Boris Johnson acts as if the greatest insight to be drawn is the one explained in Bohemian Rhapsody: ‘nothing really matters’. Nothing but himself, of course. Photograph: Darren Staples/Bloomberg

The political imperative of never admitting a mistake is leading UK down a very dark path

Global storm clouds: economic growth fluctuates, particularly over the short term, for all sorts of reasons

The constant threat of war between Russia and the US didn’t derail the global economy – and didn’t happen

Trump, for all his flaws and contradictions has a peculiar kind of authenticity That’s a key difference between Trump and most of the candidates for job of leader of the UK - and also the current incumbent Theresa May.

Unlike Trump, Tory leadership candidates say things they almost certainly don’t believe

The thing that affects equities the most these days is the latest tweet from Donald Trump. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Trade wars, slowing economic growth and uncertainty run the risk of recession in a US election year

Boris Johnson leaving his London home on the day of the European elections on May 23th. Photograph: Luke Dray/Getty Images

A hard Brexit led by Boris Johnson as prime minister could lead to the break up of the UK

Nigel Farage at a rally with the Brexit Party’s European election candidates at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh, Scotland,  on May 17th. Photograph:  Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Is the prospect of Nigel Farage as future British prime minister any more fanciful than a Trump presidency?

Capitalism has gone all Game of Thrones, and that’s not a good thing, says Chris Johns.

A system that is rigged to produce only a few winners is utterly unsustainable

Brexit Party campaign rally at Mill Farm, home of AFC  Flyde, in Wesham on Saturday. Last week’s local elections saw a large electoral shift towards parties that are anti-Brexit. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Local elections point to Remain but big parties sell mantra of ‘need to deliver Brexit’

The Irish Central Bank: along with the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, it will have a new head  soon.

Chris Johns: Brexit and Europe’s banks will generate storms for whoever is in charge

Actor Emma Thompson takes part in the Extinction Rebellion protest at Oxford Circus in London

Chris Johns: No policy maker has been able to implement the changes eco-warriors want

Supporters of the Brexit Party at the first public rally of their European Parliament election campaign, in Birmingham on Saturday. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Brexit will stay mired in fantasy until economic reality is acknowledged

EU Council president Donald Tusk with British prime minister Theresa May in Brussels. Whatever happens next on Brexit, the British have entered a permanent state of negotiation with the EU. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

The opening terms of the no-deal talks have already been revealed by Brussels

A pro-Brexit yellow vest protester demonstrating outside Downing Street in London. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Britain feels more extremist than even before and people won’t retreat from their deeply held positions

Taylor Swift: economic genius

Chris Johns: Big Data allows economists to come up with new answers to old questions

The most sinister aspect of the whole thing is the way in which Brexit is a project of an ultra right wing faction of English nationalists

Brexit Britain has gone from the promises of sunny uplands to sounding like Gloria Gaynor – ‘we will survive’

A Pro-Brexit protester demonstrates outside Downing Street in London at the weekend.  Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

‘Debating with a narcissist is like trying to assemble an Ikea flatpack with the wrong-sized Allen key’

Bank of England governor Mark Carney is loathed by the Brexiteers because his facts don’t fit their narrative. Photograph: Reuters

They are blamed for everything in an age where expertise is distrusted and dismissed

An actor playing the part of Theresa May leads a pantomime unicorn. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

We are used to everything being blamed for Brexit – now everything is blamed on Brexit

One of the silliest games played by hyper educated people, who really should know better, is any attempt to explain short term movements in stock markets

Property is, in fact, a touch more volatile than most of us seem to realise while stocks produce the best returns of any asset cla(...)

Anti-Brexit protesters in London last month. Photograph: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

No major political party in UK caters for voters who embrace enlightenment values

Have US interests rates peaked for the current cycle? Maybe. Above, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

A global recession is forecast, but something is keeping inflation and interest rates down

Another clock ticks, zero trust exists and the EU will know exactly what it wants: it will, also, hold all the cards

It cannot be repeated often enough that the backstop was asked for by Theresa May

English elite: only two things matter – to win the argument and to promote the interests of my class. Photograph: Jimmy Sime/Getty

The debating chambers of Eton and Oxbridge do not care for compromise

A Leave supporter arguing with a Remain supporter outside parliament in London.The  police  have been “briefed to intervene appropriately” if the law is broken. Photograph:  Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

While billionaire backers of the Leave campaign will make money either way, it is the young who will pay the price

Richard Hulskes, co-founder of Amsterdam-based technology company Wewolver, with a robot at the Web Summit. Photograph: Eric Luke

We should embrace technology to make our working lives more productive

Inequality is not inevitable and does not flow automatically from globalisation. Governments make choices that directly determine the level of inequality. Photograph: AP

Impact of government policy means increased inequality is not inevitable

‘My hope, if not forecast, is that we have seen the peak in residential property prices. Perhaps for this generation, not just for the current cycle.’

While fiscal issues remain, we do not live in the dystopia described in too many articles

Donald Trump has fired the last remaining adult in the White House and is promising a prolonged battle with Congress unless he gets funding for his Mexican Wall

Immigration is blamed for problems it never causes and rarely gets credit for its benefits

Brexit ultras: the Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and the Ukip MEP Nigel Farage at a Leave Means Leave rally on Friday. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty

Chris Johns: An economic, political and social catastrophe grows more likely by the day

Theresa May might be one of the last prime minister of a United Kingdom

Chris Johns: As the UK fragments, the DUP are ideal candidates for this year’s Darwin award

Bank of England governor Mark Carney: he was described by Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg as “a failed second-rate Canadian politician who is talking down the pound”. Photograph. EPA/Will Oliver

Most Brexiteers cheerfully rubbish expert economic analysis, and claim there is nothing to fear from any kind of Brexit

British  prime minister Theresa May arriving to give a press conference after a special meeting in Brussels of the European Council to endorse the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement. Photograph: Getty Images

Disgruntled Leavers do not typically live in economically successful parts of the UK

Brexit worries: Banking crises often come from surprising places.

Chris Johns: Could it spark a recession? Or a banking crisis? It certainly is not over

Former UK foreign minister Boris Johnson and former Brexit minister David Davis.

The lesson of the first World War is that terrible things happen to ordinary countries who neither desired nor deserved what happe(...)

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe ahead of Budget 2019: modern budgeting is a continuous process, not something suited to one-off events. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Chris Johns: Annual budgeting exercises can distort economic behaviour

Amazon’s decision to up the pay of some of its warehouse employees (to $15 an hour) has  rung alarm bells. Photograph: Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

Trump’s economic advisers see reds under every bed, a sign power elites are worried

Nero’s violin playing amidst chaos and destruction that he caused has contemporary resonance in Boris Johnson’s newspaper columns

Chris Johns: Just wait a few years and the UK will be clamouring to join the euro: Reality has a habit of intruding but it can tak(...)

Pro-European Union demonstrators protesting  outside the Houses of Parliament in central London. Photograph:  Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Mood music suggests a deal is more likely but business still coping with uncertainty and disruption

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe arriving at the Department of the Taoiseach prior to announcing Budget 2019. A slightly simplistic view of the budget is that it is the result of a shouting match between vested interests. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Chris Johns: Nakedly political process pays no heed to long-term needs of the economy

The New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan. US equities are flirting with all-time highs but this is far from the case elsewhere in the world. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Many financial commentators believe conditions for another crisis are taking shape

What should the Government do, particularly in the context of the budget? Photograph: Alan Betson

Chris Johns: The banking crisis reminds us how ‘events’ disrupt even the best-laid plans

Lehman Brothers collapsed weeks before the Irish government issued its blanket bank guarantee.

Chris Johns: Banks have successfully resisted global regulatory efforts to make them safe

UK prime minister Theresa May has been negotiating a Brexit deal while a sizeable minority in her party do not want any kind of deal at all.

Chris Johns: Britain’s ever-changing stance erodes faith in its reliability as a partner

“A Brexit that pleases nobody in Westminster now seems likely – just about – to be passed.” Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Attention to detail of life after split from EU is noticeable only by its absence

Most of us can’t handle the data. Much of what we think we know is, in fact, wrong. Many of the things we take for granted have little basis in fact, or history

Chris Johns: Data scientists are going to put most of us out of work

Official data and, particularly, anecdotal evidence suggests that Dublin prices, at least, have stopped rising. Photograph: Alan Betson

Overvalued house prices are pernicious but try getting vested interests to admit that

Versailles, 1919: the failure of the first World War’s winners to foresee the consequences of the treaty they forced Germany to sign led to Hitler’s rise. Photograph of William Orpen’s painting courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

Chris Johns: Nobody will win if the UK is allowed to crash out of the European Union

Three new courses should be compulsory for all students. They should be taught philosophy, curiosity and how much is enough. Photograph: Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images

Chris Johns: Some of the most miserable people I know have lots of money

A bureau de change near Victoria Station in London. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Sterling volatility seems inevitable even if the City is betting that some deal will be agreed

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has much less room for manoeuvre in the budget than predecessors had. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Spend more on education and infrastructure, leave tax rates alone and sort out healthcare

British prime minister Theresa May presents the prize for best sheep during a visit to the Royal Welsh Show last week.   Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Chris Johns: It seems contemporary Tories act like ‘Brideshead Revisited’ characters

Anti-Brexit campaigners protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London last Wednesday. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Businesses are activating no-deal contingency plans and fruit is rotting for want of foreign pickers

US president Donald Trump. “Trump’s trade war – and his other antics – run many more risks than a mere dent to global economic growth.” Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Chris Johns: US president’s mistaken analysis of China’s trade surplus risks carnage

Reduced access to EU markets for service businesses is the quid pro quo to be offered to the EU for an ending of free movement of people.

Chris Johns: Will the fragile truce in the Conservative party last?

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Last-minute deal the only option likely to survive UK faction fighting

Far-sighted craft brewer: Logan Plant

Businesses are like governments: cutting investment for instant cashflow savings

Anti-Brexit demonstrators gather outside the Houses of Parliament in London last week. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Shift in Brexit deadline or further fudge awaits as hard Brexiteers run clock down

Prominent Brexiteers are giving up the claim that leaving the EU will produce immediate economic benefits for the UK.

Choice facing UK is whether to shoot themselves in foot or in head

“Progress in robotic engineering and artificial intelligence is moving up the value chain and is, we think, a threat to just about any job”

We should encourage more students to be different to robots, not to be like them

Alan Greenspan, the one-time US Federal Reserve chairman. He once said that bubbles are near impossible to see in real time, and are best dealt with once they have burst. Photograph: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

OECD’s warning about the Irish economy should not be seen as a big deal

Conservative MP and leading supporter of Brexit Jacob Rees-Mogg. “Rees-Mogg’s nonsense can travel halfway around the world before the fact-checkers have got their boots on”. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters

Ideology rather than practical politics still dominates UK Brexit discourse

Long before suggested Brexit Border solutions, the UK Brexit secretary David Davis once stated “Most ministers are very illiterate about any serious technology . . . so what we get is a form of magic . . .”

Who in Europe can trust UK when half its cabinet clearly doesn’t trust other half?

Afghan farmers harvest opium sap in Helmand province. The UN estimates that up to 85 per cent of Afghanistan’s poppy cultivation is under Taliban control. Photograph: Noor Mohammad/AFP/Getty Images

Drug revenue would be put to better use in hands of government rather than gangs

The equations of Brexit could be solved with the addition of some dark matter. One possibility involves Brussels reneging on its Irish Border commitments. That’s something the Brexiteers are hoping will soon pop into existence

Chris Johns: Maybe the Brexit equations could be solved with the addition of some dark matter?

Planners who want Ireland’s smaller cities and towns to develop further would be well advised to stop putting the cart before the horse and think of ways to allow Dublin to grow at a faster rate. Photograph: iStock

EU economic growth has suddenly halted and Ireland needs to prepare for recession

The Brexit clock is ticking and negotiation deadlines are looming. Delay and obfuscation are the clear objectives of the British negotiators

The UK continues to believe EU will back down and accept a magical solution offered by yet-to-be invented tech

Trump and Xi: for all of the president’s Twitter criticisms of foreign competition, American GDP per head is still more than seven times China’s.  Photograph: Thomas Peter/Pool/Getty

Chris Johns: Trump may rail, but intellectual property theft litters history

Stock market success: investors have benefited from returns that nobody could have predicted. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Chris Johns: As a first step to cutting income inequality, let’s make pensions mandatory

British prime minister Theresa May. “Theresa May has caved on all of her red lines with more humiliating concessions to come.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Strategy of Brexiteers is to hold their nerve for another year to get Britain out of EU

 Markets had begun to hope that Trump’s bellicosity was just hot air. The fear now is that he is going to deliver on his promises

Chris Johns: Angst at globalisation is at the heart of Trump’s appeal, Brexit and general populism

A Soviet military parade: Vladimir Putin and the Brexiteers are both pining for empire

Chris Johns: looks like we’re back in the cold war of 1970s

US president Donald Trump believes that tariffs on steel and aluminium could be the start of a “good” trade war that is eminently winnable. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Tariffs on steel and aluminium are top of a list of dumbest things to do

Brexit Britain: for the first time Theresa May has told her country that leaving the EU will have costs. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

Chris Johns: UK politicians embrace Border fudge at every turn

Brexit in name only?: the  pro-EU Brexit Facts Bus at Westminster this week. Photograph:  Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

Chris Johns: Detail-hating Brexiteers still don’t see the Border’s Bino potential

Leo Varadkar and Justin Trudeau. “If there are lessons from other countries I would take a glance at Canada. Another country where inequality is relatively low and where immigrants are welcomed with open arms.”

As we watch our neighbours sink ever deeper into nativism we need to be on guard for anything that sucks us into similar madness

President Donald Trump and British prime minister Theresa May.  There is no first family of kleptocrats in Britain so what is  driving policy there?   Photograph: Getty Images

Chris Johns: The forces that drove Trump’s election also prompted a vote for Brexit

Robot trading: when the dust settles the casualties will be revealed – with luck, just a few professional speculators, and owners of robots, who should have known better. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Chris Johns: Algorithmic trading has played a role in recent market volatility

Tory leader-in-waiting Jacob Rees-Mogg’s attacks on the civil service reveal what Brexit is all about. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Time has come for both sides in Brexit debate to admit they have no idea what is going on

US president Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “The Trump administration’s successful devaluation of the dollar is playing with fire.” Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Recent boom in stock prices worldwide has taken markets into nosebleed territory

Brexit   basics: Emmanuel Macron not only repeatedly tells Theresa May what the British can’t have but is also equally clear about what is on the table. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Chris Johns: The UK still doesn’t realise it can’t divide and rule the other EU members

Politically and financially it might be a good time for central banks to allow economies to grow, even if that means flirting with inflation. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

The focus on inflation is flawed – we would all be better-served by prioritising growth

Chris Johns: the NHS is now the only institution that unites the cultural tribes of Britain. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Chris Johns: Instead of rescuing the NHS, Downing Street is consumed by a tribal battle

 Confound Michael Gove, arch enemy of experts, and the rest of the Brexit hardliners, by embracing complexity and acknowledging the uncertainties. Photograph:  Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Recognising complexity of housing and Brexit problems is the only way to solve them

The global economic renaissance 'was one reason why forecasts of a Brexit-induced recession in the UK proved wide of the mark'.

This year's international economic renaissance shows how forecasts are more art than science

Paschal Donohoe: Time for dark hints about tax rises and suggestions that next year’s budget will have to be as miserly as the last Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

All this talk of the economy overheating might be just that - talk

Bond yields play a significant role in where stock markets go and in the determination of house prices. Photograph: Getty Images

It is bond markets which determine what central banks can do

Whether or not the English are getting anything worth having from their annual £10bn   sub to the North is a question now being asked

Chris Johns: Ireland needs an insurance policy, and the Apple cash would do for starters

Given the typical age profile of the average Brexiteer, it is ironic that one of the more arcane details of Friday’s agreement is that most of them will be dead by the time the European Court of Justice is no longer involved in British affairs.  Photograph: Getty Images

Chris Johns: Boris Johnson must now be thinking about Dunkirk rather than D-Day

Tara Mines pensioners protesting outside Leinster House about cuts in their pensions in 2011.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES

Young Irish people are not being offered the same deal that was granted to their parents

Michael Collins in London during treaty negotiations in  October 1921. Collins, the first and last Irish politician to sign up to a hard border. Photograph: Hulton Archive

British politicians should know Varadkar has no option other than the line he is taking

The quintessentially superficial Brexiteer Boris Johnson told us that Brexit will bring Britain and Ireland closer. By definition this cannot be true

No minister is saying that in return for something in talks, the UK must give something

“The flow of corporate taxes that we so enjoy spending will one day dry up. We treat them as permanent revenues when they are so obviously anything but.”

No need to worry about economy overheating but we need to look past corporate taxes

Trumpism: Given US hostility to any kind of welfare state it is unsurprising that nativism, populism and all the other isms are so evident. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty

Chris Johns on whether the global economic-political order is at an inflection point

Theresa May:  One of the more astonishing aspects of the Brexit process is the persistence with which the UK government keeps negotiating with itself rather than Brussels. Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Chris Johns: The chances of no deal on Brexit keep rising with the passage of time

There is something to the dystopian vision of a world of software doing all the things that we think are immune to automation. Image: iStock

And this is why Ireland is going to need a new business model

'Hard Brexit has many implications – construction companies are going to do quite well concreting over the English countryside around Dover.' Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Should the hard Brexiteers get their wish, the first casualty will be sterling

Fiscal focus: Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe presents Budget 2018. Photograph: Alan Betson

Budget 2018: The temptation to spend now and worry later nearly always wins

Delegates carrying pro-Brexit bags at the annual Conservative Party conference. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

Driven by the ideology of Brexit, the British government cannot deliver economic growth

Pundits assume that the only threat to the Tory party  is the loss of more seats at the next general election. Something more existential is seldom contemplated.

Conservative Party faces possibility of annihilation as a result of epic Brexit challenge

Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May:  Florence speech “was essentially a conversation between herself and those cabinet members who want her job”. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/PA Wire

European Union can offer only options that Britain has already ruled out

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