Channel: Fareed Zakaria

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Can China reform in time?

Added by 3 years ago

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I know, it's seems odd to speak of problems and the need for reform in the world's fastest growing big economy. But China has built up imbalances in that economy for some years now and they are not sustainable for much longer. Even before the financial crisis, China's top officials were aware that the economy was, in Premier Wen Jiabao's own words, "unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable." It needed to wean itself off cheap credit and undergo market reforms. Since then, in response to the global economic slowdown, China pumped even more easy money into its economy. The result, according to Morgan Stanley's Ruchir Sharma, is that China's total public and private debt is more than 200 percent of GDP, an unprecedented level for any developing country. Sharma points out that while it used to take one dollar of debt to produce one dollar of Chinese GDP growth, today it takes $4 to produce that same dollar of growth. Businesses and local governments have piled on debt. The property boom has accelerated. Without serious policy changes relatively soon, this is a bubble that is going to burst. I'm not ready to bet against China. Its leadership has shown itself to be capable of difficult decisions and smart execution. And if the leaders do manage this transition well, China will emerge stronger, and of course become the largest economy in the world. If they don't, they will likely face a slump and perhaps political tensions that bubble up in the wake of a slowing economy. For more on this, watch the video or read the TIME column

How to not resolve inequality

Added by 3 years ago

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For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN If there's one country in the world that looks like a utopia, its name must be Switzerland. This is a country that has it all. The average income is $82,000 a year – 65 percent more than the average American income. Everyone has great healthcare, childcare, and education. The unemployment rate is 3 percent. There is almost no corruption. According to the OECD, of 34 developed countries surveyed, the Swiss have the greatest degree of trust in their government. And, of course, it is a spectacular country with great traditions of skiing, cheese, chocolate, and wine. What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot, actually. The Swiss are furious about income inequality. The story is a familiar one. According to Reuters, in 1984 top earners in Swiss firms made 6 times as much as the bottom earners. Today, they make 43-times what bottom earners make. At some banks and firms, CEOs make 200-times the salary of the lowest-paid employee.

On GPS Sunday: Assessing the U.S. economic system and 2nd time period presidencies

Added by 3 years ago

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Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN On GPS this Sunday: A panel of leading historians offer their take on the state of the U.S. economy, second term presidencies and more. “I think there are no historical analogies more perilous than comparing a Munich or a Nixon in China, from which we have generations of perspective, to a deal that is days old,” says Nancy Gibbs, managing editor of TIME. “You know, this could prove to be a turning point, as obviously the president would like to argue that it's a long overdue reset of a relationship. But it all could also fall apart.” Then, a referendum to cap CEO pay to 12-times the salary of a firm's lowest-paid employee: What in the world is going on in Switzerland? And, why kids in South Korea and Finland are getting a better education than their counterparts in the United States. And the Last Look: the commercial that has millions of Indians and Pakistanis misty-eyed.

Historian: Nothing makes me assume LBJ tied to JFK’s dying

Added by 4 years ago

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Fareed speaks with Robert Caro, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, historian and author of Dallas, November 22, 1963, about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  So you know there are people who look at where Johnson was, dead in the water.  A Life magazine article was about to come out. You describe, you know, which was an investigative story, that would have further undermined him. People look at all that and say, boy, this assassination not only made Johnson president, but saved him from what might have been a complete collapse.  I mean, is it possible that had the assassination not happened, Johnson would have been so humiliated, he would have had to resign? Well, to answer that part of your question, Johnson himself felt that whether he had a second term or not, he was finished.  That's the word he used, "I'm finished." And you know how we know that he really felt that way? He told several of his key aides, who, if he had further ambitions, he would have wanted to keep with him.  He said, "I'm done." One of them was asking him, can I go to work for somebody else? He says go with him, I'm finished. So you say that Johnson really felt that his career might be over. On the other hand, nothing that I ever found...I've been doing research on Lyndon Johnson for a lot of years.  And I have to say that nothing that I found in writing or any interviews, led me to believe that whatever the story of the assassination really is, that Lyndon Johnson had anything to do with it. I never found anything that led me to believe that.

Tehran no longer best Iran deal drawback

Added by 4 years ago

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Saudi Arabia is not going to accept any deal on Iran's nuclear program, no matter what is in it. Saudi objections to the Islamic Republic of Iran are existential. The Saudis regard Tehran as a heretical, Shiite, Persian enemy that must be opposed. Its antipathy predates Iran's nuclear program and will persist whatever the resolution of it. And then the Republicans in the U.S., some of whom have serious objections and others who see this as an easy avenue to outflank President Obama on the right, placing him in the familiar spot of a liberal Democrat who is soft on America's foes. Many of us have assumed that the greatest obstacle to a deal would come from Tehran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards remain deeply anti-American, and they may well oppose the concessions that President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif would have to make to get a deal. But it’s now clear that greater obstacles might lie in the path of the negotiators on the other side. The minute any deal is announced, Saudi Arabia and Israel will denounce it, and many Republicans will join in. Given that Congress would have to pass laws to lift any of the major sanctions against Iran, this could prove to be an obstacle that cannot be overcome. So Obama faces two major challenges. First he has to get a deal that the hard-liners in Tehran can live with. Then he has to get one that the hard-liners in Washington and Jerusalem and Riyadh can abide. If he can do both, maybe he will deserve his Nobel Peace Prize after all. Watch the video for the full Take or read the TIME column

Why JFK’s assassination nonetheless looms massive

Added by 4 years ago

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Fareed speaks with Robert Caro, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, historian and author of Dallas, November 22, 1963, about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Watch the full interview Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN. What do you think explains both the conspiracy theories around John F. Kennedy’s death and the sense of why has this assassination loom so large in American imagination? Well, you know, it’s almost like myth, Homeric myth – young, handsome, the athlete, dying young, at the height of his glory, you know? A beautiful man, really charming, handsome, idealistic. Murder, blood, violence, horror. And in this – in an instant, there – this man is lying across his wife's lap, basically, in the back seat of a car with his head blown apart, blood all over her. For that reason alone, it has all the qualities of a mythic drama in the highest terms. Then you also say, there is the whole thing that happened that you may be too young to remember. The four days of television – all the networks, there’s only one broadcast. So there's a pool broadcast. The Nielsen ratings showed that for those four days, the television set in the average American home was on for 31.6 hours. That’s eight hours a day that virtually America is watching the same words said by the same people. And you say, I wrote in my book, you know, the funeral procession, we think of the triumphs of Rome, the triumphal processions of Rome.

On GPS Sunday: Figuring out Hurricane Haiyan, and assessing China’s future

Added by 4 years ago

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Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN On GPS this Sunday: More than 10 million Filipinos have been either displaced or left homeless by Typhoon Haiyan. But why was the impact so bad, and why was the response so slow? Fareed speaks with Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Center for Resilient Studies at Northeastern University, and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Laurie Garrett for their take on why this typhoon was so deadly. Also, China's new leaders gathered this week for the so-called Third Plenum meeting, following which China announced it is relaxing its three-decades-old one child policy and is ending “reeducation” through labor camps. So what’s behind the changes and what where is China heading? New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and The Council on Foreign Relations’ Elizabeth Economy offer their takes. And, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, biographer, and historian Robert Caro talks about the legacy of President John F. Kennedy as the U.S. prepares to mark 50 years since his assassination. “I've been doing research on Lyndon Johnson for a lot of years,” Caro says. “And I have to say that nothing that I found in writing, or any interviews, led me to believe that whatever the story of the assassination really is, that Lyndon Johnson had anything to do with it.  I never found anything that led me to believe that.”

5 the right way to destroy an financial system

Added by 4 years ago

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For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN Some startling images caught our eye this week. A shopping free-for-all at a major electronics chain, the equivalent of America's Best Buy. People making off with flat-screen TVs…refrigerators…and more…all at bargain basement prices. No, it’s not the holidays yet. This is what happened when the government of Venezuela decided to play Robin Hood: the army took over the privately owned chain and slashed prices. The incident got us thinking. We often talk about best practices for economies. Perhaps there should also be a list of things to avoid – a checklist titled ‘How to ruin your economy.’ Well, it so happens this isn't just a theoretical list, because Venezuela is actually ticking each of those boxes in practice.

Norway’s shocking TV hit

Added by 4 years ago

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For more Last Look, watch GPS, Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN In Norway, where the divorce rate is 40 percent, one official has some advice for married couples: Do as Tina Fey and Steve Carell did in the movie "Date Night." Go out. That date ended with car chases and mobster confrontations. But at least they weren't home on the couch. Last Friday, 1.3 million Norwegians were indeed home, watching a smash hit television show. That's a quarter of the nation's population, tuning in for over 12 uninterrupted hours for a national…knitting evening. Yes. Knitting. So-called slow TV is huge here. Whether it's seven hour train rides, a full day of salmon fishing, 12 hours of burning wood or 30-hour interviews. More than 50 percent of the population once tuned in for a ship's 134-hour coastline cruise. The knitting evening did have a dramatic twist. After hours of knitting, they attempted to break the world time record for producing a sweater. Starting from the very beginning – the shearing of a sheep. They unfortunately missed the record books, but eight and a half hours later – voila, a sweater! One company plans to bring slow TV to the United States. Perhaps it will be a hit. Compared with 21 hours of Senator Ted Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham, discussions about wool seem absolutely spellbinding.

Why some Iran deal critics might want talks failure

Added by 4 years ago

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It's difficult to know what to make of the failure to arrive at an agreement between the West and Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program. The high level talks have ended, and negotiations are scheduled to resume at a lower level in 10 days. Secretary of State John Kerry's comments seemed the most sensible. "It was always going to be hard to arrive at a deal with Iran when the mistrust was so deep and had gone on for so long," he said.

The altering position of U.N. forces?

Added by 4 years ago

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Take a look at the video at the soldiers in the Congo. The blue helmets are of course a giveaway – they're part of the United Nations peacekeeping force. That's not exactly a terrifying group is it? After all, the U.N.'s peacekeepers have always been seen as a rather hapless, toothless bunch. But this group is different. They are part of the U.N.'s new Intervention Force Brigade. Unlike the rest of the blue helmets, who are only allowed to act in self-defense, as peacekeepers, these soldiers are on the offense, with the authorization to hunt and attack enemy forces. This is a first, a historic change for the U.N., and a new strategy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than five million people have died since 1998 amidst a complex civil war. Over the last 18 months, government troops have been fighting a rebel group called the M-23. The rebels were encroaching deeper into the country, and had already taken over the city of Goma. Meanwhile, the U.N.'s peacekeepers were powerless to intervene – they had no mandate to engage.

Britney Spears vs Somali pirates?

Added by 4 years ago

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For more Last Look, watch GPS, Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN The U.N. has released a report suggesting that piracy off the coast of Somalia has dropped to the lowest level in seven years. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon credited the decline to improving international policing and prosecution as well as better security and information sharing. One Scottish merchant Navy officer reported last week that there might be additional reasons for the drop – Britney Spears. The officer told a U.K. paper that blasting songs like Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and "Oops, I Did It Again," is effective in deterring approaching pirates. This isn't altogether surprising. Loud noises have successfully fended off pirates in the past and repetitive music has been used as an interrogation tactic for years. One operative at Guantanamo reported that among others, "I Love You" by that cuddly purple dinosaur named Barney was used in interrogations at the Naval base there. A prisoner detained in Kabul told Human Rights Watch that Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" played for 20 days on end. And in 1989, the U.S. Army played music to smoke out Manuel Noriega from the Vatican embassy in Panama City, while in the 1990s, the FBI used Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" to try and force cult leader David Koresh out of the Waco compound.

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