Archive for the General Category

Brussels elites who fiddled while Rome burned may soon get their comeuppance

Brussels elites who fiddled while Rome burned may soon get their comeuppance

The new Italian government looks set to cause shock waves across Europe. The two parties promise mass deportations of immigrants and huge increases in public spending. Both the social and the economic policies of the Italian coalition clash directly with those of the European Commission, and Germany

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No decent economist will be surprised to see renewables push up electricity prices

No decent economist will be surprised to see renewables push up electricity prices

British Gas is putting up the price of its dual fuel tariff by an average of 5.5 per cent at the end of this month. EDF, whose standard tariff is already one of the most expensive, will raise it by a further 1.4 per cent next month.

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Cyber society needs monopoly-busting competition, not misguided regulation

Cyber society needs monopoly-busting competition, not misguided regulation

The hostility towards the virtual monopolies enjoyed by tech giants such as Google and Facebook reveals some strange bedfellows. The European Commission is well known for its enthusiasm for regulation. No surprise, then, that last year the Commission fined Google €2.4bn – billion! – for giving its own

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Our automated future is brighter than Karl Marx or Mark Carney would ever suggest

Our automated future is brighter than Karl Marx or Mark Carney would ever suggest

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, hit the headlines at the weekend, claiming that Marxism could once again become a prominent political force in the west. Automation, it seems, may not just destroy millions of jobs. For all except a privileged minority of high-tech

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Should AVs be held to higher standards?

Should AVs be held to higher standards?

In the three weeks since the first fatal crash involving an AV and a pedestrian, plenty of questions have been raised about the safety of self-driving cars. A question to think about soon will be: ‘how safe should AVs be expected to be before they will be

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Old-fashioned educational values offer the UK’s most deprived children a future

Old-fashioned educational values offer the UK’s most deprived children a future

Economics is the gloomy science, but we can end the year on a cheery note. Newham Collegiate Sixth Form College is in one of the most deprived and ethnically mixed areas of the country, with high numbers of immigrants. Yet the example set by Mouhssin Ismail, the

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Companies that bow to the social media mob are operating in the wrong century

Companies that bow to the social media mob are operating in the wrong century

Pizza Hut is the latest addition to the list of companies grovelling to criticism on social media. The restaurant chain tweeted an apology for running a promotion in the Sun newspaper. A few weeks ago, Paperchase said that it would not place any more marketing campaigns with

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Catalonia tries to avoid repeating history, but Spain has economic reality on its side

Catalonia tries to avoid repeating history, but Spain has economic reality on its side

Karl Marx famously wrote: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. The phrase might well have been coined with Catalonia in mind. Generalissimo Franco began a military coup against the elected Spanish government in the Canary Islands in 1936. The battle spread across Spain, and

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Comparison sites are forcing businesses and economists to rethink price theories

Comparison sites are forcing businesses and economists to rethink price theories

The competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a report about Price comparison sites at the end of last month. They seem simple enough, but these straightforward sites raise interesting issues for economics. Overall, the CMA was pretty positive about the DCTs – digital comparison tools, to give

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Behavioural economics has had its Nobel moment, but take it with a pinch of salt

Behavioural economics has had its Nobel moment, but take it with a pinch of salt

Behavioural economics has received the ultimate accolade. Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago Business School has been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his work in this area. Economics over the past 20 to 30 years has become far more empirical. Leading academic journals do

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