The contemporary obsession with the super-rich often combines an intense interest in breathtaking bling with a quiet loathing of those with spectacular wealth. Both ingredients in this peculiar cocktail were on display in BBC2’s recent Meet the Super Rich season of documentaries. Rich, Russian and Living in London focused on the lavish lifestyle of wealthy […]
This is the text of my recent book review in the Financial Times Astute observers of capitalism have long recognised there is a tension at its heart. Although the market economy is based on the pursuit of self-interest, its legitimacy depends on benefiting the wider society. These two contrasting elements were understood as far back […]
This article was first published in the December issue of Fund Strategy. Of all the confusing areas of economics one of the most bewildering is public spending. Despite its centrality to public debate in Britain most people probably shrug their shoulders when they hear it being discussed. Yet its profile is likely to get higher […]
The biggest challenge facing the world economy is not the difficult economic conditions but what could be called gloomsters. These are the fatalists who think nothing much can be done about economic problems besides tinkering with monetary policy or public spending. Gloomsters are not what Margaret Thatcher long ago called “moaning minnies” . On the […]
There follows the text of my recent spiked article on austerity. It is widely accepted that Britain’s coalition government, like many of its counterparts across the developed world, is wilfully imposing harsh austerity on the public. In this view, the government is subjecting the population to an ideologically motivated squeeze on living standards in a […]
My latest spiked article disputes the claim that Britain, and the West more generally, is suffering from austerity. The malaise is deeper and wider than the A-word suggests. I will post the full text in the next few days.
Given the unpopularity of those who work in financial services it was perhaps appropriate that there was a constant hissing sound in the background. Only this time around the source of the hissing, at least in the main, was a noisy air pump rather than the audience. The venue was the Bowler Hat – a […]
The emergence of London as a centre for trading in the Chinese currency points to both the strengths and weaknesses of the British economy. It is certainly a coup for London that the Chinese authorities have agreed to launch direct trading between the renminbi and the pound on the capital’s foreign exchange market. This will build […]
Economics may have ignored financial markets in the past but it has gone way too far in the opposite direction. Nowadays finance has become an obsession while there is little talk about the real economy. I was reminded of this trend while listening to a recent BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme presented by Duncan Weldon. At […]
Normally I pay relatively little to the Budget in Britain as it seldom contains much that is new. This time around I was stuck by a throwaway claim made by George Osborne, the chancellor, in his speech: “The independent statistics show that under this government income inequality is at its lowest level for 28 years.” […]
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