Archive for the General Category

Labour’s plans add up on paper, but that won’t translate to the real world

Labour's plans add up on paper, but that won't translate to the real world

The two main manifestos have been published. Initially at least, the Labour one seems the more popular. Many people are susceptible to being bribed with other people’s money. Labour claims that their plans to spend an additional £49 billion have been fully costed. At one level, this

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Diane Abbott is rubbish at maths – but not compared to the rest of the country

Diane Abbott is rubbish at maths – but not compared to the rest of the country

Diane Abbott’s car crash of an interview on LBC radio last week hit the headlines. Asked politely but firmly for the numbers and costings of Labour’s plans on the police, her answers varied wildly from sentence to sentence. Of course, being charitable, it was always open to

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Thomas Schelling – a true polymath of genius

Thomas Schelling - a true polymath of genius

Thomas Schelling is probably best known in economics for his contributions to game theory. Indeed the citation for his 2005 Nobel Prize states it was for “having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game theory analysis”. In the early, tense years of the Cold War

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Economists have lost the public’s trust by meddling in politics

Economists have lost the public’s trust by meddling in politics

Michael Gove famously said during the Brexit campaign that people “have had enough of experts”. Certainly, the outcome suggests that many were sceptical of the doom-laden economic projections of Project Fear. But what do the public think about economists themselves? An intriguing survey released last week by

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Don’t believe the myths: Capitalism has performed well since the financial crisis

Don’t believe the myths: Capitalism has performed well since the financial crisis

Ten years ago, the financial crisis began to grip the Western economies.  During the course of 2007, GDP growth slowed markedly everywhere. By the end of 2008, output was in free fall. A key theme in economic commentary is the sluggishness of the subsequent recovery of the

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Government debt addiction means you can be sure of one thing: Stealth taxes will rise

Government debt addiction means you can be sure of one thing: Stealth taxes will rise

Elections create uncertainty. But we can be sure of one thing. Regardless of the result, during the course of the next Parliament, stealth taxes will rise. This week, we have a sharp rise in speeding fines. Even doing between 31 and 40mph in a 30mph zone can

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Why companies fail: Don’t look to economic textbooks to master dynamic capitalism

Why companies fail: Don’t look to economic textbooks to master dynamic capitalism

Is setting up a micro brewery a licence to print money? This month, a private equity company acquired 22 per cent of BrewDog for just over £200 million, netting a neat £100 million for the founders. Last year, the owners of Budweiser, AB InBev, bought Camden Town

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What changes could Hyperloop deliver?

What changes could Hyperloop deliver?

The last in our series of blogs on WEBs. Having worked on the Hyperloop projects, Volterra Partner Paul Buchanan looks at the impact futuristic modes of transport have on WEBs. WEBs and Hyperloop I have been lucky to work on four or five Hyperloop projects; this means

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Britain’s debt dilemma: Not too high, not too low or the UK economy risks disaster

Britain’s debt dilemma: Not too high, not too low or the UK economy risks disaster

The Bank of England Financial Policy Committee (FPC) has signalled that it has become worried again about debt. Its specific focus is households.Consumer credit, for example, grew by 10 per cent during 2016, far faster than the economy as a whole. A lot of household debt is in

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WEBs – can they be negative?

WEBs - can they be negative?

The second in our series of blogs looking at how Paul Buchanan has continued to develop the techniques and spread the application of WEBs. Can WEBs be negative? I spent many years after Crossrail espousing the power of WEBs: the economic growth that resulted, the additional tax

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