“Free money is there to spend on infrastructure: it isn’t really borrowing, more an asset swap.” Photograph: Alan Betson

“A major contributor to boom and bust has been the spending of every penny of taxes generated by recent and forecast economic growth. Similarly, when (...)

  The only institution capable of acting as an impartial judge between the Germans and the Greeks is the IMF which, sadly, has gone missing in action. Pictured: Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

It is as hard to conjure up the right metaphor as it is to figure out why nobody outside Greece seems to be worried. The risk that the euro area is ab(...)

Our debate about tax is as incoherent as is the one in the UK; claims are made that often violate the basic principles of arithmetic

Next month’s UK election will usher in a period of unusual political instability. The campaign itself has already been quite extraordinary. All partie(...)

Syriza Party leader Alexis Tsipras: the Greeks have managed to pull off a remarkable trick. Photograph: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Trying to guess what happens next to Greece and its interminable negotiations with the EU amounts to an assessment of what runs out first: patience or(...)

 Jeremy Clarkson: the former Top Gear television presenter  is another member of the 1 per cent who get to walk away with most of the cash. The producer whom he allegedly assaulted is almost certainly not a member and probably will never be. Photograph: Koen Van Weel/EPA

What links Jeremy Clarkson, the rise of the robots and economic inequality? An unkind observer might say that the connection is all too obvious but th(...)

Try to imagine what an executive of a tech or pharmaceutical company would think of a country with a Sinn Féin taxation system

‘You campaign in poetry, govern in prose,” a saying attributed to the late US politician Mario Cuomo, captures the idea that most politicians will say(...)

One or two Nowcasting models are saying Europe is actually growing faster than the US. Photograph: Thinkstock

One of the many paradoxes facing the practical economist is insatiable demand for economic forecasts alongside overwhelming evidence that forecasting (...)

The rise of robots will challenge many of our beliefs, not least our conviction that a good education is the best route towards prosperity. Photograph: Michael Nelson/EPA

At least one Nobel Prize-winning economist has predicted that the relationship between human beings and the world of work will resemble that between (...)

Central Bank: every banker knows that higher volumes of lending risks lower quality – the chance of loans not being repaid. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

An unusually self-aware analyst once admitted that you can stare at an investment bank’s accounts “until your eyes bleed” – but you would still be non(...)

Apples and oranges: the comparison with “US poverty levels” is risible; one economy is at full employment, the other is not even close. Photograph: Thinkstock

The inequality debate is possibly one of the worst instances of statistical abuse since Pythagoras. The most recent outbreak saw commentators – who re(...)