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UK election confirms many beliefs are held in the absence of facts (truthiness)

We are all subject to confirmation bias — a tendency to find, or interpret, facts to support opinions we already hold. But truthiness is more extreme, occuring when conviction is prized over information.

In finance and politics it pays more to be right than to be active

In the face of an event like the attack on Charlie Hebdo, the urge to respond decisively is natural and strong. But the bias to immediacy and action is as pervasive in finance as it is in politics.

To assess value it’s wise to escape the market crowd

The belief that an aggregate of casual opinions provides a better process of value discovery than a flow of informed judgment through close engagement by investors, is an article of faith rather than a matter of empirical evidence.

Tricky questions for Scots lucky enough to have a vote

While most of the debate surrounding Scottish independence has been about economic matters, the economic arguments are far from conclusive either way. The real questions concern the sort of country Scots and Scotland’s residents want. The nation’s political future will drive the economics.

The wisest choices depend on instinct and careful analysis

We have a large consultancy business of transport modellers, environmental experts, risk managers and impact assessment modellers, the front line of an army that has turned evidence-based policy into policy-based evidence.

English law cannot stop Scots being sterling squatters

In today’s world of global business and finance, people make agreements in whatever currency they like and under whatever legal system they choose.

A stealthy step towards abolishing income tax

The man who “laboureth much, and sparing the fruits of his labour, consumeth little” should not, Hobbes argued, pay more “than he that liveth idlely, getteth little, and spendeth all he gets”.

The Co-op’s mistake was to detach responsibility from power

The test of an organisational structure is not how it handles success but how it copes when things go wrong.

Currency unknowns weigh on an independent Scotland

Whatever Mr Salmond may say, there has to be a plan B.

Do not criminalise traders just for being in the know

Obtaining better information about companies is essential to the efficiency of markets and society: obtaining it fractionally earlier is of no public value at all.