This is the text of my 4 December feature for the Financial Times There is an apocryphal tale about an exchange between two of America’s most famous novelists on the nature of wealthy individuals. F Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, is reputed to have said: “The rich are different from you and me.” […]
There is something profoundly disturbing about the reaction to Russell Brand’s rants but it has nothing to do with his garbled slogans or juvenile demeanour. It is rather that many influential people seem to respect the middle-aged comedian’s views. His recent appearance on the BBC2 Newsnight programme was more of a tirade than an interview. Much of […]
An audio recording of last week’s spiked debate on consumerism, with me on the panel, is now available online. Click here.
I will be participating in a spiked debate on celebrating consumer choice at the Grand Committee Room, Westminster Hall, London on the evening of Monday 23 June. The other panelists are Julian Baggini (philosopher and author), Helen Dickinson (director general of the British Retail Consortium) and Harry Wallop (journalist and broadcaster).
This article was an accompanying box for a recent Fund Strategy cover story I wrote on emerging markets. The debate about the rising middle class in emerging economies often gives a misleading impression of the scale of prosperity that has been achieved. It is true, and welcome, that people in the developing world have become […]
One of the most pervasive and damaging misconceptions in public debate is that economics can be understood from the perspective of the consumer. The acceptance of this blinkered worldview makes a balanced understanding of the economy impossible. Take the idea that the economy is suffering from a lack of confidence or “animal spirits” as the […]
One of the most peculiar but least understood developments of our time is the emergence of billionaires against capitalism. Even some of the greatest beneficiaries of the market system seem deeply disillusioned with it. Bill Gates provided a striking example this week when he slated the market for distorting important priorities. He reportedly told a […]
Anyone looking for an excellent example of the narrowness of the debate between “growth” and “austerity” need only look across the Channel. Anyone remember the days not long ago when François Hollande, France’s socialist president since May, was seen as a powerful force against austerity? He was widely portrayed as a counterweight to the pro-austerity […]
This year I will be speaking at two sessions at the Battle of Ideas festival in London on the weekend of 20-21 October. The first will look at the discussion of austerity with Dan Atkinson of the Mail on Sunday, David Smith of the Sunday Times and Philippe Legrain also on the panel. Immediately after […]
This is my Perspective column for this week’s issue of Fund Strategy. A strong challenge has emerged to the widely held view that living standards for the average American stagnated for many years even before 2007. This is an important debate to examine because it suggests that most people did not become more prosperous even […]
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