Articles

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.

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