Monthly Archives: September 2011

Lazy politicians should be universally admired

IT’S conference season, and the airwaves are full and the newspaper pages thick with a barrage of policy ideas. Every would-be chancellor and tyro PM wants to make their mark on the nation with their energy, their zeal to do something that will make life better. They’re all wrong. Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, Freedom, History, Human nature, Politics

No one benefits from a bonfire of the vanities

WHEN it all ended, they sent children to tug the playing cards from gamblers’ hands and strip closets of their silks. Savonarola’s so-called angels swept away the fine paintings and the antique statues, delivering their loot to the great fire burning in the heart of the city. It was said that Botticelli himself threw pictures onto the fire. Mardi Gras, 1497, and a city made great with the fortunes created by its bankers was ruining itself in a self-righteous fury. As a new exhibition opens in Florence, covering the role of high finance in that city’s Renaissance, the bonfire of the vanities offers a useful reminder of what happened when Florence rejected its financiers. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Business, Economics, Finance, History, Human nature, Politics