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   Displaying Editorial Comments 1-44 of 44.
THE ECONOMIC BLOG WILL BE SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
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Due to financial constraints the economic blog will henceforth be updated three times weekly-Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
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The editor of has returned from vacation and the blog has been updated effective today.
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THE EDITOR OF THE ECONOMIC BLOG WILL BE AWAY BETWEEN JUNE 22 AND JULY 7.THE BLOG WILL BE UPDATED UPON HIS RETURN.
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WE ARE PLEASED TO INFORM OUR READERS THAT THE ECONOMIC BLOG IS BEING UPDATED AND NEW MATERIAL WILL BE ADDED ON A REGULAR BASIS.
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The Editor will be on vacation through August 20. The Memri Economic Blog will be updated upon his return.
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Material will next be uploaded on August 5. To subscribe to our free newsletter, click on the Subscribe button above.
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Today, July 22, 2008 is the third weekly dispatch of The MEMRI Economic Blog. Material will next be uploaded on July 29. To subscribe to our free newsletter, click on the Subscribe button above.
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Readers are now familiar with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s oft-repeated statement that the Holocaust did not take place, and are aware of the conference of “historians and scholars” he convened in Tehran last year to prove his point. A few days ago, in a televised speech from the city...
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The Iraqi government, with help of air cover and air strikes by coalition forces, has launched a major assault, codenamed “Galloping Horses” on Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia, otherwise known as Jeish al-Mahdi [The Army of al-Mahdi (al-Mahdi is the Shiite Messiah, a hidden savior...
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Officials from the US Treasury and the governments of Abu Dhabi and Singapore. The US Treasury Department took two important decisions last week that could have significant impact on the economies at both ends of the Persian Gulf. The first decision dealt with sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)....
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The concept of unintended consequences is one of the building blocks of economics. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” the most significant metaphor in social science, is an example of positive unintended consequence. Smith maintained that each individual, seeking only his own gain,...
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The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), also known as Pasdaran, was created in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini to defend the Islamic revolution from both foreign and domestic enemies, and to assist the ruling clerics in the day-to-day enforcement of the government’s Islamic codes and...
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This morning, as if on cue, Arab press in the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council printed lengthy articles and analyses on the need for two interrelated strategic economic policies: ending the Gulf countries’ currency peg to the dollar, and ending the pricing of oil in that...
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Economic Shocks and Their Aftermath Economic shocks are events that impact the economy and that originate from outside it. They are often unexpected and unpredictable and are caused by external or civil wars, severe price fluctuations, natural disasters and, not uncommonly, man-made disasters...
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Those who follow the economic news in Iran under the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad are often struck by the boasts regarding huge sums of foreign investments, often quoted in the billions of dollars. A fortnight ago, for example, the Tehran Times stated that the People’s Republic of...
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The World Economic Forum (WEF), which concluded its meetings over the weekend in Davos, Switzerland, appears to have devoted an inordinate amount of time and attention to a growing financial phenomenon few people had heard of until recently. Why the sudden interest? Money talks. From a rather...
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In their Summit Meeting in Doha, Qatar, on December 3-4, the heads of the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)--Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar--launched the Gulf Common Market (GCM), effective January 1, 2008. The Aim of the GCM The aim in creating...
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President George W. Bush will be embarking this week on one of his presidency’s most crucial initiatives, a trip to the Middle East to advance the cause of peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The cause is noble, but often frustrating, and, as it is for the fisherman casting his...
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Editorial Comment No. 26 - OPEC's Hypocrisy
By Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli
12/28/2007

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an association of thirteen oil producing countries working together for mutual financial interests. OPEC officially describes itself on the organization’s website “as a permanent intergovernmental organization” whose...
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Notwithstanding the doom and gloom that often characterize the news coverage from Iraq, a few recent events show signs of economic revival-- and perhaps even economic energy. The first good news item comes with the International Monetary Fund statement issued on December 14, 2007, that Iraq has...
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Readers of The MEMRI Economic Blog will find today two interesting items--an article about the blooming business of the wine industry in the Middle East, and a news item on the huge regional market for jewelry. Both items represent the ultimate ironies for today’s Middle East, with its...
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The twin factors of the depreciation of the dollar and the rising inflation in the oil-producing members of the Gulf Council on Cooperation (GCC), have generated an unusual amount of analysis and speculation about the future of dollar peg in five of the six member countries of GCC. (Kuwait, the...
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In a surprise move, the summit of the heads of the six member states of the Gulf Council on Cooperation (GCC) have extended an invitation to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to their summit meeting, to be held in Doha, Qatar on December 3-4. It is the first time that Tehran is invited to...
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Like Hamlet, the oil-rich Gulf countries face a dilemma: to peg or not to peg. This dilemma--whether to keep their national currencies pegged to the dollar as a single anchor currency or whether to opt for other alternatives--is profound and has far-reaching monetary implications. Clearly, the...
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This past weekend, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) held a summit meeting--the third in the history of the cartel that was established in 1960. Of the 13 heads of the member states, 11 were present at the two day-meeting in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Conspicuous...
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We are pleased to introduce to our readers the newly-designed , which incorporates many of the suggestions made by readers since the MEMRI Economic Blog was initially launched in mid-July. The blog relies heavily, but not exclusively, on economic information and analysis published in the Arab...
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The price of crude oil has been climbing to new heights almost daily. With oil producing nations receiving mounting criticism for this situation, an article entitled “Please don’t blame us for $93 oil: OPEC” appeared in the United Arab Emirates daily newspaper Khaleej Times . In...
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We publish today an article on the state of education in the Arab world, originally published in the Saudi weekly, al-Majallah. ( ). The article draws heavily on a comprehensive study conducted by the United Nations Development Programme, the findings of which were less than encouraging in several...
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The recent steady decline of the US dollar against other major currencies is having a major impact on the Saudi economy, as the oil revenues on which it so heavily relies are denominated in dollars. A decline in the value of the dollar makes imports from non-dollar zones more expensive, generating...
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We present an article today by a distinguished Iraqi writer who, without naming names, rebuts Mr. Alan Greenspan’s argument that the war in Iraq was driven by oil considerations. In presenting Dr. Hussein’s analysis we do not mean to express a view for or against the war in Iraq, for...
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In his book “The Age of Turbulence”, released for sale yesterday, Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve writes, “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” This statement is...
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In our editorial on September 6, entitled "When Projection is Elevated to Science", we questioned the wisdom of the World Bank staff in projecting the price of oil in 2009 to the last cent, at exactly $49.72. Shortly thereafter, a friend in Dubai sent us an investment brochure issued by...
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Dictators cultivate the image of a superman. They are the epitome of health and personal prowess. And they are portrayed as in control at all times. Illness must be concealed because it suggests weakness, and serious illness remains a state secret because it could raise the question of mortality,...
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We publish today a review of a World Bank report on economic development in the Middle East. As is common with reports of this genre, one would normally find extensive data, often presented with analytical rigor, even if sometimes the data’s pedigree is questionable. But there was one...
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As religious fanaticism gathers strength, it sweeps over many groups in its path. Male barbers and female hairdressers have become some unlikely victims. During the past two weeks thirteen men’s barbershops in Iran have been closed by order of the religious authorities. Police commander...
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Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki concluded a two-day official visit to Damascus yesterday, which included meetings with the top Syrian political leadership. Weakened by dissention within his own cabinet and confronted by mounting criticism from the United States over his failure to forge...
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The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) launched on July 9. As stated by its editor, the purpose of the Blog is to offer the reader updates on and occasional depth analyses of economic events in the Middle East, which are often overshadowed by pressing political events. Thus far, the...
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Editorial Comment No. 6 - Crude Oil and the Price at the Pump
By Editor, www.memrieconomicblog.org
08/06/2007

There is a certain quality shared by the weather and the price of gasoline-you can talk all you want about it, but there is nothing you can do to change it. But let us try to explain it, meaning the price of oil, and how it is determined. To help us simplify the technical terms, we have solicited...
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Introduction In 2006, under its series Inquiry and Analysis, MEMRI published a study on Islamic banking. In a paragraph headed “Islamic Banking and Terrorism,” we wrote that “[S]ome elements of the Islamic banking network may have been involved in the transfer and/or laundering...
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The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is in the habit of promising vast amounts of money, often impulsively, either to fulfill his own populist instincts for the country or to stoke the fires of conflicts regionally. Recently, fifty Iranian economists published a report criticizing the...
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Consumption plays an important role in economics, environmentalism and geographical analysis, but we are not about to engage our readers in the full theory of consumption. Rather, we wish to highlight one type of consumption that illustrates the many tragic dilemmas facing the Iraqi people. The...
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The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is launching a new media instrument-the MEMRI Economic Blog. As such, two questions may come readily to one’s mind: Why an economic blog? And why launch one now? There are gaps-some would say large gaps-in the Western media of coverage of...
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The readers of this blog should have noticed by now our unstinting coverage of the impressive leaps, both forward and upward, that seem to characterize the economic development of the city-state of Dubai. This coverage also reflects the editor’s profound and indelible personal impressions...
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