What We’re Reading

Preeti Aroon “Fast Lane to the Future,” by Don Belt in National Geographic. India has a new, elegantly named, 3,633-mile superhighway, the Golden Quadrilateral, that links four population hubs — New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai. India hopes it will vroom the economy to new heights, similar to the benefits of the U.S. interstate highway ...

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592453_080922_obama5.jpg

Preeti Aroon

"Fast Lane to the Future," by Don Belt in National Geographic. India has a new, elegantly named, 3,633-mile superhighway, the Golden Quadrilateral, that links four population hubs -- New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai. India hopes it will vroom the economy to new heights, similar to the benefits of the U.S. interstate highway system.

Elizabeth Dickinson

Preeti Aroon

Fast Lane to the Future,” by Don Belt in National Geographic. India has a new, elegantly named, 3,633-mile superhighway, the Golden Quadrilateral, that links four population hubs — New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai. India hopes it will vroom the economy to new heights, similar to the benefits of the U.S. interstate highway system.

Elizabeth Dickinson

Since the financial crisis starting brewing a year ago, I’ve been looking for good “explainers” (read: little jargon, lots of thought) to make sense of the economy. The Big Picture is one of the best places I’ve found online. Blogger Barry Ritholtz monitors the news, offers his take, and scrutinizes the takes of others. A host of other informative blogs can be found here — a girl (or boy) needs many sources to think through this many bailouts.

Rebecca Frankel

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Why is Obama so vapid, hesitant, and gutless?” In his regular Slate slot, Christopher Hitchens mercilessly muses on the reasons why presidential candidate Barack Obama is having trouble slaying his competition. Although Obama fans will shudder when Hitchens suggests that their candidate is heading down the path of failed presidential hopeful Michael Dukakis, he makes an interesting stab at identifying the former law professor’s potential Achilles heel. 

Blake Hounshell

In Defense of the Paulson Plan,” by Nadav Manham at Seeking Alpha. Few have come forward to defend the Bush administration’s $700 billion bailout plan. Manham, who thinks it can work “if it acts as a catalyst for future positive events rather than being seen as the end in itself,” gives it the old college try.

Joshua Keating 

A Rising Tide” and “Economies of Scales.” I never thought I would have any interest in fishing-quota management, but thanks to these two pieces from The Economist on property rights-based schemes for protecting commercial fisheries, I really want to understand more about how this works. According to the piece, when fishermen can buy transferable fishing rights, they are far less likely to overfish than those where fishing rights are time-limited. Anyone have recommendations?

Kate Palmer

A Peace from the Bottom Up.” In his column in today’s Washington Post, Jackson Diehl ruefully reminds us of the days when the Israel-Palestine conflict was the world’s most pressing. Now, even though it’s overshadowed by everything from Pakistan to the global financial mess, he says, there’s still a smart way to solve it — one that doesn’t mirror the fragile, short-sighted promises of the past.

More from Foreign Policy

A worker cuts the nose off the last Ukraine's Tupolev-22M3, the Soviet-made strategic aircraft able to carry nuclear weapons at a military base in Poltava, Ukraine on Jan. 27, 2006. A total of 60 aircraft were destroyed  according to the USA-Ukrainian disarmament agreement.
A worker cuts the nose off the last Ukraine's Tupolev-22M3, the Soviet-made strategic aircraft able to carry nuclear weapons at a military base in Poltava, Ukraine on Jan. 27, 2006. A total of 60 aircraft were destroyed according to the USA-Ukrainian disarmament agreement.

Why Do People Hate Realism So Much?

The school of thought doesn’t explain everything—but its proponents foresaw the potential for conflict over Ukraine long before it erupted.

Employees watch a cargo ship at a port in China, which is experiencing an economic downturn.
Employees watch a cargo ship at a port in China, which is experiencing an economic downturn.

China’s Crisis of Confidence

What if, instead of being a competitor, China can no longer afford to compete at all?

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies in the U.S. Senate in Washington on Sept. 24, 2020.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies in the U.S. Senate in Washington on Sept. 24, 2020.

Why This Global Economic Crisis Is Different

This is the first time since World War II that there may be no cooperative way out.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Premier Li Keqiang applaud at the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Premier Li Keqiang applaud at the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11.

China Is Hardening Itself for Economic War

Beijing is trying to close economic vulnerabilities out of fear of U.S. containment.