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A Review of the first part of Daniel Todman’s two-Part History of the Second World War

I’ve just finished reading the first of Daniel Todman’s magisterial two-part history of Britain’s experience of the Second World War. I found it informative, thought-provoking, thorough, and above all, an engaging read.

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Recently, I read an article by the FT’s Alphaville that mentioned the amazing Millennium of Data published by the Bank of England. The Millennium of Data is a large dataset created, and curated by a number of academics that reaches back into the mists of time to collect data on England’s economic past, with some statistics even going to 1086 (the year of the Domesday Book). The article outlines the benefits of a thousand years of data, although it questions the accuracy and relevance.

I agree in principle with Claire Jones, the author of the article in the FT, who…

A portrait demonstrating how smugglers subverted European mercantilism with British goods being traded for French gold.

How the French Metropole failed to stop economics in the 18th Century

The French colonial empire in North America (1534–1763) is oft overlooked as it was quickly surpassed and ultimately acquired by the British. This does not do justice to the size, and importance that French North America had for the surrounding region with other colonies, nor back in the motherland, or Metropole. France, as other European nations, had a clear idea of what they were staking claim on this far-away land for. The mission had many dimensions to it, such as social, military, political, economic, and religious. I will focus on the economic aspect of this transnational state and more explicitly…

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British Productivity post-GFC

Britain was the nation fortunate enough to be the starting point of the industrial revolution, which led to an incredible boost of productivity pushing Britain above the growth rates of its past to set it on the path to the modern economy we know today. This innovation, which on top of its world spanning empire, led to the rapid rise of Britain’s economy and living standards that culminated in the hegemonic economic and military status it enjoyed during the “Pax Britannica”. It was to be supersede by its former colony, turned independent state, the United States of America after the…

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From Silicon Valley to Wall Street missing out on Main Street

The world economy has been undergoing a seismic change in the very recent past, but this change has also brought to light the depth of interconnection the world has today. The world is evermore finding itself a smaller place, at the very least digitally, with news and media being able to be consumed across the globe in seconds. Unlike traditional goods which have to travel across land or sea or air, there is no travel time for consumers to enjoy digital product besides the speed of one’s internet connection. This simple fact highlights something stunning. The rise of intangibles in…

Source: Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

Can the US Dollar survive in its current role post-COVID and post-Trump?

Many have predicted that the United States will fall away from its role as the economic hegemon and hub for global finance, trade and more. There is little argument that the world is moving towards a more multipolar geopolitical stance with the economic rise of China, the European Union finding its footing as evidenced by the new “geopolitical” commission, and Russia re-engaging with international issues and players. However, this geopolitical shift is not finding itself represented in the currency markets and the implicit economic power that is associated with them as seen in a recent BIS paper. In the era…

Bundles of notes waiting to be distributed by the Reichsbank during the hyperinflation period of Weimar Germany
Bundles of notes waiting to be distributed by the Reichsbank during the hyperinflation period of Weimar Germany
Source: Wikipedia

The Weimar Republic was a Republic of contradictions, great social change and challenges. It represented both a drastic break with the past, as well as a continuation. The legacy of economic policies from the First World War enacted by the Wilhelmina government laid the groundwork for the economic hardship that the Weimar Republic experienced in its early years culminating in hyperinflation. Most policymakers of the First World War continued to make policies in this new Republic and their ideas were prevalent throughout the economic and political elite in the Weimar Republic until the hyperinflation years of 1923–1924 where the Republic…

There is currently a debate raging amongst financial analysts, economists and other policymakers about whether or not the macroeconomic environment after COVID-19 will be a deflationary one, similar to the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, or if it will be inflationary given the new measures that have been taken. The basic premise of the deflationary argument is that all sectors of the economy are shut down and there is a massive debt load that will weigh heavily on all parts of the economy, increasing deflationary pressures. The basic premise of the inflationary argument is that the economy, while suffering…

Credit: Wikipedia

Since the Great Recession of 2008, the world has seen a dramatic change in the roles that central banks play in their respective economies and societies. They have undertaken easing actions that many people feared would bring back the issue that economies faced in the 1970s and 1980s, inflation. Indeed, some predicted that the central banks’ actions might trigger inflation, and not just at levels of the 1970s and 80s, but inflation at levels only seen in Weimar Germany, Venezuela, Hungary and others. This fear was unfounded as quantitative easing operations were found to not significantly increase broad money growth…

Source: J J Ellison Wikipedia

Britain has had a unique economic history. As the first nation to industrialise, it became the leading world economic power and hub in which global trade and finance flowed through, but was slowly eclipsed in terms of political, military and economic power by its former colony, the United States. In this spirit, it led the charge into the modern welfare-state after the Second World War and implemented Keynesian economic planning principles in their fullest. It was smooth sailing economically speaking and the social contract was happily signed by most. This post-war consensus began to unravel by the 1970s, with an…

Maximilian Magnacca Sancho

An economist with musings on interesting parts of economic history/society from the past to the present. Book reviews | Economic History | Current Events

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