Martin P Wilson


Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Insight, IT

Facilitation and Mentoring for Success.

A Financial History of the World - Trust, Confidence and Crisis

The_Ascent_of_Money_CoverOccasionally a book is perfectly timed; The Ascent of Money sets recent financial crises, not just the Credit Crunch and dot-com boom and bust, in a historical context.

In The Ascent of Money Niall Ferguson provides a proper perspective of the Credit Crunch as part of more than three thousand years history of money and finance. It will be readily understood by anyone with an interest in the workings of the financial system. It also makes a good story and takes the reader from the earliest days of money to the complex, modern financial devices that few, if anybody, understand.

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Imagining_India200Imagining India sets out a detailed and thoughtful analysis of modern India facing an opportunity to emerge with a global future in international trade.

India's development has been rapid and is supported by a demographic dividend of having a population whose average age is only in its twenties. Combined with India being the world's largest democracy this provides a major opportunity to allow India to move from being an emerging market to a global powerhouse.

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Best_Book_on_the_MarketBooks on economics are usually substantial, dry and rather worthy but not The Best Book on the Market. It is fast paced and as easy to read as a novel but it is still a authoritative guide to economics of free enterpise and the working of markets..

Dr. Eamonn Butler is a world-renowned economist and Director of the Adam Smith Institute, the free-market think-tank. He is well qualified to write on the workings of markets and not surprisingly he is an enthusiast for free markets and their contribution to economic growth. What may be surprising is his writing which is lively, clear and to the point and enables him to make The Best Book on the Market , How to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Economy such a slim volume, barely less than half the length of even a short novel.

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Quick Thoughts

Has Military Action Ever Dissuaded Tyrants?

Syria - flagIn his speech before the war in Iraq Tony Blair, the UK Prime Minister, argued that not intervening would send a message that tyrants would feel at liberty to act without consequence. By military action in Iraq, he argued, those who would perpetrate atrocities would think twice. There would not seem to be any evidence, before or since, that would back up that contention.

We now have David Cameron, the current Prime Minister, making essentially the same arguments – do politicians ever learn from history?


Government Spending is not Driver of Growth

Parliament Square London IC02001If more public spending is the only way to create growth then surely governments have become too large a part of the economy? Government is about spending and has little to do with creating wealth.

The best government can do is move wealth from individuals and business to those who serve government.


Capped Bonuses, There May be Trouble Ahead

Politicians do not seem to be good at imagining unintended consequences. The cap on bankers’ bonuses, however popular, may be counter-productive in reducing risk.

Dark Stormy Skys and Beauty Often CoexistIf a smaller proportion of a trader’s income is at risk if a trade goes wrong they may pursue high-risk opportunities to get that big win. If it works they guarantee the full bonus and could also use it to negotiate a higher salary (and bonus) for the following year. If it fails the downside is limited by the capped bonus to a smaller part of overall income. At the end of the day traders are competitive and gamblers at heart so will they be more likely to pursue the big win when their own risk is limited?

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