Robert Skidelsky
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Speech on the Budget
Robert Skidelsky
Hansard | Monday, December 04, 2017

 
7.47 pm
Lord Skidelsky (CB)

My Lords, I will concentrate, as is my wont, on the macroeconomic implications of the Budget. That is not to say that supply-side questions are not important—of course they are. I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Maude, that a Government should not be exempt from the efficiency expected of the private sector. However, in general, efficiency is closely related to investment. The more investment there is, the more efficient an economy is likely to be, for the simple reason that there will be much less resistance to cutting costs—which in practice usually means laying off workers—if there are plenty of alternative jobs available.
 
We have 1.4 million people out of work—“too many”, the Chancellor rightly says.

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Inconvenient Truths About Migration
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Wednesday, November 22, 2017

 
Sociology, anthropology, and history have been making large inroads into the debate on immigration. Homo economicus, who lives for bread alone, has, it seems, given way to someone for whom a sense of belonging is at least as important as eating.
 
This makes one doubt that hostility to mass immigration is simply a protest against job losses, depressed wages, and growing inequality. Economics has certainly played a part in the upsurge of identity politics, but the crisis of identity will not be expunged by economic reforms alone. Economic welfare is not the same as social wellbeing.
 
Let’s start, though, with the economics, using the United Kingdom – now heading out of the EU – as a case in point. Between 1991 and 2013 there was a net

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Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Tuesday, October 24, 2017

 
With all the protectionist talk coming from US President Donald Trump’s administration, it is surprising that no one has mentioned, much less sought to invoke, an obvious tool for addressing persistent external imbalances: the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement’s “scarce-currency clause.”

That clause, contained in Article 7 of the agreement, authorizes countries, “after consultation with the [International Monetary] Fund, temporarily to impose limitations on freedom of exchange operations in the scarce currency”; and it grants those countries “complete jurisdiction in determining the nature of such limitations.” A country’s currency is considered scarce in the foreign-exchange market if it imports more than it exports – which is to

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Bloomberg interview on central bank independence and European politics
Robert Skidelsky
Bloomberg | Friday, September 29, 2017

 
Bloomberg interview on central bank independence, and the role of monetary and fiscal policy 20 years after the Bank of England was made independent; followed by a discussion about European politics and the future of the European Union after the recent election in Germany. The interview starts after about 1 minute and continues until about 17 minutes 40 seconds in:
 
 
www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-09-28/full-show-what-d-you-miss-09-28-video
  
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Bloomberg interview on central bank independence
Robert Skidelsky
Bloomberg | Thursday, September 28, 2017

 
Bloomberg interview on central bank independence, and the role of monetary and fiscal policy 20 years after the Bank of England was made independent:
 
 
www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-09-28/skidelsky-central-bank-independence-won-t-last-video
  
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