Archive | April, 2013
Education

Japan’s deglobalization

Japan’s deglobalization
Around the world, students at the best universities are experiencing a more international upbringing than their parents. Japan, however, stands apart because of its continued seclusion. In particular, the decline of the number of Japanese students at leading United States (US) institutions is startling: In 1998–1999 there were 705 Japanese enrolled at three of the best US universities—Columbia, Harvard, and MIT—but this number had dropped to 339 by 2011–2012. Enrollment has also declined over the past seven years at Yale and UC-Berkeley. Overall, the figure of 46,872 Japanese studying in the US in 2000–2001 had dropped to 19,966 by 2011–2012. We also looked at doctoral candidates in several renowned, mostly US English-speaking universities in business, economics, and science. Read more.

Finance

Renminbi currency valuation: A welcome change in US policy

Renminbi currency valuation: A welcome change in US policy
One benefit of the fragile yet continuing growth in the United States (US) economy over the last 12 months is the restraining effect it has had on US political leaders who regularly clamor for the US to punish the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to raise the value of its currency. The PRC’s exchange rate policy and the presumed threat it poses to US jobs has been a topic of debate in the US Congress for years. Critics of the PRC maintain that the US president, no matter what the political party, needed to staunch the flow of US jobs to the PRC by demanding that it increase the value of the renminbi or be punished by being labeled a currency manipulator. Read more.

Governance

Asia’s addiction to fossil fuel subsidies continues unabated

Asia’s addiction to fossil fuel subsidies continues unabated
At the 2009 G20 Pittsburgh Summit, leaders recognized the problem of fuel subsidies and made a commitment “to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” (G20 2009). But Asian economies have gone the other way, and are pushing economic growth at a breakneck pace underpinned by fuel subsidies not only to consumers, but also to oil companies, mostly through production incentives. These subsidies have created an expectation that gas and oil are cheap and plentiful fuels available on demand. Yet without oil, the world would grind to a halt and chaos and social upheaval would probably ensue. Alternative and renewable energy resources are simply not yet available on a large commercial scale, leaving many people without recourse. Read more.