The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 15/06/2017

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Financial Times—E. Luce /  The Anglo-American democracy problem

  • Much of the anti-establishment cynicism in America and Britain was born during the Iraq war. But that pales against the generation-long triumphalism of Anglo-American capitalism.
  • France, for example, has done a better job at keeping its left-behinds above water than its Anglo-Saxon rivals. The French have their own vulnerabilities, but they are high-class problems against those facing America and the UK.
  • No two countries have done more to broadcast their meritocracies than the US and the UK. Yet the two rival each other for the worst records of income mobility in the western world.
  • The US and Britain suffer from an illusion about the value of qualifications. They routinely confuse having a college degree with being skilled, and the stigmatization of the least educated has backfired.
  • The two Anglo-Saxon countries stand out among western democracies as unmarked by revolution or occupation during the 20th century. The longer a country is stable, the more complacent it becomes.

Project Syndicate—C. Bildt / Urbanization 2.0

  • The future will be shaped by two key trends: digitization and urbanization. The possibilities introduced by the former will likely help us overcome the problems associated with the latter.
  • As we enter a period of hyper-urbanization, municipal and regional governments will need to step up their efforts to curb energy use and introduce new green technologies.
  • Without the policies and infrastructure in place to absorb new arrivals, megacities could fail, and degenerate into urban jungles that pose a security threat to surrounding regions and the world beyond.
  • Addressing the challenges associated with hyper-urbanization will require deeper dialogue among global cities themselves. We should not exaggerate the differences between the most and the least advanced global cities, as security solutions in Toronto might very well be applicable in Karachi.

POLITICO—J. Plucinska / Roam like at home? Not so fast

  • “Eliminating roaming charges is one of the greatest and most tangible successes of the EU,” the EU institutions touted in a collective statement Wednesday.
  • However, dozens of telecoms providers have applied for exemptions to the rules, allowing them to continue charging marginal roaming rates if only temporarily, while others in countries including Poland refused to implement the rules according to EU demands.
  • The Commission downplayed these cases and said it will encourage national regulators to whip into shape the telecoms operators trying to flout the rules.
  • The fortunes of smaller telecoms should improve in the coming years. The rates telecoms providers charge each other are expected to drop progressively as part of the agreement struck between the Commission, Parliament and Council earlier this year.
  • When that happens, telecoms providers in Southern European countries will feel the pain as they get less income from tourists’ home telecoms providers.

Financial Times—L. Hornby / China’s consolidation push turns to sprawling power sector

  • Beijing is weighing ambitious proposals to consolidate its electricity generators into national energy behemoths, a process that may result in a triopoly of power giants commanding nearly a trillion dollars of assets.
  • According to the plan, Beijing would be forcing mergers of the “Big Five” coal-dependent power generators with large state-owned coal miners and nuclear power generators.
  • The logic is that fewer but larger groups would end the mutually destructive race to build new power plants, which has outpaced growth in electricity demand.
  • The nuclear industry objects to mergers with debt-ridden coal-fired plants, many of which are located in areas with little power demand.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.  

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