Newsletter October 2014


Welcome to The Global Dispatches,

This month IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard explains that before the 2008 crisis, the mainstream world view among US macroeconomists was that economic fluctuations were regular and essentially self-correcting. The crisis has made it clear that this view was wrong and that there is a need for a deep reassessment. Riccardo Paparusso suggests that the Russian philosopher Alexandre Kojève, the most famous interpreter of the German philosopher, Hegel be able to clarify the origin of the present supremacy of economic processes over all other fields of human activity. Maxim Edwards reviews the new English translation of the Russian cult novel Sankya by Zakhar Prilepin. François Godement, Professor of political science at Sciences Po in Paris, and Director for strategy of the Asia Centre, in Paris on the connection between China's uneasy quiet at its centre and the trouble at the periphery. And much more.

Hong Kong Central vs. China’s Centre
By François Godement

As debate in China's centre is stifled, Hongkongers fear for their future – with good cause. Is there a connection between the uneasy quiet at the centre and the trouble at the periphery? Most likely, there is.

Where Danger Lurks
By Olivier Blanchard

IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard explains that before the 2008 crisis, the mainstream world view among US macroeconomists was that economic fluctuations were regular and essentially self-correcting. He argues that macroeconomic policy should keep the economy away from ‘dark corners’.

Kojève’s Idea of the End of History
By Riccardo Paparusso

Might the Russian philosopher Alexandre Kojève, the most famous interpreter of the German philosopher, Hegel be able to clarify the origin of the present supremacy of economic processes over all other fields of human activity.

A gloomy, rudderless France
By Patrice de Beer

It seems a hopeless task, as we see President François Hollande slide lower and lower in this slippery slope of unpopularity, now around 13% in opinion polls. But he is not alone. The entire élite class shares in this negative image amongst the population.

Review: Zakhar Prilepin’s ‘Sankya’
By Maxim Edwards

A cult novel by one of Russia’s most provocative and original writers has just come out in English translation. Both Medvedev and Putin have read the novel – a fact, which Prilepin attributes simply to the need to ‘know one’s enemy’

Is the ECB doing QE?
By Charles Wyplosz

The ECB announced that it would begin buying securities backed by bank lending to households and firms. The markets and the media generally greeted this announcement with enthusiasm, but Charles Wyplosz, Professor of International Economics, identifies reasons for caution.

Tackling Food and Fuel Subsidies
By Jeffrey Frankel

Subsidies for food and energy are economically inefficient, but can often be politically popular. Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government discusses the efforts by new leaders in Egypt, Indonesia, and India to cut unaffordable subsidies.

China and Latin America – Shock and Ore
By David Hill

China has become Latin America’s third biggest source of foreign investment as a mining boom unleashes a new wave of infrastructure funding explains David Hill in China Dialogue.

Investing for Europe’s Future
By Mateusz Szczurek

Polish Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek is calling for an EU-wide public investment programme of 5.5% of GDP to overcome Europe’s ‘secular stagnation’. He calculates that €700bn of capital expenditure could close the output gap while increasing long-term productivity growth.

Palestine and the ICC
By Victor Kattan

After a long process, various options are still open for Palestine with respect to joining the ICC explains Victor Kattan, a policy advisor to Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network, writing for the European Council on Foreign Relations.

 
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