Opinion

COMMENT

DISRUPTION is capitalism’s great party trick. The history of business is full of seemingly insignificant upstarts who cottoned on to a new technology or idea, and used it to embarrass, and then destroy, proud incumbents.
IT HAS not been a good week for airports, airlines or passengers.
WHEN considering the powerhouses of the British economy, most people’s minds flick to the City, or perhaps pharmaceuticals or retail. Yet it’s British universities – the envy of the world – which have the potential to save the British economy.
LONDON is changing. But then again, it always is. The theme of my new book Reinventing London is that change is the lifeblood of a great city.
I WROTE at the end of November that the rise of the selfie marked the death of the audience and the rise of an age committed to universal self-expression and performance. This week, even world leaders have been joining in.
IN BUSINESS, as in diplomacy, “war games” or simulations are a useful tool for mapping out tricky negotiations or complex geopolitical issues. The technique is often used by the CIA to play out security scenarios.
Drug legalisation [Re: Failing UK drugs policy should take a leaf from Uruguay and Portugal, yesterday]
FORMER Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker made his way through the snowy streets of Washington, DC on 10 December to attend a celebratory lunch.
WHENEVER anyone dips a hand into their pocket for a worthy cause on the other side of the world, it’s only human to focus on the striking images of a starving child or a bereaved family.
DRUGS are harmful, whether they are legal or illegal. The challenge is how to reduce the harms they cause. For decades, countries have tried to stop drug use by handing out criminal justice sanctions.
AN IMPORTANT feature of the modern Commonwealth has become worryingly obscured in UK debates about its significance: intra-Commonwealth trade and investment flows between its 53 member states (about a third of the world’s population) are growing a
BORIS Johnson has got into trouble for his provocative argument that it is “surely relevant to a conversation about equality” that just 2 per cent of “our species” has an IQ over 130.
FOR ALL the talk of a Bitcoin bubble, it’s easy to miss the real significance of what is currently happening. The rise of Bitcoin is just the beginning.
THE CHIEF executives of eight of the biggest businesses in the world sent a clear message to global leaders yesterday: as far as surveillance laws are concerned, the status quo is not an option.
IT HAS been a tough week for Ed Balls. Many within Labour are said to be questioning his position as shadow chancellor following his disastrous response to George Osborne’s Autumn Statement.
MY NEXT Gresham professorial lecture has the provocative title “Was Karl Marx always wrong?”, but those wanting a detailed dissection of Marxism should stay away
THE BANK of England’s revised mandate may push the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to leave interest rates on hold for too long, complicating efforts to bring down inflation and household debt to more prudent levels.
ONE OF the charges that has often been laid against the City in recent years is that it has been too focused on short-term value.
AFTER the oceans of ink that have rightly been spilled these past few days lauding Nelson Mandela, is there anything left to say?
FOR THE first time since before the financial crisis, the chancellor of the Exchequer was able to stand up and announce some good news at the Autumn Statement yesterday: the deficit, the labour market, and growth are all better than expected.
THE AUTUMN Statement confirmed what we already knew. The UK recovery is on track and is set to strengthen. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now expects growth of 1.4 per cent in 2013 and 2.4 per cent in 2014.
ACCOMPANYING the Autumn Statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) upgraded expected growth for 2013 to 1.4 per cent and for 2014 to 2.4 per cent, while the deficit in 2013-14 has returned to falling for the first time since 2010-11.
Tax crackdown [Re: Autumn Statement: What to watch out for, yesterday]
EACH morning, millions of Londoners cram themselves onto Tube trains in conditions that, under EU laws, would be illegal for transporting livestock. Each evening, they repeat the ordeal.
THE GLASS is too often half empty in the great debate on bank lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). But are some of the loudest voices not seeing the full picture?
WITH Centrica threatening to pull the plug on a £2bn offshore wind farm if the government did not increase already exorbitant subsidies, ministers agreed to do just that.
Intelligent future [Re: As Amazon tests delivery drones, could the technology prove transformative? Tuesday]
LONDON is fast emerging as a global centre for social investing.
THE CURSE of Norman Lamont makes politicians wary of mentioning the “green shoots” of recovery. But when the data show growth of 0.4 per cent, 0.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent in the first three quarters of 2013, it’s clear.
THE PHRASE “industrial policy” seems to take us back decades. In 1964, the then Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s powerful new catchphrase was the need for Britain to embrace the “white heat of the technological revolution”.
THE NEWS that UK pupils have failed to make the global top 20 in the OECD’s Pisa tests in maths, reading and science has sparked suggestions that Britain should adopt East Asian teaching and assessment models.
GEORGE Osborne will present his Autumn Statement to a country in the grip of a cruel economic delusion, perpetrated against the poor and the aspirational.
TWO CAMPS exist in the Conservative Party on tax cuts. One thinks they should happen now to ease living costs, the other that it’s fiscally premature and imprudent to do them.
DAVID Cameron is right; there is no point in being subtle. He is in Beijing for a three day visit – accompanied by an army of 100 British business leaders – in an effort to strengthen trade links with the world’s fastest-growing Great Power.

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