Two important, though not particularly cheerful, goings-on to mention.
The promised progress from the Iranian nuclear deal appears still to be far from materializing. The deal, or more formally, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed on July 14, 2015. On September 10th, the last attempt to block the deal in the US Congress failed. Almost immediately, a magical array of coincidences began.
1) Official fact sheet on agreement suggests many business-as-usual policies will remain. Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center translated a Farsi fact sheet on the agreement that was released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry. There appears to be a fair bit of wiggle room here. Some excerpts:
The word out of Switzerland yesterday was that "Iran and and six world powers had agreed on the outlines of an understanding that would open the path to a final phase of nuclear negotiations but are in a dispute over how much to make public." What exactly is the dispute over? The AP noted that
Conventional industries have it easy. Make a good product; invest in technology and engineering to make it better and keep costs in line; then crank up the output and sell it wherever you can. Unit costs drop. Word of mouth bolsters your smart advertising campaign to millenials, creating feedback loops on social media, driving customers to buy still more of your product and fueling double digit growth. Grow production and sales, both in domestically and abroad. Grow brand recognition. Grow revenues. Grow profit. You are limited only by your skills and your imagination.
1) Poker, North Dakota style. Using a logic that only an industry trade association could understand, the US state of North Dakota has announced plans to close $50m/year in loopholes to oil and gas. Great! End subsidies that make no sense, such as lower taxes on low production "stripper" wells that have been exploited by nearby activities producing at much higher rates. But no reform is free, so the state officials are offering reduced tax rates on oil and gas in return. The rub: the reductions will cost the state an estimated
Another useful summary of the proliferation concerns associated with "peaceful" power reactors from Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center: