Berfrois

Information Over Muskets

Information Over Muskets

Kim Jong-un, Vasily Galaktionov, 2013 by Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman The changing dictatorships Dictatorships are not what they used to be. The totalitarian tyrants of the past – such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot – employed terror, indoctrination, and isolation to monopolise power. Although less ideological, many 20th-century military regimes also relied on mass…

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Financial repression measures seen thus far are but the tip of a very large iceberg…

Financial repression measures seen thus far are but the tip of a very large iceberg…

As coined by Ronald McKinnon (1973), the term “financial repression” describes various policies that allow governments to “capture” and “under-pay” domestic savers. Such policies include forced lending to governments by pension funds and other domestic financial institutions, interest-rate caps, capital controls, and many more.

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CAPITALISM

CAPITALISM

by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei and Jonas Staal Introduction The following two works were produced by visual artist Jonas Staal and writer Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei during a visit as artists in residence at The Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa during the summer of 2010. Both works...

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Carl Wennerlind: Credit Alchemy!

Carl Wennerlind: Credit Alchemy!

by Carl Wennerlind When the philosopher Baruch de Spinoza received word of a successful transmutation of lead into gold in December of 1666, he quickly sought to quell his skepticism by personally visiting the adept, and the visit left him fully convinced of the veracity of the adept’s account....

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Hayek’s review of the Treatise in Economica appeared technical in character, but it was politically charged…

Hayek’s review of the Treatise in Economica appeared technical in character, but it was politically charged…

The Theatre, LSE, c.1930. Photograph from LSE Library Collection From The Times Literary Supplement: In London, Robbins had experienced Keynes’s less attractive side. They had both been appointed to the Macmillan Committee on Finance and Industry, which was intended to find answers to the severe economic downturn then under...

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Michael Schiltz: Yen Blocism

Michael Schiltz: Yen Blocism

We are living through ominous times. In the wake of the 2008 subprime crisis, the world economy has been battered by a series of profound shocks that have not been experienced since the 1930s.

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Flawedonomics

Flawedonomics

From Freakonomics, Cold Fusion, 2010 From American Scientist: The nonfiction publishing phenomenon known as Freakonomics has passed its sixth anniversary. The original book, which used ideas from statistics and economics to explore real-world problems, was an instant bestseller. By 2011, it had sold more than four million copies worldwide,...

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Hedge Tip

Hedge Tip

John Bedford Lloyd playing the character Bill Clark (based on Henry Paulson), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, 20th Century Fox, 2010 From Bloomberg: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson stepped off the elevator into the Third Avenue offices of hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management LP in Manhattan. It was July...

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Squeezed

Squeezed

by Justin E. H. Smith In 1994 I was admitted to a few Ph.D. programs, but only two of them were not from my back-up list. One of these was UCLA, where I was admitted with full-funding for the doctoral program in Slavic linguistics, and the other was Columbia,...

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Are the Chinese prone to money illusion?

Are the Chinese prone to money illusion?

China’s monetary policy and its inflation have got people talking – particularly about the effect on other countries. But what about its effect on China’s people? Are they fooled by money illusion?

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Motives Matter

Motives Matter

by Tim Besley and Maitreesh Ghatak As we approach three years since the fall of Lehman Brothers, the incentives that led the financial sector to take on too much risk still exist. This column argues that they will remain so long as governments continue to provide an implicit guarantee that...

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Did anti-regulation lobbying fuel the subprime crisis?

Did anti-regulation lobbying fuel the subprime crisis?

by Deniz Igan and Prachi Mishra Did anti-regulation lobbying fuel the subprime crisis? This column shows that there is a strong relationship between financial industry lobbying and favourable financial regulation legislation. It argues that the financial industry fought, and defeated, measures that might have curbed some of the reckless...

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Take My Wealth, Please (Or Not)

Take My Wealth, Please (Or Not)

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich | by Warren E. Buffett

The New York Times

Our leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting....

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Oliver Farry on Michel Houellebecq

The peculiar circumstances surrounding the publication of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel constitute a case study in how even the biggest literary news stories are,...

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McKenzie Wark
Information in Chains

“Information wants to be free, but is everywhere in chains.” The development of the forces of production took a qualitatively different turn when information...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie: Organic Fortune

isis - ebola - obama hit by halal truck (where is duchamp?)

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Bharat Azad
Bharat Azad Meets Adair Turner

In a quiet office tucked away in Mayfair – over a long table so white I am hesitant to even place my fingers on...

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Andre Gerard: Light Here, Shadow There

The deeper one looks in To the Lighthouse the more one sees. The more one listens the more one hears. Homer, Shakespeare, Conrad and...

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Claudia Landolfi: Europe’s Colonial Perversion

The aftermath of a violent act or after a sharp change of political horizons is also a crisis of imagination and language. The rupture...

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Jerry Moore: Feverish Rivers

I learned that Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff had been a Nazi when I was in a Santa Marta supermarket. I had just stepped into the Exito...

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Lauren Berlant
Lauren Berlant flies

Most of the writing we do is actually a performance of stuckness. It is a record of where we got stuck on a question...

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Robyn Ferrell on Balthus

The pitfalls of identification, hero-worship, envy and malice can beset the most patient writer in the throes of five hundred-plus pages of attention to...

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Michael Munro on Spinoza

Immanence is not philosophy, nor philosophy immanence. But there is in the passage from one to the other a modification of sense that is...

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David Beer
David Beer: Broadcastwerk

Writing at sometime around 1930 or 1931, Walter Benjamin suggested that the voice on the radio is a like a visitor in the home,...

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Rose Barnsley: Young, Gifted and Žižekian

At nineteen, it is easy to think that all you're missing is the right movement. But there is something about the young left wing...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Rama’s And

While local journalists were once again busy regurgitating worn-down, coma inducing positions about yet another spectral appearance of Enver Hoxha at the celebration of...

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Playing the Percentages: Berfrois Interviews Danny Dorling

The portrait of the 1% in your book is one of sociopathic, power-hungry narcissists with a striking lack of empathy. This may seem antagonistic,...

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