Credit Suisse C.E.O. Asks for a Cut in His Bonus

Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of Credit Suisse, has asked the company’s board to reduce his bonus, days after the Swiss bank reported a multibillion-dollar loss in the fourth quarter. “I have asked the board of directors for a significant reduction in my bonus,” Mr. Thiam said in a statement issued by the bank on Sunday. Mr. Thiam, who joined the bank in July, did not indicate the size of the reduction in his bonus, but said his was the largest reduction within the management team.

Source: Credit Suisse C.E.O. Asks for a Cut in His Bonus – The New York Times

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Not the new Linda Rondstadt, but she (Lindi Ortega) is pretty good

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Even when you are en economist, you can want to be an astronaut

The amazing astronaut is Sunita Williams.

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The Race for Space by British alternative group Public Service Broadcasting

My brother gave me this CD for Christmas.  It makes an addictive present, and you will never, ever, forget Yuri Gagarin, Alexei Leonov (did you even know he was the first person to walk in space?) and the three astronauts who died in the cockpit of Apollo 1 (Grissom, Chafee and White).  My kids like it too.

In his positive review of the album for Drowned in Sound, Marc Burrows wrote that “the joy [in The Race for Space] is in how the duo marry theme and function”, citing specifically the album’s instrumentals and their fit to the archival recordings used, such as “the beeping signal of the pioneering “Russian moon” built into the loping, housy rhythm of ‘Sputnik'”, and “‘E.V.A”s portrayal of Alexey Leonov’s first spacewalk through quietly disorientating switches in timing and mood, breaking from excitement and speed to a gentle drifting.”[7] He also commented positively on the album’s unbiased use of both positive and tragic moments from the space race as context to the music; something Harley had also noted in his review.[10] Burrows also notably concluded the review in emotionally-charged praise of “The Other Side”, describing it as “history and melody and wonder hitting you all at once in a moment of complete joy and release. Just wonderful.”[7] At The Arts Desk, Thomas H Green wrote that The Race for Space is an effective reminder of “the 1960s media’s wild excitement about the space race” and “the era when every boy wanted to be an astronaut”, which had been “almost forgotten”. He also stated that the band took advantage of the current trends in electronic music, such as sampling, comparing them to The Egg, in a positive light. He wrote that The Race for Space was “a rich and thoroughly enjoyable nine-track journey”, and stated that the band “reinvented the concept album as a delightful, historically engaged rave-up.”

Source: The Race for Space (album) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Short life expectancy of Russian men… too much vodka

In my econometrics class we measure the number of missing women using the World Development Indicators, and in Russia and Eastern Europe the numbers reveal missing men. The reason seems straightforward.

The study, published in the Lancet, found Russian male smokers who drank three or more half-liter — half-quart — bottles of vodka weekly doubled their risk of dying compared with those who consumed less than half a liter a week. The study said heavy drinkers mainly die from alcohol poisoning, accidents, violence, suicide, cancer, tuberculosis, pneumonia, pancreatitis, liver disease and heart disease, RIA Novosti reported. In recent years, the Russian government, which has described the country’s alcohol abuse as a “national disaster,” made a goal to halve alcohol consumption by 2020. The government also went after illegal production and sales. The study in The Lancet said due to these alcohol policy reforms, Russia’s consumption of spirits dropped by a third since 2006, as has the risk of death before the age of 55. “Russian death rates have fluctuated wildly over the past 30 years as alcohol restrictions and social stability varied under Presidents (Mikhail) Gorbachev, (Boris) Yeltsin, and (Vladimir) Putin, and the main thing driving these wild fluctuations in death was vodka,” said study co-author Richard Peto of the University of Oxford. “This has been shown in retrospective studies, and now we’ve confirmed it in a big, reliable prospective study.” Study leader David Zaridze of the Russian Cancer Research Centre in Moscow said the significant decline in Russian mortality rates following alcohol controls in 2006 demonstrated that those who drank spirits in hazardous ways reduced their risk of death as soon as they quit.

Source: Vodka blamed for short life expectancy — age 64 — of Russian men –

see also:

Spatial variation of male alcohol-related mortality in Belarus and Lithuania

The Recent Mortality Decline in Russia: Beginning of the Cardiovascular Revolution?

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Noah Smith asks why many economists still advocate for free trade

Smith accuses economists of being blithely callous.  But he seems unable to appreciate how narrow-minded his own “attack on economists” is, because by his notion of what is fair and just only Americans matter. Who cares what happens to the billion people in China, whose incomes by the way are one 20th those of Americans.  If you want to take fairness seriously, you can’t just assert it only matters for people who happen to live in the United States.

Why are economists so willing to declare to the world that free trade is good, even after reading papers like the one by Autor et al.?

Source: Free Trade With China Wasn’t Such a Great Idea for the U.S. – Bloomberg View

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Anthony Bernier challenges library youth services to be more international-oriented, in in VOYA

Nice perspective from Anthony!

I come not to praise the superiority we feel about library service in the United States, but to bury it. This issue of VOYA [February 2016] concentrates on how technology continues to move evermore rapidly to the center of an information professional’s life in the U.S. In this constant narrative of technological advance, however, less apparent is how little we learn about the provision of YA services from other places. Professional curiosity ought to, inherently, take advantage of the growing transnational flows of ideas and communication. To not inform such curiosity represents either a stunning culture of laziness or, worse, supreme arrogance–an assumption that the U.S., by definition, simply owns the apex of YA library service. Increasingly, there are fewer and fewer excuses for this incuriosity and greater and greater professional need to pursue global experiences. This coming August 11th, the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) is co-hosting a one-day “satellite” conference, “Child and Youth Reading in the Transition to a Digital Culture: Emerging Perspectives on the Role of Libraries” in Northern California.

The conference, sponsored by IFLA’s Libraries for Children and Young Adults unit, promises to bring librarians the world over to our shores–no passport required! Many international attendees will then fly to Columbus, Ohio, to participate in the annual IFLA Congress, between August 13-19, to meet, learn from, and interact with colleagues from all over the globe. ( In the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to establish relationships in South Korea, Africa, and Germany. In some cases, these relationships required travel, in others, not. Each experience sharpened and qualified my own comparative perspectives of what our profession claims to accomplish here “at home.” Not all countries, for instance, address youth services with relatively high paid graduate-degree-holding professionals. Not all countries envision or construct youth as mere at-risk candidates for adult status or projects for “development.” Neither does the U.S. corner the market on all of the important institutional resources required to support youth services professionalism.

Read the full article here.

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