The only way could be down for shares – and Brexit is just the catalyst

The Brexit vote creates many uncertainties, exciting or frightening depending on your predilection. One thing which is certain is that the Leave victory was delivered by the less-skilled sections of the electorate. It seems part of a more general stirring up of what we might think of as the dispossessed, those who feel left behind […]

The EU referendum has shown just how irrational voters are

Some things never seem to change.  In the mid-16th century, in the course of her short reign Queen Mary, a daughter of Henry VIII, tried to restore Catholicism.  To this end, she arranged to marry King Philip of Spain, at a time when Spain dominated Europe.  The Spanish ambassador in London sent back a gloomy […]

Old Europe’s poor innovation record is a harbinger of long-term stagnation

The economic debate around Brexit has been disappointing.  Far too many of the points focus on the short-term.  Would Brexit precipitate a sterling crisis?  Well, if it did, at some point the currency would bounce back?  Would it tip us into a recession?  Maybe, but recessions come to an end. The key economic question, not […]

Paul Ormerod talks EU referendum on IGTV- don’t miss it!

Volterra Partner and leading Economist Paul Ormerod was invited to IG with Survation to offer commentary on Brexit after Survation Poll results were shared live on IGTV on Wednesday 25th May. With just four weeks to the referendum Presenter Jeremy Naylor revealed Survation telephone poll results on which way the vote might go. Of those questioned: […]

Scotland’s fiscal fantasy and the impact of an OUT vote

A short visit to the Highlands last week was refreshing. The scenery is just as spectacular as ever, and the people just as welcoming.  But elsewhere, the tectonic plates are shifting.  Last week, a televised debate took place amongst the political leaders contesting the elections to the Scottish Parliament in May.   It resembled a bidding […]

What game theory tells us about David Cameron’s EU deal

Game theory is the study of how rules and tactics affect outcomes, and it is pervasive in academic economics. The opening sentence of one of the economics courses at Cambridge pontificates: “Optimal decisions of economic agents depend on expectations of other agents’ actions”. Translated into English, this means that, for someone in a negotiating situation […]

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 […]

It is not just the Euro. Southern Europe faces a major structural crisis

Major shocks to social and economic systems ruthlessly expose weaknesses which can be contained in more normal times.  When the price of oil quadrupled in 1973/74, the different levels of resilience in the labour markets of Western Europe were quickly revealed.  Inflation initially rose sharply everywhere.  By 1976, it had fallen to 4 per cent […]

Integration won’t save the struggling Eurozone

Olivier Blanchard, the recently retired Head of Economics at the International Monetary Fund, has something of a track record with his predictions.  In 2013, he warned George Osborne that he was “playing with fire” with the UK’s recovery from the financial crisis.  Austerity had to be relaxed. We now know that we were actually nowhere […]