A Christmas competition with a difference…

… and the chance to win a bottle of champagne. For the prolonged holiday break, a quiz is appropriate. But one with a difference: not just questions, but comments to go with them. A prize of a bottle of champagne to the best answers – just email them to me. The last couple of years […]

Valuing the Future. Why Climate Change Agreement is Hard

The two week long Paris conference on climate change seems to drag on interminably.  There are obviously many reasons why such summits find it difficult to reach meaningful agreements.  But a fundamental one is that the electorates of the West are being asked to bear substantial costs right here and now, in return for a […]

Black Friday, Games and the Stock Market

Black Friday has come and gone.  The massive surge into the shops which was anticipated in much of the media failed to materialise.  Many retail outlets were quieter than a normal Friday.  In contrast, internet shopping went wild.  Amazon had its biggest ever day in the UK, selling over 7 million items.  Argos and John […]

Could Ernie replace Andy? The Bank’s take on automation

The Chief Economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, has been in the news with his predictions that up to 15 million jobs in the UK are at risk of being lost to automation. This is a huge number, around half the total number of people in work today. Haldane injected a note of […]

Scottish Independence and Fairytale Land

Sir James Mirrlees is one of the mere handful of British recipients of the Nobel Prize in economics.  As his fine old Scottish surname might suggest, he has been active in the debate on independence.  His latest intervention, which has attracted considerable publicity, is to pronounce that an independent Scotland should be willing to repudiate […]

Herr Doktor Professor Sinn and Disciplining the Mediterranean Countries

The Polish banking and financial elite gathered last week at a conference in the Baltic seaside resort of Sopot.  The proceedings were enlivened by the presence on the platform of Jacek Rostowski, one of the two senior Polish politicians caught on tape badmouthing, in very colourful terms, David Cameron for his failure to stand up […]