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Weekly selection
4 May 2018

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

  • Carmen Reinhart, “Whatever Happened to Saving for a Rainy Day?”

    (Project Syndicate - 30 April 2018)

    This is an important warning for any investor in the US, $ assets and $-related assets.  The Harvard professor argues that the US is courting economic disaster by abandoning countercyclical fiscal policy (in favor of a strongly pro-cyclical policy). She worries that within ten years public debt might exceed nominal income (reads in 5-6 min).

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  • Gloria Origgi, “Say goodbye to the information age: it’s all about reputation now”

    (AEON Magazine - 1 May 2018)

    In her latest book (“Reputation: What It Is and Why It Matters”), the philosopher makes a fundamental point: the greater the amount of information that circulates, the more we rely on so-called reputational devices to evaluate it. Hence, we are moving from the ‘information age’ towards the ‘reputation age’, in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated and commented upon by others. Reputation is therefore the central pillar of collective intelligence – which is what the Monthly Barometer is all about! (reads in 4-5 min).

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  • Eric Posner and Glen Weyl, “The Real Villain Behind Our New Gilded Age”

    (The New York Times - metered paywallk - 1 May 2018)

    The authors of the forthcoming “Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society” argue that the true villain of our new Gilded Age is not globalization or automation but market (that is, monopoly) power. It reduces growth and increases inequality. They recommend the adoption of antimonopoly laws and laws protecting workers that are updated for the problems of the 21st century (reads in 6-7 min).

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  • David Frum, “Competing Visions of Islam Will Shape Europe in the 21st Century”

    (The Atlantic - 2 May 2018)

    This is an enlightening interview with Akbar Ahmed (the author of “Journey into Europe”). The former Pakistani civil servant turned academic explains how migration is reshaping Europe and wonders and whether leaders can cope. He thinks Europe is at a crossroads: the potential for harmony exists, but so does the nightmarish vision of possible conflicts (reads in 8-10 min).

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  • Sean Illing, “This is what love does to your brain”

    (VOX - 23 April 2018)

    Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love”. Rich and interesting throughout and of interest to all of us! She concludes with three tips for a happy marriage (or relationship): (1) Express empathy, (2) control your own emotions, and (3) overlook the negatives in your partner and focus on the positives (reads in 6-8 min).

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