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The EU referendum has shown just how irrational voters are

The EU referendum has shown just how irrational voters are

Some things never seem to change.  In the mid-16th century, in the course of her short reign Queen Mary, a daughter of Henry VIII, tried to restore Catholicism.  To this end, she arranged to marry King Philip of Spain, at a time when Spain dominated Europe.  The

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Old Europe’s poor innovation record is a harbinger of long-term stagnation

Old Europe's poor innovation record is a harbinger of long-term stagnation

The economic debate around Brexit has been disappointing.  Far too many of the points focus on the short-term.  Would Brexit precipitate a sterling crisis?  Well, if it did, at some point the currency would bounce back?  Would it tip us into a recession?  Maybe, but recessions come

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Euro 2016: why the highest earning teams should go furthest

Euro 2016: why the highest earning teams should go furthest

As excitement for the 2016 European Championships – which begin on Friday 10th June – reaches fever pitch, football supporters across the continent will be hoping that their nation can do them proud. The new format of the tournament means that more teams than ever will be

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The poor state of macro justifies scepticism with Brexit disaster forecasts

The poor state of macro justifies scepticism with Brexit disaster forecasts

David Cameron has tried to frame the Brexit debate into one based on economics.  Standing with him is the overwhelming consensus of economists themselves, from academics to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Their pronouncements are not having that much impact on the electorate if the polls are

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The coming explosion in natural debt is a serious risk to the economy

The coming explosion in natural debt is a serious risk to the economy

Martin Feldstein of Harvard is an economist who should always be taken seriously. Writing in 1997 about the forthcoming introduction of the euro, for example, he argued that “the adverse economic effects of a single currency on unemployment would outweigh any potential gains from trade flows”. He

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There’s a smart case for diversity – but it’s not the one you think.

There's a smart case for diversity - but it's not the one you think.

Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, hit the headlines last week with his confession that even he could not understand much of the material which pension providers give to customers. Less noticed, however, was a speech he gave the previous week at a dinner

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‘Good Enough’ evidence?

'Good Enough' evidence?

We all want evidence based policy and decisions.  However, deciding what constitutes evidence and what standard of proof is required is another matter.  And of course this is especially challenging when we need to explore what will happen, rather than what has happened.  Will this policy work? 

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Don’t give in to Twitter mob: Social media is just an echo chamber

Don't give in to Twitter mob: Social media is just an echo chamber

Greater Manchester Police staged a simulated terror attack in the massive Trafford Park retail complex last week.  As with many real life atrocities, the carnage began with the cry “Allahu Akbar!”   Following a storm of protest on Twitter, the police felt forced to apologise.  Almost at the

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Is Britain on the edge of recession? History is an unreliable guide

Concerns are growing about a marked slowdown in the UK economy. The Lloyds Bank purchasing managers’ index, for example, fell to 52.1 in April, its lowest point since 2013. The initial estimate for GDP, total output, in the first quarter of this year shows an increase of just 0.4

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There’s little logic to 2016’s shareholder revolts against executive pay

There's little logic to 2016's shareholder revolts against executive pay

The crisis at BHS has focused as much on the ethics of Phillip Green’s behaviour as it has on the plight of the company itself.  Sir John Collins, who put his name forward for a knighthood, has said Green should be stripped of it if his handling

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