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Looking out for the next financial crisis? Keep an eye on spiralling debt

Looking out for the next financial crisis? Keep an eye on spiralling debt

Concerns are growing that another financial crisis is imminent. No less important a figure than Kenneth Rogoff wrote last week that “the next major financial crisis may come sooner than you think”. Rogoff, a former chief economist at the IMF, shot to fame with his 2008 book

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What’s the point of economists? Look to America’s tech giants to find out

What’s the point of economists? Look to America’s tech giants to find out

Despite the dire predictions from the economics profession about Brexit, the UK economy is doing well. Growth continues at a steady pace. An all-time record 32.4m people are in work. Unemployment has fallen to levels not seen since the mid-1970s. In contrast, the Eurozone is on the

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AI has not yet spurred a productivity boom, but just you wait

AI has not yet spurred a productivity boom, but just you wait

Nobel laureate Bob Solow pronounced 30 years ago that “you can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics”. At the start of the 1980s, the world entered the digital age. Fax machines transformed communications. The introduction of personal computers made high-powered computing available to

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No matter how we measure inflation, politics will forever trump economics

No matter how we measure inflation, politics will forever trump economics

THE ECONOMIC Affairs Committee of the House of Lords has got its bovver boots on. Last week, the government was given a sound kicking. The issue was the seemingly esoteric one of how to measure inflation. Inflation tells us how much the prices of goods and services

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Capitalism has reduced inequality and improved the world, yet still it is under attack

Capitalism has reduced inequality and improved the world, yet still it is under attack

DESPITE the First World War ending the previous November, the year 1919 was a very bad one. For example, the UK entered what was by far its deepest ever economic recession. Output fell some 25 per cent between 1919 and 1921 as the economy attempted to adapt

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Europe has suffered from the euro – just ask the Greeks

Europe has suffered from the euro – just ask the Greeks

One of the entertainments of the holiday period was reading Adults In The Room, the book by Yanis Varoufakis. It describes his time as finance minister of Greece, and his negotiations with the IMF, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission. Varoufakis was only in the job

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The Ghost of Christmas Past could tell us where the negotiations all went wrong

The Ghost of Christmas Past could tell us where the negotiations all went wrong

In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Scrooge finds being haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past unbearable. He begs it to stop. The Ghost replies: “These are the shadows of things that have been. That they are what they are, do not blame me.” It might almost

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Hyperbolic discounting explains why the French are revolting over Macron’s fuel tax

Hyperbolic discounting explains why the French are revolting over Macron’s fuel tax

Economists have long argued that an effective way of reducing carbon emissions is by increasing taxes on energy consumption.

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From Northern Rock to lunch tables, no one is immune from the herd mentality

From Northern Rock to lunch tables, no one is immune from the herd mentality

The Bank of England and Federal Reserve held a two-day conference last week in London on big data and machine learning. All very interesting stuff. There was an intriguing vignette as we emerged from the conference room for the frugal lunch on the first day. Straight ahead

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Britain’s stagnant regions are stuck in a monetary union trap

Britain’s stagnant regions are stuck in a monetary union trap

The Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence created a bit of a stir at the end of last week with its estimates of growth in the regions of the UK. Since the recovery from the financial crisis began during 2009, London’s economy has grown by 26 per cent.

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