Archive for March, 2013

I will be participating in a debate on “the problems with inequality” on 22 May at the Leeds Salon. Danny Dorling, who I recently debated in Manchester, will also be on the panel with another speaker to be confirmed.

The real culprits in the Cyprus crisis have got away with it. Blame should be pinned on the technocrats who run the eurozone and the politicians who back them. All the talk of lazy Greeks, Russian oligarchs and a nascent German “Fourth Reich” are misplaced. Let’s start by taking some of the alleged culprits in […]

This week’s Perspective column looks at the Cyprus deal. Although the article was submitted last Monday, with a lot happening in the interim, in some respects (such as the principle of taxing bank depositors) things have moved full circle since then. Depositors with less than €100,000 in savings will no longer be subject to the […]

This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. Readers of this column may wonder why I often use Paul Krugman as a foil for my arguments. The reason is straightforward. His views are a lucid and high profile expression of the economic mainstream. In that sense quoting the New York Times columnist, […]

One of the most peculiar but least understood developments of our time is the emergence of billionaires against capitalism. Even some of the greatest beneficiaries of the market system seem deeply disillusioned with it. Bill Gates provided a striking example this week when he slated the market for distorting important priorities. He reportedly told a […]

Why Philanthropy Matters, by Zoltan J Acs, Princeton University Press, 2013, RRP£19.95 Why do those Americans who succeed in accumulating vast fortunes often end up giving away so much of their hard-earned money? The question is posed sharply by such initiatives as the Giving Pledge, launched by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates in 2010. Since […]

Let’s take a hypothetical example to illustrate the hopeless character of much financial punditry on recent elections. A recently formed populist party has done well in the general election in a large European country. It has won a large number of votes although not enough to form a majority government. A financial expert appears on […]

This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. Much of the discussion of the results of last month’s Italian general election has had a decidedly elitist tone. The pedigree of some of the successful candidates made it easy for the critics. The party of Silvio Berlusconi, who could charitably be called a […]

This is a box attached to my cover story from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. The debate about robots, particularly their purported negative effects, has close parallels with discussions of the end of work. In itself the reduction in working hours or the elimination of work entirely can be seen as either welcome or as […]

This is the main text of my cover story from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. A box is to follow in a separate post. The Hollywood film Robot & Frank, which came out in the UK earlier this month, illustrates vividly how torn society is about the use of robots. In the near future a […]