Planetary Thinking Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

The Swedish climate truthsayer Greta Thunberg has set sail for the United States in a zero-emissions racing yacht to generate waves in a different part of the world – including at next month’s United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York. She will arrive in America at a time of growing..

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What Russia Thinks About Multilateralism Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

When Russians hear paeans to the “rules-based” order, their standard rejoinder is to ask who is actually writing the rules. In fact, that same question now encapsulates the Kremlin’s attitude toward Western-championed multilateralism. The way Russia sees it, the United States will not..

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Forgetting Palestine Monday, August 19th, 2019

Israel is approaching another parliamentary election, and Palestinians have barely been mentioned. The vote comes at a time when the United States is pushing its poorly conceived economy-focused Peace to Prosperity plan. With the Israeli-Palestinian conflict no longer undermining Israel’s..

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Justin Trudeau and the Ethics of Interference Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Ethics can be a slippery matter and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken, rather decidedly, the option of adding more grease. His understanding over the ethics, for instance, of interfering in the decision-making process involving an Attorney-General has led to a little bit of..

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The Puzzle of Economic Progress Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Do we know how economies develop? Obviously not, it seems, or otherwise every country would be doing better than it currently is in these low-growth times. In fact, cases of sustained rapid growth, like Japan beginning in the 1960s, or other Southeast Asian countries a decade later, are so rare..

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Global Money for the Poor

In 2002, the Nobel laureate economist Thomas Sargent and François Velde, now a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, published The Big Problem of Small Change. The book’s title was inspired by the observations of economic historian Carlo Cipolla on the functioning of the..

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France: Chaos or a New Social Compact? Monday, August 12th, 2019

At the end of the parade, a few dozen people release yellow balloons into the sky and distribute leaflets saying "The yellow vests are not dead." The police disperse them, quickly and firmly. Moments later, hundreds of "Antifa" anarchists arrive, throw security barriers on the roadway to erect..

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Trump’s Cross of Gold

There are now scores of efforts to psychoanalyze US President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board. Some emphasize Shelton’s fidelity as an early adviser to the Trump campaign. Others point to her conversion into “a low-interest-rate person.” Still others..

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Narendra Modi’s New-Model India Friday, August 9th, 2019

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi likes to practice what American generals call “shock and awe.” The last time Modi stunned the country – and was initially applauded for his decisiveness and bold vision – was when he announced, on a few hours’ notice, the demonetization of 96% (in..

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The Tragedy of Gaza’s Children Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Wrapped in her mother’s arms in a crowded doctor’s surgery, Muna (not her real name) looks at first glance like any baby waiting to be weighed by a nurse. Look more closely, however, and you see why medical staff at the Ard El-Insan pediatric clinic in Gaza are worried. Muna is nine months old,..

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Elizabeth Warren’s Trade Makeover

US Senator Elizabeth Warren’s new trade plan solidifies her credentials as the Democratic presidential candidate with the best policy ideas. United States trade policy has long been shaped by corporate and financial interests, enriching those groups while contributing to the erosion of..

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Trump’s Failed Iran Policy Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

In response to US President Donald Trump’s policy of maximum pressure, Iran has just seized a second foreign oil tanker. Trump’s approach to bringing Iran’s Islamic regime to heel clearly is not working. If anything, it has created another Middle East flashpoint, undermined transatlantic..

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Caught in the Strait

It is clear that the United Kingdom could not have thought this through. Was it a touch of the Suez jitters, the haunting syndrome of 1956 leaving a false impression that the Old Empire still had it? To taunt a power already under the watchful and punitive eye of the United States was never a..

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The European Parliament’s Misguided Ambitions Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

In moments of political transition, initial signals make all the difference, because they set the tone for the process that follows. As new leaders take over the European Union’s core institutions, the first signs are not promising – and in particular those coming from the European..

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The Right Response to the Libra Threat Monday, August 5th, 2019

Facebook’s plan to launch a new digital currency, Libra, within a year has won few friends. Regulators, policymakers, and academics reacted to the news swiftly, and for the most part skeptically. US congressional committees quickly arranged hearings, and the issue featured prominently at the G7..

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Speaking Truth to Power

US President Donald Trump’s nomination of John Ratcliffe, a highly partisan Congressman with little international experience, to replace Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence raised the red flag of the politicization of intelligence. Opposition to Ratcliffe among Democrats and..

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Time to Bite the Bullet in Syria Friday, October 18th, 2019

Recent events in Syria have naturally raised two questions: Who lost the country? And where might the international community go from here? The first question is easier..

How China Loses Friends and Alienates People Thursday, October 17th, 2019

India’s Modi Slowdown Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Will Trump Be Removed from Office? Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Anti-Globalization Bias and Public Policy Tuesday, October 15th, 2019