Alexandru Georgescu
Alexandru Georgescu
Economist, Research Fellow with the EURISC Foundation, studying geopolitics, international security issues and critical infrastructure protection, currently in a Ph.D. research program on the latter subject
Bracing for Hurricane Democracy

Bracing for Hurricane Democracy

With the conclusion of the two ceremonial national conventions of the two US parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, one may say that the presidential race has begun in earnest. The current election will be unique in modern American history for its overlap with a pandemic which may not be the deadliest in recent times, but it is certainly the most mediatized and has elicited the strongest public policy reactions ever. At the same time, much like 2016 but also other important American elections, the Presidential campaign takes place against the backdrop of rioting, looting and general social strife which has become inextricably linked to the political race. The issues are more complicated than breathless media analyses make them out to be and there is a great deal of unknowns for an event that is scrutinized by the entire world in unison as a determining factor of the next four years in the still-extant Pax Americana. Ultimately, trying to predict the result of the November election can be as mystical or as wonkish as we want – some may try polls and statistical models and others the tea leaves. Both options are equally valid in the current climate.  More


The Race to the Bottom in Oil

The Race to the Bottom in Oil

With the developed world in transition towards a short and medium-term economic self-flagellation as a means of reducing the impact of the SARS-COV-2 virus spread, there is little room for economic news that is not related to markets tumbling and toilet paper becoming contraband. While it started with the shutdown in Hubei province in China and the associated tough (but successful) quarantine and social distancing measures, the economic crisis has moved onto Western nations, where the collective impact of the virus has already exceeded that in China. The measures which the experts (and, reluctantly, and too late for comfort, the politicians) are calling for are throwing prodigious amounts of sand in the gears of a system that developed organically to thrive on mobility, access, just-in-time logistics and a global division of labor. Regardless of the terrifying human costs of the crisis, the economic consequences will be the making of the leadership and will unravel carefully synchronized supply and production chains, as well as industries on which the (precarious) livelihood of millions depends, such as tourism.  More


The War of the Worlds: Macro-societies in Battle Against Micro-organisms

The War of the Worlds: Macro-societies in Battle Against Micro-organisms

As the lockdown has been relaxed (in Romania, the homeland of TMFI), yet social distancing is still a sacrosanct recommendation, we release the second episode from our collection of editorial products, this time from our in-house harvest. We hope that the variety and the quality of these “corona-readings” to function as a cure equally for unjustified anxieties and for mind hibernation. More


The Market for Ideas: Supplying and Demanding Thoughtfulness

The Market for Ideas: Supplying and Demanding Thoughtfulness

It has been three years since our project – The Market for Ideas – took shape. We have tried to present our readers with interesting ideas from a wide variety of fields and penned by a wide variety of others. To the best of our abilities, we have tried not to turn this journal into a publication by Romanians for Romanians, only in English, which would be snobbery, but a shared space in which Romanian issues could be presented alongside more general considerations for the edification of a diverse and educated, but non-expert audience. The figures back us up, both on Facebook and on the website, where Romanians are still a plurality, but no longer the majority of our readers. Hopefully, we have not driven any of them away; instead, we rather managed to interest some people in our corner of the Internet, which is a difficult thing to do in a world given to shallow and homogenizing diversity. Facts and figures: TMFI is being read in 188 jurisdictions all over the world and its writers come from more than 50 countries. More


A Romanian Perspective on the Three Seas Initiative

A Romanian Perspective on the Three Seas Initiative

The Three Seas Initiative is a recent formula describing an older concept. Romania is a reflexive supporter of regional cooperation initiatives, but it is paying special attention to this initiative, as it encompasses a geopolitically significant area with relevance to long-term Romanian interests. This paper argues that this valuable initiative has a latent geopolitical subtext with regards to the two powers flanking the region which is perceived as such, if not commonly articulated, by the countries of the initiative. At the same time, the Black Sea will be a main deciding factor for the success and failure of the Initiatives, owing to several underlying conditions, as well as potential complicating factors. Any sort of Three Seas Initiative development will have to keep this in mind or else risk a concentration of vulnerabilities in the middle portion of the Initiative’s geographical space. The Three Seas Initiative must also be regarded from the perspective of synergies with Chinese initiatives, such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the 16+1 cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries. More


Pandora’s Botnet

Pandora’s Botnet

Cybersecurity is mentioned so often that it has become a cliché like climate change, with the other thing they have in common being a disagreement on what solutions are required, who is responsible for them and whether there is a responsibility in changing behaviour so as to minimize these risks. All of these difficult questions are left unanswered not just by the conceptual breadth and diversity of the issue at hand, but also by the ease with which dilettantes and people with agendas can spot facile solutions that obviate the need for difficult questions and answers. More


Seven Things the Suez Canal Incident Taught Us about Globalization

Seven Things the Suez Canal Incident Taught Us about Globalization

The recently resolved Suez Canal incident was the second high profile crisis in global logistics since the beginning of the pandemic. It underscored the significant vulnerabilities of an interdependent world in which supply and production chains are distributed over vast distances and are reliant on the near perfect and constant functioning of a complex transport apparatus through vulnerable bottlenecks. The Suez incident was caused by a super large container transport vessel becoming lodged in a sandbar and blocking the Suez Canal itself in one of its narrowest points. Until traffic could be restored, hundreds of ships were stationed outside the canal, waiting for their opportunity to cross, while racking up billions of dollars in global economic losses and contractual fines. More than 10% of global container shipping passes through the Suez Canal, which links the important Southeast Asian and East Asian producers to markets in Western Europe. It is also an important highway for energy transport, though land routes have been coming online to diversify these flows. The crisis came at a moment when the Egyptian Government is busy upgrading the Suez Canal, to enable it to accommodate 50% more traffic than it did in 2014. The growth in the intensity of the use of the Suez has several consequences – more traffic tolls for Egypt, greater importance for Egyptian ports and their attendant production and storage capabilities, greater geopolitical importance for the Suez Canal, which was the site of an attempted takeover by British and French forces within living memory.  More


The Saudi Shake-up

The Saudi Shake-up

News of the ongoing purge of numerous high-level officials and Saudi Royal Family members by the Saudi government has rattled global markets and raised further doubts regarding the stability of the Kingdom. What some are calling a counter-coup is presented as an anti-corruption move that saw over 1,200 bank accounts frozen and numerous assets being seized. Two Saudi princes have also died, one in an as yet unexplained helicopter crash near the Yemeni border and the other, the youngest son of King Fahd who ruled Saudi Arabia until 2005, died in a shoot-out between his security detail and government forces. More


On Conspiracy Theories and Theorizing

On Conspiracy Theories and Theorizing

We are inundated with both conspiracy theories and warnings to recognize them as such and ignore them. These instructions come from legitimate elites employing legitimate media sources that feel they are being crowded out by “alternative facts” and other phenomena which have gained new (visible) breadth and scope through the rise of social media. Accompanying it is the individual who is not only a consumer but also a producer of media, if only through his ability to retweet or repackage messages for delivery to his own network. More


Requiem for the Forever War

Requiem for the Forever War

The Biden Administration, contrary to its partisans’ and detractors’ expectations that it would dither or outright renege on the previous Administration’s plans to exit Afghanistan (overtly), pulled the trigger on a ramshackle retreat that created incredibly bad optics and elicited negative reactions from around the world, especially from allies. The problem of whether to take in Afghan refugees and how many is already starting to rear its head in the domestic politics of Western countries, and will assume center stage once all of the countries have removed their nationals from Afghanistan. The latter is an incredible oversight given the transparent nature of the term for American retreat from Afghanistan, and illustrates both the incredulity, up until the last minute, that the Biden Administration would keep to the deal and the shocking nature of the Taliban’s series of victories over the Kabul Government.  More


The Return of Microeconomics

The Return of Microeconomics

The recent launch of the English version of the seminal study “Some Microeconomic Landmarks of the Transition Process in Romania” by Prof. Cezar Mereuță is an important step in the process of exposing the notable work of Romanian scholars to their peers abroad.The initial Romanian edition appeared in 2015 and crowned 17 years of research into the structure of 1,009 markets between 1995 and 2012. His work is not only a peerless assessment of the developmental history of the Romanian economy post-transition, but a valuable work of microeconomics in its own right. More


To the Moon and Back

To the Moon and Back

On July 20th 2019, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first manned mission to touch down and explore the Moon’s surface. At the time, this was generously presented by the Americans as an achievement for all mankind, but it was, in fact, a near knock-out punch in the Space Race between the US and the Soviet Union. This race was, among other things, a competition for prestige in the eyes of the world and a validation of each country’s individual development model. It was also what Jerry Pournelle and Stefan Possony termed “technological war” in their landmark book “The Strategy of Technology”. Conquering and developing space or “the high frontier” became a priority for the rapid advancement of the military applications of the new space technologies – reconnaissance, early warning, command, control and coordination of conventional and strategic military assets etc.  More


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Amfiteatru Economic

OEconomica No. 1, 2016