Opinion

COMMENT

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.
Heathrow noise [Re: Our innovative Heathrow plan could expand capacity without huge costs, Friday]
THE AIRPORT debate is hotting up: the last few days have seen the chief executive of Gatwick Airport practically carpet bombing every media outlet in sight, trying to convince us that expansion at his airport is the only game in town.
THIS IS an important time for those working in finance on either side of the Atlantic.
AS THE chancellor’s Autumn Statement beckons, after a run of good economic news, it is time to address Britain’s less flattering fundamentals. Government has too much debt, the country too little to show for the recovery.
IN JUST three weeks, Sir Howard Davies and the Airports Commission will publish a shortlist of ideas to solve a problem critical to Britain’s future success – how to enhance our airport capacity.
HOW DO you regulate the future? We live in an age of miraculous, disruptive technologies, yet one of its great challenges is how to keep the lumbering process of regulation from putting the brakes on human inventiveness.
THE ANNOUNCEMENT that the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) is being redirected away from mortgages is one of the most significant economic policy developments of the year.

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