What does ‘success’ mean in UK economic policy? A report on the panel discussion organised by the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.

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The Bennett Institute for Public Policy launched in 2018, as a research body attached to the University of Cambridge. The institute seeks to combine current research in technology, natural sciences and engineering with politics and social research in order to engage in global public policy debates. Chair: Professor Diane Coyle Panellists: Dr Patrick Diamond (Senior… Continue Reading ➤

Legal Weed: A Green Dawn in the Golden State

A Dispensary in Montréal. Photo: Flickr

Less than three years ago, Jerry Brown, the Governor of California stated his opposition to cannabis legalization by questioning if it possible to have a great state while it’s inhabitants are “getting stoned”. However, just like David Cameron, he was forced to acknowledge that public opinion was against him when on November 8, 2016, Proposition… Continue Reading ➤

Has the sun set on Japanese-style development?

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 1960, a mere 15 years since Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender of a war-torn Japan, newly inaugurated Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda announced a bold initiative to spur on further development in the Japanese economy, that despite post-war reforms and improvements, still lagged behind leading Western economies. This initiative was the Income Doubling Plan, and… Continue Reading ➤

The Next Financial Crisis – Unregulated Fintech?

Fintech picture

With the aftershocks of the last global recession just beginning to subside it seems prudent to turn our thoughts to the future and, in particular, to the risks facing global financial systems over the next few years.  The landscape of the financial industry greatly differs from how it looked the last time crisis permeated the… Continue Reading ➤

One Belt, One Road, Many Problems

Photo: Council on Foreign Relations: James McBride & Julia Ro

‘One-Belt, One-Road’ (OBOR) is the chunky umbrella term for a series of Chinese funded infrastructure projects that aim to link China, the rest of Asia, and Europe. At a cost of $1 trillion, spread over sixty-eight countries, it is thought to be the largest infrastructure project ever. There are three main parts of the project…. Continue Reading ➤

Governments and banks use blockchain, you won’t BELIEVE what happens next!!!

Source: Jerry Cummins

Disclaimer This writer, along with almost every commentator who has published on the internet (which is several hundred thousand) or with a relatively reputable press (which is one… maybe), has a very basic grasp of blockchain technology. This writer has only mined sweet coin in colourful crypto-dreams, though they are the proud owner of a… Continue Reading ➤

After the Bitcoin Bubble: from Cycling to Consent

Photo: Netflix

One of most consistent laws of economics is that all good bubbles must come to an end. By any measure, cryptocurrency has been a fantastic bubble. The pace of the boom has made it hard to track the total market capitalisation of cryptocurrency, but it is currently around $720bn. Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, is… Continue Reading ➤

Does the deficit really matter?

An anti-austerity march in central London in June 2014

It has become an article of faith among the financial, economic and political commentariat in Britain and Europe that a budget deficit is an important issue, and one that requires urgent redress. In the UK, this partly results from domestic politics. Over the last five years, government rhetoric has argued that deficit reduction through government cuts… Continue Reading ➤

Ripple effects: oil prices, politics and power

The Nigerian capital, Lagos. What impact will falling oil prices have on the country's economy?

Oil plays an integral part in the landscapes of the global and local economy. The price of oil holds great importance for the public’s fuel bills, for countries’ currencies and budgets and for the general health of the macro-economy. Since June 2014, the price of Brent crude has fallen by over 55%. The principal reason… Continue Reading ➤

Who needs the rule of law, anyway?

The Pudong area of Shanghai, as seen from the Bund (Source: Flickr: mclcbooks)

China is not always known for its adherence to the rule of law.  The judiciary is controlled by the Communist Party, and criminal trials, which 98% of the time result in convictions, “often amount to mere sentencing announcements”, according to Freedom House.  The law that exists is flouted with impunity; provisions against torture do little… Continue Reading ➤