Complete Intelligence


OPEC to Cut Production

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OPEC – the group of oil producing countries that controls about 80% of the world’s oil reserves – has got its act together and announced a cut in production designed to boost oil prices. It follows two years of continually low prices which have hit oil producing countries hard, and in the hours since the announcement oil prices have surged by as much as 10%. Barclays oil analyst Miswin Mahesh explains how the various countries overcame their differences.


Saudi Arabia is not only the world’s largest oil producer – it is also the only place in the world where women are banned from driving. But billionaire Saudi prince Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has called for an end to the ban on driving, claiming it is damaging to the kingdom’s economy. Reem Assad, an investment adviser based in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, gives her views on the prince’s public statement.


President-elect Donald Trump has tweeted that he will step back from running his private business empire whilst he is in the White House. And, he has named his Treasury Secretary – the man who will run US Government financial policy as Steve Mnuchin – a former investment banker from Goldman Sachs. Mr. Mnuchin was Donald Trump’s campaign finance chairman and was recently profiled by Bloomberg’s Zachary Mider, who told the BBC’s Alex Ritson what he learned about the man who will be in charge of US economic policy.


Plus, we explore why Unesco has given Belgian beer a special status. Professor Kevin Verstrepen, from the University of Leuven, explains just what is so great about Belgian beer.


We are joined by guests Elmira Bayrasli, co-founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted, in New York and Tony Nash, chief economist at Complete Intelligence in Singapore.


Trump, TPP, yuan SDR make US-China Joint Commission trade talks a very different scene

22 November 2016 | CNBC

As the annual trade talks U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) gets underway in Washington D.C., the backdrop could hardly be more different from a year ago.


In 2015, each side in the series of annual meetings that cover everything from agriculture to cybersecurity had its own policy advantages, and policy continuity was the result of years of work by both sides.

Just a year ago, enthusiasm for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) also remained strong, with an official signing ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand, just months away. The agreement was positioned as America’s last, best hope to stay relevant in Asia’s economies.


And by design, the agreement positioned China as an outsider in its own neighborhood, instead of lining Asian countries up behind aging American assumptions around trade, intellectual property, and services in the world’s fastest-growing region.