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Weekly selection
10 November 2018

5 insightful op-eds or articles to help make sense of today’s world

  • Kenneth Rogoff, “The Global Impact of a Chinese Recession”

    (Project Syndicate - 9 November 2018)

    The Harvard economist thinks that when the inevitable Chinese growth recession occurs, the rest of the world will suffer more than commonly assumed. First, the effect on international capital markets could be vastly greater than Chinese capital market linkages would suggest, simply because foreign firms enjoy huge profits on sales in China. Second, a Chinese slowdown spreading across Asia could paradoxically lead to higher interest rates elsewhere, particularly if a second Asian financial crisis leads to a sharp draw-down of central bank reserves (reads in 6-7 min).

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  • Ross Douthat, “Midterms Deliver an American Stalemate”

    (The New York Times - metered paywall - 7 November 2018)

    This is as good as it gets to understand in simple terms the consequences of the US midterm elections. In a nutshell, the editorialist affirms that the results are a rebuke to President Trump in overall returns, but not a presidency-ending repudiation: “A good night for Republicans in the Senate. An excellent night for Democrats in the House. ” He predicts that two years of chaos and hysteria will end in a return to standoff (reads in 5-6 min).

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  • Timothy Garton Ash, “Brexit: an island on the edge”

    (Prospect Magazine - 9 November 2018)

    This is much broader than the title suggests and a must-read to understand what’s going on in Europe and what is at stake. The famous historian argues that Britain's just one corner of a European crisis, but is this just one more crisis in the EU, or is it a crisis of the whole European project? Today’s Union is simultaneously fractured along two fault lines: north-south (created by problems of political economy) and east-west (that involves a challenge to fundamental European values). However, there is a bedrock of public support on which to build a new reform agenda (reads in 10-12 min).

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  • Dan Kuipers, “Pipeline vandals are reinventing climate activism”

    (Wired (metered paywall) - 9 November 2018)

    We’ve selected this article because it illustrates our long-standing conviction that green activism and possibly terrorism will inevitably grow. Back in 2016, a tiny group of environmentalists activated an oil pipeline’s shut-off valves, temporarily cutting off crude oil sent from Canada’s tar sand deposits. They wanted to be arrested because their real goal was to create a legal precedent that would put a powerful new tool in the hands of eco-warriors. This is a portent of much more to come (reads in 7-9 min).

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  • Jenny Anderson, “The real trick to staying young forever”

    (Quartz - 8 November 2018)

    This is about a new book: “How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations” which argues that elderly people must spend time with kids and young adults to live healthily and happily. Age-integration, not segregation, is the natural antidote to problematic ageing, and retirement communities (small or large) are the precise opposite of what favors wellbeing in the old age. Our take-away for investors: nursing homes mixed with student dorms (and many other such initiatives and ideas) will progressively become the norm (reads in 6-7 min).

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