From Ephemera, a special issue on "the university of finance". From the Department of State's eJournal USA, a special issue on the global financial system. The global financial crisis: Why were some countries hit harder. From Asia Times, a series of the global sovereign debt crisis. From NYRB, Paul Krugman and Robin Wells on our giant banking crisis and what to expect: A review essay. Shaking the invisible hand: A review essay on the financial crisis. Bad risk management contributed to the current financial crisis; two economists believe the situation could be improved by gaining a deeper understanding of what is not known. From The Politic, an interview with Robert Shiller on behavior, bubbles, and reform; and an interview with Raghuram Rajanan on the financial crisis (and more). The New Sheriffs of Wall Street: The women who will regulate banking and finance for the next generation are not accustomed to taking no for an answer. The introduction to Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking by Howard Davies and David Green. The first chapter from Balancing the Banks: Global Lessons from the Financial Crisis by Mathias Dewatripont, Jean-Charles Rochet and Jean Tirole. Money for Nothing: How the Fed, the investment elite, and mortgage scammers brought down the US economy. More and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more on The Big Short by Michael Lewis. More and more and more on This Time is Different by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. An interview with Nouriel Roubini, author of Crisis Economics (and more and more). What can the crisis of U.S. capitalism in the 1970s teach us about the current crisis and its possible outcomes? Left Business Observer Doug Henwood on how to learn nothing from crisis.

From Financial Times, historians will tell you there is often a time-lag between the onset of economic disaster and the accumulation of social fury, writes Simon Schama; there is still an incipient crisis in the air, but it is an international one; and Gordon Gekko, Wall Street’s best-loved anti-hero and the fictional embodiment of financial excess, has returned for a second act after serving 12 years. A review of Design and Truth by Robert Grudin. When AJ Jacobs learned multitasking was bad for you, he decided to kick his chronic addiction to mental juggling — get ready for Operation Focus. The Little Black Piezoelectric Dress: What happens when high tech meets haute couture. The Photographer and the Philosopher: Pico Iyer explores the lives and work of writers Jan Morris and V.S. Naipaul, two "master portraitists" of place. Mark Holcomb reviews The Room and the Chair by Lorraine Adams. Michael Shermer on living in denial: When a sceptic isn't a sceptic. A review of Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory by Ben Macintyre (and more and more). An interview with Christopher Hitchens: "I was right and they were wrong" (and more and more and more and more on Hitch-22: A Memoir). A review of Blood and Guts A History of Surgery by Richard Hollingham. Let us now praise breakdowns: It’s perfectly normal to delight in disruption. From New York, a cover story on an extraordinary TV season, and the rules that shaped it; and long-serving NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly is autocratic, dismissive of civil-liberties concerns and effective — is that a reasonable trade-off to keep the city safe? An interview with Melanie Phillips, author of The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power. Is TED making us stupid?

And man made life: Artificial life, the stuff of dreams and nightmares, has arrived. The world's first man-made life form: Be afraid? From Edge, a special issue on Craig Venter and the creation of synthetic life, with comments by Freeman Dyson, Kevin Kelly, George Dyson (and more at Popular Mechanics). Jamais Casio on what is and what isn't going on here. Let there be life: Five possible implications of Craig Venter's creation of synthetic organisms. How the extinction of the dinosaurs, Arctic methane leaks, and nuclear weaponry reveal the precarious thresholds of life on Earth. Procreative sex may soon be a quaint relic: With advances in laboratory-based reproduction, sex will be optional for humans. Research suggests male physical competition, not attraction, was central in winning mates among human ancestors. Breeding the perfect bull: A Texas cattleman used genetic science to breed his masterpiece, a near-perfect Red Angus bull — then nature took its course. Junk DNA was once thought to be little more than gibberish, evolutionary debris that puffed up our genomes — we're starting to realise that it is more important than anyone realised. A proposal to change the formal name of Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, has significant implications for research in the life sciences (and more). From The Nation, a review of Nature's Ghosts: Confronting Extinction from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Ecology by Mark V. Barrow Jr. and Rewilding the World: Dispatches From the Conservation Revolution by Caroline Fraser; and more on The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins and What Darwin Got Wrong by Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini (and more and more and more and more). The first chapter from Evolution for Dummies by Greg Krukonis and Tracy Barr.

From Tehran Review, the consolation of philosophy: Nima Emami on Hannah Arendt and the Green Movement. From The University Bookman, a review of Immigration and the American Future by Chilton Williamson, Jr.; and a review of Democratic Capitalism and Its Discontents by Brian C. Anderson. The introduction to The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece by Brooke Holmes. More on Elissa Stein and Susan Kim's Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation. Matthew Shaer reviews The Silver Hearted by David McConnell. From h+, an article on posthuman politics in the USA. An essay on the modernist project of post-humanism. Board Games: The gruff, boastful art of claiming Indonesia’s surf as your own. An article on Jesus in Britain: Did those feet walk to Stonehenge? The introduction to Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South by Andrew Zimmerman. Sculptures from Luxor prove the "Boy King" was the scourge of Egypt's foes. King Tut is only one in a growing list of ancient humans forced to reveal their secrets through high-tech prodding; by rushing into such studies, we may be opening a historical Pandora's Box. A review of Sapphistries: A Global History of Love Between Women by Leila J. Rupp. How can we ensure our MPs don’t abandon the freedoms won by Milton, Wilkes and Paine? Geoffrey Robertson reviews Bonfire of the Liberties: New Labour, Human Rights and the Rule of Law by K D Ewing. Rehab: Harold Pollack on how America's drug policies just got a whole lot better. Gutenberg 2.0: Harvard’s libraries deal with disruptive change. A review of The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace. A review of Engineers of the Soul: In the Footsteps of Stalin’s Writers by Frank Westerman.

A review of The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century by Alan Brinkley (and more and more and more and more). From n+1, what’s killing The New York Times? A review of War at the Wall Street Journal: Inside the Struggle To Control an American Business Empire by Sarah Ellison. As The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal bash each other, the Financial Times, led by its sharp, glamorous new U.S. editor, Gillian Tett, intends to become a status symbol of American business. In 1964, a new paper rolled off the presses: the Atlanta Times, a conservative, pro-segregationist alternative to the Journal and Constitution; fifteen months later, it was gone for good. W. Joseph Campbell on his book Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism. Another newspaper myth fades away: Romantic journalists used to swear by the idea that taxi drivers were unimpeachable sources — not true, but never give up riding in cabs. The reporter who time forgot: Michael Shapiro on how Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day changed journalism. An excerpt from What Is Happening to News: The Information Explosion and the Crisis in Journalism by Jack Fuller. An interview with Peter Stothard on books on editing newspapers. An interview with Lee C. Bollinger, author of Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century (and more). Who owns the First Amendment?: Journalists think they do — they’re wrong. Why not pay sources? Objections should be practical, not ethical. The changing face of network television news: Network news anchors and correspondents are a far more diverse group than they were two decades ago. Look at Me: A writer’s search for journalism in the age of branding, by Maureen Tkacik.