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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.

Lessons from a 1930s rebound that petered out

Our capacity to learn from the Great Depression is limited because we do not know how economies would have evolved after 1938 if politics had not supervened.

The east’s innovators are no threat to the west

Commercial and economic success, even in technological industries, depends not on the quality of technology, but on the match between technology and the needs of its customers.

Obama is right to opt for pragmatism

The blunt truth is that free markets are not a particularly efficient system for allocating resources. They are just – like democracy – more efficient than other systems and – unlike democracy – more innovative than other systems.

Rhetoric will never feed the world’s hungry

We make the poor better off not by holding back technical and economic progress, but by accelerating it.

How I blew my money on the wrong video discs

There are historic lessons to be learnt from the recent high definition format war: the importance of the installed base and the unpredictability of consumer markets.

Sovereign wealth is a force for stability

The political consequences of international trade are different from the political consequences of international investment. Yet the willingness of business to transcend political divisions in pursuit of commercial advantage is basically a force for peace.

India cannot take economic growth for granted

The capacity of politics to get in the way of economic growth has dominated most of the economic history of most of the world.

Climate change: the (Groucho) Marxist approach

The balance between present and future will be determined not by moral philosophy or economic models but by the decisions of ordinary savers, investors and voters.

Emerging economies have not become ‘decoupled’

Your country of residence is where you buy your clothes, eat your meals, draw up your accounts and write your board minutes. But the volume and value of all these domestic operations depends on the role the country’s producers play in the global economy.

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