Author Archives: pwg

Free trade (not agreements) will make Britain great

To judge from most of the “progressive” press and my Twitter feed, there is a great deal of ruin in Brexit. I hear that Britain is so integrated into the EU it will be rootless outside. The UK, I’m told, will need to ‘rejoin’ the WTO after Brexit. It has no trade agreements other than […]

Trade blocs world

We will soon see the creation of the first global-scale trade-blocs: exclusive international trade zones. What will it be like? The short answer (if you want to stop reading here) is: the direct economic impact will be rather modest but the blocs will be a disaster for rules-based WTO trading system. That could have much […]

Framing jpeg images for Flickr

This is an Applescript I wrote a couple of years ago to resize and frame Jpeg images exported from Photoshop (for example) for Flickr. The script relies on the ‘convert’ utility from the ImageMagick (imagemagick.org) library. It puts a [black] frame around the outside of the image, after resizing the image to a maximum of […]

Save PDF annotations to a notes file

If you are a researcher then you probably annotate PDFs of papers and other stuff. If, like me, you work in the Apple/OSX environment you may be using Skim to read and annotate. Skim allows you to save the annotations in their own ‘sidecar’ file format and to copy/paste the text of the annotations. But […]

Draft history of ICC: final chapters

Last year, I completed the manuscript of a centennial history of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). It’s a long work: 400 pages, more or less. It will be only the second history of this remarkable institution. The first was published in 1938. ICC commissioned the history in 2013, but has recently decided to wait […]

The Wallenbergs at the ICC

Peter Wallenberg, the scion of the great Swedish family of bankers and industrialists, died on 19 January aged 88. Among his many achievements was to lead the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) during the most difficult period for business in the late 20th Century. Here is a summary of the story. There’s a little more […]

Can multilateralism be revived?

Shawn Donnan at the FT says that it needs a healthier life-style. Multilateralism is weaker than it has ever been. But, in trade, it has never been as robust as it seemed on the surface. For now, I doubt there is a reasonable prospect it can be revived in its original form. Instead, we should […]