Posts Tagged ‘finance

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]