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Has China’s Housing Crisis Finally Arrived?

Has China’s Housing Crisis Finally Arrived?

Welcome to Foreign Policy’s China Brief. The highlights this week: The downfall of a major property company could spell trouble for China’s real-estate market, what to make of Mark Milley’s secret phone calls with Beijing, and a key #MeToo case is thrown out for lack of evidence. Starting Friday, Sept. 17, FP will reprise its pop-up U.N....

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Portugal’s Sardine Capitalism Is a Model for the World

Portugal’s Sardine Capitalism Is a Model for the World

Patrons sit at a sidewalk cafe in Lisbon on April 19 amid the COVID-19 pandemic as shops reopened with limitations and restaurants served patrons indoors. Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images LISBON—Defying conventional wisdom has a long history in Portugal. After all, in an age when maps showed the Earth ending abruptly somewhere around Bermuda and...

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Afghanistan’s Money Exchangers Are the Economy’s Last Best Hope

Afghanistan’s Money Exchangers Are the Economy’s Last Best Hope

Taliban forces entered the Afghan capital at 3 p.m. on Aug. 15. By 5:30 p.m., the group had already secured the country’s central money exchange market, Sarai Shahzada. The market is the financial hub of the country, where the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars move between hands each day. On a normal afternoon,...

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Poor People Weren’t Part of the Plan for Abuja

Poor People Weren’t Part of the Plan for Abuja

By the side of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, is a sign that reads, “No Parking. No Loitering. No Waiting.” That doesn’t stop the drivers of Abuja’s communal cabs (known as “along” because they go along fixed routes) from constantly dropping off and picking up passengers at what has effectively...

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Afghanistan Was a Ponzi Scheme Sold to the American Public

Afghanistan Was a Ponzi Scheme Sold to the American Public

As the political fight over who lost Afghanistan gets bloodier, the latest round has shifted from lamentation over the probable return of al Qaeda to the disorderly exit from Kabul. Vivid images of chaotic activity at the airport underscore this concern. But, in fact, the withdrawal could never have been orderly, as critics unthinkingly imply....

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Don’t Abandon Afghanistan’s Economy Too

Don’t Abandon Afghanistan’s Economy Too

As Western powers pull out of Afghanistan, they have begun to ask themselves what their remaining sources of leverage over the Taliban are. In forums like the G-7 meeting chaired by the United Kingdom, conversations rapidly turn to the possibility of using funding as a means of pressure. This is a dangerous approach. Afghanistan is...

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Chinese Firms Don’t Want to Pay Afghanistan’s Costs

Chinese Firms Don’t Want to Pay Afghanistan’s Costs

The United States is paying a heavy cost for the messy way in which it is withdrawing from Afghanistan, but an equally serious concern for many analysts has been the long-term prospects of China filling the vacuum left by the United States and expanding its geopolitical influence farther into the Eurasian landmass. When viewed through...

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Is Africa Headed for a Financial Crisis?

Is Africa Headed for a Financial Crisis?

COVID-19 has exerted immense pressure on the world’s emerging markets, yet some of the pandemic’s most painful economic episodes may be yet to come. A rerun of the 2013 “taper tantrum,” a post-recovery collapse in oil prices, and poorly executed multilateral programs are creating economic concerns that match the enormity of many countries’ epidemiological concerns....

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Specter of Stagflation Hangs Over Emerging Markets

Specter of Stagflation Hangs Over Emerging Markets

Spare a thought for finance ministers and central bankers in the developing world. They probably heaved sighs of relief when the U.S. Federal Reserve decided against raising interest rates at its latest meeting on July 28. Yet they know that the reprieve is only temporary. Even though the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus could...