Dissolution of the Soviet Union

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pages: 293 words: 74,709

Bomb Scare by Joseph Cirincione

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Albert Einstein, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, uranium enrichment, Yogi Berra

While the process was begun by Eisenhower, inspired by Kennedy, and pushed by Johnson, most of the major diplomatic lifting was actually done by Presidents Nixon, Reagan, and Bush, who either negotiated or brought into force almost all the instruments that make up the interlocking network of treaties and arrangements we refer to as the nonproliferation regime. In the 1990s, President Clinton added the Agreed Framework with North Korea that froze that nation’s nascent nuclear program; won Senate ratification of George Bush’s START II treaty and chemical weapons ban; helped denuclearize Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine after the dissolution of the Soviet Union; won the permanent extension of the NPT in 1995; negotiated and signed the long-sought Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which is still awaiting entry into force; and implemented the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction programs to secure and eliminate Russian nuclear weapons and materials. President George W. Bush signed what he hoped would be the last arms reduction treaty negotiated with Russia on May 24, 2002.

Army, was not about to preside over the dismantling of his nukes.” Vuono lined up the other service chiefs to oppose Powell. The senior civilians in the defense department weighed in. Powell calls them “a refuge of Reagan-era hard-liners, who stomped all over it, from Paul Wolfowitz on down.” Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney rejected Powell’s proposal. But Powell was not done. In 1991, in the wake of the Gulf War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, President George H. W. Bush wanted new ideas on nuclear disarmament. Within days, Powell’s staff developed plans to get rid not just of nuclear artillery but all short-range nuclear weapons, such as the Army’s Lance missiles and the Navy’s nuclear torpedoes and depth charges. “The chiefs, now responding to a radically changed world, signed on, as did Paul Wolfowitz and his hard-liners,” says Powell, with some delight, “Cheney was ready to move with the winds of change.”63 On September 27, 1991, President George H.


pages: 102 words: 33,345

24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary

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augmented reality, Berlin Wall, dematerialisation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invention of movable type, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, mass incarceration, megacity, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, V2 rocket

If networks are not in the service of already existing relationships forged out of shared experience and proximity, they will always reproduce and reinforce the separations, the opacity, the dissimulations, and the self-interestedness inherent in their use. Any social turbulence whose primary sources are in the use of social media will inevitably be historically ephemeral and inconsequential. Chantal Akerman’s film D’Est (From the East), made in 1992 and early 1993, carries a heightened self-consciousness about the circumstances of this weighty historical moment. Shot mainly in Poland and Russia in the year and a half following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it discloses a world in suspension, on the edge of an undetermined future, yet still weighed down by long-standing patterns and habits. Using very long takes, it is an extended portrayal of certain textures of everyday life, sometimes suggesting a Sartrean seriality. In her essay on D’Est, Akerman famously declared that she felt the need to make the film “while there’s still time” (“tant qu’il en est encore temps”).11 In one sense, she meant that she had to finish the project before it was too late, before cultural and economic forces transformed the subject of her work into something different, even unrecognizable.


pages: 437 words: 115,594

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, creative destruction, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, off grid, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

Mao Tse-tung’s misguided attempt to force rapid industrialization and extract food supplies from the countryside led to widespread famine and the deaths of more than 40 million people from starvation. The wars in Korea in the 1950s, across Central America in the 1980s, and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the past two decades all undermined health, not to mention development more broadly. Two other major disruptions occurred in the 1990s. First, the dissolution of the Soviet Union created economic and social upheavals that undermined health systems in many countries for several years, and progress on health receded before beginning to recover a decade later. Second, the HIV/AIDS pandemic exploded around the world in the 1980s, wreaking havoc in many countries, with extraordinary devastation across central, eastern, and southern Africa. Largely because of these latter two forces, during the 1990s, life expectancy across all developing countries increased by only about one year, on average, and in several countries, it fell sharply.

Amazingly, at the same moment the Soviet Union was falling into total disarray, China was beginning a relatively seamless transfer of power amid an economic boom. Unnoticed by all but a few on that same day, faraway South-West Africa—soon to be renamed Namibia—ushered in Africa’s shift toward democracy by electing its first National Assembly and gaining its independence from South African rule. Apartheid was about to collapse as well. The demise of Communism, the end of the Cold War, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union together created a decisive moment in world history: global power structures, economic relationships, and powerful ideas about governance and economics all changed substantially.1 These tectonic shifts enhanced the global conditions for development, creating new opportunities for major transformation and affecting developing countries in ways that are continuing to play out today. Dictators supported by the superpowers began to fall.


pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, call centre, carried interest, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, TaskRabbit, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

The conference was hosted by the Primakov Institute, named after the man who had been Russia’s foreign minister and prime minister during the 1990s. Yevgeny Primakov was displaced as prime minister in 1999 by Vladimir Putin. While my friends and I had danced on the rubble of the Berlin Wall, a brooding Putin had watched his world crumbling from 130 miles away, at his KGB office in Dresden, a city in what was still East Germany. Later he would describe the dissolution of the Soviet Union as the ‘greatest geopolitical tragedy of the twentieth century’. It was Primakov who championed the term multipolarity in what at the time seemed like a vain bid to dampen America’s oceanic post-Cold War triumphalism. Putin picked up the concept and made it his own. As the world’s one indispensable power, Americans never warmed to the idea of multipolarity. Such was Washington’s self-confidence that it even came to disdain the word multilateralism.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

The Polish trade unionist, journalist, and now capitalist newspaper owner Adam Michnik put it well when he noted in a commemoration that “the revolution of 1989 was a great change without a great utopia.” So let us return to VDNX and Sears today, after this “great change.” By the mid-1990s, the USSR was no more, and north of Moscow, in a city once again in a country called Russia, VDNX was transformed through that peculiarly post-Soviet mix of perestroika, privatism, and gangster capitalism. As one observer commented soon after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the “exhibitions pavilions, built as palaces for the people, have been transformed into communal apartments of commerce: VDNX is now a bizarre shopping mall. Many of the most opulent pavilions have become congested labyrinths of tiny stalls that sell a jumble of consumer goods.” By the turn of the millennium, the Space Exploration Pavilion was full of used cars, although there were a few satellite and rocket models hanging from the roof above them.


pages: 243 words: 66,908

Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Meadows. Donella, Diana Wright

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, game design, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, peak oil, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Review

She understood those events to be the outward behavior of often complex systems. Although Dana’s original manuscript has been edited and restructured, many of the examples you will find in this book are from her first draft in 1993. They may seem a bit dated to you, but in editing her work I chose to keep them because their teachings are as relevant now as they were then. The early 1990s were the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and great shifts in other socialist countries. The North American Free Trade Agreement was newly signed. Iraq’s army invaded Kuwait and then retreated, burning oil fields on the way out. Nelson Mandela was freed from prison, and South Africa’s apartheid laws were repealed. Labor leader Lech Walesa was elected president of Poland, and poet Václav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia.


pages: 304 words: 80,965

What They Do With Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us, and How to Fix It by Stephen Davis, Jon Lukomnik, David Pitt-Watson

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Admiral Zheng, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, computerized trading, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Northern Rock, passive investing, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks

We don’t have any doubt about this.”26 Their approach echoes the work of the sociologist Max Weber, who attributed Europe’s economic success after the renaissance to the moral values imbued by Protestantism; hard work and accumulation became legitimate moral goals. More recently, economists have tried to discover why some Eastern European countries have made a successful transition to capitalism following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, while others have not. After testing a litany of potential explanations, they concluded, in the words of the journalist David Brooks, “Finally, and most important, there is the level of values. A nation’s economy is nestled in its moral ecology. Economic performance is tied to history, culture and psychology.”27 This analysis creates a problem for those who try to describe economics in purely mathematical terms.


pages: 285 words: 81,743

Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle by Dan Senor; Saul Singer

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Boycotts of Israel, call centre, Celtic Tiger, cleantech, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, friendly fire, immigration reform, labor-force participation, mass immigration, new economy, pez dispenser, post scarcity, profit motive, Silicon Valley, smart grid, social graph, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, web application, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

Netafim also has eleven offices in Europe and the former Soviet Union, one in Australia, and one in North America. And because Netafim’s technology became so indispensable, a number of foreign governments that historically had been hostile to Israel began to open diplomatic channels. Netafim is active in former Soviet bloc Muslim states like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, which led to warmer relations with Israel’s government after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In 2004, then trade minister Ehud Olmert tagged along on a Netafim trip to South Africa in the hope of forming new strategic alliances there. The trip resulted in $30 million in contracts for Netafim, plus a memorandum of understanding between the two governments on agriculture and arid lands development. Israeli entrepreneurs and executives, though, have themselves been known to engage in self-appointed diplomatic missions on behalf of the state.


pages: 546 words: 176,169

The Cold War by Robert Cowley

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doomsday Clock, friendly fire, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, transcontinental railway

CARGILL HALL It was only after an antiaircraft missile brought down Francis Gary Pow-ers's U-2 photo reconnaissance plane over the Urals on May 1, 1960, and the Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev demolished the Paris summit conference two weeks later that the world began to learn about American overflights of the U.S.S.R. As far as most people knew, those overflights had been made only by U-2s, beginning in 1956. But in fact, U-2 aerial reconnaissance was a continuation of a secret effort that had been going on since the early 1950s. Not until the last ten years has the true story begun to surface. As R. Cargill Hall, a noted air force historian, writes, “Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union fragmentary accounts have appeared. Too frequently, however, they have turned on misperceptions and questionable interpretations. Armed with a few interviews and still fewer archival records from the Cold War, authors have provided Oliver Stone–like conspiracies.” When Hall's “The Truth About Overflights” appeared in MHQ in 1997, it was the first authoritative discussion of the subject.

Between 1951 and 1956, Presidents Truman and Eisenhower and Prime Minister Churchill periodically and on a case-by-case basis authorized these military overflights of the U.S.S.R. and other “denied territory.” The risks were great, but so were the intelligence payoffs. Even today many of the men who took part in the missions (and who were sworn to secrecy) are reluctant to talk about them. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, fragmentary accounts have appeared. Too frequently, however, they have turned on misperceptions and questionable interpretations. Armed with a few interviews and still fewer archival records from the Cold War, authors have provided Oliver Stone–like conspiracies. Some have alleged that the missions were the sole responsibility of the commander in chief of the Strategic Air Command, General Curtis LeMay—who, they charge, sought through overflights to blackmail the Soviet Union or provoke it into starting World War III.


pages: 219 words: 15,438

The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Warren E. Buffett, Lawrence A. Cunningham

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compound rate of return, corporate governance, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversified portfolio, dividend-yielding stocks, fixed income, George Santayana, index fund, intangible asset, invisible hand, large denomination, low cost carrier, oil shock, passive investing, price stability, Ronald Reagan, the market place, transaction costs, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

Charlie and I agree and will try to wait for opportunities that are well within our own "happy zone." We will continue to ignore political and economic forecasts, which are an expensive distraction for many investors and businessmen. Thirty years ago, no one could have foreseen the huge expansion of the Vietnam War, wage and price controls, two oil shocks, the resignation of a president, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a one-day drop in the Dow of 508 points, or treasury bill yields fluctuating between 2.8% and 17.4%. But, surprise-none of these blockbuster events made the slightest dent in Ben Graham's investment principles. Nor did they render unsound the negotiated purchases of fine businesses at sensible prices. Imagine the cost to us, then, if we had let a fear of unknowns cause us to defer or alter the deployment of capital.


pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Davies, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

Gosplan was entrusted with creating the economic plans of action—the governing documents defining the economic inputs (such as labor and raw materials), the timetable for execution, the wholesale prices, and most of the retail prices—divided into five-year increments (the so-called five-year plans). These nationwide economic plans were first rolled out from 1929 to 1933 under Stalin and ended, with one seven-year exception (1959–1965) under Khrushchev, with the twelfth plan (1986–1990), which oversaw Mikhail Gorbachev’s reform policies of uskorenie (acceleration) and perestroika (rebuilding). The thirteenth five-year plan was cut short by the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Gossnab, in contrast, was responsible for implementing Gosplan’s plans by procuring and supplying producer goods to factories and enterprises and by monitoring the schedules for the production plans. Gossnab thus fulfilled the market role of allocating goods to producers and bridged the three levels of the command economy—national, regional, and local planning and production.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

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3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

Governments struggled to tame financial and business cycles of increasing viciousness, which swept across advanced economies, destroying livelihoods and nest eggs. And nations fought bitter, unimaginably costly wars, culminating in the great ideological war that began in 1939 and claimed tens of millions of lives. That war, in turn, led to the development of weapons that threatened the very survival of humanity, and, it could be argued, did not truly end until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The path to prosperity was a long and brutal one. But, at the end of that road there was prosperity – for much of the world’s population at least. A century ago, when the world was already more than a century into the industrial revolution, many of its benefits had yet to reach my great-grandfather, who toiled in poverty as a blacksmith in southern Virginia. America was the world’s richest nation at the time (having surpassed Britain in income per person, adjusted for inflation, in the first decade of the twentieth century) yet much of the country still lacked electricity and running water, and many earned incomes not much different from those of workers in Medieval Europe.18 I’m not sure my great-grandfather would have believed that, just eighty years later, his grandson and great-grandson would enjoy a standard of living that would have been the envy of ancient kings – and which was perfectly common among middle-class Americans of the late twentieth century – relaxing on a couch in front of a large colour television in an air-conditioned home with two cars in the garage, a full pantry, and a refrigerator stocked with cold drinks.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

Locked in a 19th-century mind-set in which land, power, and people are physically controlled, Putin is missing the reality of power in the 21st century. The nature of economic success is different in an information-based economy than in an industrial or agricultural economy, where iron and land are king. BREADLINES AND BROADBAND Rarely do countries and societies have the opportunity to make a simple, binary choice about whether they are going to be open or closed. But that is exactly what happened after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the reestablished independence of Estonia and Belarus. The two countries are separated by just a few hundred kilometers west of Russia, but their trajectories could not be more different. Estonia is “The Little Country That Could,” the title of a book by the first prime minister of Estonia, Mart Laar, which explained the country’s rise from ruin at the end of Soviet occupation in 1991 to become one of the most innovative societies in the world today.


pages: 313 words: 100,317

Berlin Now: The City After the Wall by Peter Schneider, Sophie Schlondorff

Berlin Wall, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, mass immigration, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, young professional

Besides, it was clear to her that her spectacular view from the third floor would not remain “unobstructable.” Her family’s days in Haus Huth were numbered. Shortly before the fall of the Wall, Edzard Reuter, the CEO of the Daimler Group at the time, bought fifteen thousand acres to the southwest of Potsdamer Platz from the West Berlin Senate. The sale, which was made at a time when hardly anyone believed in an imminent end to the divided state of Germany, let alone in the dissolution of the Soviet Union, was a bold—a prophetic—investment. Indeed, it was driven more by a political vision than by commercial interests. Edzard Reuter, who was the son of West Berlin’s legendary first mayor, Ernst Reuter, wanted to build not only a new Daimler headquarters here but a whole new urban area, which would—at some distant point in the future—be connected to East Berlin. Rarely has the CEO of a major group been so right about a decision that many of his business colleagues greeted with smirks.


pages: 441 words: 135,176

The Edifice Complex: How the Rich and Powerful--And Their Architects--Shape the World by Deyan Sudjic

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Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, colonial rule, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, megastructure, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, Peter Eisenman, Ronald Reagan, Socratic dialogue, urban planning, urban renewal, V2 rocket, Victor Gruen

The new church, like the monstrous Peter the Great statue across the river, is the product of Moscow’s mayor Luzkhov and Zurab Tsereteli, who was responsible for decorating the interior. Boris Yeltsin himself laid the foundation stone. And the gold leaf, applied by the bucketful to the domes, was paid for by the oligarchs who, with indecent speed, made themselves enormously wealthy during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The building of the original nineteenth-century basilica marked one important assertion of Russia’s identity; its destruction was an attempt radically to redefine that identity; and its rebuilding is yet a third watershed in the power struggles shaping modern Russia. Tsar Alexander I commissioned Karl Vitberg in 1817 to design a cathedral of a scale and grandeur to reflect Russia’s rank as a mighty and expansive state.


pages: 538 words: 141,822

The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Earth, illegal immigration, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Sinatra Doctrine, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

Alas, most such Western initiatives flop, boosting the appeal of many existing dictators, who excel at playing up the threat of foreign mingling in their own affairs. To say that there is no good blueprint for dealing with modern authoritarianism would be a severe understatement. Lost in their own strategizing, Western leaders are pining for something that has guaranteed effectiveness. Many of them look back to the most impressive and most unambiguous triumph of democracy in the last few decades: the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union. Not surprisingly—and who can blame them for seeking to bolster their own self-confidence?—they tend to exaggerate their own role in precipitating its demise. As a result, many of the Western strategies tried back then, like smuggling in photocopiers and fax machines, facilitating the flow of samizdat, and supporting radio broadcasts by Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America, are given much more credit than they deserve.


pages: 790 words: 150,875

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Pearl River Delta, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

On 9 November 1989 a bemused East Berlin press corps were informed that ‘the decision [had been] taken to make it possible for all citizens to leave the country through the official border crossing points … to take effect at once’, news that prompted a flood of East Berliners to the border checkpoints. Unprepared, guards opted not to resist. By midnight all the checkpoints had been forced to open and one of the greatest parties of the century was under way, closely followed by one of its biggest shopping sprees. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Cold War was essentially over, though it was not until the failed Moscow coup of August 1991 and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union that the Baltic states, Ukraine and Belarus, along with the three big Caucasian republics and the five ‘stans’ of Central Asia, became independent states. Few had seen it coming.* For some it was ‘the end of history’, the definitive victory of the liberal capitalist model.108 For others it was the ‘triumph of the West’, the political achievement of three charismatic leaders: Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Margaret Thatcher.109 A third view gave the credit to nationalism.


pages: 449 words: 127,440

Moscow, December 25th, 1991 by Conor O'Clery

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Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, central bank independence, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, haute couture, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Sinatra Doctrine, The Chicago School

He reaches into his pocket and draws out his Mont Blanc ballpoint, a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary present from his wife, Edwina. The sudden movement alarms the three security officials in the room. “They did everything but draw AK-47s,” laughs Caudill. “Gorbachev says to them, ‘Nyet, nyet!’”3 “We were about to go live on Russian television and around the world with the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the conveyance of power to Boris Yeltsin,” recalled Johnson. “And I am standing one person away from Gorbachev within, say, forty-five seconds to a minute before air time. He takes this green Soviet-made pen out to just test it.... And it didn’t work.... And I just reached in my pocket and I said, ‘Mr. President, you may use mine.’”4 “Is it American?” asks Gorbachev with a smile as he takes the German-made pen with black resin sheen and gold point.


pages: 372 words: 152

The End of Work by Jeremy Rifkin

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banking crisis, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, cashless society, collective bargaining, computer age, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, general-purpose programming language, George Gilder, global village, hiring and firing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land reform, low skilled workers, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, Paul Samuelson, pink-collar, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, Thorstein Veblen, Toyota Production System, trade route, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Allover the world, nations are 38 THE TWO F ACE S 0 F TEe H N 0 LOG Y beginning to cut their budgets in order to address the problem of deficits and national debts. In the United States many of the cuts are occurring in defense. The military-industrial complex, which played a critical role in maintaining the economic prosperity of the country for more than half a century, is now being downsized in the aftermath of the Cold War. The dismantling has occurred suddenly, largely in response to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In the 1980s the Pentagon budget was still growing by 5 percent a year, reaching a high of $371 billion in 1986. During the Reagan years, the number of Americans working in defense industries or employed directly in the armed forces totaled 6.7 million, or 5.6 percent of the labor force. In just the past five years, however, military spending has declined by 26 percent to $276 billion in expenditures in 1993. 72 Between 1989 and 1993, more than 440,000 defense workers were laid off.

Year 501 by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, land reform, land tenure, long peace, mass incarceration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor

Many economists consider the major factor in the Bush recession to be the cutback in military procurement-orders placed with factories, which have not only accounted for a healthy segment of the output of goods and services but have had a substantial multiplier effect, creating jobs in companies that produce consumer goods for the relatively high-paid workers in companies that are profitable thanks to the taxpayer subsidy. “The impact is bigger than you can see by just looking at the numbers,” conservative economist Herbert Stein of the American Enterprise Institute notes. “The abrupt dissolution of the Soviet Union” has undermined the device instituted to maintain the economy after World War II, Times economics correspondent Louis Uchitelle reports, and “leading military companies” like General Electric are in trouble, as is high-tech industry generally.17 The old pretexts are gone, and it is no longer so simple to hail the virtues of free market capitalism while feeding at the public trough.


pages: 372 words: 115,094

Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War by Ken Adelman

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Sinatra Doctrine, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

When Gorbachev called Dobrynin home in 1986 to be the powerful head of the international department of the Communist Party Central Committee, Reagan asked, “Is he really a Communist?” The answer was decisively yes, even though he did seem too nice and cosmopolitan. As urbane as he was, as much as he enjoyed the cultural and intellectual riches of Western life, he remained a dedicated Communist to the end. He later deemed the dissolution of the Soviet Union an avoidable tragedy caused by the misguided ambitions of incompetent leaders, presumably those along with him on that flight to Reykjavik. Dobrynin was heading there as an adviser to Gorbachev, much as an NSC staff member would advise the U.S. president. His real contribution would stem from his intimate understanding of America and virtually all the Americans who counted in government.


pages: 537 words: 158,544

Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna

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Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, knowledge economy, land reform, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Pearl River Delta, pirate software, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Potemkin village, price stability, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

.*7 Russia must stitch these entities together if it wants to remain Russia at all—and its failure to do so would profoundly affect the map of the entire Eurasian “world-island.” Since Peter the Great moved Russia’s capital to St. Petersburg in the early eighteenth century, every Russian contact with the West has exposed it as materially inferior, awakening both its national consciousness and its masochistic soul.1 The decade of “hot tub and vodka” diplomacy after the dissolution of the Soviet Union numbed Russia’s leaders to their strategic predicament: Because Russia remains so big, neither the United States nor Europe nor China wants it to be strong. In their gilded chambers today, however, the Kremlin’s most recent ruling clique is suffering from the resulting imperial hangover, profoundly angry at the once-mighty empire’s diminished standing.2 Russia’s diplomatic position is purely residual: If it neglected to show up (or fell out of its chair) at major negotiations on the Arab-Israeli conflict or the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs, the outcomes would be no different—America, Europe, and China are far more influential arbiters.


pages: 631 words: 171,391

One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War by Michael Dobbs

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air freight, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doomsday Clock, global village, Google Earth, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, stakhanovite, yellow journalism

It had originally been built for Stalin's putative successor as Soviet prime minister, Georgi Malenkov, who was quickly pushed aside by the more forceful Khrushchev. After Malenkov's disgrace, the estate was taken away from him and turned into a government guest house. Novo- Ogaryevo would achieve greater fame decades later as the presidential retreat of Mikhail Gorbachev and the site of negotiations that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Presidium members were seated in front of the first secretary along the long, polished oak table. The eighteen attendees included Andrei Gromyko, the foreign minister, and Rodion Malinovsky, the defense minister. Aides hovered in the background, to be summoned and dismissed as needed. As usual, it was Khrushchev's show. The others were happy to let him talk and talk." You dragged us into this mess; it is now up to you to find a way out of it" was the unspoken sentiment in the room.


pages: 494 words: 28,046

Empire by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri

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Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Haight Ashbury, informal economy, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, labour mobility, late capitalism, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, New Urbanism, open borders, Peace of Westphalia, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Scramble for Africa, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, urban planning, William of Occam

U.S. constitutional history, in fact, should be divided into four distinct phases or regimes.13 A first phase extends from the Declaration of Independence to the Civil War and Reconstruction; a second, extremely contradictory, phase corresponds to the Progressive era, straddling the turn of the century, from the imperialist doctrine of Theodore Roosevelt to Woodrow Wilson’s international reformism; a third phase moves from the New Deal and the Second World War through the height of the cold war; and finally, a fourth phase is inaugurated with the social movements of the 1960s and continues through the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European bloc. Each of these phases of U.S. constitutional history marks a step toward the realization of imperial sovereignty. In the first phase of the Constitution, between the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, the open space of the frontier became the conceptual terrain of republican democracy: this opening afforded the Constitution its first strong definition.


pages: 851 words: 247,711

The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War by Norman Stone

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, central bank independence, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, illegal immigration, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, long peace, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, popular capitalism, price mechanism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, éminence grise

It was based on Politburo documents and much else; see also Evgeny Novikov, Gorbachev and the Collapse of the Soviet Communist Party (1994). There are two further French accounts: Françoise Thom, The Gorbachev Phenomenon (1989), and Alain Besançon, Présent soviétique et passé russe (1980). More conventional accounts are John B. Dunlop, The Rise of Russia and the Fall of the Soviet Empire (1995), and, by a veteran of sovietology, Archie Brown, The Gorbachev Factor (1996). Another view is Ben Fowkes, The Dissolution of the Soviet Union (1997). Ronald G. Suny, The Soviet Experiment (1998), is important for the nationality dimension. Charles Maier, Dissolution (1998), shows how the end of East Germany was planned from Moscow. Jens Hacker, Deutsche Irrtümer, Schönfärber und Helfershelfer der SED-Diktatur im Westen (1992), and Stefan Wolle, Die heile Welt der Diktatur (1998), show how it had to be done in the teeth of considerable unenthusiasm from West Germany.

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World (Hardback) - Common by Alan Greenspan

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air freight, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, equity premium, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, Pearl River Delta, pets.com, Potemkin village, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, reserve currency, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, working-age population, Y2K, zero-sum game

Russia's economic policymakers are confronted with a daunting dilemma: a faster rise in the ruble exchange 328 More ebooks visit: http://www.ccebook.cn ccebook-orginal english ebooks This file was collected by ccebook.cn form the internet, the author keeps the copyright. RUSSIA'S SHARP ELBOWS rate will foster the spread of Dutch disease, but foreign-asset purchases to slow the rising foreign-exchange value of the ruble may uncork inflation, depending on the mechanism used. Either would undo much of the economic progress Russia has made since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Dutch disease symptoms are already evident. As oil and gas exports surged, the value of the ruble rose and the value of Russian noncommodity exports lagged. Between 1998 and 2006, the value of the ruble relative to the currencies of Russia's trading partners doubled, after adjusting for their relative inflation rates. The impact was predictable: exports excluding oil and gas went up only half as fast in real terms as oil and gas exports.


pages: 775 words: 208,604

The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality From the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel

agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, corporate governance, cosmological principle, crony capitalism, dark matter, declining real wages, demographic transition, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, John Markoff, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, means of production, mega-rich, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population, zero-sum game

Recent instances of state failure tend to be confined to central and eastern Africa and the peripheries of the Middle East. In 2014, the State Fragility Index of the Center for Systemic Peace assigned the world’s worst scores to the Central African Republic, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Somalia. With the single exception of Myanmar, the seventeen next most fragile countries are also located in Africa or the Middle East. Although the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia in the early 1990s as well as ongoing events in Ukraine demonstrate that even industrialized middle-income countries are by no means immune to disintegrative pressures, contemporary developed countries—and, indeed, many developing ones—are highly unlikely to go down the same path. Thanks to modern economic growth and fiscal expansion, state institutions in high-income countries have generally become too powerful and too deeply entrenched in society for a wholesale collapse of governmental structures and concurrent leveling to occur.

Executive Orders by Tom Clancy

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affirmative action, Ayatollah Khomeini, card file, defense in depth, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, experimental subject, financial independence, friendly fire, Monroe Doctrine, one-China policy, out of africa, Own Your Own Home, Plutocrats, plutocrats, rolodex, South China Sea, trade route

When he'd established the country's central-planned economy, Stalin had made a deliberate effort to spread out production sites, so that each segment of the vast empire would depend for vital commodities upon every other, but he'd overlooked the discordant fact that if the entire economy went to pot, then needing something you couldn't get from one source meant that you had to get it from another, and with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, smuggling, which had been well controlled under Communist rule, had become a genuine industry of its own. And with wares also came ideas, hard enough to stop, and impossible to tax. The only thing lacking was a welcoming committee, but that wouldn't have done. The corruption of the border guards went both ways. They might well have told their superiors about things while sharing the requisite percentage of the loot from their informal tariff collection, and so the representative merely sat in the right seat of the truck while the driver handled business-out the back of the truck in this case, an offer to the guards of a selection of his cargo.