Review of “Gweilo: A Memoir of a Hong Kong Childhood” – Martin Booth

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Just finished reading Martin Booth’s autobiographic book, the third of the Gweilo canon I’ve read these past few months. The three books couldn’t be more different. John Lanchester’s novel Fragrant Harbour covers the period between the end of the first world war and the turn of this century. He skilfully weaves three narrators and three narratives into an intergenerational saga.  James Clavell’s Taipan is a swashbuckling story of  an early Victorian privateer who outwits mandarins, pirates and business rivals to found an enduring business dynasty that loosely based on  the Jardine story. Gweilo is set in the two-year stretch of time between 1952 and […]

R.I.P. Prof. Sir David Mackay FRS

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Two days ago my friend David MacKay died. We went to school together in Newcastle-under-Lyme between 1981 and 1985 and sat almost the same ‘O’ levels and ‘A’ levels. We were born one day, and one continent apart, and our lives seemed to dance around one another’s, always slightly out of phase but broadly in the same direction.  We were friends, and to the extent such terms can be used to describe relationships between two prickly, competitive, teenage loners, briefly best friends at school. He wasn’t the easiest person to be friends with. He wasn’t so much socially awkward as […]

Review of “Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future” – Paul Mason

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Economics, Review

Mason is best known to Brits as a broadcast journalist on BBC and Channel 4, and as a professional northerner-Trotskyist purveyor of political balance on the interview couch. He has drawn on an eclectic mix of economists, psychologists and futurologists to substantiate his obituary of neo-liberalism. The book’s key argument is that several megatrends make it likely and desirable for traditional capitalism to collapse. Markets are becoming increasingly irrelevant in many of their key functions like the allocation of capital, price discovery and matching supply and demand. In a world of quantitative easing and dematerialisation of production there is excess […]