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Articles by leifrosy

Kuwait’s Frustrating Socio-Economic Transformation

21 days ago

Why Kuwait’s public and lawmakers don’t buy into economic reforms yet
Kuwait’s Frustrating Socio-Economic Transformation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction:
At first glance, Kuwait appears to be a role model for other countries in the world. Kuwait is the most democratic Arab country in the Middle East. Kuwait mediates conflicts in this troubled region. And since World War 2, oil wealth has made Kuwait one of the world’s richest countries.
Kuwait has 6% of the world’s oil reserves, making it the country with the 6th largest proven oil reserves worldwide. These oil reserves are expected to last 86 years and its gas reserves are expected to last over 100 years. Kuwait is also the 9th largest oil producer in the world, producing at a rate of 3 million barrels a day in

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How Syria’s Gross Mismanagement of Water is Critical Factor Leading to Civil War

September 17, 2019

Drought, food insecurity, migration, social unrest and Assad’s indifference fuel conflict
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction
On 14 March 2011 international security analysts were predicting that Syria was stable and immune from Arab Spring. [1] The next day the Syrian civil war erupted and has been going strong ever since then. What went wrong? What did the “realists” miss? [2] In thinking about the Syrian civil war and whether it could have been avoided, many scholars tend to look at ideological, religious or political factors as the major reasons for the war. That’s not enough.
What was Overlooked?
What is often overlooked is the Syrian government’s gross mismanagement of its natural resources as an underlying root cause of the Syrian uprising in March of

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Oman’s Make or Break Economic Transition

August 30, 2019

Oman’s turbulent journey on oil and post-oil tracks in a cash crunch.
Oman’s Make or Break Economic Transition
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction
The Sultan of Oman thought he had a problem back in 2011 when Arab Spring swept across his country. [1] Unemployment – especially among the youth – was acute and Oman had the lowest per capita GDP in the GCC. The Sultan was understandably fearful that social unrest could threaten his monarchy unless his government did something decisively to buy off dissent.
The price for quickly buying off dissent was high: The Sultan opted for 50,000 new government jobs, raised the minimum wage for government employees, launched a new jobless benefit, subsidized around 84,000 low-income households, almost doubled university enrollments

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No Quick Fix for Ghana’s Economic Challenges

July 28, 2019

At 1st glance, Ghana appears to be on a roll, but appearances are deceiving. Ghana faces daunting economic challenges.
No Quick Fix for Ghana’s Economic Challenges
Dr. Leif Rosenberger Chief Economist ACERTAS
Introduction
Thanks to the surge in Ghana’s new production of oil, Ghana’s economy is growing at nearly 9% a year, the fastest economic growth in Africa. In addition, an IMF loan helped Ghana clean up its rotten banks and generate a budget surplus. Does this mean Ghana’s economic

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Afghan Conflict: Root Cause, Economic Impact and Reconciliation

May 22, 2019

The root cause of Afghan conflict was economic failure. Reconciliation requires economic transformation.
The Afghan Civil War: Root Cause, Economic Impact and Prospects for Reconciliation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
The Challenge of Reconciliation
18 years of fighting in Afghanistan is long enough. US President Donald Trump wants to declare victory and cut and run from Afghanistan. That means all the US soldiers would be home well

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Trump’s Economic Coercion Backfires in Iraq

May 14, 2019

Trump’s counterproductive pressure on Iraq to stop gas imports from Iran antagonizes Baghdad. Shia Iraq pivots to Iran.
​Trump’s Economic Coercion Backfires in Iraq
Leif Rosenberger Chief Economist ACERTAS
Until recently, Baghdad viewed Iranian natural gas as the easiest way to fill its widening gap in electricity. In 2013, Iraq signed a deal to import 25 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of Iranian natural gas – 9.1 bcm annually – to feed

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Inside Morocco’s Economic Transformation

April 15, 2019

Mohammed VI celebrates two decades as king of Morocco in 2019. He has good reasons to be proud of the economy.
Inside Morocco’s Economic Transformation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist at ACERTAS
Mohammed VI celebrates two decades as king of Morocco in 2019. He has good reasons to be proud of the economy. On the positive side, King Hassan II – the father of King Mohammed VI — listened to the IMF and implemented macroeconomic reforms. So when King Hassan II died in 1999, Mohammed VI inherited a stable macro-economic situation. For instance, the economy enjoyed a low debt to GDP ratio and a relatively small budget deficit as a percentage of GDP.
Successful Economic Development
But Morocco’s economic development was struggling at first. The economy was too dependent on agriculture,

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