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Live from the newsroom, we provide an overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

IN THE PAPERS

IN THE PAPERS

Latest update : 2012-07-03

Grim news and alarming psychoanalysis

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad apologises...to Turkey for shooting down a fighter jet. Also, Human Rights Watch investigates Syian torture centres. And there’s speculation about criminal prosecution of the Barclays bankers who rigged interest rates. For one paper that would not be enough, given the distorting effects that unconstrained power has on the brain activity of those running a virtually unregulated banking industry.

Human Rights Watch has investigated two dozen torture centres across Syria, and The Brisbane Times highlights witness accounts in which we read of stapled chests and electric shocks.

In the UK, the Barclays bankers responsible for rigging inter-banking rates could be prosecuted for criminal behaviour. The Independent argued the Chairman’s head should not have rolled though, as interest rate manipulation would have been below his level of oversight. CEO Bob Diamond should be the one to go. (Someone was listening, as Diamond has since stepped down).

In an essay on The Psychology of Greed, the Guardian cites studies which look into the effects of power on the human brain. Bank bosses are more powerful than most elected officials – particularly after decades of deregulation, and holding onto power changes brains by boosting testosterone, which increases the dopamine in the brain's reward systems.

While moderate amounts encourage people to be more strategic and bolder, the logic goes, extreme forms distort personalities, making them egocentric, unempathetic and greedy for financial, sexual and material rewards.

All the while, the excess of unchecked power dulls their perception of risk, even when a storm is brewing.

By Kyle G. Brown

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Archives

2014-09-16 French economy

Is Valls crying wolf?

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 16.09.14: Prime Minister Manuel Valls is in the spotlight today. For the second time in five months he’s going to ask lawmakers to give him a vote of...

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2014-09-16 immigration

Prospect of separation from Scotland stirs sadness in England and Wales

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 16.09.14: The leaders of the three main parties at Westminster have signed a pledge in the Daily Record to devolve more powers to Scotland, if Scots...

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2014-09-15 Nicolas Sarkozy

Le Figaro: Is it really possible to 'destroy' the Islamic State organisation?

"The war on Islamic State" headlines Libération, reporting on this Monday's Paris conference on Iraq's security. Le Figaro, meanwhile, asks whether it is really possible to...

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2014-09-15 Scottish independence

War on 'death cult'

The Wall Street Journal (Europe) leads on a pledge by British PM David Cameron to "destroy" the Islamic State organisation following the murder of a British aid worker....

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2014-09-12 North Korea

North Korea 'backs Scottish independence'

The Independent leads on the "impossible war" on the Islamic state organisation, arguing Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria "may prefer the militants as a lesser evil compared...

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