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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.

Scottish independence vote will continue to shape British politics

Anyone who thinks that the Smith Commission proposals on further devolution for Scotland will defuse the remaining issues lives in a political bubble distant from the interests of ordinary voters.

Scottish No vote was not the end of an argument, but the beginning

The close independence vote, together with the hasty promises that preceded it, have rendered unsustainable the quiet compromises that had defused the Scottish issue in British politics.

Rule of the vigilante is not the way to handle business misconduct

There are good reasons for state action in areas of business misconduct. But announcing ad hoc measures against companies in the news is the wrong way.

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.

How to fix Scotland’s independence depositor dilemma

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.

The ‘best’ health care is not always the one that keeps us alive

Can Britain’s NHS really be the best in the world – except for keeping its patients alive? John reviews the paradox.

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.

The welfare cap replaces political judgment with spin

Whatever initial misconceptions spin doctors may promote, reality will out.

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”.