Pragmatism best in reform of economics

Ferdinando Giugliano takes part in an economics lecture at UCL.
©Charlie Bibby

The subject is not like philosophy, where the value for students lies in the debate itself

Ice cream, apathy and political truths

The existence of two middle of the road parties is an accurate expression of popular will

It is financial crashes we should fear

Air travel is safe and its investigation process transparent — the contrast with finance could hardly be greater

The value of a life is not about cost

Perhaps governments should finance the payment of a national licence fee for drugs

The problem with boardroom tokenism

Banks might be better off if there were more regulating and less risk-taking, writes John Kay

When babies outsmart business experts

Leaders who say their predecessors are wrong are often advocates of useless reorganisation

A route to profit in the middle market

UK’s supermarkets show the key to success is to match a business’s position to its capabilities

Lobbyists pervert politics and earn infamy

A contract to lobby government, like an agreement to sell sex, was unenforceable in the courts

Financial danger of trusting risk models

Failure to imagine the possibility the Swiss franc’s euro peg would end is rank incompetence

An accidental legacy that will endure

Devolution of income tax rates and bands to Scotland requires adjustments to the Barnett formula

Fears over EU-US trade deal well grounded

In the past decade large, mostly American, companies have claimed rights under ISDS

History can explain falling prices

A historical perspective may help to stem panic among investors

Our gift to the future will be unpaid bills

Those of us who care for posterity cannot but be concerned by our legacy of debt

Lesson for politicians from Sage of Omaha

Buffett’s readiness to wait before acting should be noted by western leaders shaken by Paris events

How financiers reversed equality

Growth of banking sector has helped turn back egalitarian trend

No answer to the Scottish question

It is easier to put the blame on insufficient powers and cash than to identify solutions

Crowd-pleasing is no substitute for wise regulation

It is in the nature of a crowd to turn on anyone who dissents from average opinion

Generational inequality and house prices

This injustice is different from the concerns of Occupy Wall Street or Piketty’s readers

Scotland’s taxes can only go up

The pressure to do something will be hard to resist

Capitalists sold the mills and bought the future

If capital is indeed back as Piketty says, it is in a different way


John Kay John Kay has been writing a column on economics and business since 1995. He is currently a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. He also had a career in the policy world which established the Institute for Fiscal Studies as one of the most respected think tanks, and a business career.

John has published many books, including Foundations of Corporate Success (1993), The Truth About Markets (2003) and The Long and the Short of It: Finance and investment for normally intelligent people who are not in the industry (2009). His latest book, Obliquity: Why our goals are best achieved indirectly, was published by Profile Books in March 2010.

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