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Surprisingly enough, Europe is lagging all American states economically

Yascha Mounk interviewed by David Frum in the Atlantic, on populism, the trouble with illiberal democracies and America’s role. An excerpt: “The first is that we need to fight for an inclusive nationalism. This means that we oppose any attempt to identify the nation with a particular ethnic or religious group (as parts of the current U.S. administration consistently do). We must do what we can to protect vulnerable minorities from attacks. But… Read More

Two of the greatest minds alive (and authors of some of my favourite books) discuss anti-fragility, globalisation, the economy, fuck-you money, moral hazard, Prometheus, probability and washing machines. Somewhat awkward, never a real conversation  – yet always interesting. Just watch & enjoy!

Muslims are projected to increase as a share of Europe’s population – even with no future migration. Read the full Pew Research report: http://www.pewforum.org/2017/11/29/europes-growing-muslim-population/

Democracy on its own does not consistently lower inequality, Walter Scheidel argues in the Atlantic, only catastrophe will. As “inequality has been written into the DNA of civilization ever since humans first settled down to farm the land. Throughout history, only massive, violent shocks that upended the established order proved powerful enough to flatten disparities in income and wealth. They appeared in four different guises: mass-mobilization warfare, violent and transformative revolutions, state… Read More

Saltwater economics vs. freshwater economics: the battle is on. New Keynesian macroeconomists (saltwater) fail to acknowledge radical uncertainty in their models, and still can’t to explain why banks underprice risk worldwide. But has the other side a better model? Read this interesting article by Robert Skidelsky for Project Syndicate.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, is doing things his own way. He’s running the company differently from his famous predecessors, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, transforming not just the business strategy but the culture at Microsoft. And it works, according to this great Fast Company article.

Well, try the guidebook of the cigarette industry, writes ‘ Undercover Economist’ Tim Harford. Applicable to Brexit campaigns, Trump news conferences, Russia state propaganda and Facebook filter bubbles. False claims stick……..fact checking doesn’t work (not in the least because facts are boring)……..distraction does work………….as does some level of ignorance…………and polarisation. How to solve this problem? Through curiosity and storytelling (think Hans Rosling)  

The read of the week: an essay on why Francis Fukuyama is still so widely misunderstood and the high level of accuracy his predictions had, including the rise of Donald Trump…25 years ago. An appetizer: “The spread of egalitarian values that went along with secular democratic politics would open up spaces of severe resentment – especially, we might now postulate, among those who had lost their traditional places at the top of… Read More

Heel interessant voorstel voor een CO2 belasting uit onverdachte hoek. Ondere uit de koker van Hank Paulson, minister van Financien onder George W. Bush en oud-topman van Goldman Sachs. Benieuwd of de nieuwe Republikeinse president er wat in ziet… Larry Summers is ook een voorstander.

Stijlelementen zorgen voor herkenning, door middel van ‘discriminative learning’: mooi werk van Google.  

…according to the International Crisis Group. From Turkey to Congo, the world still is a turbulent place. Read more here

Highly original article on the rise of Trumpism – taking us back to Hunter S. Thompsons’s book on motorcycle guys. The ethics of the Hell’s Angels is still alive; and widespread.

America is not longer the leader of the free world: uncharted waters are awaiting us… …according to Ian Bremmer in this Time article.  

Fascinating piece by the great Nassim Nicholas Taleb (from last summer) on intolerance as a winning strategy (when in doubt, choose McDonald’s). It’s a long read, but worth every minute. It will teach you a lot on the impact of applying minority rule to democracy, religion and financial markets. As a teaser: “Let us conjecture that the formation of moral values in society doesn’t come from the evolution of the consensus. No,… Read More