5 insightful op-eds or articles to help make sense of today’s world

Mohamed El-Erian, “Markets Are Making a Sucker’s Bet on Europe”
(Bloomberg View, August 14, 2013)
Or why bad economic data is regarded as good news by the markets… The financial pundit explains the paradox of bad news for Main Street being treated as good news by Wall Street. This is only a reflection of expectations that the European Central Bank will engage in more monetary stimulus to battle against recessionary and deflationary forces. However, El-Erian argues that further ECB actions will prove insufficient to decisively change the euro area’s economic situation.

Tim Fernholz, “Will wildly expensive housing devour the economies of wealthy countries?”
(Quartz, August 15, 2014)
Looking at housing prices to critic some of Piketty’s results, the journalist observes that the explanation for the huge increases in housing prices isn’t embedded in the buildings, but in the land. He concludes by stating: “Housing will eat the economy—everybody needs it, but it will be worth more and more, and land-owners will be the capitalists in command, unless we do a better job increasing the supply of housing”.

Kishore Mahbubani, “Asia’s Reform Trinity”
(Project Syndicate, August 13, 2014)
The author of “The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World” sheds an optimistic light on Asia’s reforms. Kishore essentially argues that China, India, and Indonesia “are all well positioned to take important steps forward”, as their respective leaders – Xi, Modi, and Jokowi – are “strong, dynamic and reform-minded”.

Chandran Nair, “The West – A Minority Club”
(The Globalist, August 13, 2014)
To a considerable extent, our views of the world express our position in it. This is an important article as it clearly demonstrates how the world’s vision of the Rest may differ from that of the West. Chandran’s article is more of a manifesto that dismantles the notion that the West is “morally superior”. He argues in it that: “the West is duplicitous, despite all its pious preaching”.

Roger Tagholm, “Oh Captain, My Captain: On Robin Williams and Literature”
(Publishing Perspectives, August 15, 2014)
Robin Williams, the actor who died earlier this week, brought intense moments of poetry and literature to life for a generation. He also made them part of popular culture. This is a quick snapshot of his many different achievements. Most of us remember Dead Poets Society, but there are many other connections between Williams and poetry. In 1998, he read Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet 17 at the grave of his girlfriend in Patch Adams. “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride…
So close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
So close that your eyes close with my dreams.”