English votes for English laws

Forty years after the West Lothian question was first posed it is back on the agenda

How modern politics gives HS2 easy ride

Projects acquire a momentum of their own, the original rationale forgotten if it ever existed

Denmark, not US, is the Top Nation

For foreign policy experts, America is number one. But, from an economic perspective, the Danes win

Boring banking makes a comeback

The dealmakers may have had their time as the balance of power tips back to traditional ways

French police regroup on the platform after checking a train stopping at the station of Menton for illegal immigrants, Menton, France, 19 May 2015. Menton is the first stop on the line for trains that come into France from the Italian border town of Ventimiglia and every train that comes into the station from Italy (270 trains per week) is held on the platform while teams of police check the entire train for illegal immigrants. The teams estimate that they pick up between 50 and 150 illegal immigrants per day. Their details are processed and they are driven in vans back to the Italian border.

Borders globalisation cannot erase

In an interconnected world, it remains hard to remove barriers

No investor wins if they are all the same

Diversification is essential but herding behaviour means that every asset is linked

Founding fathers offer UK a union lesson

A more extensive form of solidarity compensates for differences in needs and resources

UK productivity puzzle

Employment is up, working hours are up, so why is output down?

Good corporations should drive the economy

If effective, they make a positive contribution to the social and physical environment

A new ending for housing shortages

Differences in property experiences have a big impact on living standards

Failed bet threatens to split the UK

To stabilise a rocky marriage, it is wiser to woo your partner than to threaten divorce

How beliefs became political truths

The concept of ‘truthiness’, when conviction is prized over facts, evolved in George W Bush era

Pragmatism best in reform of economics

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

ABOUT JOHN

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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