Cyber-Cerberus and Hackers’ Hades

Cyber-Cerberus and Hackers’ Hades How to make home(land)s cyber-safer places

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

The creation of cyberspace may be perceived either as a benign addendum to the biblical Book of Genesis or as man’s fatal conceit making a virtual world mimicking the inherited one. Is it a smarter cover for the physical world – with its old-days and more predictable social life, economic cooperation, and power politics – or a digital hallucination – leaving us disturbed? The godfather of cyberspace is considered William Gibson. He invented the word, using it in his SciFi Burning Chrome story and Neuromancer novel. You do not have to be full-time scientific-fantasist to get the side effects of an avatar-world. An avatar-world will accordingly develop goods and bads that will transcend it and trespass it. Its goods will enhance the source realms, its bads will strike back in it, as happened in the world of www, Facebook, Wikileaks and US presidential campaign interfered by maleficent descendants of the “dark-side” soviets. More

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    Inflation Surpassing Populism

    Inflation Surpassing Populism

    No. 9, Jan.-Feb. 2018

    In a Europe locked-in below-target inflation, for the most part, one country basically surpasses all others. Romania managed to almost triple its inflation rate one month into the New Year, after a brief – and unique period in the last quarter century or... More



    The One-Size-Fits-All of the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” Reports

    The One-Size-Fits-All of the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” Reports

    No. 9, Jan.-Feb. 2018

    The recently released World Bank “Ease of doing business 2018” report put Nigeria at 145 out of 190 countries surveyed, just behind Niger. This ranking represents a significant improvement over that of last year, when the country was ranked 169... More



    Will We Face an Economic Uncertainty from the Current Political Instability?

    Will We Face an Economic Uncertainty from the Current Political Instability?Economy Near Us

    No. 9, Jan.-Feb. 2018

    By a system instability we must not understand a general fluctuations or oscillations of the system in its entirety. The instability of a system is done by only a few number of its components, but they must be crucial for the system... More



    The Keys to the American Economy Are Changing Hands

    The Keys to the American Economy Are Changing Hands

    No. 9, Jan.-Feb. 2018

    A change in leadership is imminent for one of the most important institutions for the American economy. Janet Yellen, the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve, will step down at the end of her four-year tenure at the helm of the establishment... More



    Invitation to the European Resource Bank Meeting

    Invitation to the European Resource Bank MeetingGathering of libertarian, conservative, and liberal entrepreneurs and thinkers

    No. 9, Jan.-Feb. 2018

    Economic think tanks, entrepreneurs, institutes, and intellectuals assemble annually at the European Resource Bank meeting to discuss the challenges to the free market, individual liberty, and free enterprise facing Europe and the world. This year... More



    Some Thoughts on the “Global Competitiveness”

    Some Thoughts on the “Global Competitiveness”Beyond the glamour of Davos

    No. 9, Jan.-Feb. 2018

    Despite the argument by Krugman that “economists, in general, do not use the word competitiveness”, a cursory survey of the literature reveals a wide range of definitions of competitiveness and frequent usage of the concept. Moreover, although... More



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    Models of Globalization

    Models of Globalization The first four meetings of the Interdisciplinary Scientific Seminar “Octav Onicescu”

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    By the end of June 2017, when the seminar on “Marxist mathematical economics” was wrapping up, I announced a plan to organize a scientific seminar on “Models of globalization”, and I expoused its basic themes. It extends the economic study from the national to the supranational (of international organizations) and global levels, as was the obvious progression of inquiries. In September, after consulting with potential participants and especially professor Emil Dinga (director of the Seminary “N. Georgescu-Roegen”, of Logic and Methodology of Economics), a plan of organization and a list of reviewers and reports were established. Hence, on the 28th of September 2017, I was able to publish online the purpose, the organization and the program of the seminar, which was described as “interdisciplinary”. Latter on, under the approval of the participants, it was named “Octav Onicescu”, because he was an important promoter of interdisciplinary studies and the seminar was housed by the Institute for Mathematical Statistics and Applied Mathematics, of the Romanian Academy, which bears his name. I also managed for the seminars (together the discussions) to be recorded and published on youtube,com and to be broadcast live, through Skype. More

    The Future of Economics Is Human

    The Future of Economics Is Human

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    Private actors have long embraced behavioral economics as a way to boost sales and profits yet, until recently, the line of study had not been endowed with a front row seat in the hall of economic policy development. This year’s recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (called the Nobel Prize for Economics), Richard H. Thaler, increases the proportion of behavioral economists upon whom the prestigious award has been bestowed to 6%. His work offers a glimpse into a particular type of libertarianism: coined as “libertarian paternalism” by this year’s Nobel Prize recipient and the co-author of his bestselling book “Nudge”, Cass Sunstein, the pair argues for guiding people in their choices under specific conditions. Libertarian paternalism would prevent losses resulting from neglecting to act upon lucrative propositions such as signing up for a savings plan where the employer matches one’s contribution up to a certain percent of one’s income and reasons in favor of providing as default options for policy implementation the best alternative for the individual or society as a whole (such as automatic enrollment in said savings program) in order to assist fallible or inexperienced individuals with key decisions. Thaler tries to match the two seemingly conflicting interests of the individual and the group (to him, choices need not be a zero-sum game) by minimizing the cost of externalities through defaults that are beneficial to one party while interfering minimally with respect to the other (a widespread example is that of favoring opt-out policies rather than opt-in, on the one hand to increase the number of participants and, on the other, to bank on people’s inertia). More

    A Romanian Perspective on the Three Seas Initiative

    A Romanian Perspective on the Three Seas Initiative

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    The Three Seas Initiative is a recent formula describing an older concept. Romania is a reflexive supporter of regional cooperation initiatives, but it is paying special attention to this initiative, as it encompasses a geopolitically significant area with relevance to long-term Romanian interests. This paper argues that this valuable initiative has a latent geopolitical subtext with regards to the two powers flanking the region which is perceived as such, if not commonly articulated, by the countries of the initiative. At the same time, the Black Sea will be a main deciding factor for the success and failure of the Initiatives, owing to several underlying conditions, as well as potential complicating factors. Any sort of Three Seas Initiative development will have to keep this in mind or else risk a concentration of vulnerabilities in the middle portion of the Initiative’s geographical space. The Three Seas Initiative must also be regarded from the perspective of synergies with Chinese initiatives, such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the 16+1 cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries. More

    Regulations Rather than Awareness Drive IT Security Efforts

    Regulations Rather than Awareness Drive IT Security Efforts

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    According to a joint PwC Romania and Microsoft Romania survey launched today, “Security in the Digital World”, investments in cybersecurity are mostly driven by regulatory requirements instead of the organizations awareness of the actual and ongoing IT security threats. On the plus side, companies acting in highly regulated sectors such as the financial industry, for example, are usually better prepared to tackle cyber threats. More

    Terrorist Influence on Children in Cyberspace

    Terrorist Influence on Children in Cyberspace

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    Terrorist groups are using cyberspace to propagandize ideological, political and religious concepts, for mutual communication and organization of activities, for planning attacks in the real world and for financing. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Telegrams have contributed to radicalization and recruitment, primarily of children and young people who accept the principles of terrorists and join their ranks. Modern ways of communication have enabled terrorists to successfully increase membership and their ranks without direct, physical contact. More

    A Community in Search of Unity, a Union in Search of Communion

    A Community in Search of Unity, a Union in Search of Communion

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    The Faculty of International Business and Economics, from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, hosted on 16th-17th November 2017 the 8th edition of The Future of Europe International Conference, with the participation of distinguished speakers and generous auditorium from Academia, public administration, and business environment. More

    À la recherche de l’identité perdue

    À la recherche de l’identité perdue

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    In most contexts, the name Catalonia is typically associated with the world of culture, arts, architecture and sports. It evokes the splendour of the Sagrada Familia, the distinctive styles of Antoni Gaudi and Salvador Dali, the venerable Montserrat Caballé and, of course, the famous Barcelona FC. Yet, in the aftermath of the declaration of independence passed by the Autonomous Community’s Parliament on October 27, 2017, the name is now also associated with the increasingly prominent trend towards fragmentation that has defined socio-political dynamics in the Western world in recent years, in particular Europe. More

    In Pursuit of the West

    In Pursuit of the West

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    There is a ceaseless notion going on about the rearwardness of Eastern European states and their inability to build lastingness. Ideas uninterruptedly flow about a retrograde existence that keeps the East away from competing with the West; that the hiatus seems to enlarge day after day. Alignment with the West is one of the biggest endeavours of the East. Many efforts are put into an attempt of modernization which gives the impression of being beyond comprehension and realization. Arraying in the same clothes as the big brother looks to have become a mantra of the East, with an ubiquitous hope of a finest hour that will come when differences will no longer exist. Odd enough, the East sets its hopes in an ideal it has never managed to obtain for centuries, but which is now seen as an end goal. More

    Development Exposed

    Development Exposed Ian Goldin, The Pursuit of Development. Economic Growth, Social Change, and Ideas

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    Ian Goldin’s book entitled The Pursuit of Development. Economic Growth, Social Change, and Ideas was originally published in English in 2016 by Oxford University Press and was translated in Romanian (În căutarea dezvoltării: creșterea economică, schimbările sociale și ideile) in 2017 by Comunicare.ro Publishing House (introduction: Paul Dobrescu; translation from English: Viorela Dima-coordinator, Raluca-Elena Hurduzeu and Elena Tălmăcian).  More

    For a Privatization of Environmental Public Policies

    For a Privatization of Environmental Public Policies (Towards an intellectual climate change on sustainable development)

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    Climate change and sustainable development are, somehow, like “love and marriage”, and they go together like “a horse and carriage”; and if you ask “the local [as well as global] gentry”, they will say that this is “elementary”. But despite a basic consensus, that something is happening to our earthly environment and something must rapidly be done, the problem is much more delicate scientifically and politically. More

    The 2017 Austrian Elections

    The 2017 Austrian Elections A hint on the gap between contemporary Austrian politics and Austrian economics heritage

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    Since October 2006, Austria has been governed by a “big coalition” between the two major parties, the Conservative People’s Party ÖVP and the Social Democratic Party SPÖ. Years which, in the eyes of most, have been dominated by intergovernmental conflict and bipartisan obstruction. More

    The Ebb of German-Turkish Relations

    The Ebb of German-Turkish Relations

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    The political crisis in the relations between Germany and Turkey deepens as the tensions grow and bellicose statements and mutual accusations envelop more dimensions of the bilateral agenda. Millions of Turks are living and working in Germany, Germans, in their turn, traditionally make up to around fifteen percent of the country’s tourism arrivals. The bilateral trade volume is around 37 billion U.S. dollars p.a.. Relations between Germany and Turkey have always been subject to serious and long-term synergies. Both sides have much to lose, but this, however, is not a dampener on hostile rhetoric. More

    The Saudi Shake-up

    The Saudi Shake-up

    No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017

    News of the ongoing purge of numerous high-level officials and Saudi Royal Family members by the Saudi government has rattled global markets and raised further doubts regarding the stability of the Kingdom. What some are calling a counter-coup is presented as an anti-corruption move that saw over 1,200 bank accounts frozen and numerous assets being seized. Two Saudi princes have also died, one in an as yet unexplained helicopter crash near the Yemeni border and the other, the youngest son of King Fahd who ruled Saudi Arabia until 2005, died in a shoot-out between his security detail and government forces. More

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    IN THE AGORA
    Agora
    “Pierre Werner Centenary” medal “Pierre Werner Centenary” medal

    The National Institute for Economic Research “Costin C. Kirițescu” of the Romanian Academy bestowed the “Pierre Werner Centenary” medal to the Rector of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Professor Nicolae Istudor, Ph.D., in recognition of his contributions to higher education and academic research and of his sustained efforts to promote the national culture and its values in the Wernerian sense of harmony and compatibility with the wider European civilization and its aspirations.

    The ceremony was occasioned by the 4th edition of the International Conference ESPERA 2016 on “Economic Scientific Research – Theoretical, Empirical and Practical Approaches”, which took place in Bucharest on December 15-16, 2016. Professor Nicolae Istudor’s keynote speech may be viewed here.

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    Geopolitics and the New Silk Road Geopolitics and the New Silk Road

    Professor Silviu Neguț, Ph.D., delivered a speech on the geopolitics of the New Silk Road and its Eurasian philosophical backdrop during a conference organized by the Black Sea University Foundation on the subject of “Oil and the New Silk Road”. The event took place on December 13, 2016, and brought together a host of noted Romanian specialists from academia, government and private sector. Among them were Vasile Iuga, Senior advisor at PwC Romania, Radu Dudău, the Energy Policy Group, and Liviu Mureșan, the EURISC Foundation. The discussions were moderated by Professor Dan Dungaciu, Ph.D., President of the Black Sea University Foundation and head of the Institute for World Economy, the Romanian Academy (details here).

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    NATO foreign ministers’ meeting NATO foreign ministers’ meeting

    Alexandru Georgescu was a participant, alongside Răzvan Munteanu, Iulian Popescu and Andrei Vlăsceanu, on the ZIUA Z (D Day) TV Show hosted by Col. (ret.) dr. Ion Petrescu on the subject of the latest meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers. The TV Show aired live on December 8, 2016, on 6TV and can be viewed online here.

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    Romania’s EU Council Presidency Romania’s EU Council Presidency

    On November 28, 2016, dr. Octavian-Dragomir Jora declared for Agerpres: “Looking forward to Romania’s Presidency of the EU Council in the first semester of 2019, our country has to employ wisdom and intelligence in mating two essential strains of modern governance by utilizing an appropriate political decision-making structure and an open and competent popular consultation. The first is going to be the often invoked ‘country project’. It does not have to represent a simple piece of ‘literature’, filled with the intellectual infatuation of the contributors and the documents’ custodians, but a two-directional educational exercise (between the decision-making and reflecting elites, on the one hand, and the public, on the other hand) and a sincere discovery of ‘national interest’. In my opinion, this is the best known ‘unknown’ of the domestic public discourse. It is a fixture in the national psyche post-accession, while remaining tantalizingly out of reach of both the public and the authorities and their advisors. The second one is this administrative exercise, which demands institutional maturity: the Presidency of EU Council. Addressed responsibly and rigorously, the course of managing the EU agenda represents a unique moment of opportunity and challenge which can have the benefit of improving Romania’s image as an exotic and erratic presence in the European picture”. (www.agerpres.ro)

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    European challenges for Romania European challenges for Romania

    Europarliamentarian Laurențiu Rebega and the Foundation for the Europe of Nations and Freedom organized on the 26th of November, in Târgu Mureș, the Conference “The European Union and Economic Challenges for Romania”. The event took place in proximity to the impending anniversary of Romania’s accession to the EU, nearly ten years ago. The presentations discussed the pros and cons of accession and highlighted the risks, vulnerabilities and threats that our country will have to manage. Professor Dumitru Miron, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Octavian-Dragomir Jora, Ph.D., from the Faculty of International Business and Economics, the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Professor Nicolae Băciuț, writer and publicist, and Cora Maria Muntean, President of the National Association of Romanian Merchants (ANCR), were among the speakers (details here).

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    CEECs and the geopolitical winter CEECs and the geopolitical winter

    Alexandru Georgescu was a participant, alongside Răzvan Munteanu and Iulian Popescu, on the Valori Euroatlantice (Euroatlantic Values) TV Show hosted by Col. (ret.) dr. Ion Petrescu on the subject of the Geopolitical Winter in Eastern Europe. The TV Show aired on November 20, 2016, on 6TV and can be viewed online here. Key quotes and comments can be found here.

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    Science and the metrics of visibility Science and the metrics of visibility

    Octavian-Dragomir Jora delivered a speech at Târgul de Carte Gaudeamus (the Gaudeamus Book Fair), on November 16, 2016, during the launch of an important book, “A concepe, a redacta și a publica un articol științific. O abordare în contextul cercetării economice” (“Conceiving, Writing and Publishing a Scientific Article. An Approach in the Context of Economic Research”), written by Vasile Dinu, Gheorghe Săvoiu and Dan-Cristian Dabija. Octavian-Dragomir Jora argues that the neglect of scientific dissemination in national journals is a result of a structure of perverse incentives for researchers, for whom a series of “minimalistic” criteria have been set with an exclusively external orientation and without an attempt to establish a reasonable set of coefficients for truthful comparison between internal and external publications. This leads to distortions of the Romanian landscape for reviewing, validating and disseminating scientific ideas, hindering their gradual entry into the worldwide scientific marketplace and maintaining an unproductive separation between national and global spaces (details here).

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    Riga 2016, China-CEECs meetings Riga 2016, China-CEECs meetings

    As a member of the EURISC Foundation, Alexandru Georgescu was the only Romanian attending the International Think Tank Forum of China and Central and Eastern European Countries held in Riga, Latvia, on November 4, 2016, in parallel with a series of other events related to 16+1 cooperation, including the Summit of the Heads of Government of 16+1, the launch of the Logistics and Transport Center for 16+1 in Riga, a business forum and a conference of sinologists. A short article in Romanian describing the event can be accessed here. A publication titled “Afterthoughts of the Riga 2016 China and Central and Eastern European Countries Think Tank Forum” can be accessed here, featuring also a contribution from Alexandru Georgescu.

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    16+1 and Belt and Road initiatives 16+1 and Belt and Road initiatives

    As a member of the EURISC Foundation, Alexandru Georgescu accompanied EURISC Foundation President dr. Liviu Mureșan to the International Conference on Synergies between 16+1 and the Belt and Road Initiative, organized by the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) on September 25-26, 2016, in Shanghai. A short article in Romanian describing the event can be accessed here.

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    EU, liberal or illiberal momentum EU, liberal or illiberal momentum

    The Center for Institutional Analysis and Development – Eleutheria (CADI), The Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FN), The Institute for Economic Studies – Europe (IES – Europe) and The Society for Individual Freedom (SoLib) organized The September School of Economics, Politics and Philosophy, September 20-25, 2016, at the Hotel Apollo Hermannstadt in Sibiu, Romania. This year’s theme was “Europe at the Crossroads: Illiberal Challenges, Liberal Alternatives”. On this occasion, Octavian-Dragomir Jora delivered a speech entitled “Brave New Europe: Technology, Democracy, Technocracy, Demagoguery” (details here).

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