Archive for the Paul Ormerod Category

Prospect theory: will the Greeks keep a hold of Nurse?

Will 2015 be the year in which fantasy economics in Europe is finally put to the test? Somewhat to the surprise of many commentators, in December the Greek political class failed to elect a new president even after three attempts. Parliament has now been dissolved and an

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A Tale of Two Financial Crises: the 1930s and Now

As the seventh anniversary of the start of the economic crisis approaches, it is an appropriate moment to take stock. At the time, the recession was simply not recognised by conventional economic forecasts. These continued to foresee positive growth until the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the

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Bond market yields imply gloomy growth prospects

Very strange things have been happening in government bond markets. The yield on 10 year US bonds is currently around 2.25 per cent. It makes intuitive sense that the Germans, with their longstanding reputation for fiscal prudence, are enjoying a much lower rate, some 0.8 per cent.

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The Ferguson riots: economics and bias in the American justice system

The riots in Ferguson, Missouri continue to dominate headlines around the world. Even the brutal dictatorship of North Korea has got in on the act, accusing the United States of being a ‘human rights tundra’. The disturbances follow a grand jury decision not to indict a police

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What the Emily Thornberry saga tells us about macroeconomic policy

It has been a wretched week for Emily Thornberry. The high-flying MP for Islington was sacked as Shadow Attorney General, and widely pilloried in both social media and conventional newsprint for tweeting a picture of a white van and England flags in Strood. Yet the saga tells

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Corporate tax is getting easier to avoid. Time to abolish it.

Corporate tax avoidance is once again prominent in the news. When Jean-Claude Juncker, the new European Commission president, was prime minister of Luxembourg, the country seems to have operated as a vast tax shelter. Leaked documents have revealed that special tax arrangements were agreed by his country

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Is Ed Miliband secretly a Rational Economic Person?

Recently, we have seen a very effective piece of forward guidance.  Ed Miliband’s statement that Labour would bring in a mansion tax on properties worth more than £2 million has had a dramatic impact.  The market for expensive properties in London has more or less ground to

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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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