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How Winston Churchill stole from India for Britain’s war

“I am glad to learn from the Minister of War Transport that a strict line is being taken in dealing with requests for cereals from the Indian Ocean area. A concession to one country at once encourages demands from all the others,” the prime minister commented in a memo on 10 March 1943. “They must …

India

How to watch Super Bowl 52 live online, no matter where you are in the world

This Sunday, Feb. 4, the Philadelphia Eagles will take on reigning NFL champs the New England Patriots at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the 2018 Super Bowl (technically, Super Bowl 52). There’s a good chance this year will be the most-watched Super Bowl of all time; 113.7 million …

Media Management

When a Partner Cheats

Marriages fall apart for many different reasons, but one of the most common and most challenging to overcome is the discovery that one partner has “cheated” on the other.<p>I put the word cheated in quotes because the definition of infidelity can vary widely among and within couples. Though most often …

Craft Beer Is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America

Corporate goliaths are taking over the U.S. economy. Yet small breweries are thriving. Why?<p>The monopolies are coming. In almost every economic sector, including television, books, music, groceries, pharmacies, and advertising, a handful of companies control a prodigious share of the market.<p>The beer …

Beer

The State of the Food Industry Is Rotten

A new Netflix documentary series tries to shine a light on how corporate malfeasance and fraud affects everything we eat.<p>If Netflix’s <i>Chef’s Table</i> is a delectable exercise in the art of <i>haute cuisine</i> food porn, <i>Rotten</i>, its newest docuseries, is more of an appetite suppressant. Over six episodes, the …

Food

A New Clue to the Mystery Disease That Once Killed Most of Mexico

The evidence comes from the 16th-century victims’ teeth.<p>In the decades after Hernán Cortés invaded Mexico, one of the worst epidemics in human history swept through the new Spanish colony. A mysterious disease called “cocolitzli” appeared first in 1545 and then again in 1576, each time killing …

Salmonella

The bitcoin hype is weird. But investors might be right.

In the long history of money, there have been essentially two kinds. The first is a tangible commodity — usually, gold. The second is a "fiat currency," created by a ruler with the power to compel use. The proposition underlying this year's extraordinary bitcoin surge is that we are about to have a …

We can no longer divide the world between beer and wine drinkers, economists say

“<i>You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least, you need a beer</i>.”—Frank Zappa<p>Though beer predates the modern nation-state by several millennia, its production and distribution has …

Alcohol

An innovative intro econ course at Stanford is now free online

Econ 101, the introductory college economics course that is often held in overcrowded lecture halls packed with half-asleep freshmen, is finally getting a facelift.<p>At the front of the class is Raj Chetty, a 38-year-old economist who publishes some of the field’s most intriguing papers year after …

UC Berkeley

Will a U.S. Adaptation Ruin Sebastian Lelio’s Gloria?

The Chilean director’s 2013 drama is perhaps the best recent portrayal of female aging—one that American filmmakers could stand to learn from.<p>When asked about the field research he conducted for his film <i>Gloria</i>, the Chilean director Sebastian Lelio described going out with his mother and her …

How to Rent a Car Abroad

Renting a car while traveling abroad means freedom from bus and rail timetables, but it comes with its own set of complications. Rules of the road, manual versus automatic, even permitted blood alcohol levels — not to mention the necessity of car insurance — can vary widely by country. Here are …

As Sponsors Shy Away, FIFA Faces World Cup Shortfall

FIFA, the global governing body for soccer, ordinarily enjoys huge revenue streams — in the hundreds of millions of dollars — from sponsorship deals attached to the world’s most-watched sporting event, the World Cup. But less than a year before the next edition of the tournament, the organization …

“Britain did not fight the Second World War, the British Empire did”

During the Allied invasion of Italy in early September 1943, an Indian lieutenant wrote a letter to his beloved.<p>Here I am penning this to you in the middle of one of the biggest nights in the history of this war. Love, I am sure by the time you receive this letter you will guess correctly as to …

Remembrance Day

New research says it's better to buy than rent—but not because of money

Historically, homeownership has been considered an effective mechanism for wealth creation, especially for low- and moderate-income and minority households. Even with a modest down payment, homeowners can accumulate wealth through the forced savings that result from the periodic payments on …

Housing

What If the Russian Revolution Had Never Happened?

The October Revolution, organized by Vladimir Lenin exactly a century ago, is still relevant today in ways that would have seemed unimaginable when Soviet Communism collapsed.<p>Marxist-Leninism (albeit in the unique capitalist-Maoist form) still propels China, the world’s surging hyperpower, even as …

I spent years discovering the simple tactics gurus like Oprah, Einstein, and Buffett used to become successful—here they are

One question has fascinated me my entire adult life: what causes some people to become world-class leaders, performers, and change-makers, while most others plateau?<p>I’ve explored the answer to this question by reading thousands of biographies, academic studies, and books across dozens of …

The cognitive trick that elite athletes use to achieve seemingly impossible goals

In July 2011, I was crawling down the aisle of a plane on my hands and knees while passengers screamed around me. We were on a flight from Spain to the US, and we thought our number was up.<p>The plane had hit a bout of extreme turbulence just as I’d left the restroom, causing the aircraft to shake …

Mind

Four strategies to help you build your writing capacity

Your laptop is ready. A cup of freshly brewed coffee sits next to you. You’re ready. You sit poised. You start. Then nothing comes out. Nada. Zilch. …

‘Potencial de crecimiento se redujo en una tercera parte’: Zárate

Luego de los recientes cambios en la composición de la junta directiva del Banco de la República, con los que tres de sus siete miembros fueron …

When People Were Proud to Call Themselves ‘Neoliberal’

Tracking the evolution of one political label to understand why others come and go<p>There are words that in quiet moments one might feel one does not quite grasp the meaning of, despite encountering them on a regular basis and perhaps even using them. I’ve heard some include <i>epistemology</i> in this …

Political Science

Instagram is the most harmful social network for your mental health

Our addictive feeds of fitness models, exotic travel, and photo-perfect moments don’t often match with our comparatively humdrum and badly lit lives. The discontent caused by that disconnect is enough that a growing body of research suggests social media is contributing to mental-health problems …

It’s impossible to study African history without understanding how much colonialism set it back

African history has gone through many incarnations as an academic discipline.<p>Most recently, there’s been a global turn in African historiography. This shift has been prompted by a greater awareness of the powerful forces of globalization and the need to provide an African historical perspective on …

Humanities

A Google executive’s “happiness equation” got him through the grief of losing a son

We’ve all met people who have managed to be happy after a loss, or been through what appears to be an unbearable situation—a long illness in the family, for instance, or a forced separation. When such people share the details about how they hung on to happiness, or reclaimed it, each reaches for …

The global economy isn’t like your country’s economy—it’s like Azerbaijan’s

What is the most “normal” country in the world? Economically speaking, the answer may surprise you.<p>It’s not the US, China, India, Germany, or any other big and influential country. It’s Azerbaijan.<p>The oil-dependent nation of 10 million people situated at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, is the …

Globalization

The Wrongest Profession | Dean Baker

Over the past two decades, the economics profession has compiled an impressive track record of getting almost all the big calls wrong. In the …

‘Revolution? What Revolution?’ Russia Asks 100 Years Later

MOSCOW — The Kremlin plans to sit out the centenary of the Russian Revolution.<p>Never mind that the upheavals of 1917 transformed the country and the world, abruptly ending the long rule of the czars, ushering in the Communist era and spawning an ideological confrontation with the West that still …

When Bankers Started Playing With Other People's Money

In 1970, the small firm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette held its IPO—and fundamentally reshaped the world of finance.<p>On the afternoon of May 22, 1969, Dan Lufkin, the 36-year-old cofounder of the small research-focused investment-banking and brokerage firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, or DLJ, …

Wall Street

Lots of Pointless Handwaving — Capital, the Nation-State and the Crisis of the...

Nothing like a nice title that uses the word Capital, is there? This post picks up on about two years’ worth of conversations, tweets, storms, etc. …

The case for a new economics

<b>What’s really wrong with NAIRU</b><p>Earlier this year, Matthew Klein at FT’s Alphaville, made a typically punchy and well-argued case for abandoning a …