The Week

Leading article

Leading article: A Faustian pact

Given the hold that Goethe had over the German elite in the 1920s, it is impossible that the Weimar Republic’s leaders could have been ignorant about what happens when desperate politicians start printing money. In Part II of Faust, the devil suggests to an emperor that he solves his fiscal crisis by mass-producing banknotes. He

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week – 22 October 2011

Home After the resignation of Liam Fox as Defence Secretary, a report by Sir Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, found that there had been a ‘clear breach’ of the ministerial code in his working relationship with Adam Werritty, who had accompanied him on 18 foreign trips. Dr Fox, he said, had been warned about Mr


Diary – 22 October 2011

I arrived at the Occupy Wall Street protests on Monday morning, their one month anniversary, at 7 a.m. raring to go. That’s when the subway stations of Lower Manhattan are spewing out their banking spawn, when the streets are full of capitalist pillagers swarming off to suck what blood is left in the western economies.

Ancient and modern

Ancient and modern: Money games

In the ancient world, the sole sources of wealth were agricultural and mineral (no ‘industry’), and minted coin the sole monetary instrument, whose value was related to its weight and the purity of its metal content (no  paper money). There were no lending banks as we know them, let alone financial mechanisms for raising credit.


Barometer | 22 October 2011

• Mummy’s secret recipe A terminally ill taxi-driver from Torquay has volunteered to be mummified for a Channel 4 documentary. Here is what Egyptian mummification involved, according to Herodotus: — Extract brain through nostrils. — Cut opening in side of torso with sharp stone and remove contents. — Wash cavity with palm wine and pounded

More from The Week

Your nominations for The Spectator Threadneedle parliamentarian awards

A blue tide has washed over the latest nominations for The Spectator’s Readers’ Representative award. Last week, your votes were for parliamentarians from right across the political spectrum: Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, even the occasional Ukipper. This week, they are mostly for Conservatives. Perhaps this is a sympathy vote following Liam Fox’s resignation. Perhaps it


Letters | 22 October 2011

• Gone with the wind Sir: Your recent campaign against wind farms is brought, perhaps, to a conclusion by Matt Ridley’s splendid article on shale gas (‘Shale of the century’, 15 October). Yet at no time have you referred to that other blot on the domestic landscape, the solar panel. I wonder why. As with