Archive for the Blog Category

Don’t fear robots taking your job – worry about them cutting your wages

Don’t fear robots taking your job – worry about them cutting your wages

Robots and artificial intelligence (AI) seem to be in the news all the time, and breakthroughs are announced regularly. Last year, it was an AI programme which beat the world champion at Go, a game immensely more complex than chess. Now, in the austere American journal the

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A planning crisis

A planning crisis

Partly due to its success in attracting jobs and talent, demand for housing in London has outstripped supply and now home ownership is unaffordable for many households. In a well-functioning market, increases in house prices should incentivise large scale housing development. But this simply has not happened.

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There’s substance to the Trump team’s trade critique of Germany and the Eurozone

There’s substance to the Trump team’s trade critique of Germany and the Eurozone

President Trump’s administration has made many criticisms of Germany. One of the more important was by his top trade advisor, Peter Nabarro. He accused the Germans of using a “grossly undervalued” Euro to “exploit” its trading relationship with America. The complaint that when the Euro was formed

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How broken is our housing market?

How broken is our housing market?

Last month the government released its Housing White Paper ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’; the title is an ambitious promise. The industry response to the White Paper was fairly consistent: it was welcome movement in the right direction but it was too little too late. In short,

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Need a reason to cut public sector pay and pensions? Look at Jeremy Corbyn

Need a reason to cut public sector pay and pensions? Look at Jeremy Corbyn

The shambles over the treatment of National Insurance has dominated the media’s reporting of the recent Budget. But only the previous week, Jeremy Corbyn made a complete horlicks of his tax return for the second year running. The Bearded One makes a saintly fuss over making his

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Kenneth Arrow proved economists needn’t be loud to make a difference

Kenneth Arrow proved economists needn’t be loud to make a difference

Does winning the Nobel Prize in economics cause longevity?  We might be forgiven for thinking so.  Thomas Schelling died last year aged 95.  The author of the famous textbook, Paul Samuelson, passed away at 94, whilst his colleague, Bob Solow, is still going strong at 92.  The

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Claims that a low tax, low regulation UK would be a disaster are rubbish

Claims that a low tax, low regulation UK would be a disaster are rubbish

Dame Minouche Shafik, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, is leaving to become Director of the London School of Economics.  Last weekend, she gave her final interview wearing her Bank hat. Shafik issued what was described in the media as a “thinly veiled warning” to the

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Blame restrictions on the supply of land for new homes for rising wealth inequality

Blame restrictions on the supply of land for new homes for rising wealth inequality

Official data released last week on London house price increases in 2016 generated a lot of interest.  Given that housing represents by far the most important component of wealth for most people, it is not surprising that stories like this are read avidly. There is a feeling

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A tale of two Eurozones: Greater Germany and Club Med are drifting ever further apart

A tale of two Eurozones: Greater Germany and Club Med are drifting ever further apart

At the end of last week Federica Mogherini met leading members of the Trump administration. Mogherini, yet another Italian politician turned Euro-bureaucrat, is in fact the foreign policy chief of the European Union. She stood on her dignity, or rather the dignity of the European Commission, issuing a

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It’s fanciful to think China’s economy will overtake the US’s anytime soon

It's fanciful to think China's economy will overtake the US's anytime soon

Possibly the single most important of the tensions stoked up by President Trump is the rivalry between the United States and China. Economic strength will be the ultimate determinant of this struggle for the position of Top Nation. Comparisons of the size of economies, particularly ones at very

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