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Friday, October 28, 2016

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.

The Long and the Short of It (2nd edition): Foreword

This is the forward to the second edition of The Long and the Short It, which is due to be published December 1st and is available for pre-order from the shop on this website.

The economics and politics of manufacturing fetishism

As politicians vie with each other to express their love of manufacturing industry, John pulls together thoughts developed over three decades on what he has come to call the 'manufacturing fetish'.

The Investor Forum and Sports Direct

One of the principal recommendations of the Kay Review of equity markets, which reported in 2012 to Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for...

Essays on modern monetary policy pt. 2: Ponzi schemes and Ricardian equivalence

Last week, I reiterated the immutable foundation of double-entry bookkeeping. For every financial asset there is a corresponding financial liability. But it may not be...

Essays on modern monetary policy pt. 1: The nonsense of “helicopter money”

This is the first of several essays on monetary policy. There is a priesthood which believes that money and finance are special, beyond the normal scope of logic, economic reasoning, or common sense, and full of arcane mysteries which can only be fully understood by those who have been fully initiated into the priesthood. In these essays I plan to debunk this idea.
Donald Trump

Donald Trump and Obliquity: A Recantation and Apology

Obliquity, the book which I wrote in 2010, developed the thesis that complex goals are often most effectively achieved when pursued indirectly. The great utilitarian,...