Saturday , February 16 2019
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The choice you won’t be offered on 8 June

Democratic Money

Between now and June 8th, the most common question posed by politicians, journalists and drunk men down the pub will be some variant of “how are you going to pay for it?”  From defence spending to international aid and from energy price caps to social care, every electoral promise will …

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British banking collapse predates Brexit

City of London

Forget Brexit, it’s much worse than that according to Paul J. Davies at the Wall Street Journal: “Banks in Britain are still languishing in the doldrums brought on by the financial crisis of 2008. Weak banking activity and low investment returns have caused revenue to shrink, leading to widespread cost-cutting …

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The gig economy is eating Britain from the inside

Gig economy

Believe it or not, the UK is currently experiencing ‘full-employment.’  That is, while 4.7 percent of working age people are officially unemployed, most are what economists used to call ‘frictional’ – they are moving between jobs or moving between work and education. At face value, this is good news.  Indeed, …

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The last act of a dying industry

Dying industry

Within any country’s economy are several critical industries that are considered “strategic.”  In 19th century Britain, for example, coal, steel and shipbuilding were deemed to be essential.  Even today, the ability to construct military vessels is, at least to a limited extent, considered strategic.  Steel has a less obvious position.  …

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The dark shadow that still haunts banking

Shadow Banking

The digital economy has largely been welcomed as a “disruptive force,” obliging old fashioned businesses to compete for custom with new lean internet companies like Uber and Google.  But disruptive businesses in banking may not be the positive development intended.  As Leonid Bershidsky at Bloomberg points out: “In a rivalry …

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Brexit Britain muddling along

The scale of economic dishonesty in the wake of the Brexit result last year takes “fake news” to stratospheric levels.  In this, both sides of the Brexit argument are equally culpable.  The slightest hint of economic bad news is pounced upon by the “Remoaners” as proof that the UK economy …

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Dying of (wilful) ignorance

Dying of wilful ignorance

Perhaps the most despicable thing about climate change denial is that the science behind the greenhouse effect is long established.  As I noted in my book – The Consciousness of Sheep: “French mathematician and physicist, Joseph Fourier, first discovered the ‘greenhouse effect’ in 1824, when he discovered that gases such …

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The elephant that killed Western democracy

Killer Elephant

Across the Western world, centrist political parties and their supporters are like punch-drunk boxers, reeling from a series of near-knockout blows.  First there was the British (i.e. English and Welsh) decision to leave the European Union.  Then came the ‘impossible’ election of President Donald Trump.  Then there was the less …

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Welcome to the permanent depression

Great Depression

Technological prowess has ushered in a new century of energy independence.  Techniques for recovering the oil found in shale deposits and bitumen sands, for drilling in ultra-deep water and for recovering Arctic oil have allowed the Western states to break free from our dependency on the Middle East and Russia …

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