Markets are reeling because Europe’s leaders have only offered up half-measures to resolve the crisis. Not until Berlin, Brussels, and Paris realize the fundamental flaw in their current approach — a lack of real political and economic integration across the eurozone — will there be confidence again. Read the full article.
As the eurozone’s biggest economy, it was Germany’s job to stabilize the system when the first signs of financial trouble appeared. It did the opposite. The euro’s survival depends on Frankfurt finally assuming its role as leader. Read full article.
Small farmers in West Africa produce most of the world’s cocoa and sell it at low prices to big companies such as Cadbury and Mars, who transform the beans into chocolate. In the new book Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocao in West Africa, Orla Ryan focuses on Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the two countries that together produce half the world’s cocoa output. Large numbers of West Africans rely on cocoa for their livelihoods, she shows, and politicians have long used revenues tied to cocoa exports to retain their holds on power. Reformers have expressed concern about industry practices, and Ryan ably discusses such issues as child labor on cocoa farms and the debates around free trade. She argues that an even greater source of concern is the long-term environmental sustainability of current approaches to cocoa production, and she advances the notion that chocolate prices might spike in the not-too-distant future.
Benjamin Friedman of the Cato Institute thinks so.
The Pentagon’s boosters are right that big budget cuts will limit military capabilities. What they fail to recognize is that would actually be a good thing for the United States, as reductions will dial back Washington’s overzealous foreign policy. Read the full article.