The Great Debate UK

Keep calm – you are middle aged but could still become a genius

February 19, 2014

A fascinating study from the U.S.’s National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) entitled “How does Age Affect Scientific Genius” was a breath of fresh air for those of us hurtling towards middle age. Images of precocious youngsters going to university at age six and making their first million in their early teens are, thankfully, few and far between. It is mid-career when your genius peaks, according to the paper written by Benjamin Jones, EJ Ready and Bruce Weinberg.

from The Great Debate:

Ukraine after the Maidan

By William E. Pomeranz
February 19, 2014

Writing the first draft of history is always difficult, especially when the opening act curtain has not officially fallen. Yet developments in Ukraine have now reached a critical turning point, with certain consequences likely to follow.

from The Great Debate:

The religion-fueled fight in Syria

By David Patrikarakos
February 19, 2014

The second round of peace talks in Geneva between representatives of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in Syria and rebel forces has ended with both sides blaming each other for the lack of progress. Beyond the finger-pointing, however, lies a growing danger to the goal of a negotiated settlement. The civil war’s religious divides are widening, making compromise unthinkable.

from Lawrence Summers:

On inequality

By Lawrence Summers
February 17, 2014

Inequality has emerged as a major economic issue in the United States and beyond.

from The Great Debate:

In the Netherlands, bankers turn to God — by law

By Peter Gumbel
February 12, 2014

 

Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, once famously said he believed banks were doing “God’s work.” Now, the Netherlands is going one step further: starting later this year, all 90,000 Dutch bankers will have to swear an oath that they’ll do their “utmost to maintain and promote confidence in the financial-services industry. So help me God.”

The Sochi Olympics: Russia’s Double-Curse?

By Guest Contributor
February 6, 2014

Vadislav Zubok–Professor Vladislav Zubok is Head of the Russia in Global Affairs Programme at LSE IDEAS. The opinions expressed are his own.–

from The Great Debate:

Putin’s Occupation Olympics

By Eugene Kontorovich
February 5, 2014

The upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi has naturally led to a critical look at the host country’s human rights record, with particular focus on issues such as the treatment of gays and journalists.

from The Great Debate:

Moscow fiddles, while Kiev burns

By William E. Pomeranz
January 31, 2014

Timing is everything in politics, and this adage could not be truer for the whirlwind now enveloping Russia and Ukraine. Both countries are in the headlines -- Russia for the coming $50 billion Winter Olympics extravaganza, and Ukraine for an economic and political collapse that has left the country on the cusp of revolution.

from The Great Debate:

In France, where unions rule, a challenge from Hollande

By Peter Gumbel
January 29, 2014

In France, taking a person hostage or sequestering them against their will is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in jail. It also happens to be a very effective weapon in French labor disputes. Since 2009, there have been 15 incidents of “boss-napping” and only one resulted in sanctions: 11 postal workers who were fined $2,000 apiece for locking up their managers during a dispute over a change in how the mail is delivered.

Was Nigel Farage right about mothers in the City?

January 24, 2014

And the award for foot in mouth this week goes to… UKIP, again. This time it was leader Nigel Farage, who said that women who take time off to have children are worth less to their employer. He said this to an audience of (presumably) men in the City and rounded it off by saying there is no sexism in financial services and that childless women are more than a match for their male counterparts.