Berfrois

Welfare for the Rich

Welfare for the Rich

Christy Mack and Susan Karches From Rolling Stone: America has two national budgets, one official, one unofficial. The official budget is public record and hotly debated: Money comes in as taxes and goes out as jet fighters, DEA agents, wheat subsidies and Medicare, plus pensions and bennies for that...

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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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Eugenia Herbert on Julia Margaret Cameron

The Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron is currently undergoing a revival with a recent exhibition of her work at the Metropolitan Museum in New...

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Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

At one point near the end of his unfinished novel Jean Santeuil, Marcel Proust describes a painting by Claude Monet from 1897, titled “Bras...

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An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

There is perhaps nothing more enigmatic in the history of philosophy than that which in the tradition is known as the active intellect (nous...

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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Jason S. Polley: Prawns

The suburbs, aka first-world neighborhoods, are present via their conspicuous near visual absence in 2009’s District 9, a film focusing on an increasingly disorderly...

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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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Jesse Miksic on Dark Souls II

Is Dark Souls II the crowning rebirth of Gothic Romance for the digital age? I'm being dramatic, I realize. The spirit of Gothic has...

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Michael Munro
A Quotation and Provocation by Michael Munro

The teleology of the Universe is directed to the production of Beauty. That is the opening line of the text, its first thesis. It’s...

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Menachem Feuer
Menachem Feuer: Schlemiels

As human beings we have to “court” failure. This term suggests two things: on the one hand, it suggests dating and becoming intimate with...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie with James Franco

Every day after that, I stood outside The Italian Restaurant on Fourteenth Street until it closed. I didn’t even smoke. The guy from The...

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Henry Giardina
Henry Giardina: Furrows and Hollows

There’s an oft-quoted line out of Candide that goes, “I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I have never fallen...

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Ashley James
Ashley James: Personhood

It seemed that by the close of January this year, the entire country could recognize the face of Sergeant Cory Remsburg: Near the tail-end...

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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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