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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.

Philistines may carp but scientists should reach for the sky

Anthropology helps us understand the world, in ways that are helpful whether we are talking about the internal contradictions of communism or the pathologies of financial crises.

For truth on immigration, look to the Bard not politicians

Politicians, like gang bosses and football fans, routinely attempt to establish or reinforce their leadership by inciting hostility to other groups.

Coastal dwellers should take their own chances

When the sea defies mankind’s efforts to keep it in place, the shore people want these costs, too, to fall on the public at large.

London’s mayor is half right on envy, greed and inequality

Envy is both inseparable from economic progress and destructive of social cohesion. Some inequality is inevitable, and there seem to be three principal factors that make it more tolerable.

Being ethical in business is not as simple as ‘doing the right thing’

Ethics are about what to do when good behaviour and profitable business are not necessarily the same thing.

Don’t blame the havens – tax dodging is everyone else’s fault

Corporation tax is a tax on corporate activity and on shareholders, and it is not well designed to achieve either purpose.

Directors have a duty beyond just enriching shareholders

British law might have said that the duty of directors is simply to promote the interests of the company’s members. But it doesn’t – and that is no accident.

Prosecutors must uphold the law, not cut deals with the accused

The financial crisis left a few individuals responsible for it very rich while its consequences made millions not responsible for it much poorer. If this involves no crime, then we have failed to define or prosecute crime appropriately.

On the brink of a shadow drink industry

Restriction of business on moral grounds is not always unsuccessful but measures have to be applied with great care.