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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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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‘Obama knew little economics, however, and he took the word of the orthodox…’

‘Obama knew little economics, however, and he took the word of the orthodox…’

From London Review of Books: Of all Obama’s appointments, the most damaging to his credibility with liberal supporters were Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner, the chief economic adviser and the secretary of the treasury. Geithner has the air of a perpetual young man looking out for the interests of...

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Zombie Economic Ideas That Refuse to Die

Zombie Economic Ideas That Refuse to Die

From Foreign Policy: Theories, factual claims, and policy proposals that seemed dead and buried in the wake of the  financial crisis are now clawing their way through the soft earth, ready to wreak havoc once again. Five of these zombie ideas seem worthy of particular attention and, if possible,...

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The Time of Monsters

The Time of Monsters

Athens protest, May 5, 2010, Jesse Garcia   From New left Review: During this year’s protests against the Eurozone’s austerity measures—in Greece and, on a smaller scale, Ireland, Italy and Spain—two stories have imposed themselves. The predominant, establishment story proposes a de-politicized naturalization of the crisis: the regulatory measures...

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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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