Piketty has remained modest throughout the attention lavished on his book - an unprecedented amount given that he is a left-leaning economist calling for a global tax on wealth to rectify inequality. Photograph: Karsten Moran/The New York Times

Concern is growing that much of the western world is heading into a “Piketty bubble” - a social and economic phenomenon that arises when everyone who (...)

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(...)

Ben Bernanke, soon to be ex-chairman of the US Federal Reserve, will surely be regarded as one of the Fed’s most significant chairmen. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

In their patter song in The Pirates of Penzance, Gilbert and Sullivan satirised the notion of an educated “modern major-general”. Today they might sat(...)

Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke: in testimony to Congress last month, he noted: “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the deficit reduction policies in current law will slow the pace of real GDP growth by about 1-1 percentage points during 2013, relative to what it would have been otherwise.” Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

It is easy to find people on Wall Street who believe that the aggressive monetary policies of central banks, particularly the US Federal Reserve’s qua(...)