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Economics and Finance

Just in Time: US Fiscal Cliff

On the 17th of October 2013, the USA could advert the bankruptcy of the state but the ideological raptures remain. By Derya Bischoff A few hours after insolvency, President Obama warned the 535 members of Congress that the way how Washington is doing business has to change. But this is wishful thinking. The polarization of society and the political elite ... Read More »

How fair is free internet?

Every person in the music industry works hard to be innovative, progressive and creative. This is how they make a living. However, through the illegal spreading of intellectual property, many musicians see their hard work unrewarded. How can the European Union be of assistence to the musician who works hard to make a record, only to see it being downloaded ... Read More »

Studying Abroad: Greece

While studying the history of Greece in the 19th Century in the last month I realized that the past may tell us more about the present than I thought. A little summary of my déjà-vu backwards, meeting austerity, speculation and European crisis in 1898. To understand the background of the past, I will start out with a little summary of ... Read More »

The Mars One Project: A One Way Ticket to Space

In April 2013, application and selection for the ambitious Mars One project finally opened. On the 7th of May, Mars One announced that 78.000 people have applied for a one way ticket to Mars, to establish a human settlement on Mars. Can this privately funded project herald an age of space discovery? The Mars One project, started by two Dutch ... Read More »

Francois’ Sporty Tax

He wants it, he gets it: After his first proposal for a 75% mega tax for income-millionaires was rejected by the Constitutional Court, France’s president Francois Hollande announced in a TV interview to shift the burden of payment from individuals to businesses paying salaries above the magical one-million-euro-line.  That means that companies paying wages higher than €1m p.a. are required to ... Read More »

An Economy Running on Money from Abroad

“Goris-Stepanakert autoway, built with participation of all Armenians” reads a sign next to the very road. In other words, this road has been paid for by the Armenians living outside Armenia, the Diaspora. The money they send in is of such importance, it is one of the main reasons Armenia and its economy have not collapsed yet. Armenia is a ... Read More »

The World’s Most Dangerous Criminal

Semeon Mogilevich seems to have walked right away from the set of a Hollywood gangster movie: he is fat, highly educated, powerful, rich, and above all incredibly elusive. The Ukrainian criminal is wanted by various countries and has been on the World’s Most Wanted list of the FBI since 2009. Despite being one of the world’s most hunted criminals, the ... Read More »

Colonial Cloth or Cosmopolitan Creativity?

Did you know that Holland’s most famous export product in Africa is fashion? Although the average Beninese earns two dollars a day, many buy quality tissues of Wax hollandaise for as much as fifteen euros per meter. At the end of the 19th century, Dutch merchants industrialized these age-old Javanese patterns, known there as batik. Bypassing merchants and returning mercenaries ... Read More »

Fracking: a Justified Fear of the Unknown?

Two months ago, co-reporter Hendrik Dependau envisioned an intensified debate on fracking as a gas exploitation method. His research led to the “Fracking: Underground Money” article in the new edition of Checks&Balances (Volume 9, Issue 2). Since then, mayor European newspapers such as the Sunday Times have spent pages polarising and simplifying fracking into an economy vs. environment debate. To ... Read More »

Going Dutch: Building Land, Concurring Water

Right now, the port of Rotterdam is realising one of the biggest land reclamation projects in the world in order to expand its capacity. In September 2008 the construction of Maasvlakte 2 was started, increasing the size of the port by 20 percent and realising an expansion of Dutch soil by 2000 hectares. Apart from being a great example of ... Read More »