No more whingeing, please. The recovery is solid.
Last month saw some very positive economic news. The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in over seven years. The Bank of England reported on the major stress test of UK banks which it launched in March 2015. It concluded that “the banking system is capitalised to support the real economy […]
Technological breakthroughs will make fossil fuels unburnable – not bureaucrats
The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, courted the wrath of the fossil fuel industry in a speech at the end of last month. He argued that investors in the sector face ‘potentially huge losses’. Actions by governments to try to head off climate change could make most reserves of coal, oil and […]
Supply side success is a cure for the drug of deficit finance
George Osborne’s plan to run financial surpluses and use them to pay off government debt has been met with the usual set of whinges and whines, mainly from academic economists funded by the taxpayer. Of course, their arguments are based purely on what they believe to be the intellectual merits of their case. One of […]
Forward guidance needed for companies, not consumers
Most of the commentary on the UK’s economic recovery focuses on consumers. Are they taking on too much debt again to finance their spending? Is there a bubble in house prices, as people get excited about bricks and mortar again? Certainly, in terms of its sheer size, spending by consumers is by far the biggest […]
Britain’s New Industrial Policy: Can We Learn from the Mistakes of the Past?
The phrase ‘industrial policy’ seems to take us decades back in time. In 1964, a powerful catchphrase of the new Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, was the need for Britain to embrace the ‘white heat of the technological revolution’. Sadly, by the 1970s this vision had deteriorated into a list of institutions, stuffed with dull […]
Everything is crystal clear with hindsight
Are government bonds risky? This question arose a year ago, during a meeting with my bank. I wanted a low risk portfolio, but they noted that I did not want to hold UK government bonds. Whether it was the regulator who was insisting, or whether it was the way the bank was interpreting some Delphic […]