Tricolour down economics

Central banks and pension funds are embracing green and gold investments.     “FOLLOW the money,” encouraged the shadowy figure of Deep Throat during the Watergate crisis. His words might be wise counsel today for those worried about a Trump bump in global finances. According to a report issued on June 14th by the Official…

Death by design

This post was published in 1843 Magazine and can be seen in the June/July 2017 edition.  The Crematorium Hofheide is situated in the middle of a lake in Holsbeek, Belgium. An elongated core of earth-coloured stone wrapped in a layer of rusty steel, it appears to float on the water – although on sunny days,…

Recruiting for jihad

What’s more surprising: that a narcissistic if charismatic recruiter for Islamic State (IS), known to the security authorities, was allowed to operate freely, to the point a young convert was killed in Syria, or that he allowed himself to be filmed by a journalist for years, seemingly untroubled that he was gifting material to his…

At the quiet limit of the world

I used the research for this post as the basis for an article commissioned by 1843 Magazine, the sister publication to The Economist. The article ‘Death by Design’ will appear in the June/July 2017 edition of 1843.  Dennis Barlow, anti-hero of Evelyn Waugh’s 1948 black comedy The Loved One, was as fascinated as he was appalled…

All is not butter that comes from a cow

Manufactured anger can be just as dangerous as the real thing Like the captain of a sinking ship appealing for calm at the lifeboats, Rabbi Lionel Rosenfeld tried in vain to impose order on the Kiddush; the meal celebrating the Jewish Sabbath. “Families first, families first!” he exhorted over the herring. He was either unheard…

Beware the bounce

This article was published on Huffington Post Canada Payment card reward schemes could be the unwitting victims of government regulation  When Rosie McLennan bounced her way to gold for Canada in the Rio Olympics, regulation of the payment card industry was probably not uppermost in her mind. Which is surprising, given the trampoline routine of…