Posts Tagged ‘economics

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 […]

This is my latest article for spiked. The sanctimonious war of words against tax dodging embodies a fundamental attack on individual freedom. Although the offensive appears to be aimed mainly at wealthy individuals and multinational corporations, it threatens to undermine liberty for everyone. Economics is not the real focus of the frenzied discussion of tax […]

The pious war against tax dodging is much more dangerous than any schemes for evading or avoiding tax. When individuals or corporations act to minimise their tax payments the worst that can happen is that the authorities lose billions in tax revenue. In contrast, the stakes in the sanctimonious offensive against tax dodging are much […]

It is one of the most bewildering discussions in a confusing area. Deflation is welcomed by some economists but condemned by others as a grave threat. Some basic distinctions are necessary to understand the debate. Let’s start by outlining recent developments. The eurozone’s inflation rate fell by 0.2 per cent in the year to December […]

Although the claim is frequently repeated it is untrue that a debate about economic equality is underway. To those who follow it carefully it should quickly become clear that something else is happening. Take the recent discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos. A televised debate involving some of the main protagonists helps make […]

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 […]

One of the great paradoxes of 2014 was the apparent mismatch between falling oil prices and military conflict in strategic regions. Normally fighting in the Middle East and the Ukraine would be expected to push up oil prices. Only this year the price has fallen sharply since June. According to the US Energy Information Administration […]

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.” […]

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 […]

In the light of today’s publication of a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a rich country think tank, my spiked essay on inequality is worth rereading. The OECD broadly argues that high and rising inequality damages economic growth whereas I contend that, if anything, causality runs in the other direction. […]