Category “Themes”

Civil conflict and El Niño

Leave a Comment

On the wrong side of the Tide

Malé, Maldives


Leave a Comment

Corpocracy: A Quantitative Approach

Network topology. (A) A bow-tie consists of in-section (IN), out-section (OUT), strongly connected component or core (SCC), and tubes and tendrils (T&T). (B) Bow-tie structure of the largest connected component (LCC) and other connected components (OCC). Each section volume scales logarithmically with the share of its TNCs operating revenue. In parenthesis, percentage of operating revenue and number of TNCs, cfr. Table 1. (C) SCC layout of the SCC (1318 nodes and 12191 links). Node size scales logarithmically with operation revenue, node color with network control (from yellow to red). Link color scales with weight. (D) Zoom on some major TNCs in the financial sector. Some cycles are highlighted.

Source: Vitali, S., Glattfelder, J.B., Battiston, S. ‘The network of global corporate control’.

Leave a Comment

Developed Country Debt

Leave a Comment

Anatomy of a non-fiscal union’s break-up

Source: Financial Times (Fri 16 Sep 2011)

Leave a Comment

Money and Social Conventions on the Island of Yap

The economy of Yap, a small island in the Pacific, once had a type of money that was something between commodity and fiat money. The traditional medium of exchange in Yap was fei, stone wheels up to 12 feet in diameter. These stones had holes in the center so that they could be carried on poles and used for exchange. Large stone wheels are not a convenient form of money. The stones were heavy, so it took substantial effort for a new owner to take his fei home after completing a transaction. Although the monetary system facilitated exchange, it did so at great cost. Eventually, it became common practice for the new owner of the fei not to bother to take physical possession of the stone. Instead, the new owner accepted a claim to the fei without moving it. In future bargains, he traded this claim for goods that he wanted. Having physical possession of the stone became less important than having legal claim to it.

This practice was put to a test when a valuable stone was lost at sea during a storm. Because the owner lost his money by accident rather than through negligence, everyone agreed that his claim to the fei remained valid. Even generations later, when no one alive had ever seen this stone, the claim to this fei was still valued in exchange.

– Angell, Norman (1929) ‘The Story of Money’, In: Mankiw, N.G. (2009) ‘Macroeconomics’ (7th ed.)

Comments (1)

Your Iceberg is Departing on Schedule

Comments (1)

Chinese Foreign Direct Investment

Leave a Comment

The European Union

(2007) John Pinder





Everything you never wanted to know about the EU, because you assumed – correctly – that such knowledge would have no relevance whatsoever to your life.

Leave a Comment

Know thyself, Primate

“No man can ever attain to anywhere near a true conception of the subconscious in man who does not know the primates under natural conditions.” – Eugène N. Marais, letter to Dr. Winifred de Kok, 20 October 1935.

Comments (7)