Archive for October, 2011

My blog post published by the Independent today. When the world’s population reaches seven billion in late October it should be a cause for immense celebration. Not only has the population increased seven-fold since 1800 but we have become enormously better off through economic growth and technological innovation. On average we live much longer, are […]

This is Monday’s Perspective column from Fund Strategy (although the concluding sentence was edited out of the published version). Standing in the centre of tourist Athens on a sunny autumn day, there are no obvious signs of economic crisis. Visitors from many countries walk up the steep paths on the sides of the Acropolis, the […]

It has become routine to blame the economic crisis engulfing the developed world on what could be called the Big Bang Theory. This is not a reference to the television geek comedy but to financial deregulation as exemplified by London’s Big Bang 25 years ago this week. The basic idea behind the argument is simple. […]

Next Friday evening at 8.30pm I will be speaking at a debate organised by Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University, on whether austerity should be embraced or rejected. The event will be at the Duke of Cornwall hotel.

This is Monday’s Perspective column from Fund Strategy. The political debate about income tax must be one of the most peculiar intellectual clashes of these peculiar times. It boils down to the rich debating the rich about how much tax should be paid by the rich. It is hard to put a starting point on […]

A reminder that I will be debating happiness at a Battle of Ideas satellite event in Athens next Tuesday evening.

This is the final part of my Fund Strategy cover story on inflation – a short chronology on the subject. Early 1920s – The Weimar hyperinflation in Germany. Vast amounts of money were printed to help pay for war reparations. 1930s – Great Depression and falling prices. 1970s – A decade of high inflation. Some […]

This is the second part of my Fund Strategy cover story on inflation. It is particularly timely given that Britain’s CPI inflation rate has just hit 5.2%. I will post the final part of the story tomorrow. MONETARISTS It is possible to probe more deeply into the two main fundamental explanations for inflation. The inflation […]

More support, or at least sympathy, for the Wall Street protests from the elite. According to an article (free registration required) in yesterday’s Financial Times the chief executive of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, said “I understand some of the angst and the anger”. The bank chief also acknowledged “this downturn has been too long, unemployment […]

News that China’s growth rate is slowing comes at a bad time for the world economy. Hopefully it is just a dip but some, such as Lombard Street Research, are arguing the Asian giant is entering a period of stagflation (stagnation combined with high inflation). Such a development would be bad news at any time […]