Advantages of living in a decent time zone

What matters for flight, unlike finance, is that hardly anyone lives south of the equator

University Students in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England,UK. 3-11-2012. Image shot 11/2012. Exact date unknown....CYE22Y University Students in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England,UK. 3-11-2012. Image shot 11/2012. Exact date unknown.

Political groupthink bad for universities

The well-educated are generally more socially liberal than the traditional working class

What history taught Uber on innovation

Democracy gives latter-day Luddites chance to use legitimate political means to achieve their ends

Rennes death and pharma regulation

The sector has to understand it has responsibilities to a wider community than its own shareholders

It can take a short-seller to catch thief

History is littered with lossmaking companies kept alive for years by accounting chicanery

Foxes, hedgehogs and the art of forecasts

Governments and businesses do not seek out superforecasters. And perhaps for good reason

'Play it again Sam': Humphrey Bogart, right, in 'Casablanca'

Apt misquotation can reveal greater truth

Many apocryphal quotes represent posterity’s polish on what was actually said


Absurd roots of regulatory practice

The more rules you can invent, the less need to waste time over puzzling about right and wrong

There is no money behind the fiscal tree

There is waste and avoidance — but if eliminating them was painless, it would have happened

Ignorance is no defence for misconduct

The UK government is backtracking on tightening the rules, losing sight of why changes are needed

A fine line between evasion and avoidance

In the spectrum from legality to illegality, most cases lie in the middle

HBOS collapse and the winner’s curse

Most groups hit in the crisis were crippled by losses in areas far from their principal business

For savers liquidity is of little value

Retail investors’ needs could be met by a market that opened once a week, or even once a year

Shareholders who think they own the company

So whose is the business? No one’s, just like the river Thames

Heathrow v Gatwick: flawed calculations

Little weight should be attached to the model relied on by the Airports Commission for its decision

Stealth would have spared Osborne defeat

When dealing with the finances of people who live from week to week, change must be gradual

Natural but wrong to blame executives

Bad things that happen are generally the product of bad systems rather than bad people

UK retailers in need of new taxation ideas

Business rates are not the cause of the pressure on retailers but they are ripe for reform

Economists should keep to the facts

‘Mathiness’ is use of data to give an appearance of scientific content to ideological preconceptions

What the Savoy hotel shares with Google

Hotel group’s late chief prioritised satisfaction of prestigious clientele over shareholder value


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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