The “Dragons’ Den” approach to SME financing does have a few lessons for the real world. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / IRISH TIMES

Dragons’ Den is a peculiar form of SME financing, a subject that is seldom far from the news these days. Although mostly an exercise in ritual humilia(...)

An Apple iPhone 6. “The idea that we can weigh Google’s or Apple’s output is daft but it is still one that is embodied in our systems of national accounting. Statisticians struggle to keep up, and issue ‘patches’ to GDP measurement in the same way that Microsoft programmers try to fix bugs in Windows software.” Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The OECD describes current corporate tax arrangements as “double non-taxation”. That’s quite a damning statement. The drive for a more rational glo(...)

Membership of the EU is not a gimme for Scotland. So, whether they vote Yes or No to independence, they might well be an ex-EU member by 2017, given the other referendum, on UK EU membership, that could be taking place around then

It has only been a week-and-a-half since the Scottish independence debate exploded into life - or at least into our consciousness. Saturation media co(...)

Morning commuters walk past the Lehman Brothers headquarters in 2008.

Next Monday sees the sixth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. That bankruptcy has been blamed for the Global Financial Crisis and the mel(...)

Scottish first minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond covers his eyes with cakes during a visit to Browning Bakers in Kilmarnock. Photograph: EPA/Robert Perry

One of the many peculiarities of the Scottish independence debate is the potential upside for English Conservatives should the vote for secession succ(...)

A student peruses the books  in Oxford. Oxford University has a student population in excess of 20,000 taken from over 140 countries around the world. Photo: Getty Images

One of my favourite textbooks offers the following opinion about intellectual progress: “today’s undergraduates study the material covered in yesterda(...)

Mario Draghi: until the ECB president’s most recent speech there has been no acknowledgement of the need to run growth at a higher rate or even of the possibility that fiscal austerity can damage growth in the short-term.

Economists often complain that they can’t do laboratory experiments, something which explains why the profession only pretends to be a science. Becaus(...)

European policy makers “are doing everything they can to stop recovery taking off, so they should not be surprised if there is in fact no take-off. It is balanced-budget fundamentalism, and it has become religious”.

John Maynard Keynes famously argued that politicians and policy makers are often “slaves to some defunct economist”. I think he was only partially cor(...)

Traders working at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

The German economy’s loss of momentum and its 0.2 per cent contraction in the second quarter has hit the headlines. However, quarterly swings in growt(...)

The ECB is always calling for structural reforms. Structural reforms are always politically difficult. They are only ever implemented by politicians brave and decent enough to think beyond the next election. So we hardly ever see them. Photograph: EPA

What beliefs, if any, inform European economic policy- makers? Is there a coherent framework that drives fiscal and monetary policy? Perhaps the answe(...)