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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Corporate Governance: BEIS Select Committee written evidence

Background and responses to specific questions:

Merry Christmas, whether or not you celebrate it with a sherry

Sales of sherry in Britain have fallen by more than half in the last ten years. The Wine and Spirits Trade Association blames taxation. But, as so often, the reasons are not economic, but social and cultural.

How to be your own investment manager

Three simple rules — pay less, diversify more, and be contrarian — will serve almost everyone well.

How to invest for a comfortable retirement

Regular investment in an Isa or Sipp, focusing on a diverse range of equities and property (rather than bonds) is likely to serve most investors well, especially if costs are kept to a minimum. As confidence grows, a contrarian approach can reduce risk without compromising return.

Trump victory has its roots in the post cold-war settlement

There is wide agreement that Brexit and Trump's election were caused by economics. But this and the prescriptions - tweaks to the income distribution, more aid to failing industries and districts - understate the scale and nature of the problem.

Why are British governments so bad at infrastructure decisions?

The recent decision to expand Heathrow is the latest in a catalogue of blunders stretching back to 1968. Why are UK governments so bad at decisions of this kind? Adversarial government, the tyranny of the minority, bogus quantification and a short-term focus on newspaper headlines are all to blame.

Jam tomorrow: The meaning of non-tariff trade barriers

The reality of Brexit and trade negotiations is a review of the rules governing myriads of individual products in mind-numbing detail. Those who thought Brexit meant less regulation, less bureaucracy, fewer civil servants, are in for a surprise.

We need incremental infrastructure improvements, not grand projects

We need more infrastructure spending.  With long term interest rates around zero and a sluggish economy, the opportunity seems obvious.  And with a new...

Essays on modern monetary policy pt. 3: The folly of negative rates

Business history, of a sort, was made last week by the French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, its blood thinner Plavix familiar to those with arteriosclerosis,...

The changing – and unchanging? – nature of the company town

The decline of manufacturing industry had been associated with the decline of the company town. In contrast, service companies have always tended to be fragmented. And yet there is one service industry which is conducted in large plants, in which people travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to consume the product, and which has been conducted in company towns not just for decades, but centuries.
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