Monday , March 30 2020
Home / Tony Yates: Long and Variable

Tony Yates: Long and Variable

Long and Variable is a blog about monetary policy and central banks. Authored by Professor Tony Yates (University of Birmingham), this blog is quite detailed and knowledgeable about global monetary policy.

Nudging and banning

Here’s a Guardian piece I wrote about Government policy regarding the Coronavirus as it stood on Thursday.  Less than 48 hours later, policy seems to have changed.  Initially eschewing enforced social distancing measures in the form of banning large sporting and other events, this is now going to happen. On Thursday, the position on this was that 1) the science did not support a ban because this would not much to affect the spread [controversial] and 2) that there was nonetheless...

Read More »

New Statesman Post on that Cummings Job Ad

I didn’t post this here before, so if you didn’t see it at the time, and felt somehow that you had not had enough Cummings journalism, here is a New Statesman post about his infamous job advert.  The one that culminated in him hiring Andrew Sabisky, the ‘Superforecaster’ who subsequently resigned after views that he had expressed on eugenics and women had been unearthed from his past writings.

Read More »

Guardian article on Cornonavirus

A fair portion of those who read the blog don’t follow Twitter, so posting this Guardian piece by me here in case you have not seen it.  The headline of the article doesn’t really match the content.  My main point is about the many networks – travelling, supply chain, finance and social media – in the globalized world that are infecting us all with the virus and its economic harm. Central banks do have a role to play;  maximizing monetary stimulus with rate cuts and QE;  perhaps...

Read More »

EU trade talks chart crime

Consternation today on the internet about a chart crime committed by the EU Commission. The EU is peturbed that the UK appears ready to renege on a commitment to negotiate a ‘level playing field’ [for example to restrict state aid] as part of a Free Trade Agreement.  To explain why it continues to want this [and hasn’t, as No 10 disingenuously suggested in a tweet using almost Russian Embassy style tactics, ‘moved the goalposts’] it dug out a slide showing data on countries with which...

Read More »

The Get Brexit Done lot want cheerful soldiers not Philosopher King technocrats

Much has been made of the appalling spectacle of the cabinet participating in a Q and A chant with Boris Johnson.  The video circulating can be taken to be a homage to those of the Trump cabinet, featuring supplicants offering praise. Conventionally, UK cabinet members are supposed to be the equals to the PM’s  ‘first among equals’.  Heavyweight minds negotiating policy solutions and probing their costs and benefits ceaselessly. But the video is not meant to be a mini-documentary...

Read More »

Power? No thanks, I’m a decently paid and fulfilled megaphone

If you were designing a marketplace for ideas for policies to solve social problems, one thing you might hope is that it would incentivize people actually to take power and do things.  Only by doing things in government do problems get solved and lives altered. If you are of a particular persuasion, the failure of the Labour Party to orient itself to obtaining power is remarkable.  A demonstration that the marketplace rules are not providing the right incentives. But perhaps there is...

Read More »

A failing marketplace for ideas and policies: parties, party governance and FPTP

The UK system for marketing ideas for policy has failed us.  My own ‘centrist Dad’ brand of economics and politics no doubt colours this view.  But I think even if you do not subscribe to that kind of politics it’s possible to discern failures in the process.  A lot of this was prompted by a conversatoin with an old friend who, given his job, I can’t credit here. Both major parties departed in pretty serious ways from recognisably sound economics, and, in the case of the Tories,...

Read More »

No blogging. Too much Twitter.

Apologies for the lack of posting on this blog.  Or perhaps you are relieved.  Most of my blog like thoughts seem to have migrated onto Twitter. This may or not be a good thing.  I don’t think I am alone, as several authors have Tweeted or written columns on proper websites about the decline of the blog. Is this the honing of thoughts into ever neater kernels, forced by the benevolent market place of ideas?   Or the slow corrosion of attention spans and mental health as Brexit and...

Read More »

Monetary policy delegation rebounded, and an odd trade-off

Back in the day, monetary policy economists and practitioners discussed the benefits of delgating monetary policy to an independent central bank. There were two kinds. The first was to remove an ‘average inflation bias’.  Think of a two period game.  In period 1, the government says to an all encompassing trade union ‘we are going to give you 2 per cent inflation’.  Unions bargain for 4 per cent nominal wage increases to cover productivity and expected inflation.  Once those contracts...

Read More »