Some of the Biggest Brands Are Leaving Russia. Others Just Can’t Quit Putin. Here’s a List.

from NYTs In the latter half of the 1980s, roughly 200 American companies withdrew from South Africa, partly in protest against its apartheid system. As businesses fled the country, South Africa’s segregationist president, P.W. Botha, came under increasing economic pressure. The corporate exodus contributed to the end of apartheid, and was a remarkable display of the power that companies have. When they’re courageous enough to use that power for good, it can help topple repressive governments. Over the past six weeks, we’ve witnessed a similarly extensive response from the private sector to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Hundreds of American companies […]

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With China, a ‘Cold War’ Analogy Is Lazy and Dangerous

from NYTs A new idea is gaining currency among some politicians and policymakers in Washington: The United States is in a cold war with China. It’s a bad idea — bad on history, bad on politics, bad for our future. The Biden administration has wisely pushed back on the framing. But the president’s actions suggest that his strategy for dealing with China may indeed suffer from Cold War thinking, which locks our minds into the traditional two-dimensional chess model. Competition with China, though, is a three-dimensional game. And if we continue to play two-dimensional chess, we will lose. While neither […]

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A New Global Economic Consensus

from Project Syndicate The Washington Consensus is on its way out. In a report released this week, the G7 Economic Resilience Panel (where I represent Italy) demands a radically different relationship between the public and private sectors to create a sustainable, equitable, and resilient economy. When G20 leaders gather on October 30-31 to discuss how to “overcome the great challenges of today” – including the pandemic, climate change, rising inequality, and economic fragility – they must avoid falling back on the outdated assumptions that landed us in our current mess. The Washington Consensus defined the rules of the game for […]

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Why There Is No Solution To Our Age Of Crisis Without China

from The New Statesman In the summer of 2021 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is marking its centenary. It has much to celebrate. The most powerful communist party and by far the most powerful political organisation in the world, it has presided over the largest surge of economic growth ever witnessed. For both the West and China’s immediate neighbours, this unsettling and unexpected fact defines the early 21st century. China’s rise has undone any assumption that social and economic progress naturally leads to liberalism. Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty in 40 years by an authoritarian […]

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How Ai Translation Could Unseat English As The Lingua Franca Of The Business World

from Fast Company Anyone who has traveled to a country where the language spoken is not their native one knows that not conversing fluently (or at all) can turn even a VIP into a second-class citizen. Einstein himself would have struggled to express his intelligence in, say, Farsi. In one of my favorite episodes of Modern Family, Sofia Vergara’s character Gloria says in frustration, “You don’t know how smart I am in Spanish!” Even fluent speakers can face bias if they have an accent because of certain underlying perceptions that your language skills are correlated with your intelligence. No one […]

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What Happens When China Leads the World

from The Atlantic What kind of superpower will China be? That’s the question of the 21st century. According to American leaders such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, China will bea rapacious authoritarian nightmare, intent on destroying democracy itself. Beijing, needless to say, doesn’t quite agree. Fortunately for those of us seeking answers to this question, China was a major power for long stretches of history, and the foreign policies and practices of its great dynasties can offer us insights into how modern Chinese leaders may wield their widening power now and in the future. Of course, Chinese society today […]

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Keep an Eye on Taiwan

from The Atlantic Taiwan is one of those flash points that has never flashed. The dispute over the island’s fate has had the potential to erupt into conflict between China and the United States for decades. But the feared Chinese invasion has never come. The situation has remained deadlocked for so long that Taiwan’s quandary often drifts into the background of Asian affairs, overshadowed by seemingly more-pressing concerns, such as North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and inflamed tensions between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. Not now. With an erratic President Donald Trump distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as his […]

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EU Launching Deep Probe Into Google’s Planned $2.1 Billion Fitbit Buy

from ars technica Regulators in the European Union are launching a deep investigation into Google’s proposed acquisition of wearables maker Fitbit after expressing concerns that giving Google access to Fitbit’s user data could “distort competition.” The Commission’s in-depth investigation will examine not only the potential outcomes for the advertising market if the transaction goes through, but it will also look at the effects of the deal on the digital healthcare sector and the potential for Google to lock competitors out of access to Android users. More here.

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Why Is South Korea a Global Broadband Leader?

from EFF A universal fiber network that was completed years ago. Millions of 5G users. Some of the world’s fastest and cheapest broadband connections. South Korea has all of these, while other nations that have the same resources lag behind. How did South Korea become a global leader in the first place? EFF did a deep dive into this question and has produced the following report. The key takeaway: government policies that focus on expanding access to telecommunications infrastructure were essential to success. More here.

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How to Be an Expatriate in 2020

from NYTs Three years ago, Chuck Burgess and Kerstin Michaelsen were comfortably set up in New York City with good careers, a home in Manhattan and another in the Hamptons. But they yearned for something more. Not more in the sense of material things, but in the satisfaction derived from new adventures and new lands. They fantasized about moving abroad — an idea that seemed more attractive as the couple, both 50, settled into midlife. Ultimately it was a “heightened sense of our mortality,” Mr. Burgess said, that gave them the prod they needed, after three of their parents died […]

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