Clive Crook (for Info only, not official)

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Clive Crook

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    ...The chief investment officer of UBS Plc, the world’s biggest wealth manager, says it’s too risky to be added to the firm’s portfolios—and his assessment is relatively mild. Others have called it “the very definition of a bubble” and even “a fraud”. Those stronger terms are justified, especially after the latest spell of wild price volatility. But the idea underlying bitcoin—blockchain, or distributed-ledger technology—could be transformative. The problem with bitcoin and other so-called digital currencies is that they’re a misuse of this technology. As either a new form of money or an investment, bitcoin has fatal disadvantages. Tokens that are privately created—“mined,” if you insist—can succeed in a limited way as a means of exchange and be used to execute certain kinds of transactions. But as a reliable store of value, bitcoin is much less useful, because its volatility is so extreme. ...

    Live Mint on Nov. 30, 2017, 7:33 p.m.

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    ...Both sides ought to understand, however, that when they meet next time, moving to actual trade negotiations is essential. Instead of negotiating the shape of their future trade arrangements, Britain and the EU continue to dither over the size of the exit payment the UK owes the EU. Further delay serves neither side’s interests. The other two items in the exit package — on which the EU wants “sufficient progress” before moving to the next stage — are the rights of EU citizens in Britain after March 2019 and the future of the Northern Irish border. These are complicated and important questions, but the interests of both sides are reasonably well aligned on these issues. The settlement of financial liabilities is tougher, because the sides have staked out clear positions and they’re far apart. ...

    Live Mint on Oct. 24, 2017, 2:13 p.m.

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    ...The President is rattling the Western alliance in a way that can only delight its adversaries — Russia most of all. Trump’s fundamental error is to treat allies as though they were adversaries. He frames the full spectrum of international relations—military cooperation, international trade, action on the environment, you name it—as a zero-sum game. This is both dumb and profoundly toxic. Smart diplomacy recognizes the opportunity for mutual advantage; in the intellectual vacuum of Trump’s world order, there is only, “You lose, we win.” The Nato is not a charitable endeavor of the US. It has been a vital tool for advancing US interests. Yet Trump appeared to say, or anyway let himself be understood as saying, that the US is no longer wholly committed to the alliance. On trade, he said that Germany was “bad, very bad,” because it’s unfair, apparently, that Americans like its cars. ...

    Live Mint on May 31, 2017, 12:13 p.m.