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Economists predict that geo-engineering, performance drugs and artificial intelligence will shape our future

February 14, 2014 8:24 pm

Forecast: The world in 2114

Economists predict that geo-engineering, performance drugs and artificial intelligence will shape our future

Martin Weitzman

If there is one natural bridge spanning the chasm between today and a century from now, it is climate change. We can envision only the foundation of this bridge. Even so, we can make out enough features to sense that something big and possibly ominous may be on the distant horizon. Read more of this post

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The owners of Europe’s largest online retailer Zalando are preparing for an initial public offering after the company reported strong sales growth for 2013.

European Web Giant Zolando Talks to IPO Banks

EYK HENNING

Updated Feb. 14, 2014 7:43 p.m. ET

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The owners of Europe’s largest online retailer Zalando are preparing for an initial public offering after the company reported strong sales growth for 2013.

Zalando’s owners, including Swedish investment firm AB Kinnevik, have held talks with investment banks to potentially advise on the transaction, according to two people familiar with the matter. They said Goldman SachsGS -0.21% Morgan Stanley MS -0.74% andJ.P. Morgan Chase JPM +0.21% & Co. have good prospects getting a mandate. Read more of this post

Book Review: ‘The Value of the Humanities’ by Helen Small; Professors who were eager to throw over the canon now find it difficult to defend their own jobs

Book Review: ‘The Value of the Humanities’ by Helen Small

Professors who were eager to throw over the canon now find it difficult to defend their own jobs.

BARTON SWAIM

Feb. 14, 2014 5:46 p.m. ET

For centuries—at least since Philip Sidney’s “Apology for Poetry” (1579)—poets and literary critics have felt the need to defend the study of imaginative writing against those who dismiss it as vain and useless. Sidney defended poetry’s utility against Plato’s criticisms in “The Republic”; Matthew Arnold defended the value of “culture” against those who considered it no more than “a smattering of Greek and Latin”; and F.R. Leavis attacked C.P. Snow for (as Leavis thought) demeaning the value of literature. Read more of this post

(Isia) – Global investors are heading back to Indonesia and sending stocks, bonds and the currency soaring, in a sharp reversal of sentiment after months of turmoil as the economy shows signs of improvement.

Investors Head Back to Indonesian Assets

Recent Data Indicate Improving Fundamentals

ANJANI TRIVEDI

Feb. 14, 2014 8:17 a.m. ET

Global investors are heading back to Indonesia and sending stocks, bonds and the currency soaring, in a sharp reversal of sentiment after months of turmoil as the economy shows signs of improvement.

The rupiah gained 3.4% against the dollar on Friday, the biggest one-day gain in four months, according to data provider CQG. For the week, the rupiah advanced 5%, making it Asia’s top-performing currency this year. Read more of this post

First of NYSE-Delisted China Stocks Launches Asian Offering

China Firm Preps for Hong Kong IPO

First of NYSE-Delisted China Stocks Launches Asian Offering

PRUDENCE HO

Updated Feb. 14, 2014 6:47 a.m. ET

HONG KONG—Two years ago, as Chinese companies listed in the U.S. battled a perception for being weak, or were tainted with fraud, many Chinese companies were taken private by their owners. Now, 15 months after it was bought out by its founder, the former New York-listed Gushan Environmental Energy Ltd. is raising up to US$96 million in a Hong Kong initial public offering. Read more of this post

South Korea has an unexpected new hit movie: the story of factory workers who became ill working for a company that looks a lot like the Korean giant Samsung.

South Korea’s Surprise Hit Film

South Korea has an unexpected new hit movie: the story of factory workers who became ill working for a company that looks a lot like the Korean giant Samsung

JEYUP S. KWAAK

Feb. 14, 2014 7:33 p.m. ET

South Korea has an unexpected new hit movie: the story of factory workers who became ill working for a company that looks a lot like the Korean giant Samsung. The makers of “Another Family”—the second-highest-grossing film to debut in South Korea last week—say it is based on the true story of a working-class family whose daughter contracted leukemia while working at a Samsung semiconductor factory and died of the disease in 2007. Read more of this post

Lincoln’s Foreign Policy in Today’s World; As a diplomat, Lincoln was a lifelong skeptic of grand foreign adventures

Lincoln’s Foreign Policy in Today’s World

As a diplomat, Lincoln was a lifelong skeptic of grand foreign adventures

KEVIN PERAINO

Feb. 14, 2014 8:13 p.m. ET

When we think about brilliant U.S. foreign-policy minds, we don’t usually think of Abraham Lincoln —and he didn’t either. “I don’t know anything about diplomacy,” he told one foreign envoy at the start of his first term. “I will be very apt to make blunders.” The most ambitious foreign trip he ever took was a jaunt to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls; shortly before his assassination, he had delighted his wife Mary by promising her that they would visit Europe for the first time after his presidency was over. He spoke no foreign languages and couldn’t even read a menu in French, the 19th-century language of diplomacy. “Hold on there,” he once begged a more cosmopolitan waiter in a New York French restaurant. “Beans. I know beans.” Read more of this post

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