Category Archives: Comment on the news

What’s the difference between a banker and a GP?

This week the Financial Services Authority issued a “wake-up call” to the financial services market to re-think the way staff are rewarded. Consumer trust in financial services providers is in tatters. The market has been hit by a spate of … Continue reading

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Paying for psychic pigs

  It hath been decreed that the biggest football tournaments must be accompanied by a psychic animal – be it octopus, fish or pig. Someone really ought to start to blog about football and behavioural economics, because this popular sport of … Continue reading

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Budget 2012: It’s the way you communicate it

This week’s Budget announced by the UK Government included proposals for an annual personal tax statement. Each year, taxpayers will receive details of the tax they have paid and how their tax contributes to public spending. It’s all under the … Continue reading

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Executive pay: we need to think beyond £s

The main political parties have achieved near-consensus that something needs to be done about executive pay. There is an argument that Government has no role in this area, and that private firms, with all their incentives to seek greater profits are … Continue reading

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High Pay Commission’s transparency blind spot

“By 2035 the top 0.1% will take home 14% of the national income. Equivalent to that seen in Victorian England.” So proclaims the final report of the High Pay Commission, which was set up to look at the inequality in … Continue reading

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Occupy London should demand greater competition

The Occupy London protests are still going strong with the protesters having seized an empty building belonging to UBS to create an “Ideas Bank”. Nice idea. The Occupy protests do have an important message, so it is unfortunate that so far, its … Continue reading

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You give nudges a bad name

Last week, I read the following newspaper headline: “MPs deride Lansley’s ‘nudging’ deal with food and drink firms“. The story was based on a report by a committee of UK MPs on the effectiveness of UK Government health policy, and in … Continue reading

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Is democracy a luxury?

There is a good quote from Yes Prime Minister, the 1980s sitcom parodying British politics, when Prime Minister Jim Hacker is discussing foreign policy with senior civil servant, Sir Humphrey Appleby. Jim (Prime Minister): Humphrey, are you saying that Britain … Continue reading

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The baffling career of Berlusconi

“Who trusts Berlusconi?” is the title of a recent paper from the Economics and Econometrics Research Institution in Brussels. The ability of Berlusconi to clutch on to power is continually baffling. It’s like Italy has been stuck for over a decade in a … Continue reading

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Opportunity costs in banking

This week, the UK’s Independent Commission on Banking published its interim report on recommended reforms to the banking system in the wake of various problems highlighted by the recent financial crisis. Much of the focus has been on structural reforms – for … Continue reading

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