Archive for March, 2007

On my return from Switzerland I find an example of what sadly seems to pass for investigative reporting in Britain nowadays. Without any fear for its own safety the Independent has been to its local sweetshop (or perhaps it was an evil supermarket) to buy 10 popular types of Easter egg. It then weighed the […]

I am currently in St Moritz, Switzerland, where I am chairing the main sessions of the Fund Strategy Investment Summit as part of my job. It does not directly relate to my “Ferraris for All” project but some of the economic sessions provide useful background.

Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist, demonstrates tragically low horizons in relation to fighting poverty. He advocates using websites such as and which allow Westerners to lend small amounts of money to third world entrepreneurs: “From my laptop in New York, I lent $25 each to the owner of a TV repair […]

Judging by an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal the American president has started to acknowledge the widening inequality gap in the US. However, he does not see such inequality as inherently bad. In his view the most skilled and productive members of society are getting what they deserve: “Until January, President Bush seldom acknowledged […]

The lead story of the current (March-April 2007) issue of the Boston Review is a piece by Nancy Birdsall, the founding president of the Center for Global Development in Washington DC, on why inequality matters. Birdsall distinguishes between constructive and destructive inequality. In her view the former creates positive incentives at a micro level while […]

I am increasingly finding that a select few economics blogs, although often eclectic, provide useful references and ideas. These include: * Chris Dillow, a financial journalist, although he denies it, blogs at stumblingandmumbling. * Greg Mankiw, professor of economic at Harvard, has random observations for economics students. * J Bradford DeLong, professor of economics at […]

Al Gore is stepping up his campaign to be recognised as the high priest of the anti climate change religion. In testimony to congress this week he reportedly said global warming was a “planetary emergency” and “the greatest crisis we’ve ever faced”. His proposed solutions included energy taxes and a total ban on the incandescent […]

If an article in today’s Wall Street Journal is to be believed the Chinese are finding it easier than expected to shift to more sophisticated production. To quote the start of a piece by Andrew Batson in Beijing: “China is demonstrating a surprising ability to parlay its dominance in low-end manufacturing into a new strength […]

Good news in the fight against malaria. Scientists have shown, at least in principle, that genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes could help quell the disease. Scientists in the lab have created a malaria-resistant mosquito that can better survive than those carrying the disease. According to a BBC online article: “GM mosquitoes that interfered with development of […]

This week’s episode of The Trap, part two of the three part documentary by Adam Curtis, failed to convincingly link paranoid man with rising inequality (see posts of 11 and 12 March). The first 45 minutes of the hour-long programme elaborated on the last week’s theme of how the idea of rational selfish individuals arose […]