"This story essentially tells of the financial crises that the markets always end up inflicting on those who have abused their innovations, their excesses and the lax atmosphere. Dealing with these crises - in often inventive ways - has taken up much more energy than their prevention or any substantive reforms. I had the privilege of being involved in some of these `ways out of crisis'. I lived through their dramatic intensity and was, sometimes, able to contribute to pragmatic solutions which helped to steady the ship. This was true, for example, of the Latin American crisis, negotiation of the IMF adjustment programmes and aiding the transition of the Eastern European countries. But the picture is still dark. The 2007-2008 crisis, with its trail of unemployment and recession, is an extreme example of what excess debt can do. And quantitative easing policies, implemented to minimize the effects of the `great recession' despite its origins in the abuse of debt, plunge an observer like myself into an abyss of questions and doubts."From the collapse of Bretton Woods to that of Lehman Brothers, a first-hand account of fifty years of financial crises by a participant on the front lines of finance and currency. The memoirs of an exceptional, influential man who worked alongside Jacques Delors, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, Raymond Barre, Paul Volcker, and many others. Jacques de Larosière spent his entire career at the head of financial institutions: he was first Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (1978-1987) before becoming Governor of the Banque de France (1987-1993), then president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1993-1998). He is currently Advisor to the president of BNP-Paribas.
"Simplexity, as I understand it, is the range of solutions living organisms have found, despite the complexity of natural processes, to enable the brain to prepare an action and plan for the consequences of it. These solutions are simplifying principles that enable the processing of information or situations, by taking into account past experience and anticipating the future. They are neither caricatures, shortcuts, or summaries. They are new ways of asking questions, sometimes at the cost of occasional detours, in order to achieve faster, more elegant, more effective actions." A. B. As Alain Berthoz demonstrates in this profoundly original book, simplicity is never easy; it requires suppressing, selecting, connecting, thinking, in order to then act in the best way possible. And what if we, in turn, are inspired by the living world to process the complexity that surrounds us? Alain Berthoz is professor at the Collège de France where he is co-director of the Laboratoire de physiologie de la perception et de l'action. [Laboratory for the physiology of perception and action]. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences, and is the author of Le Sens du mouvement [The Brain's Sense of Movement] and La Décision [Emotion and Reason].
"I wrote this book out of my experiences during thirty years of teaching at the Collège de France. In it I look both at culture and art - music and painting - as well as life in society, ethics, and the meaning of death; languages and writing, as well as the neural and molecular bases of memory and learning. This book is a fresco that brings together a great amount of varied data, discussions, and hypotheses. It anchors the substance of contemporary science in the history of a range of disciplines: neurology, ethology, the biology of evolution, the biology of development, the study of consciousness, as well as experimental psychology and genomics. Finally, this book attempts to show that it is up to us to relentlessly inspire the minds of humans to invent a future that will enable humanity to attain a life of more solidarity, a happier life for and with each one of us." J.-P. C. Jean-Pierre Changeux is honorary professor at the Collège de France and at the Institut Pasteur, a member of the French Academy of Sciences. In addition to L'Homme neuronal [Neuronal Man] he is the author of Raison et Plaisir and L'Homme de vérité. He is also co-author, with Alain Connes, of Matière à penser [Conversations on Mind, Matter, and Mathematics] and, with Paul Ricoeur, of La Nature et la Règle [What Makes Us Think?]. All thought-provoking works.
"Fifty years ago, Francis Crick and James D. Watson discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, the carrier of genetic information, the basis for heredity. They believed they had, according to Francis Crick's own expression, found "the secret of life." The main aim of this book is to continue the story beyond the double helix and interpret recent developments through transformations that have occurred in biology in the last fifty years. These transformations are often unknown by the general public, as if molecular biology had remained stalled around the double helix. But the return of the question "What is life?" is also the result of events that have occurred outside biology, of a general evolution of ideas that we will undertake to investigate." M. M. Michel Morange is a biologist, and professor at the University of Paris-VI, and at the École normale supérieur. He is director of the Centre Cavaillès d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences. He is the author of La Part des gènes [The Misunderstood Gene].
"In this book I examine the extraordinary saga of life on Earth in the light of the most recent scientific discoveries. This saga has resulted in the extraordinary success of our species, and in the mortal threats that it has posed for the future. By favoring immediate benefits, to the detriment, sometimes, of long-term advantages, natural selection, in my opinion, is the source of this remarkable success, but also of the perils that come out of it. Modern science has established the implausibility of the Biblical tale for the origins of human beings; it has not, however, invalidated the intuition that inspired it. Humanity is, infact, tainted by an intrinsic defect, by a genetic "original sin," that threatens to lead to its demise. We do indeed need redemption to save us, but it can only come from humanity itself. We must find in the resources of our minds a wisdom that is not inscribed in our genes." C. de D. The book of a great biologist, but also of a moralist. Christian de Duve, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, is professor emeritus at the Université catholique de Louvain and at Rockefeller University in New York. He is the author of À l'écoute du vivant (2002) and of Singularités (2005) [Singularities: Landmarks on the Pathways of Life], both best-sellers.
"Do people know that on average around 25 languages die every year? In one hundred years, if nothing has changed, half of all languages will be dead. At the end of the Twenty-first Century, there should therefore remain around 2,500, and probably many fewerif we take into account a very possible acceleration of the rate of disappearance. Granted, like civilizations, languages are mortal, and the chasm of history is big enough for them all. However, there is something completely unique, and exalting, about the death of languages, when we become aware of it: languages can be resurrected! But this requires vigilance, without which all are threatened, including French." C. H. Claude Hagège is a recipient of the CNRS Gold Medal, and professor at the Collège de France. He is the author of L'Enfant aux deux langues, Le Français et les siècles, both huge best-sellers.
The advent of hyperterrorism on "9/11" and subsequent military operations have marked the return of strategic affairs as a core concern of the citizens of our countries. This French Strategic and Military Yearbook analyses from a European vantage point the major themes of our time: American military operations, Russia's new geopolitics, the struggle against mass destruction terrorism. The Yearbook also presents the first review of the French armed forces after their transition from conscription to an all-volunteer format. The Yearbook is complemented by on-line data provided by the Paris-based Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS). To produce this Yearbook the FRS has relied on some of the best French analysts, under the direction of François Heisbourg.