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A-levels, culture, and the great regional divide

Last week saw the ritual tears and joy of the announcement of the A level results.  An encouraging aspect was the increase, albeit small, in the percentage of entries in traditional academic subjects, now standing at 51.2 per cent.  This is yet another example of incentives at

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Keynesians are wrong: Cutting public spending can boost economic growth

The key aim of George Osborne’s economic policy has been to eliminate the financial deficit of the public sector.  The main way of trying to achieve has been to squeeze public spending.  The orthodox economic textbooks maintain that this withdraws demand from the economy, and so leads

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Response to Cecil the Lion’s death is a sad lesson in the irrationality of public opinion

Alas poor Cecil! Close personal friend of mine, sadly dead now. The catchphrases of the Scottish comedian Bob Doolally capture the outpourings of grief among the Twitterati at the death of the now famous lion. The mourning is mixed with incoherent rage, as long-standing opponents of torture

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Technology is replacing school ties in companies’ battle to keep their employees honest

The activities of the House of Lords are very much in the news at the moment.  But the members do carry out serious work, not least on the economic affairs committee.  Last week, Lord Green, former chairman and chief executive of HSBC, appeared before them.  Yes, the

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Why cricket is like spam

The holiday season gets into full swing, but a shadow has been cast by the abysmal failure of our boys to get anywhere near the enormous target of 509 which Australia set them to win in the second Test match.  It may seem preposterous even to have

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Scandinavia provides the evidence for Osborne’s war on welfare

George Osborne’s budget has been met with predictable outrage from the poverty lobby.  The cuts to the welfare budget will allegedly create shocking levels of deprivation.  Young people in particular, it is stated, have been singled out for punitive measures.  On the face of it, the arguments

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Closing the gender pay gap

Those who were lucky enough to attend the Wimbledon Tennis Championships recently cannot have failed to take in the sense of tradition that surrounds those who pass through the gates of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. But in one important sense, Wimbledon is a beacon of

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Guaranteed bank deposits and the market for lemons

One aspect of the Greek crisis which will affect many readers is the reduction in the amount of cash in a bank deposit which is protected.  The Bank of England announced that the current guaranteed amount of £85,000 will be cut to £75,000 on 1 January.  This

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Child poverty is thankfully not rising – but the archaic definition needs to go

David Cameron is feeling the heat. This is not just a consequence of the sudden dramatic rise in London temperatures. The need to extract something meaningful from our EU partners and the increased threat of terrorist attacks are sleep-depriving problems. But the Prime Minister did have one

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Short termism in Financial Markets

There has been an immense focus on the Financial Sector in the years since the 2008 Financial Crisis, and rightly so. It was the worst since the Great Depression of 1929 and systemic risks in the financial sector contributed heavily to the depth of the recession. Since

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