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Katharina Pistor

Katharina Pistor

Writing for PS since 2000
33 commentaries

Katharina Pistor, Professor of Comparative Law at Columbia Law School, is the author of The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality (Princeton University Press, 2019).

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  1. Elon Musk and the Absolutist Revival
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    Elon Musk and the Absolutist Revival

    Feb 13, 2024 Katharina Pistor laments the modern cult of the CEO, which allows corporate leaders to pick and choose their own laws.

  2. Katharina Pistor on financial risk, wealth creation, digital currencies, and more
    basu50_sasun1990GettyImages_businessmanbooksmoney sasun1990/Getty Images

    Katharina Pistor on financial risk, wealth creation, digital currencies, and more

    Jan 23, 2024 Katharina Pistor highlights the government’s role in perpetuating financial-sector fragility, urges stronger enforcement of legal accountability for political leaders, explains why trading nature derivatives should not be confused with protecting nature, and more.

  3. In AI, Capital Wins Again
    pistor30_Justin SullivanGetty Images_sam altman Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    In AI, Capital Wins Again

    Nov 28, 2023 Katharina Pistor shows why OpenAI’s efforts to preserve its founding non-profit mission never stood any chance.

  4. How Finance Became the Problem
    pistor29_Selcuk1Getty Images_money Selcuk1/Getty Images

    How Finance Became the Problem

    Oct 5, 2023 Katharina Pistor catalogues the high costs of transforming almost every political challenge into a priceable asset.

  5. Good Governance Is a Bad Idea
    pistor28_Getty Images_ESG Getty Images

    Good Governance Is a Bad Idea

    Aug 9, 2023 Katharina Pistor thinks the obsession with technocratic goal-setting and box-ticking has become a dangerous distraction.

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  1. haldar31_Sefa KaracanAnadolu AgencyGetty Images_navalny Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Shock Therapy Killed Navalny

    Antara Haldar argues that while Vladimir Putin bears responsibility, so do the economic policies that put him in power.
  2. rbrooks1_Markus Scholzpicture alliance via Getty Images_germanyshipping Markus Scholz/picture alliance via Getty Images

    Putin’s Silk Road Around Sanctions

    Robin Brooks & Simon Johnson urge Europe and the G7 to stop the re-export of Western goods to Russia from Central Asia and the Caucasus.
  3. thallinger3_Sean GallupGetty Images_fossil fuels Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    To Fight Climate Change, End Fossil-Fuel Subsidies

    Günther Thallinger & Ludovic Subran urge policymakers to recognize the true costs of a policy that harms the planet and does not help the poor.
  4. saputra2_ADITYA AJIAFP via Getty Images_world bank mangrove ADITYA AJI/AFP via Getty Images

    Banking on the World Bank’s Knowledge

    Wempi Saputra identifies three areas in which the organization’s client countries could use more guidance.
  5. mazzucato63_Matt CardyGetty Images_kids using social media Matt Cardy/Getty Images

    The Algorithm and Its Discontents

    Mariana Mazzucato & Ilan Strauss

    Deploying algorithms to maximize user engagement is how Big Tech firms maximize shareholder value, with short-term profits often overriding longer-term business objectives. Now that AI is poised to supercharge the platform economy, new rules and governance structures are urgently needed to safeguard the public.

    propose five principles to ensure that the digital economy serves the public good before short-term profit.
  6. reedlangen6_Leon NealGetty Images_UKsupremecourt Leon Neal/Getty Images

    Judgment Days for Democracy

    Nicholas Reed Langen suspects that judges will play an increasingly central role in protecting democracy against populist assaults.
  7. lawson2_JEKESAI NJIKIZANAAFP via Getty Images_cash transfer JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP via Getty Images

    A Global Cash-Transfer Fund Could End Extreme Poverty

    Cina Lawson & Rory Stewart

    Cash transfers offer a transformative solution to multidimensional poverty, by enhancing dozens of outcomes simultaneously. They have already proven effective, adaptable, and replicable, and now they are becoming more attainable every year with growing mobile coverage and improved digital infrastructure.

    show that the conditions are ripe for deploying lump-sum payments to the world’s poorest people.
  8. roach162_Kevin DietschGetty Images_christopherwray Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

    The Drums of US-China Cyber War

    Stephen S. Roach worries that irrational Sinophobia has become America's new bipartisan political orthodoxy.
  9. ito35_KAZUHIRO NOGIAFP via Getty Images_jpan economy KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

    Japan as Number Four

    Takatoshi Ito hopes the news that the economy has slipped from third place globally will serve as a wake-up call.

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