Opinion

COMMENT

Power to town halls [Re: Radically decentralising power to town halls may pay UK growth dividend, Monday]
STERLING has had a good run against the dollar, but it can’t last much longer. The pound has risen to five-year highs on growing expectations of an early UK rate rise and more dovish comments from the Federal Reserve.
METROPOLITAN liberals love to be able to criticise Western society. Recently, their lives have been brightened by the extensive discussion on the rise in inequality since the 1970s, especially in the Anglo-Saxon economies.
THERE was something quite uncomfortable about watching MPs do their best to trip up the boss of a major multinational that has expressed an interest in investing in the UK economy.
Tech bubble [Re: This irrational tech boom risks the health of the global economy, Friday]
BRITAIN has a proud tradition of putting scientific inventions to commercial use – from the fire extinguisher to Beta blockers, used to treat high blood pressure.
ECONOMIC protectionism is back. Ukip has put immigration at the forefront of its EU election campaign, implying that competition in the jobs market from EU nationals is bad for UK interests.
WHEN I tell you Lithuania has a 15 per cent flat tax rate, does your mouth water at the idea of Britain adopting a similar system?
IT IS well that we contemplate the abyss, if only to avoid it.
THE IMPORTANT debate between the City and 11 EU governments on whether or not to introduce a tax on derivatives and shares continued last week.
NO MAJOR UK political party is interested in a radical decentralisation of power. The Conservatives, in particular, are scarred by their experiences of “loony-left” councils in the 1980s, and we certainly don’t want to go back to those days.
Chinese innovation [Re: As Alibaba unveils its IPO plans, can China leapfrog the West in innovation? yesterday]
THE PENNY seems to be slowly dropping. Investors have taken fright at how they have driven up the value of the tech sector. A range of big name tech firms have suffered sharp falls in share prices.
THE STRATEGY is set for the general election on 7 May next year. Expect 12 more months of Labour banging on about the cost of living crisis, and a year of the Conservatives talking up the long-term economic plan.
PFIZER’S bid for Astrazeneca is the biggest potential foreign takeover of a UK company ever, and the most controversial since Kraft’s successful acquisition of Cadbury in 2010.
Housing crisis [Re: An inconvenient truth about Britain’s growing housing crisis, yesterday]
IN JUST two months, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century has taken the world by storm. In it, he argues that substantial increases in inequality can only be reversed through government intervention.
THE PFIZER bid for AstraZeneca raises, yet again, the spectre of economic nationalism in Britain, albeit in a subtler form. Crude protectionism has been replaced by calls for a new public interest test to govern such takeovers.
ELECTION 2015 is now under a year away. The battle lines are forming, but will any party set out credible plans for tackling government debt?
Political failure [Re: We are stuck in a disastrous spiral of misplaced interventionism, Friday]
FEW can doubt the importance of China to the world today.
IMAGINE that, for some reason, you were forced to choose between having to read a long, turgid novel like Westward Ho or Middlemarch, or a book on the methodology of the national economic accounts.
AS PART of its campaign against the “cost of living crisis”, Labour has stepped up with an offer to help struggling renters. Sadly, at best its proposals are a non-solution, and at worst a nightmare for tenants.
THE US public has had it with being the world’s policeman. An April 2014 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that only 19 per cent wanted America to engage in a more activist foreign policy.
AMID the speculation surrounding the potential takeover of UK pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca by Pfizer, some facts are now known. Pfizer made an approach to take over AstraZeneca on 5 January 2014.
THOMAS Piketty makes some bold claims about the future of capitalism. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, he observes that, in capitalist economies, the rate of return on capital (r) tends to be higher than the growth rate of the economy (g).
Inflation spike [Re: How the Goldilocks recovery will trigger a sharp inflation rise, Wednesday]
TO DEAL with the problem of escalating rents, Ed Miliband plans to introduce what amounts to a variation of “second generation rent controls” (SGRCs).
IT IS time to give up the pretence that Ukip is an anti-establishment party. Clearly, the UK Independence Party is the power behind the British establishment’s throne, its secret master.
WILL the Conservatives’ flagship initiative, the Big Society, again occupy a prominent position in the upcoming elections? In deciding, the Tories might like to consult the surprising results of our recent research on volunteer work.
THE UK’s housing crisis is no secret, and political solutions are offered two a penny. Unfortunately, Ed Miliband’s plan to limit rents is perhaps the one thing that can be relied upon to make the situation worse for Britain’s renters.
Tube strikes [Re: As Tube strikes cause transport chaos, should such union action be restricted?, yesterday]
THE RISING pound is causing some concern. “City squeezed by stronger pound” proclaimed the headline in Monday’s City A.M. – reporting the impact of sterling’s rise on the translation of overseas profits.
A VOCAL lobby is busily advocating the need to rebalance the UK economy. But there is a screaming silence around the question of whether we need to rebalance society.
TWO fallacies are common in the EU debate. One is the “nirvana fallacy”, the idea that, if we leave the EU, we will have optimal policy at home.
Army reservists [Re: Small firms fear effects of rise in army reservists, Monday]
THERE are two theories for the relationship between sport and the economy. The first is that prosperity drives sporting performance.
THE ANNUAL Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) conference was held in Toronto earlier this month. Launched in the autumn of 2009, INET was created by George Soros in response to the economic crisis.
THE UK economy is going gangbusters, and has been doing so for about a year. GDP in the first three months of 2014 was up a solid 0.8 per cent on the last three months of 2013, and up a cool 3.1 per cent since the first three months of 2013.

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