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The power of the bond markets is a bluff waiting to...

President Nicolas Sarkozy was reported to have told aides “if France loses its triple A rating, I’m dead”. A few days later France lost that status; a few months later, Mr Sarkozy was out of office.

A currency is anything that two people agree is a currency

Money is a confidence game; its value depends entirely on the willingness of other people to accept it.

Britain is leading the world on banking reform

Globally, the Bank of England has been the main source of fresh and sceptical thinking on the future of the financial sector. While this has won it few friends in the City of London, such unpopularity is a mark of success not failure.

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.

Sinister or silly, protest politicians are united in grievance

The inability of democratic politics to handle the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has threatened to undermine the apparent consensus on liberal democracy and lightly regulated capitalism that emerged following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Bungled bailout heralds shift in attitudes

The belief that the right response to the failures of Basel I and II is a more elaborate version of the same global regime is a triumph of hope over experience.

Given a choice voters opt for safety

Confronted with the specifics, rather than the principle, of constitutional change, many voters revert to the status quo.

Corporate tax should be fair and shared

Ireland accounts for a share of global profit disproportionate to the size of the Irish economy. Not because business in Ireland is particularly successful but because reporting profits in Ireland is particularly attractive.

Scotland’s debate lacks seriousness

What would an independent Scotland actually be like? The only sensible answer is that no one really knows.

Notes on a divided Europe from the Finnish frontier

To pass the watchtowers and barbed-wire fences on the Finnish-Russian border is to be reminded of how fragile, and how recent, are the stability and security we take for granted today.

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