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Tuesday, May 11, 2021
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American lessons in how to run a single currency

When New York crassly mismanaged its financial affairs, the president’s response was famously paraphrased as “Ford to City: drop dead!” When Greece was guilty of similar mismanagement the reaction of the ECB and the European Commission was “how can we help?”.

The Scots will gripe but, even so, let there be light

John analyses the myths and realities of timezones and summer time - and supports moves in the British Parliament to move to Central European Time.

Robber barons of the Rhine

The distinction between the creation and the appropriation of wealth is vital, if not always clear. But our ability to recognise it will determine, not just the fate of individuals, but the future of modern capitalism.

How political ideology found a new world

Even if economic issues are more central to politics than ever before, argument today is less about the nature of economic systems than about the relative abilities of different politicians to administer a system on whose basic structure all are in agreement.

Powerful interests are trying to control the market

A stance which is pro-business must be distinguished from a stance which is pro-market. In the two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall, that distinction has not been appreciated well enough.

Do not discount what you cannot measure

Bogus quantification attempts to compress complex problems and analyses into single observations.

The Rationale of the Market Economy: a European Perspective

The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was the defining economic event of our lifetime. It marked the end of the most extensive controlled experiment in the history of social sciences – the division of Germany into two economic zones, one centralised and planned, the other a market economy. After forty years, the gap in living standards between the two was so extreme that the experiment was terminated.

Do not depend on Otherland to apply the rules

The best answer would be more Europe – an effective pan-European regulator and a single Europe-wide scheme for protecting depositors.

The fallacy of equating economic power with clout

Dominance of an industry or activity is not the same as scale. International trade is conducted by individuals and businesses, not governments, and it is them, who negotiate the division of the value added trade creates.

Tax havens exist because of the hypocrisy of larger states

Havens exist only because larger states allow them to exist, and larger states allow them to exist because the customers of havens are the rich and powerful.