The right way to think about cryptocurrency coins is as lottery tickets that pay off in a dystopian future where they are used in rogue and failed states, or perhaps in countries where citizens have already lost all semblance of privacy. That means that cryptocurrencies are not entirely worthless.
The promise to cure the world's ills through "decentralization" was just a ruse to separate retail investors from their hard-earned real money.
When it comes to investment decisions, economists focus on the most efficient use of resources, as revealed by cost-benefit analysis. But, despite the obvious advantages of this approach, optimal efficiency is not always desirable, and the long-term benefits of an investment are not always clear from the start.
ISIS is not especially difficult to defeat. The problem is that none of the states involved in Iraq and Syria, including the United States and its allies, has so far treated ISIS as its primary foe. It’s time they do.
The continual drop of oil prices suggests its importance in the global economy is waning.
In far too many places around the world, the biggest child killers are caused by the smallest of organisms — the viruses, bacteria, and single cell parasites that cause diarrhea and pneumonia.
It is a rare industry nowadays that is not at risk of being upended by digital technology. So it is no surprise that banking and financial-services companies are not safe from the immense transformations wrought by technological innovation. But there is reason to believe that finance will prove resilient.
Over the last 15 years, the bottled-water industry has experienced explosive growth, which shows no sign of slowing. This has been a disaster for the environment and the world’s poor.
There is a disconcerting undertone to a new round of criticism of economics that needs to be made explicit – and rejected. Economics is not the kind of science in which there could ever be one true model that works best in all contexts. The point is not “to reach a consensus about which model is right,” but to figure out which model applies best in a given setting.
Conscientious universities everywhere, well aware of how fast the world is changing, are now working hard to find better ways to educate their students to become responsible global citizens.
The risk governments face is clear enough: absent a profound reengineering, inertial spending — owing to entitlements and civil-service wages — is bound to crowd out spending on new priorities and new policies.
For the first time, the number of deaths caused by cervical cancer every year is poised to outstrip the total caused by childbirth. The tragedy is that these deaths are almost entirely preventable.
The world in which clearly defined sectors enable easy classification of what a company does is disappearing before our eyes. Is Apple a technology company or a luxury watchmaker? Is Google a search-engine firm or an up-and-coming car company manufacturing driverless vehicles?
The truth is that there is enough money in the world to end poverty. One unexpected source of wealth that could play a large role is the world’s huge supply of dirty money: multinational companies’ undeclared profits, the proceeds of corruption, and the earnings of traffickers of drugs, weapons, and people — all of which is stashed away in offshore bank accounts, companies, and trusts.
Although some readers might not care for gossipy reports of brusque bellboys in Berlin or malfunctioning hotel hairdryers in Houston, the true power of online reviews lies not just in the individual stories, but in the Web sites’ capacity to aggregate a large volume of ratings.
The West has no idea what Russia is willing to do, but Russia knows exactly what the West will – and, more important, will not – do. This has created a dangerous asymmetry, which could spell disaster for the international order that has existed since the end of the Cold War.
In which Tony Blair really actually does blame Islam for a brutal act of terrorism.
This month marks the tenth anniversary of the controversial American-led invasion of Iraq. What has that decision wrought over the last decade? More important, was the decision to invade rightly made?