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 […]
My latest book review for the FT was published yesterday. Russian oligarchs, in the popular imagination, are often seen as exemplifying the worst qualities associated with wealth. They are frequently linked to ostentation, corruption and even outright gangsterism. The reality, of course, is more complex. Oligarchs emerged in the 1990s alongside the tumultuous transition to […]
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 […]
This is the text of my latest feature for the Financial Times (published last Thursday) Religion and wealth have long been seen as separate realms. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon,” says a famous passage of the King James Bible. But look more carefully and it becomes apparent that the links are closer and more […]
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 […]
I had not had any articles published for a while and then suddenly four appear in one day. I will upload the full text over the next week or so but meanwhile here are the links: * A spiked article on why Barack Obama loathes the Israeli prime minister. * A Financial Times feature on […]
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