Monthly Archives: August 2013

Scottish? Don’t let the SNP hoodwink you into thinking you can have a currency union without tight fiscal oversight

Back in April, the Treasury published a report explaining, in short, that an independent Scotland could not be a member of a currency union, managed by the Bank of England, without considerable fiscal oversight.  The Scottish National Party (SNP) dismissed … Continue reading


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Political economy of subsidies to bank borrowing

Not the modest interventions to try to stimulate lending, but the huge subsidies to bank borrowing implied by the state guarantee to prevent banks failing (discussed in various writings by Andrew Haldane), which allows them to borrow from private markets … Continue reading

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Why do markets not share MPC’s views about future interest rates?

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, spoke yesterday to try to convince markets that interest rates will stay lower for longer than they expect.  Assuming that was the intention, it wasn’t very succesful. Why don’t markets share the … Continue reading

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Paul Krugman vs Roger Farmer

Recently Roger Farmer published an open letter criticising Krugman’s commentary on modern macro.  He points out that Krugman frequently alludes to the fact that the Great Recession is due to self-fulfilling prophecies, without citing Roger’s prior work.  Krugman replied, explaining … Continue reading

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Why it’s harder to build new houses in the UK than France

This is a brief response to Allister Heath, of CityAM, who has been writing and tweeting about how desirable it would be to build more new houses in the UK, and how meagre new building is in the UK compared … Continue reading

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Krugman on history of recent macro thought

Increasingly, I find Paul Krugman’s [PK] forays into macroeconomics (or rather, the history and sociology of macroeonomic thought) bizarre, highly selective (selected in order to back his own view that unlimited stimulus obtained anyhow is great) and ridiculous.  This post … Continue reading

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Fudged Guidance, and the guess

Two more thoughts on the Fudged Guidance, which I think more accurately describes the launch of the new framework than ‘Forward Guidance’.  Both are repeats.   The first rants about the ‘Fudge’, in the Guidance.  The second is about the … Continue reading

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Forward guidance to make existing stimulus ‘more effective’, ie more powerful?

The key question at the heart of the revelation of the new framework for the implementation of monetary policy is whether it constitutes a loosening of monetary policy, relative to what was envisaged before. It seems inconceivable that there could … Continue reading

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Theory is dead; long live theory [Summer silly season]

In a typically entertaining and provocative recent blog post, Noah Smith pronounced ‘the death of theory’, and then proceeded to offer a post-mortem.  Paul Krugman thought he had exaggerated a little, but still accepted the basic premise, and then offered … Continue reading

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Some desirable transparency housekeeping for the MPC’s forecast

The MPC will shortly publish its August inflation forecast, and its evaluation of the policy of ‘forward guidance’, commissioned back in March by the Treasury (an action I previously noted was tantamount to saying ‘how about looser monetary policy, folks?).  … Continue reading

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