Thursday , December 12 2019
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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.

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...

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Dismantling and devolving the pernicious union

In recent blog posts, I have been advancing ideas that respond to the frightending dysfunction in the UK polity. 1.  Separation of Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales into individual, independent countries embedded into the EU, and England levered to tether itself as a non member in name only, or rejoining at some point. 2.  Membership of the euro and aspects of the ‘ever closer political union’ that the UK has thus far been exempted from. Using the same logic, regional devolution...

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Brexit: the mutually inconsistent views of the desirable anchor and the stormy constitutional sea

One feature of Brexit from the perspective of those who see political and economic benefits to remaining a member of the EU is that there is no safe, perpetual compromise position. There are soft versions of Brexit in which almost all the economic benefits of membership are reaped [for example by remaining in the single market and customs union].  But once we leave it becomes much easier to take further steps away from the EU, and the UK’s economic trading relations, regulatory...

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Asymmetric radicalization of Leavers and [most other] Remainers

A striking feature of the post Referendum period is the radicalization of Leavers.   Amongst leading protagonists, many supported remaining in the EU’s single market during the campaign.  Subsequently, the focus shifted towards leaving the single market and customs union in order to fulfil a revised definition of true Brexit by enabling an independent trade policy.  Now, control of the Governing party rests with a faction that openly embraces leaving the European Union without a deal,...

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The changing calculus of Scottish Independence

Much was made of the first poll in favour of Scottish independence.  The calculus is changing.  I would argue that for a variety of reasons, independence is now more attractive. Relative to 2014, the first benefit is removing Scotland from the influence of two polar opposite, but pernicious political offerings, from Labour and the Tories.  During the 2014 referendum, major parties in the UK all pretty much lived within the rules of acceptable discourse, and were led by groups with...

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Lewis Goodall’s ‘Remainers are rubbish’ conclusion.

Lewis Goodall, Political Correspondent for Sky, wrote a thread on Twitter today concluding with a familiar line that Remainers are not good at politics.  They ‘may as well pack up and go home’.  They are ’embarrassingly bad at politics’.   The mental connection made is with the commentary that first began in the aftermath of the Referendum victory for Leave by recalling the spectacle of a babble of liberal economists talking conditional forecasts on the one hand, and Leave posters with...

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Not entirely negative about Positive Money

Positive Money and I have had an exchange of blog posts on FT’s Alphaville about their suggestions for what the successor to Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, should and should not do. I remain deeply opposed to any move to get the Bank of England involved in climate change mitigation, or any attempt to interfere with credit allocation in pursuit of a policy to re-engineer industrial composition to suit that or other political objectives.  Likewise, we should not set the...

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Labour, Brexit and the European elections

Leading figures in Labour like Jess Phillips were out on social media today, with a call to arms to fight the reactionary tendencies represented by The Brexit Party, promising to oppose with progressivism. This is a difficult pitch for Labour.  Labour is conceding the main declared objective of The Brexit Party – leaving the EU – the policy that defines the party now, and the achievement of which will give it impetus for its future goals. In each scenario in which Labour gets to be...

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‘Bollocks to Brexit’ critiques are bollocks

The Liberal Democrat campaign slogan has come under fire.  I think it’s a great slogan. It weaves together different feelings of those against the project:  ‘oh for God’s sake make it stop this is turning out really badly’ [recall Jolyon Maugham’s ‘make it stop’];  and also ‘this is really a bad idea and I am not ashamed to say so and I am not backing away from it just because of the 2016 referendum.’  Leave initally won the referendum by coalition building.  Of course it turned out...

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