The IFS (Institute for Fiscal Studies) Green Budget hit the headlines last week with its forecast that, over the course of this parliament, the UK tax burden is set to rise to its highest level in 30 years. The IFS has calculated that by 2020 the proportion of national income raised through taxes will increase to 37%.
I was at the presentation, and the more concerning issue for me was the rathe… Read the article
Capital markets have experienced a major shift in sentiment over the course of the last couple of months. Fears over secular stagnation and deflation have dissipated, and investors have been willing to embrace risk assets again. Many economists have revised upwards their estimates of global economic growth, starting first with the US where the fiscal reigns are expected to be loosened in order … Read the article
Last weekend we were at the brilliant Kilkenomics festival in Kilkenny, Ireland. Whilst we were there (and it’s a fantastic town) we filmed this short video. In the wake of the Trump election victory there’s a mini-panic going on in Ireland, not least because, in common with Mexico, there are many undocumented Irish in the US whose future has become uncertain. There’s also the huge issue of … Watch the video
Earlier this year we interviewed both Robert Gordon (here) and Martin Ford (here) about their books examining the impact of technology on the modern economy. In the latest of our author interviews I talked to the Economist’s senior editor and economics columnist Ryan Avent about his new book, “The Wealth of Humans”, that develops this same theme. In particular he looks at how we will be able … Read the article
Watching the news flow on the global economy is dispiriting. Ask an economist what springs to mind when they hear the word “Europe”. They will probably reply with thoughts about negative interest rates, deflation and debt concerns. It isn’t much better when you bring up the economic outlook for the US (“the upcoming election is a concern”), Japan (“the BoJ is at the limits of monetary policy”),… Read the article
In 2013 I blogged about how financing conditions had tightened aggressively for small and medium sized corporates (SMEs) in peripheral Europe. Three years later, we’ve seen the introduction of targeted longer-term refinancing operations, QE, negative deposit rates and other efforts towards creating a financially united, cohesive, European banking union. Now feels like a good time to revisit thi… Read the article
Recently Claudia and I were in Lima for the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank. Unsurprisingly (given the host nation and history of the meetings) the majority of sessions were on the developing world, in particular Latin America. Claudia will shortly be posting a series of more detailed blogs on the LATAM countries she visited, so I’ll focus more globally.
In aggregate, the IMF is predi… Read the article
How did the UK go from a manufacturing powerhouse in the 1950s, to economic destitution in the 1970s? Is the history of post-war UK economics one of policy mistake after policy mistake? And are Britain’s political and financial institutions better placed today to make good, long term decisions than they were in the past? In the latest of our series of interviews with authors of new economic … Read the article
In 1714, an Englishman called Bernard Mandeville published his poem entitled “The Fable of the Bees: or Private Vices, Public Benefits”. The satire was about a hive of prosperous bees that were living a life of luxury. One day, some of the bees began to grumble that their lifestyle lacked virtue and the bees subsequently turn away from greed and extravagance. This leads to a rapid loss of prosp… Read the article
One of my favourite economic reads of 2014 was Diane Coyle’s book about an economic statistic – GDP. Whilst monarchs had been trying to take inventories of the national wealth since the Doomsday Book and earlier (so they could tax it!), the idea that you should rigorously measure economic activity is under one hundred years old. But the concept of Gross Domestic Product has now become central … Read the article