Has Quantitative Easing actually worked?

 The Bank of England introduced the so-called scheme of Quantitative Easing (QE) in March 2009 and it continued until January 2010. This was an attempt to inject money directly into the economy by buying financial assets on the open market, largely government and corporate bonds. It was introduced because the price of money (Bank Rate) was not working sufficiently to … Continue reading

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Will Greece bring the eurozone down?

There is a crisis in Europe at the moment as a result of the possibility of Greece defaulting on its debts. The euro has fallen in value and stock markets have dropped around the world during the last few days. Even the Chinese have expressed concern, because Europe is such an important market for them. Greece is a basket case, … Continue reading

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Growth is beginning to respond but there will be an uneven recovery

Economic activity in OECD countries will gradually pick up steam over the coming two years, but the recovery will be uneven and unemployment will remain persistently high, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook. The OECD sees the main challenge to countries at the moment as the ability to move from a policy-driven recovery toward self-sustained growth.  “As stimulus is withdrawn, … Continue reading

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What is the matter with them?

I have just recovered from the Budget this week, as it was even worse than I had anticipated. I keep writing in my blogs that extreme austerity packages are going to damage the economy but George Osborne is just not listening. What’s the point of me writing all this if he is not taking a blind bit of notice. I … Continue reading

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Fiscal tightening needs to be increased

The Institute for Fiscal Studies, which has no political alignment, has said that the government would have to find another £13bn during the next parliament, in order to put the public finances back on an even keel.   In his pre-Budget report, the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, outlined measures for a £57bn fiscal tightening which is about 4.1% of national income, … Continue reading

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Shock cut in bingo duty

A reduction in bingo duty from 25% to 20% was the centrepiece of yesterday’s Pre Election Manifesto – sorry, Pre Budget Report – presented by chancellor, Alistair Darling.   Whilst it’s true that the chancellor had all the room to manoeuvre of a man holding a wake in a telephone box, he actually played safe by doing ….well…..doing virtually nothing. … Continue reading

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US fiscal policy and the multiplier effect

Traditional Keynesian theory suggests that a change in government expenditure on real GDP has an effect greater than one-for-one. In other words as a government pumps money into the economy this will put unemployed resources to work which will have a one-for-one effect initially. However, as households receive additional income they will spend some of this and thus there will … Continue reading

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Put your cheque book away Prime Minister

Yesterday, Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, was answering questions from MPs at a Treasury committee. Just another routine meeting you might think. However, the governor grabbed the headlines by breaking with a convention of the Bank of not discussing the public finances in the open.   He basically warned Gordon Brown against mounting another significant fiscal stimulus … Continue reading

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