets and stabilising impact on prices the government seeks.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky and China's Prime Minister Zhu Rongji this month held talks in Beijing to discuss China's accession to the WTO. Beyond opening up commercial opportunities to US firms, the award of permanent normal trade relations status to China, and its prospective accession to the WTO, should in theory add predictability to the bilateral trade relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Finance Minister Paul Martin announced new tax reductions in his annual economic statement this week. The mini-budget is part of the Liberal government's preparations for a general election that is expected to be called later this week. In order to secure another majority in the House of Commons, the federal Liberals will need to maintain their popularity in Ontario and increase their support in Atlantic Canada. If the Liberals fail to regain their majority, they will probably rely on the support of New Democratic legislators. If this happens, the new government would place less emphasis on tax cuts and debt reduction, and more stress on spending, than would otherwise have been the case.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week, the Majlis approved a government bill authorising immediate use of the 2000-01 budget surplus. The windfall surplus, largely the result of increased oil revenues, should amount to 6-10 billion dollars by the end of the fiscal year in March. It will certainly transform Iran's external finances, but its impact on the domestic economy will be less immediate, and it will do little to ease investor concerns. Khatami's efforts to attract greater foreign investment depend on reform of the judiciary and other key changes to the regulatory climate. In the meantime, continuing political turmoil will deter all but those investors prepared to take a long-term view of Iran's economic potential.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The recommendation reflects a conflict between the bank and the finance ministry over whether or not the economy is overheating. Increasingly, the conflict is being fought in public circles after months of low-key clashes. The uncharacteristic rift between the monetary and fiscal authorities is likely to widen over the final two months of the Zedillo administration, as signs of overheating continue to accumulate. While pressure for a substantial fiscal adjustment is likely to be irresistible when Fox takes over on December 1, concerns are growing regarding his capacity to execute such a policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: North America, Mexico
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Corruption deters foreign lending and investment. Except in the oil and gas sector, Nigeria's economic advantages are not sufficiently countervailing. The national reputation for corruption encourages further abuse since no one's reputation suffers through acting dishonesty. Despite reforming efforts, grand corruption is likely to persist because of the continuing large flows through official hands of unearned income from natural resources.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The decision last week to lift political sanctions against Austria came as a relief to both Vienna and most of the fourteen EU member states participating in the action. Imposed in protest at the inclusion in government of the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), the sanctions had rapidly became a source of difficulty and embarrassment. Crucially, nobody had been clear about what the precise aims were, or in what circumstances the sanctions would be suspended: there was no exit strategy for either side.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Austria, Vienna