Monthly Archives

September 2019

European, Politics

The unsolicited bid of the Hong Kong Exchange (HKEX) for the London Stock Exchange (LSE)

A game changer that should encourage the EU and the UK to reconsider their entire Brexit strategies! Despite the fact that the unsolicited bid by the HKEX for the LSE has been roundly rejected by the LSE board of Directors, both its timing and scope raise some fundamental geopolitical questions that should not be overlooked lightly. First of all, it seems inconceivable that the bid was formulated without the express approval of the Chinese Government. The merger would indeed play into Chinese hands aiming at establishing a global duopoly with the United States over world financial markets. Acquisition of the LSE group (minus Refinitiv), would give immediate credibility to such ambitions and to the longer term aspirations of imposing the…

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Society

The Big Ideas: « Why Fiction Trumps Truth »

Commentary on an article by Yuval Noah Harari (Published in the New York Times on May 24th 2019) (The article is reproduced after my commentary below.) Foreword: My commentary was initially written in French based on the translation published in the Belgian newspaper “La Libre Belgique” on September 14th. Having subsequently read the original, I was surprised that the English Title “Why Fiction Trumps Truth” had been replaced by a loose reference to the author’s first § “Le mythe réconfortant de la vérité” (the comforting myth of the Truth). This has led me to change the first two § of the English version hereunder but does not, however, change the basis of my further comments. ————— Reading this opinion piece…

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European, Politics

European Union

President Ursula van der Leyen first “100 days” must demonstrate that further European integration is a priority! The hazards of the calendar have conspired to call for the quasi simultaneous renewal of the mandates of the leaders of the most important European institutions. This offers the new designated team a unique opportunity to introduce a series of informal reforms (not needing treaty changes) aimed at improving considerably the efficiency of the “European machine” whose cogs are slowly grinding to a halt! The current blockage is the result of a power grab fought from three competing corners in which each side – in the name of a virtual rather than a real sovereignty/independence – attempts to assert its (democratic?) legitimacy. It…

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