Comments & Curios I

From the third party debates in America, political institutions, the state of the Euro, and China’s future – a round up of links found earlier this week.

Question the Euro Crisis (Harvard Business Review)

After more than 18 months, a dozen and a half summits, multiple rounds of austerity, a trillion dollars of liquidity, and now elections in Greece and France that threaten to overturn the fragile policy consensus in Europe, the Euro-crisis rumbles on. How it could end, badly, with a bank run through the European bond market or the collapse of confidence around Greece, Spain or Italy, is well understood. What is less well understood is how to resolve it. – Mark Blyth

Valdai experts lament poor institutions in Russia (Valdai Club)

Lack of efficient institutions and the political will to reform them were the buzzwords among the strategists and experts in economics and public policy at the Valdai Club’s 9th annual conference on Russia’s trajectory.

The Valdai Club, which is co-sponsored by RIA Novosti and the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, brings together highly regarded Russia specialists from across the globe for annual, themed discussions – and this year the focus is on Russia’s economic direction. Traditionally the Valdai Club presents its findings to the president following off-the-record discussions and meetings with senior officials in Russia.

In Debate, Romney Reiterates Russia is Geopolitical Foe of US (The Christian Science Monitor)

The GOP presidential candidate’s comments about Russia, which he has repeated several times this year, are likely to irk the Kremlin, but are not apt to change US-Russian relations.

Europe Still Pretty Close to Paradise (European Daily)

Listening to all the gloom and doom on the news these days, I sometimes catch myself actually starting to feel sorry for people living in Europe. Then I tell myself I must be mad. Even with a crisis, Europeans still enjoy just about the safest, healthiest and wealthiest lives on the planet.

According to the UN human development index (HDI), which measures life expectancy, literacy, education levels and standards of living in a country, six of the 10 most developed nations in the world are in Europe.

And when the HDI takes into account inequality, nine out of the 10 best-performing nations are European, proof that the old continent has been the most effective in creating the least stratified societies.

A Point Of View: What kind of superpower could China be? (BBC)

China is on course to becoming a superpower – but not in the way many expect, writes economist Martin Jacques.

Beijing these days is positively throbbing with debate. It may not have the trappings of a western-style democracy, but it is now home to the most important and interesting discussions in the world.

The US Third Party Presidential Debate (C-Span)

Four Third Party Presidential candidates participated in a debate in Chicago, organized by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation.

The participants included Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson. The hour and half event was moderated by former CNN anchor Larry King and Christina Tobin, founder and chair of the Free and Equal Elections Foundation.