Jan Boucek

Check your biscuit tin

Written by | Monday 7 November 2011

Do you have an old biscuit tin where you stash left over cash from foreign trips? You may want to check it for any Greek euros. Yes, there are such things. Physical euro notes are issued by national central banks and the notes are pretty much identical across the zone except for the serial number. Those numbers on notes issued by the Greek central bank start with Y.

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The really angry 53%

Written by | Friday 28 October 2011

There’s a lot of really angry people out there. The assorted collection of Occupy Wall Street-types around the world are getting all the media attention. Nobody’s quite sure what they really want or what would make them fold away their spiffy tents. Something about socking it to the 1% of the population in order to satisfy the other 99%.

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Generations on war footing

Written by | Monday 24 October 2011

Last week, we wrote about the assault on UK pension savings that is just one way to claw back some of the benefits the baby boom generation has enjoyed. Well, a wider campaign against the boomers is getting itself organised with the formal launch this past week of The Intergenerational Foundation which claims to “promote fairness between generations.”

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Willetts' revenge

Written by | Monday 17 October 2011

Just before he became a minister in the UK’s coalition government last year, David Willetts published the insightful The Pinch: How The Baby Boomers Took Their Children’s Future – And Why They Should Give It Back. As the title suggests, the book details how the baby boom generation has had it pretty much its own way – free university education, unfunded but generous pensions, a supply-restricted housing bubble and lots of other goodies to glide its way through an easy and prosperous life.

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Comfort on the brink

Written by | Monday 10 October 2011

The general tone of all the media this week has been pretty depressing. By most accounts, we are hours, days or weeks from the end of civilisation as we know it. To avoid this apocalypse, we’re told that all we need is the eurozone to pull another rabbit out of a hat, for Republicans in the U.S. to find religion in tax increases and for Britain to come up with a Plan B.

So as you teeter on the brink, consider a few events this week to restore your faith in markets, free enterprise and unbridled initiative.

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Same old, same old

Written by | Tuesday 4 October 2011

A few weeks in the wide expanse of Arizona and Utah quickly cleared the brain of despondency about the state of the world. The horizons were limitless, the empty roads a joy to cruise and the sense of time and space humbling but satisfying. But returning to the fag end of the Lib Dem conference and the start of the more depressing Labour affair soon brought back that old despair. The Tories have been little better.

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A New World check-up

Written by | Tuesday 30 August 2011

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