Although Keynes hated his appearance, he was much painted by the Bloomsbury Group, including by Roger Fry (above)

John Maynard Keynes: transforming global economy while reading Virginia Woolf

To the 21st-century right, especially in the United States, John Maynard Keynes has become a much-hated figure whose name is…

The politician, Baron Brougham, directing a fire-hose onto gas flames issuing from the mouth of Nelson's former captain, Thomas Cochrane by George Cruikshank Photo: Getty

The low sculduggery of high Victorian finance

The whole idea of capitalism, according to Enlightenment philosophers, was that it created a positive spiral of moral behaviour. ‘Concern…

China's President Xi Jinping and Zambia's President Michael Sata

What are the Chinese up to in Africa?

Few subjects generate as much angst, or puzzlement, among Western policymakers in Africa as China’s presence on the continent. In…

English economist John Maynard Keynes attends the United Nations International Monetary and Financial Conference at the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire, 1944 Photo: Getty

The opéra bouffe that was the Bretton Woods conference

There ought to be a comic opera about the Bretton Woods conference — Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face, about Margaret,…

English tea-chests are thrown into Boston harbour, 16 December 1773

A Labour MP defends the Empire – and only quotes Lenin twice

In a grand history of the British empire — because that is what this book really is —  you might…

Japanese soldiers salute after filling a channel with coffins during a mass burial of tsunami victims Photo: AFP/Getty

Is there a way to live without economic growth? 

During Japan’s lost decade in the 1990s I found myself handing out rice balls to Tokyo’s homeless on the banks…

It was cheaper to paper a room with banknotes in Weimar Germany than to buy wallpaper

The Downfall of Money, by Frederick Taylor - review

In Germany in 1923 money was losing its value so fast that the state printing works could not keep up.…


Getting the balance right

Branko Milanovic is the lead economist at the World Bank’s research department, a professor at the University of Maryland and a grand fromage at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace too.


Spiv on a grand scale

Apart from his enormous wealth, the only interesting thing about Paul Raymond was his dishonesty, which was relentless and comprehensive, and always gave the game away.


Bank-bashing with a vengeance

Over the decades of (relative) macroeconomic stab- ility in the second half of the 20th century, profit-seeking com- mercial banks and state-owned central banks worked together to lower the cash-to-asset ratios in the banking industry.

Rural flotsam

Notwithstanding’s suite of inter- linked stories draws on Louis de Bernière’s memories of the Surrey village (somewhere near Godalming, you infer) where he lived as a boy.

Unamazing insights

Four years ago, we learn from this book’s jack- et, Malcolm Glad- well ‘was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People’.

Nor all that glisters

Fool’s Gold, by Gillian Tett

A load of hot air

A Blueprint for a Safer Planet: How to Manage Climate Change and Create a new Era of Progress and Prosperity, by Nicholas Stern

Back to the future?

When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies, by Andy Beckett

A predictable guru

The Storm, by Vince Cable