The Middle East’s Next War

by Joschka Fischer Added 23.07.2017
BERLIN – With the retaking of Mosul in northern Iraq, the Islamic State (ISIS) could soon be a thing of the past. But the defeat of ISIS and the demise of its self-proclaimed Iraqi-Syrian caliphate won’t bring peace to the Middle East, or even...

A Question for Washington: Who in the Gulf Finances Terrorism?

by Giorgio Cafiero and Daniel Wagner Added 20.07.2017
Journalists in Middle Eastern media outlets have been engaged in harsh mudslinging ever since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Bahrain (aka the quartet) severed diplomatic and economic relations with Qatar in June over...

The History Is Too Deep, the Pain Is Too Real

by James J. Zogby Added 18.07.2017
  A week ago, a pro-Israel media monitoring group accused me of making "an unsubstantiated charge that Israel supporters are responsible" for discrimination, hate crimes, and the political exclusion of Arab Americans. Because this issue is so...

Is Productivity Growth Becoming Irrelevant?

by Adair Turner Added 18.07.2017
LONDON – As the Nobel laureate economist Robert Solow noted in 1987, computers are “everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” Since then, the so-called productivity paradox has become ever more striking. Automation has eliminated many...

The New Abnormal in Monetary Policy

by Nouriel Roubini Added 11.07.2017
NEW YORK – Financial markets are starting to get rattled by the winding down of unconventional monetary policies in many advanced economies. Soon enough, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB) will be the only central banks...

Poll: Negative Campaign Against Arabs and Muslims Has Consequences

by James J. Zogby Added 11.07.2017
    While, as president, Donald Trump has worked to cultivate a relationship with Arab leaders, the antipathy towards Arabs and Muslims that he and his party have cultivated in recent years continues to have a worrisome impact on American public...

Trump’s Flirtation with Violence

by Ian Buruma Added 10.07.2017
NEW YORK – Some people might have dismissed Donald Trump’s recent tweet of a video clip showing him punching the face of a man with a CNN logo on his head as yet another example of the US president’s vulgar buffoonery – unseemly, perhaps, but...

The G20’s Misguided Globalism

by Dani Rodrik Added 08.07.2017
HAMBURG – This year’s G20 summit in Hamburg promises to be among the more interesting in recent years. For one thing, US President Donald Trump, who treats multilateralism and international cooperation with cherished disdain, will be attending...

Trump’s Gift to Europe

by Joseph S. Nye Added 08.07.2017
OXFORD – At a recent conference in France, a number of Europeans surprised their American guests by arguing that US President Donald Trump might be good for Europe. With Trump returning to Europe for the G20 summit in Hamburg, it’s worth asking...

G20 summit: who will take the US's place as a global leader?

by Tristen Naylor Added 08.07.2017
Global summits were once extraordinary things, marking turning points in international political history. The 1814-15 Congress of Vienna marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the beginning of Europe’s “long” 19th century, during which...

Trump And Kim Think A Lot Alike: Why Not Take Advantage Of It?

by Daniel Wagner Added 07.07.2017
There is no need to engage in too much geopolitical strategizing, intelligence analysis, or weapons capability calculations. What can be done when two nations’ leaders have very similar personality traits, do not like each other, have nuclear...

Putin and Trump’s Tainted Love

by Nina L. Khrushcheva Added 06.07.2017
MOSCOW – US President Donald Trump must be giddy: this week, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, he will finally meet his Russian counterpart and strongman-hero Vladimir Putin. It is rare for someone who has reached the...

Shaking Russia’s Weak Economic Hand

by Kenneth Rogoff Added 05.07.2017
CAMBRIDGE – When Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his American counterpart, Donald Trump, at this week’s G20 summit in Hamburg, he will not be doing so from a position of economic strength. To be sure, despite the steep drop in oil prices...

Should We Be Worried About Productivity Trends?

by Sandile Hlatshwayo and Michael Spence Added 01.07.2017
MILAN – Economists concern themselves not only with addressing difficult questions thoughtfully, but also with formulating the questions themselves. Sometimes, rethinking those questions can hold the key to finding the answers we need. Consider...

Russia’s Oligarchs-in-Waiting

by Anders Åslund Added 30.06.2017
STOCKHOLM – Under President Vladimir Putin, cronyism has replaced Russia’s once-burgeoning capitalism. If Putin lives by any motto, it is this: “To my friends, anything; for my enemies, the law.” In his 2000 “autobiography,” First Person , Putin...

Another Lesson from Japan

by Stephen S. Roach Added 27.06.2017
NEW HAVEN – Yet another in a long string of negative inflation surprises is at hand. In the United States, the so-called core CPI (consumer price index) – which excludes food and energy – has headed down just when it was supposed to be going up....

We’ll Always Need Paris

by Adair Turner Added 25.06.2017
LONDON – President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement is deeply regrettable and based on flawed economic analysis. But unstoppable technological progress, plus determined action by other...

The Underside of Uber

by Lucy P. Marcus Added 25.06.2017
LONDON – The car-hailing app Uber’s board members and investors have received an outpouring of praise in recent days for forcing CEO Travis Kalanick to resign. They don’t deserve it. On the contrary, while Kalanick did indeed need to go, the...

A year on from Brexit, the UK is more divided than ever

by Sean Lang Added 23.06.2017
Of all the oddities surrounding Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election, perhaps the oddest was her assertion that “the country is coming together but Westminster is not”. The evidence seemed to show exactly the reverse. The result of the...

The Russian-Roulette Presidency

by Elizabeth Drew Added 22.06.2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Unless US President Donald Trump decides that he has had enough, and returns to his gilded Manhattan tower, his presidency’s metastasizing crisis will continue to haunt him. Investigations in the United States Senate and House...

The End of the Trump Administration?

by Jorge G. Castañeda Added 16.06.2017
MEXICO CITY – The world’s view of US President Donald Trump’s administration is changing for the worse. In fact, the chaos and controversy that have marked Trump’s short time in office have deepened doubts, both inside and outside the United...

Can US States Right Trump’s Wrongs?

by Barry Eichengreen Added 13.06.2017
VENICE – US President Donald Trump, with the help of a Republican-controlled Congress, is undermining many of the fundamental values that Americans hold dear. He is jeopardizing their access to health care by seeking to repeal the 2010...

How to Prevent the UK’s Self-Destruction

by Jim O'Neill Added 13.06.2017
LONDON – If you were a Briton who had been stuck in Antarctica for the past year and a half, you might be forgiven for wishing you had stayed put. The decisions taken during your absence by British politicians, especially the leaders of the...

Defending Academic Freedom in a Populist Age

by Michael Ignatieff Added 08.06.2017
BERLIN – I am the President of Central European University, which is now under attack. CEU is fighting to remain a free institution in Budapest, Hungary’s capital, following the passage of new legislation that would, in essence, require the...

Russia’s Cold War Habit

by Vladislav Inozemtsev Added 06.06.2017
MOSCOW – A few weeks ago, Mikhail Gorbachev – the last leader of the Soviet Union and the man who did more than anyone to end the Cold War – told the German newspaper Bild that it is possible “to recognize all the features of a new cold war in...

Angela Merkel’s Challenge to Europe

by Joschka Fischer Added 06.06.2017
BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has never been regarded as an especially inspiring orator. In fact, she has a reputation for gently talking her audiences to sleep. But that all changed a few days ago. While campaigning in the Munich...

The Truth Behind Today’s US Inflation Numbers

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 02.06.2017
BERKELEY – In December 2015, the US Federal Reserve embarked on a monetary-tightening cycle, by raising the target range for the short-term nominal federal funds rate by 25 basis points (one-quarter of a percentage point). At the time, the...

America’s Broken Democracy

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 31.05.2017
NEW YORK – US President Donald Trump’s ravings against the 2015 Paris climate agreement are partly a product of his ignorance and narcissism. Yet they represent something more. They are a reflection of the deep corruption of the US political...

Taming the Murdochs’ Toxic Corporate Culture

by Lucy P. Marcus Added 29.05.2017
The commentary by Lucy Marcus, “Taming News Corp’s Toxic Culture,” has been corrected and revised to take account of the 2013 division of News Corporation into News Corp and 21st Century Fox, the owner of Fox News.  We apologizes for any...

Trump’s ‘Historic’ Visit To The Middle East: Much Ado About Nothing

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 28.05.2017
Sadly, President Trump’s visit to the Middle East only confirmed my skepticism about what might come out of it. Trump went to the region with nothing to offer to mitigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and received no commitment from either...

Democracy Trumps Terrorism

by Chris Patten Added 27.05.2017
LONDON – As I strolled through Paris the other day, the air was warm, the sky was blue, and I felt like I was in the best of all possible worlds. As always, Paris looked elegant and exuded confidence and cheerfulness. France had just elected a...

Rethinking the Next China

by Stephen S. Roach Added 26.05.2017
NEW HAVEN – For the past seven years, I have taught a popular class at Yale, called “The Next China.” From the start, the focus has been on the transitional imperatives of the modern Chinese economy – namely, the shift from a long-successful...

The GCC’s View of “One Belt, One Road”

by Giorgio Cafiero and Daniel Wagner Added 26.05.2017

Awakening from the Trump Nightmare

by Bernard-Henri Lévy Added 24.05.2017
PARIS – The American people can escape from the ordeal of Donald Trump’s presidency in one of three ways. But if and when they do is an irreducibly political question, not one that hinges on legal possibilities. First, there’s the Nixonian...

Understanding Today’s Stagnation

by Robert J. Shiller Added 23.05.2017
NEW HAVEN – Ever since the “Great Recession” of 2007-2009, the world’s major central banks have kept short-term interest rates at near-zero levels. In the United States, even after the Federal Reserve’s recent increases, short-term rates remain...

The Iranian Opportunity

by Javier Solana Added 23.05.2017
MADRID – Last week, the people of Iran decided to continue along the path toward openness. Fifty-seven percent of voters chose to elect the reformist President Hassan Rouhani to a second term. The rest of the world should welcome Rouhani’s...

Trump on Islam: Neo-Orientalism and anti-Shi’ism

by Juan Cole Added 22.05.2017
Trump’s speech on Islam, written by notorious Islamophobe Stephen Miller, who used to organize Orwellian Two Minutes Hate sessions against Muslims at Duke, is just as bizarre as everything else Trump does. Miller-Trump imply, as has become...

The White House Crack-Up

by Elizabeth Drew Added 19.05.2017
WASHINGTON, DC – On both sides of the White House fence, near-nervous breakdowns abound. The White House staff is said to be in a state of near collapse – bouncing from one presidential crisis to another, trying all the while to hide from a...

A Long Way from Comey to Watergate

by Sean Wilentz Added 11.05.2017
PRINCETON – President Donald J. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is unprecedented, as is much of what Trump has undertaken as president. Despite similarities with President Richard M. Nixon’s infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” 44 years...

Whistling Past the Geopolitical Graveyard

by Nouriel Roubini Added 08.05.2017
NEW YORK – With Emmanuel Macron’s defeat of the right-wing populist Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election, the European Union and the euro have dodged a bullet. But geopolitical risks are continuing to proliferate. The populist...

The End of the Left/Right Divide?

by Ian Buruma Added 08.05.2017
NEW YORK – After the French Revolution of 1789, deputies in the National Assembly who supported the revolutionary gains sat on the left, while those who opposed them and hankered after the old order of monarchy and church congregated on the...

Trumpcare is the best Advertisement for Nationalizing Insurance

by Juan Cole Added 05.05.2017
The sadism and greed of the American Republican Party was on full display Thursday, as the House GOP voted to destroy Obamacare and remove the coverage for pre-existing conditions (50 million Americans suffer from them). Oh, this sabotage is...

Emmanuel Macron takes step closer to French presidency with strong performance in fiery debate

by Delia Dumitrescu Added 05.05.2017
Emmanuel Macron was a virtually unknown figure in French politics before 2012. Now, as leader of the new political movement En Marche! he finds himself in the position of being the defender of French liberal democratic values in the second round...

Where US Manufacturing Jobs Really Went

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 04.05.2017
BERKELEY – In the two decades from 1979 to 1999, the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States drifted downward, from 19 million to 17 million. But over the next decade, between 1999 and 2009, the number plummeted to 12 million. That...

The French Election and Europe’s Future

by Joschka Fischer Added 29.04.2017
BERLIN – A lot can happen between now and the second round of the French presidential election on May 7, so it is still too early to celebrate. But, even with the nationalist, populist candidate Marine Le Pen still in the running, many observers...

Can North Korea Transform U.S. - China Relations?

by Daniel Wagner Added 27.04.2017
In international relations there is no such thing as coincidences, and powers of observation and gut instinct can sometimes tell more than all the intelligence at one’s disposal. Take, for example, the Kafkaesque narrative occurring in relation...

Russia’s Neo-Feudal Capitalism

by Anders Åslund Added 27.04.2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Vladimir Putin’s Russia is looking more and more like the sclerotic and stagnant Soviet Union of the Leonid Brezhnev era. But in one area, Putin’s regime remains an innovator: corruption. Indeed, in this, the 18th year of...

Palestinians Prisoners Hunger Strike

by James J. Zogby Added 27.04.2017
  One thousand five hundred Palestinian prisoners have been on a hunger strike for almost a week now. They are refusing sustenance in an effort to improve the deplorable conditions faced by the nearly 6,500 Palestinians who are currently...

A World Turned Inside Out

by Stephen S. Roach Added 27.04.2017
NEW HAVEN – Slowly but surely, a bruised and battered global economy now appears to be shaking off its deep post-crisis malaise. If the International Monetary Fund’s latest forecasts are borne out – an iffy proposition, to be sure – the nearly...

Will London Survive Brexit?

by Howard Davies Added 26.04.2017
LONDON – Brexit has set a hungry cat among the financial pigeons of the City of London. No one yet knows what kind of access to the European Union’s single financial market UK-based firms will have, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for a...
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Letter from the Editor

‘A state of chaos’: Joshua Green on President Trump’s first six months – BBC Newsnight

Evan Davis discusses the first six months of the Trump presidency with Joshua Green, author of ‘Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency’. To subscribe to Facts and Arts' weekly newsletter, please click...

‘The Soundof Sleat,’ On Abstract Expressionist Jon Schueler

by David Galenson Added 20.07.2017
The Sound of Sleat is a body of water in western Scotland, between the mainland and the Isle of Skye. The Sound of Sleat is the best book I have ever read about an American painter. Jon Schueler, 1981, photograph by Archie McLellan, © Jon...

Sensing the dead is perfectly normal – and often helpful

by Simon McCarthy-Jones Added 20.07.2017
Céline Dion recently revealed that she still senses the presence of her husband, even though he died from cancer in January 2016. What’s more, the Canadian singer said she still talks to René Angélil, who she was married to for 22 years, and can...

25% of Australian Homes have gone Solar and other Green Triumphs this Week

by Juan Cole Added 16.07.2017
Renewables continue to take the world by storm, which is good news for the climate. Because of less expensive and more efficient technology, about one quarter of all Australian households now have solar panels. This process is uneven, with a...

Liu Xiaobo: a voice of conscience who fought oppression for decades

by Hermann Aubié Added 15.07.2017
Only a few weeks after being diagnosed with a late-stage liver cancer in late May 2017, the world learned that China’s most prominent dissident, Liu Xiaobo, died at 61 in a hospital in the north-east region of China, where he was born. As the...

The 'French paradox' turned out to be an illusion, but it led to some interesting research

by Emma Wightman Added 15.07.2017
Everybody loved the French paradox. It was a term coined in 1980 by French scientists in their paper on heart disease and fat intake. It refers to the fact that, despite consuming a diet high in saturated fat, French people have relatively low...

How We Triumph In the Age of Ignorance

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 14.07.2017
We face a crisis of ignorance in this country, with potentially tragic consequences both at home and abroad. But not all is lost. We can avoid disaster by using this crisis to understand where we went wrong, and from that insight identify...

Faith, Fox and the Failure of Politics

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 11.07.2017
·           As the Keanu Reeves title character John Wick said, “Well, yeah, I’m thinking I’m back.” While I do not have Wick’s martial arts skill, good looks or quiet charm (or any of his redeeming qualities, or hair, for that matter), I share...

Taking Comfort from the Success of Others

by David Coates Added 11.07.2017
  With the wisdom of hindsight, it is now clear that the sheer quality of the Obama intellect, and the solid integrity of his character, lulled many of those who twice voted for him into a false sense of security. It was as though we forgot,...

How your pile of laundry fills the sea with plastic pollution

by Natalie Welden Added 06.07.2017
After decades of intense observation and campaigning by conservation groups, awareness of microplastic pollution has fortunately grown. There is now worldwide concern about tiny pieces of plastic litter that are having a harmful impact on marine...

I spent three days as a hunter-gatherer to see if it would improve my gut health

by Tim Spector and Jeff Leach Added 05.07.2017
Jeff Leach, Author provided Mounting evidence suggests that the richer and more diverse the community of microbes in your gut the lower your risk of disease. Diet is key to maintaining diversity and was strikingly demonstrated when an undergrad...
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‘Wrong Notes’ – the skeleton key to free thinking

by Jack Kohl Added 09.06.2017
  As a pianist, I have spent a lifetime reading interviews with other pianists. But I would know, above all, what it is precisely that others think about when they play. People often ask me that question. I do not know if I have ever answered...

ESCAPE VELOCITY: An author’s battle to conquer an Emersonian orbit

by Jack Kohl Added 06.02.2017
During all of my adult life as an author and pianist, Ralph Waldo Emerson has been for me the supreme and unremitting guide to the Western canon. Emerson’s writings have dominated so much of my thought that the routines I have given to the study...

Author Jack Kohl just ‘stole it from life’

by Michael Johnson Added 01.02.2017
Rarely does a musician with a Juilliard background and a Ph.D. in piano performance find the energy, much less the time, to conceive, plot, write and publish a series of well-constructed novels. Jack Kohl, by Michael Johnson. After I read Jack...

Fact-Checking the WSJ [Editor's note: re Mark Twain]

by David Galenson Added 24.01.2017
The Wall Street Journal has made an egregious error. I'm not talking about their coverage of Donald Trump, Russian hacking, or any other such ephemera. This concerns something much more serious: classic literature. Mark Twain, ca. 1907. Image...

Elie Wiesel’s Early Work: Four Novels

by Mary L. Tabor Added 07.01.2017
A Talmudic question has much intrigued me: Two men are stranded in the desert. Only one has water. If he shares it, they both die; if he keeps it, he lives and his companion dies. What should he do? Rabbi Akiva taught that the man has the right...

Why Bob Dylan deserves his Nobel prize in literature

by Richard Brown Added 14.10.2016
To the surprise of many, Bob Dylan has become the first singer-songwriter to win the Nobel prize in literature. As the news broke, I was in the middle of teaching James Joyce to some undergraduates – an author who did not win the Nobel, but is...

The man behind Matilda – what Roald Dahl was really like

by Pojana Maneeyingsakul Added 13.09.2016
It is 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl – considered by many to be the world’s number one storyteller. His books have received enthusiastic responses from millions of children all around the world. And his tales of the unexpected continue...
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Piano clusters: How to frighten the old ladies of both sexes

by Michael Johnson Added 24.06.2017
I was flipping through my copy of Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 6 recently and spotted his two “col pugno” markings. My memory took me back many years to the day I first encountered these violent directions. At the time, I didn’t know what to...

Vengerov and Saïtkoulov wow a formal-dress Bordeaux audience

by Michael Johnson Added 21.06.2017
  One of the world’s greatest living violinists, Maxim Vengerov, accompanied by an equally accomplished pianist Roustem Saïtkoulov, dazzled a full house at the 18th century Grand Théâtre of Bordeaux Sunday night (18 June) with a faultless...

Bergmann interview: Unlocking music from the unconscious mind

by Michael Johnson Added 17.06.2017
  A classical-trained German pianist working in a range of musical disciplines has just launched his most audacious experiment yet – an original piano sonata consisting almost entirely of creations from his unconscious mind. Boris Bergmann’s...

Sounds of Soviet Russia  are revived  in Bordeaux

by Michael Johnson Added 05.06.2017
  The Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine added another feather to its cap last week (June 1-2) with the engagement of a leading international guest conductor, Michail Jurowski, who led the ONBA in two demanding orchestral pieces, the...

François Dumont interviewed: The music never stops

by Michael Johnson Added 24.05.2017
Taking a break in gaps between a Mozart piano concerto in Izmir, Turkey, (No. 9, “Jeunehomme”), a recording session of three Mozart concertos in Rennes, France (Nos. 1, 24 and 27), and a performance tour in China, François Dumont graciously...

Uchida in fine form with a Mozart classic

by Michael Johnson Added 15.04.2017
Pianist Mitsuko Uchida delivered a sparkling Mozart piano concerto No. 20 in D minor (K.466) with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons on Thursday, the eve of Easter weekend, to an enthusiastic full house at Symphony Hall. Ms....

Review of Seattle Opera’s production of Katya Kabanova

by James Bash Added 08.03.2017
Tragedy can happen anywhere. That’s why the 1950s setting in the United States looked comfortably appropriate in Seattle Opera’s production of “Katya Kabanova.” Designed by Genevieve Blanchett and Mark Howett, the white picket fence, the...

Relax, it’s just contemporary music

by Michael Johnson Added 02.03.2017
A friend of mine in Italy who has recorded some of John Cage’s prepared piano pieces struggles with many of the new keyboard works coming down the pike, devoting hours of practice to the mind-bending notation. He concludes, alas, that the level...

Voltaire comes home with an American accent

by Michael Johnson Added 28.01.2017
The Leonard Bernstein incidental music for Voltaire’s Candide seems even fresher today than it did 60 years ago when it flopped on Broadway. Over time the production has been reworked, massaged and matured, and now is finding remarkable...

Impresario Leiser fears young piano talent will get left behind

by Michael Johnson Added 17.12.2016
  Veteran impresario Jacques Leiser, summing up his 60 years of toil with some of the world’s greatest performers, is worried about today’s drift in the music business. He believes that too many young artists fail in their first few years...
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Sofia Coppola emerges from her father's shadow with Cannes triumph for The Beguiled

by Fiona Handyside Added 08.06.2017
Sofia Coppola’s triumphant win at Cannes as best director for The Beguiled is the latest in a series of notable successes for a director quietly but forcefully blazing her own trail as a female director in a film world in which most of the...

La La Land deserves its 14 Oscar nominations for asking us, quite simply, to feel

by Rebecca Harrison Added 24.02.2017
Having won five BAFTAs, including coveted awards for Best Film, Best Director (Damien Chazelle) and Best Actress (Emma Stone), La La Land is likely to win more statuettes at the Oscars – it has a record-equalling 14 nominations. Both lauded as...

Scorsese’s Silence is admirably faithful to the original Japanese novel

by Mark Williams Added 07.01.2017
The blogosphere has been awash this month with reviews of Martin Scorsese’s latest movie, Silence. The work represents a powerful reworking of the novel of the same name by the Japanese novelist, Endō Shūsaku and I, for one, shall never forget...
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