The October 2017 Newsletter

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 University looks at the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Economics to Richard Thaler; Patrice de Beer examines what is happening and likely to happen in the future in Catalonia; Harry Blain looks at the colossal scale of waste at the Pentagon and much more.

Bismarck’s health insurance
By Stefan Bauernschuster, Anastasia Driva, Erik Hornung

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

Plastics are making our oceans sick
By Olivia Boyd

Filmmaker Jo Ruxton talks about why she left the BBC to tell a more honest story about our seas. Once you get into your head that plastic’s not disposable, there are so many changes you can make.

The Scale of Pentagon Waste
By Harry Blain

If any other public agency had blown hundreds of billions of dollars, Congress would hold hearings. If it's the Pentagon, it gets $80 billion more. It’s worth asking: Where does the money go?

Richard Thaler, Nobel laureate
By Hersh Shefrin

Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Hersh Shefrin looks at the development of three key areas of his research: people’s limited rationality, their perceptions about fairness, and their lack of self-control.

AIIB invests in Egyptian solar
By Liu Qin

It’s early days for solar power in Egypt but already the sector is attracting significant attention from big development banks, including investment by the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

The Neymar Bubble
By Eran Yashiv

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.

Catalonia: now what?
By Patrice de Beer

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."

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