The fifth risk

Jacques Delors, a former head of the European Commission who championed closer integration, rightly pointed out that “nobody can fall in love with the single market”. There is nothing flashy about reworking bankruptcy rules or tax regimes.

—The Economist in ‘A singular opportunity


This is very relevant in the times of Trump, BoJo and social media memes. Michael Lewis’ book, The Fifth Risk, touches on this in the US context. But like Jacques points out, it’s unglamorous work and his writing can only make it so much more interesting.

The small big difference

The bad will be there no matter what, while the good requires major efforts,” says Vladimir Kattsov, director of Russia’s Voeikov Geophysical Observatory.

—The Economist in ‘Why Russia is ambivalent about climate change


He’s talking about the potential benefits of climate change to Russia—opening of Arctic route and availability of Tundra lands for farming—versus the threats—more frequent droughts, floods and crop failures in current farmed areas.

Historical memorials are not enough to stop anti-Semitism in Europe

“Only when the generation that survived the war is no longer with us,” said Angela Merkel last year, “will we discover if we have learned from history.”

—The Economist, in ‘Historical memorials are not enough to stop anti-Semitism in Europe

Continue reading Historical memorials are not enough to stop anti-Semitism in Europe

Social safety valves & experienced dictators

The dispirited remnants of Egypt’s civil society miss the relative openness. Mr Mubarak allowed a bit of space for opposition, as a safety valve and a sop to the West. Mr Sisi has ramped up executions and persecutes even supporters who step out of line. “They were professionals. Now they’re amateurs,” says one activist of those in charge.

—The Economist, in ‘Many Egyptians miss their deposed president, Hosni Mubarak

What makes the City succeed

Today the magic formula has many parts: openness to people and capital, the time zone, proximity to subsea data cables, and posh schools. But, above all, it relies on stable politics and regulation, close ties to America and seamless ones to Europe.

—The Economist, in ‘Can the City survive Brexit?