Brazil’s economy teeters at the abattoir gates

My Breakingviews column 


Uncharmed “Circle”

James Ponsoldt’s #TheCircle means well and the issues are real but, like its protagonist, the movie lacks a strong sense of identity. The book’s better, “Black Mirror” better still. My review:

Talk to me


Reposting this 2012 piece I wrote on how people of left and right can talk to each other, and the value of dissent:

Mi casa no es su casa

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto shake hands at a press conference at the Los Pinos residence in Mexico City, Mexico, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2NQRI

A modest proposal: replace NAFTA with a bilateral Treaty for U.S.-Mexican Prosperity, or TRUMP. That would go down well in the White House.



Castro embodied the weakness of strongmen 


A column I wrote overnight on the passing of Fidel Castro

The charismatic Cuban leader resembled other paternalistic caudillos of right and left in his outsized ego, which ultimately stymied his people. Cubans, like other Latin Americans, need institutions more than saviors like Fidel. Venezuela’s leaders are another example.

(Photo: Havana, outside the U.S. Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy, 1998.)

Colombia’s Nobel fillip

Colombian presidential candidate and President Juan Manuel Santos celebrates after winning a second term in the country's presidential elections in Bogota June 15, 2014. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez/File Photo - RTSR68J

President Juan Manuel Santos has won the Nobel Peace Prize for trying to end a 52-year civil war, days after voters rejected his deal with FARC rebels. A bit of chat in my work hat about the economic implications.

“Peace will generate even more pathology”

(Photo: El Salvador, 1991, by Martin Langfield)

My 1990 Reuters piece (as printed here in the L.A. Times) was prescient, sadly, about the mental fallout of El Salvador’s civil war. May Colombia do better.