Rates of Interest

Do you agree that higher interest rates will reduce demand and output/employment? Simon Wren-Lewis asked in this recent twitter feed. (Itself a rich source of all sorts of education!) I replied perhaps, possibly. And I’m beginning to wonder if even that was much too certain…. For a start, since the interest rate on my credit… Read more

MMT as nonsense economics – or not

The first point—that (fiat) money is ultimately a governmental construct in modern capitalist economies, and central banks can indeed produce as much of it as they want—is not news…. is the promising way Jonathan Portes kicks off his argument in ‘Prospect’ against Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which he calls ‘Nonsense Economics’. He continues: a sovereign… Read more

Contracting out democracy – why not?

During the 1971 debates over the UK’s entry to what was then called the “European Communities”, the violinist Yehudi Menuhin suggested that Britain offer other countries a “rent-a-government” service, so great were the UK’s politics and civil service. Actually I would have probably – just about – agreed at the time – but how are… Read more

Oh to be in New Zealand

Th FT of 21st January had an item by the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ‘New Zealand hopes to lead the world with wellness-based policies’, which was perhaps, ostensibly pretty pedestrian-based stuff. But it has notable insight. Starting with: Ours was the first country where all women won the right to vote back in… Read more