A Tale of Two Theories

by Jean Pisani-Ferry Added 01.09.2015
PARIS – Global growth disappoints again. A year ago, the International Monetary Fund expected world output to rise 4% in 2015. Now the Fund is forecasting 3.3% for the year – about the same as in 2013 and 2014, and more than a full percentage...

A Cautionary History of US Monetary Tightening

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 29.08.2015
BERKELEY – The US Federal Reserve has embarked on an effort to tighten monetary policy four times in the past four decades. On every one of these occasions, the effort triggered processes that reduced employment and output far more than the...

Israelis And Palestinians Cannot Make Peace On Their Own

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 29.08.2015
The enduring impasse between Israel and the Palestinians in the peace negotiations and their changing internal political dynamics has made it impossible for them to resolve the conflict on their own. Leaving them to their own devices is no...

Pakistan’s Death Row Dilemma

by Shantha Rau Barriga Added 28.08.2015
Abdul Basit, a 43-year-old prisoner paralyzed from the waist down after developing tuberculosis in prison in 2010, will likely go to the gallows in his wheelchair in the next few days. Basit is the latest person with a disability on death row...

Pope Francis in America

by Chris Patten Added 27.08.2015
LONDON – It’s a dollar to a cent that Pope Francis’s visit to the United States in September will be one of the biggest news stories of 2015. Take the sheer number of American Catholics, add the diplomatic skill of the Vatican’s...

Jeremy Who? The Bernie Sanders phenomenon at home and abroad

by David Coates Added 27.08.2015
If you watch virtually any major American news channel right now, you could be forgiven for thinking that the only political development worthy of note was the on-going presidential campaign of Donald Trump. But you would be wrong. Key sections...

Europe’s Nationalist Night Watch

by Dominique Moisi Added 27.08.2015
PARIS – Populism is on the rise throughout Europe, as both economically depressed and prosperous countries become increasingly frustrated with their established political elites. But populists are unlikely to take control of any European...

Automation, Productivity, and Growth

by Michael Spence Added 26.08.2015
BERLIN – It seems obvious that if a business invests in automation, its workforce – though possibly reduced – will be more productive. So why do the statistics tell a different story? In advanced economies, where plenty of sectors have both the...

Why Trump Could Win the GOP Nomination

by Robert Creamer Added 26.08.2015
Since he entered the GOP contest, most pundits and GOP insiders have treated Trump as a sometimes humorous – sometimes infuriating – distraction from the real race for the Republican nomination.   Now they are beginning to wake up to the fact...

What Should China Do?

by Michael J. Boskin Added 26.08.2015
STANFORD – The Chinese government’s heavy-handed efforts to contain recent stock-market volatility – the latest move prohibits short selling and sales by major shareholders – have seriously damaged its credibility. But China’s policy failures...

How a Chinese slowdown will hit global growth

by Linda Yueh Added 26.08.2015
As China’s markets fall and drag down global equities, the underlying concern is undoubtedly how much a slowdown in the Chinese economy will affect the rest of the world. Since the 2008 global financial crisis, China has notably emerged as one...

Don't blame China for the carnage in global stock markets

by Daniel Wagner Added 26.08.2015
As the carnage in global stock markets continues, it is tempting to want to revert to the lessons of history as a source of potential salvation. Many financial forecasters are trying to make sense of this emerging global market crash by saying...

Thank You Julian Bond

by James J. Zogby Added 24.08.2015
When Julian Bond died last week, every major news outlet featured tributes praising his more than five decades of leadership in the struggle for civil rights. He was all the things that were said about him. He was courageous and visionary, a...

Out of Touch Punditry Should Get A Grip – Hillary’s Email is Non-Story

by Robert Creamer Added 24.08.2015
A message to the out-of-touch Washington pundit class: get a grip.  What was or was not on Hillary Clinton’s email server when she was Secretary of State is not a game-changing news story.    In fact, no one outside the chattering class – and...

Cairo bomb: al-Sisi's Egpyt is less secure than ever

by Lucia Ardovini and Simon Mabon Added 24.08.2015
When a car bomb detonated outside a security building in Cairo on August 20 it marked a new turn in the long-running series of violent attacks on the Egyptian capital. The explosion wounded approximately 27 people, six of whom are policemen, but...

The Syrian Catastrophe And The World’s Deafening Silence

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 22.08.2015
The word tragic has often been used to describe the civil war in Syria, but it is a pale description of the raging madness on the ground. The bloodletting and massive destruction that has swept the nation is not a mere tragic event; the...

How Islamic State is moving its Egyptian battle from Sinai to Cairo

by Natasha Ezrow Added 22.08.2015
Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for a powerful car bomb detonated outside a state security building in northern Cairo which injured 29 people, including six policemen. The Egyptian ministry claimed that: “A man suddenly stopped his...

The Real Demographic Challenge

by Adair Turner Added 22.08.2015
LONDON – The United Nations’ latest population projections suggest that Japan’s population could fall from 127 million today to 83 million by 2100, with 35% of the population then over 65 years old. Europe and other developed economies are aging...

The Authoritarian Temptation

by Nina L. Khrushcheva Added 20.08.2015
NEW YORK – Twenty-four years ago this month, Soviet hardliners, desperate to stop the country’s nascent democratic transition, arrested Mikhail Gorbachev and declared martial law. In response, millions of protesters poured into the streets of...

Ten Reasons Why Opposing Iran Nuclear Deal is Bad Politics for Dems, Bad Policy for America

by Robert Creamer Added 20.08.2015
Many of the same people who rushed America to War with Iraq are now engaged in a no-holds-barred campaign to convince a small group of House and Senate Democrats that they should vote to kill President Obama’s Iran Nuclear Agreement when...

Why the UK Belongs in Europe

by Charles Tannock Added 19.08.2015
LONDON – A referendum on the United Kingdom’s continued membership in the European Union may be less than a year away. If it comes, voters will be asked to make a weighty decision. At issue is not just the UK’s relationship with its neighbors...

The Great Emerging-Market Bubble

by Bill Emmott Added 18.08.2015
LONDON – Something has gone badly wrong in the emerging economies that were supposed to be shaping, even dominating, the future of the world. The search for culprits is under way: commodity prices, fracking, US interest rates, El Nino, China,...

Putin in the Dock

by Paul R. Gregory Added 14.08.2015
STANFORD – To read the international press, one would think that the last two years have been good ones for Russian President Vladimir Putin. His campaign in Ukraine has largely achieved its main goals; Russia has wrested control of Crimea and...

Back to Fundamentals in Emerging Markets

by Dani Rodrik Added 13.08.2015
CAMBRIDGE – Following 15 years of hype, a new conventional wisdom has taken hold: emerging markets are in deep trouble. Many analysts had extrapolated rapid growth in countries such as Brazil, Russia, Turkey, and India into the indefinite...

We the People of Europe

by Laszlo Bruszt and David Stark Added 12.08.2015
FLORENCE – Europeans who are eager to revive the continent’s unification process have recently turned their attention to the founding of the United States. Many, however, reject the US precedent on the grounds that today’s problems are too...

The Islamic State’s Perversion of Hijra

by Rebecca Gould Added 12.08.2015
LONDON – In recent decades, the Arabic word jihad – once used to describe the duty of all Muslims to act according to their faith – has become overwhelmingly associated with the waging of violent war against non-believers. With the rise of the...

Can France Become Saudi Arabia’s Closest Ally?

by Giorgio Cafiero and Daniel Wagner Added 11.08.2015
Influential members of the Saudi Arabian government believe that the United States -- the kingdom’s most valuable strategic ally since 1945 -- has abandoned Riyadh on a host of regional issues, most notably Iran’s nuclear program. As the Saudis...

Netanyahu and His Marionettes

by David Bromwich Added 08.08.2015
Benjamin Netanyahu is laying siege to the Congress of the United States, not for the first time. He has thrown his voice and channeled his influence into the arena of American legislative politics, to abort the nuclear P5+1 settlement with Iran,...

The Right Time to Reform Fuel Pricing

by Jeffrey Frankel Added 07.08.2015
CAMBRIDGE – World oil prices, which have been highly volatile during the last decade, have fallen more than 50% over the past year. The economic effects have been negative overall for oil-exporting countries, and positive for oil-importing...

The Promise and Peril of Macroprudential Policy

by Barry Eichengreen Added 07.08.2015
MONTEVIDEO – Central bankers continue to fret about frothy asset markets – as well they should, given the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Having been burned once, they are now doubly shy. And China’s recent stock-market plunge has certainly not...

US election descends into a circus with first Republican debate

by Scott Lucas Added 07.08.2015
H L Mencken, one of America’s great satirists, once said democracy is “the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage”. And so it went as ten of the 17 Republican candidates for the 2016 US presidential election shared a stage...

Reassessing the Internet of Things

by Martin Neil Baily and James Manyika Added 06.08.2015
SAN FRANCISCO – Nearly 30 years ago, the economists Robert Solow and Stephen Roach caused a stir when they pointed out that, for all the billions of dollars being invested in information technology, there was no evidence of a payoff in...

Major Indirect Benefits of Obama’s Climate Plan that could save the World

by Juan Cole Added 04.08.2015
President Obama spoke  on Monday on his plan to use the Environmental Protection Agency to pressure states to close high-carbon power plants and reduce CO2 emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. The US Supreme Court has ruled that carbon...

A Republican President and the Next War

by Daniel Wagner Added 04.08.2015
How many combustible ingredients does it take to create a war? In this case, three. Just combine collapsed global commodity prices, sprinkle in a highly controversial agreement between the West and Iran, and add a Republican president in the...

A New Deal for Debt Overhangs?

by Kenneth Rogoff Added 04.08.2015
CAMBRIDGE – The International Monetary Fund’s acknowledgement that Greece’s debt is unsustainable could prove to be a watershed moment for the global financial system. Clearly, heterodox policies to deal with high debt burdens need to be taken...

Athletics doping crisis: what does it mean for the future of the sport?

by Paul Dimeo Added 04.08.2015
The revelations of doping in world athletics by the Sunday Times in the UK and German broadcaster ARD/WDR portray a dark world similar to the troubles faced by professional cycling in recent years. Secret files kept by the International...

Clowns on the Campaign Trail

by Ian Buruma Added 03.08.2015
NEW YORK – Donald Trump, the real-estate tycoon and reality-show host, also known as “The Donald,” is unlikely to be the next president of the United States. He is loud, crude, ignorant about most things, and looks absurd in his puffed up blond...

European Court vs. Russian Constitution

by Tanya Cooper Added 03.08.2015
Last week Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee, Russia’s main investigative agency,  said  the constitution should be changed so it will no longer give international legal standards priority over the constitution....

Why Greece's third bailout package is bound to fail

by Dimitris Sotiropoulos Added 31.07.2015
The Greek government was forced into accepting a third bailout under very difficult circumstances on July 13. The dramatic euro summit of July 12 lasted 17 hours before a new bailout package of €86 billion was agreed by eurozone prime ministers....

Susiya: Injustice On Display

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 30.07.2015
The pending order to demolish the small Palestinian village of Susiya in the southern Judean Mountains in the occupied West Bank represents the most blatant violation of human rights. The order calls for the forcible removal of several hundred...

Containment Begins at Home

by Nina L. Khrushcheva Added 30.07.2015
NEW YORK – Earlier this month, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a 24-year-old US citizen of Middle Eastern descent, opened fire at two military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing five. This act of local horror was also one of national...

How to respond to an allegation of sexual assault

by Nicole Westmarland Added 29.07.2015
This week’s New York Magazine surely has its most poignant cover ever, in a piece of remarkable journalism. With the caption: “the unwelcome sisterhood”, the cover shows black and white photographs of 35 of the 46 women whose sexual assault...

Alpha, Beta, and Beyond

by Nouriel Roubini Added 27.07.2015
NEW YORK – Even in normal times, individual and institutional investors alike have a hard time figuring out where to invest and in what. Should one invest more in advanced or emerging economies? And which ones? How does one decide when, and in...

In defence of Germany: why the EU’s biggest champion doesn’t deserve the vitriol

by Joanna Mckay Added 27.07.2015
Anti-German sentiment that has been simmering in Greece for the past few years has boiled over in recent weeks in response to the conditions Germany has imposed on the country in return for financial bail outs. This was most clearly demonstrated...

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly About The Iran Deal

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 26.07.2015
The deal with Iran has been generally characterized as either good or bad, and many pronounced it as historic with far-reaching regional and even global implications. I completely disagree with the characterizations of the deal as entirely good...

Depression’s Advocates

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 24.07.2015
BERKELEY – Back in the early days of the ongoing economic crisis, I had a line in my talks that sometimes got applause, usually got a laugh, and always gave people a reason for optimism. Given the experience of Europe and the United States in...

The Return of the Ugly German

by Joschka Fischer Added 23.07.2015
BERLIN – During the long night of negotiations over Greece on July 12-13, something fundamental to the European Union cracked. Since then, Europeans have been living in a different kind of EU. What changed that night was the Germany that...

The Eurozone’s German Problem

by Philippe Legrain Added 23.07.2015
LONDON – The eurozone has a German problem. Germany’s beggar-thy-neighbor policies and the broader crisis response that the country has led have proved disastrous. Seven years after the start of the crisis, the eurozone economy is faring worse...

The royal family, the Hitler salute and British policy during the war

by Daniel Wagner Added 23.07.2015
The British government turned its back on the Jews of Europe and failed to aid Jewish resistance groups in Europe as a result of political and economic expediency. The  media sensation surrounding the recently released video footage of the Queen...

Moving on From the Euro

by Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke Added 22.07.2015
SAINT-PIERRE-D’ENTREMONT, FRANCE – European Monetary Union was never a good idea. I remember my surprise when, as a young assistant professor, I realized that I was opposed to the Maastricht Treaty. I believed then – and still do – that European...
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We'll keep you in the loop - if you you allow us. Each new article posted on Facts & Arts is announced on Twitter, Google+ and on Facebook. Each Friday a newsletter is sent out listing articles of the past week: For Twitter, please click here....

Playing the Long Game on Iran

by David Bromwich Added 30.08.2015
The Neoconservatives, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Republicans Game the System . David Addington, the legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, made that declaration to Jack Goldsmith of the Office of Legal Counsel in the months after...

Selective Outrage: Hypocrisy at Its Worst

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 29.08.2015
As a front-runner for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, Hillary Clinton is a legitimate target for close scrutiny. Clinton has a long history ripe for criticism as First Lady, senator, and Secretary of State. What is so striking...

Modafinil – the 'smart drug' leading the charge towards a future of neuroenhancement

by Ruairidh McLennan Battleday and Anna-Katharine Brem Added 29.08.2015
Extension of our “natural” capacities through science and technology is not a new phenomenon – it has been a key driver of many evolutions of human society throughout history: movement with the wheel; navigation with the compass; communication...

Why we should get three-day weekends – all the time

by David Spencer Added 29.08.2015
As we approach the August bank holiday and a three-day weekend, it is worth reassessing the amount of time we devote to work. What if all weekends could last for three or even four days? What if the majority of the week could be given over to...

'Anchor Babies' and Other Horror Stories About Immigrants: Be Not Afraid

by John Tirman Added 28.08.2015
I was on a call-in radio show late one night this week to discuss immigration and my new book,  Dream Chasers: Immigration and the American Backlash. The radio station, WBZ, is a CBS affiliate in Boston that reaches much of the northeast United...

What Pope Francis Must Say to Donald Trump

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 28.08.2015
There is a rising tide of nativism washing over the United States at this particular moment. We have seen such waves recurrently in our history. In the 1840s, it was the Know-Nothings, who hated Catholics and opposed Irish immigration and were...

What Don Quixote has to say to Spain about today's immigrant crisis

by Patricia E Grieve Added 27.08.2015
In 1492, the Spanish Inquisition forced Jews to convert to Christianity or to leave the Iberian peninsula – on pain of death. Some five centuries later, in June 2015, the Spanish Parliament invited the descendants of those Jewish exiles to apply...

Understanding the Amazonian workplace – it's the law of the jungle

by Martin Parker Added 25.08.2015
In virtually every science fiction novel or film, there is an evil corporation which dominates the world – from LexCorp in the Superman franchise to Weyland-Yutani in Alien. Their masterminds tend to hide their ambitions behind stretched smiles...

Loneliness has serious health risks and the solution is social

by Keming Yang Added 25.08.2015
Anyone who has experienced feelings of loneliness knows how terrible it is. In his poem To Edith, Bertrand Russell calls loneliness “the solitary pain” and evokes the “ecstasy and peace” his wife gave him after “so many lonely years”. Those who...

Despite the headlines, dementia epidemic may not actually be getting worse

by Yu-Tzu Wu and Carol Brayne Added 22.08.2015
The notion of a dementia epidemic has been a big concern in ageing societies across the globe for some time. With the extension of life expectancy it seems to be an inevitable disaster – one of the “greatest enemies of humanity”, according to UK...
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Confessions of a Justified Sinner captures the modern condition perfectly

by Valentina Bold Added 20.08.2015
One of the highlights of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival is undoubtedly a new production of Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner, which runs between August 19 and 22. In a year which is strong on Scottish literary...

Precocity, Maturity and Creativity

by David W. Galenson Added 13.08.2015
T.S. Eliot reflected that if there was one word that could be associated with classic works of art, it was maturity. He compared Shakespeare's creative life cycle to that of an exact contemporary: We can...observe, upon a little conversance,...

How to write a children's classic: the Gruffalo formula

by Matthew Creasy Added 10.08.2015
Showing my class of children’s literature students around the child’s section of a large bookshop recently, the kindly bookseller showed us where they displayed the classics. “You know,” he said. “Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, The Gruffalo”. First...

The Burglar

by Mary L. Tabor Added 28.07.2015
Extract: Olivia had found one silver earring lying on her bureau, opened her jewelry box, and discovered the burglary. She’d opened the top bureau drawer and saw, instead of the little white cardboard box, a faint outline of dust where the box...

That Iron String: The tortured piano world viewed from within

by Michael Johnson Added 24.07.2015
The unhappy life of the classical pianist is rarely featured in modern novels.  I’ve always found this odd. The inherent drama of a career soloist should be raw meat for the writer. Paranoia is mixed with high art, loneliness is punctuated by...

Revisiting Irvin Yalom’s seductive novels of ideas

by Michael Johnson Added 23.07.2015
It’s a rare medical man who can shift from his world of arcane jargon to a vigorous, earthy style suited to non-fiction novels. Once in a while, a Chekhov or a Somerset Maugham comes along to make an exception and prove the rule. Psychiatrist...

Dazzled in Istanbul - On Writers and Publishing

by Alan Skinner Added 23.07.2015
We are a society which, as a rule, prefers good order to bad, desires sensible laws to prevail over anarchy and proposes for all just the right amount of liberality to allow us to feel free without the inconvenience of actually being so. We...
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Castorf’s sets “Die Walküre” in the oil fields of the US and USSR

by James Bash Added 31.08.2015
The decadence of the Nordic gods continued to be a major theme in Bayreuth’s “Die Walküre” as envisioned by Frank Castorf, who grew up in East Germany with the Marxist view of the world. According to the program notes, Karl Marx and Fredrick...

Oberlin-Como partnership appoints two young pianists

by Michael Johnson Added 30.08.2015
Two outstanding young pianists – one from Hungary, one from Italy – have been selected to become the first Oberlin-Como Fellows, two tuition-free years of study in a new partnership of the International Piano Academy Lake Como and the U.S....

Castorf’s production at Bayreuth gives “Das Rheingold” a low-life gangster look

by James Bash Added 26.08.2015
In the Frank Castorf production of “Das Rheingold” that I saw in Bayreuth on Friday (August 21), Wotan and company have their god-like powers, but they are just a bunch of gangster types in a low-life setting. On top of that, Castorf has added...

Outstanding singing and music conquer rats in Lohengrin at Bayreuth

by James Bash Added 24.08.2015
With 130-plus chorus members scurrying about in rat costumes, the production of “Lohengrin” in Bayreuth that I saw on August 20th was a strange sight to behold. There were black rats (men), white rats (women), and eight pink rats for the women...

Superb new production of Tristan und Isolde at Bayreuth

by James Bash Added 22.08.2015
A lot of people attend “Tristan und Isolde” for the glory of its music, because it is often presented in a visually static and very boring way. Most of the time, the title characters go on and on about an ideal conception of love, and nothing...

Seattle Opera’s Nabucco puts singers and orchestra in the limelight with success… mostly

by James Bash Added 14.08.2015
Some stage directors probably would say that it’s insane to take a full-sized orchestra out of the pit and put it on stage during an opera performance, but that didn’t stop director François Racine from doing it for Seattle Opera’s production of...

Philip Glass: Everyone was dead and I was a ‘musical idiot’

by Michael Johnson Added 05.08.2015
What originally got Philip Glass going as a composer was the realization that he was “living in a world where all the composers were dead. Even the living ones were dead.” He decided to do something about it. Glass describes in his engrossing...

"Words Without Music" by Philip Glass

by Glen Roven Added 04.08.2015
WHEN I TOLD a snarky friend I was writing about the new Philip Glass autobiography, Words Without Music, she asked, “Does it go like this: I, I, I, I, I, I, was, was, was, was, was, born, born, born, born …?” Snarky. I get it, of course, which...

The ‘Yoda’ of the piano world dominates the Tchaikovsky competition

by Michael Johnson Added 02.07.2015
The International Tchaikovsky Competition in St. Petersburg and Moscow ended last night (July 1) in a virtual American sweep in the piano category, with gold and bronze prizes going to American-trained Russian boys and the silver to a...

San Francisco Symphony mixes things up with imagery and motion in “Missa Solemnis”

by James Bash Added 01.07.2015
With mixed results, the San Francisco Symphony performed Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis,” using projected imagery and movement on June 11th [2015] at Davies Symphony Hall. It would be easy to say that this masterpiece by Beethoven doesn’t need...
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Dear White People ponders post-racism – but we need to talk about that

by Victoria Anderson Added 26.06.2015
Is there such a thing as post-racism? That’s what Justin Simien’s film Dear White People asks us to consider. And it’s just about to hit the UK. Dear White People is a subtle and good-natured satire on the issues of race in the Obama age. It was...

Girlhood is remarkable – a film brimming with messages of empowerment

by William Brown Added 07.05.2015
Girlhood, Céline Sciamma’s new film, opens with one of the most remarkable sequences that I have ever seen in a cinema. Figures play a game of American touch football under the glare of floodlights set to Dark Allies by New York-based retro...

Celebrity twat or man of the people? Russell Brand is both in The Emperor's New Clothes

by William Brown Added 29.04.2015
A few moments from the end of The Emperor’s New Clothes, the new documentary made by the prolific Michael Winterbottom in collaboration with Russell Brand, the celebrity anarchist pretends to receive a phone call as he puts forward a proposal...
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