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Monday, 24 November 2014

Columns

Hugo Dixon

Hugo Dixon: What to do about populism?

24 November 2014

The spectre of populism is haunting Europe. While the established political order is largely to blame, the cure of populism is worse than the disease. The best way of combatting the phenomenon is to fix the economy and put integrity centre stage in politics.

Edward Hadas

Edward Hadas: FX should be the last home for scandal

20 November 2014

Failings in the foreign exchange markets should be surprising, and not only because cheating was hard. But when process-driven clients met the hard-to-repress urge to speculate, tempted traders crossed some ethical lines. The cure? Ensure financial markets make economic sense.

Rob Cox

Rob Cox: Good news for guns is bad for gunmakers

18 November 2014

A Republican U.S. Senate puts a bullet in new federal firearms controls. Yet Colt, maker of the gun that won the West, is short of cash, Moody’s downgraded Remington and shares of Ruger and Smith & Wesson have been clobbered. The industry does better with guns in a corner.

Edward Hadas

Edward Hadas: Lift the curse of shareholder value

14 November 2014

The idea that companies should be run for the short-term gains of shareholders has no support in law or economics. Why is it still powerful? Managers and investors get away with their greed because too many people think companies are basically financial entities. They’re not. 

Rob Cox

Rob Cox: Heady Topper points to beer business peak

13 November 2014

The craze for this small-batch double IPA illustrates the potential for craft brewers to snaffle up both market and dollar share from Big Beer. That’s why AB InBev and others are on the prowl to buy indie brands. It’s great for drinkers, but makes for a very competitive dynamic.

Hugo Dixon

Hugo Dixon: Spain is a troubled country

10 November 2014

Reform has ground to a halt, unemployment is way too high, corruption scandals are popping out of the woodwork, many Catalans want independence, and a new left-wing populist party is leading in the opinion polls. The traditional political class is at a loss over what to do.

Edward Hadas

Edward Hadas: My career in the financial jungle

06 November 2014

It has been a decade since I left my last job in finance. Much has undoubtedly changed since then. But it is not clear that a basic contradiction has been resolved. The economic purposes of financial institutions are out of whack with the way they actually increase revenue. 

Rob Cox

Rob Cox: Don't blame the messenger, Jefferies

03 November 2014

Top brass at the $45 bln Wall Street firm peed in cups and chastised the press for writing about salacious charges against one of its rainmakers. The response is not exactly confidence-inducing behavior for a business built as much on trust as the assets on the balance sheet.

Hugo Dixon

Hugo Dixon: Cameron mustn’t say “quotas”

03 November 2014

The UK prime minister is agonising over whether to impose quotas on EU immigrants. But it wouldn’t be possible to do this without quitting the 28-country bloc. Allies at home and abroad should put pressure on Cameron not to make such a move. They need to act fast.

Edward Hadas

Edward Hadas: Robots can be our best friends

30 October 2014

If the cult of economic efficiency is not abandoned, then machines which can emulate and sometimes surpass human thinking are likely to bring lower wages and more unemployment. But robots provide a wonderful opportunity to combine low labour productivity with high prosperity.