Archive for the Economy Category

The costs of lockdown could far outweigh the benefits

The costs of lockdown could far outweigh the benefits

Radical leaders such as Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand and Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland have gained plaudits through their relentless focus on eliminating Covid-19. But this comes at an obvious economic cost. Tourism is some 15 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP, and major destinations such as

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Get the Bank of England focused on the real economy

Get the Bank of England focused on the real economy

Economic policy is returning to its usual position of prominence. Fears of a major rise in unemployment are starting to worry the government more than fears around Covid-19. The chancellor’s imaginative schemes concerning furlough and other measures to protect jobs create potential problems elsewhere. So much money

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Covid crisis has exposed the Scottish nationalists once again

Covid crisis has exposed the Scottish nationalists once again

In London, the Covid virus is disappearing rapidly. Hospital trusts are increasingly reporting days with no new cases at all. During the crisis, there has been a proliferation of home-made signs in rural locations telling city dwellers, with varying degrees of politeness, to turn back and go

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The unions stand on the precipice

The unions stand on the precipice

Len McCluskey, the leader of the trade union Unite, probably did as much as anybody to ensure Boris Johnson’s massive electoral victory last December. A fervent supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, his grip on the Labour Party machine compelled Labour to fight the election with its most unpopular

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Coronavirus: Economists have a role to play in recovery

Coronavirus: Economists have a role to play in recovery

Lockdowns are starting to be eased in Europe. Austria, Denmark, Italy and Spain are all moving back towards normality. At some point during May, the UK will follow. We can reflect on what the government has got right and wrong so far in the opening phase of

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Coronavirus: A traffic light loosening gives the economy hope

Coronavirus: A traffic light loosening gives the economy hope

The strategy of exiting from the lockdown is far too important to be left in the hands of health professionals. The government’s advisors have played very valuable roles in helping to avert the sort of crisis which overwhelmed the health services in Northern Italy. Many who were

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To pay for this crisis, the government must keep in mind Ricardian equivalence

To pay for this crisis, the government must keep in mind Ricardian equivalence

John Maynard Keynes could certainly craft a neat phrase. In the Second World War, he wrote in his pamphlet How to Pay for the War: “It is only in a free community that the task of government is complicated by the cause of social justice.” The impact

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Pension reform is political dynamite, but Macron’s attempt should be commended

Pension reform is political dynamite, but Macron’s attempt should be commended

It would take a heart of stone not to be amused by Emmanuel Macron’s current predicament. The French President is trying to position himself as the leader of Europe. But at the same time, the streets of the major cities in France are, quite literally, ablaze. France’s

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The economic impact of Brexit tariffs only tells us half the story

The economic impact of Brexit tariffs only tells us half the story

Brexit is about much more than the economic costs and benefits, but the idea that the former dramatically outweigh the latter has become the received wisdom in much of the media. Report after report emerges which purports to show that, under any of the various trade arrangements

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Until Scotland’s currency puzzle is solved, independence is economically delusional

Until Scotland’s currency puzzle is solved, independence is economically delusional

The possibility of Scottish independence is back on the political agenda once again. And one question – which currency would an independent Scotland use? – that was crucial in the 2014 referendum has still not been resolved. The informal use of the pound is a very risky

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