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.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice