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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.

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.

Regulators will get the blame for the stupidity of crowds

Just as dammed water finds new channels of escape, crowdfunding seems to provide a way around the blockage.

To secure stability, treat finance and fast food alike

If I had a million pounds for every time I have heard a possible reform opposed because “it wouldn’t have prevented Northern Rock or Lehman Brothers going bust”, I might now have enough money to bail out a bank.

Sometimes, a spot of collusion can be a very good thing

Modern life involves complex and multidimensional products. It is perhaps inevitable that price structures appear similarly complex and multidimensional.

Sometimes the best that a company can hope for is death

Humans have always found it hard to cope with the idea that every individual has a lifespan even as life itself goes on. The idea of a natural life cycle for a business, or industrial centre, is even more difficult to accept.

The wrong sort of competition in energy

Some complexity is unavoidable, but much of the complexity consumers experience is not.

Take on Wall St titans if you want reform

Effective banking reform should aim at structures, not at intensified supervision. Resilient systems are simple ones.

It is time to end the oligopoly in banking

Plurality and diversity are generally sources of stability – in banking as in nature.

When capitalism and corporate self-interest collide

Adam Smith had not imagined a world in which the Wealth of Nations would cross the world digitally at the click of a mouse. Nor had he envisaged one in which legislation would be drafted by paid lobbyists.