Archive for the Blog Category

All we are saying: give capitalism a chance

Is there a secret Leninist cell operating at a high level in the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels?  One which is dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist structures of the European Union?  The evidence from this past week is certainly consistent with this hypothesis.  The demand

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Public sector pay and pensions are why the deficit stays high

Why can’t the UK government get its deficit down?   This question has been exercising commentators recently, in the light of the latest assessment from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) that George Osborn will once again miss his target for the deficit in the 2014/15 financial year.  

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The Happy Band of the Self Employed 

How many workers does the typical American firm employ?   Actually, it is a trick question. The answer is ‘zero’.  More than 50 per cent of all companies in the United States are one person operations – the owner, and no-one else. This fragmentation of size is increasingly

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Can Nanny make you stop drinking?

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has been the butt of much ridicule over the past week.  A pill designed to reduce alcohol consumption among problem drinkers will be made available across the NHS.  But the concept of problem drinkers is so wide that

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Groupthink and the troubles at Tesco

The latest fiasco at Tesco could prove an embarrassment for more than just the retailer. There appears to have been an over-recording of profit of some £250m, and some are asking questions about the company’s auditors. Of course, the full story has yet to emerge, and Tesco’s auditors

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Impact of the Night Tube on London’s Night Time Economy

London is the most visited city in the world, and the most attractive for Foreign Direct Investment. It is a place where people love to come to do business, see the sights, experience the culture and heritage, to socialise and have fun. London already has an extensive

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Coping with Uncertainty: the Red Hot Topic in Economics

After months of Trappist silence, a whole plethora of large companies has pronounced on the adverse consequences for Scotland of a Yes vote tomorrow.  The sectors span the economy, from oil to banks, from supermarkets to phone companies.  But what will be the effect of these interventions?

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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

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After the BRICs, the GIPSIs: Tackling Europe’s Problems

The Euro zone lurches into yet another crisis, with fears of deflation and a further drop in output.  There are several dominant explanations of why Europe has been unable to recover from the crisis.  Most commentators subscribe to them either on their own, or in various combinations,

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Wall Street no smarter than Mr and Mrs Average

Lurid stories about the excesses in the UK housing market continue to proliferate.  True, there is some evidence of a cooling, as the price rises tempt more sellers into the market and temporarily increase supply relative to demand.  But at the same time we learn in the

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