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The Economics of Daily Bread part 216th September 2013

We were truly delighted that the Economic Research Council, Britain's oldest economics-based think tank, discovered last week's FYI blog The Economics of Daily Bread, awarding it No 1. in its Top 3 blog reads of the week. This week we continue with learnings from history that can be applied today, with the aspiration that we will seek to match this accolade from the ERC in the future. You can follow ERC on Twitter @EconResCouncil.   As a quick recap, last week we looked at Maslow's...

The Economics of Daily Bread9th September 2013

For students of business, Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs has much to commend it. Introduced  in 1943 it talks of the building blocks of human motivation and personality in the form of a pyramid. The Hierarchy of Needs ... At the broad base of the pyramid supporting all others, for without these there would be no survival, are the physiological essentials like food, water and sleep. Sat above these essentials are basic security needs, such as the shelter for one's family and a safe...

To Infinity and Beyond!18th August 2013

Not since Buzz Lightyear hit the big screen has so much anticipation erupted over the capabilities of one character. With his exciting new space-ranger feature set seemingly consigning more conventional toys to the cupboard, Buzz even believed that he could fly - and if you have wings, well why not believe it to be so! The dashing Mr Carney has now arrived at the Bank of England, and has been busy displaying his very own space-ranger feature set. Such is the excitement over forward guidance...

When the Music Stops23rd June 2013

Every time I raise sincere doubts, they have a habit of coming to pass, and to do so pretty quickly. I'm not claiming a track record here, and I'd rather be right about good news, but lets aim to keep the run of fortune running. Having called the trouble in Cyprus (see here) a few weeks before it happened, a fortnight ago I blogged that "...the big debate over inflation versus deflation is not yet concluded, and the powers that be may simply have done a great job of sustaining the...

Intergenerational inequity10th June 2013

Lets cure unemployment in one go. I know that the issue is wrestled with by so many great minds, but in Britain, at least in the month of May, it should be entirely possible. May  is the month that our gardens spring into growth, and I for one, despite manfully battling root, branch and tree, with long hours cutting, sawing, slashing and trimming, have been fighting a losing battle that has stretched into June. The perfect opportunity to grab a few willing people to earn a little cash...

What is the point of GDP?20th May 2013

You can’t beat exposure to free-thinkers. My free-thinking week started with the pleasure of a speech and chat with the straight-talking Ruth Lea of Arbuthnot, and ended with the MoneyWeek Conference. But first, one of those sit bolt-upright moments, as I also bumped into an acquaintance who, in a few short words, encapsulated all that is wrong with our economic system: Soon to retire, he pointed out that after many decades of hard work (as a respected professional in the regions) he has...

Cooking up Indigestion13th May 2013

I am a sucker for great food, and much of the foodie experience surrounds the environment, the ambience and the service … in short, the presentation. But the starting point is sound ingredients, respected and delivered with care, artistry and creativity. The heights to which our top chefs now strive is truly inspirational, and the process wonderful to behold. In rather stark contrast, the efforts of those seeking to manipulate and control our economy, applying burnished presentation...

Time is Money28th April 2013

Having an hour to burn in the City last week I headed off to the Bank of England, to find out what they have been doing to our money since 1694. Plenty of opportunity to do things right, and wrong, over that time. The Bank of England Museum is well worth a visit. Try to lift a gold bar; learn about the evolution of the site to the current curtain-walled edifice; how a sewer-worker proved to the bank's Directors that he could access their bullion vaults whenever he wanted; and a remarkably...

Blue Sky thinking: Lessons in Liberty and Legacy16th April 2013

“Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul.” [1] So said one Margaret Thatcher, two years into her premiership. For all the plaudits and protests of the last week, I initially had trouble recalling my views on her. With her funeral today it is time I got my act together! I was in a meeting a mere 100 yards from the Ritz when the news of her death there came through. As someone who feels incredulity at the political offerings of our time, I am never surprised...

Be Prepared: The Game Has Changed8th April 2013

Spring is in the air, and my daffodil bank has been having a terrific year, indeed the best for some time. Bulbs are clever things, storing their energy to create an annual flush of pleasure, before quietly regrouping, replenishing their reserves in preparation for the next, even stronger, annual flush. But away from nature, mankind has been playing, and carefree economics is causing casualties, as we forget to replenish our reserves. Spring carried a bitter economic twist for Cypriots. For...