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Government loan programmes are failing the most vulnerable students

To extend credit to people in the knowledge that they are unlikely to repay is decried by some as predatory lending. Those suspected of engaging in this practice will face scorn from regulators and opprobrium in the media. Yet predatory is not an inaccurate sobriquet for government policy towards the funding of higher education. So doggedly have administrations around the world pursued the goal of giving everyone a degree, that they haven’t stopped to ponder whether this drive benefits taxpayers... Read More >

Recent Articles:

How India’s populist currency experiment went wrong India's currency experiment had more to do with populism than economics
Getting rid of a unit of currency is a step usually only taken in extreme circumstances or after long, careful planning — Zimbabwe’s battle with hyperinflation is an example of the former, the transition to the euro the latter. India’s Read More >
The free market or a welfare state – why not both? Some of the most open and freest markets also have some of the largest welfare states
Politics can often feel like a tug of war between two opposing tribes. On one end, small government conservatives pull society towards free markets and away from the forces of “big government”. On the other, social democrats pull with equal Read More >
The sad story of global inflation Cycles come to an end because central banks raise interest rates to suppress inflation.
Whatever the popular story of the time, the reason that cycles come to an end is that central banks raise interest rates to suppress inflation. Initially, business and consumer confidence prevents interest rates from having an immediate Read More >
A proposal to fix welfare and fight intergenerational unfairness Why not give people pension funds at the start of their adult lives?
The Resolution Foundation recently proposed to introduce a “citizen’s inheritance” of £10,000 in order to offset the growing wealth gap between generations. Free-market advocates did not welcome the report with open arms, and for good Read More >
McDonnell’s profit sharing would put Britain on the path to socialist ruin John McDonnell's recipe for economic disaster
On yesterday’s Sunday Politics, John McDonnell explained his party’s policy on profit sharing. He proposed that businesses should be required to share profits with workers either in the form of bonuses or share distributions. He said he Read More >
The Long Term View How family offices manage their assets
Welcome to this new column in which I will provide readers with an insider’s view of how family offices manage their assets. As a graduate of economics, I have applied my knowledge analysing economic and financial trends and applying it to Read More >
The Rich List is evidence that capitalism isn’t broken 94 per cent of the 1,000 people on the Rich List are self-made
Interesting proof that Thomas Piketty got the modern economy wrong comes from The Sunday Times’s annual rich list, which was published yesterday. Some 94 per cent of the 1,000 people made the cut not by getting rich the old fashioned way — Read More >
What does the British public think about capitalism? 61 per cent think ordinary working people don't get their fair share of the nation's wealth
One fascinating theme when looking across the history of politics in general, and of public opinion in particular, is that the great philosophical debates of one era simply don’t crop up in another. Some of the great ideological clashes of the Read More >
The state of the economy – polling data suggests danger ahead Brexit, interest rates and an economy on a knife-edge
While Q1 2018 was expected to be a quiet one for the UK economy, last week’s news from the ONS that growth has slowed to just 0.1% - the lowest rate in five years – came as an unwelcome reminder of the economy’s vulnerability. Potholes and Read More >
Don’t panic over today’s GDP figures Construction not done in one quarter tends to be caught up later
The ONS published its preliminary estimate for GDP growth in the first three months of 2018. This found that growth that quarter was a stuttering 0.1 per cent. The figure is slower than the already-modest 0.4 per cent growth seen in the last Read More >
The Wembley deal is Global Britain in action The UK needs to demonstrate that it is open for business. The Wembley deal does just that
The news that Wembley Stadium looks like it is about to bought by Shahid Khan, the owner of  NFL team the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham FC, has been greeted with dismay by many commentators. It is all part of the narrative which takes issue Read More >
Admit it – planning has failed us The average renter has gone from spending one fifth of their income each year on rent to spending over a third
By anyone’s reckoning Britain faces a housing crisis. We simply do not have enough houses in the places that people want to work and live. Why is our planning system so broken? Well, folks, the clue is in the name: planning. We have tested to Read More >
Why the fall in IPOs is a threat to popular capitalism Start-ups are looking away from the public markets to raise capital
In 1996, at the start of the dot-com boom, the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) in the United States reached 677. This marked the peak of new share offerings on American exchanges. It seems particularly fitting that, at the end of that Read More >
Sustained demand for logistics Prices are just as important as technology and demographics in explaining the shifts between retail and logistics in U.S. real estate markets
U.S real estate is having ‘a good cycle’. It is a long one by any standards.  We are also seeing shifts between sectors. Single family homes have given way to apartments; but the way in which the retail has ceded ground to industrial and Read More >
Ricardo’s ideas are as indispensable today as they were 200 years ago David Ricardo understood that wealth isn't a zero-sum game
The 19th of April was David Ricardo’s birthday. Or at least it would have been were he still alive. The classical economist has been dead for nearly 200 years, but his insights and theories remain immeasurably valuable today. Yet Ricardo was, Read More >
How far can interest rates rise? How far should interest rates rise? Brexit is as irrelevant to the MPC’s task as the phases of the moon
I’ve just been listening to a radio interview with Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, in which he prevaricated endlessly about whether UK Bank Rate was going to rise. Not specifically in May, but at all. Since taking on the role in Read More >
The problem with central bankers’ inflation preoccupation A preoccupation with inflation deepened the last recession
In recent years, a growing number of prominent economists, including Michael Woodford, Christina Romer and Larry Summers, have switched their allegiance from inflation targeting to targeting nominal GDP, the non-inflation-adjusted sum of all Read More >
Urban Big Data and Real Estate Markets Analysing real estate through big data
Most real estate value is created at the urban level, but some of the most expensive cities in the world are the least well-functioning.  So, it does not follow that improvements in the ways cities are run will flow directly into increased real Read More >
A house roof with two dormer windows and the sun shining between them What Tokyo can – and can’t – teach us about the housing crisis With 100,000 new dwellings a year, Tokyo’s housing stock has kept pace with its population
Be more like Japan. That is the takeaway from a Bloomberg column by the always-interesting Noah Smith. His is the latest article to look at Tokyo’s approach to housing for answers to the spiralling cost of homes in comparable Western Read More >
New taxes are no way to reduce generational inequality There is a cost of living crisis; cutting taxes for those working is the best solution
Lord Willetts today gave a speech at the Resolution Foundation calling for wealth taxes to be imposed on the baby boomer generation in order to fund their health and social care in old age and to prevent the burden being placed on younger Read More >
London skyline from the River Thames Why the Bank of England should scrap its inflation target Targeting Nominal GDP would provide a reliable monetary policy in good times and bad
Fifty years have passed since Milton Friedman delivered his groundbreaking American Economic Association Presidential address on the role of monetary policy. Unfortunately, many of Friedman’s insights are neglected today. Friedman demolished Read More >
Pile of bitcoins Which is a better bet: Bitcoin or the dollar? Buying Bitcoin is nothing more than a bet on its future value
Keeping your funds in cash is generally viewed as much safer than holding them in stocks. This is because, on any given day, the value of the US and UK capital stock – as measured by the NYSE and FTSE indices – can easily fluctuate by one or Read More >
US dollars on a wooden table The most important chart in the world? This chart suggests that investors should reallocate to residential property
In 2005, futurist Ray Kurzweil shocked the world with his book, The Singularity is Near. He speculated that around the year 2045, the Singularity, which is to say a humanity which has merged with technology, will turn artificial intelligence (AI) Read More >
Close up detail of banknote Beware the unannounced interest rate increase Economist Peter Warburton explains the relationship between central banks and interest rates
Central banks do not set interest rates. To be specific, central banks in large western democracies with open capital markets and flexible exchange rates do not set interest rates, other than for overnight money. That’s right! If Read More >

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