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The Economist: Free Exchange

End of year edition

OUR correspondents on the biggest business and finance stories of 2014, and what will make headlines next year

The road to nowhere near Wigan Pier

OVER the past few weeks, debates over British fiscal policy have been conducted under the shadow of George Orwell's "The Road to Wigan Pier", a powerful description of the poverty he foun...

The dark clouds around the silver lining

IT MUST seem churlish of me to maintain my grim pessimism about the Fed's current course of action, given the steady flow of encouraging data from the American economy. But try as I might, I cannot...

The best of all worlds

WHAT could be better than an economy converging rapidly on full employment? A central bank in no mood to get in the way. That is the happy combination America now enjoys, and it explains the stock ...

Turning Davids into Goliaths

THIS week: Russia's deepening economic crisis, consolidation in European telecoms and the business climate in Israel

What's really there?

RUSSIA’S currency has dived this year: since January it has lost about 40% of its value against the dollar. To slow the rouble's fall, the central bank has been raising interest rates: yesterday ...

Two lost decades?

On December 3rd George Osborne, Britain's chancellor, delivered the autumn statement, the country's annual mini-budget. We are hosting a round-table discussion of the statement and the direction of...

Thanks but no thanks

SIX months ago, the European Central Bank made an offer that seemed too good to be true. As part of its policies to counter low growth and inflation in the euro zone, it would make available to ban...

How rich we really are

THERE IS no widely recognised, monetary measure of a country's natural, human and physical assets. Economists usually make do with GDP (which anyway gauges income rather than assets). But a report ...

The cuts to come

On December 3rd George Osborne, Britain's chancellor, delivered the autumn statement, the country's annual mini-budget. We are hosting a round-table discussion of the statement and the direction of...