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This is my Polemic column for the May issue of Fund Strategy. Writing about economic and investment topics in recent years I have kept stumbling across some initially unexpected themes. It is time to start pulling them together. The most striking is what could be called inside-outerism. This is the pervasive tendency for elite functionaries […]

One of the biggest economic questions of the decade is undoubtedly whether China will succeed in changing its development model. Since the late 1970s the Asian giant has enjoyed spectacular success in transforming itself from a poor rural economy to a dynamic industrial power. The time has come to shift the balance even further towards […]

The idea that a Hounslow-based day trader caused the American stockmarket to drop by 10 per cent in a few minutes on 6 May 2010 is absurd. Even if his actions acted as a catalyst for the drop – itself a questionable claim – they were certainly not the fundamental cause. Yet it is widely […]

This was first published as my Polemic column in the April edition of Fund Strategy. It may seem a stretch but the death of Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr Spock in Star Trek, reminded me of a key debate in economics. Even those who are not science fiction fans should bear with the argument as […]

It was almost inevitable that privatisation would provoke heated exchanges during Britain’s election campaign. Sadly it is to be expected that all sides should make misleading claims. Perhaps more surprising is that, despite the vociferous debate, the protagonists share so much in common. So far the discussion has focused on the NHS. Labour has for […]

This review was first published last Thursday in the Financial Times. Neoliberalism is frequently portrayed as the malevolent ideology of the super-rich. Its critics contend that its preference for minimal state regulation favours the strong over the weak. The conclusion usually drawn is that state powers need to be strengthened to protect the vulnerable. Unfortunately […]

When trying to refute a misplaced idea it is best to take its most coherent and lucid expression as a target. Taking apart a sloppily expressed argument is unlikely to convince many that its premises are fundamentally flawed. In the spirit of aiming at hard targets it is worth looking closely at the work of […]

It was only recently that I recognised the adoration Britain’s leading financial newspaper has for the man often dubbed the thinker behind the Occupy movement. The Financial Times published a long extract from David Graeber’s new book, The Utopia of Rules, on the front page of its weekend Life and Arts section. I quickly realised it […]

For those interested in my more technical articles here is a piece I wrote for the March issue of IPE magazine (it can also be read on the IPE website here). Smart beta has had a foothold in the foreign exchange market for years, although the approach is less pervasive than those of other asset […]

I feature on a discussion in Worldbytes’ TV “Don’t shout at the telly” slot. Topics discussed include inequality and quantitative easing (QE).