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Reuven Brenner news

Metaphor, literacy and ‘fake news’

Desautels Professor Reuven Brenner writes in a recent Asia Times op-ed that, as societies become literate, earlier metaphors become codified as literal truths, much to the detriment of those societies and the cultures that exist within them. There are parallels between the “fake news” of today and analogues in early societies, where one people’s superstitions about another group could bring the two into conflict.”

Published on : 20 Apr 2017

James Rickards and the end of the economy

A recent Forbes book review delves into James Rickards’ The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites’ Secret Plan For The Next Financial Crisis, which makes the case that there is a big-ticket financial collapse coming, one that dwarfs the 2008 recession. Rickards lays much of the blame on macroeconomics, drawing a parallel between it and astrology.

Published on : 04 Apr 2017

Les prédictions économiques prospèrent sur des modèles qui ne fonctionnent pas

The permanent forecasting market and its fallout  A piece in Contrepoints takes the whole practise of regular GDP forecasting to task for being based on flawed economic models, referencing Desautels Professor Reuven Brenner’s article in the inaugural issue of American Affairs, in which he calls for the abandonment of macroeconomics in favour of a more accountability-based model. Greater accountability would result in maximized potential and fewer squandered resources.

Published on : 03 Apr 2017

The pursuit of happiness through the ages

Desautels Professor Reuven Brenner gave a lecture as part of the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II’s series on Moral Capitalism, in which he explored the concept of the pursuit of happiness, as first codified in the US’s 1776 Declaration of Independence. He goes into the fact that the Declaration’s use of the term was no more than a promise to set up a legal framework that would let people try their luck or live happily — without even trying to classify just what that happiness meant.

Published on : 30 Mar 2017

Improving innovation policy

During a debate hosted in part by the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II in Warsaw, Poland, Desautels Professor Reuven Brenner explores the military origins of venture capital, as well as the associated National Defence Education Act, which he blames for starting the decline he sees in the quality of university education.

Published on : 30 Mar 2017

Shoes, economics and entrepreneurship: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

John Tamny starts his review of Nike founder Phil Knight’s eminently enjoyable memoir, Shoe Dog, with a quote by Desautels Professor Reuven Brenner that macroeconomics is a “tautology and a myth, a dangerous one at that, sustaining that prosperity is necessarily linked to territory, national units and government spending in general.” He then goes into why the book’s author would likely agree with Professor Brenner. Indeed, Nike’s continued existence is partly a product of an integrated global economy.

Published on : 30 Mar 2017

Canada stagnates while the US charges ahead: why VC in Canada is doing so poorly

In a recent piece for Asia Times, Desautels Professor Reuven Brenner shines a light on Canada’s VC culture, contrasting its sluggish returns with those of the US, which outstrips its northern neighbour across the border. Professor Brenner lays the blame on everything from Canada’s taxation schemes (which he says reduce the incentive to invest and sap the necessary capital that angel investors could put toward nascent entrepreneurs) to a weakened state of academia in this country.

Published on : 30 Mar 2017

Bannon, Plato and the decline of America

In a piece for the Asia Times, Desautels Professor Reuven Brenner looks at Trump aide Stephen K. Bannon’s view of history and how it forms his domestic and foreign strategy. Professor Brenner says that Bannon’s “generational view of history” can be traced back to analogues in the ancient world, specifically those of Aristotle and Plato, not to mention the US founding fathers.

Published on : 07 Mar 2017

A new magazine for US Conservatives

An Asia Times piece quotes columnist David P. Goldman that the Trump administration rose from the ashes of the Republican and Democrat intellectual elites. “He was a complete outsider,” Goldman says, “a totally improbable candidate, who was elected because the establishment fell into such discredit with the voters.”

Published on : 01 Mar 2017

The philosopher and the tycoon, how Eric Hoffer Predicted the last election

In an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, Desautels Finance Professor Reuven Brenner examines the 1970 essay Whose Country Is America? by Eric Hoffer. Professor Brenner looks at how the essay seems to have predicted the tenor of the last US presidential election, as well as the histrionics that have rocked America since.

Published on : 28 Feb 2017

Macroeconomics, accountability and the 2008 financial crisis

In a recent essay for the inaugural issue of American Affairs, Desautels Faculty of Management professor Reuven Brenner writes that it is time to drop the macroeconomic myths that have been damaging us for decades, and put accountability back at the centre of our economy. Against the backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis, he examines the practices and theories that took hold in the 1930s, and how they have affected everything from democracy to the basic assumptions we make about economics.

Published on : 24 Feb 2017

Professor Brenner marks launch of American Affairs

Professor Reuven Brenner of the Desautels Faculty of Management was in Manhattan, NY on February 21 to mark the inauguration of American Affairs, a quarterly journal of public policy and political thought for which he is a contributing writer and serves on the Advisory Board. The launch was hosted at the Harvard Club with guests such as Peter Thiel, former CEO and Co-Founder of PayPal.

Published on : 23 Feb 2017

An immigration amnesty could be a real problem-solver for the US

It’s difficult to get a handle on how many illegal immigrants there are in the US, but the estimated number is around 12 million, with just over half being from Mexico. Yes, there is a criminal element hidden in these numbers, but it is safe to say that the majority are working and may even have families. Rounding them up and shipping them home would be a major undertaking, and could cause friction with Mexico.

Published on : 17 Feb 2017

When statistics lie: politics and the US education system

For 2014-15, the graduation rate from US high schools hit a record 83%. As far as statistics go, that’s one that anyone would love, but there’s more going on than you’d think — and, according to Professor Reuven Brenner, politicians and bureaucracies can make a statistic say nearly anything.

Published on : 10 Feb 2017

2016 was a year of insanity. What’s next?

The year 2016 started with an insane US decision concerning the Middle East and the world: signing a deal on January 16 with Iran’s mullahs (a deal whose details have not been revealed to these days).

Published on : 09 Jan 2017