Monthly Archives: September 2011

The legacy of 9/11

We devote this week’s show to the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the United States and the decade that has followed. We talk to the editor of the Financial Times, Lionel Barber, about his memories of the time and we hear from FT correspondent Matthew Green about life on the Afghan-Pakistan border, in 2011. 

Gideon Rachman

I thought that Wolfgang Schauble, the German finance minister, was a bit of a headbanger on the need for austerity in the euro-zone, until I read this morning’s piece by Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister. He makes Schauble sound like an indulgent uncle. 

John Paul Rathbone

The days when a foreign correspondent occasionally felt like George Smiley died with the fall of the Berlin Wall. But in South America, if you squint, those old John Le Carré days of Russian espionage can sometimes seem as though they are back  – at least if the Gazprom representative that I met recently in Bolivia is anything to go by. With his watery smile, impeccable manners and icy handshake, he seemed to have stepped out of KGB central casting. 

Alan Beattie

Some concern among Republicans about the anti-China belligerence in Mitt Romney’s big jobs speech on Tuesday. (Ironically it was Greg Mankiw, one of Romney’s economic advisers, who said one of the bravest and most sensible things on economics to come out of the Bush administration, and was forced to apologise for it.)  

By Gideon Rachman

“When she walks into the room, everybody falls silent. It’s like the headmistress coming in.” That, according to one senior politician, is the impact that Angela Merkel has when she enters the regular gatherings of conservative leaders from across Europe.

Gideon Rachman

The news that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, is considering visiting the Gaza Strip raises the possibility of a sharp escalation in Turkey’s dispute with Israel. The two countries dispute dates back to 2010 and Israel’s storming of the Mavi Marmara, a ship that was trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza – some eight Turkish citizens were killed during the Israeli attack. 

Libya, the eurozone, and anti-corruption in India

In this week’s podcast: Libya – a week on from the fall of Gaddafi; the eurozone and the state of play as we come out of the summer break; and, an Indian hunger striker forces parliament to support his anti-corruption crusade. 

Gideon Rachman

I am sometimes warned by economist friends that analogies between the economics of a household and the economics of a state are inherently suspect. Politicians may like to say that, like any good housewife, a government needs to balance its books. Economists say that it’s a bit more complicated than that.

The trouble is that while all such analogies may be flawed, they are also inevitable. Economics is complicated and abstract. Voters and politicians inevitably translate these abstractions into everyday terms. There is little point in trying to stop them. 

John Paul Rathbone

The “drugs war” is stuck in an expensive and gory rut. The 40-year old policy of prohibition has failed. Production of illegal drugs has increased, so too consumption, and the violence associated with trafficking has only got worse – last week’s massacre of 53 people at a Monterrey casino in Mexico is just the latest grotesque incident.