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Milken Institute Review Third Quarter 2014

July 2014
MIRQ32014

In this issue of the Milken Institute Review, Charles Castaldi, a former NPR reporter in Central America, explains how a Nicaraguan strongman and Chinese billionaire are planning to dig a $50 billion canal that will eclipse its rival to the south. "The decision to move forward on a project of this scale took a lot of time to make, of course," allows Castaldi. "Well, not really: the speed with which the concession was granted would make those who have been struggling obtain approval to build the 36-inch Keystone XL pipeline for the last six years green with envy."

Also in this issue: a report card on Abenomics, the Japanese prime minister's Hail Mary play to jolt the economy out of its rut; an analysis of the emerging Trans Pacific Partnership, "the most ambitious trade agreement the United States" has ever negotiated; an attack on the prevailing wisdom that Hollywood's road to success will be paved with ever-fewer, ever-more-expensive mega-movies; an argument for a no-strings-attached, "universal basic income approach" to reducing poverty; an explanation of why Russia's slippage into economic stagnation won't be easy to reverse; an estimate of the waste created by subsidies in countries that make gasoline as cheap as 9 cents a gallon at the pump; and an analysis of the unraveling of Thailand's economy and polity – and how it might be reversed.