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The State of the Market

By Joseph E. Stiglitz in Economics and Finance, January 17, 2022

The right balance between the role of the state and the market is key for susccesful development.

Bismarck’s health insurance

By Stefan Bauernschuster, Anastasia Driva, Erik Hornung in Features, November 20, 2021

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

Restoring the Mosaics of San Vitale

By Livia Alberti in Arts and Culture,

The VI century Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna is a unique example of Byzantine art and culture. In recent times an important conservation project has restored the basilica’s mosaic wall decorations to their full glory. Livia Alberti was one of the leaders of the restoration team.

Tree of the Wooden Clogs

By Robert Arnold in Arts and Culture,

Robert Arnold looks back at Italian director Ermanno Olmi’s masterpiece “The Tree of Wooden Clogs” (L’Albero degli Zoccoli), winner of 14 awards including the Palme d’Or for Best film at Cannes in 1978 and the César Award in the same year for Best Foreign Film.

Crypto currencies don’t make sense

By Jon Danielsson in Economics and Finance, November 19, 2021

Cryptocurrencies are supposedly a new and superior form of money and investments – the way of the future. The author of this article, however, does not see the point of cryptocurrencies, finding them no better than existing fiat money or good investments.

The Mariinsky Ballet

By Valentina Bonelli in Arts and Culture, January 16, 2021

Valentina Bonelli looks at the history of the Mariinsky Theatre Ballet Company from its glorious beginnings under the creative direction of Marius Petipa and the patronage of the Tsars through the Soviet era and socialist realism up until the present day.

The World’s Best Travel Book

By Allston Mitchell in Travel Writing, November 20, 2020

“The Way of the World” is a 1950s travelogue of a trip that Nicolas Bouvier and Thierry Vernet took from Geneva to the Khyber Pass in their faithful FIAT Topolino. Bouvier’s account is now famous amongst travel literature lovers and is generally considered to be the best travel book ever written.

Rituals of the Russian Banya

By Vlad Chorazy in Features,

Steam baths are well-known in many European countries, but maybe only in Russia is the steam-bathing “banya” tradition such a subject of national pride and an attribute of Russianness, and rightly so.

Marius Petipa: the Tsar of Ballet

By Valentina Bonelli in Arts and Culture, January 16, 2020

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”.

Gold as Monetary Arbiter

By Michael Taylor in Economics and Finance, October 14, 2018

Michael Taylor looks at the evolving role of gold and how central banks have (mostly) learned that in the absence of the discipline of gold, their principal job is to protect the financial stability which alone confers value on scrip money.