Opinion


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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Cheering a New Arms Race: The End of the INF

US President Donald Trump is a master of the withdrawal method. That said, it is often forgotten that the United States remains that most fickle of creatures, joining, or abandoning international regimes that might be seen to jar with the national interest. Initial preparations for such global..

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China’s Cambodian Invasion Sunday, August 4th, 2019

It has long been feared that Cambodia’s growing dependence on China – its largest aid donor, investor, and creditor – would lead to a Chinese military presence in the country. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, those fears are now coming true. Like a gambler reliant on a loan..

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What About Rochester? Thursday, August 1st, 2019

The rise of megacities as centers of strong job creation is one of the defining characteristics of the twenty-first-century global economy. But it is not always a positive feature. In the developing world, as staggering as the challenges are (greater New Delhi, for example, has been absorbing..

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Technology on the Frontline for Girls

Today, 1.4 billion girls and women live in countries that are failing on gender equality, in areas ranging from education and decent work to health and violence. Yet one of the most effective ways to empower girls and women – safe and reliable access to mobile phones and the Internet – is in..

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Who Will Win the Twenty-First Century? Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

The first two decades of the twenty-first century are beginning to cast a long shadow over the Western world. We have come a long way since the turn of the century, when people everywhere, but particularly in Europe, indulgently embraced the “end of history.” According to that illusory notion,..

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Is Von Der Leyen the Leader Europe Needs?

Charles de Gaulle had “a certain idea of France.” But does Ursula von der Leyen, the next president of the European Commission, have a certain idea of Europe, in the way Jacques Delors did when he held the European Union’s top job? Perhaps this is an unfair and irrelevant question. After..

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Misrule Britannia Saturday, July 27th, 2019

Britain’s constitution is not “unwritten,” as one often hears. It is, rather, uncodified – written down, but not all in one place. And to its credit, it has proven resilient time and again, sometimes bending, sometimes buckling, but never breaking. Yet that may soon change, for the Brexit..

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Contractual Disputes: Replacing Monster Chefs on MasterChef Friday, July 26th, 2019

The show is pompous, condescending and shallow. It was designed to mock the lowly non-cook, the ignorant, and, from high culinary summitry, grace the winner after munching, gratis, what was promoted. The winner would then be nurtured, cared for in an entrepreneurial way. Little master chefs would,..

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Which Way Now for the EU? Thursday, July 25th, 2019

With the main European Union institutions preparing for a change of leadership this autumn, now is a good time to reflect on the EU’s priorities for the coming years. The EU’s new top team is all but confirmed. Ursula von der Leyen, the former German defense minister, will be the next..

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Boris Johnson and the Triumph of Gullibility?

US President Donald Trump has already proclaimed that Boris Johnson, Britain’s new prime minister, is popular because he is seen as “Britain Trump” (sic). After all, both politicians are widely seen as having a “populist” style. For cynics, this implies a willingness to tell blindingly..

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Mack Horton’s Anti-Drug Stance Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

The first rush of enthusiasm on looking at this is clear: a high-achieving swimmer on the circuit - the Australian Mack Horton – decides to take a stance. It’s not about refugees, Donald Trump or climate change. Unlike other sportspeople of history, his opposition is directed at his sport, his..

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A New Direction for the Planet’s Sake

By July 29, according to the sustainability organization Global Footprint Network, humanity will have used up the Earth’s resource budget for the entire year. This “Earth Overshoot Day” has moved forward by an astonishing two months in the past 20 years and in 2019 it will arrive earlier than..

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Don’t Fear the Scooter Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Electric bicycles and scooters are taking a lot of heat. Concerns about traffic fatalities, terrorized pedestrians, and urban lawlessness have led a growing chorus of politicians and media commentators to conclude that the technology should be banned outright. But these critics are missing the..

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Is Politics Getting to the Fed?

From the early 1980s until the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, the US Federal Reserve seemed to have a coherent process for adjusting its main short-term interest rate, the federal funds rate. Its policy had three key components: the nominal interest rate would rise by more than..

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Locking China Out of the Dollar System Monday, October 21st, 2019

The recently announced “phase one” agreement between the United States and China has been touted as an important step toward a comprehensive deal that ends the trade..

Will Trump Be Removed from Office? Sunday, October 20th, 2019

Trump’s Perfidious America Saturday, October 19th, 2019

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

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