Economics & Finance

Bitcoin and other financial innovations are proliferating, Jan. 1, 2013. (Zach Copley/Flickr)

U.S. Sanctions Weapon Is Under Threat — but Not From Bitcoin

Forget cryptocurrencies. The real threat to American sanctions power is rapid technological innovation in finance.

People in Riyadh watch a projection depicting a portrait of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during an event on Sept. 23 commemorating the anniversary of the kingdom's founding. (/AFP/Getty Images)

The Saudis Go for Broke Against Iran

Riyadh and its allies are aiming to use their financial leverage to remake the Arab world — but their strategy could just as easily backfire.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and the landscape near the planned city of Neom.
 (Foreign Policy illustration/Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images/NEOM)

Saudi Arabia Is Betting Its Future on a Desert Megacity

Can Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious plans jumpstart social and economic reform, or are they an expensive miscalculation?

Cars from German manufacturer Volkswagen are pictured in the port of Bremerhaven, nothern Germany, on July 24, 2017.
Daimler, BMW, and VW with its Audi and Porsche subsidiaries were all involved in the talks to agree on technology, suppliers, markets, strategies and polluting emissions, German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported. / AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ        (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

German Car Companies Are Driving the Country Off a Cliff

"Made in Germany" used to mean reliability. Now it means collusion.

Members of a police SWAT team lineup outside the main Olympic Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, during security drill rehearsals on July 23, 2008 in Beijing. The 2008 Olympics' security chief has said that Beijing can stage a fun Olympics as well as a safe one, in response to charges that a massive security clampdown was squeezing the joy out of the Games. More than 110,000 troops and police were engaged in security and were joined by hundreds of thousands of volunteers and that millions of Beijing residents had also been roped into the operation. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Hostage Taking Is China’s Small-Claims Court

Everyone in China — including the police — treats kidnapping as just the price of doing business.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrives at the White House October 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Prime Minister participated in a bi-lateral meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Downfall of Nawaz Sharif and the Triumph of Stupidity

Pakistan’s democracy is stronger with the removal of the prime minister on corruption charges. But the primacy of the armed forces remains intact.

The Google self-driving car maneuvers through the streets of in Washington, DC May 14, 2012. The system on a modified Toyota Prius combines information gathered from Google Street View with artificial intelligence software that combines input from video cameras inside the car, a LIDAR sensor on top of the vehicle, radar sensors on the front of the vehicle and a position sensor attached to one of the rear wheels that helps locate the car's position on the map. As of 2010, Google has tested several vehicles equipped with the system, driving 1,609 kilometres (1,000 mi) without any human intervention, in addition to 225,308 kilometres (140,000 mi) with occasional human intervention. Google expects that the increased accuracy of its automated driving system could help reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths, while using energy and space on roadways more efficiently.  AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER        (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)

Bad Code Is Already a Problem. Soon, Companies Will Be Liable.

Where life and death are at issue, responsibility and liability cannot be far behind.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

Cover_topimage

The Answers Are Out There

Contrary to conventional wisdom, solutions to many of the world’s toughest problems already exist—you just need to know where to look for them.

The view from Lelu Island toward Kitson Island and the Pacific Ocean in July 2017.

Fantasy Island

Exporting British Columbia’s abundant energy resources should have been a slam dunk. How did a multibillion-dollar dream go up in smoke?

Twilight of the Kurds

Kurdish officials once dreamed of forging their own state out of the ashes of the war against the Islamic State. Now they are fighting for their very survival.

A Liberal Defense of Tribalism

There’s nothing wrong with political tribes that can’t be fixed by what’s right with them.

You have read 0 of 5 free articles

Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover