My fundamental tenets are concerned with freedom of the individual; the market isn’t perfect, but it’s the best available way of allocating resources.
If being rightwing is thinking that Karl Marx’s doctrine was a catastrophe for humanity, then I’m rightwing.
I can’t think of anything I would rather do with my money than buy my children the best possible education.
I was never a very convincing social conservative, and always avoided associating myself with that part of the broader conservative movement.
The whole point about historians is that we are really communing with the dead. It’s very restful – because you read. There’s some sociopathic problem that makes me prefer it to human interaction.
It’s great to see countries like China and India lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty by essentially copying Western ways of doing things.
Only in England would ‘professor gets divorced and remarried’ be a story.
The great thing about behavioural psychology and economics is that they help us to see that there are actually pretty good reasons why human beings swing from greed to fear, and why we’re not really calculating machines or utility-maximisers.
As a financial historian, I was quite isolated in Oxford – British historians are supposed to write about kings – so the quality of intellectual life in my field is much higher at Harvard. The students work harder there.
Risk models are a substitute for historical knowledge, because they tend to work with just three years’ worth of data. But three years is not a long time in financial history.