Latest posts

2013

A house is a home

In most markets, we are used to products becoming cheaper and better over time. Why should housing be any different? Perhaps we should think more about houses as homes, not primarily as a financial investment. Now that’s a radical thought. [...]

WoFs, frogs, and broken windows

The purpose of vehicle testing is safety – not creating employment. But as one of my favourite German proverbs goes: “If you want to drain a pond, you shouldn’t ask the frogs for permission.” [...]

The beginning of a European denouement

The time when Europe was a dominant force in the world are long gone, and now even Europe’s status as an important economic and political factor is being called into question. [...]

The other doping scandal

Artificially creating money does not make a country any more prosperous. If it were different we would have solved the basic economic problem of scarcity long ago. [...]

Drab and dull Merkel will spark German mania

Surprisingly, readers of this column often ask me: who is going to win this year’s German federal election? I find it so surprising because the result, just about nine months ahead of election day, already looks like a foregone conclusion. [...]

Cameron to carve a European illusion

When Cameron finally delivers his long-awaited speech on Europe, he now faces a real choice. Will he actually say something substantial on the issue, risking a confrontation with his party, his coalition partner, the public, the media, and of course his European colleagues? Or will he once more try to please everyone? [...]

Adieu, adieu: Depardieu’s justified jeers

Perhaps Gérard Depardieu mainly left France because he refused to believe that high income earners like him should be allowed to keep at least about half their earnings. He probably also wanted to be better governed. Or maybe he just wanted to live in a country that left him a little more air to breathe as a free man. [...]