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.

Student
A report from the Association of Graduate Recruiters predicts a 17% rise in graduate job vacancies this year
Many of the students who graduated this summer are having great difficulty finding work and, as Amy Denman explains, it’s often down to not having the necessary work experience
News
David Cameron is planning to revive the Communications Data Bill
His comments risk stoking the potent fear that immigrants are coming here and taking our jobs, says Ben Chu
News
News
Howls of outrage would normally ensue, but the housebuilders have gotten away with it, says Russell Lynch
News
Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve Board
The Federal Reserve has become a rogue hedge fund, taking massive, wildly speculative positions
News
The Ummah Welfare Trust called on its supporters to boycott HSBC
Customer with Iranian links are being ditched by HSBC and others. They deny discrimination, but have hefty fines led to some banks being far too cautions? By Maria Tadeo
News
'Political Ravishment - Or the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street in Danger!' from 1797 by James Gillray
Like Caesar’s wife, the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street is supposed to be above suspicion. But some members of Parliament have suspicious minds, writes Ben Chu
News
Detroit’s once glorious and now decrepit Michigan Theater now operates as a car park
They forgot the motor city in the years of American urban renewal, but now JP Morgan is writing a $100m cheque to kickstart Detroit. Some doubt the bank’s motives
News
Gerard Lopez took the wheel at the Lotus team five years ago with his business partner Eric Lux
He has investments ranging from real estate to Charlie Chaplin. But right now Gerard Lopez has Lotus on his mind
News
Mark Carney lamented ‘remarkably weak’ pay growth at last week’s Inflation Report after claiming in May it could hit 2.5 per cent this year
The unprecedented collapse in real wages under the Coalition is even greater than in the period of the Great Recession from 2008 until the Coalition took office in May 2010, writes David Blanchflower
News
Business editor James Ashton shares his top stories of the week
News
Edi Truell wants to emulate the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in boosting pension funds in London
What do rhinos and retirement funds have in common? The investor and deal maker Edi Truell has an interest in both, and many projects besides. Jamie Dunkley tries to keep up
News
Whether King can bounce back depends on what it can pull out of the hat, but there are some worrying implications for the UK tech scene, says Toby Green
News
News
Tidal Lagoon Power see the proposed structure as providing social space as well as producing energy
A seawall and 16 turbines in Swansea Bay could generate electricity for 120,000 homes, writes environment editor Tom Bawden
News
A shopper poses on an enamel throne at the Luxury China exhibition in Beijing. The ‘golden age’ of China’s luxury consumption is over – but brands are recovering
High-end goods are starting to recover from the hangover of China’s assault on business ‘gifting’, says Laura Chesters . But the brands can no longer take their cachet for granted
News
Peter Humphrey, the investigator hired by GlaxoSmith-Kline to investigate bribery allegations in China, has been jailed for two and a half years for breaching privacy laws
The trial of Peter Humphrey is no advert for China as a place for even fully upright foreign firms to do business, says Ben Chu
News
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the inauguration ceremony at Katra railway station in Katra
Interestingly, Mr Modi's desire for accountability and transparency did not extend to the BJP's coffers, says Satyajit Das
News
Taking the bull by the horns: miners have been buying into beef to cater for a growing appetite in China
In Western Australia, industry giants such as Rio Tinto are turning increasingly to cattle farming as beef prices soar and iron ore goes the other way, Rebecca Keenan reports
News
George Osborne
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Corporate Tax Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL ...

Relationship Manager

£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Relationship Manager, London, Banking, Accountant...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Test Lead (C#, Java, HTML, SQL) Kingston Finance

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
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