Archive for April, 2009

Real Clear Markets has published my latest comment from Fund Strategy.

The following comment by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (27 April). The British government is presenting the origins of the economic crisis as purely external. It is depicted as an external shock on what would otherwise be a healthy economy. Such a portrayal conveniently absolves New Labour of any responsibility for the considerable […]

It is important to put the current demands for austerity in Britain into the right perspective. The more explicit character of the call for austerity is an important development. But the drive for austerity is not new nor has the process unfolded to its full extent. The Conservative Party has pushed the idea of the […]

Until I read this article in the New York Times I had not realised the relationship between the Obama administration and a key environmental formula. Evidently the IPAT formula – which holds that environmental Impact = Population multiplied by Affluence multiplied by Technology – was devised by John Holdren, a physicist and Barack Obama’s science […]

It is evidently never too young to inculcate children to behave in what is deemed an environmentally correct fashion. Sesame Street has recently released a DVD called “Being green” which features Paul Rudd as “Mr Earth”. Evidently in the DVD for pre-schoolers: “Mr Earth teaches Elmo and Abby how ‘it can be easy being green’ […]

The following comment by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (20 April). The two chapters of the International Monetary Fund’s twice-yearly World Economic Outlook (WEO), published last week, provide interesting pointers to the character of the current downturn. They also exemplify the limitations of contemporary economics. One chapter looks at the likely strength of […]

Today’s New York Times magazine is a special green issue. It includes several interesting – although flawed – articles on the subject including: •Why isn’t the brain green?. Implying that failure to accept environmental priorities suggests some kind of mental disorder and suggesting people need to be “nudged” in the right direction. This form of […]

I was particularly sad to read of the death of John Maddox, a former editor of Nature, who in many respects had an exemplary attitude towards science and society. I recently ordered – although have not yet read – his What Remains to be Discovered (Free Press 1997) which argues there is still a huge […]

The following comment by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (13 April). Purgatory in Catholic theology is a condition of temporary punishment for those not entirely free of sin before they enter heaven. The concept could be worth adapting to help understand the response to the economic crisis. On both sides of the Atlantic […]

I will be speaking in the session on “reining in the greedy bankers” at the Institute of Ideas Battle for the Economy dayschool in London on 16 May.