Since this is my last blog post for Fundweb allow me to indulge a little. I want to try to unravel a debate that has increasingly preoccupied policymakers, as well as myself, in recent years. That is the discussion of excessive inequality. The arguments on the subject can be incredibly frustrating because they are often at cross-purposes. […]
There follows my Fund Strategy Polemic column for July. For all the talk of a possible bubble in US technology stocks, the rise in the Nasdaq over the past year is dwarfed by the surge in the Shanghai and Shenzen stockmarket indices. Draw lines on the same graph representing percentage change over the past year […]
While most European eyes are focused on Greece’s economic turmoil a potentially more significant development is unfolding on the other side of the world. In Beijing delegates from 50 countries have recently attended the signing ceremony of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The bank will lend billions of dollars to help develop Asian infrastructure but […]
The critics of George Osborne’s proposed fiscal framework to make budget deficits illegal during “normal times” are missing the point. Its main flaw is not the fixation with balanced budgets but the idea that problems are best tackled with rules designed to outlaw errant behaviour. It was always likely that Keynesian economists, such as those who signed a letter in […]
This is a slightly edited version of my latest Polemic column for Fund Strategy. Although it was only uploaded today it was written shortly after the 7 May election. There was never any doubt about the result of the British election. Despite the months of vociferous arguments and heated exchanges the outcome was always a […]
Bobbing around the river Elbe in a barge is probably the best way to get a sense of the huge scale of Hamburg’s port (Hafen Hamburg). It is hard to avoid using superlatives to describe the sights: massive cranes, huge numbers of containers, enormous dry docks and gigantic ships. There are also cruise liners, ferries […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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