25 January 2016   Leave a comment

The strange weather continues.  Temperatures in a number of subtropical areas of China were reporting record low temperatures, and the southern city of Guangzhou recorded its first snow since 1967.  Agriculture in Taiwan took a major hit from some of the temperatures.

The Russian economy declined by 3.7% in 2015.  The slowdown reflects the effects of the sanctions on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine as well as the dramatic decline in the price of oil globally.  There is little evidence to suggest that the economic decline has led to a noticeable decline in popular support for President Putin.  The Russian people clearly support Putin for defending Russian national interests, even if those moves do lead to economic weakness.

The International Monetary Fund is suggesting that the inflation rate in Venezuela could reach 1,000% in 2016.  The rapid decline in oil prices, and the refusal of the Venezuelan government to cut back government spending to match that decline in revenues, has led to an economic disaster.  Vital commodities are not available at any price, and people cannot use currency to buy normal items necessary for daily life.  The political system in Venezuela became highly corrupt during the Chavez regime and the rule of his successor, Maduro.

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Posted January 26, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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