Berfrois

Capital Thinker

Capital Thinker

From The Chronicle Review: Praising Karl Marx might seem as perverse as putting in a good word for the Boston Strangler. Were not Marx’s ideas responsible for despotism, mass murder, labor camps, economic catastrophe, and the loss of liberty for millions of men and women? Was not one of...

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1%

1%

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% | by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Vanity Fair

It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a...

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Capitalism at its Historical Limits

Capitalism at its Historical Limits

From The Chronicle Review: Apart from the patently nonreality-based dissent of its Republican members, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission could hardly have expected the report it issued in January to arouse much excitement. After a year and a half of research and the testimony of academics and other economic...

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Mega-Megacities

Mega-Megacities

Mexico City by Klaus Desmet and  Esteban Rossi-Hansberg Are the world’s megacities becoming a sprawling, overfed, and uncontrollable mass that needs to be restrained for the good of society and the environment? This column suggests that policies aimed at reducing the dispersion in city sizes will hardly improve the...

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How the Celtic Tiger Lost Its Stripes

How the Celtic Tiger Lost Its Stripes

Ireland on the turn? | by Daniel Finn

New Left Review

For much of the past two decades, the Republic of Ireland found itself hailed as a crowning glory of neo-liberalism. Between 1993 and 2000, Irish gnp grew by an average of...

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‘Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era…’

‘Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era…’

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, 20th Century Fox, 2010 From Rolling Stone: Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,” he said. “That’s...

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Psychodrama of the IMF

Psychodrama of the IMF

Ben Heine by Biagio Bossone In the years leading up to the global crisis, the IMF routinely failed to detect the vulnerabilities that brought the global economy to its knees – even once the turmoil had begun. How could the organisation mandated to oversee international finance stability have been...

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C+V+S

C+V+S

Photograph by Phil Douglis From London Review of Books: In the case of real estate, it might happen – as it has – that more building and selling of houses has been financed than can actually be paid for with income deriving, in the last instance, from production. So...

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It seemed inevitable that the dollar would lose its exorbitant privilege. But the currency is here to stay, if only for want of an alternative…

It seemed inevitable that the dollar would lose its exorbitant privilege. But the currency is here to stay, if only for want of an alternative…

by Barry Eichengreen The dollar’s key role in international markets is once again in the spotlight. This column introduces a new book by Barry Eichengreen: Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System. As the author puts it, “If you...

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Manifesto of the Appalled Economists

Manifesto of the Appalled Economists

Atelier Tee From European Alternatives: The world economic recovery, permitted by a massive injection of public spending into the economy, is fragile but real. One continent lags behind, Europe. Finding again the path of growth is no longer its priority policy. Europe has embarked on another path: the fight...

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Martin Gilman has déjà vu all over again…

Martin Gilman has déjà vu all over again…

by Martin Gilman From my perch in Moscow, the inimitable words of Yogi Berra come to mind as I watch the economic turmoil in Ireland and the contagion effects on others that constitute the soft underside of the eurozone currency area. The sense of déjà vu is palpable.  No,...

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Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

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Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says...

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Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Contemporary narrators feel entitled to their own realities now more than ever. The internet has created this fascinating binary, one in which individuals can...

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Henry Giardina on Bob Hope

All mythical creatures need an origin story. The Bob Hope character springs into being, Athena-like, from out of the head of Preston Sturges in...

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Mattilda B. Sycamore: Yearning From Spurning

One problem with gentrification is that it always gets worse. But then I go into a Hooters, and it’s a vintage clothing store. A...

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Alexander McGregor
Alexander McGregor: Trauma

Following World War II, the German philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote, “Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch”: to write poetry after Auschwitz is...

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John Crutchfield: Chords

But music, even bad music, is a symptom of hope, is it not? Naturally one would prefer the music to be good, but any...

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Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

Regardless of whether you are from Europe, the United States, Asia, or Africa, we can all agree that there is something special about the...

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Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

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Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

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A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

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