Posted by: anotherworldip | 03/03/2013




Dear Project Syndicate reader,
Welcome to the February 2013 newsletter, bringing you the latest news from Project Syndicate and a selection of key commentaries from the past month. This month, we are pleased to present a new Focal Point on competing models of capitalism, and another on the relationship between the EU and the UK. To keep up-to-date with all of our content, visit our Web site regularly, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for your continued support.


The Clash of Capitalisms


Since the 2008 financial crisis, market-based economies in the West have experienced sharp downturns, exacerbating economic and social inequality, whereas state-capitalist economies, largely in the developing world, have maintained relatively strong growth, lifting millions out of poverty. In a new Focal PointProject Syndicate contributors consider which model is right for the post-crisis global economy. Commentaries include:

Dani Rodrik on the return of mercantilism

Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson on why China’s economic model will fail

Robert Skidelsky on how income inequality is killing market capitalism

Josef Ackermann on balancing the state and the market

To read the full Focal Point, click here.


London Not Calling

london not calling

The British have always been reluctant Europeans, and now Prime Minister David Cameron wants to renegotiate the terms of the UK’s EU membership and hold a referendum on the new agreement. Cameron claims to oppose leaving the EU, but has he become the sorcerer’s apprentice? In a new Focal PointProject Syndicate contributors consider the relationship between Britain and the EU. Commentaries include:

Peter Sutherland on the costs of Cameron’s re-negotiation strategy

Joschka Fischer on irresponsible euroskeptics

Tony Blair on why Britain should remain an active member of the EU

Ian Buruma on Britain as the democratic grit in Europe’s technocratic wheel

To read the full Focal Point, click here.


Most Recent Commentaries


The Tyranny of Political Economy

by Dani Rodrik

CAMBRIDGE – There was a time when we economists steered clear of politics. We viewed our job as describing how market economies work, when they fail, and how well-designed policies can enhance efficiency. We analyzed trade-offs between competing objectives (say, equity versus efficiency), and prescribed policies to meet desired economic outcomes, including redistribution. It was up to politicians to take our advice (or not), and to bureaucrats to implement it.

Then some of us became more ambitious. Frustrated by the reality that much of our advice went unheeded (so many free-market solutions still waiting to be taken up!), we turned our analytical toolkit on the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats themselves. We began to examine political behavior using the same conceptual framework that we use for consumer and producer decisions in a market economy. Politicians became income-maximizing suppliers of policy favors; citizens became rent-seeking lobbies and special interests; and political systems became marketplaces in which votes and political influence are traded for economic benefits…read more.

Frankel, Jeffrey

The Battle of the Bond Benchmarks

by Jeffrey Frankel

TOKYO – Some prominent institutional bond investors are shifting their focus from traditional benchmark indices, which weight countries’ debt issues by market capitalization, toward GDP-weighted indices. PIMCO, one of the world’s largest fixed-income investment firms, and the Government Pension Fund of Norway, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, have both recently made moves in this direction. But there is a risk that some investors could lose sight of the purposes of a benchmark index.

The benchmark exists to represent the views of the median investor. For many investors – both those who recognize their relative lack of sophistication and those who don’t – going with the benchmark is a good guideline. This is an implication of the efficient markets hypothesis (EMH), for example…read more.


Other Recent Commentaries


January’s Most Popular Commentaries

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