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Brazil: the road to 2018

By Arthur Ituassu in Politics, October 30, 2014

The four years ahead promise dramatic developments for Brazil’s political environment, with economic and political turbulence that will probably make it a difficult period for Dilma Rousseff.

The new ‘Secular Stagnation hypothesis’

By Lawrence Summers in Economics and Finance,

The notion that Europe and other advanced economies are suffering secular stagnation is gaining traction explains Lawrence Summers, President Emeritus at Harvard University.

The Lost World of the London Coffee House

By Dr Matthew Green in Arts and Culture,

In contrast to today’s rather mundane spawn of coffeehouse chains, the London of the 17th and 18th century was home to an eclectic and thriving coffee drinking scene.

Palan on Piketty

By Jonathan Nitzan - Shimshon Bichler in Economics and Finance, October 29, 2014

The authors of ‘Capital as Power’ comment on Ronen Palan’s article ‘Capitalising the Future’ (previously posted in August of this year), finding much to disagree with regarding his interpretation of Thomas Picketty’s theory that when the return on capital far exceeds the rate of growth of the economy it leads to the concentration of capital in fewer and fewer hands.

Forward Guidance

By David Miles in Economics and Finance,

Professor David Miles, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England explains that many central banks embrace forward guidance by announcing expected interest rate paths. But how likely it is that actual rates will be close to expected ones? Precise probability statements in a world of uncertainty (not just risk) can be misleading.

Weighing History in China

By Kerry Brown in Features,

A memoir of the cultural revolution by Mei Zhi about her husband Zhang Guangren, better known under his pen-name Hu Feng, reveals both the human cost of that era in China and helps explain the curious strategy of its current leadership.

Marius Petipa: the Tsar of Ballet

By Valentina Bonelli in Arts and Culture, October 27, 2014

Petipa was most probably the most influential ballet choreographer there has ever been. He was the Premier Maître de Ballet of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres from 1871 to 1903. He created a huge number of ballets among which were “Swan Lake”, “The Nutcracker” and “Sleeping Beauty”.

Hong Kong Central vs. China’s Centre

By François Godement in Politics, October 6, 2014

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 in Economics and Finance, October 3, 2014

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 in Features, October 1, 2014

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.