Articles

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.

Competition in banking does not necessarily benefit consumers

Limited competition may actually yield worse results for customers than either full-blooded competition or a cartel. Perhaps that explains the particularly tentative approach of the Competition and Markets Authority.

‘Trust me, I am a financial adviser’ is not good enough

Concepts of fiduciary obligation have been watered down in the modern financial services sector. It is time to reverse that.

A British identity crisis has hobbled the No campaign

The Scottish referendum is unlikely to produce a majority for independence. But in the absence of a positive assertion of what it means to be British, the United Kingdom is sleepwalking towards separation.

The ‘best’ health care is not always the one that keeps us alive

Can Britain’s NHS really be the best in the world – except for keeping its patients alive? John reviews the paradox.

How the health and safety culture can curb moral hazard

What does the death rate from violent accident in England over seven centuries tell us about moral hazard in the financial system?

Why banking crises happen in America but not in Canada

John contrasts Timothy Geithner’s firefighting approach to financial crises with the analysis of their political origins of Calomiris and Haber in Fragile by Design

Drizzle alone will not provide a path to prosperity

The correlation between a temperate climate and economic prosperity is clear and striking. What are the causes?

Angry economics students are naive – and mostly right

Economics students are – yet again – expressing dissatisfaction with the content of their curriculum. They are right

How a proud corporate history can lead to poor governance

The failures of the Coop provide insights into common management problems in not for profit institutions – including Oxford University.