Thanks to those who signed, [dubbed by Danny Blanchflower ‘mindless theorists and right wing nut-jobs’], and the many who were supportive but whose positions don’t allow them to make potentially political interventions like this.
Needless to say, our motivation wasn’t political. It was ire that the mantle of ‘mainstream’ was being offered by the ‘letter of 41’ and claimed by Jeremy Corbyn. Who Labour elects as its leader is the business of its broadly defined ‘members’. But we and our signatories don’t wish to have the median economist position misrepresented.
Small point. The ‘targets’ sentence in the letter is losing people a bit. This is to be read as ‘renationalising will probably make companies worse not better’. [The ‘target’ is the target of the renationalisation, ie a company. Sorry. Terrible drafting by me in this case].
Post script: Ethan Ilzetzki at the London School of Economics, and Duncan Melville, Chief Economist, Inclusion [signing in a personal capacity only, and not on behalf of his employer], also wished to sign, but we got this message too late for the FT deadline.
Anyone else who is supportive or not is free to comment below.
Post-post script. The Guardian, which ignored Paul Levine’s initial letter [reproduced in an earlier post below], ran a sceptical opinion piece about our letter in Commentisfree, by Tom Clark. This was pretty dirty: the first ‘economists’ letter was reported uncritically as from ‘economists’, and their views were not questioned. Our letter, signed by people, unlike with the first letter, all of whom were economists, gets criticised for being written by hide-bound…. economists. [Plus the usual rubbish showing no understanding of what PQE/QE is, or what money is, etc, etc…]. To respond to this, we penned a letter in response, which they did publish, and here it is if you want to read it.