Briefings

Covid: were the lockdowns worth it?
Health Secretary Matt Hancock © TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images
UK Economy

Covid: were the lockdowns worth it?

Governments around the world followed the authoritarian example of China in dealing with the emergence of Covid-19. Was that a wise choice?
12 Sep 2020
The case for a flat tax
Rishi Sunak © Paul Grover/Shutterstock
Income tax

The case for a flat tax

Simplifying the tax system promises to cut incentives for evasion and avoidance, and boost work and entrepreneurship. Could it give post-Covid-19 Brit…
29 Aug 2020
How Lebanon crashed into chaos
Firefighting helicopter at the scene of an explosion in Beirut © STR/AFP via Getty Images
Global Economy

How Lebanon crashed into chaos

The recent explosion in Beirut was the latest episode in a sorry saga of political and economic mismanagement that has led to hyperinflation and impen…
22 Aug 2020
Planning reform: rip it up and start again
Robert Jenrick © Alamy
UK Economy

Planning reform: rip it up and start again

Boris Johnson says the time has come to be brave and shake up the rules over what is built and where. Reform would indeed be welcome, but has the PM g…
15 Aug 2020
Should Big Tech be broken up?
Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Judiciary Subcommittee © GRAEME JENNINGS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Tech stocks

Should Big Tech be broken up?

The dominance of the big four technology giants has attracted the attention of politicians determined to humble them. But what real harm are they doin…
8 Aug 2020
How the dearth of babies will affect the global economy
Global Economy

How the dearth of babies will affect the global economy

The world’s population is going to peak before the century is out and then enter into a big decline, putting serious pressure on economic growth, acco…
25 Jul 2020
Can we fix further education?
UK Economy

Can we fix further education?

The Conservatives want to revolutionise further education and apprenticeships. But can Britain ever make a German-style model work? Simon Wilson repor…
18 Jul 2020

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The truth about Boris Johnson’s “New Deal” package of infrastructure spending
UK Economy

The truth about Boris Johnson’s “New Deal” package of infrastructure spending

The prime minister promised a package of Rooseveltian proportions to grow the economy out of its Covid-19-induced torpor. Just how impressive is it re…
11 Jul 2020
What exactly is going on in the Wirecard scandal?
European stockmarkets

What exactly is going on in the Wirecard scandal?

Wirecard, a darling of the German fintech sector, has collapsed and its boss has been charged with fraud. Red flags have waved for years, yet the regu…
4 Jul 2020
Should the pensions triple lock be scrapped?
Pensions

Should the pensions triple lock be scrapped?

The pensions triple lock had been a key plank of the government’s offer to older voters, but the promise to gold-plate the state pension is looking in…
27 Jun 2020
The facts about gold
Gold

The facts about gold

Gold fires our imaginations like no other metal. Chris Carter looks at its history, its uses, and how to invest.
24 Jun 2020
How coronavirus is killing off the theatre
UK Economy

How coronavirus is killing off the theatre

The performing arts have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and recovery is nowhere in sight. Yet the creative industries are an essential part o…
20 Jun 2020
The tug of war over Hong Kong
China's economy

The tug of war over Hong Kong

China’s move to take more control over Hong Kong could lead to deeper civil unrest and imperil its role as a global financial centre.
13 Jun 2020
Putin’s grip on power is slipping
Emerging markets

Putin’s grip on power is slipping

The Russian president had been looking forward to a spring of triumphs, including a new constitution that strengthens his hand. Now he faces multiple …
6 Jun 2020
Why children suffer most from lockdowns
UK Economy

Why children suffer most from lockdowns

School closures harm the prospects of children and it’s the poorest who are hurt the most. On a global level, that will have huge effects on human d…
30 May 2020
Saudi Arabia slips on cheap oil
Emerging markets

Saudi Arabia slips on cheap oil

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had big plans to diversify its economy so that it was no longer so reliant on oil revenue. The current crisis arrived befo…
23 May 2020
Is bitcoin going mainstream?
Bitcoin

Is bitcoin going mainstream?

The cryptocurrency suffers from all the problems it has always had and that may never change. But digital currencies more broadly may be about to take…
9 May 2020
Has Covid-19 ushered in a new world order?
Global Economy

Has Covid-19 ushered in a new world order?

The coronavirus crisis will surely mean radical changes in global politics and economics, but predictions of the inevitable supremacy of China or the …
25 Apr 2020
Britain needs a nimbler health service
UK Economy

Britain needs a nimbler health service

The NHS is the beating heart of this country, the prime minister told the nation. Perhaps, but major surgery is needed.
18 Apr 2020
Coronavirus: is the lockdown worth it?
UK Economy

Coronavirus: is the lockdown worth it?

The longer we are shut up in our homes, the greater the cost – including the cost in lives lost from other causes than Covid-19. At what point does th…
11 Apr 2020
Coronavirus: Big Brother widens his embrace
UK Economy

Coronavirus: Big Brother widens his embrace

The coronavirus crisis has led to a massive expansion of the state into all areas of daily life. Should we be worried?
4 Apr 2020
Debt jubilee: will our debts be written off?
UK Economy

Debt jubilee: will our debts be written off?

The idea of a "debt jubilee" – general society-wide cancellation of debt – goes back to Biblical times. Could it happen again? And would it really do …
28 Mar 2020