Archive for April, 2013

It is hard to imagine a more embarrassing public humiliation. Two Harvard economics professors, one a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, made a basic spreadsheet error in a hugely influential paper. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s 2010 work, Growth in a Time of Debt, helped provide the economic underpinning for the case […]

Economist and author Dan O’Neill and journalist and author Daniel Ben-Ami go head-to-head. This debate is from the May issue of New Internationalist. Feel free to comment on the magazine’s site. Dan Kenneth Boulding once warned that anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an […]

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is probably unique as a literary novel written in the form of a self-help book. It has several other unusual features. The main protagonist is referred to only as ‘you’ while the other lead character is simply ‘the pretty girl’. Mohsin Hamid’s novel also all takes place […]

This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. Whatever happened to the march of the makers? Back in March 2011, Chancellor George Osborne proclaimed in a parliamentary speech that an industrial renaissance was central to the Government’s plan for growth: “We want the words: ‘Made in Britain’; ‘Created in Britain’; ‘Designed in […]

I rarely write about Israeli politics nowadays but this film review is one of my occasional forays into the subject. The Gatekeepers is a remarkable documentary that illustrates an important shift in Israeli attitudes over the past four decades. Unfortunately, most Western commentators only see in it a confirmation of their own prejudices. Dror Moreh, […]

Margaret Thatcher’s admirers and her critics are both overestimating the extent to which the former prime minister transformed the British economy and financial markets. Although she made some important changes an awful lot remained intact. Let’s get the genuine shifts out the way first. Perhaps the most dramatic was winning acceptance for the idea that […]

This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. When is a euro not a euro? The question might sound philosophical but the Cyprus crisis has posed it in brutally practical terms. Recall that the eurozone is meant to be a currency bloc. Therefore, at least in theory, a euro in, say, Germany […]

My appearance on this morning’s BBC1 Big Questions programme is available to watch on iPlayer for the next week.  The three topics were whether it was right to take from the rich to give to the poor; should we “go forth and multiply” and whether the Grand National horse race should be banned. Probably the […]

This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. Many experts have long argued that the developed countries, particularly America, are switching towards a “knowledge economy” and away from industrial production. The trouble is, by some measures at least, this trend seems to have at least partially reversed recently. It is true that […]