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Martin Livermore
The perils of pessimism – and optimism

The perils of pessimism – and optimism

BEING of a naturally optimistic disposition, I’ve often thought that the environmentalist movement has a deep streak of pessimism running through it. At the extreme, the world view is one of our species – and ...

Ewen Stewart
Productivity? Is there something wrong with the math?

Productivity? Is there something wrong with the math?

IT IS FASHIONABLE to suggest UK productivity is weak. At the Budget the OBR cut GDP forecasts materially, largely blaming a cut in forecast productivity growth as the culprit. The OECD too has jumped onto ...

Martin Livermore
Putting 2017 in perspective

Putting 2017 in perspective

ANOTHER YEAR has nearly finished. For the EU, the combined tensions of Brexit, Catalonian nationalism and a much-weakened Chancellor Merkel seem to be doing little to disrupt normal life. On the other hand, the underlying ...

Miles Saltiel
Behind the detail of Clause 49

Behind the detail of Clause 49

 I’M SORRY, but this blog is for the nerds, as it goes through Clause 49 with a fine toothcomb. Its purpose is to explore the extent to which Theresa May has yielded on “regulatory alignment”. ...

Martin Livermore
 Economic development is the solution to pollution, not the cause of it

Economic development is the solution to pollution, not the cause of it

THE HUMAN CAPACITY for self-criticism is something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, we can recognise that we have caused harm and do something about it, but on the other hand this tendency can ...

Miles Saltiel
Forms of words – that’s all it really is

Forms of words – that’s all it really is

SO HERE WE ARE, with a breakthrough slightly over half way through the eight weeks which we called as the most testing period of Brexit negotiations. Can’t we agree that we’re seeing as much hyperbole ...

Martin Livermore
Forecasting versus reality: we should never forget a forecast is not a fact

Forecasting versus reality: we should never forget a forecast is not a fact

AS THEY SAY, forecasting is very difficult, particularly about the future. Hackneyed as this may be, it nicely encapsulates the need to take what anyone – however expert – says about the future with a ...

Martin Livermore
Are electric vehicles really the future?

Are electric vehicles really the future?

ELECTRIC CARS are now a daily sight on our streets, what were previously token charging points in public places are often in use, and people are now beginning to think of the implications of the ...

Brian Monteith
Avoidance and evasion is like chalk and cheese

Avoidance and evasion is like chalk and cheese

OTHER THAN DEATH ITSELF, there are few things as nauseous as the stench of hypocrisy when politicians talk about tax evasion.

I shall choose my words carefully, for it is clear that ...

Martin Livermore
 Has Gove allowed the thin end of a green wedge?

Has Gove allowed the thin end of a green wedge?

FARMING often gets a bad press. In the developed world it is, for example, a protected sector enjoying relatively high levels of subsidy that, at least in the UK, goes disproportionately to larger landowners. More ...

Bob Lyddon
 Boris was wrong – EU costs us £980M per week, not £350M

Boris was wrong – EU costs us £980M per week, not £350M

NEW RESEARCH by myself and fellow city finance expert Gordon Kerr, published by Global Britain [The Brexit Papers #8; The true cost of EU Membership], puts the weekly cost of continued EU membership close to a ...

Martin Livermore
When Green ‘unstoppable momentum’ meets brick wall of reality

When Green ‘unstoppable momentum’ meets brick wall of reality

IT’S THAT TIME of year again. The latest climate change summit – COP23 – has opened in Bonn, this time with a surprisingly low profile. This annual event is  opportunity to highlight the key issues ...