Edward Hadas

Wealth buys less lifestyle, more power

By Edward Hadas
April 2, 2014

Many serious people think economic inequality in the United States and other developed economies should be a hot political topic. But the general public hardly cares. There is a bad reason behind lack of public interest.

In defence of financial coercion

By Edward Hadas
March 26, 2014

Last week the British government gave a new freedom to its citizens, or at least to a relatively privileged group of them. No longer will pensioners with defined contribution retirement plans be forced to invest their accumulated funds in an annuity. The old requirement was a form of financial coercion: government rules which influence behaviour.

How can a plane vanish in a small world?

By Edward Hadas
March 19, 2014

How can a plane vanish in a small world? The information vacuum around Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is as unusual as it is disturbing. In the modern, globalised economy, things normally work well. When they don’t, the causes can usually be identified, and changes often follow to prevent recurrence. So far, MH370 is a distressing exception.

Russia and the unreliable West

By Edward Hadas
March 12, 2014

The revival of East-West tension over Ukraine looks thoroughly geopolitical. But the context is bad economics. In the last century, Russia was damaged by flawed ideologies which originated in the West. And today it is damaged by Western economic policy.

The ongoing ethics struggle of banks

By Edward Hadas
March 5, 2014

The Swiss Bank Employees Association has told an uncomfortable truth: it was “generally known” that for many years some of their employers profited from customers’ “tax evasion.” That is incontestable, as many of the banks’ managers concede. But the practice, supposedly now ended, raises an important question about ethics and business. Why were neither the managers of the Swiss banks nor their employees worried by this business model?

How hunger and obesity go together

By Edward Hadas
February 26, 2014

Global hunger is shrinking. Yet each winter operators of food banks in rich countries like the United States and Britain speak movingly of the plight of those who must choose between heating and eating. The desperation seen by Feeding America and the British Trussell Trust is real enough, but this is not a massive economic failure. The weakness is predominantly social.

AOL, solidarity and health insurance

By Edward Hadas
February 19, 2014

The head of the American internet company AOL managed to say something really stupid a few weeks ago, and to sound callous at the same time. It’s a shame Tim Armstrong came off so badly, because he was trying to deal with a serious topic.

Mega sovereign writeoff could work

By Edward Hadas
February 12, 2014

A massive sovereign debt reduction is the right way to reduce the ridiculously high indebtedness of governments. The idea might sound crazy, but it makes economic sense, and could be done, albeit after some serious preparatory work.

Apple, banking and taxpayer subsidy

By Edward Hadas
February 5, 2014

Why does Apple have such high profit? Why do banking systems have a tendency to fail? These seemingly unrelated questions have the same answer – taxpayers take a lot of the risk out of business activity.

Don’t be afraid of deflation

By Edward Hadas
January 29, 2014

Christine Lagarde says deflation is an “ogre which must be fought decisively.” The managing director of the International Monetary Fund is merely dramatising the current conventional wisdom, but she is wrong.