The reaction to French economist  Thomas Piketty’s ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ shows the rising tide of anxiety about inequality. Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

Inequality is a hot topic right now. The reaction to Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century (...)

“The total assets of a number of big banks have continued to soar: institutions with assets of $2 trillion are common. Such banks remain highly interconnected, though the extent of this might have diminished recently.” Photograph: Andy Sacks/Getty Images

No solvent government will allow its banking industry to collapse. Leveraged institutions whose liabilities are more liquid than their assets a(...)

The People’s Bank of China has argued that an open capital account would improve the quality of Chinese foreign assets, promote cross-border use of the renminbi and help the country’s enterprises restructure. Photograph: Reuters/Petar Kujundzic

This year China’s gross national savings will be close to $5 trillion. US savings will be only $3 trillion. If, as planned, China were to open (...)

A clerk at a branch of China Merchants Bank, in Hefei, Anhui: China will not have a financial meltdown, but reform and rebalancing are essential. Photograph: Reuters

Must China’s borrowing binge, like most others, end in tears? This is a hotly debated topic. On one side are those who predict a “Minsky moment(...)

An employee arranges stock under price tags at a supermarket in Huaibei, Anhui province. Photograph: Reuters

What are the prospects for the Chinese economy? Few, if any, economic questions can be more important. I have just attended this year’s China D(...)

People attend a rally in Moscow to support the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea to Russia. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

‘A far-off country of which we know little” was Neville Chamberlain’s argument for doing nothing about Hitler’s 1938 annexation of Czechoslovak(...)

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi  (centre) with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn attend an euro zone finance ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Monday. Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

The European Central Bank is failing to hit its own target for price stability. The difficulty is that the bank’s governing council may be unab(...)

People lay flowers and pay their respects at a memorial for anti-government protesters killed in clashes with police in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine.  Photograph:  Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Could Ukraine become a stable liberal democracy? The answer has to be yes. Will Ukraine become a stable liberal democracy? The answer to that i(...)

In 1955, Walter Reuther, head of the US car workers’ union, told of a visit to a new automatically operated Ford plant. Pointing to all (...)

With one rub of his lamp, Aladdin could command an intelligent being able to fulfil all desires. His genie was a spirit. But the dream of powerful and(...)