Archive for May, 2007

A conference is going on in Oxford, apparently unnoticed by the British media, on how to measure happiness. It is not another dusty academic conference but includes Amartya Sen, a Nobel laureate, and Francois Bourguignon, the World Bank chief economist, as speakers. The event is organised by a new think tank: the Oxford Poverty and […]

I do not often refer to Spiked articles on this blog, other than my own, as the site includes so many key pieces. I tend to assume that my readers also follow Spiked. But this week’s article by James Woudhuysen on Rachel Carson is particularly worth reading.

The Christian Science Monitor has a review of Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy (Times Books). McKibben is a prolific writer, climate change campaigner (see 2 April 2007 post), active Methodist and leading growth sceptic. Judging by the summary of his book it contains little that is new. Environmental limits, happiness and inequality are all there. However, […]

I will be speaking on a panel on Western interference in Africa at the Worldwrite centre at 7.30pm on 7 June. It is timed to coincide with the G8 summit of the world’s most powerful leaders in Germany.

This week’s Fund Strategy included the following comment by me on sovereign wealth funds. Beijing’s recent purchase of a $3bn (£1.5bn) stake in Blackstone, an American private equity group, raises fundamental questions about global finance. For a start, it signals that China is starting to diversify the holdings in its $1,200bn of foreign exchange reserves. […]

The Economist’s Lexington column has a useful discussion of The Age of Abundance, a new book by Brink Lindsey of the Cato Institute: “His argument goes like this. The industrial revolution in America was driven by a bourgeois Protestant ethic that celebrated work and frowned on self-indulgence. Those who invested their pay earned respect as […]

The Wall Street Journal has a substantial feature today reviewing the discussion of globalisation and inequality. It argues the standard case that incomes are rising in absolute terms but relative inequalities are growing too. Such widening inequalities are helping populist presidential candidates in Latin America and are worrying Chinese officials. The article cites a piece […]

Spiked has published an article by me on the campaign to oust Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank. It argues that it is the poorest people of the world who suffer most as a result of the campaign against corruption.

This week’s Fund Strategy included the following comment by me on Will Hutton’s views on China. Given the widespread view that China is emerging as a great power it is important to examine the contrarian case. In Britain the leading “China pessimist” is probably Will Hutton, an Observer columnist and chief executive of the Work […]

There is some speculation that Tony Blair, Britain’s outgoing prime minister, could take over from the ousted Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank. Although this would go against the tradition that the World Bank is headed by an American in many ways Blair would be the perfect choice. Who better than the smiley […]