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 […]
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 […]
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