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Vladimir Putin’s war has come home to Russia

The so-called “partial mobilization” announced by Vladimir Putin last week has changed the character of the Ukraine war for Russians in a matter of days. And for all the ensuing scenes of disarray and unrest within Russia, the mobilization’s impact will soon change the character of the war for Ukrainians, too. Less than a week into the mobilization, whether it’s ...

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Stop trying to be indispensable at work

“Be indispensable.” This commonly given career advice is hard to argue with. No doubt it sounds appealing these days, with a softening economy and layoffs once again dominating the business news. It’s advice I’ve tried to follow for much of my own working life. But the idea is deeply flawed. Yes, being indispensable ought to be insurance against getting fired, ...

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Shinzo Abe’s funeral furor is most unedifying debate

  Spare a thought for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, watching the pomp and circumstance of last week’s state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. Kishida’s plan to hold a ceremonial farewell for Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving premier who was assassinated on the campaign trail just two days before upper house elections this July, was likely intended to be a similarly ...

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After Queen, reality is coming for UK’s royals

  Watched by millions around the world, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II demonstrated the enduring glamor of Britain’s hereditary order. As recession looms, however, and the pound sinks to its lowest in nearly four decades, it is time to ask: Can the monarchy reform fast and radically enough to adapt to an age of social and economic breakdown? The ...

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Meloni’s influence could be greater in Europe than Italy

Giorgia Meloni’s triumph as the first woman to lead a winning party in the macho world of Italian politics is not a moment to celebrate, for she has brought the far right into the European mainstream, precisely a century after her Fascist forebear Benito Mussolini seized power. It could take until the middle of next month to know the exact ...

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Oil markets are volatile but not broken

Oil markets are broken. Extreme volatility and a lack of liquidity mean that crude futures have become disconnected from tight physical oil markets. At least that’s what some loud voices in the oil world are telling us. But I suspect they may be talking their own books. Complaining that markets are broken suggests to me that somebody has traded on ...

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Why investors are facing more market instability

  Frequent flyers are accustomed to turbulence on some flights. Indeed, many expect it. Despite such anticipation, however, the turbulence can once in a while create significant anxiety among even the most seasoned travelers. This is what happened in markets last week. The “expected” turbulence, related in large part to three continuing paradigm shifts, was turbocharged by two less-anticipated factors, ...

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Financial markets tell Truss she’s not trusted

  On Friday, Britain’s government announced a shift in fiscal policy aimed, it said, at stimulating growth and investment. If the new prime minister, Liz Truss, was expecting financial markets to applaud this bold initiative, she’ll have been disappointed. Investors handed her a stunning rebuke. Interest rates soared and sterling slumped to a 37-year low — a combination expressing zero ...

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America’s new secession movements aren’t a crime

  Secession, of all things, is back in the news. Residents of San Bernardino County, the largest in California, are debating whether to try to break off and form a state of their own. And there’s more: Last month, a New Hampshire electoral commission refused to bar from the ballot legislators who want their state to leave the US entirely. ...

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Give bankers bigger bonuses?

The bonfire of the inanities. UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng isn’t pulling any punches with his first moves in office. First, he unceremoniously fired the most senior civil servant in the Treasury. Now he is contemplating taking an axe to European Union regulations on financial services. But he is starting on the latter in a very odd way ...

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