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I had always presumed that life for a Russian billionaire must be pretty sweet. You know what I mean – private jets, international homes, super yachts, vast sprawling business empire, obligatory ownership of a football club, wedges of cash and lots of glamorous Russian girls. It all sounds pretty sweet to me! Obviously there have… » read more

About two weeks ago I found myself in a conversation with a lady at a dinner party. She spoke at length about Italy and kept repeating more and more loudly that “Italy has collapsed”. That may be true. In trying to make her understand my slightly more nuanced position I made the point that the… » read more

In the world of financial speculation there is something known as an asymmetrical trade. This means that the downside is very limited – or none at all – and the upside is considerable. I have long thought that the in/out referendum in Scotland was a superb move by David Cameron, but reading his speech this… » read more

Business Models And Innovation

In the EU world we hear about “innovation” all the time, but what does that actually mean? I am currently re-reading “More Money Than God” by Sebastian Mallaby. It tells the stories of the pioneers in the hedge fund sector, explaining their methods and the workings of this secretive arena. It has made me realise… » read more

This week has been a curious one here in Malta, if you happen to have been following the developments of the Individual Investor Programme. In case you aren’t aware, IIP is the scheme under which citizenship is possible in 12 months subject to applications and a contribution of 650,000 euros (the best description of it… » read more

The Perfect Crime?

Over the last year or so I have read quite extensively about Bitcoin. The amateur economist in me is fascinated by it’s disruptive capabilities and supply and demand characteristics. However, something that has been evident over the months is the extent to which very smart people around the world have been able to hack less… » read more

Five Years Later…

If you can believe it, the first post on this blog was five years ago today! I’m amazed. At the time, I had been in my new position as Director of Blogactiv for a few weeks and felt that it was about time that I learned what a new blogger to the platform went through… » read more

Europe Needs More Startups

On Friday last week (6th September) your author moderated two panel discussions at an EU event in Floriana, Malta. It was an EESC Going Local event in partnership with DG Connect. The first panel discussion began with a few words and some Q&A with the Director General of DG Connect (responsible for the Digital Agenda),… » read more

Until 5th June 2013 there was only one place in the world to launch your tech start-up if you wanted the best possible chance of success: Silicon Valley. There are genius coders, tech venture capital funds and mentors everywhere and it is the role model for geographic “clusters” the world over. Then on June 6th… » read more

“Left to themselves, the Europeans run the risk of becoming absorbed by their internal social concerns. Europe’s economic recovery has obscured the longer-run costs of its seeming success. These costs are damaging economically as well as politically. The crisis of political legitimacy and economic vitality that Western Europe increasingly confronts – but it unable to… » read more

When Confidence Is Lost

So the eurozone crisis is back with full force. Did it ever really go away? I don’t propose to try and recap the events of the last few days in Cyprus with the bail-in of bank depositors, things are moving quickly enough that I would be out of date almost immediately. Instead, let’s focus briefly… » read more

Is Disaster The New Normal?

Where has the volatility gone in financial markets? Why is the current political situation not causing mayhem? Over the last few weeks I have been developing a theory about the current state of financial markets. The theory isn’t fully fleshed out, despite my efforts, but I hope that by explaining my thinking here I can… » read more

Corruption amongst public officials is never nice, but it seems that suddenly it is everywhere. Amongst the recent news I have seen references alleging: – Slovenian politicians not declaring their incomes – Greek politicians overlooking tax evading family members on the “Lagarde list” – Spanish politicians apparently receiving extra cash each year – the suspension… » read more

A Politician Is Not A Country

Today I plan to ask a simple and somewhat rhetorical question. It relates to the recent movements in the eurozone crisis and their relationship to German politics. If you have been following the eurozone crisis, you might have noticed that the pressure on Greece seems to have eased. A few months ago it seemed to… » read more