Beneath the jargon, Bernanke delivers devastating critique of the Bank of England

Last week, Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank and Nobel Laureate in economics, published his review into the process of forecasting and policymaking at the Bank of England. You really need to be a linguist to have a full appreciation of the report. It is a matter of translating the formal, […]

Scotland’s risible hate crime law is an incentive for the police to fail

The Scottish hate crime law has been a prominent feature in the media ever since it came into force just over a week ago on 1 April. This is not merely in its native land, but across the UK as whole. The content of the legislation is highly contentious, and many words have already been penned […]

The big challenge isn’t funding public services, it’s making them productive

There’s no shortage of special interest groups placing demands on the public purse. But with limited funds available, we must have an honest conversation about whose claims are the most valid. Waspi women are demanding a staggering £36bn in compensation for having been poorly informed about changes to their pension age. Meanwhile the National Foundation for […]

What if the OBR too optimistic about growth?

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published its economic and fiscal outlook document in conjunction with Jeremy Hunt’s budget statement on 6 March. Close scrutiny is paid to the short-term projections of growth in the economy made by the OBR. Tax receipts received by the government depend strongly on the rate of growth. And higher tax receipts give a […]

For once, Humza Yousaf has set an example other politicians should follow

Humza Yousaf, the First Minister of Scotland, does not often attract plaudits. But last week he overrode the advice of his officials. Shock, horror. Surely Sir Humphrey and the “experts” always know best.   Officials recommended a donation to UNICEF to finance water programmes in Gaza. Instead, Yousaf decided that the money should be given to the United […]

Tech is in turmoil – but there is an upside

The Greek god Chronos, known as Saturn to the Romans, was notorious for eating his own children.  Something similar seems to be going on within the tech industry. Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft and Meta have carried out substantial job reductions. Google are apparently preparing for a second round. Forbes magazine estimates that 34,000 jobs have […]

Interest rates aren’t as influential as you think

Criticising the Bank of England has become fashionable in City circles. From persisting too long with quantitative easing, to completely missing the upsurge in inflation to the condescending group think displayed on the validity of its discredited New Keynesian models, the Bank under Andrew Bailey has done plenty to make itself fair game. But when […]

Ricardian Equivalence and why Britain’s really in a recession

News that we have entered a technical recession will come as no surprise to anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with the British economy. But what is less well understood is how personal spending – or rather the lack of it – is contributing to low growth. Household incomes have been squeezed by rises in energy […]

There’s a solution to dire public services: make our public sector more productive

Pre-election blows are being traded with increasing ferocity by both the main parties. Do the costs of Labour’s energy policies bear scrutiny? And can the Conservatives really afford to cut taxes? All of these questions relate back to the state of the public finances. Taxes are already at a post-war high relative to the size […]

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