A defence of hot air?

I have about eight different bloggers in my “Must Read” category on Feedly.  One of them is Tony Yates, lately of the Bank of England and now at longandvariable. His most recent post has a go at its own medium, with the self-explanatory title “Blogging is still mostly unpaid hot air”.  The thesis is almost self-evidentlyContinue reading “A defence of hot air?”

Bloodletting analogies or Don’t get Levels and Rates of Change confused

(all of this puts at too great length what FlipChartRick’s greatest Venn Diagram of the Coalition period says in a single picture. One of the weakest and yet most common arguments you will hear about austerity – outside of government, but even, shamefully, within Whitehall – is: we have managed Austerity of X%/year so far. Continue reading “Bloodletting analogies or Don’t get Levels and Rates of Change confused”

Future fiscal plans – what the LibDems seem to have said

I have been asked by a couple of people what I think of Nick Clegg’s recent Bloomberg speech covering fiscal policy. This is a big topic, so consider this a holding reply. Over the last few years the entire fiscal debate has veered all over the place, in particular about whether it damaged growth and how muchContinue reading “Future fiscal plans – what the LibDems seem to have said”

When did the Great Recession start?

If you put this question to most economists at the tail end of 2008, they would have said “around the time Lehman Brothers collapsed”. The last Inflation Report of the year showed things flat in Q2, and then that first bad quarter in 15 years in 2008Q3.  However, the latest data from the ONS suggests it got far worseContinue reading “When did the Great Recession start?”

The LibDems could get The Economist endorsement

But I am not sure it would be a good thing … For entirely innocent reasons I found myself trying to remember what I thought Liberal Democrat fiscal policy was before the last election. Entirely innocent, I assure you. I came across my post discussing the endorsements of the Guardian and the Economist for theContinue reading “The LibDems could get The Economist endorsement”

This is why thinking about monetary policy as “all about interest rates” is confusing

Today I noticed in the FT that the German Savers lobby is complaining about rates being kept too low.  They want tighter monetary policy, because they think it will suit them. Maybe.  Tighter monetary policy would drive down inflation, perhaps even lead to outright deflation.  In real terms, people who have cash savings will benefit fromContinue reading “This is why thinking about monetary policy as “all about interest rates” is confusing”