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Weekly selection
23 September 2016

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

  • Robert Shiller, “The Coming Anti-National Revolution”

    (Project Syndicate - 19 September 2016)

    This is a thought-provoking and unusual piece! The Nobel laureate in economics thinks that the next revolution (peaceful in nature and spread by language and technology) will challenge the economic implications of the nation-state. It will focus on the injustice that follows from the fact that, entirely by chance, some are born in poor countries and others in rich ones. He asserts optimistically that unlimited free trade will equalize wage rates around the world, removing the main incentive to migration. If only… (reads in 4-6 min). 

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  • Henry Paulson, “How to raise trillions for green investments”

    (The New York Times - metered paywall - 20 September 2016)

    The former US Treasury secretary and Goldman Sachs’s chief executive delineates the contours of what an international financial system that supports green projects could look like. He also provides some policy guidelines for countries that would encourage their banking systems to make green investments. He concludes that “financing the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy will be costly, but we can’t afford not to do it” (reads in about 5-7 min).

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  • Joshua Mitchell, “Donald Trump Does Have Ideas—and We’d Better Pay Attention to Them”

    (Politico - 16 September 2016)

    The political scientist argues that the post-1989 world order is unraveling and that Trump has 6 ideas to replace it. They are swirling around us like “mental dust waiting to coalesce” and are a direct repudiation of the system of globalization and identity politics that has defined the world order since the Cold War. The 6 are: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech must be repudiated (reads in 12-16 min).

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  • Benjamin Nathans, “The Real Power of Putin”

    (The New York Review of Books - 29 September 2016)

    This a crash course, with many fascinating insights, in Russian affairs: the review of nine books (mostly of an academic nature) that help us understand today’s Russia and where the country is going (reads in about 8-10 min).

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  • David Gelles, “‘Trust Your Gut’ Might Actually Be Profitable Advice on Wall Street”

    (The New York Times - metered paywall - 19 September 2016)

    A new study (conducted by John Coates, a neuroscientist at Cambridge and former trader) suggests that traders who are more sensitive to their own bodies routinely made more profitable trades. If the body picks up on things that the rational mind is missing, this conclusion extends of course beyond finance. As Coates says: “There’s a part of our brain that sends the signals to our body, and it’s really smart” (reads in about 4-6 min).

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