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Alessandro Cripsta

Good afternoon.

Debate victory

It took four female moderators to get US presidential candidates to debate childcare. Five Democratic debates in the 2020 campaign have already occurred, but childcare and paid family leave—one of the most pressing economic and social problems facing Americans today—were finally discussed.

It took four female moderators to get US presidential candidates to debate childcare

The lives of working parents are complex indeed, and it's amazing to me that our political sphere is only just beginning to understand that. Our economy is one in which so many families, even quite privileged ones, are barely holding it all together. How much GDP is sacrificed when American parents are

The lives of working parents are complex indeed, and it's amazing to me that our political sphere is only just beginning to understand that. Our economy is one in which so many families, even quite privileged ones, are barely holding it all together. How much GDP is sacrificed when American parents are busy scrambling daily to arrange suitable childcare or stressing about the cost or logistics of it?

I have to keep reminding myself that these are relatively new mainstream issues for this country to confront (new, that is, for families in which the mother works outside the home as a choice versus a necessity; in some segments of society, the working-mom thing has been happening for generations, long before anyone ever heard of parental leave). But it's about time we start caring about the issue of childcare, and about time that our politicians start talking about it. I know some very stressed-out working parents on both sides of the aisle who will rather appreciate it.

The 5th democratic debates last night may have seemed relatively uneventful to the outside eye, but they brought about at least two big changes: All the moderators were women, and for the first time, the candidates were asked what they would do to fix America's childcare problem. Only 3 candidates addressed

The 5th democratic debates last night may have seemed relatively uneventful to the outside eye, but they brought about at least two big changes: All the moderators were women, and for the first time, the candidates were asked what they would do to fix America's childcare problem. Only 3 candidates addressed the question (Harris, Klobuchar, and Yang), though Warren brought up the topic of her own accord in her opening statement.

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When superpowers collide

A US show of support for Hong Kong's protesters... President Trump is expected to sign bipartisan legislation to set up regular reviews of Hong Kong’s special status with the possibility of sanctions, Bloomberg reports.

Trump Expected to Sign Hong Kong Bill Despite China Threats

This is a very complex issue which I have addressed before, having been a resident of Hong Kong since 2006. This is one issue (the only issue?) where Trump has bipartisan support - that is taking a hard line with China. In fact Congress might be even more hardline than Trump now as so many are concerned

This is a very complex issue which I have addressed before, having been a resident of Hong Kong since 2006. This is one issue (the only issue?) where Trump has bipartisan support - that is taking a hard line with China. In fact Congress might be even more hardline than Trump now as so many are concerned about the national security ramifications of a rising China. It was obvious that such a bill would have good momentum.

Looking at the Hong Kong protests: the one hand the youth of Hong Kong have much to complain about with extortionate property prices and an ultra competitive environment upon graduation. Many Hong Kong Chinese also feel that their own unique culture is slipping away because of the influence of mainland China. And the government of Hong Kong doesn't seem so empathetic to their plight: some say its because government is controlled by the wealthy real estate tycoons. And there are a lot of articles about this including a blog I wrote. In fact in some ways Hong Kong shares many of the characteristics of other cities around the world which are suffering from civil unrest (including Paris) due to historically high gaps in wealth and income. Regarding the push for 'democracy,' of course I think it's a noble cause. However, it's not all black and white. The Hong Kong government and bureaucracy has been competent in many areas. I've never encountered a civil service which is so efficient - and friendly. And when Hong Kong was a colony of my country, we did not grant it democracy. In fact, it is more democratic today than under the British! So I think the underlying causes of all of this are more economic than regarding democracy. Look at many other countries around the world which don't have democracy, the West barely comments. Why are we making such a big deal of it now (and in some ways helping perpetuate the conflict)? Some might argue that it's because China is in the cross hairs. When I forecast that Donald Trump would win the US Presidency I warned that his administration would be ultra aggressive with China, and would go much further than anyone would imagine. I also warned just before the Hong Kong protests flared up that Hong Kong was about to have a crisis. I could see the stress building up in society (as well as looking at a lot of data) and I knew that the West would probably take a strong anti China stance. For the record, I am not a blind pro China analyst. I think we should always be (constructively) critical of government actions and hold them accountable. However, I think the trajectory we are currently on is dangerous.

The Chinese government has its faults, but living in China is not anywhere nearly as bad as some journalists describe. It is true in some areas freedom of speech is curtailed (some people would say the same of Singapore) but without the political correctness the West has, in many areas there are even greater freedom of speech. I've heard many people say that, including a famous Silicon Valley VC who wrote about it in a blog. If you look at governance from the perspective or creating a society which is growing in abundance , harmonious and happy, then China might be said to be doing a good job. I interviewed Parag Khanna 2 years ago after he write his book Technocracy in America and he certainly subscribes to that view. Now is a good time for the West to examine its own system and ask profound questions - and stop intervening in other nations. If journalists went on to the streets of Hong Kong and spoke with a lot of the long term foreign residents, they would find that many of them are not happy with the actions of the extremist protestors (throwing petrol bombs and assaulting women and even children who disagree with them). We should be looking at our own system now. Personally I think its a good time to go back to the drawing board. I happened to pick up a copy of Plato's Republic this week, and somewhere it describes the events in Sparta and Greece, saying that democracies can result in senseless overseas wars and oligarchies can result in civil wars. (He recommended philosopher rulers - ironically something that the Chinese have always aspired to). The West might be oscillating between the two systems. As we move to a multipolar world and the American Empire ends (I don't think its the end of the US, just a transformed US), I think we need to move back to a more pragmatic form of geopolitics and diplomacy. I call it live and let live. If we allow a peaceful rise of China, we could actually be enter a very peaceful time of human history.

Confronting inequality

Women remain deeply underrepresented in aviation. But a shortage of trained pilots is offering more opportunities than ever for women to make fresh gains in the high-skilled profession.

Why are there so few women in aviation?

Diversity is good for our industries. Across aviation, we need women in tech roles, leadership positions, and in the air.

I've been taking flying lessons (for fun) for several years and have been amazed at the lack of gender diversity in the air. We don't encourage young women and girls to take enough risks in general, so it shouldn't be a surprise unfortunately. We need to change this across industries.

ETFs are eating the market

ETFs didn’t democratize finance. Could they? Over a third of Americans spent more on coffee than in investments last year. Getting people without much money to invest small amounts for their own good is hard. ETFs could help solve that problem. ✦

ETFs didn’t democratize finance. Could they?

Given the obvious volatility of the markets and that the ETF provides no protection convincing the public to invest in stocks should be hard.

Most people instinctively follow two adages. First if you can't afford to pay you can't afford to play. Second there is rule about a fool and money.

Even the

Given the obvious volatility of the markets and that the ETF provides no protection convincing the public to invest in stocks should be hard.

Most people instinctively follow two adages. First if you can't afford to pay you can't afford to play. Second there is rule about a fool and money.

Even the casually interested know the markets are often opaque and recent news about Uber and Wework is not going to support conference.

The ETF marketers also need to explain how they make money. Market intermediaries almost always make money no matter what the market does and small investors need to pay attention to the costs.

The new face of education

Employers shouldn’t obsess over hiring elite students. Hiring from lesser-known colleges can benefit companies in surprising ways.

Only recruiting the smartest students is a dumb hiring strategy.

It is really important to hire people who have the humility to take feedback and the confidence to give it. The college elite may not always bring that to the table. It is also equally important to get people from a wider section of the society, especially if you are building a startup that would cater to the entire country.

Who’s in charge of Christmas?

All we want for Christmas is Q

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Oil hits $75 for first time since 2014 on supply outages in Libya and Canada

Oil hits $75 for first time since 2014 on supply outages in Libya and Canada

Read more on CNBC

From Our Members

  • I was driving a lot around Georgia last week. My first fill up was $2.53 and six days later I was paying $2.69. A creep to $4/gal has got to have some kind of impact on the midterms, right?

  • I still believe that the real tipping point in the summer of 2008 was $4 gas. When the national average hit $4, you could virtually see the entire economy screech to a halt. It seemed that way to me at the time, and I still think today that was the last straw.

    We are still a ways away from $4 gas, as

    I still believe that the real tipping point in the summer of 2008 was $4 gas. When the national average hit $4, you could virtually see the entire economy screech to a halt. It seemed that way to me at the time, and I still think today that was the last straw.

    We are still a ways away from $4 gas, as a national average. $3 would be painful but not debilitating, I don’t think. We get back to $4, though, we are in trouble.

  • I live in California, where $4 gas is just a few dimes away. The question I have is how rising gas prices will affect what cars Americans buy. Last time, we moved away from trucks/SUVs. Now, most major manufacturers have drastically reduced their output of cars in favor of light trucks/SUVs. Can this

    I live in California, where $4 gas is just a few dimes away. The question I have is how rising gas prices will affect what cars Americans buy. Last time, we moved away from trucks/SUVs. Now, most major manufacturers have drastically reduced their output of cars in favor of light trucks/SUVs. Can this be sustained with oil prices rising rapidly?

  • What justifies the rising price of oil? Could it be an improved economy, arbitrary price hikes, or changes in line with collective bargaining from the major providers? Regardless the cause, oil is still a significant source of energy for the global economy.

  • I live in Philadelphia and whenever I visit my family in New Jersey, I fill up the tank. Not only is NJ a state where they pump for you (in Jersey we pump our fists, not our gas) but the gas is significantly cheaper.

  • I understand that people need to make a profit off of what they're doing. I can't imagine that it's cheap to drill for oil. But. if it's costing that much to get oil from other places, maybe we need to start pumping in the US again. Although, they say that we can't keep up with the demand, but we did

    I understand that people need to make a profit off of what they're doing. I can't imagine that it's cheap to drill for oil. But. if it's costing that much to get oil from other places, maybe we need to start pumping in the US again. Although, they say that we can't keep up with the demand, but we did before, and the prices were a lot cheaper.