Daily Archives: April 17, 2012

Cristina Fernández holds a sample of the first petroleum extraction in Argentina as she makes the YPF announcement (Getty)

On Monday Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president, announced the renationalisation of the oil company YPF, ousting the Spanish group Repsol as majority owner and prompting a furious response from Madrid. With Spain and the European Union pondering how best to respond, we cast an eye back at ten of the most momentous nationalisations of resource/commodity institutions. (We are omitting the across-the-board, everything-must-go nationalisations of Russia and China after their respective Communist revolutions, for reasons of space). Read more

I don’t think I have ever seen the British newspapers quite so interested in Chinese politics. Even the tabloids in London have the Bo Xilai story on their front pages. Of course it is not so much the power struggle at the top of the Communist Party that interests them. Rather it is the salacious details of the case: a murdered old Harrovian in a hotel room in China; hints of a sex scandal; allegations of  corruption; a son who went to Balliol College, Oxford and enjoyed parties and fast cars.

Amidst all this, however, the chosen narrative of the Chinese Communist Party seems to be prevailing. Bo Xilai was dangerous, corrupt and brutal – he had to go. It certainly seems clear that the crackdown on crime in Chongqing was extremely brutal, and the Bo family were clearly wealthy. But then again, the Chinese system as a whole is not noted for its respect for human-rights. And there are other top political families in China who have accumulated great wealth. Read more