- basic income
- bogus modelling
- Cashless society
- credit crunch
- Economics In Action
- financial crisis
- fiscal policy
- Industry Analysis
- Intellectual property
- New Economy
- Other People's Money
- UK government
- United States
- Business strategy
- Deutsche Bank
- Personal finance
- Monetary policy
- corporate governance
- behavioral economics
- Rolls Royce
This is a paper John delivered at a festschrift for Leslie Hannah, the leading British business historian of his (and my) generation. Les and I have been friends and colleagues since we were both young fellows of St Johns College Oxford in the 1970s and my first book, Concentration in Modern Industry, published in 1977, was co-authored with him.
Rolls Royce's recent “deferred prosecution agreement” shows again that senior executives appear not to mind paying out large amounts of shareholders’ money to escape any personal liability for their actions.
Lewis provides a list of observations that cast substantial doubt on conventional rational choice models, although he fails to point us towards alternatives.
Background and responses to specific questions:
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.
Three simple rules — pay less, diversify more, and be contrarian — will serve almost everyone well.
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.
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.
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.
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.