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The design flaws that lead to financial explosions

Nuclear power and financial systems both have the capacity to blow up the world. Perhaps there are lessons from one for the other.

Being ethical in business is not as simple as ‘doing the...

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

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.

Sometimes the best that a company can hope for is death

Humans have always found it hard to cope with the idea that every individual has a lifespan even as life itself goes on. The idea of a natural life cycle for a business, or industrial centre, is even more difficult to accept.

Even a subpar Sage is pure genius

The most remarkable thing about Warren Buffett’s achievements is not that no one has rivalled his record, it is that almost no one has seriously tried to emulate his investment style.

A story can be more useful than maths

Probabilistic reasoning has become the dominant method of structured thinking about problems involving risk and uncertainty – to such an extent that people who do not think this way are derided as incompetent and irrational.

Only fools claim to know the future

Good players don’t forecast the future, but adapt to it.

The brashness and bravado in big deals

Commercial decisions often reflect policy-based evidence, not evidence-based policy. Doing the deal is what matters; justification comes afterwards.

The law that explains the folly of bank regulation

Goodhart suggested that any measure adopted as a target loses the information content that appeared to make it relevant. People change their behaviour to meet the target.

Why do we need to pay billions of pounds for big...

The argument that we need the best and latest is powerful in political decision making, even among people who would never behave that way in their everyday lives.

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