This week the European Central Bank (ECB) committed to a course of Quantitative Easing (QE) for the Eurozone, committing 60bn Euros a month to the zone’s faltering economy until September 2016. Politeia brings you the analysis of two of Britain's leading economists, Professor Tim Congdon CBE, and Dr Gerard Lyons, which you can read in our blog column.
QE for the Eurozone - What Does This Mean?
Sensible, Appropriate and Well-Calibrated
Professor Tim Congdon CBE
23rd January 2015
Much of the commentariat is baffled by “quantitative easing”. As is widely known, QE has been widely adopted by central banks in the last few years to boost demand, output and employment, and to escape the macroeconomic malaise that has afflicted the advanced industrial countries during and since the Great Recession of 2008 - 10. The European Central Bank’s adoption of a QE programme follows similar action by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England. Its main feature, the large-scale purchases of government securities with newly-created central bank cash, is familiar from the steps already taken by these three institutions. Even so Robert Lea said in The Times of 23 January that Eurozone QE is “a vast leap into the unknown”, while Jeremy Warner of The Daily Telegraph had previously condemned QE “as barking up the wrong tree”, and Liam Halligan in his Sunday Telegraph column had lambasted it as “the last refuge of declining empires and banana republics”.
You can read Professor Congdon's analysis here.
The UK Government Spending Ratio: Back to the 1930s?
Public spending will be at levels of Gordon Brown, says Politeia's new economic spending analysis
As the debate over reductions to Government spending ratios looks set to dominate the electoral campaign, Politeia’s analysis by the economist, David B. Smith*, considers what the figures for public spending really are.
In The UK Government Spending Ratio: Back to the 1930s?, David B. Smith shows that the changes to accounting procedures and the measures officially used to report public spending ratios tend to underestimate levels of public spending. In particular, the new European rules which have just come into force (ESA 2010) make a like for like comparison difficult to establish. To this problem must be added the further complication of what is, or is not, included by government for calculating public spending.
The Separation of Powers
Sir Stephen Sedley
On 14th January 2015, Politeia's new series with BPP University A Free Society Under the Rule of Law, will be addressed by Sir Stephen Sedleyon The Separation of Powers.
Montesquieu's remark that without separation of the state's powers there would be 'an end of everything' may have been an overstatement, but it contained an important truth. The separation of powers in the British state, while it has long and deep historical roots, is not a fixed set of relationships and may today be under critical pressure
Lord Howell of Guildford