A nomad in the world's library who spent years covering money for the WSJ in order to obtain fodder for campfire chats. Now a climate refugee in Rome but a high modernist forever and trained in anthropology.
So, the owner of upscale restaurants in New York pledges to abolish tipping in his properties and we hear of a revolution in the offing.Moreover, it's a progressive revolution, to judge by the editorials of countless pundits – most of them either economists who consider tipping irrational or people who go to restaurants frequently, but as customers rather than as workers.
One of Italy’s strong points, economically, is the much broader distribution of private wealth than is the case for most advanced economies. Most of this wealth consists of houses; Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is already showing his enthusiasm for cutting property taxes that affect the 80 percent of households who own their homes, usually free of any mortgage. That said, home ownership has long been out of reach for those surviving on labor income alone, especially as the light home and capital taxation regime is offset by a staggering levy on formal work.
Italian university graduates don’t earn adequately more than high school graduates, Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said last week in comments that were widely reported by the country’s main media outlets. It’s the kind of subtle sociologically rich comment that Visco enjoys making. It’s related to another one of his stock-in-trade remarks, which is that the vast majority – 80% or more - of his countrymen are functionally illiterate.
What if the biblical story of the Flood was an early exercise in counterfactual history? The well-known version suggests that, amid a world-destroying rise in the water level, Noah built an ark and optimized its passenger list to save biodiversity as best he could.
As is well known, many German savers object to the European Central Bank’s monetary policies on the grounds that lower interest rates drive down the yields on their savings.Last year, Germany ran a current account surplus – a good proxy for total savings – of EUR215 billion, equal to 7.4 percent of its gross domestic product, an all-time record for the country, and 20% larger in size than the surplus mustered by China, the other great mercantilist regime that has opted out of deepening its own domestic bond market in favor of hitching a ride on a foreign currency.