Category Archives: Economics & Finance

Reflections on economics, investment and the financial world

Is austerity an economic failure or a fact of life?

The British Labour Party conference proved a bit of an anti-climax. After the excitement of the last week’s Scottish referendum this was probably inevitable. All the more so since the Labour leadership did not want to talk about the important issues … Continue reading

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The revenge of the 50-somethings. Is this why productivity is sinking?

Last weekend I met up with a number of other 50-somethings. Only one of us was still working. The universal advice to her was that she should stop as soon as she could. It wasn’t worth it. Anecdote is no … Continue reading

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Rethinking Liberalism 2: economics

The discipline of economics pervades all reflection on public policy. This is only right, as it is this discipline that tries to reconcile supply and demand for resources, and present a rational framework for choices. But it can be pernicious. … Continue reading

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The complacency of salt-water economists

In his recent book on economics (reviewed by me here), George Cooper presented the discipline as being an irretrievably fracture, in need of a radical step change. There is an alternative view. This is that in fact the profession is split between … Continue reading

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Does money really grow on trees?

A few months ago David Cameron, the Prime Minister, defending the government’s austerity policy said that “Money doesn’t grow on trees!”, a well used expression when discussing household budgets. The Financial Times economics columnist Martin Wolf responded that money did … Continue reading

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Reinventing liberal economics

In a recent post I expressed frustration that conventional economics seems to have survived the meltdown of 2008 almost unscathed, as evidenced the chatter around the discussion of monetary policy. I mentioned one book, George Cooper’s Money, Blood and Revolution, … Continue reading

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Pensions, savings: sensible steps forward

This week’s UK Budget has revealed the usual muddle amongst politicians, journalists and the public over the whole issue of pensions and savings – with opinion strongly favouring several flavours of having your cake and eating it. This masks some … Continue reading

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Economics is in denial. A new crisis builds

When the financial meltdown of 2008 to 2009 occurred, most people said that the science of economics was in state of collapse. And yet conventional economics ploughed on with barely a wobble. To see this you only have to listen to the commentary … Continue reading

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Re-shoring: good news that does not make us feel better

The British economy is perplexing economists. The economy as a whole is growing but we as individuals don’t seem to be any better off. Unemployment tumbles but pay stays rooted to the spot. This is called the “productivity puzzle”. Added … Continue reading

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Britain’s improved growth points to more government austerity

The UK economy has improved dramatically in the last six months. This is one of the most important developments in British politics. This week’s good news on employment is just part of a wide spectrum of measures showing the economy’s … Continue reading

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