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Lionel Laurent
For Lionel Laurent's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried arrives at a courthouse in New York in March 2023. On Thursday, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 1, 2024
Sam Bankman-Fried's 25-year sentence is a warning to crypto
The former FTX CEO's conviction to 25 years in prison sends a clear message to cryptocurrency fraudsters. The costs of misconduct outweigh the benefits.
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, exits the federal courthouse in Manhattan in February.
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 5, 2023
Sam Bankman-Fried won't be the last crypto mogul behind bars
If Sam Bankman-Fried culpability for the "pyramid of deceit” behind FTX’s collapse seemed so obvious, it’s partly because he was prosecutorial gold.
French President Emmanuel Macron (center) and deposed president Ali Bongo of Gabon (center left) at an African Union-European Union summit in 2017
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 8, 2023
A domino effect in Africa, embarrassment in Paris
A new season of military coups is sweeping over Africa, with grave implications for France and the West as they struggle to maintain influence.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jul 5, 2023
French riot deja vu is raising the stakes for Macron
Years of Frances unkept promises have created resentment and made the nation’s deprived suburbs a powder keg.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 31, 2023
The AI gold rush will take humanity to some dark places
Encoding iris scans on the blockchain shows a need to curb Silicon Valley’s savior complex.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 13, 2023
On the U.S. and China, Macron says the quiet part out loud
French President Macron has annoyed allies by saying Europeans should stand apart from the U.S. on China and Taiwan or risk becoming 'vassals.”
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 28, 2023
Blocking the Louvre won’t defuse France’s pension bomb
France’s pay-as-you-go pension system will have only 1.2 workers for every retiree by 2070 — an untenable situation.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 13, 2022
Crypto’s chainsaw massacre bloodies digital exchanges
The platforms that have promoted Bitcoin and other new currencies have a lot to answer for.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 5, 2022
When $1 billion tech unicorns start to look like ponies
In a world where every startup gallops, counting horns starts to look futile. France needs new metrics for a clearer innovation picture.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 15, 2022
French President Macron knows inflation is Le Pen’s best weapon
If there's one thing that could make French voters more receptive to the far right, it's a shake of the magic money tree.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 25, 2021
Winter is coming for Europe's pandemic optimists
The urge to abandon caution when COVID-19 cases are low, which is essentially what some European nations did this summer, is part of the problem.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 29, 2021
Even the People’s Bank of China can’t kill Bitcoin's appeal
The bulls reckon the latest attempt by Beijing to crack down on crypto — the seventh — will fail to throttle an asset that bypasses borders and banking systems.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 14, 2021
The U.K.’s bizarre $1.7 billion vaccine rug-pull
The British government abruptly canceled its supply contract, having found Valneva in breach of its obligations without specifying how — something Valneva contests.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 1, 2021
EU’s guidelines on U.S. visitors is sounding like trade war diplomacy
Europeans have been more pragmatic than the Americans. These latest travel curbs are nonbinding recommendations that will likely only affect the unvaccinated.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 3, 2021
Don’t let autocrats run the internet after COVID-19
Lukashenko's government blocked much of the internet during protests last summer with the help of technology from U.S.-based Sandvine Inc.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 28, 2021
Marine Le Pen doubles Macron's pandemic pressure
Emmanuel Macron's voter base of affluent urban white-collar workers still supports him, but his push for economic reform and European integration no longer resonates.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 23, 2021
Vaccine techno-populism is how Europe loses
Even with four vaccines approved by EU regulators, governments are fumbling the logistics of getting needles in arms.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 6, 2021
Vaccine comparison shopping hurts everyone
Medical professionals are holding out for some vaccines over others which are seen to have lower efficacy rates, risking delaying vaccination programs.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 30, 2021
Israel’s vaccine data has lessons for all
Tiny Israel is set to immunize its population months before far bigger and richer countries, partly by ordering early but also by sharing patient information after vaccination.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 29, 2021
GameStop's ‘French Revolution’ is a crypto-farce
If WallStreetBets is checkmate for old-school finance, then surely they'd want to win fair and square.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on