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1. The 2012 US election - through the prism of the economy (Kamarck) PublicServiceEurope.com
2. China's Wen urges breakup of bank monopoly as growth slows (Overholt) Reuters News
3. The momentum to remove fuel subsidies (Mawardi) The Jakarta Post
The 2012 US election - through the prism of the economy
Commentary by: Elaine Kamarck
Topic: The upcoming 2012 general election campaign
... While former governor Mitt Romney has not had an easy time convincing hard core Republican primary voters that he is the 'real deal' and conservative enough to be the nominee - his persistence, his money and his organisation will most likely make him the presumptive nominee sometime this month. The pivot from a nomination to a general election contest has already started with several hard-hitting speeches by United States President Barack Obama. As the campaign pivots, the debate changes – away from the social issues like contraception and abortion that preoccupy the Republican base and towards a set of issues that engage a broader electorate.
China's Wen urges breakup of bank monopoly as growth slows
Quoted: William Overholt, Ash Center
Topic: Chinese economy
...As the economy has slowed, the role of state banks in rationing credit has come more into focus. They prefer to lend to other state firms, starving smaller entrepreneurial companies that must then borrow from informal lenders at high rates.
Only last week, Beijing approved financial reforms for Wenzhou - known as the country's cradle of private enterprise - to encourage private investment in local banks.
Experts said the need for further steps was apparent, though it remained to be seen whether the views of Wen, due to step down next year in China's biggest leadership change in a decade, would translate into action under the new leadership.
"The basic need for drastic financial reforms is clear," said William Overholt, senior research fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and author of "Asia, America, and the Transformation of Geopolitics."
The momentum to remove fuel subsidies
The Jakarta Post
Commentary by: Izhari Mawardi MPP 2012
Topic: Fuel subsidies in Indonesia
If Bank Indonesia (BI) cuts three zeros in the Indonesian rupiah, the nation’s consumers would lose confidence in our currency. For many old enough to remember, it would be the sanering or slashing of the currency’s value of 1959 all over again.
If we handle the redenomination quickly, these pains can be minimized. But for the redenomination to work, BI must also expedite the redenomination to maximize the momentum gained from the potential elimination of fuel subsidy.
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