Is there any alternative?

There is a black hole, we are told. A yawning one, that needs to be filled in, oooh, around 10 days from now, or we face some unmentionable doom. Fortunately, after a brief flirtation with Rule by Crazy Libertarian, the grownups are back, prepared to take tough-but-necessary actions such as (checks notes) raise income taxContinue reading “Is there any alternative?”

Ian Mulheirn says UK housing is not a supply problem. No one can prove him wrong

Around three years ago in some bistro in Soho, Ian Mulheirn startled a tableful of economists going at their cassoulet with the bland statement: “Housing? It is not a supply problem”. To call this heresy is melodramatic. We just thought he was winding us up. To question the mantra “just build more houses already” feltContinue reading “Ian Mulheirn says UK housing is not a supply problem. No one can prove him wrong”

Time for macro economics to get political once more

A former No10 colleague asked me recently: is there a definitive guide out there to how monetary and fiscal policy work together? What determines incomes?    What made his questions remarkable were both how fundamental they were, and yet how distant from the day job when we had worked together in Downing Street. Politicians doContinue reading “Time for macro economics to get political once more”

Quibbling about House of Debt

The Resolution Foundation organised a fantastic event this morning, the UK launch of House of Debt, with both authors (Mian and Sufi) on stage alongside Martin Wolf and Stephanie Flanders.  Standing room only, and an astonishingly eminent audience, a Who’s Who of the economic world.  Plus me. But from their presentation (and implicit in theContinue reading “Quibbling about House of Debt”

“We’ve won the long jump, so let’s buy a fridge”

And other daft reasons the economy grew. Chris Giles has a predictably thorough look at the state of the UK economy.  Asking whether the recovery is strong or fragile, he zeroes in on the key question; it “depends partly on why it grew so strongly in 2013 when even the most optimistic thought the UKContinue reading ““We’ve won the long jump, so let’s buy a fridge””

The maddening removal of money

I have a funny way of relaxing.  For the past few days when childcare duties have allowed I have spent an hour or so a day reading Mishkin’s “The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets”.  It is a fantastic introduction to the topic of money, and useful signpost to the significant works of theContinue reading “The maddening removal of money”

Freethinking Economist

Economic advice. No longer special.