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Weekly selection
13 October 2017

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

  • Derek Thompson, “Richard Thaler Wins the Nobel in Economics for Killing Homo Economicus”

    (The Atlantic - 9 October 2017)

    The father of behavioral economic has won the Nobel prize for demonstrating that in the real world people don’t behave as they do in classical economics manuals. Every one of us is afflicted by emotion and irrationality, which influences our decision making on everything from retirement savings to health-care policy. Thaler has proved that assuming human beings are predictably irrational is the most rational approach to studying their behavior (reads in 5-7 min).

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  • John Detrixhe, “The next financial crisis is probably around the corner—we just don’t know from where”

    (Quartz - 6 October 2017)

    A report from Deutsche Bank asserts that the next financial crisis will be provoked by the world’s major central banks: how will they unwind their balance sheets of unprecedented size? The fiat money system has encouraged rising budget deficits, higher debts, global imbalances, and more unstable markets, while banking regulations have been loosened, particularly in the US. This leaves the current global economy particularly prone to a cycle of booms and busts (reads in 4-6 min).

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  • Chandran Nair, “Europe’s Populism, Europe’s Hubris”

    (Die Welt - 6 October 2017)

    The founder of GIFT states that the vision of a world divided between ‘globalists’ and ‘populists’ is Western-centric. According to him, the reason why leaders like Modi, Putin, Xi, Erdoğan and Duterte attract huge support at home is the following: they argue their countries have been unfairly denied a place in global politics, economics and rule-making, and that it is time for them to have a say that does not conform to the Western narrative and world order (reads in 4-6 min).

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  • Dani Rodrik, “Why nation-states are good”

    (AEON Magazine - 2 October 2017)

    The Harvard professor asserts that the nation-state remains the best foundation for capitalism because it is the only effective actor that can provide the various arrangements that markets rely on: all the regulatory and legitimising institutions like consumer-safety rules, bank regulations, central banks, social insurance and so on.  However, hyperglobalisation and what he calls “elite globalism” now risk destroying nation-states. Quite long (reads in 9-12 min) but very rich!

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  • Zat Rana, “Technology is destroying the most important asset in your life”

    (Quartz - 2 October 2017)

    Shown and proven again and again! Our most important asset isn’t time, but attention. Technology, however, is designed to steal away as much of it as it can. There are three ways to contain the problem of attention deficit: (1) Mindfulness meditation, (2) “Ruthless single-tasking”, (3) Routine detachment (reads in 4-6 min).

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