Arts and Entertainment English film director Edgar Wright

Films

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: 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: 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.

The Mist (15)

The Mist is one of the most downbeat, serious-minded dramas ever to feature gigantic tentacled aliens from another dimension. Adapted from a novella by Stephen King, it's set almost entirely in a rural New England supermarket. An unfeasibly buff artist, Thomas Jane, is stocking up with his son there one morning, when the supermarket is enveloped in a white fog, and we soon see that cheaply computer-generated beasties are lurking within it. Jane and the other shoppers lock the doors.

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: 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.

Stephen King: We must keep our heads, even if others lose theirs

The inflation-targeting framework in the UK has seemingly been hugely successful over the years. Arguably, though, it's never really been tested in difficult times. Under current circumstances, with inflation rising and house prices falling, will the framework really be able to cope?

Stephen King: Will our central banks make a Freudian slip over their illusory control of price stability?

As oil and other commodity prices rise, there's a sense that our inflationary destiny no longer lies with our central banks

Stephen King: Give globalisation a human face

Most economists believe that globalisation is a good thing. By breaking down barriers between nations, globalisation leads to a more efficient allocation of labour and capital. Greater efficiency implies higher output and higher output, in turn, makes us all better off. That, at least, is the theory. Globalisation, however, incorporates a core paradox. It reduces income and wealth inequalities between nations yet it seems to increase these inequalities within nations.

Stephen King: Inflation catches banks in a cleft stick

Students of economic developments in the 1970s and 1980s know all too well that the central bank par excellence during those two decades was Germany's Bundesbank. Its reputation in safeguarding the value of its currency, the Deutschmark, was second-to-none. Price stability, year-in, year-out, was supposedly its party trick.

Stephen King: From Pope Pius VII to the credit crunch, market failure lives on

If regulators and policymakers fail to deliver, we'll end up with more false hope and moreimpoverishment

Stephen King: Central banks have the power to avert another catastrophic depression

One American bank failure and, apparently, we have proof that market economies just don't work. The move towards ever more deregulation is leading us all into another depression. Greedy capitalists, left to their own devices, will suck the blood out of our economies, leaving the rest of us to suffer ongoing economic hardship.

Stephen King: Ultimately, Mr Darling is keeping his fingers crossed

'As financial markets implode, there are good reasons to think the UK will be more vulnerable than most'

Stephen King: Emerging economies are repeating our old mistakes

So you think we've got an inflation problem? You may be right, but the West's inflation difficulties are nothing compared with the problems now facing many of the so-called "emerging" economies. China now has an inflation rate of 7.1 per cent. Saudi Arabia's inflation rate is 9.0 per cent. Russia's stands at 11.9 per cent. Argentina's inflation rate is, officially, a more modest 8.2 per cent, although many people, including those who work at the IMF, think the true inflation rate is a lot higher.

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