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The Neymar Bubble

By Eran Yashiv in Economics and Finance, October 8, 2017

The €222 million transfer of Neymar to PSG calls into question whether football superstars are a good investment. Using the financial details of the transfer, at the price paid, Neymar has a negative net present value. While there are other explanations for PSG’s willingness to pay, in purely economic terms his contract seems a bad investment.

Bismarck’s health insurance

By Stefan Bauernschuster, Anastasia Driva, Erik Hornung in Features,

The model for today’s health insurance systems was Otto von Bismarck’s compulsory health insurance, introduced in the German Empire in 1884. contemporary mortality data to show that, by extending access to healthcare, Bismarck’s health insurance significantly reduced mortality rates for blue-collar workers

Catalonia: now what?

By Patrice de Beer in Politics, October 7, 2017

The time has come for Europe to make its voice heard, after Madrid’s brutal repression and failure to listen to many of its own people. “Rajoy has shown himself unable to foresee the crisis which has been brewing ever since the Constitutional Tribunal invalidated the “Estatut” in 2010.”

“Nothingwood” by Sonia Kronlund

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture, September 14, 2017

Hollywood! Bollywood! Nollywood! Nothingwood! A gem of a documentary that took the Cannes Film Festival by storm. A wry look at the Afghan film industry through the life and career of Salim Shaheen.

Erdoğan: prophetic leader or political suicide?

By Daniel Petcu in Politics,

If Erdoğan persists in his callous quest, it will only be a matter of time before he succumbs to increasing economic pressure that will threaten to leave the country destitute.

Arms bazaar: needs wars, eats lives

By Paul Rogers in Politics,

A world of conflict and fear means boom time for big military companies. Wars and rumours of wars require constant supplies, and this is where that perennial of human activity, the arms bazaar, comes in.

Victory at last

By Tom Engelhardt in Politics, September 12, 2017

In America’s wars, failure is the new success. Three generals stand alone, except for President Trump’s own family members, at the pinnacle of power in Washington. Our losing wars, it seems, are a necessary backdrop for the ultimate winning war in our nation’s capital.

Yemen: a tragic tale of humanitarian hypocrisy

By Anastasia Kyriacou in Politics,

Humanitarian crises around the world will fail to be resolved if the providers of aid are also the perpetrators of the conflict.

The new spring of A.I.

By Jacques Bughin, Eric Hazan in Features,

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, this column describes how artificial intelligence is experiencing a new spring and is here to stay.

Trump and the Geopolitics of Crazy

By John Feffer in Politics,

Some in the Trump administration are still eyeing regime change in North Korea. They’re missing what’s really going on over there. The fever dream of regime change has persisted in Washington for decades like a bad case of political malaria that repeated doses of realism have never quite eradicated.