Dr Eamonn Butler

Eamonn Butler is director of the Adam Smith Institute. He is the author of books on the pioneering economists Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and Adam Smith, and co-author of Forty Centuries of Wage and Price Controls and books on intelligence testing. He has degrees in economics, philosophy and psychology, gaining a PhD from the University of St Andrews in 1978.

RIP Barry Bracewell-Milnes

Written by | Friday 6 July 2012

We are saddened to learn of the death of Adam Smith Institute author Dr Barry Bracewell-Milnes.

Bracewell-Milnes was one of the earliest supporters of the Adam Smith Institute in the late 1970s, and became a regular speaker at our conferences and events. A meticulous tax economist – who was for many years economic adviser to the Institute of Directors – he spent much of his life arguing passionately that taxes on capital were counterproductive and damaging.

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We need more competition to break the banking oligopoly

Written by | Thursday 28 June 2012

I've defended bankers pretty robustly over the last few years. The popular view is that their greed and recklessness sunk the whole financial system, taking us with it. Oh yeah? Well, what about the greed and recklessness of the politicians and monetary authorities, who engineered a fake fifteen-year boom built on artificially cheap credit, paper money and government debt? Or the greed and recklessness of the public who saw house prices spiralling upwards and took out 125% mortgages so they could make as much money out of the bubble as possible?

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Happy birthday, Adam Smith

Written by | Thursday 14 June 2012

It's Adam Smith's birthday. Well, sort of. His birth was registered at the church in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, on 5 June 1723. So he was probably born around 3 June 1723. But in 1872 the calendar changed and a few days were added, so that works out to 14 June, which is the day we celebrate it here at the Adam Smith Institute.

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Fixing our broken police force

Written by | Wednesday 13 June 2012

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, is proposing Tom Winsor as HM Inspector of Constabulary – the regulator of Britain's police service. Naturally, a lot of people are alarmed at this prospect.

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Some books to look forward to

Written by | Friday 8 June 2012

I'm looking forward to the release of a couple of interesting books.

One is The Golden Guinea by Michael Nevin, who runs a blog with the same name.

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Eurobonds: Just because you want to ignore economics does not mean that economics will ignore you

Written by | Friday 25 May 2012

The game now is that everyone sits round the table, staring at Germany until it blinks. Eurozone leaders figure the only way to save the euro is for all 17 member nations to get together and issue 'eurobonds'. There are some big hitters among those who think this is a really good idea – people like the new President of France, Francois Holland, the Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, and the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

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The rotten state of our democracy

Written by | Friday 18 May 2012

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Unravelling the minimum wage

Written by | Wednesday 18 April 2012

A report out yesterday said that in real terms, the minimum wage in the UK has lost much of its value. That is making life really hard for the people who have to live on it. Both statements are true, but there is a wider picture.

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The unintended consequences of lobbying laws

Written by | Wednesday 11 April 2012

Something odd has happened in Washington. The cause, of course, is the usual one – inept legislation. The result, naturally, is the opposite of what was intended. But the really worrying thing is that the UK seems set to do exactly the same.

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Everybody's got something to hide

Written by | Saturday 7 April 2012

I for one do not wish to see the tax returns of our leading politicians.London Mayor Boris Johnson started this trend, publishing his own returns in order to embarrass his opponent Ken Livingstone, whom he accuses of avoiding tax by having fees paid to him through a private company instead of directly. (Though tax avoidance, of course, is not actually a crime. In my view it's a virtue, because it gives governments less money to waste.)

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