Archive for the General Category

What kind of person crosses the Nevada desert to investigate UFO conspiracies?

What kind of person crosses the Nevada desert to investigate UFO conspiracies?

Area 51 is a mysterious place. Located deep in the Nevada desert, it is home to highly classified US military operations. Rumours abound that it harbours secrets about extraterrestrial life. In June, a podcaster released an interview with someone who claims to have studied flying saucers in

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In such volatile times, the safest assets aren’t necessarily what investors think

In such volatile times, the safest assets aren’t necessarily what investors think

Given the climate of intense uncertainty, the FTSE index remains remarkably resilient. It currently sits almost bang in the middle of the 7,000-7,600 range, where it has been since the beginning of January 2017. Brexit does not seem to trouble share prices. Nor do the threats by

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Watch out fiscal conservatives – the mood has shifted and the spending taps are on

Watch out fiscal conservatives – the mood has shifted and the spending taps are on

The Autumn Spending Review announced by the chancellor Sajid Javid barely raised a ripple last week. Yet the increase planned in 2020/21 for what the Treasury calls “day-to-day departmental spending” is the highest for 15 years, no less than 4.1 per cent in real terms. This spending

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Economic theory can offer a lesson to struggling football clubs

Economic theory can offer a lesson to struggling football clubs

The expulsion of Bury FC from the English Football League last week continues to generate a huge amount of sound and fury. Regardless of the apparently dodgy nature of some of Bury’s transactions, the simple fact is that the club overspent massively in order to gain promotion

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Supply and demand at work, or just good bargaining? The reality behind CEO pay

Supply and demand at work, or just good bargaining? The reality behind CEO pay

A report published by Deloitte a couple of weeks ago will have enhanced the feeling of holiday wellbeing for many people. The median annual pay for bosses of FTSE 100 companies fell in 2018 to £3.4m, compared to £4m in 2017. This is the lowest level since

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Stamp duty contortions and eco-warriors with private jets? Welcome to silly season

Stamp duty contortions and eco-warriors with private jets? Welcome to silly season

August is traditionally the silly season. Brexit makes this year slightly different, of course, but it is good to see a fine British tradition still being preserved. Silly stories abound. Sajid Javid was linked (erroneously, he now claims) with the idea of fixing the housing market by making

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What was behind Friday’s National Grid outage? Network theory, not conspiracy

What was behind Friday’s National Grid outage? Network theory, not conspiracy

National Grid is getting a kicking in the aftermath of last Friday’s electricity blackout. Potential explanations swirl around both social and mainstream media. The system cannot cope with too much wind-generated electricity. The Russians hacked into the computers. A puzzling aspect is that the initial shock to

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Retailers beware, the online shopping revolution isn’t going anywhere

Retailers beware, the online shopping revolution isn’t going anywhere

Another week, another retailer biting the dust. The baked potato specialist Spudulike has closed all 37 of its branches, with a loss of nearly 300 jobs. Shopping centres are undergoing a sudden and dramatic squeeze, with many retailers only able to stay in business if granted a

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A gender equality lesson for the new cabinet from the world of academia

A gender equality lesson for the new cabinet from the world of academia

There has been much discussion on the gender and ethnic composition of Boris Johnson’s cabinet. The Channel 4 Fact Check site calculates that 33 MPs are entitled to attend cabinet. Of these, six – 18 per cent – are from an ethnic minority background. According to the

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Citizens’ assemblies would hand power to establishment experts

Citizens’ assemblies would hand power to establishment experts

Citizens’ assemblies have become the height of fashion. The London borough of Camden is currently holding one on how to reduce carbon emissions in the area. Last month, Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to set one up to consider constitutional issues in Scotland. The Irish government’s one on

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