Archives for July 2011

Open Thread: The US Debt Crisis

As with the previous such post, this thread will primarily serve as a meeting ground where S/O readers can discuss the impending US fiscal crisis. As usual, I try to provide some context and avenues for discussion: 1. On August 2nd, give or take a few days, the US Treasury will run out of money. […]

Book Review: Kenneth Pomeranz – The Great Divergence

Pomeranz, Kenneth – The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2001) Category: economy, history, world systems; Rating: 5*/5 Summary: Brad DeLong’s review; The Bactra Review; Are Coal and Colonies Really Crucial? The Power Of Contingency: Why China Didn’t Rule The World It’s a rare book that not only vastly informs you on a […]

Nikolai Starikov – How Russian Liberals Create Russophobe Myths

Do you remember the growing chorus of voices in the Western media speaking of a “growing wave” of emigration from Putin’s Russia? Those 1.25 million liberal professionals who have fled that neo-Soviet abyss in the past few years? As it turns out, not only are these stories complete fabrications – in a previous post, I […]

Updates On Learning Chinese

It’s been a few weeks since my last post on learning Chinese, so here is new info for anyone interested. 1. In case you missed a late update to the original post: “Because of the simplicity of the grammar, Chinese often feels like slang to speakers used to more formalized languages; i.e. slang such as ebonics. […]

OPEN DISCUSSION: Russia’s Economy In The Next Global Crisis

The response to the last global crisis only consisted of kicking the can further down the road, and the chickens are showing signs of coming home to roost. Of particular note: (1) the recent upwards spike on bond yields for Italy and Spain*; (2) The political paralysis in the US that may (conceivably, if unlikely) […]

Russia’s Economic “Stagnation” In Global Perspective

Иn the wake of the 2009 recession, declinist rhetoric has come to dominate discussion of Russia’s economic prospects. Jim O’Neill, the founder of the BRIC’s concept, has his work cut out defending Russia’s expulsion from the group in favor of Indonesia, Mexico, or some other random middle-sized country. Journalists in the Western media claim its economy is […]

The Stalinist Drug Warrior: The Real Medvedev, Part 2

Following on from my last post in which I revealed the neoliberal, anti-Russian inclinations of Dmitry Medvedev (pictured left, sporting his new Hitler mustache), let us know consider another question – what to make of his much vaunted liberalism, his humaneness, his consciousness? The Western media as with their liberal Russian running dogs have traditionally presented DAM as […]

Top 10 Sinophobe Myths

Just as with Russia, the Western media (beholden as it is to its power elite sponsors and anti-Rest ideology) peddles many tropes about China that cloud real understanding of this fascinating civilization-state. In the spirit of Sino Triumphalism, this is my attempt to set the record straight and overturn the lazy arguments used to dismiss, […]

DAM, What A President!: The Real Medvedev, Part 1

A recent study by Laura Bottazzi et al. at the University of Bologna, Italy confirmed a pretty obvious fact of international business. Far from being the rational agents of standard economics, objectively focusing on those countries offering the best return on their investments, international financiers are in fact heavily influenced by national stereotypes. A Dutch venture […]

Learning Chinese

Seeing as I’m known as a “Sino-triumphalist” anyway why not go the full nine yards and learn the language? That is what I’m doing (c. 300-500 汉字 to date) and here are my thoughts so far. 1. Tones. In stark contrast to every major European language, Chinese pronunciation is based on tones. Four of them: […]

Names Of The Oligarchs On A Map Of The Motherland*

Not really arguing anything in this post, just sharing some interesting stats I found about the affluent class in Russia (as compared with BRIC’s and others). First, as we know Russia is (in)famous for the opulence of it oligarchy. But according to the research firm Wealth-X, despite a relatively high number of billionaires, its overall share […]

A Tale of the Beggar And The Billionaire

Imagine the following scenario. In the US, a black homeless man “robs” a bank. He only takes a single $100 bill out of the wad of cash offered, because he was hungry and had to pay to stay at a detox center. Regardless, he had the good graces to return the money the day after. Net […]