Project Syndicate | The Daily Star
  • The Upgrade Myth

    From the pocket calculator to the Prius, I've always been what they call an “early adopter.” I was a technology enthusiast, a lover of progress, eager to move into the future. No more.

  • Central Banks in the dock

    On November 11, 1997, the Bank of England took a big step toward independence, courtesy of the second reading in the House of Commons of a bill amending the Bank Act of 1946. The bill gave legislative affirmation to the decision,

  • A Federal Spain in a Federal Europe

    I have always been a profound admirer of Spanish democracy, but especially since February 23, 1981. On that dramatic day, Colonel Antonio Tejero attempted a coup d'état against the young democratic regime.

  • Keeping US policymaking honest

    In a recent appearance here at the University of California, Berkeley, Alice Rivlin expressed optimism about the future of economic policymaking in the United States. What Rivlin—who served as Vice Chair of the US Federal Reserve,

  • The curious case of the missing defaults

    Booms and busts in international capital flows and commodity prices, as well as the vagaries of international interest rates, have long been associated with economic crises, especially—but not exclusively—in emerging markets.

  • Has Trump captured the Fed?

    One of the important powers of any US president is to appoint members and heads of the many agencies that are responsible for implementing the country's laws and regulations and, in many cases, governing the economy.

  • Publicising plight journalists

    Publicising the plight of journalists

    Every five days, on average, somewhere in the world, a journalist is murdered for being a journalist. Nine out of ten times, no one is prosecuted, creating an atmosphere of impunity that extends beyond death threats or violence.

  • Fake news and biased news

    Interviews are always tricky. If an unscrupulous interviewer is looking for a particular answer or claim, they have the power to edit, manipulate, or even rewrite their subject's words to that end.

  • The only way forward on North Korea

    Could the world soon witness another devastating war on the Korean Peninsula? That question looms large in many conversations these days.

  • Pre-empting the next pandemic

    Recent disease outbreaks, like Ebola and Zika, have demonstrated the need to anticipate pandemics and contain them before they emerge.

  • Cybersecurity starts at the top

    Every time a major corporate cybersecurity breach occurs, the response looks pretty much the same: cry “havoc!” and call in the cyber first responders to close the breach. But by the time an executive or two stands before a few government committees, proffering some explanation and pledging to beef up security protocols, people—including the hackers—have largely moved on.

  • The economic case for China's Belt and Road

    Since 2013, China has been pursuing its “Belt and Road” initiative, which aims to develop physical infrastructure and policy linkages connecting more than 60 countries across Asia, Europe, and Africa.

  • Intellectual property for the 21st-century

    The patent system can be thought of as awarding a prize. But the prize impedes the flow of knowledge, reduces the benefits derived from it, and distorts the economy.

  • Trump is strengthening Iran's radicals

    The United States and Iran have rarely agreed on how to proceed with nuclear talks or other elements of their bilateral relations. But synergies and similarities between two factions—Iranian hardliners and the hawks of the current US administration—are as counterintuitive as they are profound.

  • Republicans' responsibility for gun violence

    After the mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 1, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that, “It's particularly inappropriate to politicise an event like this. It just happened within the last day and a half.”

  • South Korea's looming crisis

    Twenty years after the Asian financial crisis, South Korea seems to have learned its lesson, having taken great pains to strengthen its economic resilience.

  • Is South Asia the new Middle East?

    The Middle East is often viewed as a region waylaid by feelings of collective humiliation and violent rivalries, both between and within countries.

  • A test for Europe's German anchor

    The outcome of Germany's federal election holds a crucial lesson for the European Union: even the country that has been the EU's bedrock of stability amid crisis is not immune to political fragmentation and polarisation.

  • Redefining Europe, and Europeans

    Travelling through Germany in the run-up to its federal election on September 24, one cannot help but be struck by the lingering signs of profound trauma from the 2015 refugee crisis.

  • The literary magic of Harry Potter

    This summer, at literary festivals and bookstores around the world, readers celebrated the 20-year anniversary of the debut of the first book in JK Rowling's Harry Potter series—Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (re-titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States)—and with good reason.

  • Counting what counts in development

    To most people, “development” is best measured by the quantity of change – like gains in average income, life expectancy, or years spent in school. The Human Development Index (HDI), a composite measure of national progress that my office at the United Nations Development Programme oversees, combines all three statistics to rank countries relative to one another.

  • Data driven gender equality

    A key agenda item at this year's annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, under way this week, will be to assess global progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN's consensus roadmap for solving the world's biggest challenges by 2030.

  • An American political tragedy

    US President Donald Trump's nearly eight months in office have been characterised by a series of disturbing political developments.

  • Ending the torture trade

    Shock belts, spiked batons, and electrified thumbscrews can serve no other purpose than to inflict pain on people. But despite the fact that torture is prohibited by international law, goods such as these are still produced and sold, finding their way to buyers around the globe.

  • Optimising decision-making in a dangerous world

    The United States and China have reached a precarious moment in their relationship. Ensuring a peaceful outcome will be the greatest geopolitical challenge of the twenty-first century. Are our leaders up to it?

  • A "China First" strategy for North Korea

    Most pundits agree that the least bad way to deal with North Korea's nuclear sabre rattling is a continued combination of tight containment and aggressive diplomacy. Fewer, however, have recognised that the least bad military option is a Chinese invasion, or regime change forced through China's threat to launch one.

  • Combating hatred with history

    After a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which anti-fascist campaigner Heather Heyer was killed, and many others injured, US President Donald Trump notoriously blamed “both sides” for the violence.

  • Trump's doomed Afghan strategy

    The implications of Trump's speech extend beyond America's policy in Afghanistan. The address also sharpened the contours—already limned during his May visit to Saudi Arabia and his July visit to Poland—of what might be called the “Trump doctrine.”

  • Why Stephen Bannon had to go

    Stephen Bannon wasn't particularly wise as a White House aide—he couldn't contain his inner peacock—and Donald Trump's ego is particularly fragile. Both are or were misfits in their roles.

  • Revenge of the experts

    The Brexit debate is an endless source of mirth for anyone with a dark sense of humour. My own favourite quote is from Michael Gove, currently Britain's environment secretary.