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Fair value is not the same as market price

The growth of the trading culture has encouraged the belief that the only measure of value is what someone is willing to pay. But this is a mistake.

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.

The limits of what money can buy

Should there be markets for sperm, surrogate motherhood or transplant organs?

To understand Christmas, go to the pub

Anyone who thinks the quest for scale economies is the primary explanation of the human desire for family life is strangely deficient in observational capacity, as well as common sense.

Fetish for making things ignores real work

Manufacturing fetishism – the idea that manufacturing is the central economic activity and everything else is somehow subordinate – is deeply ingrained in human thinking.

How do skirts differ from computers?

The average historic return on the volatile equity market is central to calculations of the cost of capital and provision for future pension liabilities. But the figure has been debated for decades.

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.

Scrap the jubilee? Why not Christmas too?

The idea that there is something called “the economy”, which is separable from the welfare of society and its citizens, is silly. There isn’t.

Some euros are more equal than others

Gresham’s Law – bad money drives out good – dates from an era of metallic currency: debased coins circulated, genuine ones were hoarded.

The pound is a poison pill for an independent Scotland

Currency is a confidence trick: its value depends entirely on the belief that it has value.