English Essays

The Joylessness of Happiness Economics

Or why looking for happiness is not like looking for gold That money cannot buy happiness has been known at least since the Midas story gained currency in ancient Greece. What is new is that, after the Crash of 2008, what had hitherto passed as scientific economics (and the neoliberal policies that they supported) lost […]

English Essays

Quiz question

Quiz: Who wrote the following  and when“To read the newspapers just now is to see Bedlam let loose. Everyone who hates social progress and loves deflation feels that his hour has come, and triumphantly announces how, by refraining from every form of economic activity, we can become prosperous again” ?

English Essays

From Scrooge's rehabilitation to Scroogeonomics?

Two days ago, I called for the rehabiliation of Ebenezer Scrooge. Today, in the FT, Martin Wolf goes one step further: he puts forward Scroogeonomics. I beg to differ. Scrooge offers  an excellent morality tale for our day and age. But not a blueprint for economic thinking. Then again, I am sure Martin Wolf knows […]

English Essays

Striking Greece, Dithering Europe and the Modest Proposal

I had posted here an interview of mine on the BBC World Service (World Business News) on the Greek government budget, the resulting strike and the prospects of austerity. I used the opportunity briefly to outline the Modest Proposal.  However, as the BBC updates this particular program ten times a day, the link seems to […]

English Essays

Austerity? What austerity? In defence of Ebenezer Scrooge

The figure of Ebenezer Scrooge is the only one that our societies allow their upstanding members to despise during the festive season. Of course, the point of the ritual admonition of Dickens’ Christmas Carol protagonist is to celebrate charity and the Christmas spirit by focusing attention on Scrooge’s remarkable Christmas Eve transformation (with the ghosts’ […]

English Essays

Alternative Strategies for Exiting the Euro Crisis

And why they do not measure up to the Modest Proposal The good news is that the debate we had to have about a year ago is, at long last, beginning. The bad news is that it is proceeding slowly and in often hopeless directions. The recent EU summit, for instance, decidedly refused even to […]

Academic English Politics and Economics Uncategorized

A late night discussion with Richard Holbrooke remembered

It was summer of 2003. The setting was the island of Kos, a stone’s throw from the Turkish coast. Richard Holbrooke was participating at that year’s Symi Symposium organised by George Papandreou, then Greece’s Foreign Minister, currently Prime Minister. Though not a participant in that symposium (which also featured notables like Bill Clinton, Segolen Royal […]

English Essays

Answers

By popular demand, here are the answers to the 12 multiple choice questions on the euro crisis.

English Essays

If greed did not cause it, what did?

On Monday 6th December, I gave the keynote speech at a conference near Brisbane, Queensland (Australia) on the theme of Risk Management after the crisis. I was warned that the large audience of  professionals (corporate lawyers, chartered accountants, risk managers etc. – people whose jobs I do not really understand) were tough cookies; that nothing […]

English Essays

Antisemitism's handmaidens

I was recently sent a book that warmed my heart and disturbed my soul. It is entitled Antisemitism: Real and imagined: Responses to the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to combat antisemitism, edited by Michael Keefer (Waterloo Ontario: The Canadian Charger, 2010). Before I share my thoughts occasioned by reading it, a full disclosure is important: 

English Essays

The Art of the Possible: Or how to blend Eurobonds with Maastricht

Gavyn Davies, in today’s FT (click here) suggests, as we do in our Modest Proposal, that eurobonds are preferable in the fight against the vicious circle facing the eurozone than the current strategy of loaning bankrupt states money they cannot repay under the offered terms. He writes: “[T]he ECB may eventually come to prefer…for the […]