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 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”

The day after the inflation shock, the gilt rockets …

which may confuse some people, but shouldn’t.    Here is the graph of the June Gilt future since March: As this story indicates, yields are now at a very low level. Good news?  Well, no.  A naive, political interpretation of this would be: the Conservative government has impressed the market that it has borrowing under control. Continue reading “The day after the inflation shock, the gilt rockets …”

Some stuff to add learning and entertainment to a sunny weekend

Sorry, I am in a sunny mood. Martin Wolf is also infected with the sun, because he comes out with a surprisingly generous verdict on The economic legacy of Mr Brown. The general theme is that his mistakes were shared by most of the economic policymaking world, and Wolf makes this telling point: “In retrospect,Continue reading “Some stuff to add learning and entertainment to a sunny weekend”

Now is not a time for uber-German monetary policy

The FT reports on the ECB’s seeming conversion to QE: Backlash stirs in Frankfurt. “Germans are clear about the job of a central banker: to fight inflation, and nothing else … The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described the turnaround – announced at 3:15am on Monday after a late-night meeting of European finance ministers – asContinue reading “Now is not a time for uber-German monetary policy”

Rebalancing quietly taking place …

Well, what is this all about?  The trend in the gilt market: Recall two pieces of conventional wisdom.  One, the end of QE spelt doom to gilts.  Take away that one big sucker-buyer and they will fall out of bed*.  Two, if there’s a hung parliament, the great British Politician will spend months and monthsContinue reading “Rebalancing quietly taking place …”

Ignoring the Hippopotamus next door …

Well, if our own deficit is the Elephant in the Room, what is a nearby E300bn economy heading to bankruptcy?  Will future post-election commentators wonder what on earth the Guardian was doing running so many different columns on bigotgate while the next economic crisis burst upon our shores? (to be fair to the Guardian, theyContinue reading “Ignoring the Hippopotamus next door …”

Some economics, for once

Not only that, but a couple of real papers, from the Macroeconomics blog I subscribe to. The first has empirically proven something that motivates monetary thinkers like Scott Sumner, who depend (too much, you might say) on the idea of the Fed working through expectations management.  The basic view is very simple: the Fed canContinue reading “Some economics, for once”

A fitting moment to announce Q-day

Which will mean nothing to anyone reading. But since I started writing about Quantitative Easing, I have had a Google alert feeding into my Google Reader, triggered by news containing the words “quantitative easing”.  This has fed about 50 items a week into my already stuffed inBox, and as some kind of punishment I haveContinue reading “A fitting moment to announce Q-day”

I had hoped this would happen: US attention

The US blogosphere – in particular Scott Sumner – was a major influence in getting my thick head around the advantages of Nominal Growth Targetting as an answer to the world’s problems.    Hey, if I had not started on Sumner’s blog I would never have written Credit Where It’s Due. So I am now ratherContinue reading “I had hoped this would happen: US attention”