Project Syndicate

CAN YOU HAVE TOO MUCH 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.
THE WORLD'S BLIND SPOT

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.
NATURAL WATER-BORNE KILLERS

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.
TOO BIG TO DISRUPT

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.
DO THE MATH

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.
BUREAUCRAP

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.
POST-INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

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?
GETTING DIRTY TO CLEAN THINGS UP

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.
FEEDBACK LOOP

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.
A COLD, SHIRTLESS PLACE

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.