Introducing the Brexit readiness score

If you believe Prime Minister Theresa May the United Kingdom will be ready to exit the European Union in April 2019. If you believe UK businesses Britain is falling behind in its preparations. The next round of Brexit negotiations, and the first since the summer recess, was delayed by a week to September 25, 2017, suggesting that businesses may […]

Why do bankers earn so much more than other professionals?

Are bankers overpaid? Do they have special qualities that make them deserve to earn more than other professionals? In this video interview, LSE professor Ulf Axelson explores why pay is so high on Wall Street relative to normal jobs.

Here is part of his answer: “(It’s) due to a combination of two characteristics of many of the types of jobs you have […]

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    Data on electricity demand shows a slowdown in manufacturing post-Brexit

Data on electricity demand shows a slowdown in manufacturing post-Brexit

Like many others we were frustrated about the absence of both reliable and (almost) real-time economic indicators about the true state of the economy post-Brexit. Survey data was plentifully available, but often contradicted itself, and appeared to be heavily biased towards the political leaning of the sponsor. Hence, we decided to look for a truly independent and reliable indicator, […]

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    What Donald Trump could do to ‘make America great again’ without destroying free trade

What Donald Trump could do to ‘make America great again’ without destroying free trade

US flag, by, under a CC0 licence
For nearly two years, unsettling comments by US presidential candidates rattled international investors. The prospect of US trade wars with China and Mexico hit global markets, already weakened by the surprising result of the Brexit referendum. The elections ended, but the financial community still cannot breathe a sigh of relief.

In order to calm […]

Low volatility makes a financial crisis more likely

Received wisdom maintains that financial market volatility has a direct impact on the likelihood of a financial crisis. Perhaps the best expression of this is Hyman Minsky’s (1992) hypothesis that economic agents observing low financial risk are induced to increase risk-taking, which in turn may lead to a crisis. This is the foundation of his famous statement that ‘stability […]

Is Europe spending too much?

The eurozone crisis, the rise of nationalist parties across Europe and the Brexit vote have all pointed to significant vulnerabilities in the European social model. Europe is home to only 8 per cent of the world’s population, yet it produces 50 per cent of global social payments (public pensions, healthcare benefits, maternity leave and associated benefits, public education and […]

How demography influences monetary policy

There are three main longer term factors that determine how our economy performs. These are:

Population trends (demography);
Technical know-how (innovations);
How we manage ourselves (governance and education).

There is debate whether innovation is currently slowing or accelerating, and governance questions are always with us. But this blog is primarily about demography, and its influence on monetary policy, largely taken from a joint paper  […]