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The Real Risk Is Believing That Volatility Is Risk

Investors are much more concerned about a surge in the VIX than they are by the prospect of nuclear war—that’s a mistake<p>Which risk should you be more scared by: American cities being vaporized by North Korean nuclear missiles, or the VIX spiking above 20? Judging by recent market reactions, …

Stock Markets

A trade war between America and China takes shape

TALK of tariffs is in danger of developing into cries of trade war. On April 3rd America published a list of some 1,300 Chinese products it proposes …

Rome, Through the Eyes of Flavius Josephus

Even without a book or a guide, even after two millenniums of crumbling, the image of the seven-branched candelabrum — the Jewish menorah — is unmistakable on the inner wall of the Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum. Stand at the base of the single-passage arch and look up, and the scene in …

Italy

A Seder Feast in Provence, With Roots in Ancient Rome

CARPENTRAS, France — Since Roman times, Jews have lived in this town in northern Provence, which lies on an ancient trade route from Marseille to Bruges, Belgium. This year, about 50 people will hold a communal Passover Seder at the Carpentras Synagogue, built in 1367 and one of the oldest active …

How Christmas evolved from raucous carnival to domestic holiday

THERE were no neatly wrapped presents. Nor were there tinselled trees or Santa Claus. Christmas in preindustrial Europe and America looked very …

How Vienna produced ideas that shaped the West

ACROSS the cobbles of Vienna’s Michaelerplatz the world of empires, waltzes and mutton-chop whiskers glowers at the modern age of psychoanalysis, …

These Are the Happiest Cities in the United States

Travel<p>National Geographic Explorer and best-selling author Dan Buettner searched for the happiest Americans. Where he found them will surprise you.<p>Who are the happiest Americans? Ask this question anywhere from Montauk to Maui and you’re bound to pique interest (you may even pick a fight). While …

What to do about China’s “sharp power”

WHEN a rising power challenges an incumbent one, war often follows. That prospect, known as the Thucydides trap after the Greek historian who first …

Christmas Around the World: 10 International Destinations to Visit

Cities all over the world celebrate Christmas in unique and memorable ways. Many showcase their historic, old-world beauty while others impress with more modern traditions. The following 10 international destinations are just a few of the countless options to consider.<p><b>Copenhagen</b><p>The entirety of …

THE OFF DUTY HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: 50 Rare Finds - WSJ.com

Advertisement<p>The Walls Have Eyes<p>Peacocks have always relied on colorful plumage to impress special someones, and now you can, too, albeit for a price that reaches heights a flightless bird never could. This wallpaper from Schumacher is bedecked with dozens of shimmering eye-spotted peacock …

Looking for the Sublime? It’s in This Swiss Valley

In a treatise published in 1757, Edmund Burke, an Irish essayist and statesman, outlined the differences between the beautiful and the sublime.<p>Beautiful objects, he posited, are smooth, polished and comparatively small. Sublime objects, on the other hand, are vast, rugged, powerful, …

In Peru’s Deserts, Melting Glaciers Are a Godsend (Until They’re Gone)

VIRU, Peru — The desert blooms now. Blueberries grow to the size of Ping-Pong balls in nothing but sand. Asparagus fields cross dunes, disappearing over the horizon.<p>The desert produce is packed and shipped to places like Denmark and Delaware. Electricity and water have come to villages that long …

Where to Relax (and What to Eat) in Formentera

The southernmost Balearic Island, Formentera — a 12-mile-long, low-lying piney stretch that was abandoned because of the Black Plague in the 14th century and resettled only 300-odd years later — has long been known for its superlative beaches and water that’s striped so many shades of blue it looks …

101 Impressive Things to Do Before You Die (At Age 101)

Not just any things. From living in a lighthouse to taming a squirrel, code-cracking to mayonnaise-making, these ideas will keep you busy into your twilight years<p>1. Drive cross-country. Any country.<p>2. Run for local office. If it’s not a good fit, you can always derail yourself with a public scandal.<p>…

Cheetah

Traveling Across Japan

Hiroyuki Ito covered a lot of ground this summer: Moji, Dazaifu, Hakata, Yanagawa and Kumamoto on Japan’s Kyushu Island; Kochi-city and Cape Ashizuri in Kochi; Atami in Shizuoka and Omiya, Saitama. 54 cities in 18 prefectures, to be exact.<p>He was looking to capture the way people live outside of …

Hear the Martha Argerich Recordings That Inspired 8 Young Pianists

Martha Argerich, one of the greatest pianists in the world, rarely plays in New York. But on Oct. 20, she will return to Carnegie Hall after a decade away to perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. For her younger fans, this may be the first opportunity to hear her in person.<p>Being a devotee of …

Xi Jinping’s Marathon Speech: Five Takeaways

BEIJING — As Xi Jinping’s first five-year term as China’s leader ends, he gave himself a shining report card on Wednesday — and a big to-do list for his next five years. Speaking at the start of a Communist Party congress in Beijing, Mr. Xi gave a work report that summed up his achievements so far, …

How big is the risk of another Black Monday equities crash? | Financial Times

Art Cashin recalls the heady atmosphere that dominated the New York Stock Exchange for much of 1987. After five or six straight days of the market …

In Norway, the Journey Is the Destination

I was driving up a remote road in central Norway. To be more accurate, it was actually more like I was playing an advanced level video game. Eleven switchbacks were cut into the sheer mountainside, and my little white rental car shuddered up the narrow passes.<p>Once part of the trade route that …

European Travel

These Are the World’s Happiest Places

Magazine<p>What do Denmark, Costa Rica, and Singapore have in common? Their people feel secure, have a sense of purpose, and enjoy lives that minimize stress and maximize joy. Here’s how they do it.<p><b>Who is the world’s happiest person?</b><p>It may be Alejandro Zúñiga, a healthy, middle-aged father who …

The Backpacks Are Coming: Why Execs Are Ditching Their Briefcases

Backpacks are storming corporate America, with luxurious business-like versions elbowing out briefcases and messenger bags. Plus: One adamant backpack-hater on why he’ll never convert<p>Though he hasn’t been in the workplace for long, 26-year-old Miguel Osio has already seen it undergo a strange …

Shopping

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“THE Road to Rejuvenation”, a permanent exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, tells the story of China’s “century …

China

China Takes On Its New Tycoons

Fearing the rise of Russia-style oligarchs, Xi Jinping looks to remind China’s wealthy class of entrepreneurs who is really in charge<p>On the eve of his anointment by the Chinese Communist Party for a second five-year term as China’s leader, Xi Jinping seems to be the master of all he surveys. He has …

China

Who Invented ‘Zero’?

Carbon dating of an ancient Indian document, the Bakhshali manuscript, has recently placed the first written occurrence of the number zero in the third or fourth century A.D., about 500 years earlier than previously believed. While the news has no practical bearing on the infrastructure of zeros …

U.S. Shale Juggernaut Shows Signs of Fatigue

Forecasts that abundant American oil can permanently meet global needs may be ‘myth,’ company leaders warn<p>American shale drillers, which defied expectations and upended traditional oil markets by increasing production in the face of lower prices, are finally showing signs of slowing down.<p>The number …

Oil & Gas Industry

In India, a Ghost Town and a Mythological Bridge

DHANUSHKODI, India — At dawn, a procession of buses sped past coconut huts, past fishermen unfurling nets and through the ghost town of Dhanushkodi — leveled in a powerful hurricane in 1964 — before stopping at a stretch of beach where, according to Hindu mythology, an ancient bridge once stood.<p>As …

Amazon Takes Over the World

Forget about the other tech giants: Amazon is poised to beat them all. What are the consequences for the rest of us?<p>Four tech giants—Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google—have added $2 trillion to their combined market capitalization since the 2007-09 recession, a sum that approaches the GDP of India. …

Market Capitalization

An Atlantic adventure in Nova Scotia | Financial Times

When the tide was in yesterday, I stood up by the lighthouse and watched a great white shark hunting right above where we’re standing. Our guide, …

China sets its sights on dominating sunrise industries

IN RECENT days China set the record for the world’s fastest long-distance bullet train, which hurtled between Beijing and Shanghai at 350kph …

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“NEW era, new revolution. I am a MAKER, for the hearts of the dream.” So goes a rallying cry carved in giant letters on the wall of a warehouse in …