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Economy

The end of business as usual?

North Sea oil platform

The benefit – and curse – of being an oil producing state is that you can be profligate without facing the economic consequences.  In Russia, for example, income from the vast Caspian and Siberian oil and gas fields has obviated the need for income tax.  In Alaska, the state government has …

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Don’t rush out to buy that new car just yet…

New cars in a parking lot

Global oil supply growth is plunging as an extended period of low prices takes its toll according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The report notes that while oil prices should start to rise gradually once the market begins rebalancing, the availability of resources that can …

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Banks Still Too Big to Fail

The Federal Reserve Bank

The newest member of the US Federal Reserve Bank, former Goldman Sachs executive Neel Kashkari, claims that the issues revealed in 2008 have still not been resolved.  According to Kashkari, measures that were taken in the immediate aftermath of the crash were necessarily conservative given the weakness of the economy. …

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The Myth of the 4th Industrial Revolution

4th industrial revolution cartoon

Louis XV of France is reported to have presciently said, “After me the deluge…”  That awareness that things could not go on as they had been was lost on Louis XVI, whose court behaved as if the real France was not falling apart around them.  It was only the appointment …

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Why low oil prices are bad for you

Despite the recent cheerleading from Ben Broadbent, the prolonged fall in the price of oil is bad for the UK economy.  This is because – like most economists – Broadbent misunderstands the economic fundamentals. The accepted wisdom is that low oil prices are the equivalent of a tax cut for …

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Core industries helped to shed skilled workers

2016 started badly for what remains of British industry with another round of steel closures and a collapse in North Sea oil and gas industry. In the days before we adopted the neoclassical religion, and had politicians who understood the meaning of the term “strategic resource”, the state would have …

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No easy answers

Sailing Ship

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness; the other to total extinction.  Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly – Woody Allen An excerpt from Tim Watkins’ book: The Consciousness of Sheep Here’s a predicament …

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Will 2016 be the year of “the bigger fool than me”?

2016 image

Could 2016 be the year when the unsustainable global asset and debt bubble finally goes public?  If the years following the Global Financial Meltdown of 2008 are true to form, we may well be about to enter the “public” or “bigger fool than me” stage in the economic cycle. Geographer …

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Fracking Scottish independence to oblivion?

Fracking scars

Scottish independence might be one of the less obvious victims of the US fracking boom if figures included in the UK government’s Autumn Statement prove accurate. In the run up to last year’s independence referendum, much of the economic case for independence revolved around the belief that the Scottish oil …

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The Economics that George Osborne wants to hide

How do you make money?  If you are in the majority, then you sell your time over and over to the same employer in exchange for wages.  Some of you will be self-employed, which means that you not only have to sell your time but you must also spend additional …

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