Category: Monetary policy

How much should we worry about inflation?

Many people have written about how the ‘spectre of inflation’ has returned to haunt investors. In fact, the financial markets are still remarkably sanguine, reassured by dovish comments from central banks. This was reasonable in the depths of the Covid recession. Now it looks increasingly complacent. There has already been a sharp rise in government … Continue reading How much should we worry about inflation?

Is there any money left?

In 2010, Liam Byrne left a note to his successor as Chief Secretary to the Treasury which famously read “I’m afraid there is no money”. After all, annual borrowing had just peaked at a record £158 billion, and the stock of debt was about to top £1,000 billion for the first time. Roll forward a little over a … Continue reading Is there any money left?

Why we don’t need tax rises to pay for Covid

How deep a hole are we in? The Institute of Economic Affairs has just published a primer I’ve written on the state of the public finances, which digs into this question. On the bright side, I argue that there is no need for any form of austerity, including tax rises, to fill a gap left … Continue reading Why we don’t need tax rises to pay for Covid

Access to cash is a far bigger problem than the ‘missing’ £50 billion

On 4th December, the UK parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) published a report on the production and distribution of cash. The press release was headlined ‘PAC urges Bank of England to investigate “missing” £50 billion of sterling notes’. This emphasis was unhelpful and drew attention away from the real problems. The media coverage did at … Continue reading Access to cash is a far bigger problem than the ‘missing’ £50 billion