2016 - 1st Quarter

Has Taiwan's Worm Fully Turned?

Friday March 18

As the narrative of Taiwan's history develops, much will no doubt be written about this period. Certainly, as president-elect Tsai Ing-wen prepares for her inauguration and a full transition of power to her party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a new and hopeful fresh spirit pervades. ...

Demystifying China: a Club Enron Writ Large?

Friday March 18

There was a time when many economic pundits and gurus promoted Enron as the model company to emulate. It had a mystique. The guys that ran it were called the "smartest guys in the room." They were the innovative, bold insightful risk takers and the wizards that the financial world needed. As the company grew, everyone wanted to get on board this bandwagon of praise and profit. It was great as long as a lack of transparency veiled Enron's practices and its moving shell game of mark to market profits and "fabricated companies." But then the hype over the numbers began to diminish and the bottom line was more closely checked. Demystification began. The shell game could not keep pace and the smartest guys in the room soon went from being smart to being clever to being downright deceitful crooks who built an empire on deceptive practices and fabricated reports. ...

A Game of Cards Across the Strait

Friday February 5

The stakes had certainly been high in Taiwan's January 16 elections. Threats of doom and dire consequences had filled the air and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) did not hesitate to play the "scare card." It declared that any vote against the KMT was a vote for an uncertain future. Further, voting for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Tsai Ing-wen would create a "scorched earth" policy where most of the 23 nations that recognize Taiwan would quickly rush to China. Only the KMT could prevent this, or so they said. ...

Standing on 'Dangwai' Shoulders

Friday February 5

The magnitude of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) recent decisive victory over the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the January 16 presidential and legislative elections surprised many. It was so large that for some it might have created an irreconcilable fault line for the KMT in Taiwan politics. ...

Can the KMT Regroup if it Loses?

Monday January 18

The presidential and legislative elections are at hand and the majority of pre-election polls have indicated losses for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). ...

Dynasties Conflict with Democracies

Monday January 18

To paraphrase a well-known saying by French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, there are things that are true on one side of the Taiwan Strait, that are false on the other. With the presidential and legislative elections on January 16th it appears that increasing numbers of Taiwanese are coming to realize how much their nation's democracy sets them apart from China and adds to the reality of their identity. ...