Daily Archives: April 15, 2014

The enormous influence that Cuba has gained in Venezuela is one of the most underreported geopolitical developments of recent times. It is also one of the most improbable. Venezuela is nine times bigger than Cuba, three times more populous, and its economy four times larger. The country boasts the world’s largest oil reserves. Yet critical functions of the Venezuelan state are either overseen or directly controlled by Cuban officials.

The relationship goes beyond subsidies and advantageous business opportunities for Cuban agencies. Cuban officers control Venezuelaメs public notaries and civil registries. Cubans oversee the computer systems of the presidency, ministries, social programmes, police and security services as well as the national oil company, according to Cristina Marcano, a journalist who has reported extensively on Cubaメs influence in Venezuela.
 Read more

It always seemed likely the UK’s elevated inflation rate in recent years would prove to be a temporary phenomenon. With miserably low domestic wage growth and low rates elsewhere, it was only a matter of time before UK inflation began to drop. Wedneday’s fall in consumer price inflation to 1.6 per cent leaves the Bank of England with an unfamiliar problem: what should it do when inflation is too low?

Optimists will argue that the drop in inflation is consistent with the beginnings of a productivity boom, whereby the UK finally rediscovers its supply potential. Read more