Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Forthcoming Attractions

Colossus by Niall Ferguson

Why am I going to bed with a smile on my face tonight? Tomorrow evening, I'm off to see that Jamie Oliver of the historical world, Professor Niall Ferguson of Harvard Business School at the IEA. I've watched his TV program and read parts of the book. Interestingly, he used to share a house with my favourite Guardian columnist too.

I've read quickly through bits of the new book. While he's more empirical than most commentators, I find it has much of the flavour of an opinion piece in a good American magazine and not very deeply-reasoned. I'm also not too impressed with some of his use of statistics, such as comparing stock returns of Wal-Mart to that of Halliburton as a measure of the later's "insider" status with the current administration. Neither does his interpretation of the report by one of Paul O'Neil's juniors as implying imminent collapse of the Treasury bond market carry a ring of authority either.

Anyway, the talk is on Economics, Religion and the End of Europe. I will post a summary as soon as I can, but I'm sure Frank and Gavin will have diverging views on this too.

Peter 笔德