When politicians and economists talk about the government's budget deficit, they often say that the UK is 'living beyond its means'. That is debateable, and will doubtless be subject to fierce argument as the election approaches. What is indisputable, though, is that in the global economy the UK is really living beyond its means.
Human beings are quite good at microeconomics. That's the economics asking how individual people and businesses behave. It studies why coffee shops price their beverages in the way they do...
With Advertising Week Europe now in full swing, the following six trends highlight why the ad industry is actually in a good place.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union is the biggest proposed trade deal ever. If it gets the go ahead, TTIP will harmonise regulation between the world's two largest trade blocs and reduce barriers to trade across many economic sectors.
The Government yesterday announced its final pre-election budget and, as expected, there was quite a bit in there on tax avoidance. That's hardly surprising - we know that there is overwhelming public support for action on tax dodging. Unfortunately none of the big parties have yet gone far enough - and yesterday's budget announcements don't change that.
Most pre-election Budgets are characterised by gimmicks, giveaways and unfunded spending commitments, an art perfected by Gordon Brown. This Budget did nothing of the sort. Instead it set out the next steps of our long-term plan to make Britain the most prosperous of any major economy.
All in all, given the timing, the budget could have been far worse. But there remain vast untapped efficiency reserves in many areas of public spending, and this budget has done nothing to tap into them.
The Chancellor had a good tale to tell about falling unemployment, falling welfare bills, growth in output and living standards. He talked repeatedly about how the government of which he is a member is "fixing the roof as the sun begins to shine." The problem is, if we're not able to train people to do the job, he may find himself having to fix his own roof.
George Osborne delivered his last budget of the current parliament today and, like many Chancellors before him in the same situation, he produced a number of populist measures designed to improve his party's chances at the forthcoming general election. Nobody is surprised by this, but - in the longer-term context - this was the wrong budget for the UK economy at this time.
Today's Budget was all about creating the springboard for the Conservatives election campaign... The closing idea from George Osborne's speech was that the UK is the 'Comeback Country'. What he wants you to think tonight is that he is the Comeback Chancellor.
The Conservatives believe in this case but are too shy so far to make it. However, soon after the election half the party will coalesce around this vision. Perhaps then, all party leaderships can reach a consensus which in truth is already present but unsaid. What is certain is that the British Influence message is getting through.
With only 50 days between the Budget and the General Election, who can blame Chancellor Osborne for including a few judiciously designed bribes? He will be in a strong position to do so and to underline the Conservative Party's trump card-the strength of the UK's recovery.
The government must be challenged so that we can create a generation that no longer feels lost or bereft of employment prospects. Not only will this save billions of pounds in public finance, it will also help with the wider economy, reduce crime, support skills shortages, and boost our nation's productivity.
Within the Coral Reef, a number of pioneers are already spearheading the growth of platform-driven ecosystems, as seen with cloud technology, indicating the way to a new model of large-scale, cross-boundary innovation.
Now that George Osborne has shown his support, we need to persuade the rest of Europe to stop taxing periods too before we start to see some real changes... Together we can stop the sanitary tax that has marginalised issues traditionally associated with women, damaged the accessibility of a vital item and jeopardised the sexual health of millions across the world.
It's genuinely exciting to see that there are now entry routes for people from the widest possible range of educational backgrounds, all of them getting the chance to climb a career ladder that can take them right to the top.