Tim Worstall

Tim Worstall is a Senior Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the WSJ, The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Register, Forbes online and a number of other places. He is also in his day job an expert in the rare earth metal, scandium. A strange thing to be but someone has to be and in this flavour of our universe Worstall is it. He apologises in advance for his Englishness and the manner in which his spelling will waver from accepted American standards at times.

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  • ivanna_humpz

    Should a porn star be able to have a bank account?

    Whether a porn star should be able to have a bank account or not might rather depend upon your moral views. You might believe they are the very devil to be cast out from all society. You might think that because they are engaged in legal and consensual commerce then they enjoy exactly the same rights and liberties as everyone else under the law. You might, as a banker, decide that you’d rather not have their custom which is just fine.…
  • patent-troll

    A “Woo” not a “Woo hoo!” for the Supreme Court over patent trolls

    Half a cheer rather than the traditional three for the Supreme Court’s recent decision about patent trolls. It offers judges the ability to force the trolls to pay for their behavior if they should so wish but doesn’t actually force them to do so. It’s therefore a step in the right direction but it’s not a full solution yet. What they’ve done, in detail, is just define what the word “exceptional” means. I know, it seems fairly trivial, and the…
  • bubbles

    Is the Silicon Valley Bubble back, or a bad thing if it is?

    Listed tech stocks seem to be deflating, although how long that’s going to go on for is anyone’s guess. But there’s enough evidence that you can, if you so wish, argue that we’re at the end of a bubble in tech valuations. Marc Andreessen* doesn’t agree which is why he’s still pumping money into the system. Noam Scheiber over at the New Republic has an interesting take on the whole argument, one that I find myself largely agreeing with.…
  • apple_split

    If Apple’s stock split reduces the bid ask spread, then why isn’t HFT good too?

    Here’s a little puzzler for everyone. As people dig through the implications of Apple’s stock split we’ve had a number of pieces trying to work out just why it’s beneficial. At one level of theory it should make any damn difference, more shares in existence doesn’t change the value of the overall company. Yet the markets note that it does change that value, so what gives? Theories have ranged from wanting to get into the Dow (it’s boring why it…
  • loans

    With all that cash, why is Apple borrowing to raise its dividend and buybacks?

    Given that Apple has some $150 billion cash or near equivalents on its balance sheet it seems a little odd, perverse even, that they’ll then borrow to finance the extra stock buybacks and raised dividend that they’ve announced. But that is what they’re doing, they’re issuing another $17 billion in bonds to finance the shareholder giveaway in what the Wall Street Journal calls the “largest corporate-bond deal in history.” The reason is the seriously screwed-up corporate taxation system.…
  • start-up-tattoo

    Apparently founding a start up is the worst possible decision you can make

    If Felix Salmon is to be believed, founding a startup is sheer lunacy.  Or at least the message he takes from Gideon Lewis-Kraus’s “No Exit.” The deeply irrational decision to found a company – one which statistics tell us  is almost certain to fail – is akin to throwing away a large chunk of your precious youth. Meanwhile, the Silicon Valley ecosystem as a whole will happily eat you up, consuming your desperate and massively underpaid labor, and converting it into…
  • foodaid

    So you thought food aid was about feeding the starving then, did you?

    Apparently food aid isn’t about aiding those without food. Rather, it’s all about subsidizing the Pentagon’s budget: “The secondary reason for food aid is food,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, the California Republican who introduced the bill, said in an interview Thursday. “The No. 1 reason is military readiness.” There we have it, that’s the reason for a bill that’s just been passed by the House. Who gives a shit about the people dying of starvation in other countries when we…
  • stopuber

    Travis Kalanick is a sociopath and socialism and anarchism are on the same spectrum, apparently

    Seattle seems blessed with a new group of Uber haters who were out on the streets of that fair city on Saturday night allegedly “detaining” some ten cars and their passengers from the service. All of this is prompted by the assertion that Travis Kalanick is a sociopath, that Uber itself is evil, that the traditional taxi system must not be disrupted for fear that it will “completely destabilize and undermine African immigrant communities in Seattle” and, quite remarkably,…
  • facebook-money-gold

    Should entrepreneurs want to make money or a difference?

    We economist types are routinely derided for being obsessed with money — for knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. I plead guilty but not for the reasons you might think. For what we’re really saying is that making money is the evidence that you’re making a difference. At least, making money as an entrepreneur is. There are method, like rent-seeking, which do bring the cash rolling in but do so by screwing things up for everyone…
  • Parlour baseball

    A new parlor game: which tech stocks is David Einhorn shorting?

    This news might cause some consternation among Valley inhabitants who are waiting for their stock to vest but one of Wall Street’s more aggressive investors, David Einhorn, has started shorting certain tech stocks on the basis that we’re seeing something of a rerun of the dot-com mania. And if he’s right some people are going to be very upset indeed when their stock does vest. Bloomberg writes: Greenlight Capital Inc., the $10.3 billion hedge-fund firm run by David Einhorn,…

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