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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

Angry economics students are naive – and mostly right

Economics students are – yet again – expressing dissatisfaction with the content of their curriculum. They are right

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.

Is it better to play it safe or to place bets that risk bankruptcy?

Although transactions with low probability of large loss and high probability of small gain carry the potential for disaster, they can appear attractive for a very long time – perhaps for ever.

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.

The Nobel committee is muddled on the nature of economics

Financial economics, for half a century a showpiece in economic departments, is today struggling to maintain credibility in the face of the financial instability of the past two decades.

Spotting a banking crisis is not like predicting the weather

The further one moves from mechanisms that are well understood and events that are frequently repeated, the less appropriate is the use of probabilistic language.

The world must learn to deal with the reality of failure

Having invented the concept of GSifi to describe too-big-to-fail banks, the world’s financial regulators are on the hunt for other businesses which can be treated in a similar way.

The mystery of QE

John considers the evidence for quantitive easing as an effective driver of growth, in this short video for the FT.