ESADEgeo’s Daily Digest, 21/04/2017

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POLITICO, N. Vinocur & F. Eder: Macron’s Plan to Win Over… Germany

  • Macron’s camp believes that his efforts to woo friends in Berlin and Brussels—which were not an obvious political choice—are an example of “good populism”.
  • If the succeeds in mobilizing pro-European voters in France, he will write the first page in a new chapter of European history. He may also be able to reform the Eurozone, but firstly he will try to put the French house in order.
  • During his time as a Minister, Macron vowed to put an end to the “religious wars” that divided thrifty northern Europe from the free-spending, solidarity-minded south. He has particularly insisted in reinvigorating Franco-German ties (with both major German parties), which Brexit has made even more crucial.
  • However, questions remain about whether Macron would be able to win a majority in Parliament.

Brookings, B. Katz & P. Fey: The Reality of Main Street

  • Increased competition through globalization, sprawling development and migration are emptying out many small downtowns. But some are still thriving.
  • The internet has not made location obsolete. Revitalization efforts in town centers are in vogue, driven by the sense of excitement associated with the activation of public spaces.
  • Communities should act locally in order to maximize the value of their places, not only by nurturing consumption, but also production, innovation and housing.

Project Syndicate, C. Bildt: The “New” Trump’s Lopsided Foreign Policy

  • Despite recent foreign policy U-turns, Trump’s Administration is still following an “America first” agenda.
  • Indications that diplomacy is taking a backseat in the pursuit of this agenda are most worrying.
  • Instead of stepping up the fight in Yemen to pressure Iran, the US should be focusing on diplomacy and humanitarian efforts. No-one can benefit from further escalation except, perhaps, Iran.
  • US re-engagement with world politics should be welcomed, but not if it only re-engages through military means.

Project Syndicate, J. D. Sachs: Will Economic Illiteracy Trigger a Trade War?

  • The claim that the US trade deficit is a result of unfair practices by China, Germany and others is ignorant and dangerous.
  • Trump is threatening trade wars because of a deficit that only reflects the US’ own saving-investment imbalance.
  • There is no particular reason why a reduction of foreign trade barriers or an increase in US trade barriers would have any significant effects on the saving and investment rates of the US.
  • Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been practitioners of American-style populism by repeatedly cutting taxes, increasing debt and reducing savings. This situation is what needs to be changed, although Trump’s Administration will likely make it worse.

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