Vicky Pryce

Vicky Pryce is an economist and former Joint Head of the UK's Government Economic Service

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Unhappy Union: How the euro crisis-and Europe-can be fixed by John Peet and Anton La Guardia

When Greece looked like it might be forced out of the Euro in late 2011, there was a collective intake of breath. A small country accounting for two percent of Europe’s GDP became a global preoccupation. A lot was at stake, in fact, the entire Euro project. Contingency plans were being prepared everywhere - the European Commission, the European Council, the IMF, the European Central Bank, across all European capitals - and further afield.

Think Like a Freak: How To Think Smarter About Almost Everything! by Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner, book review

The Freak series returns, this time as a guide to making good decisions

Fragile by Design: The Political origin of banking Crises and Scarce Credit by Charles Calomiris and Stephen Haber


Politicians here and elsewhere have made their name by attacking bankers' greed, other countries’ mistakes, globalisation, deregulation, central bankers' blindness, too loose monetary policy, you name it-except usually themselves. There is no denying that these issues matter and contributed to inflaming the 2008 crisis. All sorts of new ideas on how to make the system safer are constantly being suggested and many being implemented- increasing capital requirements; (forlorn) attempts to restrain bankers’ bonuses ;ring-fencing retail and investment banking; abolishing proprietary dealing (the Volker rule); increasing competition; or setting up proper resolution regimes for ' too big to fail' banks .

History of enchainment: HMP Pentonville, in London

Pain And Retribution: A Short History of British Prisons, 1066 to the Present by David Wilson, book review

Even for someone like me who has had first-hand experience of prison, this book is a revelation. The costly, ­dysfunctional prisons we have today simply recycle people into crime. Yet the authorities think the clang of the cell door makes for ­better citizens.

GDP by Diane Coyle, and Austerity by Florian Schui, book review

Diane coyle is known to many of us as a colleague and serious economist. Here, she tracks the beginnings of our obsession with measuring Gross Domestic Product, a concept first developed in the 1940s. So much depends on GDP, even if it lacks accuracy: fortunes are made and lost if the outturn is worse or better than predicted. Sovereign credit ratings get adjusted, with serious repercussions. Years down the road, figures are revised and what may have appeared a calamity turns out to have been healthy growth – we just didn’t know it at the time!

Vicky Pryce reviews I Spend Therefore I Am by Philip Roscoe

'A puzzling argument on the value of economics'

When will Britain learn? Immigration from the EU is enormously beneficial to our economy

Fear of the foreigner is politics at its worst and does the UK no credit

The Government is ignoring the needs of women offenders with its probation reforms, a group of MPs has warned

This week's big questions: What is the most effective way of improving prison? Are free schools a dangerous experiment?

This week's questions are answered by the economist and author Vicky Pryce

George Osborn's Autumn Statement proves that we’re already in Plan B. He just hasn’t told us

The UK will borrow an extra £220bn and at lower interest rates than expected for the smaller original figure. This is having a “Plan B” without announcing it.

Europe’s leaders are sowing the seeds of the euro’s collapse

The enormity of the task has been consistently underestimated. Imposing more austerity will only make things worse.

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Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment