Saturday, December 11, 2010

Moving to a New Domain

To all our Loyal readers, we would like to announce our move to a new Domain: All our future posts and others from the archives will be available there. We hope to see you all there.

Many Thanks,
-The Staff of The Bond Project

Friday, December 10, 2010

Viva Brasil, Viva

Order and Progress, the motto of Brazil, the fundamental basis of Brazilian society and economic success. We often hear “actions speak loader than words,” but in Brazil’s case the words and the actions are equally matched. Brazil is represents the “B” in BRIC. As the world becomes smaller and smaller America will need to bolster her overseas markets, and international relations. Bettering economic and political relations with Brazil will be far easier than attempting to connect with the other nations that comprise BRIC. Although these two nations are very different their, economic, social and political structures are reasonably similar. These two nations are most similar because America and Brazil fundamentally share the same “western” values. This can best be seen by looking at the way America and Brazil interact with the rest of the world. Both the United States and Brazil have had reasonably recent changes in their respective executives. Barack Obama and Dilma Rousseff presently are less controversial than their predecessors. These presidents share common values that they must work with the world rather than dictating to it. Besides political similarities, America and Brazil’s economic practices are more often than not considered “honorable,” unlike their fellow world power the unyielding China. This ideal was epitomized this fall during the G20 summit in Seoul, South Korea. After being lobbied by the world to allow their currency’s value to rise, after years of unfair regulation of it by the government, China refused to do so, claiming that it would have too big of a negative impact on their economy. Of course they continue this practice to allow their products to be bought at far less expensive prices than those of other “western” nations whose currencies change in value in relation to the world economy on the stock market, rather than being regulated and held down by the government. This example clearly shows the difference in fundamental values of China as compared to “western” nations, including America and Brazil. Some will say that China is being unfairly picked on by the world, all countries put their economic success above that of the world, and that’s OK. What is NOT OK is the fact that when most of the other G20 nations of the world come together and condemn the same economic practice and an arrogant nation, in this case China, rejects the world, then and only then are the worlds actions and opinions acceptable. America and Brazil are clearly different, to some their values are in the right and others fell them to be “western” bullies. Whatever one’s political beliefs may be it is clear that these two nations are similar and that is why they would be the most likely to better relations with one and other, America and Brazil, it’s gonna be a great partnership.

    -D. Scollan

Thursday, December 9, 2010

China: Taming the Dragon

China is an interesting spot. It has had very robust economic growth in past few years. However, there are arising problems in the seemingly strong country. This will hinder their ability to surpass the United States economically and potential supplant the U.S. as the primary superpower of the world. Among the problems, the largest is the housing boom in China

Similarly to the United States, there was a housing boom. However,there will be a bust. That has yet to come in China. But we have already seen the effects of a widespread housing bust in the United States. Forbes and Time Magazine other are envisioning a future Chinese housing bust. This could bode horribly for the Chinese economy. Others have stated that the inflation in China will become a major problem, squeezing the poor. On the issue of competitiveness, the Chinese worker is seeking for a salary increase. This has the potential to hinder Chinese growth. Factory workers in places such as Vietnam and Bangladesh are paid less on average than their Chinese counterparts. Companies such as H&M, a clothing retailer are in the process of moving operations. The ubiquitous Made in China label may not be so ubiquitous in the coming years. This means that the Chinese must grow other fields of their economy. This should not necessarily be a major problem but could present an obstacle for the Chinese.

In the meantime, the Chinese must tame the dragon before it is too late. They many advantages including a surplus of revenue, they own large amounts of assets, and China is a rising intellectual power. These are things that other governments would be yearning for. However, there are issues in China that must be addressed for success of their nation. 

    -S. Martin 

India’s Better Lit Future

BRIC Nations include Brazil, Russia, India, and China, all developing new markets that are going to change the face of the world for the future. Putting the I in BRIC India has the most potential going forward. They have the ability to become a technological shining star guiding the new way to the future. Why does India have such potential, so much to put it ahead of the rest?
The Indian government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is in terms of infrastructure striving to create a generation acclimated to the future and ready to change it. India needs focus on developing the ability to become the shining star of the future. This shows in the steadily increasing tech based economy, 2005- 2010 we saw the numbers rise from 17% to a now 31% technological based exports. Getting this number up to 50% like a post WWII Japan had, becoming the technological giant of the early 90’s. They are going to be able to do so because of how much the government will be making now and later. They will be making so much because of outsourcing; India is a very appealing area for such companies that need a cheap but large workforce. Normally under these circumstances, the U.S. government tould take steps to restrict such a flow of jobs out of the country,especially in the depths of a recession in which Americans desperately need jobs. The government has only not taken such steps because it fears India's retribution, as well as the happy occurrence of reverse outsourcing. Companies base themselves in foreign countries and save money by doing business in India. Companies' saving of money lead to lower prices and thus increased sales, to make sales they have to set up shop world wide, such as back in America… Reverse Outsourcing. It lowers prices, creates jobs over time and keeps companies intact. This all plays back into the growth of India as a nation and bringing it towards the technological goals it wants to reach to be the “shining star” of the future. 
India prevails as the most prominent prospect among BRIC nations and the US has the ability to help create growth in these areas. President Obama has already created a 15 billion dollar investment plan in India’s technology economy shift. If India can set itself up for reaching Japan like ability the possibilities are limitless, and the future much brighter.
   -J. Sullivan

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Forgotten I

            While there is much talk about the “BRIC” nations, recent economic analysis seems to point less towards a bloc of BRIC’s, but rather of BRICI’s. This last “I” stands for Indonesia, the most recent emerging power. In 2001, when the original BRIC concept was created, the country was still in turmoil, just two years after the first free parliamentary elections in that nation for nearly 30 years. The country has made enormous strides since then. According to the World Bank, its economy has grown over four percent annually for the last five years, placing it in the same territory as Brazil and Russia. It also managed to escape the late recession with a growth rate of 4.5%, in contrast to the decline in nearly every western nation. With its large population, and vast natural resources, it certainly seems to fit the bill of a new BRIC perfectly.
            Unfortunately, it also has more than its fair share of problems, both those in common with other BRIC nations, and those that are all its own. The nation continues to have sky-high corruption, making it a far less attractive place to outsource jobs, both from western nations and from other developing nations. These are probably the most important for the nation, which will be able to benefit as China’s workers become too expensive for much of the low margin manufacturing in the Pearl River valley. The most iconic of these industries is, of course, the textile industry, which “Always chases the cheapest needle”. Jobs are already fleeing the country for place like Vietnam and Bangladesh, but Indonesia obviously has the ability to take the lion’s share of these jobs, with its higher population. The industry in Indonesia is already growing, possibly by upwards of 12% on the year, sounds excellent, but not compared to Vietnam’s 60% jump in textile exports to Japan this year. However, Indonesia will not be able to advance its manufacturing sector without the cleanup that is promised by their President Yudhoyono.

            -G. Ferrante

Monday, December 6, 2010

This Week

This week, we will be discussing the BRIC nations and other developing markets and their future in our rapidly changing world.
    -G. Ferrante

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winning Over the World

The United States is a global superpower. Many analysts state that the United States is in decline and that there are foreign policy problems that the United States has. The wikileaks are just the tip of the iceberg. The United States is partly in trouble due to the rise of China. China has the potential to use their rising economic strength. They are already using this to their own advantage.
  The United States needs to apply a combination of its economic and military power as well as diplomacy to craft a foreign policy that is not just pro-America, but also good for the vast majority of the world. The United States remains the world's largest economy. China, a future competitor for the World's top economy, has internal structural problems at home. According to a recent article in Time Magazine, China is facing problems with containing inflation and maintaining the rising living standards that help to keep the government in power. They, similarly to the United States, must focus on their domestic situations.  This gives both nations an opportunity for success in matters of foreign policy. 
However, the importance of establishing diplomatic relations with other countries is to have allies somewhere in the world. This is obviously crucial. Wikileaks' release of diplomatic cables is a burden but the United States must forge ahead and be able to set an example. We do not have to be the world's policeman in everything but need to be a positive force in the world. This will show a positive image for other nations.  We must evaluate on a country by country basis and not a one size fits all approach. For a nation like North Korea we must ease our position and then cripple the nation when they try to act unfavorably to American interest. We must ratify the START treaty based on the fact that it is good policy, because it will set a good example. In dealing with Iran, we must avoid an aggressive Iran and to do so must not be too heavy-handed. 
-S. Martin

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wikileaks and Wikiwatertights

Between the four of us writers you the reader is going to hear a lot about Iran, Korea, Russia, and Israel. This is because of a certain Mr. Assange of Australia and his website Wikileaks, that’s what your going to hear here. The over 250,000 cables (analysis reports) have been mainly focused towards the countries above. 
More specifically I would like to revisit the hostility between Iran and Israel and how our newly publicized secrets will play into this. We now, and have for centuries recognized Israel as one of our greatest allies in the Middle East and they have been key as to our general influence in the area. Netanyahu is very aware of the grounds on which we base our relations with them and how Israel acted as almost a puppet government under the USA for some time. More and more now we see them taking independent and conflicting actions to deal with Palestine. This in turn upsets Iran who we have been trying so hard to reach a diplomatic ground with. Wikileaks has published hundreds of our intelligence tabs and notes on Netanyahu as a person and the actions he has taken leading Israel (being certain I would be arrested for visiting the site I chose not to look to deep into it). These cables display America’s true intentions for Israel and why they are so key to our relations with Iran. Dually, both countries nuclear programs are also things we have been keeping tabs on. Iran’s program has gone to the point where I could say we fear it. Added tension from these published cables could break the so fragile relations we have with not only both countries but the area in general.
Mr. Assange’s future is unpredictable at this point, but he will be charged with something eventually. His actions have been too sinister to go unchecked or unwatched. The effects of his publications are disastrous to the United States foreign relation stature now not only in the Middle East but globally. Does this pose a serious threat elsewhere? What should become of Assange and his site? Is America directly threatened? Answer in the comments!

-J. Sullivan