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Celebrating Germany’s recession dodge? The data isn’t quite as solid as you think

Celebrating Germany’s recession dodge? The data isn’t quite as solid as you think

Ardent Remainers had a rare bit of good news at the end of last week. The latest statistics for the German economy showed that, contrary to expectations, it had not fallen into recession in the July-September period. Economists have come to define a recession as a period

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Today’s apologists for socialism still won’t acknowledge the lessons of the Berlin Wall

Today’s apologists for socialism still won’t acknowledge the lessons of the Berlin Wall

The media has been awash over the past week with stories about the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. My favourite vignette concerns a couple living in East Berlin who were delighted to have a telephone installed in their apartment only weeks before the

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From World War II to the financial crisis, our institutional memory is fading fast

From World War II to the financial crisis, our institutional memory is fading fast

The young contestants on Lord Sugar’s reality TV show The Apprentice sparked outrage last week. They appeared to have virtually no knowledge about the Second World War. The online clips of the sequence capture to perfection their expressions of bovine outrage at even being expected to know

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The economic impact of Brexit tariffs only tells us half the story

The economic impact of Brexit tariffs only tells us half the story

Brexit is about much more than the economic costs and benefits, but the idea that the former dramatically outweigh the latter has become the received wisdom in much of the media. Report after report emerges which purports to show that, under any of the various trade arrangements

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Until Scotland’s currency puzzle is solved, independence is economically delusional

Until Scotland’s currency puzzle is solved, independence is economically delusional

The possibility of Scottish independence is back on the political agenda once again. And one question – which currency would an independent Scotland use? – that was crucial in the 2014 referendum has still not been resolved. The informal use of the pound is a very risky

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This year’s Nobel economics laureates have made the world a better place

This year’s Nobel economics laureates have made the world a better place

This year’s Nobel Prize in economics, announced on Monday, was a ray of sunshine amid the prevailing media gloom. The Prize was awarded for the work the new laureates had done on the alleviation of global poverty. This is one reason to be cheerful about it. Another

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Forget ‘reparations’, scrapping subsidies is the way to help get Wales back on its feet

Forget ‘reparations’, scrapping subsidies is the way to help get Wales back on its feet

Get ready to put your hands deep into your pockets for the boyos and girlos of the Welsh Valleys.  Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, called last week for the UK to pay “reparations” to Wales for the crime of reducing the country to poverty. For

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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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Britain’s car industry could weather a storm of tariffs better than you’d think

Britain’s car industry could weather a storm of tariffs better than you’d think

The latest American Economic Review contains a timely paper. Keith Head and Thierry Mayer, at the University of British Columbia and the Banque de France respectively, estimate the consequences of changes in tariff and non-tariff barriers to the car industry. They look at both US-led protectionism and

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