Any Haldane went back to school this week. "Everyday Economics" the title ... his speech was delivered at Nishkam High School in Birmingham. Economists have a problem of trust and understanding, claims the Chief Economist at the Bank of England. So often the problem is in delivery. So it was with the choice of title ... or so he claims ...
"If I’d taken media studies rather than economics, I’d have gone about things differently. I’d have drawn you in with a “hook”, such as people or children or dogs. Had my title been “Economics for the People”, I’d have doubled my readership. Had it been “Economics for the Kids”, I’d have quadrupled it. If I had opted for “A Fluffy Labrador Puppy Explains the Economy”, the Bank’s website would have crashed."
Really? Must check the open rates for The Saturday Economist this week. It could be time to rethink the headlines and the title as we enter our seventh year in publication next year.
Andy's school visits don't always work out so well. Fifty nine minutes into one session at a school in one of the poorest areas of the country, it was time for questions. Well two actually. "Who are you and Why are you here!" the query. It was a cruel enquiry. A show stopper. That's the problem with stand up comedy and economics. We all get those bad gigs from time to time.
In case you missed it, there was a big engagement announcement this week. Greg Clark released the UK Industrial Strategy White Paper on Monday. The Government is engaging with industry. A focus on five things, people, places, infrastructure, ideas and business environment. A great focus on robotics and AI. Yes I see the future and it works but not for as many as in the past.
No need to worry about manufacturing for the moment. The latest PMI Markit survey was exuberant. UK manufacturing climbs to highest level in four years the headline. Growth in output employment and orders all gathered pace. There was even an uplift in investment goods. Yes we haven't had it so good since 2013 the story. Don't get too excited. Manufacturing production is rising at a rate of just 2% in the quarter according to Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit. Welcome growth in steady steps but no real "march of the makers" …
Economics news this week ... I see the future ...
Jeremy Corbyn was on the front cover of GQ magazine this week. Wearing a smart red tie and a Marks and Spencer suit, staff at the magazine suggested he was pushed around by his aides, like an old grandpa for the family Christmas photo shoot.
Underwhelming the verdict. The Labour leader seized the opportunity to slam the international banking community. "They are right to fear me" said Corbyn, "They think they run our country". "I will rein in the speculators and gamblers who crashed our economy in 2008" he added. Morgan Grenfell had dared to suggest a Corbyn-led government was a greater risk to the economy than Brexit. Maybe ...
As if on cue Richard Sharp delivered a speech at UCL on Thursday. "It Pays To Be Paranoid" the title [paranoid about puppies] would have been better. The Bank's FPC member issued a reminder the UK government had accumulated £1 trillion of debt since the crash. No scope for a Labour party spending spree. Don't take anything for granted. Venezuela had a "Triple A" rating thirty years ago, now in default. A Corbynista government in power, challenging the international banking community would create an interesting scenario for the Central Bank and for Sterling. Default and Depreciation in prospect ... I see the future in a Marks and Spencer suit with patches on the elbows and holes in our shoes ...
Is anyone worried about Michael Gove? Last week he was telling us that Brexit would be good for puppies. This week he was calling for more water fountains across the country according to the Times today. Access to drinking water in the UK would alleviate the problem of plastic bottles in ocean waters around the world. Excellent. Now there is a man with vision and a clear sense of infrastructure priorities. And yes he could be Chancellor one day ... another threat to the economy to put on the list …
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