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Two recent events have served to highlight the range of difficult questions raised by pharmaceuticals regulation. Last week, a man died in the French city of Rennes after a clinical trial of a painkiller went tragically wrong. In New York last month, the company controlled by former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, raised the price of the life-saving drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 a tablet to $750.
Andrew Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, speculated last week about a cashless future in the hope that it might enable central banks to reduce interest rates below even their current near-zero levels. But this also has important implications for the fight against crime.
We all have a tendency to interpret evidence, whatever its nature, as demonstrating the validity of the views we already hold. It requires intellectual magnanimity to acknowledge that additional information might lead us to a different conclusion.
The 2015 election was an almost unmitigated disaster for the UK Labour party. Yet there was one significant success — an intellectual one. It's called "predistribution". And it has already been put to use by the new Conservative administration with a 40% increase in the minimum wage.
The rout of the Brazilians by the Germans at this year's football World Cup and British success in cycling seems to reinforce the thesis that hard work trumps talent. Yet it is not just modesty that leads me to suspect that even after 10,000 hours I would not be ready to perform at Wembley Stadium.
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.
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.
What does the death rate from violent accident in England over seven centuries tell us about moral hazard in the financial system?
The correlation between a temperate climate and economic prosperity is clear and striking. What are the causes?