Stephen King: Roosevelt's lesson... a decisive act to break the psychology of depression

What should you do if your banking system doesn't work? Some will doubtless celebrate, arguing that banks are the source of all monetary evil. Others will panic, worrying about the onset of another Great Depression. Policymakers, though, should do neither of these things. They need, instead, to find a way to make the financial system function again.

Stephen King: 'Capitalism can be incredibly unstable and state intervention is back, big time'

Phew! That was some week. Lehman Brothers, the American investment bank which opened for business back in the 1840s, has gone. Merrill Lynch has been swallowed up by Bank of America. Manchester United's shirts and AIG are owned by the US government. Lloyds TSB has taken over HBOS. And, on Wednesday and Thursday, it looked like we were on the verge of another Great Depression, with shares in all manner of companies in freefall, and banks the world over on the point of capitulation.

Stephen King: As Madonna and the banks know, when trust is lost it's time to say your prayers

What do a Madonna concert and a banking crisis have in common? Not much, you might think. But, as I sat through an excruciating performance of "Borderline" in Wembley Stadium on Thursday night, I realised that Madonna and mammon go together rather well. The common link is trust (or its loss).

Stephen King: Interest rate cuts won't cause another bubble, but they could relieve the pain

Those who oppose interest rate cuts seem to base their arguments on one of three ideas. First, rate cuts won't work. Second, rate cuts will simply reignite earlier housing or stock market bubbles. Third, borrowers simply don't deserve rate cuts. Some people seem to believe in all three of these ideas, an approach which, to my mind, is nonsensical.

Stephen King: Zimbabwe and Jamaica run away with the economically adjusted Olympics

As we preen ourselves over our Olympic achievements, it's worth pausing to consider Britain's amazing haul of gold medals in the light of the broader economic context. Relative to our nation's population and wealth, how have we done in comparison to others?

Stephen King: A miserable time looms for America as the boomers become pensioners

Heaven knows, America's miserable now. With US unemployment up to 5.7 per cent in July, and with US inflation in June running at 5.0 per cent, life is no longer quite as comfortable as it used to be. Combining these two measures generates the so-called "misery index", a gauge of the overall degree of economic distress resulting from an unfortunate combination of rising joblessness and higher inflation. According to this calculation, Americans have every right to be feeling miserable: the index has reached its highest level since the early 1990s, when another George Bush presided over an economy which, like now, was on its knees.

Stephen King: Time for a spoonful of Reaganomics to help the inflation medicine go down

Last week, we learned that retail sales in the UK fell 3.9 per cent in June and that Tim Besley, a member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, voted at the last committee meeting for an interest rate increase. This combination is rather intriguing.

Stephen King: Public funds needed to resolve financial crisis – and taxpayer will pick up the bill

One swallow doth not a summer make. Two summers of financial crisis, though, are enough to make the most robust of policymakers swallow hard. Last year, the spike in money market rates, the banks' loss of confidence in one another, the collapse of securitisation and, eventually, the nasty accident now known as Northern Rock were, collectively, fairly indigestible. Many investors hoped, though, that policymakers had enough firepower to deal with these problems. Interest rate cuts, they opined, would be enough to do the trick.

Stephen King: What would the fashionable investor do now when desperate for returns?

Faced with an unfortunate rise in inflation and financial markets with a bad case of indigestion, what does the wise investor do? The old-fashioned, 1970s-style, wise investor would probably sell his entire government bond portfolio and, instead, buy so-called "real" assets which are directly linked to the performance of the economy. Thumbs up, then, for property, commodities and equities.

Stephen King: It's time for the central banks to take a lesson in emerging market economics

Despite all the talk of globalisation, mutual economic dependency and trade linkages, policymakers spend too much time focusing on the domestic minutiae and not enough on the really big international stories which determine our economic destinies. I know this because, like anyone else, I can log on to central bank websites and get a flavour of policymakers' concerns. The Federal Reserve and the Bank of England publish minutes of their regular policy pow-wows. Their discussions too often suggest the non-G7 world simply doesn't exist.

Stephen King: What if the Bank has lost its magic?

Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, told the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee last Thursday that "a change in the prices of food and energy relative to other prices can't by itself produce sustained inflation unless we allow other prices and wages to rise at a faster rate".

Stephen King: What if the Bank has lost its magic?

Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, told the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee last Thursday that "a change in the prices of food and energy relative to other prices can't by itself produce sustained inflation unless we allow other prices and wages to rise at a faster rate".

Stephen King: Pay restraint? Punk economics

Are we heading back to the 1970s? It all depends. As with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a relic of the 1970s), the answer cannot be understood without, first of all, understanding the meaning of the question.

Stephen King: We must be cruel to be kind to save the world from a longer-term headache

There is, I think, an answer to the world economy's growing problem with inflation. It does, however, require acts of bravery on behalf of the developed world's policymakers and acts of maturity on behalf of policymakers in the emerging world. The solution is fraught with risks but at least it would be a coherent response to a crisis which has been associated with inaction and lame excuses.

Stephen King: The mounting dangers of central banks' high-wire act

A few months ago, economic life was both complicated and, yet, so simple. The US housing market was collapsing. The UK housing market seemed to be heading the same way. Banks on either side of the Atlantic were seeing profits haemorrhaging and capital disappearing. The cloying smell of recession was in the air. For central banks, then, the answer was really rather easy. Cut interest rates and hope that, in time, housing would stabilise, banks would recover and recession would be avoided.

News
Candidates are facing tougher and weirder questions than ever in job interviews
News
Power and the glory? An artist’s impression of Hinkley Point C, which it is envisaged will start generating in 2026 and account for 7 per cent of British consumption
Environmentalists are far from alone in opposing an 'expensive mistake'
News
Sir Mike Rake
James Moore, Outlook: Pick a flotation candidate – any candidate – and you will find directors and owners having second thoughts.
News
Dave Lewis built a formidable reputation at Unilever, but some were concerned by his lack of retail experience
Alex Lawson looks at the changes Dave Lewis has made
News
Women and men stand in an office
Two economists have come up with a formula to quantify the gender gap
News
An investor reads a newspaper in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Beijing, China. China's major stock indexes sank more than 6 percent in early trade on Tuesday, after a catastrophic Monday that saw Chinese exchanges suffer their biggest losses since the global financial crisis, destabilising financial markets around the world.
Satyajit Das, Das Capital: The ‘Chinese dream’ risks turning into a nightmare for its investors and its leaders.

News
Paddy Power is well-known for eye-catching promotional stunts, such as this balloon at the Cheltenham Festival
Outlook: It isn’t hard to see Paddy Power and Betfair's investors are excited
News
A view through smog over the 02 Arena and the Canary Wharf financial district in London. The BBC weather centre predicts a potential 8 or 9 out of 10 level of air pollution likely to be found in East Anglia and the East Midlands
James Moore:

“Sell in May go away, buy again on St Leger Day” runs the old City saying. 

News
Stonewall, which marches at London Pride, is working with firms in the professions to promote equality
Jo Bourke investigates 'prevalent' homophobic attitudes in the construction and property sectors
News
Spokespeople for the companies involved, including BHP Billiton, stressed their political neutrality
James Moore, Outlook:

The sort of name recognition enjoyed by the likes of Tesco or Barclays is not something BHP Billiton is ever going to achieve.

News
The Chinese stock market has faced its own 'Black Monday'
James Moore, Outlook:This is what happens when humans are replaced by computers.
News
Everything you need to know about the global stock market meltdown and what it means
News
Rupert Scofield, founder of microfinance institution Finca, shows Matthew Glynn how it has changed lives
News
Laura Wade-Gery, the M&S executive in charge of the company's 870 UK stores and website, is going on maternity leave, the retailer announced today
James Ashton, My Week After her moment on the front pages, Laura Wade-Gery should be left to get on with it
News
Online gambling operator 888.com is a client of XL Media, which specialises in driving internet users to its site
Jim Armitage, Outlook: The takeover battle for the Bwin.party online gambling company has had more twists than an all-night blackjack session.
Voices
A file photograph showing a HSBC corporate logo outside a branch of the bank in central London, England, 09 February 2015
Ben Chu, Voices : Aristotle was not a fan of interest rates but the father of Western philosophy nevertheless might have been at home in modern Britain.
News
Goldman Sachs Manhattan headquarters
Jim Armitage, Outlook: Next time there’s a financial meltdown, your money could be rescuing Goldman Sachs.
News
The Bank of England
Jim Armitage, Outlook:The British economy remains basking in the glow of super-low inflation.
News
The Bovis Homes building site in Cambourne Near Cambridge
Jim Armitage, Outlook: Bovis has confirmed it in black and white: Britain doesn’t have a hope of hitting the Government’s 200,000 annual housebuilding target. Ever.
News
In the aftermath of share falls in the Chinese stock market, there is increased focus on the wider effects
Satyajit Das: In the aftermath of share falls in the Chinese stock market, there is increased focus on the wider effects.
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border