Think Pieces

With recent police activity, anti-terror adverts and CCTV everywhere no wonder we're all scared stiff

Written by | Sunday 19 April 2009

Big Brother state? Britain has more CCTV cameras than the rest of Europe put together

So it has now become one of the main causes of anxiety. Among all the other worries that people face  -  the recession, crime, hospital superbugs and terrorism  -  a new fear has emerged: that of the Big Brother state.

According to a survey by the Mental Health Foundation, we are a pretty fearful lot. In fact, more than seven million of us are living with some sort of anxiety problem.

Do we need a radical shake-up of boards?

Written by | Monday 13 April 2009

The whole issue of bank governance will now be reviewed by two independent inquiries: the first headed up by that old regulatory standby, Sir David Walker, a former chairman of the Securities & Investment Board (SIB);  the second by the Financial Reporting Council, which is rethinking best practice guidelines for boards.

Save the tax havens – we need them

Written by | Sunday 12 April 2009

What is it about tax havens that makes the G20 leaders so keen to crack down on them? Outrage against all those Russian mafia bosses secretly laundering their prostitution and protection racket money through Luxembourg or disgust at Third World dictators being able to siphon millions of their people’s money into numbered Swiss bank accounts in case they need to make a quick exit one day?

Or is it just envy – the feeling of unfairness that billionaires can sip cocktails on their yachts off Bermuda, paying nothing in tax, while poorer mortals like us have to work and slave?

The Turner Review: a case of poacher turned gamekeeper?

Written by | Wednesday 25 March 2009

Adair Turner, very much a New Labour technocrat, has been undertaking a tour of the television studios to pronounce that markets cannot be trusted to be self-correcting. In this context, Turner likes to refer to recent academic work by behavioural economists, notably Robert Schiller, and the self reinforcing herd effects observed by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic and Amos Tversky in their classic work, Judgment under uncertainty: heuristic and bias.

A short history of the social rights myth

Written by | Wednesday 25 March 2009

The development of 'rights'

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