The growing danger of great-power conflict – How shifts in technology and geopolitics are renewing the threat – The Economist

This Economist lead is a recommended read. I’m not sure that I agree that an increase in US military expenditure alone is the answer. The US needs to leverage its political power through global alliance, rather than alone. It needs to regain the moral high ground and again become the beacon of democracy. Perceived US domestic weakness, like the opioid epidemic, emboldens potential enemies internationally. Yes, the Obama squandered years internationally have drastically increased the risk of war. So far, many of Trump’s foreign policy decisions have increased the risks as well. But Trump has inherited an economically robust US. If Trump turns to soft power, he might still outmaneuver his potential foes.

Why China Is Cracking Down on Cryptocurrencies and ICOs | PIIE

Here’s an excellent article from the Peterson Institute for International Economics. It reports that China initiated a harsh crackdown on cryptocurrencies in early September, part of a broader toughening against financial risk and increased regulatory vigilance on new financial products.

Source: Why China Is Cracking Down on Cryptocurrencies and ICOs | PIIE

This article shows us that China has learned from America’s political weakness on finance and is ready to intervene decisively. Remember President Clinton‘s repeal of the Glass Steagall Act probably precipitated the 2008 financial crisis. And after the crisis, China boldly intervened with massive state sponsored investment – many Western observers thought China would have a hard landing but it never happened.