I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” - A Christmas carol by Charles Dickens

To all of our readers, the Konideo team would like to send our warmest wishes for this new year! We hope that 2017 will bring more good news than the previous year. 2016 has seen many of our hero die, tremendous suffering and increased anxiety and instability. It has also seen some progresses and good news, although we are less affected by these.

2016 might have been a turning point, the moment where the accumulation of various crisis came to brew the first winds of a larger storm. If it is so, it implies that the hopeful assertions that we had until now must be revised to a bleaker vision of the future. World peace has been dropped from the agenda. Might makes right returns with a vengeance on Western countries. Global warming continues to lead us into a very dire future with unexpected and increasingly out of control side effects.

In any case, never forget to learn, confront your ideas and find adequate solutions to your (and our) problems! Education and self improvement are meaningful ways for you to help create a better world.

Science, General Knowledge & Environment

The Trouble With Ceding Climate Leadership to China – “Facing international tensions on several fronts, from its posture in the South China Sea to its tacit support for North Korea, Beijing stands to gain prestige and goodwill abroad by leading on climate change. And now that the United States has done the heavy diplomatic lifting of rallying the world to reach an agreement in Paris, China can earn plaudits just by publicly prodding other countries to live up to the pledges they signed up for.

‘White men’: the most dehumanising insult of our times – “For whatever you may have thought of the class politics of old, it at least contained within it the ideal of solidarity, where people of all kinds of backgrounds might come together to demand a better, fairer deal. The politics of identity, by contrast, is separatist, and fatalistic, dividing us into biological, racial and gender boxes and telling us we will never truly understand each other.

History & Geopolitics

Donald Trump’s collision course with China – “Once the dispute sets in, the risk of conflict will rise. China will find a way of testing Mr Trump’s resolve early into his presidency — something a little tougher than a seized naval drone. […] The scope for an accident with today’s far more assertive China — whether over Taiwan, the South China Sea, or the East China Sea — is considerably greater than in 2001.

German Media Aids Merkel in “Culture of Denial” – “We are focusing on these aspects of the story because they tell us that German society is emotionally not equipped to deal with what is happening. And this constitutes a massive factor of uncertainty that will dominate Germany politics during the election year.

Le prix de la paix, c’est l’effort de guerre  – “Le constat : l’armée française est parvenue à la limite de ses forces. L’appel : il faut ­absolument lui donner les moyens de faire face aux nouvelles menaces qui se multiplient.

Finance & Economics

The International Barriers to Trump’s Economic Plan – “Other major economies – namely, in Europe and Asia – may have a much harder time than the US rebalancing their policy mix (which continues to be characterized by excessively loose monetary policy, inadequate structural reforms, and, in some cases, excessively tight fiscal policy). But if they do not, the Fed’s continued interest-rate hikes would stimulate investors to trade their German and Japanese bonds, in particular – which are now bringing low and even negative returns – for higher-yielding US varieties.

The Fundamental Flaw in Muddied Brexit Thinking – “A fundamental reason seems to be that many in Britain believe the Brexit PR, that leaving the EU means they will regain national sovereignity and the EU must deal with them as a prospective equal. Putting aside the substantial difference in size between the two economies, the fatal flaw of this logic is that the UK cannot be meaningfully sovereign due to its degree of economic integration into the EU.

Italy Banking Crisis Is Also a Huge Crime Scene – “If the last nine years have taught us anything, it is that banks — and bankers occupying the corner offices — operate above the law of just about any land. All too often they’re too big not to bail and too important and well-connected to jail. In some cases, banks are even deemed too broke to fine. As long as the people gaming the financial system remain immune from criminal prosecution, the crises will continue.

Heralding social, financial change, China aims blow at iron rice bowl – “Beijing has given SOEs until 2020 to ditch their “social functions”. […] While state firms in wealthier regions of the country moved away from paying for social welfare services some years ago, poorer provinces and especially one-company towns like Pingdingshan struggled to make the switch given the central role their SOE played.

Picture of the day: The year 2016 in pictures: Part I

germany-canola-road

About Carlito Riego

"Great perfection may appear imperfect, but its usefulness is inexhaustible. Great abundance may appear empty, but its usefulness cannot be exhausted. Great correctness may appear twisted, great skills appear crude, great eloquence appear awkward. Activity conquers cold; inactivity conquers heat. Clear serenity governs the world." - Lao Zi