A selection of the finest stories from the week
Is there nothing happening except this damn virus?
When I'm Vlad I'm better
Let's start with everyone's favourite real-life Bond villain. Syria isn't going quite as he'd like and it turns out Assad is less grateful puppet and more stubborn psychopath. Oil may not be working out so well at the moment but Vlad has another international lever, bread. And no matter what happens there is one person he can always rely on.
Boyo from Brazil
Bolsonaro may lack Putin's sense of menace but he has other strings to his bow. This week it was the absence of any sense of responsibility.
Korea-ing out of control?
Some of us wanted to be footballers, some of us wanted to be rock stars, some of us wanted to drive trains. But if you'd developed an obsessive childhood desire to be North Korean you could have been this guy.
Back to life, back to reality?
Stuck in the middle
The Middle East used to get all the attention so it must be feeling a bit neglected. The Corona crisis proved only a temporary respite in Lebanon's civil strife. Meanwhile the Trump administration are attempting to use the very agreement they abandoned to renew pressure on Iran. Please supply your own Schroedinger or Moebius metaphors.
This is not investment advice
How close is the US to monetising its debt? Well, it turns out it's this close. Or maybe it already is. Which means worrying about inflation is so last crisis. Or worrying about deflation. Or worrying at all.
If you wonder where all this will end, this is an interesting place to start.