George Steiner: The Gift of Memory

By Geoffrey Heptonstall in Arts and Culture

Truth is unarguably the essential quality of all civilized exchange in public or private life. If we lose the value of truth we surrender by default all the values which support the thin crust on which we tread precariously above the primeval swamp. On the other hand, Steiner argues, the obsessive pursuit of absolute truth […]

The October 2017 Newsletter

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to the Global Dispatches, This month, an interview with Filmmaker Jo Ruxton, the producer of “A Plastic Ocean”, a documentary released last year to highlight the devastating impact of global plastic pollution on marine environments and the threat it poses to human health; Hersh Shefrin, the Mario L. Belotti Professor of Finance, Santa Clara […]

Plastics are making our oceans sick

By Olivia Boyd in Uncategorized

Filmmaker Jo Ruxton is the producer of A Plastic Ocean, a documentary released last year to highlight the devastating impact of global plastic pollution on marine environments and the threat it poses to human health. Ruxton worked for WWF and the BBC before co-founding the non-profit group Plastic Oceans, which works to raise awareness of […]

The Scale of Pentagon Waste

By Harry Blain in Features

Everyone hates government waste. President Trump believes it is “our moral duty to the taxpayer” to “make our government leaner and more accountable,” and his political opponents seem to agree. And yet, when called to vote on an extra $80 billion a year for the most profligate public agency in the country, the overwhelming majority […]

Richard Thaler, Nobel laureate

By Hersh Shefrin in Economics and Finance

Behavioural economist Richard Thaler is the 2017 recipient of the economics Nobel Prize. Yet despite having been president of the American Economic Association (AEA) in 2016, he is no regular economist. In fact, Stanford economist and past AEA president Robert Hall once characterised Thaler as his “favourite offbeat economist”. The award marks Thaler’s transition from […]

AIIB invests in Egyptian solar

By Liu Qin in Environment

In July, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, approved US$660 million in funding for 11 Egyptian solar plants, with an installed capacity of 490 megawatts. These projects are being co-financed by the AIIB with additional funding of US$210 million. This follows investments in Egyptian solar from other development banks, […]

The Neymar Bubble

By Eran Yashiv in Economics and Finance

Neymar was transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain (PSG) for €222 million, on 3 August 2017. It has caused many of us to consider whether football players are a good investment, and question how their prices can be justified. To approach this issue from a serious economic perspective one needs to reflect on the […]

Bismarck’s health insurance

By Stefan Bauernschuster, Anastasia Driva, Erik Hornung in Features

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals commit members to achieving universal health coverage by 2030. Success could massively improve health, while reducing out-of-pocket spending. This spending averages 32% of expenditures on health services (WHO 2014). Many developing countries are experimenting with compulsory health insurance models (Lagomarsino et al. 2012, Miller et al. 2013). Although large […]

Catalonia: now what?

By Patrice de Beer in Politics

And now what ? What will happen on and after October 2, after the referendum organised by the autonomous Catalan government and its failed repression by the central Madrid government ? For weeks analysts, observers and media throughout Spain and Catalonia have been asking – with growing anxiety – that question while the battle between the two […]

Newsletter – September 2017

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month Jacques Bughin and Eric Hazan – Senior Partners at McKinsey – explain that Artificial Intelligence has been around since the 1950s, and has gone through many cycles of hype and ‘winters’. Based on a survey of senior executives from over 3,000 companies in ten countries, they describe how […]

“Nothingwood” by Sonia Kronlund

By Lev Myshkin in Arts and Culture

Expansive, charismatic, narcissistic…. Salim Shaheeen defies categorisation.  One French film critic even went so far as to describe him as the Afghan Alain Delon, another the Afghan Spielberg. He is the larger-than-life subject of Sonia Kronlund’s masterly and hilarious documentary, presented at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at the Festival de Cannes in 2017 to much […]

Erdoğan: prophetic leader or political suicide?

By Daniel Petcu in Politics

It has become commonplace to label Turkey as an autocracy following the despotic policies of its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A wave of ideological purges succeeded the failed coup d’etat of June 2016 that was instigated by a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces, the Peace at Home Council. Among the motivating factors behind the […]

Arms bazaar: needs wars, eats lives

By Paul Rogers in Politics

It seems to be business as usual in the worldwide “war on terror”. The United States military is currently embroiled in many hotspots where violence, fear, and the ever present reality or threat of high explosive are the order of the day. Those conditions mean, for people at the sharp end, multiple distress. But for […]

Victory at last

By Tom Engelhardt in Politics

It was bloody and brutal, a true generational struggle, but give them credit. In the end, they won when so many lost. James Comey was axed. Sean Spicer went down in a heap of ashes. Anthony Scaramucci crashed and burned instantaneously. Reince Priebus hung on for dear life but was finally canned. Seven months in, […]

Yemen: a tragic tale of humanitarian hypocrisy

By Anastasia Kyriacou in Politics

“Dozens killed in Yemen floods” read the headlines last week, just when you thought things could not get any worse for a country that is enduring what has been recognised as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The Arab world’s poorest state has been enduring a bloody civil war since 2015, heavily compounded by the world’s […]

The new spring of A.I.

By Jacques Bughin, Eric Hazan in Features

Leading artificial intelligence (AI) expert Andrew Ng once characterised AI as “the new electricity” that will transform every sector of the economy (Ng 2017). However, we have had many cycles of hype and ‘winters’ before with AI, which has been around since the 1950s. In recent research, we decided to assess how the new wave […]

The Desert of Forbidden Art

The Desert of Forbidden Art



Wanted in Europe

Wanted in Europe