by Ossie Froggatt-Smith

This Valentines’ Day the Chinese year of the tiger begins. 2009, year of the ox, saw China rise to the top of the IPO market. Chinese companies going to market sold $50.4 billion worth of shares in 183 deals, 45 percent of global IPO volume compared to the US’ $24 billion from 54 companies. There is no bear in Chinese astrology. (more…)

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One year into his Presidency it seems that the jury is already out on Obama. For an individual who was elected as a visionary and under the banner of ‘hope’ only time will tell whether ‘hope’ materialised into real ‘change’. Ignoring the reasons for his election, one year is too short a time to judge anyone’s tenure as an elected President. (more…)

The opinion polls put Barack Obama as the least popular President in his first year since Eisenhower. Could it be that the corporate buy-out of American political institutions – poison from the interests of the oil industry, private healthcare firms and any other evil lobby that left-wingers could care to blame – has ensured that the sweeping change that Obama promised has been corrupted and prevented? In fact Obama has made a solid start and the best is yet to come.

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Gordon Brown and the Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen are locked in talks in Stormont trying to prevent a collapse of devolution in Northern Ireland. The key issue is over the devolution of policing and justice powers from Westminster to Stormont, with Sinn Fein pushing for an immediate transfer and the DUP hoping to stave off the move until a later date. But why are these issues crucial to devolution? And why is a deal proving so difficult?

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In response to last week’s rather lukewarm assessment of President Obama’s first year accomplishments in foreign policy, I come down far more on the negative side. In comparison with expectations, which were sky-high at his inauguration, the new President has failed in much during a difficult first year. (more…)

At the weekend Gordon Brown appealed to everyday British people when setting out his stall for the election. Most people in this country are fed up with dishonest politicians. Despite a recent thaw politicians of both parties are still skating on ice, not taking the plunge of proposing what to do with the £178 billion hole in the public finances. This Government is running a big deficit in the polls as well as in the public finances, and it can’t tackle the former without being more honest about tackling the latter.

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 On Monday Nigel Farage of UKIP came out in favour banning the burka in public across the UK. Gaps in the Dialogue speaks to him about how he justifies this, why its potentially unworkable and why he hates the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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