By Robert Skidelsky - Apr 20,2017
Clearly, the last word has not been said about the chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, Syria, on April 4, which left 85 dead and an estimated 555 injured.But three points — concerning responsibility for the attack, the United States’ military response to
By Robert Skidelsky - Oct 23,2016
The most dramatic economic effect of the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote has been the collapse of sterling. Since June, the pound has fallen by 16 per cent against a basket of currencies. Mervyn King, the previous governor of the Bank of England, hailed the lower exchange
By Robert Skidelsky - Jul 30,2016
As a biographer and aficionado of John Maynard Keynes, I am sometimes asked: “What would Keynes think about negative interest rates?”It is a good question, one that recalls a passage in Keynes’ “General Theory” in which he notes that if the government cannot think of anything mor
By Robert Skidelsky - Dec 24,2015
Donald Trump’s call to bar Muslims from the United States provoked the following exchange with two young friends of mine: “If the choice was between Muslim immigration and preserving liberal moral values,” I asked, “which would you choose?”They both denied the question’s premise.
By Robert Skidelsky - Nov 11,2015
My most painful experience in Russia was a visit to Perm-36, the only one of Stalin’s forced-labour camps to have been preserved, in 1998.I was in Perm, a city in the Ural, to take part in a seminar of the Moscow School of Political Studies.Founded by the remarkable Lena Nemirovs
By Robert Skidelsky - Oct 05,2015
The tragic exodus of people from war-torn Syria and surrounding countries challenges the world’s reason and sympathy.Since 2011, some 4 million people have fled Syria, with millions more internally displaced.Syria’s neighbours — Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey — currently house the va
By Robert Skidelsky - Jul 21,2015
Most rich countries now have millions of “working poor” — people whose jobs do not pay enough to keep them above the poverty line, and whose wages therefore have to be subsidised by the state. These subsidies take the form of tax credits.The idea is a very old one.
By Robert Skidelsky - Jun 22,2015
The Chinese are the most historically minded of peoples.In his conquest of power, Mao Zedong used military tactics derived from Sun Tzu, who lived around 500BC; Confucianism, dating from around the same time, remains at the heart of China’s social thinking, despite Mao’s ruthless
By Robert Skidelsky - Jun 10,2015
In 2011, the Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman characterised conservative discourse on budget deficits in terms of “bond vigilantes” and the “confidence fairy”.Unless governments cut their deficits, the bond vigilantes will put the screws to them by forcing up interest rates.
By Robert Skidelsky - May 22,2015
Economic historian Niall Ferguson reminds me of the late Oxford historian A.J.P.