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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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Hip Hop and Why Some Things Succeed

Just over a month ago, a group of young men from a fairly yokel part of Australia posted a video on YouTube. Nothing remarkable about that. Except that the video now has over 21 million viewings. More than 170,000 variants of the original theme have been posted

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How expert are experts? Time to end the independence of the Bank

The Bank of England has held short-term interest rates very close to zero for several years, with devastating consequences for the incomes of millions of frugal people.  The Bank’s latest wheeze suggests that savers pay the banks for the privilege of holding their money.  The Bank has

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What would Keynes have said? Ouija board active!

The loss of triple A status on UK government bonds has intensified the demands for a Plan B. So-called Keynesians demand an increase in both public spending and the public sector deficit. What might Keynes himself have said about the current situation? Lacking a Ouija board, I

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Networks, the North and Prosperity

What can be done about the North? The gap between London and the South East grows and grows. The response of many in the political class in the North is the dispiriting whinge of entitlement. The Leader of Newcastle Council has recently attracted national publicity for his

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Entrepreneurship and the filthy rich

Peter Mandelson famously said that he was ‘intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich’. As was the case with many aspects of New Labour, he was working firmly in the Leninist intellectual tradition. Some 20 years earlier, the then leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Deng Xiaoping,

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