Sticking to Shock and Awe

When Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan, returned from one of the easiest tasks in his professional life – selling Tokyo as a better Olympics destination than a recession ravaged Madrid and a divided Istanbul – he received what the Romans would have called a triumph. In the lobby of Fukuoka Airport he made […]

United in Indecision

For ausländers, German elections are a dull affair. For years, elections in the fourth largest economy in the world, the keystone state of the eurozone and the world’s shrine to triumph over tyranny have been covered by global journalists with glazed eyes and few paragraphs. For just as long journalists have mused about why German […]

Saved by Circumstance

In the 2006 film Apocalypto, set in Mayan Central America, our hero Jaguar Paw is saved from being sacrificed to the sun god by an unexpected solar eclipse. The Mayans take from this that their god’s thirst for blood is satisfied and there is no need for further sacrifices to him, letting Jaguar Paw go. […]

Predistrobution: The Future of the Left?

It would be hard to come up with a more annoying word to describe a policy foundation stone than predistrobution. It manages to be both alienatingly wonkish and too simple for its own good all at once. Yet for those that follow UK politics predistrobution is a word that is cropping up more and more […]

Finding the Magic Bullet

Emerging economies have been faced with a problem of late; they are not the engines of growth they used to be. Five years ago they seemed to defy economic gravity, while the rest of the world was crashing they were soaring, in the dark days of 2009 India grew at over 8% year on year, […]

Information, Information, Information

In 1962 Austrian-American economist Fritz Machlup published probably one of the most influential papers in economics since the war. “The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States” was the first academic paper to look at knowledge as a resource that contributed to GDP, rather than just a happy accident of good policy making. […]

The Dismal Science Strikes Again

There is nothing quite as hated as a false dawn and there is nothing as finite as the hapless politician who gets caught out having proclaimed one. That was the lesson in 1992 when former Chancellor Norman Lamont said that he was seeing “green shoots” in the UK economy, growth did return but within months […]