Review: Some of what is wrong with economics

By Edward Chancellor
April 17, 2015

Meghnad Desai mocks his fellow economists for not seeing trouble ahead during the early 2000s credit bubble. The retired professor wisely calls for more study of history and a less narrow perspective, but he is still too conventional. He ignores the crucial financial cycle.

Review: China fails to live up to luxury hype

April 10, 2015

After a decade of red-hot growth, prospects have dimmed in luxury’s star market and given pause to high-end brands. With vigor returning to traditional hubs like the United States, a prediction that Chinese shoppers are establishing a Bling Dynasty looks premature at best.

Review: Choking on digital exhaust

April 2, 2015

Government and corporate mass surveillance of citizens is an aberration on a par with child labor or environmental pollution, claims security expert Bruce Schneier in “Data and Goliath.” He offers a rousing call for resistance, and hope for change - a few decades hence.

Review: The lucrative and controversial Blair Inc

March 20, 2015

Tony Blair has made a small fortune after stepping down as UK prime minister, advising illiberal leaders from Kuwait to Kazakhstan. A timely new book details his awkward juggling of paid and non-profit work. Blair is an extreme example of a wider challenge to politics.

Review: Money, theft and death in Putin’s Russia

By Edward Chancellor
March 6, 2015

Bill Browder's grandfather was an American communist. The grandson ran a hedge fund which profited during the chaos under Boris Yeltsin. But Browder did not reckon with the hard men of the Putin regime. His book offers some sobering lessons for investors in emerging markets.

Review: Building HSBC’s sprawling, flawed empire

February 27, 2015

The Hong Kong bank grew into one of the world’s biggest financial institutions. But poor results and a furore over Swiss tax make for an unhappy 150th anniversary. A new history shows how hands-off management and breakneck M&A under former chairman John Bond are partly to blame.

Rob Cox: Welcome to the new, global Tangentopoli

February 26, 2015

Corruption is causing trouble for elites from Sao Paulo to Virginia and Santiago to London. Inequality can be a tolerable byproduct of free-market capitalism, but not when the winners are profiting from a rigged system. As a new book argues, such gains encourage radicalism.

Review: Art market’s old vices go global

February 13, 2015

Georgina Adam’s “Big Bucks” explores how contemporary art, buoyed by billionaires’ cash, has exploded as an asset class. The financial shenanigans are breathtaking but there were plenty in, say, the 1920s, another era of the super-rich. But today, the whole world is joining in.

Review: What the Great Depression taught the Fed

By Guest Contributor
January 30, 2015

Ben Bernanke is an expert on the famous crash. But Barry Eichengreen argues in his new book that the Fed boss during the 2008 crunch hadn't learnt the lessons of the boom preceding the bust. Bernanke's knowledge helped with crisis management, but it is too early to say how much. 

Review: The Mad Men are watching you

January 23, 2015

A lot happens in a split second online, much of it good for the ad industry but worrying for privacy advocates. Instant auctions to push tailored ads to individuals are growing fast, says “Targeted” author Mike Smith. The ad men will need ever more personal data to fuel them.