In 2014, we witnessed geo-political tensions, banks behaving badly, currency wars, turf wars over oil and gas, not forgetting the new leadership and old challenges to economic prosperity.

Perhaps the biggest ongoing story has been Russia. President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea, the West responded by imposing economic sanctions, which at first appeared to have very little impact, but soon started to bite. Money poured out of the country, the rouble got smashed. Throw in oil's decline and now Russian economy is close to recession.

Contrast that with the United States, where the demise of the dollar turned out to be over exaggerated. Jobs and the general economy are definitely recovering, to the point that the US Federal Reserve decided to stop its so-called Quantative Easing, or stimulus programme.
But as the Texas oil fields unleashed more black gold, there was a flip side on the global front, as some Middle East nations fought tooth and nail to maintain their grip on the markets.

All the while, oil prices continued to sink lower, hard to believe they were up around $150 a barrel only a few years ago.

Emerging markets saw changes of their own. Some of the world's most populous nations elected new leaders: Narendra Modi in India; Joko Widodo in Indonesia; and Brazil's Dilma Rousseff got a second chance. The people have given them a mandate, but can they deliver economic hope when it is most needed?

On Counting the Cost, we assembled an expert panel to look back at the top economic stories of the year 2014: Paul Donovan, a global economist with the international bank UBS; Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific economist with IHS in Singapore; and Martina Larking, the head of the Global Agenda Council at the World Economic Forum.

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Source: Al Jazeera