Sunday Thoughts XII (July 9-15)

Nato

A selection of links and thoughts that I stumble upon throughout the week – everything from economics to politics to philosophy to the occasional music video. 

I. Another Great Week in Trump World

Calling Germany controlled by Russia because of energy dependency? Check. Insinuating NATO is obsolete and at the same time urging its members to more than double their military spending? Also check. Undermining the prime minister of the UK on a visit there, calling her handling of Brexit “unfortunate” and suggesting that her foe (who has an awesome haircut, by the way) would be a great replacement? Hell yeah. All the while driving the world ever deeper into a global trade war? You betcha. Meeting the Russian president in private tomorrow, who is so lucky because he doesn’t have to deal with pestering courts or disrespectful journalists? Very much looking forward to hit. Constant contradictions and bullshit overload to keep the failing media on their toes? No one does it better. So. Much. Winning. (see e.g. Financial Times) Continue reading “Sunday Thoughts XII (July 9-15)”

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Sunday Thoughts XI (July 2-8)

A selection of links and thoughts that I stumble upon throughout the week – everything from economics to politics to philosophy to the occasional music video. 

I. Brexit Batshittery

There are only nine months left until Brexit, and yet, as the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel puts it, “the feeling that dominates is the impression that the British continue to negotiate with the British and not with the EU” (Bloomberg). Continue reading “Sunday Thoughts XI (July 2-8)”

Sunday Thoughts X (June 25-July 1)

A selection of links and thoughts that I stumble upon throughout the week – everything from economics to politics to philosophy to the occasional music video. 

I. Constant Crisis

In the London Review of Books, John Lanchester provides a lucid and insightful account of the financial crisis and the events that have unfolded in the decade since – in particular the lack of the prosecution of those responsible or of any meaningful reform, and the persisting rise of asset prices and inequality. Continue reading “Sunday Thoughts X (June 25-July 1)”

Sunday Thoughts IX (June 18-24)

A selection of links and thoughts that I stumble upon throughout the week – everything from economics to politics to philosophy to the occasional music video.

This week’s edition is brought to you from a Cambodian dormitory in Paris with no internet connection; thank god for the new European Union roaming regulations. 

I. Western Immigration Woes

On Wednesday, The Guardian ran an article on a list that tries to document all immigration-related deaths in Europe: “The major significance of the List is in its signals. It shows that this has been ongoing for 25 years and the people who pretend to be shocked now should have been shocked a long time ago.” I have spent quite some time scrolling through the list and for a moment, I might have got a fleeting idea of the tragedies behind the too many, brief entries.

In the New York Times, you can find some additional facts (and, of course, opinions – it’s still the New York Times) about global migration.

Lastly, I have found this Economist article to be a lucid analysis of the immigration dilemma that the West faces. Continue reading “Sunday Thoughts IX (June 18-24)”

Sunday Thoughts VIII (June 11-17)

A selection of links and thoughts that I stumble upon throughout the week – everything from economics to politics to philosophy to the occasional music video.

I. The Great Fiscal Escape

In a new paper, the researchers Tørsløv, Wier, and Zucman find that close to 40% of multinational profits are shifted to tax havens each year. They also argue that it’s profits and not productive capital that is moved across borders, and thus a tax cut will most likely fail to substantially create new jobs. You can read about it in The New York Times and the Washington Post, and Paul Krugman also wrote about the topic in his New York Times column – he also discusses the relatively minor effect corporate tax rates have on business investment decisions in general.

The researchers also note that, throughout the world, for one $ 1.00 in wages paid, US multinationals say they make around $ 0.50 cents in (pre-tax) profits – except in Ireland, Bermuda, Luxembourg and the like, where they say they make $ 3.50. These tax havens surely have some crazy-productive workers. Continue reading “Sunday Thoughts VIII (June 11-17)”

Sunday Thoughts VII (June 4-10)

A selection of links and thoughts that I stumble upon throughout the week – everything from economics to politics to philosophy to the occasional music video.

I. Wind of Change

The Western Consensus that has governed the world for decades, for better or for worse, is dead – at least as long as the United States are run by the erratic Cadet Bone Spurs, who understands diplomacy as a zero-sum game to be won and seems to relish in insulting his closest allies (New York Times). Japan, Canada, and the European countries have to accept the fact that they can no longer count on the US to lead them, to offer military protection, or to be a strong, reliable partner in general. But this can also be an opportunity: It is high time to implement a European Union of two speeds in which those countries that truly share the same democratic values unite, fix their currency system, and tighten their political, social, and military ties. I know that’s wishful thinking. But who could have dreamed of more than seventy years of peace and prosperity in Europe following the atrocities of the Second World War? Continue reading “Sunday Thoughts VII (June 4-10)”

Sunday Thoughts VI (May 28-June 3)

A selection of links and thoughts that I stumble upon throughout the week – everything from economics to politics to philosophy to the occasional music video.

I. Italian Immediacy

After the highly questionable move of Italian president Sergio Mattarella to veto Giuseppe Conte’s suggested finance minister Paolo Savona (because of concerns about how “the markets” would react to the latter’s anti-Euro stance, one which he shares with other respectable economists, by the way), a government formed by the populist parties Northern League and Five Star Movement was finally sworn in on Friday (Guardian). Meanwhile, the euro is still broken and the immigration crisis still remaining unresolved. Continue reading “Sunday Thoughts VI (May 28-June 3)”