Latest Blog posts

  • 28Sep

    Overcharged: the high costs of high finance

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, The Harms) No Comments
    From the Roosevelt Institute in the United States, a long report that seeks to generate an overall estimate of costs to the [...]  Read More →
  • 15Sep

    On ‘competitive’ cities and trickle down geography

    (Blog, Uncategorized) No Comments
    There’s a long article in The Guardian from 2014 by four academics, Ewald Engelen, Sukhdev Johal, Angelo Salento and [...]  Read More →
  • 16Aug

    Competitiveness and wages in the Eurozone

    (Labour & Wages) No Comments
    Martin Sandbu has a useful piece in the Financial Times entitled Free Lunch: getting real about competitiveness. It makes [...]  Read More →
  • 16Aug

    Wages and national competitiveness: getting real

    (Labour & Wages) No Comments
    Martin Sandbu has a useful piece in the Financial Times entitled Free Lunch: getting real about competitiveness. It makes [...]  Read More →
  • 01Aug

    Did the “competitiveness agenda” influence the Thatcher deregulation?

    (Blog, Competitiveness - the history files, Financial Regulation) No Comments
    It has been widely suggested and supposed that the abolition of exchange controls – one of the great episodes of [...]  Read More →
  • 30Jun

    Brexit gets worse as London seeks to wriggle free from UK

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax) No Comments
    Update: also see Anti-Tax, Anti-Regulation Sirens emerge after Brexit.  We have our own particular reasons for [...]  Read More →
  • 16Jun

    How the UK’s ‘competitive’ tax system hurts developing countries

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    The British-based non governmental body Actionaid has for some time been at or near the forefront of efforts to lobby for [...]  Read More →
  • 27May

    New U.S. Research Shows Millionaires Less Mobile than the Rest of Us

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    From Citizens for Tax Justice, a blog that’s worth reproducing in full, as yet more useful ammunition to wheel out [...]  Read More →
  • 21Apr

    A graphical assault on supply-side tax cuts and tax ‘competitiveness’

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    The author of today’s FG blog has just had a piece in the Washington Post entitled Five Myths about Tax Havens in which [...]  Read More →
  • 11Apr

    Friedrich List and the pre-history of Modern-Day Competitiveness Thinking

    (Blog, Competitiveness - the history files) No Comments
    The German-American economist Friedrich List never once mentioned competitiveness directly by name, but he nonetheless [...]  Read More →
  • 06Apr

    Roseanne pushes back against the Competitiveness Agenda

    (Blog) No Comments
    FG bloggers have been rather embroiled in the Panama Papers, fielding a blizzard of interviews and writing stuff like this. [...]  Read More →
  • 14Mar

    An interview with Martin Hellwig: competitiveness as doublespeak

    (Blog, Financial Regulation) No Comments
    Martin Hellwig is the co-author (with Prof. Anat Admati) of the book Banker’s New Clothes, a book about finance that [...]  Read More →
  • 11Mar

    Why “national competitiveness” is like ice cream

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    One our core arguments is that if you shower wealthy people and large corporations with goodies, two things happen. First, [...]  Read More →
  • 29Feb

    Thorstein Veblen: The Thinker Who Saw Through the Competitiveness Agenda

    (Blog, Competitiveness - the history files) No Comments
    There are many instances in the history of economic thought where economists did not use what today has become the concept of [...]  Read More →
  • 24Feb

    National Competitiveness: a dangerous obsession, at Max Planck Institute

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax) No Comments
    From The Tax Justice Network, on a presentation by FG contributor John Christensen: Highlighting a presentation by [...]  Read More →
  • 15Feb

    HSBC opts to stay in ‘competitive’ London. (It was never going to leave anyway)

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax) No Comments
    There’s been a lot of talk for a long time about a threat from globe-trotting HSBC to move its headquarters from London [...]  Read More →
  • 11Feb

    Finance Curse: our new paper on finance and competitiveness

    (Blog, Financial Regulation) No Comments
    Two FG authors, in partnership with Duncan Wigan of the Copenhagen Business School, have just published this new paper in the [...]  Read More →
  • 10Feb

    PwC: using ‘competitiveness’ as crowbar to lobby for mining companies

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Recently we wrote an article entitled The Ideologists of the Competitiveness Agenda, in which we fingered the Big Four firm [...]  Read More →
  • 26Jan

    Quote of the day: London’s super-rich

    (Blog, The Harms) No Comments
    And the quote of the day is this one, via The Guardian newspaper and Professor Rowland Atkinson of Sheffield University, [...]  Read More →
  • 22Jan

    Tax treaties for ‘competitiveness’: a ‘poisoned chalice’ for poorer countries?

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    This has been (mildly) adapted from a post written by FG staff for Naked Capitalism and the Tax Justice Network.  Tax [...]  Read More →
  • 15Jan

    The ideologists of the Competitiveness Agenda

    (Blog) No Comments
    We’ve been using a term, the Competitiveness Agenda, to describe a pernicious ideology that’s emerged almost [...]  Read More →
  • 05Jan

    New research: ‘competing’ aggressively on tax reduces growth

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Recently we posted an article entitled New studies: do ‘competitive’ corporate tax cuts boost growth? – to which the [...]  Read More →
  • 11Dec

    The Finance Curse and Competitiveness: presentation at Max Planck Institute

    (Blog, Tax, The Harms, What is competitiveness?) No Comments
    This is the text of a lecture that John Christensen, Director of the Tax Justice Network (TJN), gave at the Max Planck [...]  Read More →
  • 01Dec

    New studies: do ‘competitive’ corporate tax cuts boost growth?

    (Blog, Tax, The Harms) No Comments
    Update: see our January 5, 2016 article New research: ‘competing’ aggressively on tax reduces growth, a guest blog by Nikolay [...]  Read More →
  • 27Nov

    Why ‘competitive’ banking policies mean Too-Big-To-Fail banks

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, The Harms) No Comments
    This month the New York Times republished a press release from discussed a recent report by the British Bankers’ [...]  Read More →
  • 20Nov

    Bob Jessop: an historical approach to national competitiveness

    (Blog, What is competitiveness?) No Comments
    Fools’ Gold has generally urged extreme caution when considering using c-words such as ‘competitiveness’ or [...]  Read More →
  • 10Nov

    Who runs our countries: us, or global finance? It can be us

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax, What is competitiveness?) No Comments
    Stuart Fraser is the former head of the powerful Policy & Resources Committee of the peculiar City of London Corporation, [...]  Read More →
  • 04Nov

    UK’s bank levy reforms will cost £4.2bn in tax over 5 years

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax, The Harms) No Comments
    Britain’s summer budget in July 2015 contained a set of reforms to the tax regime for the banking sector which it [...]  Read More →
  • 02Oct

    Why the Competitiveness Agenda is likely to mean slower growth

    (Blog, Labour & Wages, The Harms) No Comments
    Update: now re-published at Naked Capitalism. The purveyors of the modern-day Competitiveness Agenda exhibit pronounced [...]  Read More →
  • 29Sep

    How ‘competitive’ tax and incentive policies hurt small U.S. businesses

    (Blog, Tax, The Harms) No Comments
    Recently we have written about how supposedly ‘competitive’ national policies on tax and the financial sector in [...]  Read More →
  • 17Sep

    Why a ‘competitive’ economy means less competition

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax, The Harms) No Comments
    Update 1, Oct 30: the results of our Freedom of Information Request are now in. See our updated article UK’s bank levy [...]  Read More →
  • 09Sep

    U.S. accounting rule: “a historic development of tectonic proportions”

    (Blog, Competitiveness: the weasel words, Tax) No Comments
    Yesterday we received an email containing our quote of the day: “this decades-overdue accounting rule is a historic [...]  Read More →
  • 08Sep

    George Stigler and the ‘Noble Lie’ of the Perfectly Competitive Economy

    (Blog, Competitiveness - the history files) No Comments
    The Nobel Prize winning economist George Stigler wrote a famous intellectual history of the concept of perfect competition in [...]  Read More →
  • 02Sep

    New report: anticipating tax wars in Southeast Asia

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    We’ve sometimes used the term ‘tax wars’ instead of ‘tax competition’ to describe the process [...]  Read More →
  • 17Aug

    The ALEC rankings: does smaller government mean higher growth?

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    There are a lot of ‘competitiveness’-related rankings of countries and states out there, from the World Economic [...]  Read More →
  • 17Aug

    U.S.: new transparency on corporate tax breaks

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Across the world corporations are showered with tax breaks and other inducements in the name of [...]  Read More →
  • 31Jul

    Milton Friedman’s Grand Denial of the Social Responsibility of Corporations

    (Blog) No Comments
    The legendary Chicago economist, Milton Friedman, was not somebody to do anything by halves.  Where others before him had [...]  Read More →
  • 23Jul

    Paul Samuelson and the Provision of Collective Consumption Goods: A Rejection of Competitiveness Logic

    (Blog, Competitiveness - the history files) No Comments
      Paul Samuelson pioneered the mathematical models of maximisation that today form a central part of the economics of [...]  Read More →
  • 15Jul

    David Ricardo’s Theory of Comparative Advantage: Exploring the Hidden Historical Underside of Modern-Day Competitiveness Discourse

    (Blog, Competitiveness - the history files) No Comments
    David Ricardo’s status as the first really famous economist of the nineteenth century rests on two capacities: his ability to [...]  Read More →
  • 09Jul

    New research: the race to the bottom doesn’t stop at zero

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Update: Farnsworth’s work has been generating huge media coverage in the UK, because of the role it has played in new [...]  Read More →
  • 09Jul

    Finance Curse: why a ‘competitive’ financial sector means lower growth

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, The Harms) No Comments
    One of the core insights driving the Fools’ Gold project is this: national ‘competitiveness’ is a confused [...]  Read More →
  • 03Jul

    Labour standards and the race to the bottom

    (Blog, Labour & Wages) No Comments
    From The Economist, in November 2013: “Globalisation sceptics often warn of the pernicious effects on labour standards [...]  Read More →
  • 29Jun

    Admati and Hellwig: global finance is not an Olympic competition

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, What is competitiveness?) No Comments
    (Updated with Krugman comments.) Two years ago Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig published a popular book about banking, The [...]  Read More →
  • 16Jun

    How tax wars may affect UK small and big business

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Updated with new IMF data, June 22, 2015; and with Philip Baker comments; June 29, 2015  Update 2: from Reuters, Dec 22, [...]  Read More →
  • 11Jun

    Should Nation States Compete? Discussion workshop final programme

    (Blog) No Comments
    This workshop isn’t formally being organised by Fools’ Gold (at this stage, we’re just a website) but our [...]  Read More →
  • 09Jun

    How much should the UK subsidise HSBC for a ‘competitive’ financial sector?

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax) No Comments
    Here we go again. Look at this latest piece of financial sector lobbying, courtesy of Reuters, which normally strives to be a [...]  Read More →
  • 01Jun

    New UK government pushing old ‘competitive’ tax policies

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    UK tax barrister Jolyon Maugham, who is at a tax conference today, issued these tweets, citing the UK’s returning [...]  Read More →
  • 27May

    Dodd-frank, competitiveness and the cost of financial regulation

    (Financial Regulation) No Comments
    This month a group called the American Action Forum (AAF) published a document entitled “The Growth Consequences of [...]  Read More →
  • 19May

    Quote of the week: Bill Gates on corporate taxes

    (Blog, Quotations, Tax) No Comments
    From a Bloomberg report on a Bill Gates interview: ‘Gates scoffed at comparisons linking taxes and regulation to slower [...]  Read More →
  • 14May

    Is France’s economy really less ‘competitive’ than Britain’s?

    (Blog, Tax, What is competitiveness?) No Comments
    This post is just a reminder, really, about all the nonsense that is spoken in the name of ‘competitiveness.’  Read More →
  • 11May

    Do real investors chase corporate tax cuts?

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Cross-posted with the Tax Justice Network. From the Financial Times, a report on a survey by the Tolley Tax Journal of [...]  Read More →
  • 07May

    Optimistic about the state: Martin Wolf’s searing attack on the Competitiveness Agenda

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax) No Comments
    Update: this post has now been published on Naked Capitalism. Martin Wolf, the Financial Times’ chief economics commentator [...]  Read More →
  • 05May

    The Celtic Tiger: the Irish banking inquiry and a tale of two booms

    (Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax) No Comments
    One of our inaugural articles on this site was a post in March looking at the causes of the “Celtic Tiger” boom [...]  Read More →
  • 04May

    How tax ‘competition’ affects women

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    From the Association for Women’s Rights in Development: “The current “race to the bottom” in which tax [...]  Read More →
  • 27Apr

    Adam Smith and the British East India Company: a perspective on competitiveness

    (Blog, Competitiveness - the history files) No Comments
    Adam Smith was an arch-critic of the regime-hopping strategies of the exclusive stockholding corporations, the forerunners of [...]  Read More →
  • 23Apr

    Competitiveness: was Charles Tiebout joking?

    (Blog, Tax, What is competitiveness?) No Comments
    Do nations or states ‘compete’ with each other in a meaningful way? We have already explored the thinking of Paul Krugman, [...]  Read More →
  • 21Apr

    Report: pre-election debates on UK top income tax rates based on unsafe studies

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Following last week’s blog on top-end income tax rates by Prof. Matthew Watson, today’s blog highlights a [...]  Read More →
  • 17Apr

    Competitiveness Myths, Income Tax and ‘Expansionary Austerity’

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    In his latest essay for us, Prof. Matthew Watson of Warwick University looks at the utterings of John Redwood, one of [...]  Read More →
  • 15Apr

    A church perspective on tax ‘competition’

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    The Presbyterian Church in the U.S. has put out a press release entitled “Tax Justice: A Christian Response to a New Gilded [...]  Read More →
  • 13Apr

    Should nations compete? Register for London workshop, City University

    (Blog) No Comments
    You can register here to attend TJN’s annual discussion workshop, held in association with the Association for [...]  Read More →
  • 13Apr

    Slot machine man and the origins of “Competitiveness” discourse

    (Blog, Competitiveness - the history files, What is competitiveness?) No Comments
    The ways people talk about the ‘competitiveness’ of countries so obviously relates to the economy that they must have [...]  Read More →
  • 01Apr

    ‘National Competitiveness’ – a crowbar for corporate and financial interests

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Update: also re-posted at Naked Capitalism, and at the Tax Justice Network. The term “UK PLC” — the [...]  Read More →
  • 30Mar

    The Tax Justice Network on tax competitiveness

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Fools’ Gold has begun publishing a series of articles and documents asking the question: What is [...]  Read More →
  • 27Mar

    Stefano Pessina and the Two Sides of Speaking Up for Business

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    We’ve already noted that the words ‘competitive’ and ‘competitiveness’ (as applied to whole [...]  Read More →
  • 24Mar

    Paul Krugman on Competitiveness: a Dangerous Obsession

    (Blog, Competitiveness - the history files, What is competitiveness?) No Comments
    In 2011 the U.S. economist Paul Krugman wrote an article in  the New York Times in which he stated: “The idea that [...]  Read More →
  • 20Mar

    What is Competitiveness? #1 Robert Reich

    (Blog, What is competitiveness?) No Comments
    This is the first in an ongoing series of articles we are planning, to explore what competitiveness is, from the perspective [...]  Read More →
  • 18Mar

    New Report: Ten Reasons to Defend the Corporate Income Tax.

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    The Tax Justice Network has just published a major report entitled Ten Reasons to Defend the Corporate Income Tax. The press [...]  Read More →
  • 17Mar

    Quote for the day: tax ‘competition’

    (Blog) No Comments
    From the European Trade Unions Congress, a new resolution: “Tax competition between nation states . . . is unhealthy [...]  Read More →
  • 17Mar

    Krippner: how the US avoided tough decisions through deregulation

    (Blog, Financial Regulation) No Comments
    A short review of Greta Krippner’s Capitalising on Crisis – The Political Origins of the Rise of Finance.  By Jack [...]  Read More →
  • 16Mar

    Fools’ Gold links, March 2015

    (Blog) No Comments
    The first in an occasional series. Some further reading material, from recent articles elsewhere.  Public risks, private [...]  Read More →
  • 12Mar

    The False Promise of Corporation Tax Cuts

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Recent research from the UK suggests that such policies constitute hand-outs, rather than effective means to shape firms’ [...]  Read More →
  • 10Mar

    Did Ireland’s 12.5 percent corporate tax rate create the Celtic Tiger?

    (Blog, Tax) No Comments
    Update: reposted on Naked Capitalism site in the U.S., and the Angry Bear tax and economics blog, and the Middle Class [...]  Read More →
  • 06Mar

    Call for Papers – Should Nation States ‘Compete’?

    (Blog) No Comments
    Call for papers for a Research Workshop SHOULD NATION STATES ‘COMPETE’? City University, London, 25th / 26th June 2015 The [...]  Read More →
  • 06Mar

    Competitiveness, a code word to force tax cuts and deregulation

    (Blog) No Comments
    Code words Compete Competition Competitive Uncompetitive Business Climate Pro-business Anti-business Open for Business Global [...]  Read More →
  • 06Mar

    Fools’ Gold inaugural blog: rethinking competition

    (Blog) No Comments
    Welcome. This is a new blog dedicated to skewering some of the myths and fallacies the lie behind words such as [...]  Read More →
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