Has China really bought five percent of Ukraine?

[For Esquire Magazine, November 2013] It appears so. It’s an utterly staggering fact, but it represents an escalation in the ongoing land-grab for food resources. Two Chinese state-owned firms will take over Ukrainian land in the eastern Dniepropetrovsk region and use it to grow crops (and raise pigs) for use back in China. The deal…

How much gold is there in the world?

The truth is, we don’t know. At least, not to any great degree of accuracy, which is odd given how it plays a big part in the global economy. Thomson Reuters GFMS (Gold Fields Mineral Services) produces an annual gold survey that is used by global investors to gauge such things. The GFMS says there…

Why are Gulf States buying land in Africa?

Wealthy Gulf countries and private companies alike have been buying up land in Africa for their own strategic purposes. The driving force behind this move is the need for “food security” in a world where competition for food is increasing as populations grow. The Gulf imports 85 percent of its basic food requirements and accordingly,…

Will super-sonic travel ever return?

It seems strange that technology has progressed in almost every field, but in supersonic travel things have seemingly regressed. Concorde was flying people faster than the speed of sound back in 1976, but since its retirement in 2003 there has been no commercial supersonic flight. Why not, and please can we have it back? The…

The Real Deal?

The strange case of Real Madrid Resort Island, Ras Al Khaimah and “sportatainment” A billion dollar Real Madrid themed resort – initially planned for Ras Al Khaimah but scrapped last year – could well be back on and shifted to the UAE capital, with The National Bank of Abu Dhabi confirmed as a the Galacticos’…