Skip to main content

The War on Drugs

Peter Hitchens, the journalist and younger brother of the late Christopher Hitchens, is always controversial, but not always for the sake of it. In his new book on the war on drugs, he argues that rather than fight this war, governments have chosen instead to decriminalise drug taking or have chosen not to enforce the law. There is a fascinating interview with Hitchens about his new book in the Guardian - click here.
 
Is the taking of drugs not a private issue? No! The externalities that are imposed on wider society by the taking of drugs (legal and illegal) are potentially huge. It is estimated that the abuse of class A drugs alone costs the UK economy £15.3bn per annum. You can read a paper on the economics of drug taking here.
 
   

Popular posts from this blog

The Failure of Herstatt Bank

As an undergraduate, I was taught about the failure of Herstatt Bank in 1974 and Herstatt risk. This bank was only the 35th largest bank in Germany at the time so why would anyone be interested in studying its failure? Herstatt failed because of its involvement in risky foreign exchange business. When it closed its doors on 26 June 1974, counterparty banks (mainly in New York) had not received dollars due to them because of time-zone differences - this is known as settlement risk. The cross-jurisdictional implications of its failure resulted in the Bank for International Settlements setting up the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and Herstatt's failure was a key reason for the establishment of real-time gross settlements systems, which ensures that payments between two banks are executed in real time. The Bank of England's Ben Norman has an interesting post on Herstatt over at the Bank's new blog ( Bank Underground ). As well as giving an excellent overview of

Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles

Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles, co-authored with my colleague Will Quinn , is forthcoming in August. It is published by Cambridge University Press and is available for pre-order at Amazon , Barnes and Noble , Waterstones and Cambridge University Press . 

The Great Depression

Marginal Revolution University has a great video on the Great Depression.