Browsing All posts tagged under »europe«

Quantitative easing, 3rd century BC style

July 22, 2011


Dionysius the Elder was sort of a dick, really. It’s what you’d expect from the ruler of a city-state (Syracuse) that allied itself with Sparta and Corinth, both of whom prioritised the state over the people. They pretty much tortured male children in order to ensure that they became good soliders; huge numbers of female […]

How 1884 Berlin affected 2010 Africa

January 21, 2011


The following is the first of several excerpts from my new book, African Lions, published in February: The Berlin Conference held in 1884 was a grand meeting of old imperial hands. Chargés d’affaires from Europe’s leading colonial powers gathered in long drawing rooms to sit around impossibly large tables, a phalanx of wallflower advisors backing […]

Six things you didn’t want to know about gas

July 8, 2010


I’ve learnt an awful lot of things about the natural gas market in the short time that I’ve been working for a gas trading consultancy, which I personally find interesting and strange. You probably won’t, which is why this blogpost is called exactly what it is. Without further ado, then, here are six things you […]

How rumours of a ban on Nutella sent Italians mad

July 3, 2010


I first lost my heart in Italy. It was a sultry day in Sorrento and the sun had just gone down. I was wandering through the backstreets of the town, sliding over the cobbles in search of a cash machine. There was a taxi rank up ahead; I wandered up and in my best Italian […]

To stick it to George Osborne, only eat pre-slaughtered horses and unshelled nuts

June 22, 2010


I don’t mean to alarm you, but I’m going to show you how to overthrow the government. Forget the fact that the Greeks can’t afford to do, well, anything anymore and that the Spaniards are hoping that closing their eyes, putting their fingers in their ears and shouting “lalalalala” very loudly is going to make […]