The fiscalists vs the monetarists: lacking a common language

My feedstream is perpetually full of people I admire fighting with one another. On Marcus Nunes’ blog, Mark Sadowski has a bit of a go at Simon Wren Lewis for saying it is obvious that the Euro recession is the consequence of contractionary fiscal policy. To people like Mark, and market monetarists like Lars, David BeckworthContinue reading “The fiscalists vs the monetarists: lacking a common language”

A common eurozone bond

The Financial Times helps to resurrect an idea that CentreForum was cautiously plugging a year back. A  common eurozone bond: would provide more accessibility to the markets, help stabilise the continent’s economies and, most importantly, lower the cost of funding, which in turn would ease the burden on taxpayers.Such a bond would create the scopeContinue reading “A common eurozone bond”

Wresting back monetary control, surrendering fiscal

The big headline from Osborne’s first days at the Treasury is his setting up the Office for Budget Responsibility.  Stephanie Flanders describes the move here (she adds an observation about Osborne asking Mervyn King for permission to start cutting) and argues that this is not as significant as Brown giving away power over interest ratesContinue reading “Wresting back monetary control, surrendering fiscal”

Crazy spending, or our lifeline?

To no great surprise, David Cameron has announced an immediate audit of the ‘crazy’ spending of Labour’s last years in power.  Politically, this no doubt makes great sense – “look what those idiots got up to” is perfect scene-setting for the blood-letting that will follow.  But what worries me is what sort of a narrativeContinue reading “Crazy spending, or our lifeline?”

If the answer is Helicopter Money, how do you sell it?

Like I ranted yesterday, GDP is a very poor way of measuring how certain things are getting better.  And my absolutely favourite example is how the Internet has revolutionized the ability to interact with and eavesdrop upon thinkers and teachers – whom one would previously have had to ambush in some University corridor. An exampleContinue reading “If the answer is Helicopter Money, how do you sell it?”

#bigotgate distracts from important message: IFS very +ve for LibDems

Prior to #bigotgate, I had hoped that the world would tune in, agog, to my take on the IFS’s take on the fiscal situation.  Fat chance now. (I think the best observation comes from my favourite tweeter.) Anyway, back to business.  You will have read commentary such as this from the Guardian which tends toContinue reading “#bigotgate distracts from important message: IFS very +ve for LibDems”

Online calculators rule

I’m sure most of you will have already played with the the FT’s online deficit buster.  So too has Adam Boulton, but when he asked Mandy to give some of his own brutal preferences, he got a prolonged smackdown, culminating in the undeniable “neither the IFS nor the FT are standing in this election”. TheContinue reading “Online calculators rule”

Martin Wolf hits several nails on the head

In today’s column.  Above all, the theme: Growth is what is needed to fix the finances. Then he adds his voice to those arguing against the myth of the spending splurge: the explanation for the sudden explosions in the share of public spending in GDP and the fiscal deficit is not that spending is outContinue reading “Martin Wolf hits several nails on the head”

The people have the whiphand. But not in the way the Conservatives would like

In case I have not mentioned it before, I am a liberal.  I find the idea of being reliant on the state for my future wellbeing disturbing, and intrinsically unsatisfying. I sort of expect others to feel the same.  Whether it comes from the right (see IEA comment thread) or left, I am repelled byContinue reading “The people have the whiphand. But not in the way the Conservatives would like”