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  • OPINION

    China’s US trade plan a red herring

    News, Noah Smith, Published on 22/01/2019

    » There has been an unexpected development in the US-China trade war. Chinese trade officials apparently offered a huge concession earlier this month: a promise to completely eliminate its trade surplus with the US by 2024. The offer was off the record, but it's still a huge surprise, especially given the haphazard and clumsy way that President Donald Trump has chosen to fight his trade war.

  • OPINION

    Why Japan desperately needs criminal-justice reform

    News, Noah Smith, Published on 14/12/2018

    » Japan's police recently threw the chairman of Nissan Motor Co, one of the country's largest auto manufacturers, into a jail cell. Carlos Ghosn, a Brazilian-born executive with French and Lebanese citizenship, has been accused of falsifying financial reports and hiding US$44 million (1.4 trillion baht) of personal income.

  • OPINION

    The future is in Africa, and China has a headstart

    News, Noah Smith, Published on 22/09/2018

    » During the past decade, China has been investing a lot of money in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • OPINION

    Is social media just another addiction?

    News, Noah Smith, Published on 06/04/2018

    » With Facebook enduring a wave of public criticism for its cavalier approach to user privacy, it's becoming more apparent how important social media has become. I suspect it will be many years before the true scale and scope of the changes are appreciated, and even then much will never be fully understood. The era when humans interacted mainly by gathering in physical space, or maintained personal networks through one-to-one connections, has drawn to a close, and the next generation won't even really understand what that era was like. Social media has changed the meaning of human life itself.

  • OPINION

    Japan needs, but can't lure migrants

    News, Noah Smith, Published on 01/12/2017

    » Even as the Donald Trump administration tries to think up ways to keep talented foreigners out of the US, Japan is trying to lure them in. But it's having trouble getting them to come.

  • OPINION

    Voters want a bit more 'Abenomics'

    News, Noah Smith, Published on 27/10/2017

    » Japan's long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party has figured out a novel and interesting way to stay in power -- govern pragmatically, focus on the economy and give people what they want.

  • OPINION

    Trump wants consumers to pay to keep coal alive

    News, Noah Smith, Published on 13/10/2017

    » In June, I wrote that by trying to prop up the dying coal industry, US President Donald Trump risks creating a US power industry that's "shackled to a corpse". Well, it looks like Mr Trump is figuring out just how to fit that shackle on.

  • OPINION

    Japan should spend a little less on its well-off elderly

    News, Noah Smith, Published on 29/09/2017

    » When discussing Japan's debt, most people get caught up in the issue of fiscal solvency. As everyone by now knows, Japan has a very high level of debt versus gross domestic product:

  • OPINION

    Private equity will do a lot of good for Japan Inc

    News, Noah Smith, Published on 22/08/2017

    » Back in 2012, I wrote a blog post calling for more private equity in Japan. Japanese companies are held back by a hidebound, inefficient workplace culture. Managers are often grey elder statesmen promoted up through the ranks, instead of dynamic outsiders ready to shake things up. Shareholders are often passive owners, doing little to push companies to raise profitability, while managers build empires instead of focusing on what their companies do best.

  • OPINION

    Middle East migrants give US a boost

    News, Noah Smith, Published on 26/07/2017

    » A little over a week ago, Stanford University mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani died aged 40 after a battle with cancer. In that short lifetime, she accomplished more than most of us ever will. Mirzakhani was one of the world's greatest mathematicians -- a recipient of the Fields Medal, maths' highest honour.

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