G10 Meeting, Rome 1971: US Treasury Secretary John Connolly proclaims to his (mainly European) counterparts — “The dollar is our currency, but it’s your problem.”

President Biden in 2021 might as well have expressed himself to his European allies in similar terms on the Afghan withdrawal: “The US military is our resource. What we choose to do or not do with it is your problem.”

Shock and dismay have been the European reactions to the chaotic, rushed and unedifying US pullout from Afghanistan without much consultation with NATO allies. …


Northern Ireland: Cynicism, Stubbornness and Shameful Political Leadership

Why is anyone surprised?

A battle has broken out between the EU and the UK government around the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol. It is time to cut through the posturing on both sides and face reality.

Actually, there are two realities we must all face. The first is that the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) was never about trade. It was always about identity for which trading arrangements were no more than a proxy. The second is that there is no clean and perfect way to sort out the issues. If…


We have just had to cancel our planned holiday at Christmas. Having identified a warm destination to which it was possible to travel, we were looking forward to it. Things have changed in the last few days leading to cancellation. It’s disappointing.

For many, Christmas is a family celebration that we look forward to. For others, it’s the New Year’s Eve revelry that is the most anticipated event (I concur). This year, neither are likely to be filled with the same joy and celebration that has become the norm. …


The prospect of Joe Biden in the White House is starting to revive hopes of a renewed push for a multilateral world. But such success depends on America’s allies as much as it depends on a President Biden.

The fact that a major political event — the US election — has raised such hopes solidifies the reality that the foundations of a globalized business world are political. Yet much of the commentary about globalization, international trade, and multilateralism — and the threats to all — is seen in the economics and business pages of newspapers and magazines. …


“The last place we expected something like this to happen was Germany,” said Peter Altmaier, the German economy minister in the wake of the Wirecard fiasco. But is it really?

Many are now fully familiar with the Wirecard debacle. For those who are not, here is a potted history.

Since 2008, analysts and journalists have been raising questions about Wirecard — a German digital payments company. In 2015, the Financial Times began publishing a series called ‘House of Wirecard’ raising questions about the company’s financial affairs.

In 2016, the Zatarra report, co-authored by two professional investors and short sellers, Matt…


For the last few years globalisation has been under threat. Even before President Trump took office the US had had enough of China’s cheating on global trading rules. President Obama’s “pivot to Asia” was starting to be seen as a misstep. David Cameron’s and George Osborne’s love-in with China was a damp squib — largely because China itself changed dramatically under President Xi.

The idea of globalisation as a universal good for everyone had long been abandoned as the security concerns, distributional effects, and geopolitical power effects of globalization in a twenty-first century world became ever clearer.

Two years ago…

Joe Zammit-Lucia

Founder RADIX, the think tank for the radical centre (www.radixuk.org), and the RADIX Centre for Business, Politics & Society (www.radixcbps.org)

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