Archive for December, 2011

A Merry Christmas to all my readers, Christian or otherwise, and a Happy New Year. Lots of exciting things planned for 2012. I will be back on 9 January.

Another interesting week in the debate: * Five Books interview with David Acemoglu, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lots of useful references. Sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street. Like many commentators he argues that the banks play a key role in the new inequality. Also that the rich are manipulating political […]

Novo Argumente has published a German version of one of my spiked reviews on growth scepticism.

“The key question hanging over the West now is ‘how do you allocate pain?’”. These were the words of Gillian Tett, the US managing editor of the Financial Times and ubiquitous media presence, in last night’s BBC2 Newsnight programme (six days left to view). As a description of the current mindset of the western elites […]

My article on “consumer capitalism” for Fund Strategy magazine is on the  Real Clear Markets portal today.

This is my latest Perspective column for Fund Strategy. Perhaps the most pervasive, peculiar and damaging preconception about the economy is that this is an age of consumer capitalism. From this perspective it is consumption, mainly by individual consumers, that drives economic activity. Although it is acknowledged that production played an important role in the […]

I do not have time to go into them in detail but there were some important developments this week in the debate about inequality: * America.  Barack Obama gave what was widely regarded as a landmark speech in Kansas. It attacked inequality, demanded fairness and called for the development of a new nationalism. * Britain. […]

This is my latest book review for spiked. I have a mildly embarrassing confession to make. I love statistics. Whenever I start to examine a social or economic question, I gather all the available data to see what it tells me. Such statistics provide a valuable means to go beyond personal impressions. People I happen […]

This is my latest Perspective column for Fund Strategy. Do you feel squeezed? If so how painful are you finding it? And is it likely to get better or worse in the foreseeable future? It is not surprising that the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary recently named “squeezed middle” the word of the year […]

It is not just within the eurozone that technocratic rulers are coming to the fore (see Frank Furedi’s essay in spiked on this trend). The same trend is apparent in Britain. In yesterday’s Financial Times the newspaper’s economics editor, Chris Giles, made the point that he: “was struck by the triumph of the technocrats in […]