Articles

Scottish No vote makes independence more likely

The No side never grasped that the central argument of the Yes campaign is that Scotland is different. Every measure that respects the differences, far less emphasises or extends them, gives strength to those who favour independence.

Scotland can prosper whether Yes or No

Scotland has prospered as part of a United Kingdom and could prosper as an independent country. Which course is more appropriate is a question of identity and values, not economics. And whatever the outcome of the referendum, sensible people will work together to ensure that outcome produces the best possible economic result.

Tricky questions for Scots lucky enough to have a vote

While most of the debate surrounding Scottish independence has been about economic matters, the economic arguments are far from conclusive either way. The real questions concern the sort of country Scots and Scotland’s residents want. The nation’s political future will drive the economics.

The wisest choices depend on instinct and careful analysis

We have a large consultancy business of transport modellers, environmental experts, risk managers and impact assessment modellers, the front line of an army that has turned evidence-based policy into policy-based evidence.

Why simple and robust regulation is the way to reduce financial complexity

Much of the complexity of modern finance is the result of regulatory arbitrage – avoiding or minimising restrictions by engaging in a transaction with more or less identical effect but more favourable regulatory treatment. Many regulators still cling to the hope that it could be eliminated if only rules were sufficiently extensive and sufficiently carefully prescribed. But this is an illusion.

No universal law predicts the outcome of disruptive innovation

The use of hindsight to reformulate a question in such a way that it validates one’s original thesis is especially widespread among consultants and gurus. But an approach sufficiently loosely formulated that it can explain everything after the event actually explains nothing at all.

Authors should back Amazon in the battle with Hachette

Established companies in all industries are inhibited in their response to radical change by vested interests inherent in their existing business models. Now, in publishing, it’s time for the author to be placed where he or she should be – in charge.

How to fix Scotland’s independence depositor dilemma

If Scotland introduces its own currency the first minister should declare that all contracts made in sterling – or dollars – will continue to be payable in that currency.

If you take the bonus, you should take the rap

When falsification of reports, or mis-selling of payment protection insurance, is common practice rather than the avocation of one rogue individual, the culpability of those in charge should be automatic.

Why mean outcomes are often meaningless

There is never such a thing as a single true and fair view, only a range of possible outcomes. To assess a value from the mean outcome is as meaningless as the observation that the average person has 1.99 legs.