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Why Sony did not invent the iPod

Narratives of industry evolution often represent fairy tales constructed by corporate financiers, or ambitious chief executives. They relentlessly seek rationale, however spurious, for the next deal.

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.

The parable of the ox

Since the ox was no longer being weighed, the key to success lay not in correctly assessing its weight, but rather in correctly assessing what other people would guess. Or what others would guess others would guess. And so on.

It is time to end the oligopoly in banking

Plurality and diversity are generally sources of stability – in banking as in nature.

The Kay Review – Interim Report

The interim report of the Kay review into the effect of UK equity markets on the competitiveness of UK business, was released yesterday. It...

Don’t listen to the lobbyists: they never go away

Since there are many issues in public debate, attention to any one is necessarily transient. The attention of vested interests to their own concerns, however, is permanent.

Taming the banks: long overdue or utter folly?

The jobs and growth the bankers claim will be in jeopardy are their own: the pressing needs of the real economy point not to delaying change, but to implementing it as speedily as possible.

Publishers badly need a new Sir Thomas Bodley

As the commercial market is being transformed, anyone who thinks that the policy challenge is to restrict internet piracy has missed the point.

Turning back the clock to ‘Hovis banking’

The suggestion that we might partially turn back the clock has been described as a call for “Hovis banking”, referring to an advertisement that plays on nostalgia. The commercial succeeds because we believe the bread our grandparents ate, before innovations in technology and marketing, was nicer and more wholesome. Perhaps that is true in banking as in baking.

Don’t blame luck when your models misfire

We will succeed in managing financial risk better only when we come to recognise the limitations of formal modelling. Control of risk is almost entirely a matter of management competence, well-crafted incentives, robust structures and systems, and simplicity and transparency of design.

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