Daily Archives: January 24, 2014

Tuesday Barack Obama will deliver his sixth State of the Union address. Expectations are not running high. Congress is gridlocked, the president’s poll standing is tepid, and 2014 is a year of midterm elections when partisanship usually rises. Moreover, the focus of the speech will probably be income inequality – an issue that Mr Obama calls “the challenge of our time” and which is a popular topic among Congressional Democrats. And yet little or none of the related legislative agenda outlined on Tuesday has a chance to get passed by this Congress. As a result, Mr Obama will be forced to highlight modest executive actions which don’t require legislative approval. Read more

There are many party games to play at Davos. Some work better than others. The fashion now, perhaps driven by the success of TED conferences, is for strictly time-limited interventions, as short as possible. One economic historian was asked to summarise the development of the global monetary system over the last 150 years, and forecast the future of the dollar, the renminbi and the euro out to 2030 – all in three minutes. Actually he made a more than decent stab at it, but others, who may well have something interesting to say, have barely cleared their throats before the bar comes down. Read more