Archive for July, 2008

This is evidently my 505th post since my first on 16 July 2006. Over the past two years the most popular tags I have used include economics (161), environment (128) and development (125). Inequality manages 88 and happiness 71. In terms of regions I seem most interested in America (58), China (47), Africa (38) and […]

An interesting survey on Chinese public opinion from the Pew Global Attitudes Project. The Chinese are evidently extraordinary satisfied with their economy even compared with a similar survey in 2002. Levels of personal satisfaction (on questions such as family, income and jobs) are not particularly high by international standards.

The recent BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme by Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, was particularly interesting. He looked at the significance of the increasing importance of the developing world. Justin Lin, a contributor to the programme and chief economist of the World Bank, has also recently had an interesting sounding […]

Evidently geo-engineering – using high technology solutions to modify the climate – is gaining interest according to a feature in the Christian Science Monitor (16 July): “Launch myriad mirrors into space to deflect a fraction of sunlight from reaching Earth. Seed the stratosphere with sulfur or other particles to cut some of the sun’s rays. […]

The following news story by me from Fund Strategy summarises a recent Goldman Sachs paper on the rising middle class. Another two billion more people could join the global middle class by 2030 according to a new report by Goldman Sachs*. Such an expansion, which would be unprecedented in world history, is based on a […]

The following news analysis by me from Fund Strategy identifies the key factors in determining the oil price. The big debate in relation to surging oil prices is whether speculators are to blame. There is a sharp divide between those who see speculation as a key factor in rising prices and those who point to […]


In: Uncategorized

21 Jul 2008

The following comment by me from Fund Strategy looks at how ideas from behavioural finance are being used to influence individual behaviour. It is written for a financial readership. Last week’s oddest spectacle was probably Richard Thaler, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, talking about knife crime on the BBC Newsnight programme. […]

Spiked has run my review of Wall-E, Disney Pixar’s new anti-consumerist movie featuring a recycling robot as its central character and humans as little more than fat blobs.

James Woudhuysen, in a programme on BBC Radio 4 and an accompanying article on spiked, contrasts nineteenth century greens with those of today. For Woudhuysen nineteenth-century romantic poets such as John Clare, Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth at least had an idea of human transcendence: “Altogether, we can forgive much in the nineteenth-century greens. At […]

The vast literature on happiness continues to expand rapidly: * An article in the June issue of the Economic Journal on hedonic adaptation – how we adapt emotionally to both positive and negative events. A summary (PDF) is available here. * A reference to a study led by Michael Marmot of University College London on […]