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11 April 2016

Breaking the bonds between governments and the financial sector

By Richard Boxshall A troupe of policymakers will take to the global stage in mid-April for the Spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank amid slowing global economic growth and capital net outflows from emerging markets. March was a busy month for policymakers, actions included a new growth target...

18 March 2016

Budget 2016: Sweeteners now, but pain later to fill hole in public finances

By John Hawksworth As the Chancellor was at pains to stress, the global economic outlook has turned stormy since the Autumn Statement in November. Together with a more cautious view on trend productivity growth, this led the OBR to edge down its economic growth and inflation forecasts (see Table 1)....

10 March 2016

Future UK jobs growth – 5 key trends

By John Hawksworth The last century has seen the inexorable rise of services to its current position as the source of over 80% of UK employment. Manufacturing now accounts for less than 10% of UK jobs, while health and education and business services have been the biggest growth areas since...

19 January 2016

Global stock market turmoil should not derail the UK economic recovery

By John Hawksworth Global stock markets have had a rocky start to 2016, reflecting concerns about the slowdown in China and weakness in global commodity markets. But how serious a threat is this to the UK economic recovery? Clearly there will be some losers from these global developments, including both...

15 December 2015

Price Discrimination and Cross subsidies in banking – should regulators be interested?

By George Hall and Carson Xu This year’s penultimate Beesley Lecture considered price discrimination and cross subsidisation in retail banking. Should regulators be concerned with such pricing practices? If so, what should they do to address the potential issues these practices can cause? The speakers – Peter Andrews (Chief Economist...

08 December 2015

Robots – economic curse or blessing?

By John Hawksworth A great deal of debate has flared up in recent years around whether the rise of intelligent robots will be of huge benefit to society in terms of increased productivity, or a huge threat to the jobs and earnings of large swathes of the workforce (putting aside...

27 November 2015

Favourable borrowing forecasts gave Chancellor some wiggle room

By John Hawksworth Lower than expected public borrowing forecasts allowed the Chancellor to cancel planned cuts to tax credits next year while boosting spending on transport infrastructure and housing. But he has also pencilled in around £5 billion of extra net tax rises by 2020 to help achieve his target...

20 November 2015

Dealing with the deficit – how is the Chancellor doing?

By John Hawksworth Today's public finance data were somewhat disappointing for the Chancellor, with public sector net borrowing – the ‘budget deficit’ – being higher in October 2015 than in October 2014. Monthly data can be volatile, but the cumulative public borrowing total for the first seven months of the...

18 November 2015

Digital Disruptors: A game changer for regulation and competition policy?

By Carson Xu What can regulators and competition authorities learn about disruptive innovation by thinking about taxis, hotels and dirty laundry? This fascinating question was explored at a recent Beesley Lecture by speakers, John Fingleton (CEO of Fingleton Associates) and Phil Evans (panel member at the Competition and Markets Authority)....

16 November 2015

How much should we worry about global growth?

By Andrew Sentance How worried should we be about disappointing growth in the global economy? The OECD has become the latest organisation to express its concerns and downgrade its forecasts for next year. This follows on from a cut in the IMF world growth forecast last month and comments from...