Is it progress if a cannibal uses knife and fork?” - Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

The world was somehow relieved when Mr Macron won the French elections last weekend. It’s a good sign and shows that populism isn’t gaining as much ground everywhere. France may have a shot, especially as Europe’s economic growth seems to be picking up right when the US appears to falter.

Yet it will still be difficult to reverse the economic inequalities that are fueling the backlash against globalization, liberalization and the establishment. The status quo appears to be the safest option for the short term, though the long term consequences may be disastrous: Trump is in charge of the world’s most important country in the world and the UK voted to exit Europe, an uncertain and costly enterprise.

There is no indication that the world leaders and the economic elite is acting to address the challenges to their countries. They are still prisoner from the old framework, unable to exit a broken paradigm, and under pressure from various international institutions. Meanwhile, the system is cannibalizing itself.

Global recession risk rises as the US and China tighten into the storm – “Among his six ‘red flags’ are: technical indicators showing complacency; falling oil and iron ore prices; and above all fading stimulus in China.

Growing Inequality Under Global Capitalism – “Income and wealth inequality has increased in recent decades, but recognition of the role of economic liberalization and globalization in exacerbating inequality has never been so widespread. The guardians of global capitalism are nervous, yet little has been done to check, let alone reverse the underlying forces.

Compassionate Capitalism in the Middle Ages: Profit and Philanthropy in Medieval Cambridge – “Deregulation, high inflation, and a lax attitude towards anti-trust enforcment stoked a hostile takeover boom. Economists celebrated this development as disciplining chief executives and moving assets into the hands of managers who could operate them more productively. In reality, the success of these early deals depended mainly on asset sales, both of non-core operations and of hidden sources of value, like corporate real estate, as well as leverage and slashing bloated head office staffs…

Picture of the day: Globe photos of the month, April 2017

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