Hamish McRae

One of the country’s most respected financial journalists and commentators Hamish McRae is an associate editor of The Independent. He was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year 2006 at the British Press Awards.

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The Lada became a symbol of Russia’s failure to keep up with Western economies

Our sanctions will not cripple Russia. It is doing a lot of the dirty work itself

This is not a new Cold War. These new upgraded, “phase three” economic sanctions will not suddenly bring Russia to its knees. But what they will do, coupled with Russia’s response to them, is make it impossible for Russia to escape the middle income trap – stop it from turning itself into a fully developed economy, with all the wealth and other benefits that western Europe enjoys, and its former satellites in eastern Europe are now acquiring.

Our sanctions will not cripple Russia. It is doing a lot of the dirty work itself

Putin's desire to restore past glories of the Soviet Union will lead to economic failure

An oil rig in the North Sea

We have 'recovered' apparently, so why does it still hurt?

Growth is not strong enough to make up the ground lost on living standards, or to pay down debt

Hamish McRae: It’s not a question of if, but when... interest rates have been kept artificially low for long enough

Economic View: Monetary policy has become easier without the Bank of England doing anything

Vladimir Putin at a natural gas pipeline in Vladivostok in Russia’s far east in 2011

The West is too locked in to Russia to cause it pain. But it inflicts a lot of pain on itself

No one wants to be dependent on Russia. This is not sanctions.  It is common sense

Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve Board

Foreign crises do little to dent America's economic confidence

The contrast with Europe is stark as the building blocks for continued US recovery settle into place

Hamish McRae: The Brics are banking on a rather old-fashioned idea to challenge US and Western dominance

Economic View: Is the new bank likely to be of much use? The emerging countries have done pretty well without it

A strong currency isn't everything

A strong pound is a great tonic, but it's not an end in itself

At one time, presiding over a weakened currency would get you the chop... but things have changed

Hamish McRae: After the recent bull run, it wouldn’t be surprising if there was a correction in the markets soon

Economic View: The central banks have printed shed-loads of money and it has to go somewhere

The Consolations of Economics by Gerard Lyons, book review: Comfort and hope across the globe

Maybe economics should not be billed as "the dismal science" after all. The expression was coined by the Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle more than 150 years ago. Since then there has been a huge explosion of wealth worldwide, but even now it is much easier to promote economic gloom than economic success – witness the appeal of the pretty dismal observations of Thomas Piketty. So Gerald Lyons's solid and convincingly optimistic perspective is a welcome counterpoint to the narrow concerns about both the overall decline of the West and the growing inequalities within the developed world.

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