Mob justice is a dangerous business

Politicians resemble gangsters roaming around extorting money from unpopular individuals

Live longer – and thank economics

Life-saving advances are the greatest benefit of technological change

Human frailty will outlive payday control

The trick seems to be to allow enough legal leeway to keep social harm at modest levels

Governing by bluster leaves us in the cold

Glib declarations aimed at the media leave the energy industry confused and supply in doubt

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Scotsman David Whitney plays the bagpipes on Westminster Bridge in sight of Parliament on September 10, 2014 in London, England. English councils and national government buildings have been asked to fly the Scottish Saltire flag. Scottish voters will take part in a referendum on September 18, 2014 to decide on independence. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
©Getty Images

Scots’ No starts rather than ends debate

The fiscal settlement will not be able to survive the scrutiny it will now receive

Scotland can prosper whether Yes or No

Debate over the financial impact of independence is demeaned by posturing on both sides

A poser for those Scots with a vote

Much of the debate has been about economic issues that are far from conclusive either way

Instinct and analysis inform wise choices

We have an army of modellers turning evidence-based policy into policy-based evidence

Arbitrage wastes the finest minds

It is a game of cat and mouse, in which financial companies are steps ahead of the regulator

Innovation disrupted by warring gurus

The use of hindsight to reformulate a question so it validates one’s original thesis is widespread

Authors must back Amazon not Hachette

Savvy writers will get a much larger share of the sales proceeds

Fixing Scotland’s depositor dilemma

Sterling contracts should continue to payable in that currency

Crime, responsibility and punishment

Strict liability should apply only to subordinates acting with the authority of the institution

No such thing as one true and fair view

The absurdity whereby a fall in a bank’s credit standing becomes a source of profit

Competitive pressure at banks can be bad

There is no such thing as ‘free’ current account banking

Adam Smith gives us a sporting chance

It is no surprise that the World Cup winners are selected from Germany’s 80m population

Financial advisers and the issue of trust

The management of conflict of interest is a slippery slope, and one that Madoff would slide off

Scotland and the British identity crisis

The real question is whether Scots also feel loyal to the UK

The ‘best’ care might not keep us alive

Spending above a base level has little effect on mortality and morbidity – lifestyle matters more

The quest for fair value in art and finance

Rembrandt might have been a fine painter but his portrait business left him bankrupt


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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