15 December 2018

Real Insight

  • Participants attend a plenary session at the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

    A climate-friendly financial system

    Dec 14, 2018 10:03am
    The climate conference now underway in Katowice, Poland, has been billed as the most consequential since the 2015 summit, which produced the Paris climate agreement.  Amid unprecedented public concern over the threat posed by climate change...
  • The United States seems to think that if China’s GDP were to surpass that of the US in nominal dollar terms, US economic prospects would be reduced by an amount equal to the margin of China’s gain. Photo: Reuters

    Trump’s economic war of choice

    - Dec 14, 2018 9:47am
    The brewing conflict between the United States and China is typical of zero-sum contests among countries, firms, and individuals. The US is acting under the implicit assumption that if China’s GDP were to surpass that of...
  • Despite the gyrations in the market, it is too soon to say how the new world of digital currencies will play out. Photo: Reuters

    Betting on dystopia

    - Dec 11, 2018 9:36am
    With the price of Bitcoin down 80 percent from its peak a year ago, and the larger cryptocurrency market in systemic collapse, has “peak crypto” already come and gone? Perhaps, but don’t expect to see true...
  • California is exploring ways to improve the health of its forests so that they will be more resilient to wildfires. Photo: Reuters

    Climate action trumps Trump

    - Dec 10, 2018 10:49am
      Now is not a good time to be a climate-change denier like US President Donald Trump, given all the recent evidence that the atmosphere is warming faster than expected. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, for...
  • After decades of membership in the European regulatory regime, achieving a clean break for Britain will require a tedious and complicated rewriting of innumerable rules. Photo: Reuters

    The ghost of Brexit past

    - Dec 5, 2018 9:58am
    The European Union has gained member-state approval for an agreement setting the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the bloc. But it is still unclear whether a majority of British parliamentarians will approve the deal,...
  • Under the massive US tax cut enacted by the Trump administration last year, ordinary Americans must bear a tax increase, and millions will lose health insurance, in order to finance a tax cut for billionaires and corporations. Photo: AFP

    Beyond GDP

    - Dec 4, 2018 10:27am
    Just under ten years ago, the International Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress issued its report, Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up. The title summed it up: GDP is not...
  • A campaigner from a political pressure group wears an oversized mask of Mark Zuckerberg after the Facebook chief failed to attend a meeting on fake news held by a parliament committee in London on Nov. 27. Photo: Reuters

    Has Zuckerberg lost control of Facebook?

    - Nov 30, 2018 10:45am
    When Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Facebook, appeared before the European Parliament in May, I suggested to him that he had lost control of his company. As one of the few politicians ever...
  • Norway's Magnus Carlsen (left) and the United States' Fabiano Caruana plot their moves at the World Chess Championship Final in London. Photo: Reuters

    Why human chess survives

    - Nov 29, 2018 10:00am
    With so much angst about artificial intelligence and the future of work, the recent world chess championship in London offers some hope. It is not that mankind has turned the tables on the march of progress....
  • US President Donald Trump's administration has not brought an effective case against China to the World Trade Organization, nor has it marshaled the support of European allies who share its concerns about China’s behavior.  Photo: Reuters

    From pivot to stumble in Asia

    - Nov 29, 2018 9:40am
    US President Donald Trump blew off two multilateral summits in Asia this month. Given his soggy and sulking performance that week in Paris, during the international commemoration of the centenary of the end of World War...
  • US President Donald Trump will meet with his Chinese counterpart at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires this weekend, but the summit is unlikely to yield a breakthrough in their trade dispute. Photo: Reuters

    A trade war is no reason to ease monetary policy

    - Nov 27, 2018 12:34pm
    The world is in a trade war, and there is no sign of peace breaking out anytime soon. By now, the disruption to trade appears extensive enough to factor negatively into forecasts for economic growth. Does...
  • China’s leaders must navigate complex and conflicting pressures, as they seek to address domestic economic inequalities, manage relations with the United States, cooperate with the rest of the world, and pursue effective climate action. Photo: Bloomberg

    China’s four traps

    - Nov 27, 2018 10:37am
    On the 40th anniversary of the launch of China’s “reform and opening up”, the country is well on its way to recapturing its former status as the world’s largest economy, having made substantial progress toward modernizing...
  • A worldwide “war for talent” is being waged, and enterprises that manage their global talent pool well are marching ahead. Photo: Bloomberg

    The global talent race

    - Nov 21, 2018 10:16am
    More than 3 percent of all people live outside the country of their birth. But while the share of migrants in the world’s population has remained mostly stable for six decades, its composition has changed. The...
  • If a central bank digital currency were to be issued, it would immediately displace cryptocurrencies, which are not scalable, cheap, secure, or actually decentralized. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why central bank digital currencies would ruin cryptocurrencies

    - Nov 20, 2018 9:45am
    The world’s central bankers have begun to discuss the idea of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and now even the International Monetary Fund and its managing director, Christine Lagarde, are talking openly about the pros and...
  • The arbitrary and politically driven nature of Trump’s trade war with China will hurt US growth, argues Kenneth Rogoff. Photo: Bloomberg

    The global impact of a Chinese recession

    - Nov 8, 2018 9:59am
      When China finally has its inevitable growth recession – which will almost surely be amplified by a financial crisis, given the economy’s massive leverage – how will the rest of world be affected? With US...
  • For a growing number of people around the world, floods, landslides and heatwaves have become the new normal. Photo: Reuters

    Living with climate change

    - Nov 7, 2018 10:04am
    For anyone still undecided about the consequences of global warming, the summer of 2018, one of the hottest on record, should have tipped the scales. Across far-flung longitudes and latitudes, regions are struggling with the fallout...
  • America’s ideals of freedom, democracy, and justice for all may never have been fully realized, but now they are under open attack, says Joseph Stiglitz. Photo: Reuters

    Can American democracy come back?

    - Nov 7, 2018 9:38am
    The United States has long held itself up as a bastion of democracy. It has promoted democracy around the world. It fought, at great cost, for democracy against fascism in Europe during World War II. Now...
  • Recent developments show that when the right conditions are put in place, there can indeed be a market for developing new antibiotics. Photo: Bloomberg

    An earnest proposal for tackling AMR

    - Nov 5, 2018 9:52am
      Under Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on March 29, 2019. Presuming that it does (but even if it does not), the UK government should continue...
  • Deepening divisions within the UK and a painful divorce process seem to have raised awareness about the benefits of EU membership and the costs of populism. Photo: Reuters

    The Brexitization of European politics

    - Nov 1, 2018 9:58am
    Far from settling the question of the United Kingdom’s future, the 2016 Brexit referendum and subsequent negotiations with the European Union have triggered a full-blown identity crisis and culture war in Britain. Two years after the...
  • After decades of increasing openness and globalization, the world is retreating into fragmentation, thanks to the policies of US President Donald Trump. Photo: AFP

    America’s self-defeating China policy

    - Oct 31, 2018 9:44am
    Trade tariffs may be getting the most attention, but the conflict between the United States and China is actually being fought on multiple fronts, including exchange rates, technology, cyberspace, and even arms. This does not bode...
  • As mobile technology opens new doors of opportunity, it now makes humanitarian and business sense to target AI solutions far beyond Western countries, writes Tej Kohli.

    The promise of AI in the developing world

    - Oct 31, 2018 9:43am
    A common misperception among observers of digital trends is that consumers in developing countries do not benefit from advances in technology. Whether it is owning the latest smartphone or “employing” robot cleaners, the ability to access...

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