Watch out for whales…

The US — finally — is back. Strong growth, falling unemployment, rising confidence and a buoyant stock market all say so. The rest of the world, meanwhile, seems stuck in the doldrums. Should this divergent dynamic concern investors?

I think it should.  You can find out why in the Markets Insight column I published in the Financial Times February 16, 2015.

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The oil price collapse

The past few months have brought a spree of frightening developments in the global economy. There’s been the slow crash of the Chinese property market, the eurozone’s slide into deflation and the relentless strengthening of the US dollar, to begin with.

But there is no doubt what the biggest and most baffling development of all has been: the collapse in the price of oil, from more than $100 per barrel as recently as last September to less than $50 per barrel today.

Why has it happened – and what does it mean?  You can read my best guesses in an Observations piece I just published in the New Statesman here.

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David Gelles’ Mindful Work

David Gelles’ Mindful Work is a fascinating new book about the growing adoption of mindfulness and meditation by Western businesses as a tool, ultimately, to boost the bottom line.

My review of it for the Financial Times was published on January 22, 2015.  You can read the review here.

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Are Markets Moral?

On January 14, 2015, Robert Skidelsky and I appeared at the London School of Economics in conversation on the topics covered by Are Markets Moral?, a new book edited by Robert and his son Edward Skidelsky.  A podcast of the event is available here.

My contribution to Are Markets Moral? is an essay called “The Meaning of Money”.  It is available in pdf format here: The Meaning of Money.

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Martin Wolf’s The Shifts and the Shocks

I reviewed Martin Wolf’s new book, The Shifts and the Shocks, in the latest New Statesman.  You can read my review here.

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Secular stagnation: what is it?

What is behind the prolonged economic slump in the Eurozone?  Economists tell us it’s because of something called “secular stagnation”.  But as I explain in my latest Real Money column in the New Statesman, that’s just another way of saying we don’t know the answer…

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Flash Boys and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Michael Lewis’s new book Flash Boys is quite rightly generating a lot of attention because it argues that High Frequency Trading is a scam.

I think that Lewis’s story holds an even more important lesson, however, concerning one of the seminal problems of our age: the unintended consequences of technological innovation.

You can read why in my latest Real Money column in the New Statesman.

You can find an archive of my Real Money columns here.

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