WES Exclusive: PIIE on China’s model of governance and its growing influence 

NB: This article reflects the view of the writer, and does not reflect the stance of The Warwick Economics Summit

A democratically elected government, in recent times, have been synonymous with the image of good governance. The picture of smartly dressed MPs debating passionately on the UK’s green parliament bench, coupled with the relatively melodious “odd-deur” bellowing loudly from former speaker John Bercow’s deep vocals, has been etched on the minds of voters as the embodiment of free speech and democracy. 

Free speech, the belief that everyone’s voice and opinions deserve recognition, has been the cornerstone of Western democracy. It goes by unchallenged, lacking a credible ideological competitor, where many in the world accept it as an inherent good that is pursuable as an ends to itself. But its once unquestionable dominance as the most optimal model of governance is now being contested by China, whose meritocratic, yet very much autocratic, model of governance have paid out substantial dividends to the country in terms of economic growth and development. 

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Mental health: A battle well fought, but the war remains

Mental health is a topic that has gained prominence in recent times, where a societal shift in perspective led to the issue being widely accepted by the public. Although, medicine and surgery are one of the most respected lines of work in the world, professionals that treat our minds, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, have fared significantly less well than their counterparts. 

Before the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud developed the idea of psychoanalysis (1890’s) and thus created a foundation for the field of psychology – taking a more scientific approach towards the mind – humanity was almost completely oblivious to the existence of mental illnesses and their variety. Even after Freud, however, it took the world a long time before it started treating mental health seriously.

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If you like it put a ring on it: LVMH buys Tiffany

In November, LVMH, a French luxury goods giant, announced it is buying American jeweler Tiffany & Co as part of a $16.2bn (£12.6bn) deal. The deal came after months of speculation and an earlier rejected offer at $120 per share. LVMH was able to tie the knot after raising its offer price to $135 per share – a shiny premium over Tiffany’s $90 share price in October.

In the classic 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly muses that Tiffany’s is a place where “nothing very bad could happen to you”.  Can the same be said for LVMH after undertaking this acquisition?

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Why the US’s feud with Huawei transcends security concerns

Huawei, the telecommunications company that promises to revolutionise connectivity, faces a powerful adversary in the form of the US. Founded in 1987, Huawei has become the dominant player in its field, outcompeting its European 5G rivals. The technology company is also a significant player in the smartphone industry, beating Apple in overall sales, thus jumping to second place and in the process separating the two smartphone giants; Apple and Samsung, for the first time in seven years. Huawei’s tenure as the dominant 5G provider has not been a comfortable one.

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Has the Eurozone failed the Euro?

“Europe is more than just the Euro,” words of Professor Otmar Issing, the former Chief Economist of the European Central Bank, father of the Euro (€), and a speaker at the Warwick Economics Summit 2020.

The Euro is the official currency of the EU and any member states who adopt it become part of the Eurozone. Despite the fact that not all EU countries are constituents of the monetary union, the Euro is one of the leading currencies in the world, only second to the US dollar ($).

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The SoftBank Effect: is Silicon Valley’s Unicorn Bubble set to Crash?

In what may be a reckoning for the tech world, Wall St has started to run from companies funded by the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.

The co-working real-estate startup WeWork has been in turmoil since filing its public-offering paperwork in August. On September 16th, WeWork announced it was delaying its IPO indefinitely, cutting its valuation from $47 billion to as low as $10 billion following frosty investor response and ousting CEO Adam Neumann.

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Behind Bars: Rethinking the Morality and Economics of Prisons

“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” The words of Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa and a man who spent 27 years locked up as a political prisoner, ring true even in the modern age.

Therefore, the question is: how do the nations of today present themselves when put under the scrutiny of these words?

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Gold is losing its sparkle, yet the economy cheers

With rising fears about the US-China trade war and an imminent global recession, investors sought safety in assets like precious metals and sovereign bonds to hedge the risk against unfavorable market conditions. Gold prices move inversely with inflation, and bonds are perceived to be a safer bet as the risk of default is lower than equities. In recent months, demand for gold has risen as global outlook looks increasingly pessimistic. That trend, perhaps comfortingly, started to falter last week.

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