This year’s Champions League final provides an uncanny example of football imitating life. The arguments about the success of the German model, with two Bundesliga teams reaching the final, bear a striking resemblance to the economic debate. That is even leaving aside clichés about German “efficiency” in both arenas. Success for Bayern Munich and Borussia [...]
This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. When is a euro not a euro? The question might sound philosophical but the Cyprus crisis has posed it in brutally practical terms. Recall that the eurozone is meant to be a currency bloc. Therefore, at least in theory, a euro in, say, Germany [...]
This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. Much of the discussion of the results of last month’s Italian general election has had a decidedly elitist tone. The pedigree of some of the successful candidates made it easy for the critics. The party of Silvio Berlusconi, who could charitably be called a [...]
It may not be as peculiar as a former comedian winning a quarter of the votes but Germany’s role in the Italian general elections was decidedly odd. German politicians had made it clear that they favoured Mario Monti, the technocrat who ruled Italy as unelected prime minister for over a year, whose party only got [...]
This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. The financial world is aflutter with talk of prospective currency wars. There are dark mutterings about how competitive devaluations by different countries could have terrible consequences for the global economy. Perhaps the most high-profile pronouncements so far have come from Jens Weidmann, the president [...]
This is a piece I wrote for Courtiers, a financial advice firm based in Henley. One of the few virtues of the Soviet Union was that it helped keep things simple. Economic and political debate essentially boiled down to a stark choice between capitalism and the Soviet model. Of course there was always some room [...]
Only a few years ago industrial policy seemed as out-dated as black and white televisions. Yet it appears to be making a comeback across the political spectrum. Until the 1970s both of Britain’s main political parties accepted what was sometimes called “indicative planning”. The state was expected an active role in guiding the economy using [...]
This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. Standing in the middle of Frankfurt’s Weinachtsmarkt, its Christmas market, it is easy to see why many Brits envy aspects of what others still view as The Old Enemy. Crowds happily mill around in the cold fortified by alcoholic drinks such as Feuerzangenbowle (literally [...]
This Perspective column was first published in today’s edition of Fund Strategy. Are France and Germany having a slight tiff or are they heading for a break-up? The answer has important implications for the future of the eurozone. France’s last president, Nicolas Sarkozy, was so close to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, they were known [...]
This Perspective column was first published in Monday’s edition of Fund Strategy. It was written before the publication of the latest GDP figures although these do not change the substance of the argument. Something weird seems to be happening to the economy and, despite having important implications, only a few geeky economists appear to have [...]
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