Understanding Algorithms

You’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of algorithms about these days, doing everything from recommending a walking route to figuring out how to beat the world’s best players at Go. But what are they, really, how do they work, and how will they...

A Monetary Remedy for the Mid Life Crisis

Written for and first published in the Financial Times on 30 March 2018. “The time has come when we boomers are going to have to reach into our own pockets.” That was the view of David Willetts — formerly UK minister for higher education — a few weeks ago. It sounds...

The past, present and future of banking

(Business seals; Rishengchang Museum.) Not long ago I was fortunate enough to visit the Rishengchang in Pingyao – which I tentatively understand to be the oldest “draft” bank in China, allowing merchants to send money across the nation. Pingyao is...

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