Archive for the Public Policy Category

Forward guidance is just another delusion foisted on us by mainstream macro

Forward guidance is just another delusion foisted on us by mainstream macro

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, was on good form last week when he appeared at the Treasury Committee of the House of Commons. Asked what “forward guidance” meant, he answered smoothly: “The thing about forward guidance is that it is guidance that is forward. Which

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From the NHS to Brexit, give people a choice and they’ll make a good one

From the NHS to Brexit, give people a choice and they'll make a good one

A current headache for the government is the performance of the NHS, and whether it is running out of money. This was making the front pages until the judges’ decision on Brexit pushed it off. Successive governments have discovered that the finances of the health service are

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We all love something for nothing – but what is the real cost?

We all love something for nothing – but what is the real cost?

There is a childlike excitement that comes from being offered something for free. Often regardless of whether you want or need something, if you are offered it at no cost, you take it. ‘Free’ is not just cheaper than say 1 or 2p, it has added value:

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Sorry, Prime Minister: Legislation won’t end excess in the boardroom

Sorry, Prime Minister: Legislation won’t end excess in the boardroom

A key platform of our new Prime Minister is to curb what she perceives to be boardroom excesses.  “It is not anti-business to suggest that big business needs to change”, she said. One of her proposals is to allow employee and worker representatives to sit on company

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A Christmas competition with a difference…

… and the chance to win a bottle of champagne. For the prolonged holiday break, a quiz is appropriate. But one with a difference: not just questions, but comments to go with them. A prize of a bottle of champagne to the best answers – just email

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How do you deal with someone who thinks the Earth is flat?

Imagine you are relaxing at a bar enjoying a drink after a hard day’s work.  The person next to you strikes up a conversation.  Initially he seems reasonable.  But soon he begins to go on at length about how the Earth is flat and how a misguided

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The national accounts are the new JK Rowling

A potential candidate for the world’s most boring book is the Office for National Statistics’ National Accounts: Sources and Methods.  This book, all 502 pages of it, is currently available in hardback on Amazon for just 1p.  It does exactly what it says in the title.  It

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Whatever it is, Corbynomics is not mainstream

A group of economists hit the headlines last week with their claim that Jeremy Corbyn’s policies are supported by mainstream economics.  Perhaps the best known of them is David Blanchflower, a Monetary Policy Committee member when Gordon Brown was Chancellor.  He predicted before the 2010 General Election

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Scandinavia provides the evidence for Osborne’s war on welfare

George Osborne’s budget has been met with predictable outrage from the poverty lobby.  The cuts to the welfare budget will allegedly create shocking levels of deprivation.  Young people in particular, it is stated, have been singled out for punitive measures.  On the face of it, the arguments

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Child poverty is thankfully not rising – but the archaic definition needs to go

David Cameron is feeling the heat. This is not just a consequence of the sudden dramatic rise in London temperatures. The need to extract something meaningful from our EU partners and the increased threat of terrorist attacks are sleep-depriving problems. But the Prime Minister did have one

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