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A wake-up call for the Department of Transport: do the proper sums, HS2 is worth it

The High Speed 2 rail project is under fire on many fronts. The Nimby protests in the affluent Home Counties have been augmented last week by more weighty criticism by the National Audit Office (NAO) of the scheme. At least, this is how the NAO’s work has

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Scotland could be a scientific test bed for monetary theory

According to the Scottish National Party, after the referendum on independence next year, Scotland will be a land of milk and honey. The highest per capita levels of public expenditure in the UK can easily be sustained. The whole of the revenue from North Sea oil and gas will

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Ignore Krugman: We’re not caught in another depression

Spotting and identifying new species is always exciting. And the last couple of years has seen the emergence of a new type of economic commentator, the recovery denier.  Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, wrote a piece at the end of last year in which he compared the

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Will Barnet or Brentford ever topple Manchester United?

Manchester United have walked away with the Premiership title yet again. In the last seven seasons, they have won no fewer than five times. Over the past 22 years, they have never finished outside the top three. Will they ever be overthrown, especially given the stupendous sponsorship deal the

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There are errors and errors. Does the Reinhardt and Rogoff miscalculation mean that Osborne should change tack?

The distinguished American academic economists, Carmen Reinhardt and Ken Rogoff, have been very much in the news. Their 2009 book, This Time is Different, was a comprehensive examination of financial crises over the past 800 years. The work received many plaudits and awards. They suggested that when

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Whatever happened to all those miners? Shocks and economic resilience

Where have all the miners gone? To judge by the rhetoric of the BBC and other Leftist media outlets, whole swathes of Britain lie devastated, plagued by rickets, unemployment and endemic poverty – nearly thirty years after the pit closures under Lady Thatcher! The reality is different.

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Nick Bosanquet: I was wrong to criticise Thatcher in 1981 – but she didn’t go far enough

IF ANYONE doubts Margaret Thatcher’s contribution to reversing decline, they should read Sir Douglas Wass’s remarkable book Decline to Fall. Sir Douglas, formerly permanent secretary to the Treasury, wrote extensively on the 1976 IMF crisis, when Britain was forced to beg for a £2.3bn bailout. It presents

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Sovereign debt and Euro zone reality

The recent debacle in Cyprus has essentially been shrugged off by the markets. The European Central Bank vigorously asserts the crisis in the Euro zone is over. So why is there continued unease about the financial viability of countries such as Spain and Portugal, a morass into

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Are economics graduates fit for purpose?

Are economics graduates fit for purpose? This is a hot topic in policy making circles. A year ago, the Bank of England hosted a day conference on the topic. Diane Coyle has edited the proceedings in a neat little book What’s The Use of Economics: Teaching the

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The Market for Speeding Points

What is it worth to take someone else’s speeding points? The Huhne-Pryce case has brought this into sharp focus. Setting aside the moral issues, the question raises interesting topics in economics. It turns out that there is a market in these points. The Daily Telegraph discovered that

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